Last Monday I had an audition for a role that I was sure I wouldn't get. I was younger than the description in the breakdown, but since it was for a casting director who I liked and who has called me in for other roles - several of which I've booked - I went off to Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
I did my audition and two days later my agent called to tell me I had booked the role! This isn't the first time I've gotten a role when the breakdown description sounded really different from who I am.
We have to remember that a casting director isn't going to waste their time calling in actors who are not going to be considered for the role - especially if the CD knows you.
We can end up sabotaging ourselves with negativity before we even get close to the audition time with stuff like: the breakdown says the character is six feet tall, but I'm only 5'10", or it says blonde and I'm a redhead, etc. (Or, in my case, it says "full head of hair," and I'm bald.)
And even if it turns out that the CD can't convince the director to change his mind about how tall the character should be, or whatever, it still gives you a chance to do your thing in front of a CD. And if you give it your best, they will usually remember you and call you in for something else.
There's also been several times that I've read for a director and when I was done, he handed me the sides for another role and asked me to take a few minutes while they auditioned other actors and then come back in and read for the new role.
And then there are times when I'll use the negativity for the character (if he's a negative type guy), or to take the edge off an important audition. But, you really have to know yourself, and have enough experience, to use negativity in a positive way. Otherwise it can mess up your whole performance.
It's best, especially when starting out, to carry a positive attitude into every audition. Remember, out of dozens or hundreds or - in the case of professional auditions in Los Angeles - maybe thousands of submissions, the CD has called you in to read for the role. That alone should give you a boost of positivity.
P.S. - Next time, I'll talk about getting physical on the set.