by Aaron Jordan-Peterson
“I hope I get it! God I hope I get it!”
These are the first words from the opening song in the musical A Chorus Line, and the words are not limited to that song alone. The words roll through every actor’s mind during one of the most difficult processes they must endure: the audition.
Now I am a novice actor at best, but I have been through my fair share of auditions, normally with hopes that I will at least be in the chorus. This is not true for all actors. Some only want the lead roles, and some just want a feature. In theory, an actor should prepare for said audition but I am the first to admit that I slack off in preparing for an audition. and for that I can only blame myself.
My biggest problem is that, even though now I prepare for an audition, I have a crazy thought process. I will go to the audition with confidence. I am bursting with confidence that cannot be controlled and I am so positive and secure in my minds idea of my audition. This is one of those situations where, when you play it out in your mind, you just blow the directors away. Then the actual reality part starts. I enter the room of the audition where the directors are sitting and ready to hear you sing, or read or sometimes both. I hand my sheet music to the accompanist and prepare myself to sing. The music begins and I open my mouth to sing and suddenly that voice that I hear so well when practicing it so well is suddenly gone, as if it never existed.
I am not going to brag, but I am going to say that I know I can sing. I know I have a talent for music, but I suck at auditioning. This is because the scenarios I play in my mind build me up so high that I forget to play the scenarios of me not doing so well. As I begin to sing, suddenly voices in my head start saying, ”Why are you even here?” and “You do realize you you suck right?” and “You aren’t what they are looking for” I psych myself out, so, naturally, of course I am not what I am looking for. I have worked with several vocal coaches that tell me, “Wow your voice is great” and “You can hit notes, that some people can usually only hit with lots of practice.” So if I have this natural talent, why can’t I show it off?
If we can just get past the audition process and a director can just trust that I can hold my own vocally, it would be great, but it is unlikely to ever happen. While we’re at it, I’ll admit that singing is not my only downfall in an audition. There’s also DANCING! Now, that is the deal breaker for me. I can do the dance moves they want, and I can learn them, but I cannot pick them up as fast as others can. A wise choreographer once told us that she couldn’t dance that well, so she faked it, but along with faking it she kept her head up with expression on her face and directors rarely noticed. So I attempted that, to no avail. I still trip over my feet and turn the wrong direction and jump at the wrong time.
But one great thing I can say about the audition process is that I always learn something new about myself in the audition and I remember it for next time. So to all you potential actors and auditioners, remember this: not every show is meant for you and vice versa. You may love it and want to be in that cast so badly, but it’s not always a good match, in reality. But do not give up. keep auditioning for everything because you could be exactly what that director wants! Play to your strengths. Prepare. Know what you’re good at. And, also, know what your challenges are and prepare for them.Want to share your theatre experiences with our readers? Contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org