"I just don't know what to do with you..."
Ever heard that before?
I could have had that on every t-shirt as I was actively auditioning and learning how to manage the mine-field.
My answer of course was: "HIRE ME DAMMIT!"
However, alas, not so much...
Why was I told they didn't know what to do with me?
Why was I told how talented, how musical, how beautiful my voice was, how skilled I was, and then .... crickets?
It's about that damn audition room again. It's about being an artist, and having to negotiate that audition room.
We do too much. Yes, we do.
We see the same people getting called back or hired. What are they doing they we are not?
They aren't. They aren't doing so much.
Too simple? Perhaps, but consider this.
Auditions are an opportunity to be hired. Too much information in a short time, even if the person on the other side of the table has imagination and knowledge, is just too much information. No time to sift through all that of that - so - NEXT!
So, now the question is: what do YOU do with you?
Quit trying so hard.
The perkiness, the eager to please, the desperation...way too much.
Quit trying so hard to look or seem indifferent.
The playing around with "I'm not impressed" doesn't work either.
What do you want to show them in the room?
Don't answer so quickly. See? That's part of the problem. You have TONS to show them and that's why they don't know what to do with you, if YOU don't decide precisely WHAT you will show.
You do not reveal everything. You do not reveal most things. You invite them to see one, maybe two things during that audition/interview that intrigues them enough to call you back: where you show them a little bit more.
Always leave them wanting more.
Do not leave them confused.
Often, as artists, because our internal lives and therefore our craft process is very complex, we don't realize how to simplify. It seems ridiculous to us. It doesn't seem as if it's enough to be that simplistic in the room.
Really? That's IT?! That's ALL I have to do?
Yes, darling, pick ONE thing to reveal in the room the first time. Don't angst. Just focus and do it.
When I began to figure that out and actually do it, they finally knew what to do with me!
AND I wasn't exhausted after the audition like I had been. I actually had enough energy to stay present in the room, do my work, simplify and leave and have energy to pick up the rest of my day instead of blinding wander back into the street and figure out how I could catch a nap.
Start exploring how you simplify for the audition. What do you want to reveal?
Start with 3 or 4 things.
Then decide out of those 3 or 4 things what are uniquely you. Narrow the choices to 1 or 2.
How will you execute those choices?
How will you stay present as you walk into the room with those choices?
How will you breathe in those choices as you prepare to sing?
It feels too simple doesn't it?
But it's not, yet it is precisely right.
Not too much, not too little, but just right.
If you've done the work - if you can rely on your craft, on your skill, on your technique in all areas of your work: voice, acting, presentation, professionalism - then there is nothing to hide or nothing to hide behind.
This gives you many choices that you can enjoy deciding from. It isn't about throwing out ideas; it's about deciding what to reveal today. You may choose differently tomorrow depending on the call, the opportunity, the song choice and your energy!
These are not tricks. These are decisions. Decisions can be made because you are committed to craft. Craft allows you to access more of what YOU will offer.
Offer what you have in small doses. Give them something they will know what to do with, instead of throwing the bag on the table and looking up and expecting them to choose.
The rest will follow.
All of your artistic "burn" will find a place to unfold when you have an opportunity work a callback and then book the role and embody that!
Let's turn "I just don't know what to do with you" into "I know JUST what I can do with you"!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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