Don’t fall into these common ACTOR TRAPS that are surefire ways to lead you towards dissatisfaction in your acting career.
- Over-analyzing your audition. Give yourself 2 minutes to think about how you can improve your audition next time. Write down some tips for yourself. THEN LET IT GO! Replaying your audition over and over in your head for days on end won’t book you the job, make you feel good, OR make you a better auditioner. Follow the 2 minute rule– and then MOVE ON WITH LIFE.
- Not making time to enjoy other things in life. I say this ALL the time. YOU ARE NOT AN ACTOR ROBOT. If you are only doing acting related things you aren’t populating your brain with new life experiences to source from when building new characters. The more life you live…the more interesting things you can use to build incredibly realistic and authentic performances. Go out there and do new things and meet new people.
- Skipping the research. If you aren’t making time to research the work you are going in for– then step aside and leave the business for the true professionals. With the internet at your fingertips– there is no reason why you can’t set aside an hour to research a role you are right for or a show you are auditioning for. Going in blind doesn’t send casting the message that you will take the job seriously. Dig a little deeper.
- Selecting overdone material. With millions of choices for great material out there, there is no need to do things that are known to be overdone. Veer away from materials that are being done time and time again and swap it out for specific choices that are perfect for you. Look at earlier bodies of work– or lesser known bodies or work. Or repurpose something to fit your needs. Unexpected material that suits you and the project are the best routes.
- Submitting for jobs they aren’t right for or don’t want. Nothing frustrates casting more than someone who takes time out of their auditions for “relationship building” and not because they actually are right for the job. That is a selfish move and could certainly backfire in a big way. Make sure you want the job/are RIGHT for the job/ are AVAILABLE for the job. Time is money for casting teams and when you knowingly take advantage of their audition process you will put an unnecessary dent in what could have been a positive relationship. Don’t lose trust going out for the wrong jobs.
- Comparing your careers to others. Everyone is different and this journey is no exception. What works for one person doesn’t work for all people. You need to customize your path, and make adjustments depending on what helps YOU to be bookable.
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Colleen Finnegan Kahl is an accomplished Theatre Arts Educator, author of this article, and President of Actors Connection. Colleen is an expert helping aspiring actors find acting classes not only in New York, but also in Atlanta and LA.
Photo kindly by Vladimir Fedotov.