• James Stranahan

What Should You Do the Morning of a Big Audition?

Whether you’re about to attend your first audition or are a seasoned performer, you’re going to inevitably find yourself with time to kill. You may have an 8:00 call and wake up in the middle of the night with your mind running, preventing you from falling back to sleep. Your audition could be later that morning, leaving you with three or four hours of downtime. What do you do with it? What is the best way to keep yourself occupied and rested so that you don’t go nuts waiting for the time when you walk outside the door?

Tip #1: Remember when your morning really starts.

Good preparation for an audition begins the night before, if not sooner. Okay, I admit it - I pulled a few all-nighters back in school, and I can truthfully say they were a lousy idea. I showed up in class sluggish and drinking a ton of caffeine, and while I might have done well enough on the tests, I probably would have done even better had I actually slept the night before.

Remember that the part of the brain that stores long-term memories does better when you get enough sleep. How much? 7 or 8 hours at least. So, for those of you who are night owls, set that habit aside the night before the audition and get some real rest. You’ll be better able to remember those eight pages of material that you have to deliver by memory.

Tip #2: Fuel Up Your Body.

As an actor, taking care of your body should be a big priority for you. You can do that by eating breakfasts that are healthy - skip the waffles and the grease! Instead, focus on eggs and fruits as well as protein shakes. You’re looking for what fills you up and gives you the energy you will need throughout your audition and doesn’t slow you down. Remember, too, the importance of drinking water. It’ll be great for your vocal chords, and it can make your brain sharper, which could be important if you’re asked to improvise or deliver new material.

Tip #3: Include Some Form of Exercise.

A good run and yoga are both awesome ways to wake up your body and center your mind when you’re nervous about an upcoming audition. Both activities can gently get your muscles warmed up and bring back flexibility to your body after it has spent all night in one position.

Everyone’s definition of fun exercise varies, but whatever you choose, it can burn off your nerves and leave you feeling more focused. Plenty of actors I know swear by martial arts because of how centering they are. Other people prefer to take a long walk a few hours before the audition. You are ultimately looking for a relaxing way to exercise and take your mind off the audition while introducing more endorphins to your body.

Tip #4: Try meditation to calm your mind.

Meditation helps many actors because of its main goal: to help the practitioner form a mental barrier that keeps out stress and anxiety while cultivating a quiet, steady mind. I think it’s particularly popular in Hollywood because of how much pressure every industry professional is under. Doing it for up to twenty minutes the morning of an audition could help you stay grounded and keep anxiety out of your mind.

Ultimately, it’s about experimentation. You’re looking for productive ways to fill the time and to avoid pacing around your home, be that by painting, reading, working out, or something else. Find out what works for you, and you’ll be a lot calmer when you arrive at the audition. Good luck!

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