Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghosts in Your Audition Room

After a recent SAG Awards screening of Bridesmaids, Judd Apatow moderated a Q&A with a handful of actresses from the film, including co-writer and star Kristen Wiig. The last question of the evening was from a young lady in front – "What advice would you give young actors just starting out?"

"Good question!" Judd enthused. Kristen answered first and I just loved what she said.

I can’t quote exactly, but here’s the gist, paraphrased –
"Someone told me this when I was starting out – if you have a really big audition, like for a part that you really want, don’t tell anyone about it. Because if you tell your friends or family, then it will feel like they’re in the room with you when you do your audition. And you’re doing it for them instead of just doing it for yourself and the casting director. You don’t want them in the room with you."
Again, NOT an exact quote, but you get the picture.

I love this because it’s specific, useful advice. And I definitely agree, because if you’re up for something huge that’s already causing you to feel nervous, telling people about it beforehand will just create more nervousness. Because you know all those people are going to be asking you afterward, "How did it go?" or "So did you get it?" And you’ll take that expectation into the room with you, like a ghost looking over your shoulder.

Friends and family who aren’t in the business don’t understand that getting the part is the secondary concern for a working actor. The primary concern is going in and kicking ass in the room, because that’s your chance to show the casting director and whoever else might be there what an amazing actor you are. Every audition is a double opportunity – it’s a chance to get the part, but it’s also a chance to impress the casting director so he/she will call you in again.

So thanks, Kristen Wiig, for pointing out that having the ghosts of family and friends in the audition room with you is not a good thing. Keep that big audition a secret, leave the ghosts at home, and tell everyone about it later. They’ll be just as excited for you after the fact, I promise.


  1. I also hate afterwards when people ask - "Well, did you get it????"" Um, well, if I did, I would have frickin' TOLD YOU, right????

  2. @Miki - Yes! Like we would keep it to ourselves. :) That booking is going on Facebook as soon as I get it!