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Monday, November 5, 2012

Auditioning - what do they want?

There's one thing I wish I had known many years ago when I first started auditioning for film and television. Myself. Because that's what most of those casting directors and directors really wanted to see - my personality, my original essence. Me. I alwyas tried to hide who I was inside the character - putting myself aside. Lots of stage-trained actors make that mistake. Because film acting is different. Both the business and the craft. The close up changes everything. When the audience can see what's in your eyes, they know when you are being truthful and when you're not. So revealing yourself - something real and deeply human, becomes important. It's not something you can fake, though you can manage it - control it, if you are very well trained and experienced. But that can take years. So how do you handle auditions when you're starting out? I say, use who and what you are. If you're walking into the room with a massive case of nerves - put those nerves into the audition. It may not be right for the character, but it will be real and far more intriguiing than you shutting down and revealing nothing. When you walk in the door, be yourself - as openly and honestly as you can. Weirdly enough, it can take practice being who we are. Becuase most of us are masters at hiding our true selves - our fear and love and passion. Classes help. But you can start making small choices in your real life to experience what I'm talking about. Try expressing something real to someone you don't know well. Say something honest that makes you feel vulnerable, raw. You may fear rejection or derision, but often, I've found that people respond with revelations of their own, if you go first. The choice to be real, to stop acting as if you are perfect, or calm, or uafraid, is an important one for any actor. Try it. Be yourself....and see what it feels like.

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