Audition: An Exercise in Imperatives

Stop! Stop that! Stop feeling so hyper-self-critical! You WILL get up. Get dressed. Wear something nice – something that compliments your figure. Don’t linger at the imperfections in the mirror. Breathe. Get out the door. On time – which you know means early.

You know you can do this.

You WILL do this. You will not back out. Or give up.

Stop your shaking. Your pulse is too fast. Slow down. Breathe. Shake out your nerves. Streeeeeeeeeeeeetch. Yes, reeeeeeeeeeeealllyyyyy streeeeeeeeeetch.

What is WRONG with you?! Can’t you tell the difference between good and bad anymore? Don’t get suckered. And don’t you dare compare yourself to these overblown, egoistic hacks! If you think it’s overdone, then it’s over done. Yeah, the audience might react, but don’t you dare let them laugh at YOU like they must be laughing at him.

Oh! My! Goodness! Did he just do that?! He just did that! Don’t YOU do that! Inappropriately touching yourself just for the shock value doesn’t make you an actor! It just makes you borderline perverse!

Don’t try that hard. If the emotion doesn’t come, don’t push it or force it. Be truthful. Speak. Clearly. And make sure they can hear you.

Stop worrying. You remember your lines. You won’t need to call for them and you won’t stumble or mumble or trip going up the stairs.

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. NO good can come of that. Unless you want to compare yourself to the girl with the sheer skirt because that was a really wretched decision and you should now be very glad you took such great care in putting together your ensemble. Pat yourself on the back! Go ahead! Do it. It doesn’t make you that much of a bitch.

Calm your nerves! Find that pressure point on your hand that relieves anxiety and use it. Press it! Breathe. You will get up there and you will do your best. Just have fun. You get to perform for five minutes today in front of an audience that really does want to be here! They want to be entertained by you so give them a good show. YOUR version of a good show. Just think of this: nobody can play this part like you can. Nobody.

That’s your name! GO!



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