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Audition confessions

June 5, 2013

Guys, I have a confession.

I hate auditioning.

I mean…. no, that’s what I mean.

I can’t believe I said that. Do I get kicked off the Green Room team now? Do I have to turn in my actor’s card?

I hate auditioning so much that sometimes I’ll procrastinate getting ready, to the point that I’m late and I know I’ll hit dumb LA traffic and I won’t find street parking and why-the-heck-am-I-out-of-updated-resumes? Or sometimes I wake up with a terrible stomachache or headache, totally caused by anxiety. In both those situations I can easily talk myself out of going to the audition.

And we haven’t even started talking about the actual audition.

So, let’s talk about what causes me anxiety once I get there…. well, sometimes there’s a street fair that adds an extra 20 minutes to my commute. And, like so often happens here in LA, it will be street sweeping day and there is no parking on any of the 10 closest streets. And then you sign in and find out the monologue you memorized has been nixed for a cold-read scene. Or the choreographer wants ballet flats and all you brought were 3 inch character heels. Sometimes the monitor announces they will only let you sing 8 bars of your song, and suddenly your song choice seems all wrong and you scramble through your book for what 8 bars will best show off your voice and pray to the heavens that you can remember all the words to your new choice, a song you haven’t sung since college

And can I just say, dance auditions are the the worst kind of auditions! Spending an eternity in the waiting room seems to be a given for any kind of audition, but at least when you audition with a song or a monologue you are only in the audition room for mere minutes. Good or bad, your preliminary audition is short and sweet. At a dance call, you can be in the audition room for HOURS, learning a dance combo with (what feels like) hundreds of people, who all seem to take dance class more often you and most of whom found a sexier outfit than you to wear. And once you learn the combo, you stand on the sides of the room, with your muscles getting cold, waiting for each group to go, until you have one chance to prove how awesome you are, while also trying to show off your technique, acting chops, and short-term memory skills.

See, it’s not that I’m scared of auditioning. The only thing scary about the audition itself is forgetting the dance combo or losing the song lyrics. I think my phobia revolves more around every little thing that can and does go wrong up until that point.

So I reward myself. Not for doing a good job at the audition (because occasionally I suck!). I reward myself for showing up to the audition. That’s it. Because I have finally realized that showing up is the hardest part for me. And if I can do that, and I have a headshot and I have material to perform, I can’t fail. Because every opportunity that I don’t show up for, I miss out on. Every time I decide to sleep in or waste time on YouTube instead of getting my butt to an audition is a time that I will not get the callback, or not make a good impression on that dance captain, or not show the equity monitor that I mean business and yes this is the third time they’ve seen me this week.

So wish me luck— there are chocolate chip reward cookies in my future. It’s audition time.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2013 9:30 am

    Break a leg! Oh, and HAVE FUN 🙂 First of all, I love that you reward yourself after. I am totally on board with that.

    For me, as far as audition anxiety goes, I like to think of auditions as a performance opportunity or a chance to grapple with material. A couple weeks ago, I felt some anxiety creeping in for an EPA I was on deck for. Instead of relating it to audition nerves, I transferred it to nerves applicable to the piece I was headed in there with. I convinced myself these nerves were due to the fact I was just about to see the love of my life in a coma in a hospital bed. It worked too. It kept my mind completely off of auditioning and it ignited the work.

    Take the pressure off of yourself! Auditioning is just another handshake – not the be all, end all. So my thoughts are: use an audition as an opportunity to dig into your art. Screw casting. Screw opportunities. Screw reputation. Screw whatcha lookin’ like (even tho its damn good!) and bring yourself back to your art.

    I’m sure you rock despite the nerves! How else would you be where you are today?

    • California Triple-Threat permalink
      June 5, 2013 2:14 pm

      I love that idea of transferring anxiety. I do that with nervous energy whenever it serves the performance. 🙂 I’ve only recently gotten better at auditioning but somehow I haven’t gotten better at handling the nerves. I don’t know if I ever will. Thanks for reading, Newbie!!

  2. June 5, 2013 10:51 am

    I know exactly what you mean! I get the same way around interviews! I have one today even, yet it’s hard for me to focus on preparing and head for it.

    • California Triple-Threat permalink
      June 5, 2013 2:11 pm

      You will be awesome! Go get ’em!

  3. The Growing Artist permalink
    June 5, 2013 12:19 pm

    Wow- you took the words right out of my mouth! I feel the exact same way. Thank you for writing this post! I sometimes reward myself after an audition, but I’m not consistent. I will try that next time!

    • California Triple-Threat permalink
      June 5, 2013 2:10 pm

      YOU HAVE TO! It’s basically the only thing that gets me pumped when I’m waiting. 🙂

  4. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    June 5, 2013 3:55 pm

    That’s where all my anxiety issues started – because of auditions! Rewarding yourself for auditioning is awesome though. I found that two things really helped though:

    1. having good audition material. This involved a LOT of work! Going through my book, tossing out anything that I didn’t care for, didn’t work for me, that I couldn’t reasonably play…doing my homework and finding new, really good material makes a difference!

    2. not being nervous. One of the best auditions I ever did was for a show I didn’t have a chance in hell of getting = no pressure! Remembering that feeling helps me relax.

    • California Triple-Threat permalink
      June 5, 2013 3:59 pm

      Both really great points! 🙂

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