Professional advice and guidance for aspiring actors.
Picture this: You’ve done the work for your audition tape, you know your character, you know your sides, you know the relationships you’re playing, you know the tone of the piece and you know what you want to do.
But 5 minutes before your audition call time and your brain seems to be totally against you. Your heart is racing, you’re sweating, you start to question all your choices, and second guess why you even wanted to be an actor in the first place.
Audition nerves. They pop up precisely when you don’t want them to and sabotage your performance. Whether taping/zooming from home or going into the room for an in person audition, nerves are a very real part of the audition process. Learning to manage your nerves in a constructive way will have a huge impact not only on your audition experience, but on how you feel about yourself as an actor.
Start with giving yourself plenty of time before your audition. If you’re rushing to arrive to your in person audition or studio taping, you’re setting yourself up for nerves to run high. I like putting aside 15 minutes before my audition for this purpose. Making sure I’ve arrived at the casting studio or put together my self tape set up or zoom call 15 minutes before my call time. As I discuss in the Actor’s Toolkit, the biochemical reaction of an emotion lasts in our bodies for 7 minutes. So that 15 minute bumper gives me 2 sets of 7 minutes to let my nervous emotions happen and for me to utilize these 3 steps.
When the butterflies start jumping around in my stomach, I do whatever I can to name it as soon as possible.
“Nerves! Those are my nerves! That’s what me being nervous feels like!”
Next step is to validate your emotion.
“It makes sense that I’m feeling nervous. I’m excited to perform and I want to do my best, so this feeling is perfectly normal.”
The final step is to be grateful for the experience!
“Thank you, nerves! Thank you for telling me that I’m excited, thank you for telling me that I care and thank you universe for giving me the opportunity to play as an actor. I love being nervous because I love auditioning. I’ve felt like this before, I’ll feel like this again, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to feel nervous more and more as I build relationships in my industry and get the opportunity to audition regularly.”
The more you practice your pre-performance nerve check, the faster you will be able to process your nerves and get to the place where you can perform what you’ve prepared with confidence and even have fun.
Because the reality is and always will be, what you do to prepare for your performance is directly correlated with what happens during your performance.
An actor's process is everything and sadly, is often overlooked. If you’re ready to cultivate the strongest, most successful process you can and step into the acting career you’ve always wanted, then being purposeful about processing your nerves is just the beginning.
The Laura Mac Method online acting school is designed to do just that. Whether you complete the curriculum on your own through the Foundations or superpower your learning with a team through the Academy. Now is the time to change the trajectory of your career (and life 😉 )