Developing Resilience: How should I cope with distractions in my audition?

How should I cope with distractions in my audition?

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Shit happens. You never know what shape it will come in, but it will always come and when you least expect it. So many things can happen in an audition, or even on the way to the audition that unsettles you.

Even if the audition starts like a dream, there’s no absolute guarantee that your whole audition will continue that way. What if the reader stumbles a lot? What if you lose your way? What if you get distracted during the audition? You hear someone talking outside? The casting director lifts your resume? A casting assistant makes a phone order for food during your audition? You start to get angry, distracted, unfocused. Then you get your head straight, come back at the audition with more confidence only to realise your zipper is undone. Then you start to criticise yourself. Why didn’t you prepare better? Can’t you even dress yourself? You begin punishing yourself. And the audition is still going on!

You’re starting to lose it. Your confidence is shrinking. Almost gone now.

Whenever we respond like this to things that go wrong, we are giving in to that punishing voice in our heads. You’re stealing your focus and confidence to fight a battle with your inner critic.

When you walk into an audition, you must have a form of mental toughness. No different from a dancer, musician or sports person. You have to learn to respond to adversity positively, like a winner, and not like a victim.

Train to Win

How do you learn to fight and win in this situation? Actually, it’s simple and fun, you need to train for it. How?

First, ask yourself, what kind of things that are out of your control could happen in an audition would take my focus away and bring out my punishing inner critic? What kind of things are within your control and could happen? Make a list of both.  

Now do a mock audition. Get your friends to do all the things on the list of things outside your control. Now you absolutely do your best possible audition performance while they do these things.

Do it again. Do it again. Until you don’t care about them. You are a professional, you do your best work, regardless of the circumstances, you find yourself in. Commit to yourself that regardless of what is thrown at you, you will thrive.

You are not in control or responsible for things that happen to you in the audition. But you are in control of how you react.



Mark Westbrook is an Audition Success Coach based in Glasgow, Scotland.

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The 12 Obstacles

written by mark westbrook

One of the biggest obstacles to a successful acting career is the inner critic, the voice in your head, but there are many more.

In this free advice guide, Acting Coach and Performance Psychology expert Mark Westbrook outlines the most common inner obstacles to success and offers you insightful and practical tools for overcoming them.

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