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What To Do When You Choke in an Audition

Have you ever been brought to a dead stop in the middle of an audition because your mind has drawn a complete blank? It can feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. It can feel quite frankly awful.

I had this happen to me very recently in fact: Just last Thursday, I was speaking to a room full of 112 professional actors. Things were going well, the audience was engaged. I was engaged in my content. I started a very passionate sentence and then. . . . for whatever reason. . . blank. Now, I have been here many times in my life. And I know by now that in those moments I have a choice:

You can disconnect from the audience and freak out. . . or you can stay connected, accept what's happening, and wait for something to come to mind.

So, here's what happened next: I paused. The room paused with me. The tension mounted as they waited to hear how that oh so passionate sentence was going to end. oh boy! The pressure was ON!!! After a moment or two of looking around the room, I realized the thought was not going to return to me and so I simply looked at everyone and said, "I just completely drew a blank." That's it. I just admitted it. Not with an apology. But just as an admittance of where I was. I shared what was going on but maintained connection with the room and the moment. I was just honest. They laughed, I finally remembered what I had wanted to say and we moved on. Now, I know that during an audition, you don't always have the option to break character and say, "I forgot the line." but you do have a choice. You can FREAK OUT, make yourself wrong and break your connection to the character, the room, your scene partner making everyone uncomfortable. Or,

You can ACCEPT what's happening and therefore stay connected to the room, to the moment, and allow yourself the time to see what's going to come to you.

So, what to do next time you choke and your mind draws a blank at an audition? Say yes to it. Be ok with it. If you have a partner, look at them and take a cue from them.

Stay connected. To yourself. To the room. To your character.

And you'll be fine! This happens to everyone and I guarantee you it won't be the last time. But you are human and it's ok to not be perfect. You'll get through this time. And the next and the next. I believe in you. Happy Auditioning! BIG LOVE, Holly P.S. Do you have a question you want help with? Join me in my Performers & Creators Lab Community Group on Facebook. You'll be able to ask questions, share wisdom with other artists from all over the world, get support, and direct access to new content. This particular tips email was directly answering a wonderful question asked by an actor at my recent SAG workshop in L.A. You see? You. Inspire. Me.

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