I never got nervous about auditions until high school. I wasn’t in a theater that cut actors during the audition process, and I always played lead roles. However, once I entered the world of competition and professionalism as a teenager, my anxiety worsened incredibly quickly. I noticed my knees shaking during singing auditions, constant fear that I didn’t remember parts well enough, and shyness when practicing skills I wasn’t good at.
Looking back on my anxiety about auditions lately, I’ve noticed a trend. I was scared and unprofessional during the audition calls because I was trying to fit in with the extremely calm and perfect people I heard and saw in front of me in the never-friendly audition room. I was sick and tired of the one person using the same ballad selection as me, or the few girls in the waiting room who looked vaguely like me. I felt insecure about both fitting in and standing out, trying to give everything I had to offer without looking ‘weird’ or ‘different’. I thought the only way to escape from this anxiety was to be my true self.
It didn’t take me long in my life and career to realize that I was a character actor. is as graceful as a whale on a tightrope. Despite knowing all of this, I attempted a terrifyingly formal audition for a character that was very naive and classic with little to no musical character. Remember you have to be true to yourself. And the perfect ballet, strict posture, and no music? It wasn’t something I could be believed by any director, and it certainly wasn’t the real me. Instead of going to 10 auditions and feeling horribly wrong in every role for most roles, I went to 3 that I was sure I would enjoy. Rethinking the type of audition environment I was applying for made me feel so much better that I started going after the setback. The environment allowed me to use skills I never thought I’d be able to share, such as puppetry, scriptwriting, and impressions.
Feeling good about what you are doing is always the first step in auditioning and in my free time I am continually building skills that I may not be comfortable with now but want to showcase in the future I am taking dance lessons every week so that I can be good at dancing, and I will do my best at auditions in the future. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way, but I am also grateful for the internal freedom to walk away from them. Desperation only makes me nervous, and those shows were never a good fit. It took me a long time to find out that the others in these rooms weren’t either. They are just using their strengths. Now that I’ve found a way to use my unique skills, I feel more confident going into auditions than ever before, and I’m really looking forward to the future.