Prepare for Your Audition and Then Just Throw It Away
One actor’s personal revelation about how to approach auditions
(by Javier Guerra)
(Photo: Steve Johnson | Pexels)
I recently spoke with an actor who had come to an interesting realization, as it pertains to auditioning. His conclusion: When it comes to auditions, “just throw it away”.
The phrase “just throw it away” is a commonly used term. To be clear, it means not to stress over something. Just do it and be done with it. Don’t allow the moment to make you feel tension and pressure.
It does NOT mean that you do not prepare. It does NOT mean that you don’t take the moment seriously.
So, what the actor was saying, as it pertains to auditions, is that you shouldn’t give a crap about booking the role. You shouldn’t give a crap about what the decision-makers think of you. You just “throw it away”. You reduce the pressure of the moment by giving it no special importance.
Let me paraphrase his revelations as best I can. Here’s what he said:
‘I have always struggled with anxiety when it comes to auditions. I always got nervous. I was nervous about getting the job; nervous about doing everything right.’
‘In the world outside of acting, intense preparation is the key to success. Like many actors, I thought this was the key to audition success as well. So, I would prep and prep, and prep some more. Yet, all that prep work and all that careful planning never seemed to bring me much success.’
‘By “throwing it away”, I was free to be my authentic self.’
‘So, last week, I happened to get two self-tape requests in one day and the deadlines were close to each other.’
‘For the first time, I didn’t have time to stress out over one audition. I was forced to transition from one audition to the next at breakneck speeds.’
‘In this case, I cared more about getting the auditions done than getting the auditions perfect. I just throw my tape together as best I could.’
‘Then I got a callback for one of them. I couldn’t believe it!’
‘Although I prepared for the audition and did my best, I mostly just threw the thing together. And now I’m getting a callback?’
‘I think I got the callback because I didn’t stress about it. By “throwing it away”, I was free to be my authentic self.’
‘The lesson I learned from that experience is, the less you worry about booking, the more authentic you become. By the way, I also booked the job!’
‘Preparation is important to an actor. But authenticity is even more important to an actor.’
‘Preparation is important to an actor. But authenticity is even more important to an actor. And sometimes over-preparation can lead to a loss of authenticity.’
‘From now on, I’m going to prepare for auditions just enough to be confident in what I’m doing. Then, when it’s time to audition, I’m just gonna “throw it away”, like it’s no big deal.’
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