Don’t be afraid to fail; go into that audition room and bring what you truly want to bring. If you’re good — great; if they don’t like the choices that you made — who cares. It’s better to not be what they are looking for than to be boring. Don’t be boring.
You, as an actor, have to learn how to express yourself. Or maybe you already know how to do this, but whenever you go into that audition room, your left side of the brain is taking over. You begin acting “normal”, playing safe. Don’t be that actor, avoid it like a plague.
In life itself there’s more than enough cases where we have to go against our own instincts. The reason you are an actor is because you can escape that; you can legally transform into somebody else and nobody will protest. Use this opportunity, take your chances with whatever character choice you came up with. It’s better if your character’s memorable rather than another one from the bunch that CDs can’t wait to “thank you, next”.
Do not be a prisoner of your own mind. Don’t judge yourself or your character. Be free, and forget about the fact that you even have the left side of the brain — let your creativity, your risky self flow. Your choices cannot ever be bland. The easiest way to avoid this is to live in the moment. Isn’t that what acting is all about? Why do we forget about it as soon as we walk into the audition room?
Forget that people watching you are there. It’s not about them, it’s about you. The only rules you need to follow are the simple etiquette; don’t touch your CDs, and don’t freak them out (maybe a little bit). The rest of the space is yours, so use it wisely.
“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.” Ray Bradbury
Acting is all about being comfortable with being uncomfortable. One of my first acting teachers was a strong proponent of this, and kept repeating it to me almost every class. The first thing he started me off with is this: put yourself in uncomfortable situations daily and get used to being uncomfortable.
Now you try it too. For example, when cooking your tasty omelet, hold your pan in the left hand — if you usually hold it in your right — and vice versa. Send the “uncomfortable” signals to your brain. This is a simple task to start off, but you should gradually increase the level of risk. Your ultimate goal is to be comfortable with any character choices you feel that you should make: on stage, on set, in audition room.
You’re an actor, so take advantage of this; people expect crazy from you, so be crazy. The more you do it, the better you will become at it. Your daring and bold choices will start looking authentic, real, amazing and great. As long as you are comfortable with whatever you do, other people watching you will also be comfortable.
Take risks. Take chances. Don’t be boring. Leave your self-consciousness at the door. Stun them!