Naomie Christensen: Limiting Rejection

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Limiting Rejection

Rejection is a huge part of the performance art world. If acting for a long time, you read the books and taken classes. It is important to audition as though it is a live stage performance or final take when filming a movie. However, the bigger question is how to avoid bad auditions?

One way to avoid bad auditions is to take a moment to list out everything about you in relation to available roles. Don't play around. Be serious when calculating appearance and personality. Also pay attention to the films you enjoy. Personal interest guides actions and increase skills. Regardless of whether a movie is drama, science fiction, horror or comedy there is variety in ages and appearance.

Now put your personal viewpoint to the test. Practice a few skits or scenes with friends. Ask their opinion. What kind-of character do they imagine you playing? Is it a sex kitten, hero, comedy relief, confidant, etc...?

These are important questions because people are type-casted. Age plays a large part in what roles a person can play. However, some people are arrogant and cannot accurately determine their own age range. Often people play younger or older. This was abused so directors are getting back to actual ages.

After auditioning for a part the director called me back. He said I was great and he would like to audition for another project. However, I was too old to play a woman in her twenties. Later on, there was another audition. The part was for a woman in her twenties again. It was confusing, because they already said I was too old to play this part.

The paradox between appearance and personality is problematic. People may type-cast you in a dramatic role; however, you are a comedian. It makes life difficult. If your look says "drama," audition for dramatic roles. Now identify what characters are suited to your appearance and personality. Perhaps this could imply a lovable, angry character that infuses humor into their daily lives, because life is always dragging them down. It is possible to make anything workable. Drawing from personal emotions only goes so far.

People think personal experience and emotion is everything. They are wrong. There should be a natural glow of joy, excitement, charisma or approachability. No matter the role it should be inspiring. Perhaps your character is facing the brink; however, they have light in the eyes. Inner strength and openness should always show through. That is what people want to see.

Be confident. Training behind the scenes builds confidence. Analyze pictures and videos of yourself. Are you coming across the way you want? Obtaining an external smile is not reached through internal emotion. It is trial and error. Maybe it seems silly practicing in the mirror and taking pictures of your self. However, this helps in figuring out how to stand, look and portray the correct emotion on camera. Cameras capture a two-dimensional character and everything within those two-dimensions. See how you needed to open your eyes, relax your jaw, and straighten your back.

It is easier criticizing yourself in private and too late after getting cast. Deal with a paunchy stomach or evil eye is a learning experience before being blazed across television and people are able to criticize. Get started now, so when the pressure is on, it is easier to flow with the ups and downs associated with success and failure.

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Quirky Books
The Complete Audition Book for Young Actors by Roger Ellis
Women by Susan Pomerance