There are a lot of misconceptions about auditioning. It is a unique skill, one all performers need to have, but not all actors are good at it - even great ones.
Here are a few truths and falsehoods about auditioning.
FALSE – Audition panels are waiting for you to make a mistake.
It is easy to perceive an audition panel as a threat, just waiting for you to fail. The truth is they want you to be amazing. They need you to be amazing.
They may have had a very long day in a very small, stuffy room, but they want to you to be the amazing actor they need for their show. They may see dozens of similar looking people for the same part, so making notes is a positive response - they want to remember you, to log your performance, so keep focused and give it everything you have!
TRUE – Your first impression counts.
No matter what has happened to you earlier that day, how you present yourself and the impact you make when you enter the room counts. You have ten minutes (or so) in the room to make an impression. Make use of every second of it.
FALSE – You need to be in control of your audition.
It can be very hard for a performer to take those few precious moments that you have in front of an audition panel and not try to control all of them. But if you are asked to do anything by the panel, it is because they want to see something different. Do not be afraid to throw yourself into whatever that may be. It is much easier to get someone to tone down than to give more.
TRUE – Being asked to do more or less is not an indication of what the panel may be thinking.
Sometimes, they will ask you to do more because they couldn’t get a proper sense of you from the first piece you presented. They may not have felt that it was suitable for the role that you were up for and simply wanted to give you a fair shot at showing you could do it. Alternatively, cutting you off mid piece does not necessarily mean that they are not interested. You may have been exactly what they were looking for and they didn’t need to see any more.
Not being right for a specific role or creative team is not a comment on you or your talent. Most performers have to go through hundreds of refusals for every job they book. As hard as it may be, try to approach each audition as a fresh start.