It’s normal to feel nervous when you’re on stage. But forgetting your lines and freezing up can cost you a job. But 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.
It’s a vulnerable place to be when you’re getting up and performing in front of people because you’re 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 some helpful ways to keep your cool when panic hits and you’re front and center:
People want you to win. 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.
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.
Keep Going. Focus on finishing the rest of the scene calmly and confidently, and do your best, improvising naturally where needed. 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 handy but don’t depend on them. 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. However, 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.
You’re at the audition to show them what you’ve got. The pressure will always be there, but you are bigger than that. Don’t let it take you down!
Trust in your talent and remember that you’re still learning and you’re in this because you love it. So have fun. 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.