The Decision You Need to Make for Your Strongest Audition Ever

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It’s important that the decisions you make for your audition pieces come from the most interesting parts of your heart, body, and mind. You need to show the people in the room that the qualities you have to offer the role are more compelling than the other actors who are auditioning.

They can’t just be “smart” decisions—they have to be decisions that draw people in and involve them in the story. The people watching you need to care and the only way to make an audience care is for you to care about the decisions that you’re making.

Let’s talk about this idea of caring as it pertains to the two main decisions you make for an audition piece: intent and relationship.

A strong audition (and performance for that matter) has at its center an intent that propels the performance forward. It is crucial that the intent you choose interests you to achieve. If it doesn’t, it won’t interest the people watching. Being interested is the first level of personal investment.

The second level is caring about your intent. Interest is more of a mental construct and it’s important to satisfy the brain as it is one of the three sense doors. Caring satisfies the other two sense doors—the body and the heart—and these are the sense doors where emotion and deep connection live.

READ: How to Audition

If you’re playing a lawyer and your intent is to win the case, you might be able to say that intent interests you. But do you truly care about winning? Or do you care more about doing the right thing? Gaining justice? Impressing a judge who you admire? Making a juror who you’ve had a crush on like you? What do your heart and body really care about? That’s the place from which your most interesting and personal intent will come.

Caring about your intent will also produce strong choices because when we care about what we want, we do anything in our power to get it. We’re dynamic and creative in our strategies. This will make you alive in the audition in a way few actors can manage.

The same holds true for decisions about how you feel about the other characters in the piece. If you just stay on the surface, you’ll never be able to make compelling connections in the room or on tape. You need to have a way of working that allows you to dig deeply into the heart and body to access the emotions you truly care about, the ones that will connect you with the intensity that books jobs. You must care deeply about how you feel about the other person or people in the scene, whether it be positive or negative, for those emotions to resonate and connect to the people in the room.

If you make your creative decisions solely because you think they might be the “right” ones to make or to simply get through the piece, they won’t contain the personal energy needed to interest the people who can hire you. They have to care about what you’ve done with the material and they can’t do that unless you’ve cared about the decisions that make up the piece.

If you take the extra step of truly caring about the intentions and people in the scene, you open your heart and put yourself in a wonderfully expansive emotional space from which to prepare your piece. And you can be sure that when you care, your decisions will be connected to your heart and will carry the emotional weight and urgency that will make a huge difference in the strength and effectiveness of your auditions.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Craig Wallace
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.
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