Today I went to an audition at one of my favorite theatres in Los Angeles. I sometimes take bold risks in my auditions, because that is what I hope and expect my students to do. Often I must travel the road of uncomfortability as an actor. I must step out on a limb and embrace my own imaginative slant within a part. How I view it is this: you may never get the chance to play that part, so make the most of your audition. Be creative. Use your imagination!
As a teacher and director, I am looking for actors to take big risks and own them. I do not mean sacrificing truth for effect, but I applaud actors who can use their imagination within the text to enlighten and teach me things I didn’t know were there. There is always more to uncover and discover in art, so I look for actors that are willing to bring fresh eyes to my text and vision.
Today I stood out there on that limb at my audition. I knew I had to jump in, for myself, not for anyone’s approval, but so I could use my own imagination to inhabit the world of the play.
Actors are by nature people pleasing individuals; we want you to like us, to cast us, to applaud. But what if we took our power back and did our quest just for the “experience” of it. Today I embodied a text bravely and maybe foolishly, but I did it for myself. I “followed my own line” as one of my teachers use to say in NY. I had done my homework, so I made bold choices on the spot, and invested in that decision a 100%. I won.
I have seen too many actors fail by fear, by playing it safe for the fear of being too big, and not committing. An actor loses their power when they listen to that fearful voice inside. They look foolish playing it safe. We are here to jump in, to jump off the highboard. To risk. To get out of our heads. To jump bravely. The net is there, if you do it for yourself.