Do you get so nervous on auditions that you lose your train of thought? Acting in New York City means doing a lot of auditions, but when your body is in a fight or flight mode you can’t think straight under those circumstances!
Here are a few things you can do:
1- Ask yourself “Have I earned the right to be here? Have I invested in training, practicing, paid some dues, pounded the pavement, or have I just floated in on my good looks and charm here? I’m sure the answer is that you have worked hard and taken a responsible approach to performing. So remind yourself of this before you go in for the audition or shoot. “I have earned the right to be here” needs to be your mantra.
2- How are you programming your subconscious before you go in? Are thoughts of past failure or success in the back of your mind prior to your performance? Are you taking time to “see the ball going in the basket or out of the park” like an athlete does before a shot, or are you playing a record in your head that goes something like this “what if I mess up, what if I loose my train of thought, what if they don’t like me, what if my nerves get the best of me”? Your “what if’s” can only be “what if I nail this”? “What if they love me”, what if I am the answer to their problem”, what if this goes wonderfully?”
3- Are you going in as a wishful performer or are you going in as a professional who has a job to do? A job that you know how to do, a job that you will do? It is your responsibility as a professional to know what you need to do, to only think of the job at hand, do your best at it, and then once you leave you can let your emotions out and vent all you want, but it is your responsibility to not bring it in the room with you.
4- Your homework before any audition or shoot is to think the right thoughts. You are the boss of your brain. Only feed it positive food. Garbage in garbage out, good stuff in good stuff out. I don’t care what nay-sayers say, positive affirmations work. You have got to work on your own personal core confidence in your life in general before you will have it at hand in the audition room. Napoleon Hill once did a study that showed 98% of people lack confidence. This is a huge number. So you see we all struggle with it, but we don’t have to give in to it. I work with famous performers, models, successful executives, entrepreneurs, and experts and I’ve seen them all doubt themselves when they get out of their comfort zone. We all will always have that inner critic in our head, it never goes away, but we can finally decide not to take direction from it!
5- Be kind to yourself. Have definite goals, a definite purpose. Learn everything you can, know your craft, be yourself not what you think you should be or what you think others want you to be.
6- And if you have any kind of faith, ask for confidence.
7- Think to yourself, would I rather be nervous in this audition room right now ( a little nervous energy, let’s rename it “excited energy” can prevent us from being lifeless, flat and dull by the way), would you rather be in this situation or running from shelling in Syria or at the deathbed of a loved one? I know that is a little harsh but think about it. I would choose the uneasiness of an audition any day over those other options.
8- Trust yourself