10-Point Audition Prep: Part II

This post is the Part 2 continuation of the previous article “10-Point Audition Prep: Part I“.

I recently saw a great actor speak about the “gift of transparency”.  Essentially, he spoke of a talent that some actors possess more than others:  the ability to be seen and felt, when you are “doing very little”.  Acting on camera accentuates this talent, in the “art of the close-up”.  Most auditions are now filmed in a medium close-up.  Auditioning has become more specifically connected to this “art of the close-up”.  Like an athlete is born with speed, an artist can be born with certain talents, talents that can’t be learned–but they can be developed within each actor at his or her own level.  Talent can be honed.  Solid technique and an approach to the work will allow your particular talent to reach its most profound level.  Don’t “wing it”.   Use a solid approach and technique to support your talent, as well as to focus your inner life and persona into and through a story.  A lot of being “truly SEEN” has to do with FEELING things intensely.  That can come purely from HOT CHOICES.

5 – Hot Choices & High Stakes Your CHOICES must be “HOT”.  They must “fire you up”.  They must be PERSONAL and make YOU feel alive, activated, and “full”.  Truly examine yourself, your actions, your personal tastes.  Understand what makes you “tick”.  Don’t be shy.  Tempt your most altruistic, “corny”, sentimental self and your most malevolent, vicious, cold-hearted self.  They probably can both exist in most roles.  How much?  How intense?  How enraged? How desperate?  How funny?  How irrational?  Analyze the story and each scene and answer these questions.  What would you do to possess her?  How far would you go to defeat him?  HOT is more provocative, dramatic, more unusual, more dynamic, more surprising and funnier.  If you meet your “love interest”, be floored, blown away by her (or him)–don’t just be interested.  “Interested” is “cool”.  Choose “Inspired”.  Be CRAZY for them right away, then give yourself the obstacles of fear and denial.  Be afraid of her beauty, her strength.  Deny to yourself how “right” he is for you–find all his flaws.  Then battle through these obstacles during the course of the story, and eventually find the truth. Make HOT CHOICES.  BE BOLD.

6 – Be Personal (Personalize the Relationships & The Circumstances) Understand the ESSENCE of the situation, the circumstance or the conflict through the prism of your own personal experience.  “Oh, I understand this scene! This is like when I . . .”  This is “personalizing” the work.  Get a jumping off point for your work that is based in your own experience.  Ask yourself the question:  “Who is this person to me?”  Often it will be your lover, best friend, mother, father, grandparent, sibling, competition at work or the kid you absolutely hated in high school.  Endow your drill-sergeant with the presence, personality, and power over you–of your father.  Endow the “new woman at work” in the script with the power your wife held over you in the beginning of your love affair with her in real life.

7 – Pathology [Please see my earlier blog on Pathology]

8 – Given Circumstances (Where am I?) The “Given Circumstances” encompass more than just the location–but what is it?  Public or crowded?  A party?  Outside or inside?  Intimate?  Secretive?  In your home?  On “your turf “or “his turf”?   CHOOSE.  Then:  Where are you coming FROM?  What’s your “Moment Before”?  This question also goes to what is HAPPENING in these physical circumstances, what are the emotional circumstances, the EVENTS that have led up to this moment?   You do not need to be too creative to answer this question.  You need to read your material closely with your own understanding of what the events of the STORY would present as actual, tangible circumstances for your character.

9 – Physical State & Physical Behavior [Please see my earlier blog on Physical State]

10 – Discovery [Please see my earlier blog on DISCOVERY]

These tips should help get you started–good luck!

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Adam Lazarre-White Adam Lazarre-White grew up in NYC, graduated from Harvard University with Honors, started at QB for the “Crimson” and played in the Harvard Jazz Band. He is known for roles on Scandal, Heroes, Ocean’s 13, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, The Temptations, Living Single, The Parkers, and starring on The Young & The Restless. Adam’s writing and directing have become equal pursuit in recent years; and he has owned his acting school in Hollywood, ALW Acting Studios since 2000. For info on Adam's classes, acting, writing & directing visit his website at www.adamlazarre-white.com