Have you ever walked out of an audition and called someone to complain about it? Do you replay in your mind how what you rehearsed at home didn’t happen in the room?
When you find yourself repeatedly thinking about your “problems” with the process, you reinforce negative thinking toward auditioning. This is a dangerous path, as it can lead to an overall connection in your mind between negativity and acting, the career you’re trying to pursue.
To avoid this and keep a healthy perspective about your chosen path—and, hopefully, passion—you need to coach your mind. Train yourself and your thoughts to support your goals, not sabotage them with your thinking. How? With something I like to call AIM: activation, imagination, and mindset.
To AIM is to always be sure to keep the desired outcome of an action in mind rather than dwelling on what may have gone wrong or what could have gone better. By AIMing you can turn your audition woes into wins. Here’s how.
The next time you have an audition you’re not thrilled with, pause your negative thinking and activate how you wish to feel instead. Grab a pen and some paper and create three columns. In the first column, write keywords describing your negative emotions regarding the audition. In the second column, list how you wish you felt instead. In the final column, write what you can do to achieve that feeling.
For example, say you list that you felt unsettled in the first column and in the second, that you wish you had felt focused. In the last column, you can write that you’ll try to rehearse with someone who will act disinterested while you try to maintain a laser focus.
Writing this down will help you target exactly what you want to be feeling in your auditions.
Mentally rehearse the positive associations you want to experience at your auditions aka what you want from the audition.
If your goal is to be focused mentally rehearse being in that state so you can step into that identity. Get centered with deep, slow breaths. Breathe in, hold five seconds, release, and repeat.
When you feel yourself enter a relaxed state, imagine that you’re laser-focused in the audition room no matter what the reader is giving you. If you feel stuck, remember a time from your past when you felt this way and accomplished a goal. Relish in these positive emotions and bring them into this exercise.
Take your time feeling it so that you become familiar with embodying these traits.
Change your mindset.
Your wins come more easily when your mind believes the outcome is already yours. Now that your mind has shifted into the new identity of how you wish to feel, bring in the physical expression by actually performing the actions you listed in column three.
If you don’t feel the focus you experienced in your imagination, pause, close your eyes, and tap back into it. Trust that you will get back into your positive mental space because you’ve already done the good work.
The more you practice, the faster you’ll be able to execute this technique. Don’t get stuck trying to get the steps perfect. They’re only meant to guide you. Create a connected experience with how you wish to feel when you’re auditioning. Then bring this state of mind to your work.
*This post was originally published on March 15, 2019. It has since been updated.
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