We all know that person. Maybe we are that person.
We freak out, we get insecure, we compare ourselves, and the negative talk begins.
"Everyone is better than me in this room and I just feel honored to be here!"
"I'm an awful dancer but I'm going to crush the singing portion."
"I'm just terrible at [insert skill here]. I'm just being realistic."
"Oh my god that was awful, I'm so not going to get it!"
Real quotes that I have heard at auditions this past year. Not dramatized. Not exaggerated. Real quotes.
Not only was this annoying to everyone in the room, it was embarrassing for the actor. They reeked of desperation, self deprecation, and insecurities. It showed their flaws in the worst of ways. So why do I think actors do this?
1. They are too busy comparing themselves.
You need to stop. Stop looking at everyone else and focus on you. Once I started doing this I did much better at all auditions. I wonder why? Maybe it's because I was actually focusing on why I was there.
2. They are trying way too hard to seem humble.
Clarification: Putting yourself down is not humility. It just makes you look insecure. Humility is knowing your limits and not bragging about what you are able to do. Referencing quote number 3, putting yourself down is also not being realistic. If you're going to be realistic and know that a part might not be right for you then keep those thoughts to yourself and have a good time auditioning for a role that you might be good for. Who knows when you'll be called back for that again or (what a shocking idea) you may actually get it.
3. They are trying to psych out other actors.
This is what I like to call the Casual Splits Effect. At dance auditions it is a common occurrence to see dancers who want to psych everyone out by casually dropping into the splits the minute they walk into the audition room to warm up. First off NO Physical Therapist recommends you do that because you could seriously injure yourself, but I digress. Referencing quote number 2 you see the person first puts themselves down and then throws in the claim that he/she is a fabulous singer. Again putting yourself down does not make the bragging part okay. Not only did you put yourself down, you then bragged about how you were going to crush the singing portion. Either way it looked desperate and it did not work at psyching any of us out. Hilarious.
4. They aren't doing their best.
Quote 4 you guys. Quote 4. I am guilty of this. This is more common in a dance call and I get it, sometimes this can slip out. It's the last plea to show the other auditioners that this isn't how you normally dance even if you didn't do a terrible job. This sounds like you are overcompensating.
Stop talking. If you are nervous do not talk to people. You are probably going to talk yourself into a hole and say something you don't mean. We all do that when we are nervous. No one will blame you if you do your own thing and warm up by yourself and get into focus. If you get the show there will be plenty of time to make friends.