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Backstage Experts

How To Get to the Root of the Problem in Your Auditions

How To Get to the Root of the Problem in Your Auditions

I was talking to a psychologist friend of mine and asked him what the biggest reason is for people to seek therapy. He said it was people not wanting to make the same mistakes over and over in their lives. Whether it’s a relationship pattern, a terrible feeling, or an addictive behavior they want his help so they “will never do that again.”

Listening to his answer, I realized that is one of the main reasons people come to me to take class! They had a bad experience in an audition – got really nervous, gave up on their choices, got raced through the piece, got thrown by the energy of the room – and they come to me often in the same way my friends patients come to him: to help them “never do that again.”

It's not, however, enough to say "I'll never do that again.” We have to know exactly what we did and more importantly, why we did it. What was the cause of the behavior?

For an example, let's look at this in terms of relationships. You've been having a bit of a dry spell and you're feeling lonely. So, you put yourself out there, meet someone and start dating, and after a short time it ends because you discover you don't share some basic values with this person. So, you say, "I'll never let that happen again, I will make sure the next person I date shares my core values." The next person comes along and you make sure you line up with them on the values issue, but then you end up splitting up with them because they are clingy and needy. You swear that will never happen again and you find a new person who presents a different set of problems and on and on and you’re left wondering what’s going on – you’ve taken care of all of the problems – why all the unhappy endings?

The reason for the continuing spiral of regretful relationships is that you never addressed the root problem: why these relationships were taking place to begin with. The problem was never the values or the clinginess or the waning attraction or whatever. The real problem was that you were looking for a relationship because you were lonely, and relationships that exist for the purpose of simply filling a void don’t last. The solution was there right in front of you. You needed to learn how to be alone and not seek relationships as an escape from being with yourself. If you took care of that and most likely you would be more awake to who you were letting into your life in the first place.

Now let's look at this in terms of audition. You finish your read and you're in your car and know that it didn't go as you wanted it to go. You sensed the lack of interest in the room and you're feeling disappointed and deflated and declare, "I'll never do that again!"

But the question remains: What is the IT you're never going to do again? You need to be specific about the cause of the problem in order to take care of it. So, did the piece lack drive? (Cause= dull intent.) Did you feel disconnected to the reader? (Cause=weak relationships.) Was there a moment when the piece just went flat? (Cause=lack of commitment to choice.) Did you feel shaky and rushed in the room? (Cause=weak presence caused by lurking questions about your preparation.) You need to get clear immediately after the audition what went right and wrong and how to fix what went wrong so it doesn’t become an overblown nightmare in your head.

The bottom line is that you need a way of preparing your auditions that works specifically for you, a technique that guides you clearly through each step of the process. If you do, you'll very seldom have the nagging regrets of the ill prepared. And on the rare occasions when it all didn't go your way, you'll know exactly where to go to fix the problem and you will truly "never do that again!"

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

You can follow Craig on Twitter @craigteach and like him on Facebook.

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