Recently, I received an email from a high school friend asking for advice on auditioning for a movie role. She has never acted before but knew of my passion for theatre and decided to come to me for whatever reason. I have never tested for film, but gathered that my stage experiences would help. Here was my reply:
That sounds cool. I have never auditioned for film before, but I can’t imagine it being any different from stage. Being a first timer, there will be anxiety which is good to have… it gives you energy. I still get it… anyone who says they never get nervous at an audition because they have done it so often is lying through their teeth but the more experience you get in auditioning the easier it becomes to use the nerves to your advantage. Not sure what to expect… do you have a script or is it a cold reading? Do you have to have anything prepared ahead (monologue?) . The best advice I can give is to go in, do what the director asks and have fun (the most important thing). The minute you walk into the site you ARE at the audition. Most of the auditions I go to start out by introducing yourself. This is as important as reading from the script or anything else they ask you to do. The first impression is the most important… be yourself (Sounds cliche and corny, but is very true). And don’t let your inexperience get you down… everyone has to start somewhere. With your personality, I am really surprised that you did not try out for anything in school, but… never too late. Break a leg! Let me know if there is anything else you need and let me know how you do.
Apparently, she felt really good about the audition, because she sent me an email Saturday after the audition and told me that she used my advice. She was nervous but went in and presented herself as best she could and even talked to one of the writers and the casting director. Her husband, another EHS alumnus was in the store tonight and related how excited she was and how grateful she was for the advice. Unfortunately, she has to wait until April 6th to hear about call backs, etc. I would be driven insane waiting that long. She is even anticipating minoring in theatre at the University of Toledo where she started taking classes last fall. “Theatre is fun” she said. I even told her that she needs to take advantage of the theatre around her.
This is not the first time I have shared advice and my love of my favorite thing. It seems that I am quick to pick out members of any cast who are inexperienced and offer words of encouragement and take them “under my wing” as it were.
My problem is this: If I find it so easy to encourage others (friends, new acquaintances who more often than not turn into friends), why can’t I find the encouragement to go further? I have conquered (or at least been on) 6 stages in my little corner of the world. I love everyone of them. I have made the best friends I have EVER had in two of these venues because the bond many of us share is so strong. I get encouraged by many of them and yet… here I sit. Have I become so “comfortable” here that I will never try (again) to go above and beyond? I know I am just rambling and many of you may not understand how strong this thing is (I’m not even sure I do at times) but to me if someone finds himself trying out for every show in his community theatre (even when he is not cast… just picks himself up and tries again and again) and even ventures to other groups from time to time, well… AND I know that I solely am the one who has to come to terms with it. Maybe one day soon I can decide to take another friends advice to heart and believe that:
“There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations in your own mind as to what you can not do.”