Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Take the (Bad) Edge Off the Audition - Part 3

Okay!Okay!  Ready for this?  We're going to take your bad
nervous energy, and transform it into that GOOD nervous
energy you need for a great audition.

Step 3: Use Your Model Experience

Take the great audition you thought of in Step 1, and
use it as a model for this upcoming audition. 

Here's what you do -- then I'll tell you why this
process works.

First... imagine that great audition in Step 1. 
Remember, it doesn't matter if you are making it up, or
whether you saw an actor in a movie have a great
audition, or if you saw another actor in real life have
a great audition.

The point is, now you're going to imagine that it was
YOU who had that great audition.

This should be fun, because you're using your acting
power, your imagination, to envision that it was you
who had that experience.

Really see yourself in that great audition.  Make it
like you are really THERE.  Take some time with this
and FEEL it. 

Next... Pretend that the audition you have coming up,
the one triggering fear, has ALREADY HAPPENED.  Take
those same feelings from the great audition into the
upcoming audition.  SEE yourself there, as if it's a
memory.  SEE yourself meeting the casting directors...
the smiling faces.  SEE yourself doing really well. 
FEEL yourself doing really well.

Have fun with this!  You need to get into it so much
that you're actually feeling good and smiling about the
great job you did.

Do this 3 times a day for at least 3 days (more, if you
need to) until the fear of the upcoming audition is
gone, until you are feeling confident about the
audition coming up.

If the fear and self-doubt creep back in over the days
before the upcoming audition, Stop.  Think about what
you are imagining that causes the feelings of fear. 

Then ask yourself, 'Is what I'm imagining something
I can control?'  If it is within your control, then
take care of it. 

On the other hand, if the problem is something BEYOND
your control, then forget about it!  Do this by going
back to Step 3, and focus on what you CAN control.

Why the Process Works

To understand how and why this process works so well,
let's recap what you've done:

  • Step 1: Think of a great audition
  • Step 2: Identify the specific fears you have about
    upcoming audition
  • Step 3: Use your model audition experience to
    your feelings of success to this upcoming
    as if it's already happened
By taking these specific steps, you are overriding the
fear images by flooding your head with POSITIVE images
connected with positive FEELINGS.  This is not mere
"positive thinking" are actually reprogramming
your thought patterns.

The reason Step 3 is so important and powerful is
because when you fantasize with strong images and
feelings, your subconscious thinks the experience
is REAL.  (In case you didn't know it, your subconscious
mind does not know the difference between

and reality.)

Your subconscious is that part of your brain that
controls your heart beat, your breathing...those
things you don't have to THINK about doing.  The
subconscious is also where your fears reside, and a
lot of times, they are only there because you
BELIEVE there is something to be afraid of -- even
when there is NOTHING to be afraid of. (In other
words: What you believe to be true IS true...EVEN

So when you IMAGINE with strong images and FEELINGS,
your subconscious THINKS IT'S TRUE.  This means that
your subconscious replaces the belief that 'I AM

It's as if you have already had that experience of the
great audition!
  Since the fear is gone, you FEEL better

about it before you even do it. 

The fact is that actors who have less fear are cast
more often.  And even when you don't get the role,
you still know you did a great audition -- the best
one you possibly could, so you feel better about it,
and it helps keep your chin up for next time.

When you use this process, email your success story to me
...I'd love to know how it went!

Here's to Your Empowerment!


Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2010 Tom Brooks and
The Empowered Actor Initiative  All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to Take the (Bad) Edge Off the Audition - Part 2

You're right: Step 1 is deceptively simple. In fact,
it's so simple, many actors looking for a way to get
past the nerves probably dismissed or overlooked it. 
How could getting a clear picture of a winning
in your head possibly work?  Well, in Step 3
time), I will indeed tell you why this works.

In any case, by now you should have a firm vision in
your head of a winning actor in a winning audition. 

This can be from
  • Your own audition experience
  • Seeing another actor audition well
  • Seeing a movie that depicts actors auditioning well
  • A fabricated memory you have pieced together
    from any
    or all of the above.
As long as you have that 'great audition' firmly in
your head, you're ready to move on.

Step 2: Identify the Fear Factor

Think about why are you nervous about this particular
audition coming up. 

Really pin-point WHY it is that your anxiety level is
high in this particular audition situation. 

Don't allow your answer to be 'Because it's an
audition!'  You must be VERY SPECIFIC about this

Is it because it's one of your first auditions, and you
don't know what to expect? 

If that's so, you can always find out about the
audition ahead of time.  For instance, you can find out
if the audition will be in a theater on the stage, or a
rehearsal room, or in a church...You
can find out if
other actors will be watching when you

Getting answers about how the audition will run can make
you feel a whole lot better, since it will take away
some of the unknown elements.  (Seems simple, but many
actors operate from the mindset that they are supposed
to be ignorant
, that the process is supposed to be hard.)

Or... Maybe you're so nervous because you just want to
do a good job.  Are you're afraid you'll screw it up?
Whatever you're nervous about, there is SOMETHING, or
someTHINGS that you keep picturing in your head.  Make
sure you know what those are, especially those pictures
or scenes that keep coming up again and again.

That kind of nervousness is the kind that can get in
your way at the audition, so we will work on getting
rid of it so that you can do your very best. 

The more you trust yourself, and the better prepared you are, the better you'll do

Here's what I want you to do...

Get a 3x5 card, or your journal, and write your top
three fears - those things that you keep imagining
that are really making you nervous.

Do not write long descriptions -- just list 'bullet
points.'  Something like this:
  • afraid of my hands shaking
  • worried that I'll forget my words
  • scared that everyone else will be better than me
Don't write more detail than that.

Now... Put this card away until the next Empowered
Actor article.  Don't keep looking at it -- just
remember where you put it, so we can work with it
next time.

And between now and then, don't mull over the fears
in your mind.  Just NOTICE when you start slipping
into the Fear Factor mode.  Don't beat yourself up
about your imaginings -- just think about something
else, something more pleasant that has to do with
acting that you like so much.

Until next time, Here's to Your Empowerment!


Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2010 Tom Brooks and
The Empowered Actor Initiative  All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Actor Control: How to Take the (Bad) Edge Off the Audition - Part 1

Heart pounding, you walk up to do your audition. 
Although you were just introduced to several people,
you don't remember any of their names.  You're not
even sure which one is the director. 

As you get into place and begin to speak, you realize
for one horrifying second that you have completely
forgotten your monologue.  No idea!  Then, amazingly,
the words tumble out of your mouth just when they're
needed, and they seem pretty much like the right ones. 

Then it's over in a flash.  Your smile feels forced as
you say Thank You, and wonder if it's obvious that you
are bolting for the door...

    Now let's take another scenario, something
    that happened to Empowered Actress
    Sharon Carpenter-Rose.

Sharon had a film audition late in the day.  In fact,
she was one of the last to audition over a multi-day
period.  Confident and ready, she walked into the
room, was introduced to the crew, and was told she
could begin when she was ready.  Sharon sized up the
space, decided she didn't need the chair that was
available, and moved it to the back where it wouldn't
be in her way. 

With that, the director and camera man looked at each
other.  One of them remarked, amazed, 'You're the first
actor to move that chair during this whole audition!' 

They were delighted with Sharon.  Here was an actress
at ease with herself enough to take a brief moment to
actually arrange the space the way SHE wanted it. 

Sharon was not at the MERCY of the audition.

She OWNED the audition.

The truth is: You have a lot of control over the
outcome of an audition.

Understand that it's okay to be nervous.  You WANT the
nervous energy to give you that edge you need.  You
don't want to be so relaxed that you seem as if you
don't care.  And, of course, you don't want such a high
degree of nervousness that it runs away with you.

Here's How to Take the (Bad) Edge Off that Audition

Step 1: Think of A Great Audition

Think of an audition that was a breeze, where you KNEW
you did a great job, even if you didn't get the role. 

Never had a really good audition experience?  Don't
worry.  You can think of a great audition you've SEEN.
Hopefully, you've observed that some actors handle the
audition process better than others

Some actors are nervous wrecks.  Others look like they
aren't really bothered by it. 

Picture yourself as one of the confident ones, those
actors that make you think, 'They make it look so EASY.'

Take your memory, and pretend you are THAT person
during that audition.

How did it feel, to be so at ease and playful?  Do you
think they were REALLY not nervous? Or did they just
handle it differently?

If you haven't had any really good audition experiences
and haven't seen any, then take what you've seen on
American Idol, or rent a movie that depicts actors
auditioning.  There are those who handle it well, and 
those who let their nerves ruin it for them.

Bottom line: MAKE UP a memory if you don't have one of
your own.  You need to be able to see YOU in a winning
audition situation.

In the next blog issue, I'll delve into Step 2, and
the NUMBER ONE thing that threatens to get in the way
of a great audition.

Until then, Here's to Your Empowerment!


Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2010 Tom Brooks and
The Empowered Actor Initiative  All Rights Reserved