I went on an audition today.
Already I can hear you asking, “How did it go?” If you mean from the perspective of booking the job, who knows? I’ve never been any good at judging these things.
So I’m learning to evaluate from a different POV: Did I do everything I went there to do?
To answer that question, we first have to know what I plan to do whenever I audition. Lucky for us, I have a list.
1. Did I enjoy myself? Totally. I live for booth time. Anytime I get to play with new copy, it’s a good day.
2. Did I achieve focus, and maintain it throughout the session? Sometimes this is a challenge for me, but it wasn’t today. Which was a good thing, since there were several other names on the call sheet ahead of mine, meaning that I had about 45 minutes for my attention to wander.
3. Did I complete my homework? Right down the line. I studied the copy and the specs carefully, and thought about both before I began rehearsing. I made a specific note that this was television copy, and prepared reads that were appropriate to that medium. I had a firm grasp on the scenario, and made clear choices about both my character and the person to whom I was speaking. (Actually, since I was reading two similar spots targeted to different audiences, I envisioned myself speaking to a different person for each spot. My friends Donna and Randy would be pleased to know how helpful they were, in absentia.) Most importantly — because this is the one that I most easily let slip — I knew precisely why I was saying the words, and what response I hoped to elicit from my audience.
4. Did I remember to breathe deeply and center myself before I started? Check.
5. Did I take my water bottle into the booth with me? Check.
6. Did I relax? For the most part, yes. I felt the initial adrenaline rush, but managed to rein it in.
7. Did I follow directions? This is rarely an issue for me — one of my strengths is listening to instructions and internalizing them quickly — and it wasn’t a negative today.
8. Did I trust my instincts? Yes, and I believe they were solid. Second-guessing myself rarely works to my benefit. Remember the FIST rule: First Impressions Sense Truth.
9. Did I have an attack of esprit l’escalier? Thankfully, no. The worst thing that can happen to an actor is to be thunderstruck on the drive home from the audition with the thought, “Why didn’t I do this?” I do wish that I had developed an approach to either spot that was completely out of the box, but I believe that the different styles I used for the two spots were sufficiently distinct that they demonstrated at least a bit of range.
10. Did I love myself afterward? I did, and do. I acted well today. Good Mic Guy.
Ultimately, the work is the work. Whether I book the job or don’t, I love the work.
I’m thrilled that I got to work — and play — today.