Acting and Auditioning should be fun

Actor Audition Tip Just Have Fun_550
Photo Credit: J D Hancock via cc
The “Acting Life” can get stressful and can really get you down if you let it. Regular rejection, big highs followed by big lows, post show blues, near misses, and money worries can all take their toll on you. However please don’t let this show when you are auditioning or working or even at a class, it will do you no favours professionally and personally it will just drag you down deeper to a place you really don’t want to visit.
Having fun makes all the difference. When I have been auditioning actors, be it group workshop auditions or one on ones, the people I tend to love, the people I cast, the ones I make a note of to see again for different projects are the ones who are having fun – it really is that simple.
Acting is fun for me and it doesn’t really matter how, whether it’s hard work or easy work, it’s always fun.
Tommy Lee Jones
At auditions I can generally catergorise actors into three types:

Actors who are having fun.
Actors who could take it or leave it.
Actors who make the whole thing look like a tonne of work.

When an actor appears to be having a bad time struggling with lines, blocking, or feeling any contempt towards themselves, their audition, or their process we will see it, and we just won’t like it.
Think about any other industry, any of the other jobs you have worked when resting, the people who seem to be having fun doing their job are the ones you want to hang out with. Its true in our industry too, and I constantly see it whether directing or acting, people who’s joy of what they are doing reads on their faces are the ones who are more charming and captivating.
Actors need to embrace the fun in what they do, if they want to succeed at auditions
Sometimes you might be having to work through a difficult scene, you might be having big trouble with the character, you might be struggling with lines. At times like this how can you make it fun when it feels like an uphill battle? Quite simply begin by having fun by enjoying the struggle! The process is hard work, but it is a process, a creative process and with every struggle there is improvement, enjoy the improvement. You are performing, find the joy in doing what you love. You are being creative, you are using your craft, so seek out the bliss of knowing that you are doing what you love. If you are able to tap into ‘the love of doing what you love’, the sense of fun will show through, even when you are really trying to overcome a creative block.
Actors who start a little later in life, who have worked doing something else before they start acting, often seem to have more of a sense of fun about it all. Younger actors should learn from this. Younger actors can carry around with them a sense of entitlement, bitterness combined with “yes, I already know that” or “I should be famous by now”. When you have had another life, when you are so relieved to at last be able to be doing what you love, when you have spent years doing ‘9 till 5′ sat behind a desk, it is easy to find the joy and fun of acting for a living.
You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you.
Robert Anton Wilson
Actors who “could take it or leave it” always seem to do really well too, leaving those actors who really do care about it feeling really jealous – which easily can lead to bitterness. Don’t let it get you down, if you can’t beat them, join them! You have to want it but then be completely fine with not getting it. Care about it but be completely detached from its outcome. Its really difficult to take this approach, I know. The easiest way to start to pull back from caring about the outcome so much, is to start to have fun.
If you are having fun, it will be noticeable, and it will probably be the main thing which we see, more than everything which is going on under the surface. Everyone loves to watch people having fun, you can see it in their eyes. Being confident and talented is brilliant and is a winning combination, but shouldn’t you be having fun too?
Always remember that when you are auditioning, working or at a class you are doing what you love to do. Don’t care that you haven’t got the right agent yet, don’t care that you missed on on that job you were heavy pencilled for, don’t care that you are not at the stage that you thought your career would be at by now. Care about the present, care about the here and now. You are doing something which millions of people grow up wishing they could do, you are living your dream.
Let fun read in every encounter you have. Life’s too short to worry, just start enjoying and people will want to tap into that energy.
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