You know how to make choices. How to pause and then build to something dramatic. You can make your voice strong, then weak, then confused, then certain.
You know how to make sense of a scene. And, you can present that scene in a manner that undeniably reveals your understanding of the material. This seems like the responsible way to audition. Fully prepared. Everything set. You can turn it on. Eehaaaa.
Here’s the problem. None of that crap is leading to jobs!
Sucks, right? You did everything pretty much the way you planned it. Generated some “real” emotion. Were nice when you walked in. You even had a funny little joke you set up to do as you entered. And, by God, they even chuckled. And yes, they thanked you for coming in as you left.
Once again, none of that shit is getting you hired.
Curious about why?
Let’s start unraveling this mystery by taking a look at the machine that is doing all this “great” work. I am referring to your mind.
Our minds want us to set everything when we go into a situation that is largely unknown. And there are certainly many unknown elements when we walk into an audition or important meeting. All the more reason that our minds want to make everything secure, safe and set. Basically, our minds want us to lock onto something that we can repeat like a xerox machine.
The big problem? (All together now . . .) None of that shit will get you hired.
I have no idea (thank goodness) how many auditions I have been on. Many auditions I have presented my “great choices” in a lame ass attempt to trick the director into hiring me. “Look at this great choice, but wait – there’s more, here comes another choice. Thank you, thank you very much.”
Only problem, that way of approaching the work never booked me a job. You?
I have, however, booked a fair amount of movies and TV shows. In retrospect, I see there was one common denominator in every audition that led to a job.
I was present.
I allowed for the unknown and riffed with it.
We often have strong ideas about the scripts we audition for. But in the moment of creation, which during an audition is the audition itself, we have to surrender to the unknown.
We have to commit to our truth at that moment. And we have to allow for our xeroxed plan to be shattered at times. Your mind will hate this. That’s OK.
Hey, your cute little mind just wants to protect you from the unknown. But hanging out and fully committing in the unknown triggers your magic to shine through.
Bottom line. Auditions lead to jobs when you commit to your truth. The truth that exists in your body, not your mind.
When we access our impulses or truth, there is no way that anyone can look away. In fact, directors and casting directors will sit up, get inspired, and pay attention.
Your creative impulses awaken focus and interest in those who have the honor of witnessing you. That shit will book you job after job after job.
Look, no one wants to see pre-set performances. Not interesting. Not alive. Stale. Moldy. Stanky.
From our mind’s point of view, of course, to create from our body and impulses seems out of control. But, truth is, you are completely in control from your body’s point of view.
The beauty of creating from your truth is that your truth is always available to you. We just need to make the shift from creating from our minds to creating from our impulses. Creative impulses are pure gold.
I understand this takes bravery in the beginning, but you have so much to give the world. And listening and following your thoughts is not your best option if you truly want to broadcast your immense talent.
But, what do you think? Does this resonate with you?
Perri Yaniv says
the way your articulate the processes, experiences, and choices always resonates with me. it makes me eager (in my chest, in my ribs) to continue working with you, to committing to those impulses more fully than ever before. to bravery!
Thanks Josh- so glad I woke up to this today just when I needed it. “The beauty of creating from your truth is that your truth is always available to you”- I think this applies to all creative processes, not just auditioning. Been “planning” how I’m going to write knowing for 2 days I should trust my gut. Its been crying out loud for me to trust it. Needed the reminder: Surrender to the unknown, take the leap, Eeeeehaaaaaaa. I can always go back and fix later. Keep rocking out worlds. : )
And your mind may tell you that you’re never ready to begin.
We just can’t wait around listening to that nonsense.
Share whatcha got Mel!
Will Bozarth says
Boom! Used “flowing” today when I was in the booth today during a voice over booking. Even started wiggling around a bit while I was reading the text. You’re right – they didn’t even look at me weird – just probably thought “Crazy actors”. Anyway, that read was the best and the producer said “Forget what I was saying before and just do it that way”.
Badass – but still scary.
MIND DOES NOT COMPUTE. MUST REGAIN CONTROL.
They don’t care what ya have to do to make it good.
Just use flowing or any of the other CI tools and rock it out!
These posts are really great reads. They’re super inspiring, too. Thanks so much for the insights.
Thanks for reading! And commenting!
Conor Tansey says
Thank you so much for that. You truly are an inspiration to all. The truth is that that shit won’t book the job. What up with that? Thanks for clearing that up hombre. I look forward to seeing you in one of your next classes or on a movie set.
I enjoyed reading your article – very inspiring.
Do you have a hint, how to shift from the mental “beauty” to the body “beauty” truth? How can you know, that you are fully present IN your body? I live a lot through my senses, this already feels quite alive, is this already *it*?
Thank you for having started this blog! Looking forward to more magic 😉
That’s really what we explore in class. But if your thoughts are your dominant point of focus – that means you have left the information in your body. As soon as you are aware that this has happened – just return to your body and your immediate environment.
You’ve got “it.”
Shane Warren says
word up Josh
Truth… so true
Jill Leithauser says
Josh, I was just thinking along these same lines the other day and so totally agree with you! I think you just put into words very well what is sometimes so difficult to define, since it lies in the metaphysical realm. But this is really so important! I’ve felt it a few times and want to learn how to tap into all the time, because it really does make all the difference. Thanks and keep it up! 😀 xoxoxoxoxoxoxo.
Well,it just so happens, Jill, I know a great place to learn how to tap into that realm with consistency. 🙂
Michelle Fix says
man….what a great way to start the day! i’m shooting a music video today. playing a mom who has her teenage kid on a leash, literally. and even though i have no lines, i keep thinking, what type of mom should i be? what should i be thinking? i know. i’ll just map everything out and things will be fine. uh, no. i haven’t even met the kid who’s going to play my son. so……maybe i should just flow myself on over to the shoot site and just see what happens. i’m sure that i’ll be able to take the movement, grounding, and tempo rhythm ingredients and make a really great mom cake. thanks, josh.
yay michelle!!!!!! have fun!!!!!!
I love this article! I always wonder why I don’t book after doing so much prep and really thinking through every moment….and the fact is in life we don’t get to think through anything n the moment it happens…we go, our bodies move us, our instincts and impulses come alive and act…..went to an audition yesterday and just literally had fun…thought about the scene, the characters, what that world might be like and decided to just play in that world..I ended up running about the room, frolicking, taking my shoes off and laughing…..and so did they! Don’t know if I’ll get the job, don’t really care, most alive I felt all day!
Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder!!!!
They would be lucky to have you.
Jen Landon says
This was so awesome to read.
I find auditioning to be this herculean task, far more than doing a show.
Your blog is awesome btw, keep it up.
Auditioning is a bit of a game unto itself.
I hope to demystify it so you can let the world see your brilliance.
I love this so much, Josh: allowing for the unknown and riffing with it.
Kinda like life, isn’t it?
Well put Josh! I’ll never forget being at your LA workshop and seeing the audiences eyes light up when you coached the person in front of the room to get out of their head and into their body and to riff with it. Insanely powerful. Can’t wait for your book release!
The Committed IMpulse book is coming along nicely. I’m writing just about every day, and actually enjoying it.
Karrie Cox says
Josh, thanks for starting this! I’m so thankful I get to take this journey with all of you… You rock!!!
I love the idea of the blog being a way for all of us to journey on…
michelle Pruiett Haden says
So just got into this awesome new website you have and even more awesome Blog! Thanks for this reminder. I truly wish I read this earlier today before a callback I had. I did the half and half I think you know what I mean…..set up my choices of flow, staccato etc. for the sides. Started out well, and then the all encompassing mind started wanting to take over. Hence, the half and half. But alas, it is a work in progress to let the mind go and trust the truth. I’m not dwelling on the audtion, and have let it go. So, I’m getting there!
Thanks for all the amazing bits of wisdom 🙂
I had to repost, Josh, because I had an audition last week where I went in just ready to be open to the ride. I haven’t done that in a really long time, and it was just magical!
To quote you, “I allowed for the unknown and riffed with it.”
So how did I get there? Well, it helped that I’d had CI class the night before. 😉
Before the audition, I did the stream of conscious check-in with my body, and I intermingled it with my monologue. I also did a little suzuki warm-up like we do in class and focused on sending energy out of my center.
Then I sent into the room and really saw the casting person, and it made me smile. We were just 2 people trying to make some art happen. 🙂
And then I just… let it out! I spoke from my truth, and the monologue and the moment was so ALIVE! It was like a delicious rollercoaster ride, because I had no idea where it was going to go, but it was PLEASURE!
When I felt a little “off track,” I breathed and connected to my body and took in the environment, and had a BLAST! And it just kept rolling!
And, you’re right, this totally happened: “When we access our impulses, or truth, there is no way that anyone can look away. In fact, directors and casting directors will sit up, get inspired, and pay attention.”
And better than that… I felt inspired and alive in my work! It was magical.
Thank you for teaching this, Josh! Thank you SO MUCH!
Josh Pais says
Such an inspiring story.
I honor your bravery to step into the unknown AND committing fully. Well done!
Your work is so inspiring Josh!! For me it’s the business ideas that didn’t pan out for whatever reason I gave myself for. I’m taking your online program and I’m feeling fired up every day. Thank you again:)
Josh Pais says
Keep your fire alive!
Josh Pais says
Keep your fire alive!
Tammie W. says
Josh, I so appreciate your bravery and honesty. I needed this today. I am currently planning on starting a YouTube channel to share my knowledge and truth. Your offering to us to be open to the inner knowing instead of the stale mind dribble is inspirational. Be well!
Josh Pais says
That’s very exciting. Have fun with your new channel – and let us know how it’s going. I appreciate your comment very much.
Elizabeth Danielle Pujadas says
Thanks for this Josh. I am so excited things are starting to get back into motion. I missed auditioning. Got a big audition come in today and reading this post was exactly what I needed to read. Much love and congratulations on your new role. Very exciting!
Tanya von Zychlinsky says
Thanks for sharing that, Josh,
It’s the same with anything online. Nothing turns me off faster than someone reading off a script/teleprompter on screen, no matter how advanced they are or how little you see their eyes move along the lines they read, it’s just stiff stuff!
It is most alive, when channeled right straight through, even with basic lines learned, but not ‘recited’, prechewed.
And, congrats for booking the new feature, Josh. How cool!