Learning to relax at a casting or audition

How to relax at an audition
Photo Credit: Toholio via cc


Getting called in for a casting is a good thing but try telling that to your body!
As soon as you walk through the casting offices doors, you can feel your heart race increase, you can hear the tremble in your voice as you say hello, your smile might become forced, you can feel yourself sweating and don’t even get me started on blushing!
However you have the answer to overcoming this stress already, its just you probably aren’t aware of it yet …. all you need to do is BREATHE.
At this point I put on a lab coat and grab my safety goggles because I am going to get all science teacher on you!
When you are going into an audition your body is behaving in a primitive way that is usual in times of stress, either perceived or real.
A part of your brain is kicking in, the Vagus Nerve. This nerve consists of two fibres which connect your brain to the rest of your body.
Our body has a physiological response that can often shut us down or basically over-stimulate our system.

In non-scientific terms it’s called freaking out!
Antony Meindl
One of these fibres is reptilian and in times of stress it is this which triggers the ‘flight’ or ‘freeze’ response.
We have all been in that situation, either you try and run away, or you protect your intimate bits with folded arms, crossed legs or hands in front of your crotch! Or alternatively you might freeze and become like a rabbit in the headlights with a blank mind and not sure where or who you are!
The other vagal nerve fibre is mammalian and this will trigger your ‘fight’ mechanism.
When this nerve is triggered you might start acting a little bit over confidently, maybe even become cocky, puff out your chest, talk too loudly, gesture too aggressively – it becomes you versus the casting panel! Wr’ve all seen actors like that at auditions, especially in the waiting room!
Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.
Robert Eliot
However our body can deal with these symptoms already, it’s not rocket science, you just need to breathe.
The power of being able to control and connect to your breath is both natural and neutralising. It can reduce and normalise the amount of stress you are imagining and your body is reacting to.
Our bodies are creating symptoms such as a fast beating heart, sweaty palms, dry mouth, and our brain is interpreting these symptoms as fear or nerves when really they are just adrenaline. This is the same adrenaline which people will actually pay to feel by doing a bungee jump or riding a rollercoaster.
Anxiety is a deep conscious breath away from dissolving.
Mike Dolan
You can change how your body reacts to these adrenaline symptoms by getting in touch with your breath.
Have a watch of these two powerful videos and you will really start to understand the science of both your body and your brain and then you will be able to start controlling your audition anxiety.
Be aware of your breath and breathe deeply, filling your lungs. Mindful, deep breathing can steady your heart beat, reduce your stress and take the ‘danger’ from your brain.
Get in touch with your breath and you get in touch with your feelings and your emotions. You will then give a better audition because you will approach it emotionally free, emotionally available and truly open.