5 Tips to Keep Calm & Keep the Pressure Out of Acting Auditions
Freezing up is a natural and common reaction for actors; usually when they forget their lines or feel overwhelmed, out of their element and then panic. As a result, the actor begins to sweat, overthink the situation, and even get so distraught that they cannot continue the audition at all. None of that is necessary. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we understand that auditions can be a lot on the actor's shoulders and we do our best to provide you with the tools you need to not only survive your audition, but to succeed at it.
Getting up in front of people to perform is a vulnerable place to be, and you are also at the mercy of their judgement and choices. A little bit of stress here, is normal. However, if it's an overwhelming amount of stress each time, you may need to reconsider whether this is your true calling or not, or also consider that maybe you need more classes first, before going for the audition.
In the meantime, here are 5 helpful tips to keep calm and ease the pressure out of acting auditions:
Breathe. Taking a deep breathe brings oxygen to your nerves and helps to calm the senses. Be sure to take a long deep breath in through your nose and out your mouth as soon as anxiety hits. You may be surprised at how fast this works.
They're on your team. Remember that the casting director and everyone else in the room wants you to succeed. It doesn't mean you'll always get the part, but this is a fun art and the others in the room are cheering you on.
Don't stop. If you do forget your lines, don't stop. Finish the rest of the scene and do your best, improvising naturally. If the casting director needs you to do the scene again, he or she will let you know. Additionally, choosing to move on and past the mistake, shows your ability to recover under pressure and your talent for improvisation. Of course, don't do it on purpose, but don't be afraid to do your best with what you've got. The worst thing you can do is to stop. Keep going and do your best.
Hold your lines. It's totally fine, and in fact, expected for you to hold your highlighted line cards in your hand during the audition. Many actors put theirs away, thinking they'll impress everyone, but then they end up forgetting their lines and slow the flow. Keep your lines in hand. If you forget a line, all you have to do is glance down and grab it.
Don'd depend on your line cards. Yes, use your cards to remind yourself where you are and what's next, but don't just stare at the cards or read off of them. Watch the other actors when they are talking, and when it is your turn, know your first line and glance down quickly to grab the next one. Do not simply read from the page - that's not acting and it's not what will get you hired.
The next time you find yourself sweating under pressure, remember there are simple things to get you through. And if you make a complete fool of yourself, just remember: you are acting! It is meant to be fun and silly. Learn more tips on acting and classes at the New York Acting School for Film and Television in New York City. We'll get you on your way.
About Me: Mark West, head of the Acting School for Film and TV, also teaches "Acting For Film and Television" at The New School in New York City. Add my Google profile to your circles.