by Rebecca Dueger, National Director of Discovery Spotlight Model & Talent Expo
I’m sure this title caught your eye since it’s a topic you would not expect to see pertaining to an acting audition. It could have easily been named “You Don’t Have to be Perfect to Get the Part,” but, the other title really breaks it down—no pun intended.
I have seen many actors audition in front of numerous agents and casting directors. When the stakes seem large, we all get nervous. We think we have to do a perfect job and put too much pressure on ourselves. Remember that you are selling you, the person, with all your freckles, quirks, attitude, seriousness and everything else that makes you different from the guy next to you. Most importantly, you want to be memorable. After all, you aren’t trying out for the Olympics, this is the entertainment business.
Things Happen During Auditions
I recall watching a long line of children audition for a TV commercial. Each one was adorable in their own way, and Mom and Dad had practiced with them all prior to the audition. I watched parents clenching their hands as their children walked up for their turn to perform. Many parents were mouthing the words to the commercial scripts as the children spoke. One little boy broke wind in the middle of his audition. He was as caught off guard as anyone else. He let out a giggle and said “excuse me,” and the entire audience fell in love and started smiling. He was memorable.
How You Handle an Audition Mistake Is Just as Important
Some performers are so embarrassed when they make a mistake that their reaction makes it worse. For example, imagine if the little boy in the story above had burst into tears and run off the stage. That would have left a very different impression on the casting director. Instead of being seen as someone who could maintain his composure in a difficult situation and even be polite enough to excuse himself, he might have appeared to be unable to handle the pressure of the spotlight.
While I’m certainly not suggesting you intentionally make a mistake during an audition to make yourself memorable, if you do, just own it, keep your composure and move on. Talent agents and casting directors have a way of looking beyond the delivery of the words and seeing you, the character. It’s also good to remember that they’re people too. So try to relax, and remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. You’ve got this!