How is your pre-audition mindset?
You get an email from your agent with a “big” audition. What is the first thing you feel?
Recently I got an audition for a recurring role on my favorite show! Truthfully, the first thing I felt was fear and a massive lurch in my stomach.
I’ve blogged about How to Avoid Waiting Room Mind Games, but what about your mindset before you even get to the waiting room?
How do you feel? What thoughts run through your head.
As Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Here are three tools to help you increase your confidence and improve your audition mindset!
Back to that massive stomach lurch…
As I wrote in How to Avoid Waiting Room Mind Games, that rush of fear is just energy and I’m quick to re-label it as excitement. I’m pretty much gonna have a “nervous stomach” on and off until the audition is over. I’ve learned to love and accept, that’s just what my body does!
Note: I realize that labeling an audition as “big” isn’t necessarily helpful to your mindset. However, I feel auditions are mostly all “big” for me, just for very different reasons; sometimes it’s a new casting office I’m meeting, or the 5th time I’ve auditioned for a specific show so the odds seems in my favor or perhaps I feel “perfect” for the role. So, in this case, the modifier “Big” doesn’t really mean anything.
On this particular day I went into a tailspin immediately about scheduling: when was I going to work on the sides, should I cancel my dinner plans with friends, could I juggle my busy schedule.
From my vantage point today, I had plenty of time and of course, I should NOT cancel dinner with friends I hadn’t seen in 6 months. I’m clear that somehow as-if-by-magic my schedule always works out BUT in the moment it manifested in my body as a swirling, energetic… not quite panic… but HIGH alert.
So, what could I do – right there in the moment to shift out my tailspin and get grounded again?
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)
EFT is done by lightly tapping on your body’s meridian points with your fingertips while speaking out loud about the issue/fear you are experiencing. Similar to acupuncture, as you stimulate these meridians you trigger the amygdala (fight or flight) and signal it to calm down.
You start by acknowledging the size of the sensation/fear. (In this case, it was about a 10/10.)
Then you tap on your hand and acknowledge that even though you have this fear, you “completely love and accept yourself.”
Then you cycle through the 7 meridian points (Top of head, eyebrow, side of the eye, under eye, under your nose, chin, collar bone and underarm) until the feeling/fear inevitably shifts.
I won’t annotate the whole process but an abbreviated version might sound something like this –
I feel really stressed…I feel nervous…I feel a lot of energy in my stomach…I want to do a great job…I want to be perfect…I’m scared I don’t have enough time
…but after some time it starts to shift to things like….
My schedule always works out for me…I have plenty of support…This is going to be fun…I celebrate this audition…This is a great role for me…I release my need to be perfect…My only job is to have fun…
When I finished my panic was at a 0/10 and I felt so much lighter. I was grateful and excited to prep my audition.
Generally, I tap for 3-7 minutes until I feel the energy shift. For a deeper understanding of EFT, Gabby Bernstein has some great videos illustrating tapping and I also recommend checking out Nick Ortner and TheTappingSolution.com
When I first started tapping it felt a bit awkward, now it is a wonderful tool to have in my tool belt.
Give it a try and let me know what you think inside our Career ACTivate Facebook group.
On the day of an Audition, I like to use one of two mindset tools. The first is…
The power of visualization is being increasingly recognized. The subconscious cannot tell the difference between something that is visualized and something that is real.
Though the details matter, as Emily Cook, a U.S. freestyle aerials Olympian (who used visualization in her training) says “You have to smell it, you have to hear it. You have to feel it, everything.”
Michael Phelps famously spends hours visualizing himself winning. His coach, Bob Bowman, believes “When we set goals in business, sports, or any area of achievement, there’s a gap between where we are and where we want to be. The most strongly held mental picture is where you’ll be… so get really good at mental rehearsal,” and advises, “If you can form a strong mental picture and visualize yourself doing it, your brain will immediately find ways to get you there.”
I’m a fan of Wendy Braun, an actress and visualization expert who is masterful at creating guided visualizations for actors. You can even download, Success in the Audition Room, for FREE on her website. Using all five senses, Wendy talks you through the whole audition process from signing in to leaving the room, proud of your work.
If you prefer writing, the other mindset I use is…
WRITING A BHAVANA
In Sanskrit Bhavana means, developing, cultivating or “calling into being.” In first-person, using all five senses you write in detail the best-case scenario of your audition from walking from your car to leaving the audition room.
It might start something like this, “There was no traffic so I arrive in plenty of time, find a dream parking space and cross the street to the casting office. My heels make a fun clicking noise on the sidewalk. It is a gorgeous day and I notice the brilliant blue sky and feel the sun on my face. I feel relaxed, ready for my audition and grateful for the opportunity. I enter the office and greet the assistant, she gives me a big smile and compliments my dress…..”
And yes, you are literally making it all up! Have fun with it! Some people call this writing exercise An Ideal Scene. Even if the audition reality is very different than your ideal scene, it will give you immeasurable confidence.
I hope these tools help. Give them a try and let me know how it goes!
P.S. Want to flex these new mindset muscles, but need more auditions? Check out our FREE class: Get Signed! 3 Insider Strategies To Get An Agent