I’m not just talking about a potential paycheck. Let’s say you live in the valley and have to drive to Santa Monica for an audition. How many hours out of your day is that? How many hours of your day job did you lose? It is easy to get resentful… unless you make those auditions work for you.
Very often a scene’s content will match something that’s going on in your life. (It’s weird and magical; I’ve seen it time and again in both my actors’ lives and my own.) But it can be hard to see it because we don’t always have perspective on our own lives. That’s why coaching’s so vital! When I coach, I always ask Question #2: How can you relate to this? I ask it over and over again because we almost always find that the actor has the same issue or need as what’s in the script!
I once had an actor who was auditioning a scene about a character who was telling someone off because he had been judged as not being enough of one thing and too much of another. In casual conversation before the audition, he told me he hadn’t gotten one part because he had too much experience (they wanted someone more raw.) Then, although he felt perfect for it, his agent wouldn’t submit him for another part because he didn’t match the size requirements. Although he couldn’t see it, I spotted the connection and pointed it out. Once he saw it, he got mad all over again! I told him to use the scene to express his anger about his own situation. He did. The casting director loved his work and he walked out feeling like he’d left the anger behind…and that he had rocked his audition! This is the essence of Question #9.
This business is tough enough as it is. If you’re going to go through all the hassle to get to that audition, make it worthwhile for you, regardless of the outcome. The best way to benefit personally is by showing up and bringing your personal essence and experience to that scene. (BTW – this also works for commercials!)
Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip? Please share!