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The Craft

After an Audition: How to Cope With the Wait

After an Audition: How to Cope With the Wait

You nailed it. The big callback.

Your preparation was solid, you got to the audition site early and mellowed into your zone, you had a winning rapport with the casting director, and you stayed in the moment for most of your read—even when the camera battery light started flashing. The CD seemed genuinely impressed. After a few buoyant minutes in the parking lot, you start to wonder when you might hear something.

That’s where you go wrong. Thinking about what you might book, when you’ll know if you booked, and whether you’ll book at all is a fool’s errand. That kind of thinking can quickly turn to worrying, which turns to second-guessing—the audition, your acting, your outfit, yourself.

Instead, develop audition amnesia (see “3 Crucial Parts of Any Audition”).

Unless you’ve got a spy in the casting room, you’ll never know how those decisions were made anyway. Hell, that’s usually true even if you’ve got a spy, as the stories twist and turn through the casting process. What so-and-so said when your spy was there may have changed when whozit piped in with that weird comment about your hair color. Don’t waste your time.

It’s not your business to cast the project. It’s not even your business to book the job (gasp!). Your focus, after a lousy audition or the best read of your life, must remain on your art. How can you improve your craft? What do you want to do with your skills? How can you create exciting work for yourself? What is your purpose as an artist?

Booking? How can you worry about one little booking when you have so much else to think about?

Jackie Apodaca is an associate professor and the head of performance at Southern Oregon University.

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