How to deal with audition curveballs


1 delivery in which the pitcher causes the ball to deviate from a straight path by imparting spin.

1.1 North American informal Something which is unexpected, surprising, or disruptive.

You’ve been in this situation. You have meticulously prepared for an audition. You’ve worked on the character’s arc, maybe you’ve even practiced an accent, but when you get in the room, the director or casting director throws you a curveball: throw it all out. It happens, they ask you to read for a different character or they tell you the whole character has changed and throw a new scene at you cold. What do you do? It’s tough and it sucks because you have to forget everything you just worked on, but don’t see this as a negative. Everyone else who came in has been thrown this same curveball, and the way you handle it can help you get the job. Here are some tips for being quick on your feet.

Go big or go home

If you find out the shy quiet babysitter is now a maniacal serial killer, go with it BIG TIME. A curveball gives you the opportunity to make bold choices so do it. If what you thought was a tense drama is now a raucous comedy, make it funny (really funny). Don’t let what you previously worked on control your new choices.

Don’t second guess yourself

Acting is like dating: confidence is attractive and indecisiveness is not. When you get thrown a curveball, just go with it and make the best of it. Be decisive and be yourself and don’t worry about saying and doing the wrong thing. They know you haven’t had the chance to prepare so don’t worry about it being perfect. If you make a mistake, just keep going.

Have a positive attitude

You may be thinking, “I can’t believe these fools just asked me to do something entirely different.” But the reason we probably asked is because we realized the sides weren’t working or because we think you might be better for another role. We’re not trying to trip you or ruin your day. Even if you feel frustrated, just smile and dive in. Being flexible is a great quality for an actor; we all know that no project goes exactly to plan.

Let it go

Please. Please. Please. Don’t keep bringing up what you prepared and how much time, energy, and thought you spent preparing. We know and we’re sorry but things have changed now. Pointing out the fact that you didn’t have time to prepare this new material is unnecessary. We know! Just do the best you can, and let go of what happened before you entered the room.





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