I've had a lot of auditions recently. Yesterday, there was one for a TV Show Pilot. A friend joked with me the night before about showing up to a room where everyone looks just like you. This did not happen to me. I was the first one there. That said, I was early and got to sit around while a lot of people who kind of look like me started showing up. Funny how that just made me chuckle instead of worry.
Since I was VERY early and felt ready to go, I just took the time to observe everyone's behaviours. I had just finished reading this great blog post about audition nerves and so it was on my mind. For the most part, everyone adopted incredibly similar body positions - legs crossed (all right over left), arms crossed over the chest, eyes going upwards as lines are mentally run over and over again in their heads. As soon as I noticed this, I uncrossed my legs. That felt better. I recognized a guy from an acting class and we started chatting. I could tell the others in the room wanted to join in. Facial expressions started changing, relaxing.
For all the guarded, sometimes bitchy looking expressions, people have on their faces in an audition waiting room, deep down everyone just wants to chat, to connect, to know that this is not a big fucking deal, that we can all be friends, that we're all in this weird weird world together.
I know they're my competition, but I just wanted to give everyone there a hug.
As for the audition itself, it was great!
In September and November, I took an audition workshop with one of my acting teachers in Toronto. I was always so nervous going into auditions, but I never got enough practice with them to fix the problem. Though we were asked to bring in audition pieces to work on, the first thing we did in class was learn how to walk into the room. Funny how even the most relaxed and easy-going performers in the classroom would just completely shut down when asked to simply walk into this room of colleagues pretending to be producers/casting directors.
And that's the first impression you're giving off?
After two months of practice and multiple auditions since, I've noticed a shift. My nerves, though still there, don't get the better of me anymore. I actually noticed this when I shook hands with my reader. His hands were a bit clammy, which is how I noticed I wasn't nervous at all. He seemed pleasantly caught off guard. I don't think anyone ever typically introduces themselves or even asks for his name. I doubt many even make eye contact. That was another thing I took away from class. Love your reader. You're not playing alone up there, so be sure to make contact with your support system.
For me, it worked. I gave two good takes and headed out. Now, I put it all behind me and move on to the next project. Student film, here I come!