The Audition

The audition—everyone wants one, everyone hates them—is one of the necessary evils of the actor's life and the way we get jobs. No matter where you are in your career as an actor, the audition comes into your life in one form or another. Even stars at the pinnacle of their careers may have to audition for a part that deviates from their public image. They won't be attending a cattle call, but in one form or another, they will have to convince the director that they are right for the part. It might be at dinner at a four-star restaurant, but it's still a form of auditioning.

Most of us in the acting profession have auditions served in much more modest fashion, on a cold platter, and we're lucky if we get a glass of water. Still, everyone wants an audition, because that's how you get the part. Once you have it lined up, and are about to do it, you're terrified that you won't do it well; then, you won't get the job. The reality is, if you aren't what they're looking for, you won't get the job no matter how well your audition goes. Since there is no way to actually tell what they want from you, regardless of what they might say, the situation causes anxiety, distress, and feelings of powerlessness. One of the things you might as well accept from the outset is that in many respects, you have no control over the decisions of people hiring you. All you can do is take care of the things over which you do have control—your acting technique and your professional demeanor. If you take care of those things, then you will have the confidence you need to go through with the experience.

This section of the book is about what to do once you have an audition and how best to use your technique to get the part. It is not about how to go about getting an audition, nor how to build a career in the movie business. There are many books that deal with that subject matter, and much of the information that you find in them is very useful, but they are only tips—tips that aren't of much use if you don't have any idea of a practical acting technique.

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