Don’t Audition Solely for the Purpose of Booking the Role
Always act in truth.
(By Jim Webb)
You are behind on your bills. You’re facing money shortages. You’re not entirely sure how you’ll make ends meet. And you have a big audition coming up that could earn you enough cash to solve your problems.
It’s the perfect storm.
It’s only natural that you will want to enter the audition room hoping to book the job to help solve your money problem. But that would be a mistake. Because, in your obsession to book the job, you inevitably will end up performing to give the casting director what you think they want, instead of giving the role what it truly needs.
Here’s how this way of thinking can really F-with your head:
*You read the breakdown and assume to know what the casting director wants, so you tailor your audition preparation accordingly.
*You arrived at the audition, looked at the other actors who are auditioning and assume that they – not you — are what casting is looking for. Now your confidence is compromised.
*You have worked with or met the casting director before and presume to know (based on who they cast before) what they are looking for. You now adjust your audition based on that previous experience.
These presumptions are often based on a desire to book the role. It’s very easy to obsess over booking the role, so much so that you audition to please, rather than audition to demonstrate your commitment to your craft and your process.
But there is a fatal flaw with this line of thinking:
While every casting director has a general idea of what type of actor they are looking for for each role, casting directors rarely know exactly what they are looking for, until they see it. Since casting directors rarely know what they are looking for, it makes little sense to audition based solely on giving them what you think they want.
Sometimes, the actor who stands out the most in the audition process is the actor who takes a different approach from the other actors; the actor who brought a fresh perspective to the role or made a bold and unexpected choice.
When you don’t obsess over booking the job, you free yourself to make choices that bring something surprising and remarkable to a role. You could end up doing something that makes the auditors say, “Gee, I never looked at the role that way” or, “Of all the actors we’ve seen for this role, no one did anything quite like that.”
And, even if you don’t end up booking that particular role, you might make a new fan in the audition room, a relationship that could lead to a long-lasting career.