The location of auditions may have changed, but that doesn’t mean the anxiety has gone away. In fact, many performers find auditioning remotely to be even scarier. If you’re one of them – never fear! Well, try not to at least, because there are methods to keep anxiety from self-sabotaging your audition. From self-tapes to live auditions with the team, here are five ways you can calm those nerves.
#1 Be as prepared as possible.
Preparation is what allows you to be present in the audition. The more prepared you are the less nervous you’ll be. Do all your actor homework so that you’re not in your head judging yourself or forgetting lines. Strong preparation will give you a solid foundation going into the audition.
#2 Make your audition space your own.
One major advantage to remote auditions is that we control the environment. There’s no nervously shuffling into a waiting room of actors that look like you. You don’t have to worry about a long table filled with important people. The ball is in your court to create a space that will help you to do your best work (and, yes I did just use a sports reference). You can have candles burning behind the camera or a picture of your dog – hell, you can have your dog in the room if they’re good! Another hack is to place things that will keep you focused on the scene’s circumstances around.
And while we’re on the audition setup topic, there’s nothing worse than trying to prop up a backdrop or finetune your lighting last-minute. Depending on how much time you have, try to get everything you need setup as early as possible. If you’re able to, leave it up for the entire audition season. This way you can simply “walk on set” and do your job.
#3 Give yourself time beforehand.
Let me repeat that: give yourself time. Take ten minutes to clear your mind and get in a good headspace before your audition. If you’re prepared and ready to go, you won’t have to hunch over and go over lines or stare at yourself in the mirror and obsessively fix your hair. Empower yourself by doing something that makes you excited to create. Play music, meditate, do push-ups, stretch… whatever will make you feel good.
#4 Have the mindset that you already booked the job.
Many successful actors have credited this trick with killing their nerves. Instead of thinking about what casting wants to see or how badly you need the gig, treat the audition like it’s your first day on set. You’ve booked the gig and now you’re here to shoot the scene. All you have to do is what you love: act. This way, if you don’t get the job (which I hope you do!) at least you’ll have gotten the chance to really play the part and maybe even produced a self tape you can proudly show off.
#5 Let the nerves float by.
What do you do if you’re in the middle of the scene or live audition and nerves take over your brain? Let them come! This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s fighting nerves that gets us into trouble. As soon as you feel nervous and recognize that and focus your energy on stopping that feeling, you’re in way too deep. Instead, accept that the nerves are there and then focus on the scene. You’ll be surprised at how things can go away when you don’t pay them any attention.
Nerves are going to come. They’re what make us human! However, we don’t have to waste our energy fighting them. The more you can practice accepting nerves and moving on, the more confident you will start to feel. It’s hard, but anything that’s worth mastering is.