Control is such an important element of auditioning. The goal of a great audition is to be prepared, know where you have come from & where you are going, script your beats, and then have freedom to play and discover in the audition room. You need to be in control of every moment because (as we know) during auditions, things can go haywire.
What does your character do when he/she messes up? What does your character do when he/she is on the verge of tears? What do they do when they cannot contain laughter? These are all important questions the actor needs to know before entering the room.
Producers love seeing an audition that feels like it’s spontaneous & free. The technical problem with spontaneous & free? The danger of losing control.
Actors are presented with this challenge: finding the controlled chaos of a scene – the illusion that everything is coming to you on the spot (as in real life) while presenting a full, emotional, fun, real audition. Everything is at your fingertips and there is not risk of flying over the edge, spiraling out of control into self-indulgent land. You are running the show.
I get it, crying feels amazing. Taking a super long beat feels phenomenal. A wildly emotional scene will leave an actor feeling like they left it all on the field. However, it must be rehearsed & contained on your end. I’ve seen auditions where actors cry hysterically, scream frighteningly & are left on the floor for 5 minutes after regaining their composure.
Yes, go to that emotional place but as the smart actor, know why you’re there. What has happened right before that gets you there. And then, do your good work. If the scene calls for crying & you can, great. If not, watching an actor fight back tears is incredibly interesting. Give us the struggle of the emotion without actually falling victim to it.
While your are rehearsing, prepare yourself for all possible scenarios:
the emotion comes perfectly & beautifully
you cannot find the emotion and need to maneuver the beat another way
the emotion overwhelms you & how you regain control
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until all scenarios arise & learn how your character deals with them. The goal is to wow producers with your incredible limber acting skills while maintaining that sense of control.