In part one of this series, we discussed the importance of being a vibrant, energetic presence in your work even when you are required to be perfectly still. We also introduced a simple technique to help you feel your choices in your body.
Today I want to explore this topic a bit further and explain why this state of “electric stillness” is so important in auditions.
“Neck up” actors–actors who haven’t explored the feelings of their choices in the body–not only appear flat and lifeless in their auditions, they also are at the mercy of their thinking minds. If you just make the choices and stop there, with no physical and emotional exploration, the choices remain just thoughts. For those of you who’ve tried it, holding a thought in an audition is nearly impossible. Your brain is receiving so much new information and stimulation just taking in the sights and sounds of the room and the people in it. You can count on most thoughts you brought in with you being pushed out of your brain in the first 10 seconds for lack of space! And as I’m sure you know from all different parts of your experience, the mind is easily agitated and can become unreliable in times of stress.
It is the opposite with the body. When you have taken the time to explore the feelings of each choice in your body, the body will remember. Muscle memory is so much more dependable in a tense situation than the flighty mind. Emotions rooted in the body can be called back up through the body and the breath, which has the added benefit of relaxing and centering the mind and taking nerves down a few notches.
So, now we have you in a state of energized stillness, strong and confident that all of your choices are grounded and strong within you. The only thing left to do is to sit down, breathe, feel the first choice in your body, open your mouth, and be with the emotional and physical energy of that choice. You see, that’s what is being looked for in the room: the actor who can simply be–not do–but be. You do all of the work before you walk into the room so that when you’re in the room, you can let it go and let it be.
In an audition “doing” gets in the way – we see your work not who you are. “Being” is all of the work you’ve done flowing through you and out into the room with an energized ease, focus and intensity.
Working with your body and feeling every choice are great ways to start you on the path of “being” in your auditions.
When you feel everything you need to do nothing.
Craig Wallace is the creator and award-winning teacher of The Wallace Audition Technique, an audition preparation system that he developed based on his years of experience as a studio executive, talent agent and casting consultant. In his 14 years of teaching, he has seen the careers of hundreds of his students take off. He is also the author of the best-selling book, “The Best of You – Winning Auditions Your Way.”
Craig is currently teaching his audition technique classes and his Meditation for Actors classes in Santa Monica, CA. For more information visit www.wallaceauditiontechnique.com.