While many variables determine the outcome of an audition, you have more control over the process than you may think. Your level of preparedness and the mindset you hold can set you up to do and be your best. It just takes a little mindfulness and practice.
In the first part of this series, we looked at how to do just that. Now, let’s look at what will support your best work on audition day.
Give yourself time and space.
The day of an audition, you deserve to wake up and have the time to meditate, visualize your day, eat a good breakfast, work out and get your heart rate up, and warm up your body, voice, and mind. This will reduce your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increase levels of “feel good” endorphins.
If you need peace and quiet on your way to the audition, you may decide to avoid public transportation or the hassle of driving and take a cab or car service. Do it. You’re worth it. Arrive in plenty of time to check in, get settled, and center yourself.
As you respect yourself, you will also find it natural to respect everyone else in the room with you. That’s the best defense against the odious comparison game. If your thoughts begin to stray toward envy and judgment, lovingly redirect them toward more productive thoughts. Put on headphones and listen to music. Read. Breathe. Visualize.
Check in with yourself.
Right before your audition, take three or four long, slow, deep breaths through your nose. Breathing is a powerful and fast way to change your state of being. Like a good workout, focused and deep breathing reduces levels of fight-or-flight adrenaline and cortisol, and increases endorphins. You’ll feel better immediately.
Make sure to also check your body language. As social psychologist Amy Cuddy says in her compelling Ted Talk, our body language impacts how we see and feel about ourselves, not just how others see us. Stand in a “power pose” with an open torso and your legs and arms free and extended. Cuddy states that if you hold that posture for only two minutes, you decrease your body’s level of cortisol and increase its level of testosterone, the hormone in both men and women that contributes to confidence and the ability to take risks.
Remember that everyone in the room is on your side.
They are hoping that you will be the answer to their casting puzzle. They also know what you’re going through. As you walk in, see them as allies. Respect them as you respect yourself. You’re all professionals and colleagues dedicated to the same craft.
This is your chance to do what you love. Bring yourself into the present moment, the world of the play, and the character’s desires. Resist the urge to check the auditors’ response. Your perception of their reactions means little to nothing. If they’re looking down and not at you, they’re listening or looking at your resume. If their brows are furrowed, it means they’re thinking, not that they hate you. If they don’t smile and compliment your monologue, don’t make up a story about it. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment: they’re under pressure to find the right actor for each role and the best ensemble to serve the storytelling. They might also have a sick kid at home. You never know. Their reaction may have nothing at all to do with you.
Celebrate and move on.
You did it. Nothing you do or think at this point will change the outcome. Focus on the wins. Did you do your best? Congratulations. Did you not do your best? Congratulations. You’ll know what to do differently next time.
Connie de Veer is a professor of acting and voice at Illinois State University, a member of Actor’s Equity Association, a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a certified professional co-active coach, and the co-author of “Actor for Life: How to Have an Amazing Career Without All the Drama,” coming soon from Smith & Kraus. Find more resources at www.conniedeveer.com.
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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.