Beautiful Abi by Mandy Draper.
Stop apologizing and start acting.
Apologizing is the number one complaint about you in auditions. It’s not the number one complaint about your performance, but it is about you personally and has remained the number one complaint year after year. Having said that, if you spill coffee on someone in the audition room, then by all means apologize! I’m talking about apologizing for your performance or anything related to it.
Let’s discuss some of the many ways actors apologize. I can tell you what you’re going to do the minute you walk in the door – apologize. The apology: “Well, ah, the reason I was late is because my car broke down, then I had to call AAA, and then AAA had a flat tire….”
Number one: We don’t care. Number two: We don’t care. Number three: We don’t care. Once you actually come into the audition room, I doubt the director even knows that you’re late.
Having said this does not give you permission to be late! Absolutely not. If you’re late, you’ll have to answer to the casting director, who won’t look favorably on you for the next audition.
Another apology actors make: “You know, I’m kind of nervous…I haven’t done this very much.” I’ve even had actors who are well-known with starring credits start apologizing in this way.
Or: “Well, I just got here a few minutes ago and haven’t had a lot of time to look over the script and I’m kind of unprepared.” Here you are walking into a room full of people with no idea what you’re about to do and you’re telling them how poorly you’re about to do it!
How would you like it if a painter who shows up at your house says, “You know, I just got here minutes ago and haven’t had time to mix the paints, so I’m a little unprepared to paint your house right now”? Would this give you a good feeling about the work he’s about to do?
There is almost no excuse for being unprepared in an audition. And if you are unprepared (shame on you!), don’t try to make it look as though it’s the casting director’s fault.
Actors also don’t realize that even little comments they make are heard by us. At the end of an actor’s performance, the camera operator in the audition room will say, “Cut.” The actor will swear, roll his eyes, shake his head, etc., without realizing that, from the word “cut” to the time the operator pushes the “stop” button, about three seconds have passed. Those quick comments at the end of a performance are seen and heard by us!
You wouldn’t have much confidence in an airline pilot who starts up apologizing about his flying skills right before the flight – and you wouldn’t feel too confident with a doctor who keeps apologizing while working on you. In what other profession do people want to tell you how incompetent they are when they’re trying to get a job from you?
- Tom Logan, contributed excerpt from
How to Act & Eat at the Same Time: The Sequel: The Do’s and Don’ts of Landing a Professional Acting Job
Tom is thrilled to be returning to San Francisco this February (2/24-2/26) for another series of workshops. For more information about Tom and his workshops, visit his facebook page or contact Sarah Kliban at International Talent Casting.
Tom Logan is a best-selling author and an award-winning screen writer/director who has directed numerous feature films, episodic TV shows and pilots, movies for television and television commercials. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and all performing unions. Tom headed the TV/Film & Commercial acting departments in Los Angeles at two of the most prestigious acting schools worldwide - the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the American Film Institute - in addition to performing acting seminars in 5 countries and 47 states with over 30-plus years of experience.