“I can’t believe how much more grounded I felt when I walked in the room.”
I smiled as a young actress named Mya recounted the story of booking her first primetime television appearance in Law & Order: SVU.
“It was weird, because it was the first time my hands didn’t start sweating when I got called in!” she said.
Previously, she’d only done script readings and workshops. She frequently got nervous and worried in auditions, which caused her performances to suffer. But when she used the concept I teach called Pride Words, she booked the biggest role of her career!
In this article, I’m going to outline a process that makes auditioning way easier because it takes almost no mental effort but can help significantly minimize nervousness and increase confidence in auditions.
As an overview, it looks like this:
- Step 1: Discover your Pride Words.
- Step 2: Make choices, memorize your lines, and take care of any standard audition prep work you usually do.
- Step 3: Right before you walk in the room, close your eyes, and deeply feel each one of your Pride Words one by one. Then open your eyes, walk in, and start the audition.
Since it’s almost impossible to feel nervous and proud at the same time, deeply focusing on and feeling each of your Pride Words right before you walk into the audition room will push all nervousness to the side and cause you to instead feel confident and self-assured — right when it matters most.
This technique works so well that one of my clients (I can’t state his name for privacy purposes) actually landed his first ever role on Broadway using it!
Beyond simply helping you feel more confident and grounded, it also plays directly into what casting directors really want: an actor who plays their own brand.
Luckily, finding your three Pride Words doesn’t take too much effort.
In fact, you can find them in less than five minutes. Let me walk you through the three-step process:
1. First, think of someone you know personally who you deeply admire. Take a moment and really do this. If you can’t think of anyone you admire, think harder! We all admire someone (or at least, we should).
Example: I deeply admire my dad for how hard he worked to help my family have a good life.
2. Once you have someone in mind, what three personality traits do you most admire in them? Again, take some time and remember that these should be traits, not things they do. For instance, they might tell jokes, but that’s not a trait. The trait would be that they’re funny.
Example: My dad is hardworking, dedicated, and loving.
3. Write down those three words. Guess what? Those are your Pride Words.
Example: My Pride Words are hardworking, dedicated, and loving.
Remember, your Pride Words will probably be wildly different than mine, so don’t let the example words I used influence you.
By using a psychology technique called Projection, you’ve uncovered the traits within yourself that you’re most proud of or deeply aspire to be.
And when you focus on each word in turn and deeply feel and experience it, you can’t help but feel extremely centered and grounded.
Why don’t you take a moment to do it right now? Go ahead. Close your eyes and try it firsthand:
- Think about your first Pride Word. Feel it. Experience it. As you focus on the word, notice how your body changes. Do you relax? Stand taller? Does your chin go up or down?
- Now, move onto your next Pride Word. Keep your eyes closed and experience it again. How are you feeling? Is there a slight smile on your face? Are you feeling good?
- Finally, repeat the process with your third Pride Word. Take another moment or two to really embody the word. Notice your breathing. Is it deeper? Slower? Are your shoulders relaxed? Now, open your eyes.
How do you feel?
If you actually followed through, you should be feeling pretty good right now.
This “outside the industry” hack allows you to experience what I call your best self.
As we enter the new (and hopefully better) year of 2021, I want you to forget all the worrying and thinking that you’re not good enough when it comes to auditioning.
None of that matters.
When you focus on your three Pride Words right before you walk in the room, your inner self-confidence will shine through.
In that moment, you’ll be the you that you want to be. The you without all the baggage. The you who you really are deep down.
In that moment, you’ll know you’re good enough.
And the casting director WILL notice.
Martin Bentsen has used “outside the industry” hacks to help actors book more work since 2009. He’s helped over 6,000 actors grow their careers through his private consulting, digital courses, demo reel production, and actor headshots.
His photography studio City Headshots is ranked #1 on Yelp and Google and he’s spoken at NYU, The New England Theater Conference, The Actor’s Green Room, and other venues.
Want to book more work by thinking “Outside the Industry?”