How to follow up an unsuccessful audition

With a unsuccessful audition, you first have to decide what you mean by ‘unsuccessful’. If you mean ‘I didn’t get the part and someone else did’ and you put all your effort into it, there’s a good chance that there’s nothing you can do about this, so just forget about it and move on to the next one. The majority of time it’s just about luck, as well as looks; for an ad for example you might have been too tall or too short; there ain’t much you can do about that so don’t worry about it. If on the other hand, you felt there was something you could have done, or preparation that you didn’t do; well, now there’s work to be done.

If you think there’s some things you can change, then when you come out and you’re on the tube or bus or when you get home, get your diary or notebook out and make some notes about what you think you can do to improve next time. It might be you needed to relax more (I recommend showing up 20 mins early), you needed to be more open (ties in with relaxing), or experiment more or try different ways of doing it (same again). If you think you needed to learn the lines and you had adequate time, well duh, do that next time (and you should have done that this time to be honest so shame on you). Be involved with the project, whatever it may be, and work for them and with them. Maybe offer suggestions and ideas about what you could do; this shows you’ve taken an interest and know what you’re doing, and ask questions. If there’s something you don’t understand or a direction you didn’t quite get, ask them to clarify. Like I say, they’re looking for someone to work with, not to just nod your head and follow orders.

If there’s a skill you think might be beneficial for you next time, consider investing in it. It might be that they wanted a song sung to a competent level – if you winged it this time and it didn’t work, then next time consider having a could of singing lessons beforehand, telling the teacher that you’re doing this for an audition and exactly what you need.

The key is, if something – any little thing – felt wrong or underprepared, next time just change it. Consider applying for some jobs that you don’t really want to do, and if you get called use these opportunities to practice being in the room again - with the pressure off this time - and to try new things. The more auditions you go to, the more relaxed and comfortable you will be, and the people auditioning will see this. And it’s important to remind yourself or to even tell yourself a few things before you go in:

They’ve called you so they want to see you;

They want the next person (that’s you, that is) to walk in and to nail it;

They want you to be relaxed and doing your best work; and

They see you as the character they’re auditioning for.

It does help to feel this, as it becomes empowering when you keep getting called to auditions. Again, if you don’t get gigs, and if you truly believe you’ve done all you can do beforehand and on the day, then I can guarantee you you didn’t get it because of something that is completely out of you’re control. Know this, go for the next one, and do the same work again - it’s just a matter of perseverance and luck. So good luck.