• Jaime Hilton

5 Reasons You Need (& Want!) an Audition Coach

You don’t have to spend much time with me to know that I dislike auditions. Not as an actor, not as a mom. Not in the rain, not on a train. Even as a director, I do not like them Sam-I-Am! (Read some of my audition thoughts: Auditions & Social Media, Prepare an Audition You're Proud Of , When Casting Crushes Your Soul, Auditions & Eternity)

One of my favorite things to say to my clients is that auditions are the worst. Because they are. Uncomfortable. Unpredictable. What works for one may not work for another because at the end of the day the casting process is subjective. It is not always about talent but about the needs and the unique circumstances of this show at this time and in the place. The person who gives the best audition is not always right for the role and a bad audition doesn’t always mean you’re out of the running. For every person who gets the job, there are a hundred who didn’t. Thus, they are the worst.


Sure, some people take to auditions naturally. But the rest of us muddle through. We put up with the uncertainty and the endless cycle of trying to get the job so we can get on with doing the job we love so much.


Enter the Audition Coach, a professional, uniquely situated to offer an actor the tools they need to wade through the complications and insanity of auditions feeling accomplished and equipped.


But, you argue, I take classes! Voice lessons, dance, acting and so on. Can’t those teachers help me with my audition? Good for you, I reply. I applaud and encourage your efforts to develop your craft. Yes, your voice teacher, dance teacher, acting teaching can help you prepare for your audition. Sometimes. Every situation is unique so I will simply say think about it. Recognize that your teachers are training your instruments with a focus on the long-term. An audition coach has their own set of tools they apply specifically to get you ready for your big moment.


Preparation

A wise actor keeps an audition book with a selection of fresh, contrasting material ready at a moment’s notice because sometimes auditions pop up at a moment’s notice! An audition coach can help you pick material that fits the tone of the show and feels like you. A coach has a library of material (at least in their head!) and can help you wade through the multitude of options and find the pieces that showcase your strengths.


Focus

Auditions are overwhelming, even for the seasoned actor. Because they are focused on you getting the job, an audition coach is great sounding board as you sort through all the considerations inherent in thinking about a job and can help you organize the specific requirements for each theatre. Additionally, while you can glean a lot from a classroom/group setting, a coach is focused on you. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. Your passions. Your path. So everything they offer is tailored to you.


Perspective

On our own we are often too close to the project. An audition coach is that extra set of eyes offering perspective. They want you to succeed but don’t have the same emotional investment in the results so they can see more clearly. In theatre we say that the highs are HIGH and the lows are LOW. An audition coach can't guarantee you'll get the part you want, but they can remind you that you did your best and that great parts really do come around all the time.


Experience

Acting is one of those professions where experience doesn’t always matter. You can work hard in the business for 20 years, take classes, and be genuinely talented, and the part will be given to Joe Schmoe who has never even considered performing as a career but was picked out of the crowd by a casting director. That’s the gig. But, especially for a newbie in the field, an acting coach has the experience they lack. They’ve lived the life, they know the highs and lows firsthand in a way even a super supportive spouse, parent, or friend, can’t know without experience. They have earned the right to advise you on your journey.


Community

Theatre can be a lonely career path, especially if you let ambition and competition rob you of that sense of community. A good coach can help keep you grounded and connected. Any coach worth their salt can tell you the audition process is so much more than the three minutes you have in the room in front of the director. The theatre world is a shockingly small so a BIG part of this job, is networking and building a reputation. A coach is a part of that network, and (if they’ve done the job and built a good name for themselves) it can look good to have them on your resume. It shows you’re willing to go that extra step and work hard to do the job well.


Remember, auditioning is a skill, separate and distinct from performing. Having a coach in your corner can give you the encouragement and support you need to keep going on this crazy road called acting.


Need an audition coach? Email jaime@alltheworldastage.org!



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