Auditioning Advice That Actually Works
Venkatesh Potula shares tips that can help actors overcome stress.
Auditioning should be fun not stressful! Even if you don't get the role, it just means that there's a better one out there for you.
I recently had the opportunity to audition for UCLA's Coppola One-Acts, three one acts written by MFA playwright candidates and directed by MFA film director candidates. The audition required a two-minute contemporary monologue.
Venkatesh's Top 5 Things To Do 10 minutes before an audition:
1. Take off all jewelry - yes even your lucky, gaudy gold, big hoop earrings. Directors want to see your face not what's attached to it. 2. Do not constantly recite your monologue in your head. It will only jumble you up. Besides, you know all your lines! 3. But…if you picked out your monologue two hours ago and are struggling to memorize it before the audition. Don't. Honestly, just don't audition. You are not prepared, and the directors will see that. You'll just ruin your reputation. 4. I know it can be nerve-wracking to go into a huge room with a panel of stone cold eyes looking at you, ready to judge every movement you make, but relax. Take long, slow breaths and clear your mind of actor-paranoia about what will go wrong. 5. HAVE FUN! You get a chance to act! Don't let silly anxiety get in your way. And even if you don't get the role, it just means that there's a better one out there for you.
Follow these rules and your auditioning life will become so much less stressful. I have friends that beat themselves up over not getting a part or stress way too much before an audition - which never helps.
With these rules in mind, I entered that big nearly empty room.
It just so happened that one of the film directors, Charlie, was a friend of mine through a film class we took together last quarter. We greeted each other; I took my place and started when I was ready.
After I finished the last word, I kept the feeling inside and waited for about 3-5 seconds before I stepped out of character.
TIP: Do not finish your last word and rush out of character. Give the piece some time to settle with your audience. Do not say "Scene" or "Curtain" to indicate that you are finished. Just let time do its job.
Afterwards, Charlie asked me if the monologue I performed was the same as the one I performed for the film class I took last quarter. I told him yes, and he told me that my monologue had gotten significantly better since the last time I performed it!
And with that compliment, I left the audition feeling good that I had become a stronger actor!
Two days later, I found out that I didn't get cast.
But it doesn't matter. Every audition is a learning experience that will only help you grow as a performer. I learned that I have grown as an actor - what more could you want from an audition? With a profession that has so much rejection, it is healthy to always keep a positive mindset!