The way we walk into a room speaks volumes of our belief of worth we bring to the situation. When at auditions, I can instantly tell who is there to bring their best work, and who does not hold the “Actors Trust.”
Every astute teacher, actor, or director will tell you that great acting “is not about the words.” Yet, before auditions, many actors sit in the lobby anxiously going over their sides. The action that creates this is fear of going up on the lines. These actors have not earned their self-trust in performance.
This lack of confidence prevents an actor from be fully present in the room—the vital element of acting. They walk in nervously smiling, holding themselves back and allow doubt and self-judgment to cut off their creativity. And then they leave the audition and beat themselves up. Reinforcing the fear of failure that they then bring into their next audition.
Self-trust is earned through extensive preparation and experience. Without the discipline of preparation, the experience rarely comes.
When an actor knows all they are bringing to the character and project they cannot wait to get into the audition room. When they are waiting for their name to be called they are in the stillness of their imagination that the room they are about ready to walk into is the place in the scene. They are no longer thinking about the words in the script. They are way past that. They are luxuriating in the experience.
When prepared actors gets in front of casting directors, they walk in excited to engage as an active participant with something to offer. They are not showing up to the party. They ARE the party.
There are many shifts an actor can make to elevate their game at auditions.
1. When you have a bad audition, take a moment to write down all the thoughts you are having. If you are having negative thoughts, especially those that are self- directed, understand that these thoughts existed long before this audition. It has nothing to do with this experience. This experience just was a vehicle to bring out what you already thought about yourself.
2. It is vital you own your self-judgments and figure out where they are coming from so you can replace these thoughts with a new positive, truthful feeling about yourself.
3. Ask yourself, what did I learn and how can I do things differently, take different actions with the next audition? Allow the experience to always make you better at what doing what you love. Then you will begin to start attaching excitement for auditions instead of identifying them with “past failures.”
4. Begin to look at auditions based in Truth not Ego. The truth is every actor will not book more auditions than they will book. So stop putting your focus on the end result of booking. Put ALL your focus on the integrity of your work.
5. Keep in mind, that ALL auditions are successful, regardless of the outcome. Just the fact you had one, you may have beat out 1000’s who wanted to get into that room. If you have an audition, you have already created success the second you walk in.
6. If you feel you need more experience to build confidence then go out and get it. Be proactive with your dreams. You are in a town with so many outlets that provide the experience we need in order to do the work we wish to do in the world.
When we feel worthy of the work, we allow ourselves to fully engage in the process with confidence and passion. There is nothing better than the feeling of doing great work. It impacts every facet of our existence. We become more alive and cultivate the mindset to make things happen in our lives. We understand what we have to offer, are motivated to do well, and feel gratitude for each day presented to us that we can keep exploring, evolving, and live the life of our dreams.
Constance Tillotson is CEO of Sterling Studio. Her studio had over 200 bookings last year. Actors in her studio are renowned for their extraordinary work in major feature films and television. Her booking actors range from 5-years-old on up. She is also a top pick for private theatrical coaching and preproduction preparation. She is an actor, writer, director, and producer. She also works globally with children building self-esteem through filmmaking. She is a talent manager at LA Management where she helms the careers of a select group of successful clientele.
What are some ways that you boost your confidence at auditions? Share this story with your advice!