I once told an acting student of mine that you are a walking billboard, especially when it comes to acting and auditioning. You ever see how people tend to size you up if you tell them you’re a performer? Well what they’re really doing is measuring your energy quotient. What’s an energy quotient?
Well, an energy quotient is all about the feeling you resonate to those around you and how it makes them feel. To give you an example of how this works, I’ll give you an instance in my own life. I auditioned for an Indie film last year that I absolutely fell in love with. I loved it so much that I was willing to drive sixty miles and do it for free. It was that type of script. I always do energy practices, before auditioning to enable me to vibrate on an extremely high level during casting sessions. This time was no different. But one objective stood out more so than anything else in my pre-audition meditation: HAVE FUN! Initially I was like, what about script analysis, scene objectives or the obstacles vs. goals relationship? I kept getting, have fun, have fun, have fun. It showed me that I was taking my life and career way to seriously. So the audition came and I let loose.
It was the first time, I really let it all hang out. Using talents that I never thought would see the light of day. And then, the casting director said something I’d never forget. He said, “Just by the way you present and market yourself, I can tell that this is your purpose.” All those years, you wonder if you’re doing the right thing as an actor or actress, if you’re on the right track, and through the beauty of synchronicity you’re offered that confirmation. I left that audition, got home and began to write down all of the attributes that made me feel like such a marketable actor. Here are the components that will help you to succeed not only as a performer, but also in life.
RAISE YOUR ENERGY. It’s so very important to have a high vibration if people are truly going to notice who you are and your energetic imprint. Have you ever met with someone, left them and you couldn’t stop thinking about them? That’s what high energy does, it creates an impact. So how are we going to do this? Well, get as creative as possible, but here are a few of my favorites. Jump up and down or jump rope. This gets your heart rate up and gives you a childlike energy. If you have access, you can even use a trampoline. If you can do this for just five minutes, you can create a high energy vibe for about three hours. And you feel amazing, which is key to auditioning well. Another method is music. Music is so terrific because it’s one of the few things that can raise your energy and relax you all at the same time. Choose melodies that relate to your character and you can really dial in the presence you need to succeed. The last method that I absolutely love is watching footage of myself in past projects. If you’re an actor or actress and this art makes your heart sing, there is nothing more magical than watching yourself on camera! If you don’t have any footage yet, take your phone and film yourself acting out a scene. This simple act offers you the feeling of already being fulfilled and successful.
SMILE, SMILE, SMILE SOME MORE. Even if you’re going in to read for a villainous character, smile and smile genuinely. Walk into the casting room, look everyone in the eye and smile from the heart. What you’re doing is disarming the potential guards or walls that usually come up for every human being when meeting someone new. It never fails. One of the greatest things you can do as an actor or actress is to just feel good and practice smiling as much as you can. What’s even more significant is that genuine smiles resonate a picture to the brain that says, “This person is confident, this person is happy, this could be someone I’d like to work with,” It’s only up hill from there.
DRESS TO IMPRESS THE IMAGINATION. Looking your best is a no brainer for any audition. But, dressing to impress the imagination takes things to a new level. I used to dress up just to look nice and feel comfortable for auditions but then I knew I wasn’t creating the impact that I wanted. So I got specific. I began to visit military stores, costumes, party city to find wardrobe that could create the image of me as the character that I was auditioning for. It’s one thing to be an amazing actor or actress, it’s phenomenal if you can create a tangible vision of what a role should look like. This goes as far as asking yourself things like, does this character tuck his/her shirt in? Is the top button buttoned up or not? Would they wear a belt or not? Is there demeanor physically confident or reserved? You can kinda see where I’m going with this. Takes some time to ask yourself, what wardrobe is going to impress the imagination of the people casting me?
HAVE NO LIMITS. The greatest performer is one who is not afraid to use all of his tools. For years, I worked tirelessly on my singing and dancing only to never use them. But after doing some self awareness work I began to tell myself, I only get one chance at this life and at this acting career, why would I ever hold back? So I used my entire arsenal. I literally just auditioned for a TV show where I sang, danced, choreographed danced and preached a sermon. It was the most thrilling experience of my career because I had no more limits holding me back from excelling.
LET GO OF THE OUTCOME. You’d be shocked to know that a lot of the time actors do not succeed in auditioning is because they try so badly to control the outcome. Let me tell you something very important. If it’s in your heart to be an actor, you will succeed and you will succeed greatly. Your day will come and it will be so exciting. No one really knows when that will happen, but it will happen. With that being said, take the pressure off of yourself in attempting to book every role you audition for. It’s not realistic and, once again, it creates the energy of desperation. Desperation makes everything and everyone run away from you. We don’t want to create that space ever as a performer. In order to do so, let go. Wake up, do your exercises and energy work, smile, dress to impress the imagination, have fun and then let go. Remember, it may not be today, but your day to succeed will come.
UNAPOLOGETICALLY, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR ABILITY AS AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS. An actor or actress is most known for one thing within their performance. That thing is their ability to make choices and stick with them. They never teach you in school how powerful it is to be able to make a choice and stick with it. The only way that this can come is when we are unapologetically confident in who we are and our ability as an actor or actress. You will be challenged and you will be confronted with things that attempt to make you second guess yourself. DON’T! Trust what you feel to be true. At the risk of sounding like a Jedi master, it’s important to know what you feel whenever you make a decision. If the energy is high, you’re on the right path, if it’s the opposite, be open to changing direction. It’s all about feeling. Things that make you feel amazing are the things that you should devote your energy to because this will resonate through your auditioning. Most importantly, know that the only person who has power over you is you. If something seems illogical or out of sorts, but the energy, once again, feels great, follow it! It might create some waves, but what you will experience after is the state of someone who trusts themselves. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the easier it will be for people to invest in you, especially casting directors, directors and producers.
We’re often taught that our headshots, resumes and reels are the most marketable aspects of our lives as actors and actresses. Although this is very true, when we desire to take our marketability to the next level, these elements are some things to work on and cultivate as you evolve as a performer. Never stop being creative and never stop being open to new ways of being an actor or actress that could, potentially, bring you more success and fulfillment than you could ever imagine.
Shaun Grant is a conscious performer who uses personal development and self awareness in his acting approach. He is also the creator of Becoming A Powerhouse in Auditioning and hosts his own podcast called The Actor’s Area. Shaun has been acting, writing, and teaching for the past ten years. It is his prime objective to share the concept of vibrational acting and vibrational consciousness to performers around the world.