You’ve got mail. You open your inbox: “We want you to audition for the role of…” before you finish the sentence your heart already starts racing. You’ve been waiting for a chance to show your talent as an actor.
Let’s be transparent here – auditions can be extremely stressful and frightening. That’s facts. No matter how talented or “famous” you are. I’m sure Oom Marius (Weyers) still feel those nerves before an audition. But I’m sure someone like Marius Weyers has become a master in his way to prep for an audition. He generated a tool that works for him.
You need tools that can help you navigate through this frightening terrain of auditions. If you don’t start to take action on how to become better at auditioning, your “break” or first significant role might come much later. Make sure you are ready when that opportunity comes. It’s like a whole different skill on its own. Not all great actors are great auditioners, but they have ways that help them give the best auditions they possibly can on the day.
Here is one tool you can use:
What is the first thing you do when you receive your audition material? During your first read, keep a pencil nearby. Immediately after your first read, write down your first impulse, your instinct or feeling towards the scene/audition material. “What do I feel this piece is doing/saying to me – tense, sad, angry…” or keywords like; “family, relationships, forgiveness, betrayal.” Whatever comes to mind, write it on the audition material in front of you. That will be your honesty guiding tool. That’s your feeling. That’s your instinct. Now you have a compass which leads you into the direction you feel you want to go with the scene. This helps you become specific. It gives your performance clarity and connects you much more to the material. The director wants to see that you can believe every single word you say during that audition.
This seems simple and too “obvious”, but it’s our first instincts that are usually what makes us unique in our performances. Nobody will react the way you do if you stay true to your instinct. The director does not want the same performance or energy all day during the audition process – she’s looking for that someone special; raw and unique.
That few keywords will be like fuel when you prepare for your audition. Go check out the “Yellow Highlighter Technique” tool to help you memorize your lines faster and with more meaning. Combine it with these keywords and build a unique and dynamic performance for your audition.
The first step to a better audition is to give up character and use
yourself. —Michael Shurtleff
How did you find the technique/tool? Did it work for you? What was different this time? Please share with the tribe and let’s keep on creating beautiful, honest and memorable performances. Let’s execute our best selves!
Edwin van der Walt