“How Can I Book This Audition?”
What is your goal when you walk into the recording booth to take a swing at an audition? What even is “auditioning” to you? Your answer will set the bar for your career and the power of your art.
Let’s consider what an actor’s job is when you do your thing:
Here’s a clip from a Steve Martin interview that makes a great point:
Bryan Cranston puts this so beautifully a slightly different way:
For a bit more depth on his point, Mr. Cranston fleshes out his brilliant framing of auditioning, confidence & power in the video below:
Your goal auditioning is to make something, not to take something.
I think they both nail it: Your job as an actor is to create something that is honest, authentic, fantastic and irresistible. To do this is your unique power. You do your best and then you walk away. That’s it.
How empowering is that?
Cranston puts it beautifully: Your stance should not be one of hunger and want. Quite the opposite. Your audition is you giving them a handcrafted gift, created specifically for them, given freely without condition or expectation.
You’re not there to ingratiate, to get approval or just book a gig. You are there to create something compelling, surprising, uniquely fantastic and give it to them. You are only there to solve their puzzle for them. You are there to give, not to take.
Some actors understandably say they just want to “get an agent” or “book a gig,” but this isn’t really aiming at the true bullseye.
A more powerful framing of the goal is to create something so good that they have no choice but to hire (or sign) you. Your focus isn’t ultimately getting the job or the money, let alone approval. Your goal is creating good work. This is your power and your gift.
To see auditioning this way is a profound paradigm shift away from the typical scrambling actor’s mindset which is driven by needy conformity, obedience and people pleasing.
But nobody hires politeness or neediness. They hire confident, problem-solving creative competence and power.
Mr. Martin and Mr. Cranston share a powerful stance towards art, auditioning and success. Its simplicity mirrors their genius. They work and endure as professional artists because of this.
When you get a lock on this framing, employment and success will naturally flow towards the gravity of your unique talent.