Attending a casting call or open audition in New York can be a daunting prospect, not to mention comparative!
Before walking in you need to prepare yourself for what’s about to happen so you can do your best work. Here are a couple of tips you might find useful.
1. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Too often, we place excess importance on potential problems. We all have a certain amount of energy so let’s apply it to creating extraordinary relationships, advancing our careers and meeting our goals INSTEAD of wasting that energy worrying. Take action on what you have control over and minimize risks for what you don’t. Then invest your energy wisely.
2. Use the “as-if” frame. I literally love this frame of mind. If you were confident, how would you be acting? How would you be moving? How would you be speaking? What would you be thinking? What would you tell yourself inside? By asking yourself these questions, you are literally forced to answer them by going into a confident state. You will then be acting “as-if” you are confident. Now just forget you are acting long enough and pretty soon you’ll develop it into a habit.
If you’ve ever been to an open audition in Los Angeles you’ll know that the competition can be fierce and you really need to be on your game if you want to win that role.
This week we’re written down a couple of things you might find helpful to remember before you go to your next open audition or casting call.
1. Read your script and know it like the back of your hand. You must know your lines and the lines of your fellow actors so you are not caught off guard when it’s your turn.
2. Be an active listener. You should always be giving the director and your audience the impression that you are listening to everything going on. Also, don’t be too quick to blurt out your lines just to prove that you know them. You are trying to convince people that you are having a real conversation, so make it seem real.
3. Be brave! Always be looking for a job that might cause you to leave your comfort zone and stretch your abilities. This is one of the best ways to grow and improve yourself as an actor.
4. Learn to breathe properly. Practice breathing techniques for at least 20 minutes per day. This will help you fight the stress associated with an acting career and also help you overcome stage fright.
5. Always be professional! Make sure that you show up on time or early if possible.
6. Avoid talking badly about your fellow actors. Those who put down or insult other actors, especially those that you work closely with usually end up blaming the others for their own shortcomings and fail to acknowledge areas they need to improve upon.
7. Keep your cool, even if everyone else isn’t. If you do, your performance will definitely stand out from everyone else’s.
8. Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice acting, the better you will get.
9. Work hard to make your fellow actors look as good as possible. This will enhance your own performance and help you develop much quicker.
10. Learn how to accept and deal with rejection and harsh criticism. Just keep in mind that a lot of actors get rejected for most jobs most of the time. It is simply part of the business.
We are always speaking with body language, often more so than we do with words. People certainly can seem wealthier by standing a certain way, or confident by the way they move through a crowd. A hobo could stand with a posture that makes him seem like a king, and a Harvard Alumnus can have a facial expression which makes him/her seem like a moron.
You can learn how to create a character on demand (or at an acting audition or casting call) just by watching other people. Spend a day at a mall or a park and just observe people and how they go about their merry (or not so merry) lives. You’ll soon notice the variety of people and the quirks and mannerisms which really define them. Be sure to notice what people do with their eyes and hands as these are very expressive features.
Make note of any particular characteristics which strike you. If someone has a particular tick, a jump in their step, or a striking facial expression, then take some time to think about what they did and how you might be able to apply their behavior to create your own particular character.
Letting Go of Fear
Have you ever been getting ready for an audition or had an interview with an agent and you suddenly have an attack of fearor doubt? You’re not alone. The good news is that you can get over the fear!
How? First, you need to recognize what fear is and where it comes from. Second, you need to put it in check the moment you recognize it creeping in.
Fear typically comes from anticipation of failure and a negative outcome. The funny thing is, F.E.A.R. is really just an acronym for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. It comes from living in a thought realm – an imagined future – that isn’t real.
So many performers are plagued with fears. If you could hear the internal thoughts of actors in the waiting room of an audition or callback, it would probably sound something like this…” I hope they like me,” “I don’t have enough credits,” “I’m too old, (young, tall, short, pretty, ugly) to play this role.” “What if I don’t remember my lines,” “I really need this job” and any other fearful thought you’d like to insert. This fear-based thought process robs the actor from bringing their best, authentic self into the room.
You need to first acknowledge that your fears are just lies you’ve been telling yourself to keep you “seemingly” safe. Once you become aware of your fear based thoughts, you can deliberately and intentionally let them go and instead think thoughts that reflect the successful outcome that you would really like to see.
Today we thought we’d just give our top 10 tips to remember when learning your craft… we hope you find them useful.
1. Approach your work with body relaxed, so the emotion can take over.
2. Acting is not about talking, it is about behaving.
3. Think your objective, leave your body alone.
4. As an actor you must accept the world of illusion.
5. You are entering a dream, you must stay in the dream.
6. You serve the audience and work for the author.
7. The audience has to see body language, make everything physical.
8. Remember, half of your performance comes from the other person.
9. Tell your body to do something, that’s acting.
10.Let go, don’t act carefully.