Q & A: Introvert Auditions

May 22, 2009

Christina: I think this Q&A is a great idea. I wasn’t sure how to submit my question, so I’m using the comments, I hope that’s okay. First of all, I really enjoyed your book, Introvert Power. It opened my eyes to the ways our world is constructed to unintentionally favour the extrovert. I was interested to see that you are an actor as well — me too! So, here’s my problem/question. I have never really mastered the art of auditioning, and I have begun to wonder if this is because I don’t respond well to the curve ball that is thrown at me in like 90% of auditions. (Could you sing a different song? Or “Start from here, not here” or “Could you do it with an accent?”). Even though in rehearsal I take direction well, I don’t seem to be able to do it nearly so well at auditions. My impulse is to go away and prepare and then show what I’ve prepared, not come up with something different right there in the moment with a table full of judges watching. Could you comment on different strategies you’ve come up with to deal with the inevitable audition curve ball?

Laurie Helgoe said May 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm 

Hi Christina — I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to reply. So many events intersecting in my life: a graduation, a death, expansion of my Book It! consulting services. Life. But I love your question and relate to your dilemma. Yes, actors are often introverts, and introversion can actually be an asset on stage — we are good at “digging deep” to develop our characters. But auditions. I suggest practicing the curve balls, as odd as that may seem. Have a trusted friend (preferably an actor who can simulate the experience) fire off various requests and practice responding. Still, it’s hard, and sometimes the best response is an honest one: dramatize your anxiety — when asked to for a different song, try singing your anxiety. Letting it out can disarm and soften your audience, and you may be applauded for your creativity. All for now. Break a leg! Laurie


2 Responses to “Q & A: Introvert Auditions”

  1. Chloe said

    Hi Laurie,
    I wasn’t sure how post this question either so i will follow Christina’s lead and submit it here.
    People would describe me as an outgoing and confident person. I might even go as far as saying i’m ‘the life of the party’, but the problem is, i have to actually be at the party. I have no trouble socialising when i’m out, but i get exhausted so quickly. I look forward to spending time alone at home and feel so guilty that i keep saying ‘no’ to my friends invites. I can see myself drifting away from my circle of friends and it hurts, but even when they do ask me to join them i don’t want to. I’m torn between what i want to do and what i feel like i should want to do. That said i don’t want to be alone all my life!

    Thank you for your input,

    • Hey Chloe — Yes, submit here. I’m getting lots of Qs, which is awesome, but I have less time to turn these into formal posts. If you haven’t already done so, pick up Introvert Power and read my chapters, “The Anti-Party Guide” and “From Apology to Acceptance — and Beyond,” in Introvert Power. I wrote these chapters to answer your question. I empathize with your “torn” feeling. Try being more proactive, inviting a friend (one at a time) to join you for lunch, a movie, or to watch a TV program you both like. And, if you haven’t already, tell your friends that you are an introvert and what that means — parties drain your energy, while low-key activities fuel you. Tell them that you can being “the life of the party” is cool (even fun?) in small doses, but that it drains your life energy, and you’ll need to go hide for awhile after (or perhaps cut out with a friend for a bit and take a walk). Mold that party to fit your specifications, or just say no! And DO NOT, under any circumstance, apologize. Best, Laurie

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