The Flub: Had an Audition for a show going up at Soho Rep this December. It was what you would call a Bad audition. First I responded to some reflex that told me to put my script down on the ground. Then the first line out of my mouth, I tripped all over my tongue and was asked to start over and to "please use the script". Guuuh. I went through the short scene again and did a "meh" job of it. Needless to say there was no callback. Now, what did I learn from this?
The Lesson: The first thing that took me a while to learn about preparing an audition is that I have to work the scene out loud with another person. The dynamic when you enter a casting room is too different from working alone in your bedroom. The next step in this process that I learned was what to do with that other person who is helping you. How do you use that person to prepare? I learned this only recently, in fact, from the audition I just detailed. The best way that I have found to use the help of others is to have them just act as a reader and be a sounding board for scene analysis. The other person's input can be helpful, but only if it is in regard to the scene, the story and interpretation. Any notes that try to tweak my acting process are unhelpful to me and in fact generate blocks. It shoves me into my head. Observations of what is being communicated by my acting are fair game, but never suggestions on "how to". These forms of help which I mention are wonderful for a classroom setting and process development, but for audition prep, they are death. At least in my experience thus far. I had those lines memorized but I was in my head rather than in the room. Also, I spent far too much time analyzing the scene. What is the effect?
The Fallout: Hard to say what impression I left. Not really worth thinking about. The reality is that the show at Soho Rep would conflict with the show I'm already in, Too Much Memory, which by the way has officially been picked up by the New York Theater Workshop. A post on that later. The other reality is that I didn't love the play. Wonderful dialogue, but overall I wasn't very excited by it. Those two things effected my psychology in approaching this audition and may have subconsciously, perhaps vaguely consciously, led me to practice damaging preparation techniques. That said, I have a great deal of appreciation for the work at Soho Rep. I just saw a stunning production by them of Blasted by Sarah Kane. Thus, I am disappointed at botching my first audition for that company.
This flub was a monumental learning tool, for it solidified my understanding of my personal process.