Tips for Calming Audition Nerves

Cassandra Morrison
April 20, 2022

Nerves before an audition are totally normal. Everyone has felt this way at some point, and it comes when we put ourselves in vulnerable positions.

Especially if it’s a role that means a lot to you, you might be extra nervous before an audition. But don’t worry – we have some tips to help you out!

Deep breathing

girl closing eyes and meditating

Deep breathing and meditation can do wonders for nerves. It won’t make them go away completely, but it can definitely help calm them. An exercise I like to do is to close your eyes, put one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. Then, breathe in through the nose for 1 count, then out through the mouth for 2. Then 2 through the nose, 4 out the mouth. I like to keep going up as far as I can, then start again. This can help focus your mind more on the act of breathing rather than worrying.

Remember…they’re just people!

judges sitting at table laughing

Whoever it is that will be sitting in the audience on the day of your audition, remember they are just like you: human – and they are rooting for you! Regardless of their status, their position or experience. They are still flawed and imperfect people who are no better, and no less than you. Experience doesn’t determine value, so don’t undervalue yourself and let that scare you out of focusing on your performance. Just remember, they were probably where you were not too long ago themselves.

They want to see YOU

happy girl

No one is expecting perfection. Directors want someone passionate, who they connect with and who embodies the performance with their own personality. Someone who’s eager to learn and who’s open to taking risks. Auditions are like job interviews in a sense, and the best interviews are the ones that are like natural conversations. The more natural you can be, the better. Don’t try to be someone else to please them. Be you.

Don’t resist the nerves – they’re normal!

young girl covering face stressed out

Everybody gets nervous! When we’re scared before an audition, it’s because we’re taking a risk – we’re putting ourselves outside of our comfort zones and doing something great. And when we’re afraid, it’s usually because we care. So embrace the adrenaline – it can actually help energize you and improve your performance! 

This is an amazing opportunity that you will get something out of to take with you to your next audition, regardless of the outcome.

Mindset is everything

guy putting on makeup in dressing room

When you’re doing your audition, mindset is everything. 

The mindset starts long before we walk into the room. When we envision how the audition will go, it helps to focus on all the ways it will go right, rather than how it could go wrong. Starting with a positive mental outlook and being prepared is the key to a great audition.

And remember: you’re doing this for you. Remove the pressure, and look at why you’re here in the first place. This can help pull you out of the need to impress or be flawless. And instead, it can help you reconnect with yourself, your passion and the fact that you’re on that stage for you

This isn’t it

girl sitting sad in empty theatre with script

It’s easy to think that one opportunity or audition will make or break your career, but there will always be other opportunities if this one doesn’t work out – maybe something even better! And taking this “make it or break it” pressure off is sure to help you give a less weighted performance. It will help relieve the stress that can sometimes make us freeze. Even if you do happen to mess up, it happens! Everyone has been there. Just remember there will be more chances. This isn’t it.

Focus on what you can control

theatre control board

What matters with any audition or anytime you put yourself out there, is that you do your best. Try focusing on only what you have control over – which is your approach to your audition, and your reaction. Sometimes our bodies or minds freeze. It happens. But it’s all in how you react afterwards. You can go in there and worry about doing your best, or worry about meeting their expectations. You can ruminate on your mistake, or let them go and let it fuel your next one.

It’s so easy to catastrophize about all the ways we could mess up, but those worries are just worries. There’s no use dwelling on something that doesn’t even exist. So focus on what you can control. And right now, that’s preparing for that audition. The rest will happen as it happens.

Every time we go for anything in life, we might be met with self-doubt, worries, rejection and nerves. But that’s all a part of the process. The more we do it, the easier it gets.

And even if your audition doesn’t go to plan, it’s totally okay! It’s happened to the best of the best – we just have to keep getting up and going for it.

So go out there and show them how amazing you are! You got this!