Find a Focal Point
Updated: Apr 22, 2019
I am in the envious and grateful position of being a Resident Artist with Artists Repertory Theatre/ART. And, because of this we RA's are not often in a position of needing to audition. Our Artistic Director knows our work and has taken the time to know us as individuals, our strengths, our weaknesses ,and stretches us when the opportunity arrises. So we get a bit precast in any particular season. It is indeed a blessing as a regional artist.
So yesterday I had my first Major audition in quite some time. Nerves, butterflies, all the good stuff and some of the bad, it was quite the experience. The good stuff was the prep, working muscles that were a little squeaky, building the confidence, honing my selections, doubting myself, printing headshots and reprinting headshots, attaching resumes..what am I going to wear? all the stuff. oh and working with some other actors and a couple of people who were going to be honest with me and not blow smoke up my ass.
The room was lovely, the folks behind the table so warm and friendly. However, I did break into a little bit of a sweat. It was just the realization that I was doing it, it was happening, and I know they wanted me to be good. They were sending me that energy and it didn't matter that just a few month earlier the new Artistic Director saw my work on an auspicious opening night and gave me some kudos. None of that mattered because I am only as good as what is happening right now, in the moment. All these thoughts happening in a split second and then....
And then I noticed the numbers on the back of the folded audience seats. They were big and bright and perfect. They became all my focus, they became my wife who had lost faith in me, they became my therapist and they became the plebeians all come to hail Caesar. They were my focal point. They allowed me to take my attention off of me and let my imagination soar. And, focusing on them let me relax, let me be direct and let the lovely folks at the table melt away. And then of course, after I left, I thought all the other stuff..the not healthy stuff of self doubt. but not for long because life goes on and there is always something to work on and look forward to.
I shared this experience with my students. I think it would be useful to have this experience again, sooner than later. it is definitely a skill that can become rusty. Note to self...don't let myself become rusty. And remember that I am never above an audition if asked.