Audition Tips: Improve Your Performance With ‘Personalization’

brian timoney

Written by Brian Timoney

Auditions can be one of the most frustrating and unnatural places to give a performance. You are expected to perform in front of people you’ve never met and who have the power to make or break your acting career. If this wasn’t bad enough, you will often be given instructions just minutes before you are expected to perform.

Despite being in this intimidating, unnatural environment, your ability to ‘pull it out of the bag’ will often determine the success of failure of your acting career. Though it may seem unfair, it is the same for everyone.

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

Speeding Up the Process

One of the most challenging elements of an audition is having to give a convincing performance without the preparation time that you would usually have. For most acting roles you would have at least a couple of hours to get into character. This would allow you to develop a background story for your character and gradually acclimatize yourself to your character’s situation. As a result you would be able to give a convincing, developed performance.

So, how can you give a similar performance with only a few minutes prep time?

Simple….personalization.

What is ‘Personalization’?

Personalization is a technique used by method actors to help them give ‘real’ performances without the need for imitation or inspiration. By simply fueling your performance with real feelings and real emotions, you are able to give performances that can be more convincing than if you had months to invent these feelings and emotions.

Let’s imagine a common scenario. You are in an audition and you are required to play a character who’s in a complicated relationship with a member of the opposite sex. You are required to play a scene in which the relationship is coming to an abrupt end. Now, this would be very difficult to prepare for in just a few minutes, especially if the actor opposite you was someone you’d never met before. However, by using personalization you would project the personality of someone from your own past onto your fellow actor. By carefully and accurately projecting the image of someone you’ve been in a doomed relationship with and recalling your own feelings at the moment it all came to an end, you will be able to give a thoroughly authentic performance at almost a moment’s notice.

This is a great technique for any acting scenario but it’s particularly useful for auditions. One of the best things about this technique is that it can be completely internalized. This means that those that see your performance won’t know that you are using personalization to fuel your performance. They won’t know whose image you are projecting onto your fellow actor and they won’t know about the raw, evocative emotions that you felt as you gave your performance.

All they will see is an actor giving a great performance with only a few moments to prepare!    

Brian Timoney is one of the world’s leading authorities on method acting. He has been working in the acting industry for over 20 years and has worked in TV, radio, film and theatre.

Brian currently delivers a wide range of method acting classes in London. You can find out more about Brian and his acting courses at www.briantimoneyacting.co.uk.

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sag-foundation-conversation-with.jpg
SAG Foundation Conversation with the Cast of NBC’s ‘Marry Me’
Earlier this month NBC put in an order for five additional episodes of its freshman romantic comedy series, Marry Me. While that isn’t exactly the shot of confidence that a full-season renewal provides, it’s enough to keep fans of the comedy — which is about an engaged couple who are determined to get married despite […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/michael-caine.jpg
Michael Caine Talks About Acting With Your Eyes and Does an Amazing Cold Read of a Script
This week acting legend Michael Caine appears in his sixth film directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar. In an interview clip from The New York Times that was shot around the release of the last movie Caine worked on with Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises, reporter Melena Ryzik spoke to Caine about his six-decade career. In […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/director-dan-gilroy-narrates-a-s.jpg
Director Dan Gilroy Narrates a Scene from ‘Nightcrawler’ Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo
Nightcrawler is easily one of the best movies of the year and its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, is outstanding. Definitely check this out when you have a chance. In the above clip, writer/director Dan Gilroy narrates a sequence from the film that features Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. He talks about giving Gyllenhaal a small piece of […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/matthew-mcconaughey-talks-losing.png
Matthew McConaughey Talks Losing the Lead Role in ‘Bernie’ to Jack Black
Though Matthew McConaughey has increased his earned plenty of respect since he started taking on more substantive movie roles in the last few years (with Dallas Buyers Club even earning him an Oscar for Best Actor), one director that always has been a fan of McConaughey is Richard Linklater. Linklater gave McConaughey his first big […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/watch-benedict-cumberbatch-film.jpg
Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]