Written by Dallas Travers, CEC
Have you ever walked out of an audition feeling like the Casting Director just didn’t like you? She was writing the whole time. He stopped you after only half the scene. She simply said “thank you” after you were done.
I’m sure this has happened to every actor at least once. And by the way, none of those things are necessarily bad. But I’ve got a secret to share with you… 99.9% of the time reactions like this have nothing to do with you.
In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, he outlines four key pillars to live an extraordinary and stress-free life.
Today, let’s explore the second agreement, “Don’t Take Anything Personally” and how it pertains to your acting career.
You put a lot of work into securing auditions and opportunities, so the stakes are high, making it challenging to separate yourself from the feedback you get in the room. Often times though, your perception and experience in an audition has nothing to do with what is actually happening.
So, how can you REALLY avoid taking things personally in the audition room?
1. Embody Your Love of Acting
You’re an actor because you love to perform. You love the rush, the thrill of stepping into someone else’s shoes and affecting the lives of those watching you. Every opportunity you get to perform should be one that you relish in, even if it’s one co-star line in a crowded and busy casting office.
Instead of viewing an audition as a grueling job interview that you have to nail because otherwise your world will come crumbling down, use it as an opportunity to share your art. Put yourself out there, and enjoy those 2 minutes that belong to you.
When you embody your love of acting, every audition will feel like a personal victory instead of a do-or-die, right-or-wrong, make-it-or-break-it moment.
2. Book the Room, Not the Job
Do your best to let go of needing to book this particular job and instead focus on establishing a solid connection with the casting director. Say hello, don’t chit chat too much, but make sure to be your amazing, friendly, easy-to-hire-and-work-with self.
From the moment you walk in the room, if you seem like a friendly person who a director can easily work with, the Casting Director will feel good about recommending that you come back for a second look.
So, whether it’s this job or the next, you will be remembered if you do your part.
3. Congratulate Yourself
When was the last time you left an audition and said to yourself, “Wow, self! You just nailed that! Not only did you nail it, but you were totally prepared and went in there and showed those folks a great glimpse into what a joy you are to work with!”?
More often than not, your self talk sounds something like, “Man, I don’t know. They didn’t look up from their yellow notepad except once. I bet they were writing terrible things about me. I don’t feel like a made strong enough choices. I really feel like I bombed.”
You have no control over the thoughts, reactions, or feelings of other people. Remember that the only opinion you can control is your own. So, why would you choose to beat yourself up or worry about how your work was perceived?
Instead, find one or two mini-wins you’d like to acknowledge yourself for and let the rest of the chatter go.
Now, I understand that your acting career is personal. It matters a lot and you’re putting your guts on the line every time you audition. But when you apply these three tips to avoid personalizing the feedback you receive, you’ll be able to move more quickly and easily through the natural ups and downs that come with being a professional actor.
Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.
If you’re ready to jump-start your acting career, get your FREE Thriving Artist Starter kit now at http://www.dallastravers.com