5 True Things About Auditions & Social Media
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
In this corner of the web we like to say that all the world, your experience and interactions in this life, are a stage. We draw parallels between the worlds of theatre and faith and use what is true about one to influence how we think and respond about the other. If all the world is a stage, the Bible is our script, life is like a rehearsal, and we are in the ensemble, then social media is your audition.
Auditions are a unique part of the theatre experience and your approach can either make or break your career. Likewise, social media is a unique, sometimes uncharted, part of our world. It’s not going away. There are good points and not so good points, but how we approach it can either be healthy and helpful, part of the process, or disastrous and even dangerous.
There are a few things I know to be true about auditions.
1. They are the worst. I can’t think of anyone I know who likes the audition process (though maybe that person does exist). From an actor’s point of view, you are literally putting your best foot forward and asking to be judged. From a director’s point of view, you’re watching all these wonderful people lay their hearts out on a platter, begging you to choose them and you get to squash their dreams.
2. They are necessary. No one has come up with a more efficient way to get unknown actors in front of directors and producers, and until they do, auditions it is!
3. Auditioning is completely different skill set from performing. What? Yep, it’s true. The best actors sometimes have the worst auditions, and sometimes the best person in the audition ends up being the worst person for the part.
4. While auditions are the process for booking jobs and making your name they are a false metric of your worth as an actor. Just because you don’t get the part doesn’t mean you’re not right for it. There are so many factors that go into the casting process and the actor’s actual talent is only a small part of it.
If all that is true, how is social media like an audition?
1. Is social media the worst? Sometimes. Nuanced conversations get boiled down the barest stereotypes while basic punctuation and grammar get ignored. Tone, so difficult to convey in words, is frequently misunderstood. Not to mention the rise in feelings of being left out or not good enough. Whether we mean to or not, we put our lives out into the web and ask people to judge us, and on social media, people show up to do just that!
2. In the same way that an audition is about putting yourself out there and asking for a role, social media is one of the ways we contribute to society. Whether you’re making connections in your community, promoting a business or product you like, responding to the news, social media has forever changed the landscape of our world. For better or worse, having an online presence is now an important part of life. I don't even trust businesses that don't at least have a website!
3. Interacting on social media is its own unique skill set, completely different from building relationships in real life! When it comes to crafting your online persona you get to choose what people see. You can, and should, walk into an audition polished and prepared, putting your best foot forward. You can and should remember that what you say and do online affects how people see you and judge you. It's okay to be mindful about what and how you post.
4. While it may be true that you put yourself out there on the web to be judged, social media is a false metric of your worth as a human being. “Likes” and “Comments” and “retweets” and “going viral” and all these things that make us feel so good and important have nothing to do with the actual value of our contribution. You could make the most eloquent and relevant comment of the millennia and no one could see it because that adorable panda just ate a bamboo lollipop!!
5. At the end of the day, whether we’re talking about auditions or social media, the most important thing to remember is Authenticity. People know when you’re not being real. It doesn’t matter what side of the screen or table you’re on, you are there looking for a connection. The only way to offer someone a connection is by bringing your true self into the room.
If all the world is a stage, social media requires the same thoughtful consideration that we give to auditions. Like professional actors, we must recognize the necessity and importance of our online presence, cultivate our image to build and support our reputation, allow the metrics of likes to inform our activity without defining our worth, and most importantly be truthful about who we are and what we’re doing on this stage called life.