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How to minimize audition nerves

The audition process can feel pretty nerve-wracking, especially when you are just starting out. Know that this is completely normal.  The good new is that there are actions that you can take in order to stay more focused before and during your audition. At 3-2-1- Acting School in Los Angeles, we teach our child, teen and young adult actors ways to stay calm before and during auditions. So, if you’ve been wondering how to minimize audition nerves, here are some great tips!

How to calm audition nerves


  1. Arrive early. Arrive at least 20 minutes early. 30 minutes early if you are going to an unknown/new location. Leave plenty of time to park and to get centered, use the bathroom, and get situated in the waiting room.
  1. Meditate briefly in your car. Meditation is one of the top healthy habits that we recommend to actors. Meditating in your car might feel a little strange, especially if you are on a busy street, but if you put on your sunglasses, no one will notice. Set a 5-minute timer. Close your eyes and take deep breaths.  Let your mind go blank – release any thoughts about your audition or the character for this brief meditation.

    Then, if you have time, you can keep your eyes closed, and shift into your character. Imagine the scenario leading up to the scene you are auditioning for. Really focus on the world of your character.  Focusing on your character and what s/he wants will help to calm you and keep you focused.

  1. Pay for double the amount of parking time you think you need. This is so important. If you are parking at a meter, be sure to pay for double the time that you think you need. You never know what is going to happen at an audition – it might take 5 minutes or 50 minutes. Casting may be running behind. Casting may ask you to read for another part.  Trust us: the last thing you want to be thinking about in the height of your scene is an image of your car being towed.
  1. Have a high-protein snack on hand. Again, you never know how long you might be waiting. Being hungry during an audition is super distracting; the hunger becomes the primary focus instead of your character. Plus, nerves tend to lead to increased hunger. So, be prepared! Have a few snack options in your audition tote bag.
  1. Listen to calming music, or even a guided meditation/affirmation track. This is a great way to stay in the calm, meditative space that you entered in the car. Put in your earbuds/headphones, and put on some calming music. Or, better yet, a relaxing meditation track (not one that will put you completely asleep – something that you can play and stay awake to).
  1. Put on your headphones/earbuds even if you aren’t listening to music.  If you have your earbuds in, less people will speak to you, and this will ensure you more privacy/focus time in the waiting room.  It’s always tempting to make small talk in the waiting room, but, the more you focus on your character, the more prepared you will feel when you enter the audition room.
  1. Remember why you are there — to show off your talent, and to act! See each audition as an opportunity to shine!  Treat your auditions like mini performances, and, most importantly, have fun.


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