The Blame Game

Auditions often do not go 100% as planned. Furthermore, the odds of booking a job when 500 other people read are slim.

When a job goes to another actor, it is easy to immediately get angry and to start the blaming process.

The producers aren’t fair. The other actor has a “bigger” name. The casting director was in a bad mood. The waiting room was chaotic. They didn’t let me do it again.

While blaming others makes us feel better (believe me, I’ve played this game once or twice), we don’t learn and grow from each audition if we are blaming others. I’d like to encourage you to spend a moment analyzing yourself. After an audition, the goal is to let whatever happened go. However, you are actors. You wouldn’t be acting and auditioning unless you cared deeply, so just letting go is often difficult.

My advice for learning from every audition (and staying away from blame) is as follows:

  1. Keep an audition journal. Before and after every audition, jot down a few notes. When the appointment comes in, write down the role, date, time, producers & casting directors. After you leave the room, log a few things before they leave your brain: for example, the room was friendly. I did the scene twice; made strong choices on the second take…etc. It’s easy to be swept up in the emotions of the moment. View this as a practical remembering tool. What you did, what you accomplished, and what you feel should be noted.

  1. Do not compare yourself to others. In the waiting room, there will be many other actors – some of whom you know. Try your hardest not to make comparisons. Instead really spend that precious time focusing on your moment before, so YOU are in charge of your audition.

  1. You cannot guess what people are thinking. Ever. If you go into an audition saying, “I think they want….” Or leave saying, “They wanted something else” you are setting yourself up for disappointment. When you are preparing, it is on YOU to make unique and strong choices. Then, you can be fully present and strong in the audition, really open and listening for notes. Believe me, if they like you but feel you’ve made a different choice from what they had envisioned, they will want to see you do it another way. After the audition, take some time to yourself. Breathe and sit. Instead of storming out of the room blaming everyone from the assistant to the director, contemplate your choices and what you accomplished in the audition.

  1. Don’t overanalyze every detail. Again, this is a guessing game. If you didn’t get a note, don’t start to blame or go negative. Maybe they liked all your choices and didn’t feel they needed to change anything. You don’t know. Focus instead on the choices you made and how you felt.

  1. If someone else gets the job, do NOT compare yourself to that actor. You don’t know what went on behind closed doors and how they arrived at that decision. Was it an offer to a star? If so, it was not between the two of you - They made an offer. If another reading actor booked it, again you are not privy to the decision making process, so instead, go back to your audition and think of something you can bring to the next one.

It’s important that you never stop growing as an actor. Learning from past auditions and experiences is key. You are responsible for your own career. No one else is. Stay away from the blame game.

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