Mistakes are an imminent part of life – and the same applies to the acting realm. Even the most experienced actors are likely to make mistakes. Still, the key to continually improving yourself is learning from your mistakes. Being nervous definitely doesn’t help when it comes to auditioning for a part – but it’s entirely up to you to learn to control your emotions and to do your best.
That being said, what are some of the main things you should avoid doing in the audition room?
It goes without saying that your attitude and the vibe you convey are some of the most quintessential things when it comes to auditioning. And while there are many helpful tips out there, an important guideline is embracing a confident approach. You don’t need to have the perfect environment in order to do your best.
In plain English, forget that you’re working and allow the character you’re playing to come to life. In order to accomplish this, you should be confident, and act with mind and heart, so that the role doesn’t seem like something outside of you, but something that is part of you. Essentially, it is difficult, if not impossible to allow the work to flow if you’re constantly thinking that the casting director might not like you, or anything of the sort.
That being said, you should focus on connecting and living in the moment, allowing the experience to flow naturally.
While most directors appreciate actors that have personal opinions, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be collaborative and flexible. As a rule of thumb, you should focus on working with the director. Still, don’t go in the opposite direction – you shouldn’t be a pushover either. Be open to any suggestions or recommendations the director might have for the part. Also, be prepared to audition in more than one way.
Auditions can be really tough, especially when you’re not prepared. Contrary to popular belief, though, being unprepared for an audition doesn’t necessarily entail only the memorizing of the script. When you’re rehearsing the audition material, you should a lot more than recite some words – you should get into character. So, make sure you rehearse this at home, as well. Spontaneity is definitely great, but, during auditions, one tends to be overstressed and nervous, and it might not necessarily work to your advantage.
As we’ve already noted, preparing for an audition implies a lot more than knowing the script by heart, or by knowing how to interpret the character. You should also take the time to do some research. An example would be: if you want to audition for a play by August Wilson, you should read some of his work, to familiarize yourself with the style. Conversely, your limited knowledge of black literature might impair your capability of interpreting the role like a pro.
Essentially, the same principle applies to Shakespeare. You should be knowledgeable regarding the correct word pronunciations, as well as the meaning of rarely utilized words.
Being too friendly during an audition isn’t necessarily recommendable either. Under no circumstances should you ask the director any personal questions. You should also avoid being overly friendly or talking about the weather or any other chit-chatting topics. Also, sharing too much personal information is contraindicated as well.
To conclude, it’s quintessential to learn from previous audition mistakes. It’s just as important to avoid making new ones. Even so, you shouldn’t despair: mistakes, setbacks – however, you want to call them, are part of the learning process. With the right attitude, you’ll keep improving so that you become a better actor.