The title above are the first words of the well known Serenity Prayer, the first step

in trusting a higher power and starting the search to know oneself intimately.

 

As performers, most of our job consists of endless auditioning before we get that

opportunity to actually perform for an audience.  Very few of us find joy in looking

for a job, or in our profession, a “gig.”  The people on the other side of the table

have all the power to make our dreams come true so we must please and impress

each of them, right?  Let’s think about that.

 

You’ve spent tons of money and time in the classroom, at workshops, performed for

free for the “exposure,” nailed down the perfect headshot, demo reel and resume’

and it is now time for the payoff.  Instead, more likely, you hear, “Thank you for

coming in.  We’ll get back with you.”  Rejected, failed again.  They didn’t like you.

You are a talentless no good hack.  But wait!  Whoever said those things?  You did!

 

The only reality is that you weren’t chosen for that gig.  In my experiences on both

sides of the casting table,  I’ve discovered that I actually do have power I can choose

to use or not.  Getting back to the “Serenity Prayer,” which states, “God, grant me the

serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to know the difference,” I remind myself that I can only be my best

self.  And that is enough if I know who and what that is.

 

When we truly know ourselves and allow others to really see and experience who

we are, results are almost always positive.  But as a performer we so easily make

the mistake of trying to be what we think production staff across the table wants.

We do this in our romantic lives as well.  If you know you are a kick butt vocalist

who can make magic,  then discover the joy in sharing that part of you with no

reservations.  Become unashamedly vulnerable.  If you know you are funny and

enjoy making people laugh,  be that person at the audition.  Fear of failure and

rejection causes all of us to censor our actions, words and performance choices.

 

We should study very young children.  They don’t have enough life experience to

hide who they truly are.  What you see is what you get.  Simple enough, right?

That’s why I discourage acting class for any child under 8 years.  Not to say they

shouldn’t practice speaking and reading out loud and playing imaginative games.

But when they perform, they pretend with honesty and a true lack of pretense.

 

As my students prepare for an important audition/interview I encourage them,

of course, to master the techniques of their craft as this simply evens the

playing field out there.  But when its time to deliver under pressure,  its all

about letting your future employer see the real you.  What a director, casting agent, producer

are all evaluating is, “Will an audience want to spend time with this person and

root for them as this character in our project?  Will he/she put the butts in the

seats so we can insure the success of this venture?”  That’s really all there is as

the ultimate priority.  If out of a case of stage fright or trying to please everyone,

you will most likely come across as unauthentic with no self confidence.

This, obviously, will worry the production team because they want to have confidence in

choosing you for the job.

 

Auditions are a different kind of performance.  So prepare for them as you would

any production.  Rehearse, memorize, strengthen your skills and do any homework

needed.  But the hard part is recognizing and accepting who you are and letting

others see it.  Are you clumsy?  Own it.  Are you cute, gorgeous, interesting, striking,

scary when people first see you?  Figure it out and own it.  Are you the overweight

side kick or the innocent ingénue?  Are you shy or are you an extrovert?  Are you

sexy, short, tall, athletic?  Fall in love with yourself, warts and all then go out in

the world and love being you!  We’re all scared of something.  So what.  If you want

to take center stage, share all of yourself!  There is a place for you in our chosen

field because there is no one like you!

 

What makes me very proud of my successful students is the joy they bring to their

performances.  Out of all the feedback I receive, most often are comments about the

joy, commitment and high energy a patron witnessed.  Sometimes, the differences

between performers are enormous.  When you know yourself, you will be

confident no matter what others think about you and your talent.

When you truly know who you are and what you can do, you can rely

on the serenity to control what you can and let go of the things you can’t.

And when you know the difference between the two, most people you want

to work with are going to love you!

 

Sing your own song, always!