Why I love acting

I was standing in rehearsal the other day. Small, unkempt room, wooden floor that haven’t been washed in I don’t know when. The temperature is either too hot or too cold, everyday. and yet, there was this moment, just before the scene began when I realized there was no place else in the world I would rather be than in this rehearsal right now. the giving over of your ‘self’ to a greater purpose, to the creation of a living piece of art that will change everyone who sees it, the moment of realizing that there is something more to you than just your body, those are moments that can’t be exchanged for any amount of power or money. I do theater so I can be reminded of why I got into this business in the first place because Hollywood will try to tear that out of you. The business itself with the ‘short lists’ and exclusive agencies and status oriented hierarchy challenges you on a daily basis to remember who you are, what you love, and why you really got into acting in the first place. I desperately need to remind myself of that on a regular basis. Theater is the best place to get that reminder.

Dealing with pressure

Do you ever find yourself in the biggest audition of your life? That’s a lot of pressure. a friend of mine was in that situation recently. She asked me if I had any advice. I did. Stay focused. The mind wants to go to a million different places when you’re sitting in the hot seat but there’s really only two distractions that stress you out;

1. There’s something you want to happen and you’re afraid it won’t.
2. There’s something you don’t want to happen and you’re afraid it will.

Let those thoughts go and focus on one thing. Focus on what you’re here to do. Focus on the moment. Focus on breathing slowly and evenly. Focus on the moment. It brings you back to what’s important. Focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t.Focus on the moment. If you can do that, when you enter the audition room you’ll be calmer, focused, determined and ready to let your light shine in spite of the pressure.

Audition Log

Subject: Appointment for: John Marshall Jones – The Sarah Connor Chronicles
>The following contains meeting information for: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
>
>Client: John Marshall Jones
>Date: Monday, August 6, 2007
>Time: 4:00 PM
>Status: Gave to Manager
>Role: Roger Devyn
> Male, African-American, late 30s – 40s. Extremely
>intelligent computer programmer with an inherent warmth. Father and
>husband.
>His work is his life…

August 6th, 2007

I got off the plane from the National Black Theater Festival at 1pm. The audition was at 4pm and it was a long way from my house. Between retrieving my baggage and getting home I knew there wouldn’t be time to study before the audition. So I got home, showered and got to the audition as early as I could so I would have as much time as possible to prepare.

I had to make some quick decisions. When you’re in this situation you have to find something real to lock into right away. I broke the scene down so I could identify the emotional changes then I looked for ways to personalize the relationships. The scene was about a man writing a final letter to his children before he died. So I thought, ” if I had ten minutes to say my final words to my own son, what would I say from the bottom of my heart?”

In my mind I began to write that letter to my son. Almost immediately, all of the real emotion began to come out. When I went in the room to audition, I could hardly contain my tears. The emotion was raw, and honest, and everyone in the room felt it. That’s the sweet spot of the audition. When you know they feel it too.

What I just described is one way I use the techniques in the Mastering The Audition Actor’s Training System to help me do my best auditions. If you’d like to start getting more control over your auditions then you have to develop the skills that will allow you to make these kinds of decisions and execute under pressure.

It’s your career. Let’s get it started. Come learn a master’s secrets, click here.

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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