When You’ve Prepared and You’re the Best but Still Not the One
One of the major pet peeves I hear from casting directors about actors is that actors
are not prepared when they audition. What does that mean? Several things. They
haven’t fully read their sides or their script, they haven’t done their research to
know what the play/scene is talking about, they haven’t made strong enough
choices that informs the audience of what’s happening in the scene, etc. It’s so easy
to do yourself a disservice by not being fully prepared for an audition when people
want to like you, they want to see you succeed, and most importantly they want to
give you a job!
For this particular audition, I was determined that being unprepared wasn’t going to
There was a theatre that posted their upcoming season and, in that season, there
was one show that I desperately wanted to be apart of. The content, the writing, the
theme, centered around sisterhood and the female bond. The play empowered
women and was an all female cast. There was no way that I could not be a part of this
show. The actual show would premiere about nine months after the theatre announced
it but I knew from then, almost a whole year before, that I was going to be in it.
Months before the actual audition I was practicing and preparing. I read the play,
cover to cover, every other week. I worked on my dialect for the character, I read up
on the history of the country and city during that time, and watched movies and
documentaries about the subject of the play. I did scene work by myself, spent hours
in the library doing character analysis, even working with other actors to have
someone to read off. I learned three new monologues for the audition just so I can
have options to choose from if needed. I was more than prepared.
By the time the auditions came around I knew I could trust myself with what I learned. I could relax and have fun in my audition; just be present and live in the moment.
I did the auditioned. Got a callback. Yay!
On the day of callbacks I was the last one in for the night. I finished with a monologue and I knew in my bones I nailed it. Not because I memorized lines or created blocking. In fact I stumbled on my words. But I could feel that I took them on a journey. I painted that world right in the audition room. I was vulnerable, transparent, made choices, and was vivid. They watched, were engaged, had tears in their eyes (who doesn’t love tears
in an audition!). They thanked me for being everything that that character was. I
just knew I got the part!
I cried and cried and cried some more. I couldn’t walk past the script without crying.
I couldn’t talk about not getting the role
without crying. I couldn’t scroll past the
theatre on my timeline without crying. How, with all my preparation, determination,
execution, and amazing feedback, how could all of that happen and I not be cast?
This was the first time that I’ve ever wanted something so badly, was
determined to have it, and it not work out in my favor.
I know that not everyone gets the part. Of course not, this is the world of acting. What it did teach me was this: BE GREAT EVERY CHANCE YOU GET! I am building a
reputation of giving great auditions and of being truly committed to the work. I
learned what it means to be prepared and disciplined in your craft. Sure, I didn’t get
the part but everyone in that room will remember what I did.
Walking in your purpose is about perseverance and persistence. What we do is not
for the faint of heart and requires you to pick up your shield and go to battle every
So, get up and battle. And be the best every single time.