Last year I was really lucky. I didn’t have to audition much at all. Every show I did was through references. I felt so powerful because I was constantly working. However, I was also incredibly LAZY. Yes, I was doing shows. But they were all on the same level. I didn’t challenge myself. I didn’t try anything new. Sure, there were a few surprises/exceptions, but even those seemed to fall into my lap. I didn’t work for anything. While this may sound pretty freaking awesome…I felt cheap. I know what I want, and I know I’m not going to get it just waiting for things to miraculously come to me.
Since it had been so long since I last really auditioned, I was definitely out of my element. My brain wasn’t in it. It was time to seek help. A producer I had recently worked with along with a woman I had taken a class with once upon a time both independently recommended an upcoming class to me. It was called Audition Psych 101 taught by Michael Kostroff. Now, Mr. Kostroff has quite a few credits to his name, many of them well known. I, however, knew him from Veronica Mars. If you know anything about me, you will know that I was (am) mildly (wildly) obsessed with that show. And Logan Echolls (note: Mr. Kostroff did not play Logan Echolls. Logan was played by the deliciously talented Jason Dohring who will someday fall madly in love with me after he is no longer married. I am no home wrecker). Plus, the class was Pay What You Can, so I figured what the hell?
Man, this class…it really helped put me in the proper mindset. It lasted about 4 hours, but the time flew. I took so many ideas with me and ways to really get in the proper head space for an audition. The most important lesson I took from it, however, was the idea that those 2 minutes in the room may be your only shot to play that particular role that you’re reading for- so perform the hell out of it. Make it count. You may never get the opportunity again.
Last week, I was given the chance to audition for an incredible character. I prepared those sides like nobody’s business. I went into that room ready to read that scene like I was up for a Tony. And you know what? It worked. I got the call back. The next day, I went in and again and made sure I was doing it for me. I was in the moment. I was connecting with my partner. I was feeling all sorts of emotions coming out of nowhere. It was as if it was only my scene partner and I in that room; everyone else fell away. It felt so AMAZING. It was so FREEING. At that moment, I didn’t care if I booked the show or not. For those 2 minutes, I got to be Kris. I got to be disgusted and upset and hurt and angry. And when I finished reading the scene? I was still shaking and holding back tears. I was truly an actor, not just an insecure girl begging to be cast. I was reminded of why I do this, any of it.
Sadly, I did not get the role. I’d like to say it doesn’t matter, but, well, unfortunately that feeling was so good I wanted to get the chance to perform the other scenes that character is in. As easier as auditioning is becoming, I’m still finding it hard to leave the audition in the room and not take it with me after. The better the audition, the harder it is for me to leave behind. If any fellow actors are reading this and have advice on how to do this, please share! I do know, however, that while I may not have booked the show, I booked the room. If I don’t get this role, it’s not because I wasn’t good enough, it’s because it wasn’t the right fit. Some days it’s easier than others. With this all in mind, I know I’m on the right path. When even auditioning becomes a joy, you know you’ve found the thing you were meant to do your entire life.
Thanks, Michael Kostroff.
Call me, Jason Dohring.