14 03 2011
Acting Auditions: The Path to Mastery
Excellence Is the Goal
George Leonard wrote a classic book called ‘Mastery’ that talks about what the difference is between people that never get good at anything, and those rare individuals that rise to the level of mastery in their chosen craft. One pattern he recognizes among every masterful artist was that they had a long term commitment to regular practice. The question is, how the idea of mastery apply to the art and science of acting auditions.
First things first; set specific auditioning goals that will allow you to maintain a regularity of practice. George Leonard had it easy because he practiced Aikido. He joined a dojo near his home that had a regular schedule of classes and then he settled into practicing three to five times a week. (Perhaps more if you count his solo practice time) When it comes to auditioning though, I’ve noticed that most actors leave it up to chance. You’ll realize, if you take the time to look, that you don’t have to rely entirely on your agent to book auditions. This applies to people early in their acting career. For those of you more advanced I have other suggestions to follow. For those of you relatively early in your acting career, there are a ton of auditions that you can attend for local community theater, student films, musicals, etc. If you’re young, audition for some graduate or undergraduate programs even if you probably wouldn’t go. Just preparing an audition that is good enough to get you into Yale school or drama or NYU’s undergraduate musical theater branch will stretch your audition preparation skills to the limit. As an individual artist you can apply to Shakespeare festivals and submit your headshots at different agencies; even if you already have one. Go read for a different agency, let them know you are just shopping around and thinking perhaps it might be time for a move and you just want to get to meet the other options around town until you could find one that is a great fit. This
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