Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 Wisdoms for the Auditioning Actor

He is just asking to get high-fived
I commute to work by bike. When I am not weaving in and out of traffic, I am typically dodging peoples who think they are not peoples and are walking in the bike lane. This can be rather stressful, especially coupled with the air I am breathing which is probably somewhere around 20% oxygen,75% Car exhaust, and 5% shattered dreams. So while biking to work I am compelled to find some-sort of enjoyment out of it.. and I have, and it is good. I high-five people who are hailing cabs. There is nothing more hilarious then the look on peoples face of pure surprise to get randomly high-fived by some deranged (me) bike rider speeding past them. Its these little joy's that get me through the day :)

So when brain-storming what to blog about this week, I thought it would be fun to do another installment of "Wisdoms" for future wanna-be New Yorker's. But I couldn't think of anything. So instead I am going to draw off of my three week of audition monitoring at Actors Equity and create some wisdom's for actors, but really these ideas can carry over into any profession or life trade, so even if you are not an actor, read on! Also, as a disclaimer, this is not a venting blog post. I love my job and I love the people I get to meet. I simply want to impart some advice to help all you actors be better you's.

5 Wisdoms for the Auditioning Actor

Be ready for the audition before the audition.

As Scar would say, Be Prepared. One thing I have noticed is that some actors arrive at the audition location with all their audition materials in their bags, but not much of it assembled. A lot of the audition locations are kind enough to provide scissors and staplers for actors to get their head-shot and resume put together, but is this something you want to be doing right before the audition? And what if the building out of staples? Take a few minuets before you leave your apartment, and get all your stuff put together so that when you arrive, you can focus entirely on preparing for the audition. That being said....

Know what you are auditioning for.

I worked an audition recently, and while I will keep everything anonymous to cover my own butt, I will say that the audition company was looking for 3 characters specifically:  2 young African American boys age 10, and one older African American male age 30. Of the 92 or so that auditioned that day I would say 80 of them were Caucasian males and females. Odd right? Sure, it might be good to get in the room and be seen so that the casting director will remember you. But do you really want to be remembered as the girl who auditioned to play an African American Boy? Or be known as the dude who obviously did not read the casting description? I don't know, maybe you do, but whatever you do....

Do everything with confidence.

You can tell right away when someone is not confident in themselves. It is painfully obvious and sometimes you just want to go up and hug them, but you can't because that would be weird. Regardless, as you audition you have to act as if you are the most put together person in the world, because being confident inspires confidence. Its reciprocal. Look it up. When a casting director sees that you are sure of yourself, it literally makes them sure of your abilities and sometimes it can even gloss over your mistakes. Be yourself and be confident because you are a good person, and a talented person, and you deserve to be recognized. So take that into consideration and above all else....

Be happy dammit.

Believe it or not, some people are mean jerks at the auditions. Let me put this as simply as I can: NO ONE LIKE A MEAN JERK. Also, yes life sucks and is super depressing sometimes, believe me I know all too well, but don't let that carry over into your audition! When someone sees you for the very first time and see that you are depressed, they think that is an acting choice or maybe even a personality trait and will resist choosing you to be in their production. And unless you are auditioning for a Eugine O'Neil play, there is no reason to be sad and depressed for an audition! Check it at the door. Be Happy. One of the truest and most depressing quotes I know is thus: "Laugh and the world Laugh's with you, Cry and you cry alone." I love it because it is so bittersweetly true. No one likes a negative Nancy. The majority of people don't care about me, Joey Stamp, and what a depressing week I have had. (but some people DO care and when you find them cling on to them for dear life because how often are you going to find someone who gives a damn about you! But I digress...) And to conclude...

Have fun and be fun

Auditioning is a painful, long, and stressful process. It taxes the mind by having to learn so many songs and monologues, and it taxes the soul by having to be rejected so many times. Yes, you will be rejected. A lot. Even Kristen Chenoweth got rejected at auditions at one point. Keep going. You will meet a lot of people at these auditions, and when you do, engage them in meaningful conversation! Have fun with them, get to know them, get to know everyone. Be a fun person and people will gravitate to you. Feed off of that positive energy and let it fuel the rest of your day. The same audition I worked at where all the white people were auditioning for all the black people roles was one of the best memories I have in New York so far because of how much fun it was at the auditon just getting to talk to people and joke around and hangout all day with other theater minds. Life will present you with many opportunities, don't let them pass you by...

Well there you have it. 5 Wisdoms for all you all. And like I said, while these are geared towards auditioning actors, they can be applied to real life. Seriously. Just go back and re-read the blog post and replace the word "actor" with "human being" and the word "audition" with "life experience" and it practically fits in any situation. Until Next Time!

"Can anybody find me Somebody to love?"

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