Hello everyone! The school year is off and running which means many folks out there are going to be gearing up for auditions and rehearsals for plays and musicals at school. Some of you may not be doing theatre this fall, rather you might be playing a sport or doing band or art, but stick with me. This blog is for everyone!
A huge inspiration of mine is a lady by the name of Patsy Rodenberg. She is a voice and speech teacher from London who also teaches acting, but her work goes far beyond training young professionals. She has worked with business leaders, prisoners and even "unsavory" characters one might find living on Avenue Q.The work she does centers around a notion many of you have heard me talk about before.
I bring this up this week in anticipation of the auditions and try outs and rehearsals because I have been so moved by something I once heard Ms. Rodenberg say. We have all heard about the X Factor, heck there's a show, and we have maybe even heard the expression "you either got it or you aint." Well, I believe you either got it or you got to get it. You can get that "it" factor and be the person in the room that no one can take your eye off of.
Yes! You can!
It comes down to some basic ideas that I am going to lay out for you just in time for the fall season.
1. Breath. Yes I know you are breathing now but I mean BREATHE. Take time when you wake up in the morning to center yourself but taking ten good breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. If you breathe in for 2 counts see if you can breathe out for 4. In fact, you must count in your head. (It will keep your mind from wandering and focus you on the one task at hand.) Practice every morning and then take a second in the afternoon to simply do it one more time. Then, when you are about to walk into the audition room or rehearsal or class, check in with 5 good breaths. If you've practiced, those 5 breaths will kickstart you into that centered grounded less nervous version of you by means of crazy brain things I won't go into here.
2.Connect to your body. Have you ever heard of muffin tray hands? It's what happens when someone is singing a song and instead of singing like they are talking to someone they gesture with their hands as though they are asking if people want muffins. If your song is about people wanting muffins, great! Chances are it isn't. So, while you are practicing those breaths take some time and lie on the floor on your back. Make sure your knees are down and your back in resting on the floor gently. Feel your body on the floor, checking in from your toes to your head. Then, SLOWLY rise up feeling the exact same sensation as you stand. It's easier to stand than we think! Your body wants to feel relaxed and ready for anything!
3. Be there for you. You may have heard that the squeaky wheel gets the grease but I am here to tell you that's not the case. That squeaky wheel is actually not present with the people in the room. They are being demanding and needy. I give the grease to the person I see working on their own and doing their best today without worrying if they will get the grease or not. What do I mean? It's not about being the loudest or best or splashiest person. It's about being YOU. I want to see a person audition who LOVES what they are singing and saying, not someone who is trying to impress me.
That's it! Those three things will change your audition, I promise, if you practice them before it's time to walk into the room. Make them a habit and not something you have to work at. All the other stuff that we focus on, what to wear, being nice and smiling, having the right music, "being powerful", our voice, acting... that WHOLE list will happen without your even having to worry about it.
Breath, Body and You. The rest will follow.
Break legs! Merde! And have a great time!