I was reading some voice over blogs this morning, and came across one that really hit home. My friend Peter O'Connell wrote a blog recently about speaking in public, and how nerves can take over when you arrive unprepared.
I had a similar episode last week, although it did not involve public speaking. Friday, March 7th, I arrived in Atlanta for the Bob Bergen VO class. I checked e-mail as soon as I linked up at the hotel and discovered a note from my local acting agent. She had scheduled an audition for me on Thursday of the following week for an on-camera website video. The catch was that I would need to memorize a three page script prior to the audition (not a dialogue- a straight read).
Looking at my calendar, I knew I would never have the time to memorize that amount of copy (it was going to be a busy week). So, I politely declined the audition. She explained that I should just memorize as much as I could, and go to the audition anyway. I agreed, and set up a time.
Unfortunately, as the week progressed, I was never able to really sit down with the script. I would learn a line here and a line there, never really putting the whole thing together. I should also mention this was a remarkably difficult script with lengthy affiliate names, and difficult sentences.
I started to really stress about this audition, and sent a second e-mail to my agent explaining that I only really knew half of the first page, and probably should cancel. She told me she was proud of me for learning as much as I did- and to proceed as planned.
The morning of the audition, I was a wreck. I have never shown up to anything so unprepared, and I was embarrassed to have to admit my lack of dedication to learning the lines. The folks running the audition could not have been kinder (which proved why my agent encouraged me to still go!), they weren't as concerned with the words as they were my overall presentation.
Sadly, I had worked myself up into such a state of humiliation, I wasn't able to shake the feeling I just wasn't good enough. I stumbled over the few words I did know, never really showing what I was capable of. Basically, I blew it. I'm not expecting a call back.
The reason I share my story is to show that the crazy thoughts we put in our head prior to any audition or job has a direct impact on our performance. If I had gone in with my head held high, knowing I could memorize the script later, and proving to the client why I deserved the job...things would have turned out differently.
When we allow our doubts and insecurities to take over our better judgement, we are not preforming to the best of out capabilities.
It is a mistake I do not plan to make again!