Waiting Room (The Audition)
An air of tension hits you right as you walk in —
A sign-in sheet is visible, you shakily write your name.
“Oh my stars,” you think, “I’m actually here”
“I’m about to slip into another’s shoes
In front of people I’ve never seen before.”
The waiting room is a location I know all too well
Lines of girls who have prettier hair than me
Who are taller than me
Who can hit the high notes better than me
Who (seem to be) calmer than me…
My brain likes to make fun of me, taunting me —
Saying, “These girls are better than you!”
But I’m learning to ignore them, and just focus on me.
The waiting room is awful —
Especially when you can almost taste the nervousness in the air.
No matter for what kind of production, the nerves are flying
And they don’t stop, even when you get out of the audition room.
It’s worse the longer you wait —
Your heart is beating out of your chest
Your brain spins out of control, going a million miles per hour
Calculating everything that could go wrong
(Which isn’t helpful, since you should be running your lines)
As you see the others walk out of the room —
You can tell how their audition went…
Well, your brain thinks it can.
To the brain, a totally normal smile
Automatically means that they got the part!
And you, well, you failed before you even walked in the room.
(Which, from experience, is a lie)
To the brain, a sigh of disappointment
Automatically means that they were ripped apart…
And you’re next, so you better watch out!
(Trust me, this is also a lie)
These thoughts are pointless —
They aren’t going to help when you’re performing your monologues —
Or, as I like to call them —
Pieces of my soul…
An actor’s job is to breathe life into their roles
A monologue. A scene. A film.
It doesn’t matter what kind.
To successfully breathe life into fiction
A real-life part of you will always be there
And more often than not, it’s the most terrifying experience in the world.
Auditions are one of these terrifying experiences.
The waiting rooms don’t help at all with these nerves.
But every single time, in that waiting room…
The same conclusion is met —
Be proud of the work you’ve done.
Your art? You’ve been working on it for months.
Maybe you’ve been working on this piece for years!
Art is not meant to be perfect
No matter how much my brain wants it to be.
Life isn’t perfect either —
So why should fiction be?
This reminder comes to me at the same point in the waiting room
Every. Single. Time.
And even though 99.9% of the time I’m worrying about the end product —
This reminder always calms me down, no matter how nervous I am.
By the time your name is called, and you go into the audition room —
You’re still nervous as anything, but a sense of calm washes over you.
You’re directed to the marker in the middle of the room
In front of terrifyingly intimidating-looking people
Who are there to seemingly judge your every move.
But that reminder…
Be proud of the work you’ve done
That’s what’s gotten me through all of these situations
And it has gotten me through other scenarios as well.
Life isn’t perfect
And neither is fiction
And that’s one hundred percent okay.
So, whatever happens in the audition
Even if you feel like it’s not going your way —
Don’t despair, because it’s not the end of the world.
Feelings of nerves and failure
Aren’t going to make your art better.
The work you’ve put in
And the piece of your soul that you’ve shared…
That will always be something to celebrate.
No matter what happens in that room —
Be proud of the work you’ve done.