What to Do if you Freeze at an Audition

One Model Place provides the industry advice that can help actors, actresses, singers, dancers, and models who are trying to break into the business.  We know how difficult it can be, and we’re here to help.

Picture this scenario:  You have studied your lines to the point where you could recite them in your sleep.  Your character has a backstory as detailed as your own life.  You’ve never been more prepared.  You step in front of the casting agents, take a deep breath, and … you freeze.

As you stand in front of the “hiring line,” you feel all the symptoms of nerves – sweaty palms, fidgeting, swaying from side to side, stammering over your words.  You’ve completely forgotten what you worked so hard to prepare.  Your mind goes blank until you’re left wondering, “where am I?” “how did I get here?” or simply “why am I here?”  Your mind races with questions and the dreaded “NEXT!” is shouted past you.

What do you do in this situation?  Do you ad-lib to save time while you scramble for the words to the song or monologue that you know in your heart you know?  Do you stop and ask if you can start over again?  Do you keep going, hoping that the casting director will see your inner talent and write off the flaws in your performance as nerves?

If you just miss a word or a beat, just keep going.  Casting directors see everyone mess up;  it’s no big deal and possibly not even noticeable.  If you are completely thrown off, stop and regroup.  As scary as it may seem, it almost never hurts to ask if you can start over.  Usually, it is no problem to do so and you do much better the second time around.  At the very least, it shows that you recognized you messed up and had the wherewithal to stop and regroup.

If they say no, they probably weren’t interested in you in the first place.  Everyone has a bad day, so if this happens to you, just take it as a learning experience and try to do better next time.  The ability to improv, whether in acting, singing, or modeling, is a very valuable skill.  Being caught off guard helps you tap into this spontaneous creativity.  Don’t fight it, use it!

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