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Overcoming Fear at an Audition
 by: Ronald K. Armstrong

I am about to present to you the ultimate secret to successfully audition for any role. In fact after doing so I am certain you will send me emails thanking me for practically saving your career. Now before I give you this secret let me tell you the most common problem among actors. Many call or email me before an important audition on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Thatís right, the most common problem and the one that ruins their chances of getting the role is nervousness.

So how do you beat it? How do you walk into an audition so cool, calm and collected that you focus 100% on your lines and character? The key is so simple that many have not even thought about it. But let me warn you first. Any acting coach or teacher that promises you a quick fix to eliminate nervousness, anxiety and fear is full of it. Run for the hills. Over the years Iíve worked with a lot of techniques to deal with these emotions that many face. I sometimes prescribe homeopathic remedies but this is not a long-term fix. Now before I get into it let me tell you about what happened to my friend. It started out when I got a call from her in France. She was a noted producer and happened to be on the lecture circuit. Right before she was to make an important speech in front of hundreds of people she called me in a panic. She asked what could she do to calm herself down. Immediately I sprang into action and give her some techniques. However, I warned her that the general emotions would still be present. After the lecture, which went well, I began to counsel her on more in-depth ways to address the fear.

See we are emotionally conditioned not stand out. It is a survival mechanism. We are programmed to stay with the herd because there is power in numbers. This is where cultural norms come from. Some societies even ostracize people as a form of criminal punishment. Being cast out or expelled from your clan could cut one off from valuable resources such as food, protection and the ability to procreate. Letís face it. If you are not part of the group whom will you find as a mate? Your genes will be wiped out of existence. In response, your spirit accepts a program which says that anytime you stand out or do something different from the established norm you will experience an enormous amount of fear. Since we are no longer living in that paradigm that protective mechanism is no longer needed.

As someone who lectures across the country I must confess I used to be nervous as wreck. In fact, I used to become physically ill in front of a large crowd. But when I started studying the Kamitic Acting System all that changed. In our Tree of Life there is a sphere called Maat. One of Maatís principles is living according to truth. In other words taking the truth of what youíve learned and applying it to your daily routine. Now hereís the secret. Are you ready? When an actor comes to me and asks me how to get rid of the nervousness I respond by asking them one question. How many auditions have you done? Usually theyíll say something like 10 or 20. At that point Iíll smile and say you are just a baby. Listen, in order to get good at auditions you need two things: good techniques and hundreds of auditions under your belt. If youíve only been to 20 or 30 auditions in your lifetime then youíre still new to this game. In short to get really good you need experience.

Going to one or two auditions every now and then is not going to do the trick. Study great athletes. Tennis pros will practice a swing thousands of times. A great baseball players will practice that one shot hundreds of thousands of times. They do so to program their spirits. When you repeat something over and over again you create a program. Once it is imbedded within you then it becomes your default way of operating. You will no longer feel that fear or anxiety because your spirit will accept it and act on it without you even having to think about it. And thatís one of the key secrets. The thought process is what gets actors in trouble. We call it the Sebek sphere.

Sebek, which is the mind, will throw thoughts up at you and create self-doubt. Heíll even bring up things from the past going as far back as your childhood. This can literally cripple you during an important audition. But when you make it a point to audition as much as possible even stacking up as many as 500 auditions you bypass the thought process and engage the program. In essence, you will be acting without thinking. You will just be flowing and the casting director will feel it. It will almost appear as if you are a natural. But the bottom line is you have to audition for roles as much and as often as possible. So when my friend from France told me how nervous she was I knew she didnít have much experience. I told her that she should continue to lecture as much as possible and eventually the nervousness would go away.

Some actors approach an audition as if it will make or break their careers. This creates all kinds of anxieties. Throw that thinking away. Every audition is a learning experience. See it as the testing grounds. You are just practicing your craft. Stop caring about the outcome. To be a great actor you must accumulate failures. Thatís rightÖ you must fail and more often. This will lead you to success. In a way itís a numbers game. The more you audition the better your odds are of getting a role. The more you audition the better you become at it. Understand what I am saying? Some of you may have heard me talking about using mediation or trance as a means to eliminate fear and nervousness. Yes, thatís also a very effective method. But itís simply another weapon in your arsenal which we can address in future articles. So stack up those auditions.

This year make it your goal to do one thousand of them. Donít worry because even if you donít achieve that mark just think of how good you will be if you only make it to 500. Image the experience and knowledge you will have. Of course there are some winning techniques to focus on in the audition itself. I would never advise you to just walk in unprepared. This is where a good coach can help. But just keep in mind that no one is going to force you to do the work. You must be disciplined and want it more than anything. It is going to take courage to face the fear and rejection youíll experience. Yes, itís going to hurt. But know that there will be a day when youíll wake up and those fears will be gone. It will be easy and almost effortless. Thatís when the real fun begins. God bless!

About The Author

Ronald K. Armstrong is a noted author and filmmaker. He is President of the RKA Cinema Society which is an organization dedicated to helping aspiring actors and filmmakers. Mr. Armstrong is also the founder of the revolutionary Kamitic Acting System.

This article was posted on February 15, 2007


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