This blog serves to give acting ideas and advice to actors of all ages, especially young ones. This blogs author is J.T. Turner, actor, director, teacher and member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA. I hope you find the posts useful, and please pass along the blog address to anyone you think might benefit from it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Walking into the room

  • entered the audition room,

Last post we chatted about how to create a protective bubble around yourself, how to focus, and use some specific work to help you be ready for that audition.Let's extend that talk to the next step, walking into the audition room.

Grandma was right, first impressions make all the difference. I can tell you from my work in the business world and teaching communication skills that it takes about 10 seconds to decide wether or not you like someone. So when your name is called and you walk into the room, be ready to present yourself in the best possible light. No, it will not guarantee you the role, but it may give you an edge, and given your druthers, wouldn't you rather people like you more often than not?

So, we don't want to enter looking down, distracted, and not prepared.  Walk in with confidence, make eye contact and say 'hello" right away. In a good clear voice, don't just nod. And recall an earlier teaching post, when you make eye contact, look in just one eye. Left eye, right eye, doesn't matter, it will help you keep focused and make you look stronger. Along with the eye contact SMILE! The Quakers say the face you give is the one you get back. No matter if you are auditioning for the role of a serial killer, you can be yourself for a minute before you slip into the dark character. Smiling releases endorphin's into your bloodstream, and puts you in a better place to do the audition. Plus if the audition person or panel smiles back, it puts them in a more receptive frame of mind. But don't worry if they don't, do your half on the dance. Eye contact and smile.

There may be chit chat. "How are you? Did you find parking? Isn't it hot out today? I see you did King Lear last week, how was it?". Be ready for chit chat. How? Pretend! Before the audition I anticipate and answer, out loud, what they might ask me. Sure you may get a curve ball question, ( Is that your natural hair color?), but mostly you know what they may ask. So practice responses. (This also helps you focus pre-audition, say in the car ride or walk over to it).

Eventually they will ask you to read. Take 5 seconds, take a step back, close your eyes and recall the answers to the audition questions, Where, Who, What and, Whence.Now open your eyes, take a step forward and start. They may ask you to read again, with a different twist to the reading. Do not question or second guess it, just do it. Many times it is a test to see how you take direction.When done, always thank them for the audition, for listening to you.

J.T. Turner
The Actors Sensei
Owner, The Actors Company