Trust Your Talent During Auditions

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You know the dream. No, not the one where you clutch the gold statue with a big smile on your face. The other dream, where you are falling and wake up right before you land, usually terrified and gasping for breath. A common dream and a common fear, right? Yet I have a few friends who skydive. They seem relatively normal, and they literally transform that fear of falling into a joy of falling. And they love the free fall more than the takeoff, the jumping, the holding hands and making funny shapes in the air, or the landing.

This metaphor has everything to do with auditioning. Trust me, I know because I have been doing it, relatively successfully, for a very long time. Not at first, by the way. I would have never been cast in anything had I consistently embraced the audition methods parroted by so many misinformed (but hopefully well-intentioned) "teachers" who filled my neophyte brain with all manner of audition dos and don'ts.

Always hold the sides. Never speak unless spoken to first. Don't ever deviate one word from the script. Always know exactly what you are going to do, or they'll think you didn't prepare. And on and on and on. If I understood it correctly, according to the "experts" a professional audition was just like a court martial, only worse.

I don't know everything, but I do know that art is rarely borne out of abject fear. It is, however, often created when mind and body are loose and free to work without limitations.

Auditioning well isn't about sticking to any rules other than common sense and gracious manners. It's about free falling. Knowing the text inside and out and understanding the character as best you can are your parachute and safety net.

If you are not malleable and able to change any aspect of the audition in the moment, you won't readily convince them that you're the right actor for the job. Absolutely be prepared, but in the room where they are trying to gauge so much more than your talent, you have to inform them that you're not just the actor who can master the scene you're performing in front of them. They want to know that you are the person who can embody the character throughout the project they are creating.

So fear not. Take a leap. It's not as bad as you think. Trust your talent and training, and enjoy the exhilaration of the moment. Believe me, if you do, the potential buyers will notice, and the next time you jump you might find them at your side.

Daniel Roebuck's face is hopefully familiar to you but not because he's done anything wrong. He's tried diligently to be on or in everything possible. When not on television ("Glee") or in a movie ("The Fugitive"), he can be found at