You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by stepping out to your local community theatre’s audition night. Whatever is stopping you, stop it!
“I am too fat to be an actor, I have to lose ten pounds.”
NO! There is a part for every person of every size and shape. If you don’t believe this, just spend 30 minutes on YouTube watching clips of volunteer theatre. And if that doesn’t convince you, spend another 30 minutes watching television ads, sitcoms…all kinds of people are getting acting parts looking Just The Way They Are. It is a MYTH that you have to look like a movie star to get a part, leave those looks to the movie stars, they are paid millions to not eat and have personal trainers and diet coaches and for them, everything they pay for to make themselves look so amazing, anything related to the business of their professional craft, is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. But for the amateur actor, hey, just be yourself, don’t let perfect body standards mess with your self-confidence, because self-confidence is a key to getting a part.
“I don’t have enough self-confidence about it.”
OH, STOP IT! When you start spending time around actors you will find they are the Most Accepting Lot of People on the planet. Because actors spend so much time studying human behavior and feeling, what motivates a character, what a character wants, how a character’s movement relates to their inner selves, etc., actors are not the superficial judges of the society that is in your mind judging you. Actors are wonderful to be around, go audition if just for that experience alone. Fake a little bit of self-confidence, try it on, play with it, enter the room with a smile and a stride and jump in wholeheartedly. Actors have to be open to the reality around them in order to interact, react, authentically. Have a heart to heart talk with your self-confidence and take it out for an exercise in “I told you so, you Can Do It!” by going to a local theatre audition with an open mind and heart in lieu of strained confidence.
“I don’t know what to do to prepare for an audition.”
Not a good excuse. First of all, the audition notice you respond to will indicate if you need to come with a prepared monologue and/or song, and many community theatre auditions will say just come as you are to read for a part. Check out the play or musical, do you see a part in the cast of characters that you might enjoy playing? Target displaying the demeanor/personality of this character when you prepare your audition piece. There are countless opportunities online for you to view how to do an audition, how to prepare, and if you will be singing a song, there are many YouTube videos of background music for popular audition songs that you can practice with at home. Yes, you can find someone playing the piano online for your home rehearsal. Find a song in the same genre as the musical you are auditioning for. If you will be singing a song, print out the music from a number of online sources that even change the key for you (for free), put the music in a slim 3 ring binder so that it will stay easily on the piano when the audition accompanist plays for you. Regarding a monologue, well, purchasing a book of monologues may be preferable to what is available online. Online monologues may get overused, so be a little more original. Go to an actual bookstore or library and read through monologue selections until you find one that you really like, that exudes an expression of your range and has reflections of the part you are trying out for. In other words, don’t audition for a comedy show by doing something from Hamlet. And speaking of Hamlet, avoid using Shakespeare in an audition unless you have a good coach, some training. No one wants to hear ineffective Shakespeare. Then find a nonjudgmental room in the house and practice your monologue or song, over and over again, like you honestly intend to get the part.
“I’m too tired after work, I don’t know what to wear, I have a sore throat, my family is teasing me about it, I’ll wait until next year…”
Yes, this list of excuses will go on and on if you let them, because you are simply SCARED of MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF. You cannot be an actor without making a fool of yourself sometimes. Sometimes making a fool of yourself opens doors that you never expected, and the fool you feel becomes a new route to risk-taking, stepping out of your own comfort zone to be more authentically yourself. So you feel like a fool? Have a talk with that fool. Tell it: Feeling like a fool is not as bad as feeling like a person who never did what they wanted to do in life. Feeling like a fool is not as bad as becoming depressed because you are angry at yourself (depression can be suppressed anger) for not Just Doing The Things You Can Do, but stop yourself from doing. Tell all those excuses that you will have SO MUCH FUN in community theatre, meeting other people from all walks of life, playing in a theatre with creative people, learning about and becoming a character who helps you understand more about yourself and others in the process, and then when it’s show time, you get to actually have a little applause sent your way in life. Not so bad, huh? Everyone deserves a little applause now and then! Look at your fool in the mirror, give it a grin, and take it by the hand out tonight to that audition, okay?
Bring a bottle of water and a protein bar, wear comfortable shoes and dress vaguely, that is, wear neutral clothing, do NOT dress in a costume like a character in the show. Do NOT wear a ton of makeup, but go ahead and wear your hair in some vague resemblance to how the character you are auditioning for might appear. Be careful, do not overdo your appearance in any way. Breathe deep, and go break a leg…now don’t stop yourself…just keep going and get all the way to the audition room, open the door, and walk in. You will be FINE! You will be among friends.