The audition starts the moment the casting director, director, and producer lay eyes on you, and not—as many think—when you start “acting.” This could be the moment you walk through the door of the audition room, or during the walk from the waiting room to the audition room. The moment you are identified by your name, here to read for role X, every word or action needs to generate the illumination of pure, complete confidence.
Your success is a direct result of such confidence. You need to think of yourself as an elite surgeon who is there to perform the most crucial life-saving surgery—and only you can do it just so. Thinking of yourself as akin to someone in the medical profession is useful, as we’ve all experienced confident doctors with warm smiles and handshakes, who aren’t intimidated or disturbed by our gross or mysterious ailments. These are the doctors who convince us they can cure us, heal us, and help us, even though they don’t have to say a word affirming this. Their body confidence is so strong it’s like another entity in the room; it tells us so.
On the flip side, there are the doctors who do everything but exude confidence. Their words and actions produce anxiety and lack of clarity, effortlessly suggesting that our stubborn rash or odd bump might be something that rhymes with smancer. They seem unsure of themselves and our symptoms do nothing but to befuddle them. Medical professionals like these are like actors who have a shaky grip on their preparation, who don’t believe they’re right for the role, who don’t believe they deserve it, or who freak out if there’s a last minute change of sides or additional pages to prepare. No one wants a doctor like that, and no one wants to pay an actor like that, or have such anxious energy contaminating a set.
Just as I’ve always said that the personality of the actor is nine-tenths of the performance, fostering and exuding real confidence is essentially the foundation on which this performance rests. It’s the cement layer upon which you build your skyscraper.
Just as you must distill your “hook”—the deeply improvisational and emotional attitude that launches you into the start of every scene—you must adopt and ignite a body attitude of power, grit, and determination before walking into the room.
Body confidence leads to actual confidence (emotional confidence). Just as your words create your reality, confidence in your body develops into internal confidence that starts to effect change. Before walking into every audition, one of my brave and talented master class students lights himself up with the attitude: “I’m the fucking solution.”
If you consider the confidence of certain celebrities, such as Scarlett Johansson, one can conclude that it’s a direct result of accumulated years of constant validation. I help actors develop that level of impactful attractive confidence within minutes to help them go into the room and book the role.
Authentic vs. Fake
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, genuine confidence always comes with repeated success, colossal failure, and many years of flying hours. In the audition room, you need to know deep down in your gut that you’re the best person for the role and that you deserve it. Unless you are able to hold those two truths simply and utterly in your heart, you’ll reside in the danger of having your confidence look fake, manufactured, or as if you’re trying too hard.
Again, we can return to the doctor analogy to illustrate this point. Truly confident doctors radiate their unshakable belief in themselves with each syllable and each second of eye contact. Doctors who aren’t confident but desperately try to appear so are the ones who say things like, “don’t worry” in such a way that it does nothing but ignite anxiety.
The 3 Results Confidence Will Get You
When you’re at your Olympic best as an actor, brimming with confidence, there are only three results you should be satisfied with after an audition:
1. Booking the role. You got the part, kid!
2. Booking the room. They loved you and your performance blew their minds, but you are just not right for the role. Maybe it’s your height. Maybe you look too similar to the lead. Be assured that they will be calling you back for another part in their next big project. You will most likely win that role.
3. Bringing you back. This is a subset of booking the room. This means the powers that be bring you back in either for a callback, a producer’s session, a chemistry read, or to read for some other part in the same project.
These are the career-launching results that a performance lit up with confidence will deliver.
This article was originally posted on Backstage