Flubbed Your Lines?

April 19, 2013

After Carly Foulkes auditioned for a T-Mobile spot, she left the building feeling like she needed a glass of wine. “I botched all my lines and kept saying the name of the phone wrong,” she admitted to Paper magazine. Being she’s from Canada, she pronounced “mobile” with a Canadian dialect; that is, as though it rhymed with “style.”

While Foulkes was thinking critically of her flawed audition, the commercial executives clearly focused on something entirely different. They were looking for a bright, friendly spokesperson who could emphasize the user-friendliness of their product–and a few mangled lines weren’t getting in the way of finding the perfect T-Mobile myTouch girl to compete with Apple’s iPhone ads. Up until that point, males dominated the scores of commercials hawking high-tech devices and services–like Justin Long and John Hodgman’s “Get a Mac” ads, and Paul Marcarelli AKA “Can you hear me now?” Verizon guy. Carly Foulkes presented a fresh new face in the tech world. And it was the strength of her personality, and the ease of her smile that got her the gig; these qualities transcended her botched line reading.

When leaving the audition room, actors have a sense of how they performed. There’s always some helpful nugget of insight to be gained from the audition experience whether you’re convinced it went wonderfully well or whether it was downright deplorable. Maybe it’s a simple note to self: Remember to wear the same shirt again or Next time make sure you don’t fidget during the slate. But, besides the helpful self-help tips, leave the rest behind. While it can be tempting to judge yourself unnecessarily and assume you know what the execs are looking for, the reality is your performance is not for you to judge. That is not your role. Your role is to be clear, to be yourself, to have fun, and to do your folks proud. So keep it simple: perform your best, consider ways to improve, and then move on. By focusing on the positive, your appealing nature will shine through in future auditions … even when you trip on your lines.