How to cope with a bad audition

We are all human and all have those ‘off’ days. Bad auditions can happen as often as good auditions, but this can only benefit and strengthen us for the future experiences we will have. So here is a guide on how to deal with that situation when and if it arises.

I. In the audition room, never apologise!

No matter what is going on in your mind or what has happened in the room, never say sorry to the panel. It’s great to have a good interaction with the candidates and ask questions when given information, but don’t say sorry if you think it wasn’t what they wanted to see or hear. You might have thought you messed up a line, but because they were so invested in your performance they probably didn’t notice.

II. Don’t over analyse

If you felt the audition wasn’t great, you do need to look back and give it a good amount of thought. The best way is to do this straight after, if you can. Maybe record a voice note for yourself or write some simple notes down so you can listen back to it later that day or the following day. Some people like to just call someone and have a quick rant to get it out of their system. Sometimes this helps as the person you pick can be a good voice of reason and calm you down. After that you should just leave it alone as this is when your mind starts to wander and you get a warped sense of reality as to what actually happened in the room.

III. Focus on the good stuff

Think about what was it that went well in the audition and focus on that initially to change your mood. There is no way every single thing you did in that audition room was terrible, so compose yourself, have a think, and look for the silver lining.

IV. See what you can work on

Put a positive spin on the negative by accepting the actions that didn’t go so well and by asking yourself what it is you could have done differently. If it was just a case of nerves then deal with that and the action will take care of itself. For example, if it was the case that you didn’t take on the directions given to you, practice with a friend on taking notes and registering them in your mindset and really listening to what they are asking of you. No one’s perfect, but they can improve to make the situation better and when you do improve (which you will) you will gain a real positive sense of pride.

V. It may not have been a bad audition after all

You hated every minute of it but guess what…..You weren’t sat on the panel, you don’t make the decisions, and it’s all based on someone else’s opinion. There have been times when I have nailed an audition and there was no recall, then there were times when I thought I’d had a terrible one and that phone couldn’t have rung quick enough for a recall offer. If you have shown them a glimmer of what they are looking for, chances are they would want to see you again. If you are auditioning for a drama school you will never be the finished article and if you are auditioning for a job, that’s what rehearsals are for!

VI. Invest your time into something else

After your initial analysis, head to the gym or go to the cinema. Just do something completely different that will use your brain power so it doesn’t have the time to look back at what has just happened. If you are lucky enough to have another audition in the near future, work on the material you need to learn for that and hopefully you can completely forget about the previous experience.

VII. Use an exercise to calm your anxieties

As I explained in my mental health whilst auditioning article, use a device that will help reduce your anxieties. Theses processes help just as much after the audition as they do before. Some people may be fine before an audition but then come out feeling terrible. This will aid in changing that mindset. You may have a favourite paragraph in a book you like to read that helps calm you. Just go for it!

Following all or some these simple steps will really give you a better perspective on what happened and what didn’t happen. I can assure you that you will feel much better after using one of these methods. So to recap on the main points:

  1. Never apologise!
  2. Don’t dwell too long on the audition after it is over.
  3. Focus on the ‘good stuff’.
  4. Work on certain parts to improve the next time.
  5. Invest your time and mind in something else.

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