Charlotte Thornton teaches Audition Mindset at The Actors Centre, running on 5 November. In anticipation of her workshop, she writes about the power of positive thinking before, during, and after an audition in order to be at peak performance.
Bringing Peak Performance Coaching to the Audition Process
If you were an Olympian and I were your peak performance coach, we would be working on absolutely everything needed to secure you that gold medal. It sounds obvious, but this would mean training you to be at your peak even under pressure; for sportspeople, this means the race, the match, or the competition. When it comes to acting, we want to be at our peak not only when we perform on stage or screen, but most crucially in the audition room. Getting to a place where we can be at our best, despite audition conditions, is what peak performance is all about. To avoid confusion, I call this the audition mindset.
Our mindset is what we think and believe, which in turn affects how we feel. What we think and feel before, during, and after an audition is key, not only to the success of the audition, but also to our ongoing career. If we feel an audition did not go well we not only beat ourselves up but allow it to diminish our confidence and belief. This means we start out on the back foot at the next audition.
Furthermore, if we start to connect feeling low about our abilities with the auditioning process, we may take less action to get auditions. Why would we want more auditions if auditioning causes us stress and anxiety and reduces our confidence? We wouldn’t! We would, on some subconscious level, push away opportunities. Getting auditions starts with enjoying auditioning and having the emotional resilience to handle whatever arises afterwards.
Few actors enjoy auditioning, yet it can be a rare time to do what we all love: to act. What is in the way, then, between doing what we love and hating auditioning? It is the mindset: beliefs we have about our value and our ability and fears we have about being judged, not being accepted, and the unknown.
The joy of auditioning is also hampered by internal and external pressures. External pressures may include your finances, which add an extra burden to book the job. Internal pressures may come from our need to be perfect. Whatever the tension is, without any strategy or management it can cause stress. Stress is the opposite of the peak performance state and causes us to perform poorly: lines disappear, the inner critic drags us from ‘the moment,’ and we are not ourselves in the ‘interview/chat’ stage.
I teach actors tools and techniques to be at their best before, during, and after the audition. Learning and repeating this powerful sequence of events becomes a habit. This means whenever an audition comes in, we rejoice. We click straight into our process for handling auditions. Instead of the rabbit in the headlights hoping and fearing in equal measure, we become the Olympian, tying up their trainers and visualising the podium place: calm, focused and at their best.
Audition Mindset is open to Actor and Industry members and runs on Monday 5 November from 10.30 - 17.30. Click here to find out more about the workshop as well as booking details.
About Charlotte Thornton
Charlotte trained at Mountview and was a professional actor for over fifteen years, performing at the Vaudeville, Apollo and the National Theatre. She is now a mentor, speaker and coach. Charlotte is the author of Talent Isn’t Enough, Ten Ways to Enhance Your Chances of Acting Success and Develop the Winner’s Mindset.
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