Casting calls can be an experience that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most hardened veteran. Sitting in that waiting room you are surrounded by so many beautiful and talented people all of who are gunning for the same part as you. It is no surprise that your nerves might start to get the better of you.
To make matters worse you know that appearing nervous is not going to help you impress the casting director, and this knowledge only serves to heighten your anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle and proves that sometime your own mind is your worst enemy.
I you find yourself caught in this spiral towards self-destruction, here are some things you can try to help you overcome your nerves and give the best performance that you can.
- It’s a cliché for a reason – take some deep breaths and count to ten. The idea here is to focus on your breathing or on the counting. This gives your mind something to think about other than your nerves. To take it a step further you can try to relax each muscle in your body as you breathe out, just focus on each muscle one at a time starting at your toes and working your way up.
- Fake it until you make it! One of the joys of acting is that it gives you the chance to explore what it is like to be someone else. So why not try being a version of yourself that is filled with self-confidence. If you act like you aren’t feeling nervous then pretty soon you won’t be feeling nervous either.
- Examine why you are feeling nervous. Sometimes we get nervous for a good reason. It might be that at the back of your mind you know that you don’t really have the lines down. Or perhaps you know that this part might be out of your range. Whatever it is you aren’t going to ever really overcome your nerves until you address the underlying cause. IF you are worried about knowing your lines, then ask someone to run through them with you, and make a note to prepare better next time. IF you think you aren’t going to get the part, then decide what it is you are going to get out of this experience (connections, experience, feedback).
- Remember why you are there. I doubt you decided to pursue a career in acting because the idea terrified you. You choose to do it because its what you love. Just hold onto the memory of how it felt the first time you stood up and performed. Think about the rush of excitement the adrenaline and the unadulterated joy you felt when the audience clapped and cheered.
- Give yourself permission to make mistake. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself. If you allow yourself a little lee way to stumble on a line or to glance at your script then you be more relaxed. The casting director won’t expect you to be perfect, so don’t carry the burden of that expectation with you to the audition.