Hello, Abby T. - How fun that you know you have the innate drive to act ! I knew I wanted to act when I was about 6 years old. I see that you are having a personal issue with auditioning and I would like to help if I may.
The wonderful thing is : You are never too young to act ! Abby, your first step would be to try out for any school plays at which the teachers probably already know you and you know them. That alone could make you feel at ease. Study a few monologues. Search around for monologues of characters in plays that you believe you could portray. Memorize the monologues and rehearse them in front of a mirror. You'll get a lot of self-directing ideas this way.
Once you have a serious and comedic monologue prepared, audition for community productions. If you dance, try to take a dance class which offers a recital at the end so you can get used to an audience. Working out stage fright goes far beyond my advice and some people never get over it but they still get work as actors. Through acting classes , you will learn relaxation exercises to do before you go on stage. These exercises are taught to everyone, not just the actors with different levels of stage fright. Take as many school and/or community acting classes as you possibly can. Try out for small roles to start with and once you feel comfortable, go out for bigger parts.
When nerves kick in before a performance, everyone has their own reactions or affects. One of the most useful exercises I was taught was controlled breathing. I didn't have a high level of stage fright because I was too anxious to get out there and act, but I did use all the relaxation techniques before going on stage just for more physical and vocal control. My nervous symptom was a dry mouth so I always chewed Gator Gum before a show and disposed of it before I went on. One interesting thing that I found was that a smaller audience made me more nervous than a large audience. The first time I performed in front of 2,000 people, it was as if it was just one big unit I was performing for, not a lot of people.
The best way to get over stage fright is repetition. That means go to a lot of auditions, perform on stage as much as you can and as time goes on, you will see that you are into the work and forgot to be nervous.
Most importantly, associate with very positive people. People who you may learn from and that have a sincere interest in you as an actress and a person. You will need this support whether you're an actress or not. Also, know that you can do it ! It's possible.
Every audition is not going to be a success. That's okay because that's how we learn. I have walked away from auditions happy, frustrated, confused, etc. It's all okay and one never stops learning in the field of acting.
Please keep us updated and let us know how you're doing. Best wishes to you !
Michelle recommends the following next steps:
- Audition in a familiar setting - your school.
- Audition for small parts to start out with and get used to an audience. When comfortable, advance to larger roles.
- Learn the relaxation techniques that actors use.
- Repeatedly audition for shows so that you may get used to it. Do not worry if it doesn't go well, learn what mistakes not to repeat.
- Associate only with positive, uplifting and supportive people. You can also be someone else's support as well.