Don’t let the stage stress you. Don’t let the camera stop you from being in your full potential. So many talented actors aren’t seen for what they can do because their anxiety gets the best of them. Part of the problem is that they start overthinking and it all goes downhill from there.
But you don’t have to let performance anxiety get in the way of your budding career. I’ve got some tips to help you step out of the trap and into your success.
Important to know: 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.
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.
People want you to succeed. 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.
Keep going. 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.
Keep your lines close by. 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.
Rehearse and memorize well. 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.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.