Auditions: Moving on from a So-Called “Bad” Read
Not every audition goes perfectly. Actors have good days and bad days, (you are human, after all.) How often do you find yourself thinking, “That was crap. I KNOW I could’ve done better. I can’t believe I…”
Far too regularly, we see actors dwelling on what they consider a “bad read.” While it’s ok to (briefly) rehash and learn from mistakes, this cycle of shame can too easily affect your confidence and be carried from one audition to another.
Casting Directors often see self-doubt follow actors into the audition rooms. It looks like this:
- An actor comes in, a little sheepishly because they’re not sure why they’re reading for a role, (either they feel they’re not good enough/never going to get it, or based on the sides or other people in the waiting room, feel that they aren’t right.) They walk in, literally questioning us as to why they’re there. Those actors AUTOMATICALLY give a sub-par read. Their heart isn’t in it.
- We don’t give the actor a note, and they assume it’s because they did a terrible job on their first take. They walk out of our office with their head down, sulking, no matter how much we tell them that they did a good job.
- We DO give the actor a note, but they’re so in their head about screwing up that they’ve stopped trusting themselves (and us,) and are unable to take the direction. Those actors get so frustrated with themselves that they leave looking utterly disgusted.
Casting Directors know the difference between someone who is having a bad day, someone who just isn’t this character, and someone who is green and not yet ready for that kind of role. We also know that if someone walks into our office with a crappy attitude, it doesn’t matter how good they are or how long their resume is, we’re never going to get the read we want from them. There’s an emotional wall standing between the actor and success at that point, and we can’t break it down in the five minutes we have together.
But as I said, you ARE human. Inevitably, you will fall into a negative mindset at certain points in your career. If the self-doubt monster gets the better of you, acknowledge it. BREATHE. Toss your sides in the recycle bin and MOVE ON. Dwelling will only keep the cycle going and it will absolutely affect your future auditions.
So in the words of a particular ice princess, LET IT GO. Trust your abilities and your Casting Directors, keep working on your craft, and look ahead to the next one.