No Regrets in Auditions

August 20, 2012

Chris Cooper once told me to never have any regrets. After Chris said that to me, I walk into every scene thinking, ‘Exhaust every possibility.’ Once you get to a certain place, it’s like you just deliver everything you’ve got. Don’t have any regrets. It pops up in my mind over and over and over again.”–Jake Gyllenhaal

Have you ever left an audition convinced you could have done a better job? For some reason, you didn’t give it your all. Maybe you felt inexplicably uncomfortable with the material; you might not have had the right chemistry with your partner; perhaps you had trouble parking and had to rush into the studio red faced and sweating. Countless are the ways an actor can get thrown off during an audition. Indeed, Thespian legend has it a successful actor blew his callback because he was distracted by the smell of hamburger. The clients were munching away while he struggled to read his lines–having skipped lunch, the poor fellow was starving.

So what to do with these kinds of regrets? Do you agonize over the lost opportunity? Do you carry the dent in your confidence around with you into future auditions? While some anesthetize their feelings with a pint of ice cream or a bottle of fine wine (or a bottle of cheap wine) you can do better! How about avoiding the slump by simply asking for another take? While you won’t always be granted another try, sometimes you will be given that extra chance. But remember, if the lobby is as busy as a beehive and it appears the camera operator is about to go postal, that is not the time to ask for another take. And you certainly don’t want to become a habitual give-me-a-second chancer. So pick your spots. And if you are given the green light to try again, deliver everything you’ve got!