Audition Nerves

Audition Nerves

Actors, let’s talk for a minute about audition nerves.  We all get them—that’s normal.  But how can we overcome the audition nerves in the room, and therefore show the session runners and, ultimately, ourselves, that we can be confident and are the problem to casting’s solutions?

Vince Lombardi once stated that, “One has to embrace fear, muster up the courage and be willing to fail in order to win.”  Brad Heller agrees this philosophy, because, “in order to win,


has to be willing to fail.”  Thus, Brad Heller wants the actor at an audition to “really delve into the courage, muster it up, and take a chance, and [the actor] will always be better off.”

Because of this reasoning, here are some things to try when feeling nervous at an audition before going in the room:

  1. Meditate

Take a minute, breathe deeply, and reflect on positivity.  Also, calm the nerves by slowing heart rate and increasing heavy breathing.

  • Read

Read a book, a magazine, a blog, a FB post—anything to get the mind off who is in the room, how important this audition is, or planning each line or move that will be made during the scene.  Also, the latter can also help redirects flow more and be more loose, adaptable to changes.

  • Listen to Music

Listen to music to calm down or to pump up, whichever is preferable at the time of the audition and the mood in the room.  Music is freeing, for the individual, and most importantly, a way to not think about stress during auditions.

In the room, there are things you can do to make a more positive impression, therefore calming the nerves:

  1. Uncomfortable or Irrelevant Chatter

Avoid telling long, awkward, or weird stories.  Sometimes, when actors are nervous, they like to ramble and tell stories that are irrelevant, uncomfortable, or a waste of time, putting a bad taste in the production team’s mouth before the actor has even auditioned.

  • Do Not Invade Personal Space

Number one can make many people feel uncomfortable, but in this case, getting too close to someone’s personal bubble and invading their space without their permission almost always makes a person feel uncomfortable. 

Therefore, what this means is: No touching any of the production team without prior consent (fighting, kissing, hand shakes, etc.).  It may seem like common sense, but it always good to have the reminder.

  • Be Prepared

Make sure the lines have been practiced, the style of project (comedy, drama, soap, etc.) is understood, know who the casting and production team are, etc. 

However, this does not mean the lines should be so over-rehearsed that they cannot be adjusted during a redirect or that it all sounds robotic.  Find the happy medium.

More videos from The Heller Approach here: