3 Reasons Why You Should Never Audition Just to Book the Job

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    3 Reasons Why You Should Never Audition Just to Book the Job

    If you don’t book this particular job, so what? You’ve now made fans of the auditors in the room.

    (By Tonya Tannenbaum)

    (Photo by Lucas Clarysse on Unsplash)

    Every adult in the world has bills to pay. And that’s especially true for actors. In addition to the usual bills, actors must also pay for classes, headshots, demo reels and more. And they must do so on the scant, inconsistent salary of an actor.

    Booking a role to relieve financial pressure is certainly desirable. It’s unrealistic to believe that you can go into the audition room without hoping, in the far reaches of your mind, that you will book that role and take home that bank.

    But you should never make booking the job your main priority. Here are three reasons why:

    #1: It makes you unnecessarily nervous

    You probably have been an actor for some time now, if not most of your life. You know the drill. You read the sides or script, develop your character and perform. It’s what you do! It doesn’t make you nervous, it makes you happy.

    However, when you begin auditioning to book a job, your focus shifts. Instead of concentrating on your craft, you begin concentrating on a desired result: booking the job. You have become not only an actor, but a job seeker. And, just as every job applicant becomes nervous before and during a big job interview – eager for the financial and career rewards that will come if they are hired – so, too, does an actor become nervous when they focus on getting the job.

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    #2: You end up auditioning for the auditor, not for the role

    When you audition solely for the purpose of booking a job, you inevitably audition for the purpose of seeking the approval of the auditor. In other words, you enter the audition room focused on figuring out what the auditors want, rather than what the character and the performance requires. You start guessing, rather than acting.

    Plus, while every casting director has an idea of what type of actor they are looking for, casting directors rarely know exactly what they are looking for, until they see it. Since casting directors rarely know precisely what they are looking for, until they see it, it makes little sense to audition solely on the basis of giving them what you think they want.

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    #3: You stop focusing on building your brand

    Yes, in the back of your mind, you would like to book the job. But your longer-term focus should never be on just booking the role you are currently auditioning for. After all, you simply may not be right for the part. And when you’re not right for the role, there’s really nothing you can do about it.

    Instead, you should concentrate on “booking the room”. That is, you should concentrate on demonstrating your extraordinary talent and professionalism.

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    You should go into the audition room to make fans, not money.

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    If you don’t book this particular job, so what? You’ve now made fans of the auditors in the room. You will get called back for future auditions again and again and again by that casting director or the other auditors because they know they can count on you to perform at a high level. And, sooner or later, you’ll book one, perhaps many, with that casting office!

    Finally, let me leave you with this fabulously poignant quote from actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad):

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