I’ve noticed that many people tend to think of an audition as a step, or a test, on the way to getting a job. Along that thought process, the audition then becomes a pass/fail situation. If you fail, you don’t get the job. If you pass, you move on to a callback – and that’s another test, another pass/fail situation. Having that thought process makes every audition seem like just a step on a staircase, with the job at the summit of a huge hill to climb.
It doesn’t work that way. Getting in the room can be a success all on its own.
When actors get an audition, get a callback, get a test offer, do a chemistry read, etc. and don’t get the job – it breaks my heart when I can see they think they failed. That’s simply not the case.
If you go into an audition, it’s an opportunity to meet the team, and show them what you can do. If you do your best, then you’ve succeeded.
Yes – you’ve succeeded.
Whether or not you get another opportunity with that role, if you did your best, then I (and whoever else you’ve met along the way) now know better who you are, and what you’re right for. You’re in my mental library. And in a weird way, I feel like I owe you, especially if you did a great job and you’re not right for this role. It makes me want to find a role you are right for.
That being said – if you don’t do good work, and don’t try, I remember that too. If you’re thinking of it as only a step on the way to a job, then one little step doesn’t count as much to you. And I can tell that. And now you’re in my mental library, as lazy and dismissive. I won’t be trying all that hard to find a role that’s right for you.
The audition itself is an opportunity to succeed.
It’s like if you took a week-long road trip to see the Grand Canyon with friends. Yes. The goal is to see the Grand Canyon. But if you don’t also prepare for the week on the road in a cramped car together, you’re going to fucking rip your friend’s face off, two days in. You’ll never see those beautiful rock layers. And if you don’t appreciate your week together, you’re never going to take another road trip together again. In some cases – the road trip is where you make your best, lasting memories. Which means you’ll look for another opportunity for a road trip together. Maybe Niagara Falls next time?
Appreciate the fact you got in the room. Celebrate your own achievement – the only way you can fail at an audition is if you don’t try your best. Don’t wait for a callback to decide if you succeeded – you control whether or not it’s a success.
Photo by Jimmy Chang on Unsplash
This is a very uplifting way to look at auditioning, Claire. Thanks for posting. Shared it to FB for other actors to draw inspiration from.
I’ve just finished watching the first season of American Gods and I think it’s incredible. The acting, casting, writing, cinematography. ALL of it.
I’ve been acting as a career for a little over 2 years now and have done some stuff as listed on my IMDB page.
I saw you listed as the casting associate for American Gods and I a lso looked you up on IMDB and now have read on your site. I am very impressed.
I switched careers a little over two years ago from being a family medicine physician to acting. My earliest childhood memory is watching tv at 6 years old and pointing to the screen and telling my parents that’s what I want to do. Acting is my passion, my desire, my true calling in life and I can’t see myself doing anything else especially now that I’ve done some stuff.
I always root for the underdog and I always take risks, such is my life. All that being said I would love the opportunity to send you my headshots and resume. I also know I can fit a potentially upcoming character on American Gods and other projects. My goal is to be the best actor I can be and like few actors out there for people to be unable to take there eyes off of me because what I’ve learned is togo beyond acting and live the moments. I really hope to hear from you and I greatly appreciate you reading all of this. I wanted you to know me as a person. Thank you, Joseph
Really appreciated reading this today after an audition where I truly did my best, thank you so much for your insight and sharing your perspective =)
Like they say .. Focus on Booking the Room, not the job. I love the room, it’s a chance to play and listen to the director (CD) who can work with you to create the scene. It’s a beautiful experience and a way to create great working relationships.