Auditioning and Performing Are Two Different Things

How To Build Your Acting Business Without A Day Job

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This next part is important. You must acknowledge that the way you actually audition for a role is not necessarily the way you would perform the role, if you were lucky enough to book the role. If you can understand that concept, then you must bear that in mind as you prepare for the audition. Don't think in terms of a finished polished product. Don't visualize yourself doing the audition scene on a set. Visualize yourself doing it in a casting office.

When you are preparing for your audition, you must work very hard at doing the simple things well. I am sure you all have heard the advice that you must make big, interesting choices to stand out in an audition. That is not necessarily true. Most actors are so interested in making those big choices that they do not concentrate on the simple things. They do not ask themselves the simple and important questions: What does the character want? Does the character achieve what the character wants? How does the character feel? At the basic level, what I am looking for is thinking, feeling, living, and breathing beings. Characters who display passion and ambition. I am not concerned about props, wardrobe, blocking, or some deep level of character exploration. When you move forward in the process to a callback or screen test, you can start introducing more elaborate and performance-oriented choices. You can concentrate on the development of the character when you have the time to do so. The time allotted for the preparation of a first audition does not allow for the development of character. It barely allows for time to prepare for the audition itself. So, the first audition should be about showing potential.

When you book the job you will have a scene partner, with whom you will have rehearsal time to collaborate on choices. You will also be doing it with a director, on a set, with lights and cameras and hair and makeup people. That is when a performance is required and when those advanced choices can be fulfilled. Let's get the job before we perform the job.

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