Performing

If The First Ten Times You Don’t Succeed…

Listen folks, I have bombed a lot of auditions.

It’s not fun.

I get so stoked for a certain role, I practice my butt off the week of the audition, and then I walk out in front of the directors ready to wow them and…

KABOOM! It all blows up in my face.

You see, my problem in the past, has been too much “sprint prepping” and WAY too much over analyzing.  What I mean by “sprint prepping” is that instead of consistently working on audition songs or monologues along the way and being disciplined enough to be prepared whenever an audition I’m interested in pops up, I wait until I hear about a show I want to do and then begin preparing for that specific audition.  In doing this, it’s a lot more pressure in a short amount of time, and when nerves kick in, it’s so much easier to forget lines or song lyrics because they weren’t given enough time to become muscle memory.  Over analyzing is also a deadly poison because the absolute worst thing you can do before going into an audition is negative comparisons or self-talk; you will freak yourself out before you ever even get on stage.

“That girl has a better butt than I do, surely they’ll think she’s a better fit for this role.”

 

“If I don’t get this part, I don’t know what I’m going to do next!”

 

“That director is staring at me like I’m screwing up the whole song; I might as well stop singing right now.  They’ve already judged me so harshly I could never change their mind now.”

 

All of these are perfect examples of thoughts that you should try to never have when you’re auditioning.  I know this first hand because the story of my life could be summed up in missing out on amazing opportunities simply due to fearing that I can’t measure up to others or their expectations.  I have allowed insecurities to creep in to my mind so deeply that no one else’s words could’ve hurt me as much as my own.  I am writing this in order to hopefully save you some of the same disappointments that I have experienced in the past.  So, here are some very important reminders for anyone looking to audition for anything in the future.  Whether it is a high school or community production or a professional acting gig, these tips could do nothing but help:

  1. Don’t think of an audition as a judgment, think of it as a short performance! Whether or not the directors look serious or enthusiastic, they are actually rooting for you to succeed because that makes their job easier. Furthermore, you’re auditioning for a role because of what I assume is an interest or a passion for the art form itself, so if you go into it with this attitude, it will help you to have more fun and less fear of the outcome. You will be gaining valuable experience in front of people who also appreciate theatre even if you don’t get a part.
  2. Don’t tell yourself that your whole life rides on you getting this one part! Trust me, I know sometimes it feels like you connect so much with this one character that no one else could possibly do it justice, but sometimes the directors have a different vision for that role. If you go into it with an attitude of determination, but still easy going enough to say, “No role is too small; I will still be an important part of the show,” it will help to take some unnecessary pressure off of you and help your nerves to be more stable. All experience is crucial to our growth as performers.
  3. Do NOT compare yourself to others! This is so vital. The truth is no matter how many times a show has been done before, every director is different, and most likely, so is their concept. You don’t know what they’re looking for, and no matter how great that girl’s butt is, or how fantastic the red head can sing, you have to walk in the room with confidence knowing that you are beautifully unique too, and you may be exactly what this show needs!
  4. Prepare, hydrate, and please, just breathe! Be working steadily along the way so that the week before an audition, all you have to do is final tweaking instead of “sprint prepping.” And, once you’re getting ready to audition, there’s nothing else you can do to prepare, so this is the point where I suggest prayer, water, and deep breaths!

 

This post was inspired by my journey so far, because I’m really not lying when I say I’ve messed up many auditions.  The thing is, if I would’ve followed this advice much sooner, I really think things could’ve gone differently.  As the story goes, I had gotten to the point where I feared another rejection so much that I almost missed out on my best opportunity yet!  I was so convinced that I was just terrible at auditioning, and despite the fact that I really loved performing, maybe it was time to just step aside.  This, however, is not the attitude we should ever take on as dreamers and believers. Sometimes along the way, there will be things that seem like failures, but you know what?  Those events are teaching us things, even if they’re difficult lessons to learn.

2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 says:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken.  We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quite.  We are hunted down, but God never abandons us.  We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.  Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

While this specific passage is talking about the dangers the apostles were facing at that time, it’s a message I believe we can all apply to our lives.  Failure teaches us humility and perseverance and it also teaches us that all we truly need is Christ.  In Him, we can find strength to pick ourselves up off of the ground and continue pursuing our dreams with passion and purpose!  And while much of this post was geared toward performers, I want to encourage all of my readers that most of this advice can be broken down and applied to different aspects of your lives, as well! Whether you’re heading into a job interview or you’ve been rejected by a few too many publishers for your liking… Don’t give up!

 

So, if the first ten times you don’t succeed… have enough faith in the process to step out again!

Who knows, your next role could be Cinderella in Into the Woods!   😉

 

 Need a new anthem to get you pumped about persevering?  This one has been around for a while, but I highly recommend it…

One More Round by BarlowGirl

2 thoughts on “If The First Ten Times You Don’t Succeed…”

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