How to Cope with Nope

Being a dancer is hard. Being an actor is hard. Being a writer, painter, filmmaker, director, etc. is hard. Being an artist is one of the toughest things in the entire world. Everything you do is put on display for anyone to see and anyone to talk about. As an actress and dancer I’ve gone through a lot. From auditions to newspaper reviews, I gained thick skin quickly and learned to deal with critics at rapid speed. The idea, for me, is that eventually this blog with have a plethora of posts about all things relating to this industry. For today, I wanted to start by talking about auditions and how to deal with them.

For me, auditions are a blast. I love the feeling of being nervous, signing in and putting on that number tag. Popping four Advil two hours prior to calm your muscles and get rid of excess bloat. Getting ready way earlier than you need to just to be sure your hair, make up, and outfit are perfect, and spending the night before making sure your headshot and resume are updated and seamless. To me auditions are the highlight of this profession. To most, it’s the worst.

The majority of people who dread auditioning dread it because they go into it with the wrong mindset. They have expectations. If you’re one of those people, stop. Never, ever, ever, ever go into anything with expectations (life lesson). By doing this you are automatically setting yourself up for failure. You will never be ok with getting turned down if you go in thinking you’re going to get it. This concept can be very tough for performers because we, 100 percent, are our own worst critics BUT we  tend to carry around a certain cockiness (especially in auditions) and are all dying for a contract. Perfection is what we all strive for. Perfection is what most of us walk into a room pretending we are, but perfection is what we’ll never be. Calm down. Flip the switch and audition knowing it won’t be your last and you’ll find the aftermath to be way easier to deal with. And if you slay and happen to book it, well that’s just a lovely surprise! Ultimately it’s not you calling the shots, it’s Him. All we can do is prepare and do our best.

Every audition is building you up to be better. 

With that said think about these things the next time you’re auditioning…Go in and look at no one. Have confidence but not arrogance. Know your strengths and know your weaknesses (be level headed). Accept that fact that you’re going to be nervous AF, regardless. Be kind and smile at one another, but don’t feel compelled to give a compliment or be chatty. Never cross your arms and don’t even think about leaning on the wall. Think of it as another day in class but be on your best behavior. The panel isn’t there and you’re not trying to get a job. Speak little of the audition prior to going (will talk about this more in a future post). Don’t watch everyone and talk down about them to yourself, it won’t build you up respectfully. Smile, breathe, have fun, and deliver your best self.

Remember, if you don’t get it this time…chin up. He’s got something better planned for you. Theres always a new audition tomorrow and there will always be 1,000 no’s before there’s 1 YES.

-Kelley

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