Here is a factoid to chew on: Auditioning is about 90 percent of your job as an actor.
Most people feel similarly about auditions. If I took a quick poll asking those reading this column to describe them, I would probably hear words like “dreadful,” “horrifying,” and “my worst nightmare.” You actually may be reading this to find a secret solution to being a working actor while avoiding auditions altogether.
The bad news is, there is not. Ask Audra or Sutton when they had their last audition. Auditions are a necessary evil. The good news is, you can change your perspective and make auditioning something to look forward to. Here are a few things I drill into my students’ heads:
1. Slow. Your. Roll. A wise teacher said to me once: They’re your two minutes. Don’t rush to make it 45 seconds. Be greedy.
2. The people behind the table want you to be their answer. They are on your side. Connect. Make eye contact. Really say hello, not some programmed, pageant-contestant greeting. Ask them how they are, and wait to hear their response. You know, be a human being.
3. You get to do what you love in front of people. You have an audience you didn’t have to harangue into being there, a piano player who is playing for you for free in a space you didn’t have to pay for. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
At the end of the day, who wants to hate 90 percent of one’s job?
Kathy Deitch developed her Audition Boot Camp technique to teach actors how to love auditioning. She’s an actor, writer, producer, and director and will be Catherine in the L.A. premiere of “Silence! The Musical,” which runs Sept. 8–Oct. 12 at the Hayworth Theatre.