Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition

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  • Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition

    Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently.

    (by Carmichael Phillips)

    (Photo: Jonas Kakaroto/Unsplash)

    It’s in our nature to be nice and amicable, as human beings. Anthropologists have suggested that the reason for this is because, as humans evolved, living in smaller groups rather than the large cities of today, it was in their interests to be extremely nice to whomever they met.

  • Their world was so small that it was only a matter of time before they saw that person again and, perhaps, needed that person for something. Therefore, there was a tall price to pay for being unkind and unapologetic. They simply never knew when they might see that person again.

    We still carry these same traits in our genetic code today. We enjoy being nice and being perceived as being nice, by others. And that’s especially true when we’re seeking employment. We want to come across as extra nice and extra friendly in order to get the job.

    The same is true for actors seeking employment. We want to immediately apologize for anything that might hinder our chances of obtaining a scarce job opportunity. But, as nice as you might wish to come across, there are some things for which an actor should never apologize.

    Here’s one:

    Never apologize when you make a mistake during an audition

    An audition can be a nerve-wracking experience, even for a veteran actor. It is commonplace for an actor to stumble over their lines during an audition.

    In that moment, the nervous actor stands stiff, with butterflies in their stomach, as the judgmental eyeballs of the casting director bears down on them. The natural instinct in this moment, after flubbing your lines, is to apologize profusely and beg for an opportunity to begin the audition again.

    But in almost all cases, this is a mistake, for several reasons.

  • Casting directors understand

    First of all, casting directors understand that nervousness can cause an actor to stumble over their lines. After all, many casting directors were formerly aspiring actors themselves. And tons of actors stand before them each year, gripped with fear. Casting directors know that occasionally, during the course of an audition, an actor will make a mistake. They see it all the time!

    Since casting directors understand that this is a normal part of the process, there truly is no need to beg for mercy from the casting director. There’s no need to feel bad or make excuses.

    Simply begin again, from the place in the sides or script where you made the mistake. No apologies. No pleas for mercy. No explanation needed. Just start over! If the casting director is pressed for time and cannot allow you to begin again, they will let you know.

  • Apologizing makes you look weak

    Apologizing makes you look weak and weakens your overall presentation.

    Imagine, for a moment, how an actor looks when, after making a mistake, he or she apologizes and makes excuses for their mistake.

    It just looks amateurish and weak!


    Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently.


    Now imagine an experienced actor, bungling a line or two, pausing to catch themselves, and then, beginning again.

    Which actor looks confident and which actor does not? Which actor looks like the professional who’s been doing this for many years and which actor looks like the rookie who is “wet behind the ears”?

  • The apology can consume your audition

    When you apologize, the apology can take-over your mind and consume your audition. It lives-on in your head, because you have now called unnecessary attention to the fact that you made a mistake.

    As you continue on with your audition, your mind is imagining failure. “Boy, I really screwed up this audition, big time! I won’t get cast now!”, your brain will tell you. Now you’re totally in your head.

    The apology could ruin the remainder of your audition. Your posture changes. Your energy drops. Your confidence wanes. Your focus is shattered. You are now living in the shadow of that mistake.

    So, just remember these words:

    Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently.

    The next time you’re in an audition and you flub a line or you lose your place in the sides, just stop, go back to the place in the text where you stumbled, and begin again.

    And, never apologize for it!


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