By: Jess Canty
I have had the pleasure of sitting down with many of you to talk about your goal for 2020 (please don't forget to schedule a call or a chat with me if you haven't done so yet) and the thing that is coming up for almost everyone is ... AUDITIONS.
Or rather in talking about your goals the audition is the barrier every time between where you are and where you want to be. And it is the one thing that I can't help you with. At least not directly. And no coach or friend or partner can either.
You have to figure it out.
You HAVE to figure it out.
Otherwise those goals - ain't happening.
And I hate to be harsh about this, but that is really it. You MUST figure out how to overcome auditioning.
You have signed up for a job where for the rest of your career you will be looking for a job. Don't believe me? Ask Kevin Bacon. "If you're an actor, even a successful one, you're still waiting for the phone to ring."
Because when you become successful, each job is just the "audition" for your next one. So the jobs you choose become ever more important - because you may not be auditioning as much as you were before - but you are being judged by each successive performance.
It never stops. NEVER.
Which is why you need to figure out how to get over the auditioning hurdle. You need to be calling back more. And you need to be booking more - in order for you to accomplish your goal - whatever it is.
So how do we do this?
ARE YOU IN AN AUDITION-STYLE CLASS? After speaking to many of you I have come to believe that this is the A #1 thing that most everyone should be doing until you are at a place in your career where you are calling back more than you aren't.
The reason for this is that you already know how to act. You really do. I promise you do. You've trained either in college or in scene study class or both. You need to learn now how to audition. It is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SKILL.
An audition class will have you
memorizing current material every week
not working with a partner, but a reader you have not rehearsed with
putting up a scene(s) in front of a class in the same way you would in an audition room
move on to new material quickly I have come to believe that working these muscles week in and week out is what fixes the #1 problem with auditioning:
YOU ARE NERVOUS / FEEL LIKE YOU DON'T BELONG / FEEL LIKE THE LEAST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE ROOM.
This has to stop. YESTERDAY.
Casting directors get paid to sniff out nerves, imposter syndrome and meekness. You know why?
Because being on a set where the series lead is making 50x your salary, but acting like a child and throwing a hissy fit does not allow for nerves, imposter syndrome or meekness.
You are an artist.
You are here to interpret the character, give them your best, boldest, most interesting take, put it out in the world and if they like it - great.
If they don't, so be it, on to the next.
You are the MOST powerful person in that room or on that tape - because YOU are the actor they are going to hire.
You need the audition class to solve the problems above because with these issues there is no "fake it till you make it." You need to stop being nervous. You actually have to BELIEVE you belong. You have to BE the most powerful person in the room.
If you haven't read it I highly recommend picking up Michael Shurtleff's Audition - it is a classic, never goes out of style.
Fix what needs to be fixed. Only you know.
Finally - and I cannot stress this enough - casting 99% of the time wants you to book the role. Do they have a bad or off day sometimes? Sure, they're human like any of us. But on the whole they really ARE on actor's sides. Don't believe me? Just ask Krisha Bullock. But you should know this already because you're now following her on Instagram... right?
Bryan Cranston famously said that his career turned around for him when he finally looked at auditions as just another chance to act. To show them what he can do.
He got over the audition hurdle.
So for 2020 - figure it out. Nobody can do this for you.
By the end of this year I want everyone telling me how much they LOVE auditioning.
I want everyone knowing that if you have one audition in a month or 20 it doesn't matter because you are going to capitalize on that opportunity.
When you watch the Oscars this weekend remember - every single one of those actors up on that stage and in that audience had to get over this same hurdle first.
They all did it. It CAN be done.
Get over this hurdle so we can help you tackle the 50 others that lay beyond.
Because THOSE are the problems I want to be helping all of you with.
What events to go to. What scripts to say yes or no to. What publicist and lawyer to hire. What roles to choose. What scripts to read. What bungalow in the hills to buy.
All of this is waiting for you beyond the audition.
What if you just got over the audition?