So many actors experience the feeling of anxiety before an audition. You feel an increase in your heart rate, sweaty palms, and in some cases, the inability to speak despite religiously practicing your lines for a long time. As much as these feelings are absolutely normal and understandable, it still needs to be dealt with.
Finding a way to overcome your audition anxiety is a challenge that even the most seasoned actors face. An example of which is Dame Judi Dench. The veteran actress has admitted that she suffered from stage fright throughout her 50 years of acting. Knowing that you aren’t alone is the first thing you need to put into mind, another is finding the root of your anxiety. At end of the day, you’ll come to a realization that a majority of audition anxiety all boils down to mental attitude.
So in order to develop a more positive outlook toward your next auditions, then you might want to consider these helpful tips:
1. Do not expect too much from yourself
This isn’t saying that you should harbor negative feelings about your audition. Instead, try not to set very high expectations and focus on your acting instead. Auditions are an opportunity to act after all, so give your best and stop stressing out on the outcome.
Note that even the most famous actors failed in auditions! The young Scarlett Johansson lost to Kirsten Dunst in the 1995 fantasy-thriller Jumanji, and even if that role cemented Dunst in the industry, Johansson still went on to have a stellar career herself.
2. Prepare for your audition
When actors focus on wanting to impress the casting director so much, they end up feeling even more anxious. To avoid this, you have to channel your energy toward preparing for your audition and being in the moment when the time comes. To do this, warm up by conducting breathing and vocal exercises and make sure that you get plenty of rest the night before.
3. Decide if this audition is for you
It is important for actors to have a say on where they want their careers to go. An agent may put you on a job that you don’t want to audition for. Say for example, the project feels uninspiring or if it seems too risky for your taste. If this happens, then you should know that you have the freedom to say no. Have an open discussion with your agent about the the roles you want to take and the image you want to build for yourself. It is important to organize your career in order to be ready for the next opportunity that will come your way.
4. Film your own screen test
A screen test is easy to make, and it is a perfect medium when it comes to formulating ways to improve your audition. Some casting directors even study screen tests due to money and time constraints. You may feel like this only adds stress to your audition, but when you work with a friend or invest in a company that helps you film screen tests, then think of this as an opportunity to audition in your own terms.
5. Do not buy into negative thoughts
Telling yourself “I’m never going to get it” or continuously beating yourself up about missed opportunities in the past will not only heighten up your audition anxiety, but it can damage your career altogether. As soon as those negative thoughts come rushing in, divert your attention toward completing the audition and showcasing your acting skills.
6. The pre-audition nerves are normal!
Occasional nerves and that feeling of anxiety are completely normal. As mentioned, even famous Hollywood actors have experienced stage fright. Being anxious goes to show how passionate you are about acting and how bad you want the role. The only thing to keep in mind in this situation is that you should not let your fear get the best of you.
Both seasoned and rookie actors should know that fear and anxiety should never stop you from doing what you love. So take all the advice above into heart and repeatedly remind yourself that even if the audition does not go as planned, at least you were brave enough to go for it.