Ever have one of those auditions where they ask you to prepare GOBS of material and give you a day to prepare? Or maybe they give you more time to prepare but you have a day job, or a family, or a half-marathon that sucks up the time you would otherwise spend locked in a rehearsal room, feverishly memorizing and practicing?
This is just the situation my friend found herself in this week. She’s a lovely actor and dear person who is pursuing the actor’s life in New York City. She was called in to audition for a Broadway show this week.
She texted me from her rehearsal studio: “It’s lonely work, preparing for auditions.”
There’s so much truth to that statement. Making theater is deeply collaborative, but auditioning can feel like a solo journey. Which is why it is so valuable to have help. And I love to help, so I dug deep down inside to call up the very best long-distance acting advice I could muster. This was more of a pep-talk than a coaching session, but a good pep talk can go a long way.
She texted: I’m so anxious!!! There’s too much material to learn.
I wrote back: Sometimes it’s impossible to memorize everything. Just do what’s most fun because when you have fun your light shines out and that’s what everybody wants to see! And sometimes when you make a mistake it’s an amazing opportunity for weird character-y things to happen in the audition and that’s the BEST.
And then she writes: It’s lonely work, preparing for auditions.
I replied: I like pretending I’m some hermit scientist of human behavior and I’m just trying to find the different behaviors of this person I am trying to inhabit. Sometimes I find it hard to stay motivated but if I think of it as playing pretend then that works. I also like to try the audition sides a bunch of different ways. Like I’ll do the material as if I was a robot or a truck driver and see if there is any truth in exploring things through the lens of archetype. That makes it fun!
I love it when I have the opportunity to help a fellow actor in need of some encouragement.
She wrote a day or so later to tell me she got the callback!