As someone who has grown up on film sets working insanely long hours in front of the camera, memorizing 20 pages each day- you'd think the process of auditioning would be a breeze.
AU CONTRAIRE to popular belief, no matter how much industry experience you have- the Art of Auditioning is its own world.
The nerves, the anticipation, the unknown.
"Who is in the casting room?" "What do they have in their mind for the character?" "Do I fit it?" "What will they ask?" "What will they think of me?"
Even if you've been a working actor/actress for years, auditioning is still a part of the job. To see/feel chemistry, visualize what you bring to the character, compare aesthetics, screen tests..etc. It's important to realize that so much of a casting process has ZERO to do with the talent. Yes, having your lines memorized and scenes rehearsed is necessary but you can absolutely KILL the performance and just not "look the part". The biggest thing for an actor/actress to understand is that this is NOT PERSONAL. The writing/creative/casting team has a vision in their mind for what the character they created should look like and they have the right to search long and hard for the ONE.
This isn't to say not to take a chance or try your hardest (even if you're nothing like the character description)- my point is: The least and most you should always do is Be confident, unique and show them an iconic performance they could not even imagine. Its possible that a new face/ fresh perspective can inspire and influence their choice for the look.
This industry has little logic to it and a lot of GOING WITH THE FLOW, faith and using your gut instinct and intuition to guide you.
"For every ten NO's you hear one YES!" Is an old industry phrase. Whether the specifics are true or false, the point stands- The trick is determination. perserverece and confidence. If any successful actor took this industry's rejection personally, they would not have had the will power to keep going.
When I started in the industry I had a few auditions that I received good feed back for, but were not in my cards. Ironically one of the same production companies that said my look was "too polished" for one role, ended up gifting me my own series in a later time. Ever since I can remember, the main goal on my mind was to be an actress. There was no other alternative for how I wanted to spend my time on Earth and my family knew to support it because nothing was going to get in my way of achieving it.
My dad left his wonderful, secure job to open a karate school so that he'd have the flexibility to drive me to auditions and accompany me on shoots and on film sets. I was under 18 at the time and a parent or guardian had to be present legally in order to work. He did not mind one bit and surprisingly exceeded in being the perfect amount of stage dad. Teaching me table etiquette while dining out with producers, grooming importance, how to spot photo ops, what key points to hit during interviews/events..
My first job was in Los Angeles and we were flown business class, put up in the Chamberlin Hotel in West Hollywood and treated like royalty for the duration of our stay. (My dad and I are effortless travel buddies and even extended our trip to explore California) I grew up in Ottawa and the showbiz industry was based mainly in Toronto. My dad would drive 5 hours for a 5 minute audition and 5 hours back home a few times a week without any complaints. Not only did it take will power, dedication and determination from me but also from my family- and I am forever grateful for their support to see it through.
Eventually things were in my favour- I booked my Degrassi audition, then How to be Indie months later, then came the blessed storm that I dreamt of and prayed for. I'll get into the details of that in a later post, but I wanted to describe my process of auditioning prep to performance because I get asked about it often.
1- Receive the audition breakdown (Story line/ character description/audition details & scenes for preparation)
2- Memorize the scenes. I'll get into different methods of memorization in another post, but to sum it up: I read it once in my head, then out loud three times to hear what it sounds like. If there is no one to run lines with, i'll record myself so I can replay it and hear it out loud and study my delivery. I then rehearse/ repeat until it sounds conversational, natural and up to tone with the project
3- Style myself head to toe in character suited attire for the role (but not so much that it distracts from your performance)
4- Show up to the casting 15 minutes prior
5- Sign in
6-Slate, audition and
7- SHOW WHAT YO MAMA GAVE YOU
No matter what the outcome, reward yourself for a job well done. As long as you gave it your all..
My karate coach always said "Cheat if you want! Go ahead.. take a break when i'm not looking! When you cheat, you're only cheating yourself. You're proving to yourself that you'll settle for less than 100% effort"