Before walking into the audition room, preparation is key. Some people spend weeks, months even years preparing for an audition in the hopes of getting that one role. But sometimes, despite putting all the work into preparation, we may be unprepared for the unexpected. We may end up tripping on the way in, stumble on an introduction, fumble a line, it’s normal for human beings to make mistakes. If you’ve ever made or at least felt like you made a colossal mistake in the audition room, trust me, you’re not alone. Messing up an audition is like a rite of passage for all actors. In fact, audition mistakes can be blessings in disguise. How you choose to deal with it determines whether the outcome will be positive or negative.
When something goes wrong, the most important reminder is to always stay centered. By keeping focus on the task at hand, and not the mistakes prior. The people who are auditioning you want to see you being the best. Ruminating and torturing yourself with what went wrong serves no other purpose than to make yourself feel even more terrible. That’s only going to mess with your ability to do your best! If the mistake is massive, take the opportunity to acknowledge it to the auditors and start again. If it’s not that big of a deal, such as missing a line or fumbling a line, move on! Everyone messes up but what’s most important is how we deal with them. Speaking of dealing with mistakes…
A mistake is an opportunity to reveal who you are, not just as an actor but… you. Auditions aren’t just about finding the best actor for the role, but also finding a person that’s great to work with. The mistake you make allows the auditors to see how you react to difficult situations. By seeing how you recover from your mistakes, the auditors will be able to gauge how well you deal with the line of work. Can you deal with direction, fast-paced work and intense environments? If you make a mistake at your introduction, are you still able to quickly step into character with ease? Or will you mull over the issue and waste time? No one wants to work with someone who is difficult. Being able to hold your own and handle the situation is a great indicator of your professionalism and skill as an actor.
There’s this issue permeating through many cultures where people are grossly afraid of messing up and having things go awry. So, people end up always playing it safe, never taking risks. But auditions aren’t about doing just good. The audition is the opportunity to show you at your best, to show what you’re really made of. It’s the place to slay or be slayed. Take actress Lea Michele, for example, who played the role of Rachel Berry in Glee. As she was performing her audition song, the piano accompaniment skipped her second verse of the song. Still in character, Michele admonished the audience for laughing during her ‘serious moment’, telling them, “I’m gonna do it again and I want you all to cry”. This moment was key in Michele securing her role on the TV hit Glee as it was so much like how her character would act. Lea Michele was quick to embrace her mistake, transform and integrate it into the audition. So, don’t let your fear of failure prevent you from facing the unpredictability of the audition.
This is what makes auditioning a whole different and exciting ballgame. It’s knowing that you don’t know how the audition is going to turn out. When you embrace that fact, and learn how to deal with mess ups, your audition experience will never be something to dread. The best moments arise from something unexpected.
Want to know more about audition techniques first hand? Join HCAC’s Audition Techniques 101 Workshop on April 2 2017.