I’ve read all of those acting and audition workbooks, manuals and how-to guides. I’ve talked to countless professors, mentors, professional actors. I’ve recited it over an over and over again as a personal mantra. “Don’t take rejection personally.” But when it really comes down to it, I so DO!!!! Each and every time I have an audition and I don’t get a callback I often dwell on every little detail, option, vibe, misplaced hair, etc. that could have caused them to not like me. This process was recently intensified when my best friend and I both auditioned for the same film project. He got the blessed callback and I did not. Needless to say I was bitter, jealous, wounded and completely thrilled for him of course, but I couldn’t help but wandering, “What the heck was wrong with ME? Why didn’t they like ME?” When discussing this with literally anyone who would listen to me, a few plants, inanimate objects and my pugs; everyone kept throwing out the classic cliché of “You probably didn’t have the right look for the part.” or “It has nothing to do with talent! I’m sure they just hired someone’s second cousin twice removed or something.” Riiigggghhhttt . . . . Here’s the thing, as ridiculous as it sounds they may be right. You could remind the director of his cheating ex-wife so he crosses you off the list as soon as you walk in the door for all you know. It wouldn’t matter if you gave a performance that Kate Winslet would be envious of, you still wouldn’t get the part. So this is what I suggest to my fellow “approval-seekers” aka actors:
1.) Be as prepared as you can possibly be. Respond to all emails even if it is just with a “Thank you for confirming the details, time, location, etc.”
2.) Read the script and have it memorized. Even if they sent it to you earlier that day, do your best to memorize it. Still bring a copy of the script with you.
3.) Follow ALL directions. If it said they want you to say your name before you begin then state your name. It will show them you are attentive to detail and follow instruction.
4.) Have a few different styles or approaches picked to try reading it different ways. This will either show that you have range or reflect that you can take direction.
5.) Be prepared to change it up! If they ask you to put your hair up, deliver lines while walking, stand on your head, whatever DO IT!!!! As long as it is appropriate though.
6.) Stay relaxed. Just walk through those doors and have a good time. Often times they will cast you based on how easy they think it will be to work with you. Plus making a good impression is NEVER a bad thing. So what if you bombe that particular audition. If they love your personality they may just ask you back for a different project!
7.) This is the hardest for me: DON’T DWELL. Walk out of that audition with confidence. Take a quick inventory of what went well, what could have gone better and what surprised you so you can learn and know what to change for next time then release it into the universe.
8.) No grudges. Keep an audition log to remember who you have met and what company/organization they are associated with. Always be gracious and positive to all staff involved with the audition process. They may remember you, good or bad.
9.) If you don’t book a lead but are offered a background artist role and it will be a good networking opportunity, take it! Learn on set, develop contacts and relationships with people and work hard. Who knows where it may lead.
10.) Remember you are doing this out of love. Yes, the money, financial gain, worldwide fame and perks are a close second, but acting should always be with purpose and passion. Don’t lose that.