Last week I auditioned for a great television show. Because I signed, an NDA, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, I can’t tell you about the show, I can’t tell you the name of the show, and I can’t tell you what the audition was about. I always honour the NDA agreements that I sign.
However, what I can tell you about is a lesson that I learned from the audition that I know will be very helpful to you.
So, without giving away any kind of information about the show, there was a scene that I auditioned for that had an easy trap. Many actors fall into this trap. Here is what happens. I am talking to two of the stars in this particular show and it seems like it should be a very emotional scene.
I feel really bad for these people, my heart breaks for them and so in the lines that I have, and once again, I can’t talk about the specific lines but, basically I’m letting these people know how sorry I am for them. So my initial instinct is to get very emotional.
I could feel as I’m reading, I’m beginning to well up a little bit, I’m nervous for them, I feel bad for them, they’re having a tough time in their lives. That is the trap.
Because one of the things that I always do and I teach in both my private online coaching sessions and at workshops, is when you are reading the sides, (the section of the script that you are auditioning for), one of the questions that you always need to ask yourself is, who is this scene about?
And it’s very clear; this scene is not about me. This scene is about the stars of the show and what I’m doing is helping to support them.
So, as I’m talking to them and feeling this emotion, feeling empathy and feeling concern. I had to really make sure that in the back of my mind I knew that the scene was not about me. It is not my show, it’s all about them. So when I’m doing my lines, I did not get caught up in the trap of showing a lot of emotion, I’m not saying I was laughing while doing my lines but, I made sure that it really was all about them.
I’m saying the words in a way so that and I could envision how this was going to work as the cameras come in closely on the stars. It is going to show them welling up, it’s going to show them showing the pain that they’re going through. So even though instinctively I wanted to get emotional there, I understood it’s not about me.
So whenever you are auditioning about something, one of the key questions you want to ask, is the scene about you and if it’s not, don’t make it about you.