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Don't Fall Into The Comparison Trap
Posted on: 12/07/14
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Hi Everyone! 

As the second installment in an ongoing series of features by the Agency's amazing community, here's some sage advice from our own Regina Rockensies; a humble (& awesome) veteran we've had the pleasure of working with for a long time. 

Have an excellent week! : )
- The Agency Team 
_________________________________________________________

Don't Fall Into The Comparison Trap
By Regina Rockensies

Sometimes actors can be their own worst enemies at any kind of an audition. We can leave the house feeling well prepared only to arrive, see the competition and then unravel. Even when we are over confident and think we are more capable than everyone else, we may be doing ourselves a disservice because we really don't know what the casting director needs. And those needs may change at a moment's notice. Do not be tempted to compare yourself to the other actors in the waiting area. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for much of her adult life, I understand how easy it can be to let nerves get the best of us. Some days are just easier than others and in this business it is easy to have your spirit broken. 

I know all too well what it is like to hand the role over to another actor while waiting for your turn. We can't help it--sometimes we like to compare. Your thoughts start to erode your confidence. She is way prettier than me, her outfit is much nicer, she really looks like she knows what she is doing, she is funnier, thinner, sexier, all around amazing--er (I could go on with so many other reasons the other girls are far better choices than me for a role, but you would be reading this for days). And within seconds, we sabotage our opportunity to act. However, you, my friend, may not have what the Swedish supermodel/actress sitting next to you has, but you may have something even better to offer and not even be aware of it. We are all vulnerable in the audition situation and all you can do is offer your genuine self through the role you are playing. That is your greatest super-power.

You as a unique individual have the power to change people's minds. Yes, there are often very specific needs in casting (if the character must be 5'11 or taller, then you do not have any control over this fact). But sometimes there is flexibility. They may have their preferences, but you may bring something to the role that they did not even know they wanted. You can make them rethink their choices. And you never know what that something might be. Statistically speaking, it may very well not be your day to book the job and that is okay too. But you still have the possibility of leaving an amazing impression on a room full of people who will have other jobs to cast in the future.

We all get a little overzealous and sometimes feel like we have something to prove in the audition. We want to outdo everyone else and in the process, our performance can suffer. And this may come across as arrogance or aggression or over acting. The best thing to avoid this is to stay calm and relax. Good acting takes complete relaxation and being in the present moment. Do whatever it is you need to in order to focus yourself: meditate, stretch, do some yoga before you leave the house, run lines in your head, find a quiet corner. You do not owe anyone an explanation as to why you aren't chatting away with everyone. Just politely excuse yourself and do what you need to do. 

It has taken me many years to fully trust and understand these things. And I am still learning from every single audition and job that I book. I am humbled by how much more I have to learn. I have great days and I have awful days. Things will never be perfect every single time and it helps to be able to laugh at myself or even better, turn a "mistake" into a happy accident that enhances my performance. But self-trust is a process and it is quite freeing to know that although I am playing a role, I am using my authentic self to bring that character to life. I am unique and no one else will have quite the same take on things as me. Knowing how far to go is a balancing act and we have to use our best judgment in the moment. As my favorite acting teacher once said to me, "Don't give everything away up front. Leave them wanting more." 




(Regina Rockensies, 2014.
 www.reginarockensies.com)


CHECK OUT OUR LAST FEATURE, BY ALISSA BOURNE HERE.

COMMENTS
Dominic writes:
This is great advice and insight. Thank you for sharing
12/10/2014 2:39 pm


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