Let’s Talk About Auditions Baby, Let’s Talk About You and Me
So, when people who have 9 to 5 jobs tell you that life is really hard, whilst you’re spending you’re days preparing for and attending auditions…life doesn’t seem quite right does it?
I mean, who can imagine just turning up, doing some work and being paid…whilst we struggle with the psychological affects of being turned down from one thing to the next?
Indeed, years ago we spent lots of time at auditions and it can slowly kill you. When you’re getting parts and you’re winning the game, it’s fine – even great. But the rest of the time it can be soul destroying.
There’s really two sides to dealing with auditions:
1. Being focused, visualising success, peak performance and blowing everyone out of the water
2. Dealing with big-time disappointment, crushing defeat, failure and getting up again after you fall time and time again. This also includes dealing with stress and eating properly.
So here we go…for this week, we’ll be looking at the peak performance part.
Peak performance for auditions
Here are the main elements you need to master:
- Focus and concentration
- Setting goals
Also termed imagery, visualisation refers to changing one's own thoughts and expectations to affect the 'outer world'. It is an intrinsic part of positive thinking and has proven to be a highly successful tool and is a skill that can be learnt. In short, visualisation helps to build confidence and feeling of readiness through the use of mental rehearsal.
As part of visualisation, the individual uses their own imagination to visualise behaviours, events, smells and sounds occurring in the individual's life. The sights, sounds, feel and emotions of the imagined scene are played through the user's head as they engage all their senses, thoughts and experiences. Successful and experienced users can play a scene in their heads, then stop, pause, rewind or fast-forward it on demand. Then store for another time.
In the context of sports, visualisation for mental rehearsal has been popular since the 1970s and is used by almost every successful athlete on the planet. Practiced athletes use vivid images, highly detailed run-throughs (or rehearsals) and use all their senses and knowledge of the sport and the chosen venue to successfully visualise. Indeed some have not carried out a successful motion with their body that they haven't already carried out with their minds. Specifically, it can be used for marginal gains to warm up the body and mind as an intrinsic part of the athlete's training regime.
So, when you’re going for auditions, put aside time to visualise how you will enter the room, how what you’re wearing makes you feel confident and vibrant, how you deliver yourself and step up to the plate, how your auditions goes absolutely perfectly (and also how you would deal with any setbacks) and how you inject your personality with confidence.
Concentration is an emotional tool for being and performing at your best and this certainly includes going to auditions. Taking concentration down to basics, it is the ability to focus your attention on the task currently at hand – therefore not being disturbed or 'affected' by external and internal stimuli.
Indeed, Nideffer & Sagal (2001) argue that “concentration is often the deciding factor in athletic competition”.
The normal condition of the mind is chaos. There are so many random thoughts, sensations and perceptions competing at the same time for attention. Concentration, then, is the effort required to turn the chaos into some kind of reasonable order.
One thing separates outstanding individuals with equal levels of ability, such as in sports:
“The power to concentrate and focus on the task at hand.”
Higher levels of concentration and focus can allow individuals to:
1. outperform opponents who have superior physical and mental abilities
2. Consistently perform at higher levels in their lives
3. work 'smarter'–not just harder
4. succeed and win when it matters most
External stimuli that can affect an individual when trying to focus include:
negative noises such as booing or hissing
- generally unpredictable behaviour from others
Internal stimuli can include:
1. negative thoughts and feelings such as “I blew it”, “I am not good enough” 2. distracting body sensations
Preparing for auditions requires goal setting. This might include how much time each day you use for practicing for an audition, what you want to get from the audition (minus the obvious) and making progress in your career.
Some people make goal lists daily and others may not make them at all. They may be very hard working people who just don't ever seem to reach a peak. Whichever of these you are, it is always beneficial to think about what you want from life and set some formal goals. If you were embarking on the trip of a lifetime would you go without having any idea of the route that you would take?
Athletes don't go a day without goal setting, whether they are training or competing. The goals give long-term vision and short and long term motivation.
Set Simple, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals to measure your performance against. Make sure that they are achievable, even if you have some other 'out there' goals. Don't set yourself up for failure by only setting huge goals that aren't achievable in a given time period.
Make sure the process can raise your confidence by setting goals that are neither too outlandishly difficult, nor too easy.
As you can see, there are many different aspects for how to successfully approach the audition process. We recommend that you read through the blog a couple of times and plan how you will incorporate the advice into your daily and weekly routines and goals. We can’t wait to share the next part of our guidance with you and in the meantime, here’s what we advise you to take a look at…