AH! I HAVE AN AUDITION!
Auditioning can be tough! Practicing and perfecting your singing, acting, and performances is one thing, but bringing your best work into a cold audition room can be quite another!
“But like, how though…”
Maya Jade Frank, who plays Belissa the Superfan on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark sat down with us to talk audition tips, how the Belissa laugh was born, and how to bring your best self to your characters.
Check out this 1 minute sizzle reel for a preview of today’s lesson!
(View the full tutorial below!)
One of the hardes things for a budding performer to learn how to do is to 1. imagine big risks in your work, and 2. present them in front of people. Sometimes an actor will have a great idea, or be giving a great idea by a coach, but when it comes down to applying it in front of people, the actor will “chicken out.” I’ve seen it SO MANY times! All those little “what ifs” start rearing their ugly little heads.
What if it isn’t funny?
What if they think I’m crazy?
What if it’s too much?
What if it’s too little?
What if it’s embarrassing?
What if it’s the wrong choice?
You know what…? It might be wrong! It might be too much! It might be insane.
Casting will more likely appreciate that you took a risk and were willing to do something different rather than sat inside the same box of boring that most other people will bring into the room. Casting directors love seeing big choices and risks. The more your try them, the more comfortable you’ll become, and the more organic these choices will feel. Standing out from the crowd means giving a performance that stands out from the crowd! Now it should make sense in the context of the script and from the character’s point of view, I’m not saying just go be crazy and big… listen to the character and remember to fight for what the character needs!
BE YOURSELF, BUT LIKE, INTENTIONALLY
Maya talks about a particular smile that she incorporates into her auditions. But this smile isn’t something she just started doing, it’s something she’s always done. When she realized this was something that was a part of her, she intentionally started looking for chances to incorporate the “signature smile” into her auditions! It’s authentically her, but she has identified it as part of her branding.
As actors, branding is important to start thinking about! Of course we all want to be able to play a wide range of characters, but when casting directors think of you, you want them to think of you for certain roles and certain reasons, which is why studying and knowing your type is so important. This is not to say that you won’t be able to play other types, and you should never pigeon hole yourself into one type of character, but it’s important to start thinking of your Actor Self as a product that requires proper marketing and packaging.
Do you have a “thing” that you do that is totally you?
Is it a bad habit or something endearing that could be incorporated into your branding?
THE BELISSA LAUGH
Maya tells this story better than I do, but it’s important to mention that the laugh was NOT originally part of the character. Maya says the script said something like “(BELISSA chuckles)” …something like that. Maya spends time with her characters, trying to figure out what they would be like if they were real people. With Belissa, she figured she was a girl who wore overalls. Apparently most of the other auditioners felt the same way, because most of the other girls also showed up wearing overalls!
At least they were all on to something!
You’ll have to listen to her telling the story about the birth of the laugh, because I won’t do it justice (she is truly hilarious and watching her tell the story makes me laugh out loud EVERY. TIME.) but it’s important to note that she took a huge RISK. She didn’t know if it would be successful or if it would work, but she believed in her heart that it was the way to go, and she gambled on it. And it worked out!
The thing that will set you apart in an audition is YOU. You are the only you. Learning how to listen to your instincts and how to identify what MAKES you your best you (…follow?) may take some time, some homework, and some failures. But ultimately do you want to give a performance that is fine, or a performance that makes people go, “WOW”?
I choose wow!
Without further adieu, here’s our interview with all the goodness and fantastic advice from
Maya Jade Frank!
I hope you enjoyed this! I love hearing about your victories, comment below and let me know how it’s going! Also let me know if you have any struggles, or if you have requests! I’d love to teach you what you want to learn!
For Weekly #TipTuesday's
Tune in for next week’s #TipTuesday, for more tutorials for #riffsrunsimprov month! If you have any requests for runs or anything else you want to learn, comment below!