Audition Strategies by Mark Brandon
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Play for Possibilities, Not Results
"Something happened with me. It was like a monkey off my back or something. I didn't feel armored any longer as an actor. I felt like I could-whatever I did-was going to be alright. It was a beginning for me, of a kind of subconscious work."
~ Gene Hackman
Without a doubt, one of the great challenges in the audition room is to display enough motivation to appear interesting or passionate, but not so much as to appear "overboard." Overboard means it looks like you're trying too hard. And that looks anything but helpful.

You can begin to establish a sense of proper emotional proportion by first trusting that your homework will always come through. And it generally does with less effort than most performers imagine. In fact, many actors attribute so much importance to motivation they treat it as if getting the role were based on this skill alone.

Play for possibilities, not results! You don't need to get caught up in overtly broadcasting your choices over and over again, through every mannerism and line of dialogue so they'll "get it."

By the time you've spoken your second line, your motivation or intention has been displayed clearly enough through your demeanor and thus, in a sense, fulfilled. At that point, you can let it consciously recede so you can pay more attention to what impact your motivation is having on your scene partner. This will allow you to become absorbed in a far more creative moment-to-moment exchange, enabling you to add those all-important instinctive touches.

When the compelling dimension of instincts appears in your work, you effectively eliminate the traces of restrictive preplanning and more importantly, the harmful appearance of "trying too hard."

The preceding was an excerpt from the best selling acting book, Winning Auditions - 101 Strategies for Actors (Limelight Editions, NY) written by Mark Brandon. Mark is a native Californian who now makes his home in Vancouver, BC. He has appeared in over 100 commercials, films and TV series.

Copyright © Mark Brandon. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.

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