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Acting Naturally

Richard's Writings > Acting Naturally > Fear and open auditions

Synopsis of Fear and open auditions

Think being an actor is all fun and glamour? Think again. Every new production is like going to another job interview, and you are under far more scrutiny on the stage than you ever are in any office. I was usually cool about auditions, but not this time...

Excerpt from Fear and open auditions

I felt fear for the first time in my five years of theatre experience. Four days before the open auditions for The Fantasticks were to be held, I had an anxiety attack while I was driving down to vacation in Santa Monica, and though it was not a severe case, I still toyed with the idea of not bothering to go to the audition.

Why put myself through this? I said to myself. My stomach was clenched tight and I could feel my pulse thumping in my chest. I willed it away, and succeeded in distracting myself for hours at a time, but the dull throb of anxiety underlay all four days of that long weekend. My mind ranged for a reason behind my anxiety, and found a couple of valid rationales.

For starters, I had not had to audition since March, 1996 - I've been pre-cast in my last six productions. I have not had to undergo the scrutiny of a casting team for quite some time, and all my insecurities now began to chime in. An audition puts you squarely up on the auction block, hoping you measure up, with your every flaw and weakness looming large in your own mind. Not anyone's idea of a good time, but this time, unavoidable.

As I drove around Hollywood that weekend I felt empathy for the stars who lived and worked here; I too wanted to stay ageless and handsome and talented forever. I wanted to be wanted, just like them, and was afraid I would no longer be.


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