People go crazy. I'm serious. It's like another world in there. Let me set the scene;
The agent calls. You've got a great principal audition for a pilot. Awesome. You get the sides, work them out, get them on their feet, and then to bed early to get your beauty rest.
Then you arrive. Maybe you left work early or headed in before your shift. Now you gotta get into the head space you were last night. Into the Actor Head Space. You take a step into the waiting room. You know you'll be greeted by one of two things. Either complete silence (aside from the either super cheerful or really sullen desk person) or almost silence except for those two people that worked on that commercial last year and OMG how have you been and I've been soooo busy....blah blah blah. The rest of the peeps who look a lot like you are usually gazing off into space mumbling or staring intently at their sides. Every so often, one might get up and start vocal exercises or even jump around.
Then you hear your name called. So you head in. Smile. Smile. I'm great. How are you? Look at me being a nice fun person. Introductions. Slate. And switch! I'm a clinically depressed woman who's on the verge of being admitted. Scene! Take some direction. Do it again. Great. Cheery girl emerges again. And thank you very much and have a great day.
Auditioning is an intense experience. It asks you to be both yourself and a completely different person in the space of a few seconds. It's an art and one that's hard to master. I'm still getting the hang of it. My nerves can be killer sometimes. Every actor handles it differently. Where else can you find a room full of look-a-likes who are either mumbling to themselves, staring at walls, or saying "ahhhhhhhh" and making raspberries? Anywhere else, and they'd be labelled crazy.
I read a great post about auditioning today. The writer really tries to turn the audition waiting room on its head to make it less intimidating. I like this. There's no point in making it more than it is--just a room full of people who are just as nervous as you, no matter how cool they try to act or how much they jump around.
So maybe next time I enter the strange world of the audition waiting room, I will try something different and see what it does to my performance. Hey, it can't hurt.