Michael MertonSUPERMAN C100dpiI recently went on one of those awkward auditions where you can hear other actors auditioning through paper-thin walls, it was for the role of a little league baseball coach trying to motivate his next batter as the boy took to the plate. I overheard the actor before me speaking his dialogue in a soft natural voice, as if he was talking to someone next to him in an elevator… but he was playing a coach on the sidelines talking to a kid on home plate! He wasn’t placing himself in the environment of the scene.

When you audition for a role the casting director and the producers are imagining you in that role as you read, and it doesn’t go unnoticed when you are truly and completely imagining yourself in the environment of that scene. I’m not talking about recreating actions – they already know that your character is using a chainsaw, polishing a Porsche, or juggling cats. Awareness of your environment is not about making it clear to the audience where you are, it’s about making it clear to yourself where you are. Your performance will change, and for the better.

Also, the more completely you imagine yourself in the scene, and the more real it becomes for you, the less likelihood there is that you’ll be nervous in the audition. Your awareness of the room – the camera, the producers, the ugly color of the carpet, whatever – starts to vanish. It’s a win-win.

Ultimately the only question about our environment we really ever need to ask ourselves is: “Am I in the scene or am I in my head?”

See you on the set,
Michael Merton

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