Eric Bryant

Audition Failure

Last night I attended the season auditions for American Lives Theatre. I have not auditioned for anything in quite some time, probably since my audition for the Meisner class last fall. The audition consisted of sides provided ahead of time. I had read the scripts for the two plays I was interested in, and had prepared, but not as much as perhaps I needed to.

Auditions are, at best, nerve wracking. Even in front of a friendly crowd like that of ALT. Chris Saunders made me feel very welcomed, and I knew most of the people in the room. Still…yikes! Nerves! We started with the side for The Humans. I feel like I approached the audition with a strong point of view. I relied on the script a bit too much, and still fumbled my words a bit. I was super-aware of my hands shaking, something that I cannot control. The director gave me a couple of notes and I think I did an ok job of making the adjustments. I was definitely a bit more relaxed and didn’t rely as heavily on my script.

Then I did the reading for Aspen Ideas, the role that I really wanted. To be fair, I know that they will be holding off on casting this role for a while, but even though I felt like I had a strong point of view going in, I couldn’t shake the energy/approach that I had had for the other part. Chris was very kind and asked me to try again with an adjustment, but I still feel like I was stuck in the previous character.

So, all of this is to say, auditioning is a skill. It’s one that is somewhat different from performing. It takes practice and experience and preparation. Knowing that I was out of practice, I should have arranged to do some practice auditions with some friends so that I could have the experience of navigating the transition between the two very different roles better, and felt more confident going in.

I have no idea how the audition is going to pan out. I’ve learned that even times when I feel like I’ve nailed the audition, there are so many casting considerations that are completely outside of my control. Not that I don’t get frustrated or disappointed, but even that is mitigated with experience and, quite frankly, the number of auditions that are available. I just need to get out and audition more often.

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