Friday, March 05, 2010

Auditioning is different from Acting

It's audition season here in NY, and there is a lot going on. I hit at least one audition a day - sometimes 2 or 3 if I can swing it. One day, I even hit 4! It was awesome!

And when you get an encouraging nod or a compliment from the person on the other side of the audition table, it's like a green light. One director this week said he'd been thinking about me for a particular role, had wanted to call in me, and would most definitely be calling me back. That was cool. :)

Now, most actors will say how much they don't like to audition, and yet, there was a gal I took a class with last year, Bonnie Swencionis, who simply said, "I'm into auditioning. It's what I do."

I loved her attitude! And don't you know, all her work, taking acting classes and investing in audition technique, paid off! She got the lead on a web-series called Haute and Bothered. And I've never forgotten her go-getter attitude.

This year, I feel like I'm truly enjoying the audition procress. Every audition is an opportunity, not only to do my work, but to learn and grow and to meet all the other folks involved in this industry.

I feel like I get stronger with each audition. For one, there's all the prep work that I do for each audition. Practice and play, I call it. But the audition itself is very different from just acting or singing the piece you've prepared.

And that is the message of this week's blog: "Auditioning is different from acting."

Mark Sikes talks about it in his Casting Corner, and Alison Pill mentioned it in her interview with Backstage.

She said, "I've learned that auditioning is a different set of skills than acting. It's about personality and charisma and the ability to walk into a room and feel confident. You get that after years of doing it. Or you learn to fake it real well."

Alison is playing Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, which I can't wait to see. I played Helen Keller as a kid, so it's a show that's very close to my heart.

And I love what she said about walking into the audition room with confidence. I'll take that a step further and include joy in that walk.

It's something I've been discovering lately, and it's a point Karen Kohlhaas makes in her classes at the Atlantic Acting School, which is ironically where I met Bonnie (in the Fearless Cold Reading class). The minute you walk into the audition room, you are assessed. Before you even speak. Sounds a little scary, doesn't it? But it can be exhilarating!

Like Karen says, "You are literally taking the next steps towards making your dreams come true... the minute you walk through that door."

So why not enjoy it? :)

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