Transforming Negative Energy During Auditions

byKathryn Lacey

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So many actors place unnecessary pressures on themselves when going on an audition. This pressure increases when you so desperately feel that you are right for the role. You want to book it and so you put pressure on yourself and the audition situation to do so. This pressure feeds the nervous feelings one already has in going on an audition and then harnesses those nerves into a negative energy rather than a positive and creative energy that can be useful to an actor.

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"Nerves are good. They remind you that you are passionate about what you do and that you care about the process."

Kate LaceyBusiness Class for Actors

Nerves are good. They remind you that you are passionate about what you do and that you care about the process. That’s great. What’s not great is when those nerves are fueled by pressure to book the role and the creative self-loses its freedom and ability to let loose, have fun and play. The pressure cripples that process.

At the end of the day, actors need to remind themselves that the audition process is just a small part of a much larger collaboration. The process of making a film, television show or theater production is a creative collaboration to put a puzzle together, and each person brings their bit of expertise, their piece of the puzzle, to the process. Just like everyone else involved in the process, you are only offering your piece of the puzzle, which is to show simply how this character looks on you. It might be the right look and it might not. The piece will either fit or it won’t.

The beautiful part of this is that 1) that decision is out of your control and 2) not one other single actor alive will bring the life to the character that you will, in the way that you will. You are unique because you are you, and there is only one of you. Knowing this should allow you the ability to have confidence in the life you chose to bring. There is no need to be scared or unsure or to compare or compete, degrade or belittle, doubt yourself or stop believing in yourself. Those are useless emotions to any actor who plans to live life as a professional actor. Knowing that you will embody this character like no other should only reinvigorate you to do that to the best of your ability and to have fun while doing so. When you realize this you will find the point of ease for which all actors should strive to meet.

When you make that connection, you have found the magic formula to transforming negative nervous energy to positive. Don’t worry about booking the part. Focus on being true to yourself and your connection to the character and leave worrying about things in life that require it. Auditions don’t. Embrace your choices, own your character and have fun. You will impress everyone in the room 100% of the time when you do that. You will be remembered for that.

Bear in mind that auditioning is as much (and in most cases MORE) a part of your life as an actor than being on set or stage. Learn to embrace the auditioning process and look forward to it rather than dreading it. Every audition is a performance. You have a script, a character, and an audience so go in there and have as much fun as if you were on set or stage and hopefully your piece to that puzzle fits.

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