Hi all -
Had an audition today for a supporting role in a major new film. The audition went fine, although I had to completely change my choice for the character after my first read. It was like this: I audition using a choice I had come up with. Then the casting director (a major CD - and she's nice!), goes - okay, that was interesting, but try it the exact opposite of what you just did.
This is when it pays to have training, including lots of improv training and performing, because I had to completely switch my character right then - no going off in the hallway and working on it for half an hour - it had to be an instant change.
But that's not why the audition was sucky. There was a huge amount of construction going on near the casting building and I literally had to walk a mile and a half there and back from my car! So I arrive at the audition hot, tired, late, and pissed off.
I knew I had to take control and get out of that frame of mind. Fortunately, in this case, being a little late was not a problem as they were running a bit behind. So, what I did was this: after finding the office, I didn't sign-in right away. I went down the hall, sat down, closed my eyes, and took some deep breaths. Then I drank some water to re-hydrate. When I had calmed down and let go of being pissed, I pulled out my copy of the sides and looked them over, allowing myself to be drawn into the role. And then I went and signed-in. About 15 minutes later the casting director called me into the room to read.
The point is - if I had signed-in and tried to audition as soon as I got there, I would have been influenced by all the crap I was feeling at that moment. Of course, if the character was supposed to be feeling hot, tired, and pissed off it might have helped. The problem is that that can backfire and get in the way of your performance. I was not happy that the casting office had not told my agent about the distance the actors would have to walk, and without taking the time to get my shit together, I might have gone off on the people at the casting office - which would not be a good move.
We really do have to let go (at least for the moment) all or most of what is happening in our real lives and just get into the role. All our personal crap will still be waiting for us when we're done with the acting, but we have to put that out of our minds while we do our job. If I had been thinking about the loooong walk I would have back to my car, that would definitely have gotten in the way of my audition.
Write me with any of your audition stories, or ways you have gotten out of your "real" world and into the world of your character.