Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gearing up to audition!

I do think that actors need to "gear up" before auditions - at least I know I do. I suppose the actual routine of gearing up has changed over the years for me, and certainly there are basics like making sure you know what type of call you're going to, what you're gonna be using for the audition in terms of song(s) or monologue(s) or sides and what the heck your gonna wear. But for me, it is more about a preparation and mindset - things that prepare me but then ultimately calm me before I walk into a room. And when I am not auditioning on a regular basis (as I have not been over the last three months) it takes me days to "gear up." I usually need to rid myself of the same ole fears of old - not good enough, not right for the part, not a good enough resume, haven't auditioned for them enough, not young enough or now...not OLD enough looking. All of those things creep around and the longer I don't go to an audition, the stronger those little demons become. I think I touched upon some of this in coulda, shoulda, woulda!

So now I basically go to the AEA website and take a look at the upcoming EPA's and Chorus Calls and try to find a day where there are multiple auditions that I am at least remotely right for. I target a day like that as my "first day back in the game." I print out the audition notices, figure out what I am going to sing or present at each audition and picture myself doing really well when I walk in the room.

I used to tell my students that if you could get to a point in your career where you could feel like your auditions were mini performances; presenting the best you could in that moment each time, and enjoying yourself regardless of who is in the room or what takes place in the room that is out of your control, then you would have so much more joy - and ultimately more success in your auditions. It took me a VERY long time to get to that point and really, it's only been the last few years that I have been able to sustain it over periods of auditions. However, after a break...I always find that it usually takes me a few to get back to that place. I find myself nervous, worried, psyched out, almost desperate when I walk in the door. "I really need this job, please God I need this job..."

Ultimately now, I am usually much more relaxed at auditions although I do end up feeling differently at different types of calls. Appointment calls are of course, the best way to go if you can get them (on your own, through an agent or a friend on the project). Having your own time and knowing they are already interested in, at the very least, your type, often makes you feel like you're already "in the running." When I go to EPA's and Chorus Calls, I try to understand that it is about showing the people on the other side of the table my professionalism, my courtesy, my talent and my type - and even those things aren't always of interest to an associate who knows the show is cast, three times over, and this required call is just that...REQUIRED. But I've gotten work from EPA's and Chorus Calls so I try not to take them for granted and as much as I often bitch about them and the low percentage of offers and blah, blah, blah...I do understand that it's important to go; to get out there; to be seen and heard and send it out into the universe.

At the end of the day, my friends in the biz and I always say this to each other when we are going through angst over auditions - if you don't go, you can't get work...plain and simple. Or as the lotto folks would say, "Ya gotta be in it, to win it!"

So next week, I have one of those audition days that I spoke of all set - with three possible calls on the same day - welcome back!

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