Sunday, February 7, 2010

Claiming the PRODUCT of the Audition!

Sunday musings...

I am asked ongoing audition questions....frustrated performers and frustrated artists wondering what they can do to get noticed and find that job!

When you audition - you must discover and claim the DIFFERENCE between YOU the artist/human being and YOU the PRODUCT.

In an audition, the artist does not lead. The artist can inform the process and prepare the craft of singing/acting before walking into that audition room. Before walking into that room, the PRODUCT must take over.

Allowing yourself permission to separate and clearly define this is key to how you present in a room. You are now product. Pure and simple. You are trying to get a job. They need to see that the product you bring in is PRECISELY what they need. You need to present the product in such a way that no one is necessary.

Auditioning is not about artistry. The clearer you are about that, the easier it becomes. It is not about diversity, about journey, about spirit. It is about SELLING THE PRODUCT to be offered a job.

Simplify. Clarify. How do you get the job?

Focus not on the artistry, but on getting the job. If YOU are the product, then you must believe you are truly the ONLY product they need. This is not ego, this is not wishful thinking - this has to be a REALITY IN THE MOMENT.

If you are a top athlete that competes, you will never succeed if you stand at the blocks and say to yourself, "I don't think I'm good enough; I hope they like me; I wonder if I can do this;"

You SEE the task. You SEE the win. You FOCUS on what you need to DO from the blocks through the finish line. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS IN THAT MOMENT and NO ONE CAN PULL YOU OFF YOUR GAME.

As PRODUCT in this business, so it must be for us in that room! What am I trying to do? How do I achieve it? They don't have to like you!!!! THEY NEED TO HIRE YOU! You don't need to flirt, visit, be need to SELL THE PRODUCT!

You need to BELIEVE YOUR PRODUCT IS THE ONLY PRODUCT and walk in with that confidence. You need to KNOW what you walk in with and DELIVER IT. You need to know HOW to take the room and DO that. You need to know WHAT you are selling and SELL that. You need to focus, deliver and follow through.

This is a mission and there is nothing subtle about it!

Now, don't misunderstand - being so focused does not mean you lose your humanity and do not engage in pleasantries or the like! What you want to remember is that you need to sell what they are buying. They are looking for a product. YOU are that product or you are not.

Don't waste your time nor theirs if you are not the product they are looking for!

You must walk into that room with confidence, not arrogance. You must walk into that room KNOWING and CLAIMING your worth as PRODUCT. You must walk into that room believing your product will succeed. You must be about business, not buddies.

"I think they liked me" isn't about PRODUCT. They may like you fine - but that doesn't mean you'll be hired! Do not confuse the two!

Personal and Professional cannot be morphed in the audition room.

The audition room is about PRODUCT. The product YOU are selling and the product THEY are buying.

Your job is to win them over - and show them you are PRECISELY what they need.

Your sense of competition is NOT with the others in the holding room, but rather with YOURSELF. Can you claim your product, summon it, focus it and DELIVER it in that room without any room for doubt or query?

THAT is your goal in the audition room. Know what you are there to do, make no excuses, do not apologize, and simply DO IT.


  1. Another excellent post! This time, however, I do have to disagree with you on a few points:

    >They don't have to like you!!!! THEY NEED TO HIRE YOU! You don't need to flirt, visit, be need to SELL THE PRODUCT!

    You underestimate the importance of likability, which is often a HUGE factor in casting. Someone who is single-mindedly focused on selling a product and not on being a human being is not going to be appealing. Yes, we're buyers and they're sellers; but we're buying humans, with personalities, charm, flaws, and many other qualities -- not machines. I am glad you mentioned the bit about pleasantries and not losing your humanity, but pleasantries are not enough. I want someone who is emotionally accessible, relaxed, AND confident. Creative teams are easily turned off by a sales pitch.

    >Don't waste your time nor theirs if you are not the product they are looking for!

    I agree with this to a certain extent... but there is a danger in asking an actor to pre-cast themselves. There is a wide spectrum of "right": If they do not have the requisite skill or do not match the character description, they should not attend the audition... BUT they must be careful not to do the casting director's job for them. If there's any doubt, they should go to the audition. That's the middle of the spectrum. On the far right, you have those actors who cast themselves out of everything... "Oh, I'm not right for that/I heard they're only looking for girls who are 5'7" and a half and can yodel..." etc. On the far left, you have actors who go to EVERYTHING and get pissed when they're not called back, even though the show was The Wiz and they're blond/blue eyed/whiter than Wonder Bread.

    This is right on the money:
    >Your sense of competition is NOT with the others in the holding room, but rather with YOURSELF.

    Amen, sister!

    One additional point I'd like to make: While you are absolutely right about owning your product and focusing on the win, an actor must also -- paradoxically -- have to let go of any illusion of control over the RESULT of the audition. All that is within your control is you: how well-prepared you are, your performance, your attitude, how you present yourself. What "they" think of you or what "they" decide to do with you is NOT within your control. You have to let go, trust in your talent and technique, and present your product. If they buy it, great; if not, just keep selling! If you're good, someone will buy eventually... and if nobody's buying, try another market... and if no markets want to buy, then find another product to sell!

  2. Semantics Joy!
    We do agree!

    1. "They don't like me" is my point - they don't have to "like" you - they don't KNOW you!!! If you are right for the role, you will hopefully be offered the role! "liking" isn't about one thing - and no matter how much a performer smoozes etc it won't be REAL if it's not motivated by something authentic. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I have never implied or thought you need to be robot - you go in with work to do and be the human being you are. Trying to get "them" to like you isn't gonna fly if you aren't right for the role.
    I have NEVER underestimated the "likeability" factor - but I know what that means. Being accessible doesn't mean sucking up! THAT is what I meant! Sorry if it wasn't clear...

    2. Again, semantics. As a singer you need to know your type - which means knowing the spectrum you could play...I didn't give the details, but your point is precisely what I was going after...If there is a chance you could be cast - GO IN! But if it's ridiculous to think you would - completely WRONG in ANY spectrum - don't waste people's time!

    And thanks for reiterating the relinqishing of control over result. I say this all the time - go in and do what you DO. If you are a BMW but they need a Honda, they will appreciate you but they can't hire you. They have to buy the Honda.

    Great discussion!