What I Learned From My First Audition in 3 Years

Acting Books photographed by Ayonna Lee

At the start of this month, I had an audition! The audition was for a community theatre production of Robert Askins’ “Hand to God”. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to audition. I spent weeks convincing myself it was a good idea only to change my mind every chance I got.

It had been nearly three years since my last audition! The negative voice in the back of my head had me convinced I couldn’t get the part. I was afraid of so many things! “Would I remember my lines? Would I get there on time? Might people be rude to me at the audition?” All of these negative thoughts had me stuck, it was hopeless! Then, a week before the audition I concluded that if I  I didn’t do this I would spend the next 12 months of my life beating myself up over the missed opportunity. So, I had no choice but to audition.

I wasn’t required to remember the sides but I tried to memorize them anyways. When I’m comfortable with the words it’s easier for me to understand a character’s actions. The night before the audition, my sister Ivana and I ran lines back and forth until 5 am. Everything was, as usual, last minute which made me even more anxious.

The day of the auditions, I was a mess.  I  had this recurring worry that I would forget everything even though I had run the lines off-book at least 100 times that morning. Convinced we were going to be late, I begged/yelled/cried for my father (who was willing to drive all the way to another city just so we could audition) to move faster out the door. My sister was also auditioning and before we were about to leave the house we had an argument over something completely unrelated. My hands were shaking, I was so upset that I burst into tears, I mean…we even got lost on the way there!

I later came to the realization that for the first time in my life, I was completely terrified to audition. I let my fears get the best of me and it was not a pretty sight. That day felt like a nightmare right up until the moment I walked into the audition room.

I auditioned with this guy I had just met and we ran the scene all the way through without any direction. Of course, I had to stop to look at the sides at least once (super cringy!) but we got through it and when we were finished one of the auditioners looked at us smiling and said: “I think that was the first time we ran the whole thing through all night without having to stop anyone”. I was shocked! They asked me if I’d be available the day of callbacks, (a spark of happiness!) I said “yes” and floated away on a cloud of content.

On the way to the car, my sister and I gushed over how fun it was. I was buzzing with excitement and I couldn’t help romancing the idea that I might actually get the part. I was so happy on the car ride home! For the first time in years it felt like I was really living! This audition experience was exhilarating and when I didn’t get a callback it still felt like magic because I could finally understand what auditions are really about.

I walked away from that audition happy, not because I thought I did well but because I somehow found the courage to put myself out there and because I got to do the work, which was so much fun and dare I say it…exhilarating. I know what I have a passion for which means I’m breathing rare air here. There are people out there who don’t have a clue what they’re passionate about and that, to me, is tremendously sad.

After that super stressful day I wasn’t expecting to leave with a smile on my face but I had a moment where I realized that the pursuit of a dream is truly a privilege. I’ve started to embrace the idea that auditioning doesn’t always have to be about getting the part. In the future, I’m going to treat each audition like I’ve already got the part because I like being an actress! Acting is fun, it’s my passion and any chance I get to do what I love, is a chance to feel alive. I hope this post helps anyone struggling with the stress of auditioning or interviewing. What’s the most terrifying thing you’ve ever done?

READ: 10 THINGS I’M GRATEFUL FOR 

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