the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another auditioning related epiphany

So there's a certain kind of audition out there that I call 'guy with the shirt'.  These auditions are for commercials, for industrials, occasionally (in the Bay Area at least) for film and TV.  The character has no lines, simply a bit of business or a reaction.  They're angry about the network crashing, or ecstatic because it turns out it's raining money, or relaxed for the first time in years.

In other words, it's Acting 101 - reacting to a set of circumstances.  It doesn't take a Streep or an Olivier to nail the acting skill required.   You just show up at the right place at the right time, doing your best to look like the type they want - for me this is usually either Business Lady (I wear a suit) or Mom (I wear a solid colored knit top from H&M with either jeans or khakis).  I'm just a typical guy with a shirt.

GWTS auditions aren't about dazzling them with your acting skills.  You can't.  You're just playing a reaction.  GWTS auditions you'll either book or you won't, depending on whether or not you're the flavor they're looking for - a flavor that has to blend with all the other flavors they're using on the project.

So instead of showing off skill (and focusing on how I'm doing and working hard to do the audition 'right', what ever that is), I'm learning to show off my flavor.  My focus is on making a connection in the audition room.  Really listening and responding to direction, asking for clarification if I need it, and being as authentic as I can.

And knowing that if I don't book it, the reason has nothing to do with my acting skills, and everything to do with subjective things related to what kind of guy with the shirt they need for this one.  And, releasing the idea of 'being a good actor' and switching instead to 'being an authentic person interested in connection'  has led to me having more fun at these types of auditions, and feeling better about how I'm doing.


P.S. initial auditioning related epiphanies post is here!

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