An audition is an exciting opportunity, but it is normal to feel nervous. Nerves can range from a few butterflies in the stomach right through to a total “mind blank”. But nerves can be a good sign. They show that something matters to you and that you want to do well. With a few positive changes to your mind-set, you can actually make your nerves work for you.
1. Embrace Them!
The first way to deal with your nerves is to embrace them! Nerves are a totally rational response to an exciting or pressured situation. Nerves can give you added energy and help you to perform better. Everyone expects you to be nervous and will not judge you harshly. So the next time you feel nervous, instead of fighting it or trying hard to hide it, embrace it as a natural process. You may notice that you feel instantly more relaxed.
2. Breathe Deeply
When we are nervous, our body can react in ways we may not even realise. Our breath can become shallow and our body can become tense, for example. As an actor, you need good control over your voice. You need to feel supple and strong too. Breathing deeply helps to flood the body with oxygen and endorphins, making you feel instantly more relaxed. Before your next audition, try to take at least five deep slow breaths when you feel nervous. This will help you to feel calmer and in control.
3. Prepare Well
Some auditions can be at short notice, but always try to prepare as well as you can. Know your audition material. Many actors don’t simply learn their lines; they know them so well that they can perform them in several different ways or styles. If you are confident with your material, you will give a confident performance.
4. Think Of Others
Shifting your focus from yourself to others on the day can be very helpful. Remember that everyone will be nervous, even those judging the audition! Many other actors would benefit from a kind or reassuring word on the day. Thinking of others helps them and helps you too.
5. Stay Positive
Try not to see any outcome as being negative. If you get the role, well done! If you do not, this is not an indication of your ability. There are many reasons why excellent actors may not be not right for certain roles or performances. Something better will come along if you stay positive. Use every experience as an opportunity to learn. Be polite and professional, and directors and casting agents may remember you for a future project too.