Confidence is something to be admired and I have no problem admitting I am a confident person but I will have my weaker moments. So every so often I draw upon false confidence. On Saturday I had my audition for the National Youth Theatre aka NYT, I’m already a member but this was an audition for the yearly performances so I was very excited! When I tried to get in to NYT, of course I was nervous because it was my only chance however this time it was different nerves- I was going up against other NYT members.
Everyone is so lovely and welcoming and there is a great atmosphere, for outsiders it may look and sound like the movie Fame. Everyone seemed to know someone whereas I knew no one so I smiled and ended up hanging around with a group of great girls. Different personalities but I quickly realised they were strong, independent young women and go getters. My kind of women basically!
The individual auditions were first so we waited around till our time slot. Before going in, all around me actors started to warm up, relax and get prepared for their audition. I warmed up in a room where no one was and went through my exercises. Afterwards I sat there and started to feel very nervous because I noticed everyone else warming up. Obviously we have to but I started to doubt myself. I know how to warm up but looking around I wondered if my warm up was correct, if I was warmed up enough and then I had a new thought…maybe everyone is feeling the same and perhaps all of this was to show confidence. I would never bash anyone and maybe they were just warming up but after a while how much warming can you do? So I just sat there looking around me and I started to notice little things about everyone. I could see the nerves in peoples’ eyes and I could sense I wasn’t the only one with self doubt but everyone tried to hide it by looking confident in what they were doing.
Again I repeat I would never want to bash anyone for what they were doing but it got me thinking. Maybe I looked too much into it but after going to a few auditions in my career this threw me off. In this industry you get used to stares and dagger looks and I brush them off however this knocked my actual confidence but I kept my false confidence going. So what did I do? I smiled. I smiled to everyone passing me, I was friendly and I chatted to break the ice. Then when I left I smiled and wished them to ‘Break a Leg’. (We never say good luck). I was genuine because I wish everyone success but I stayed confident even when I wasn’t 100%.
So my tips are:
- Be friendly- friendliness can indicate you are relaxed. Then reverse psychology kicks in and then you will start to relax.
- Stay positive- this is so obvious so think of a happy time or memory.
- Look around- I don’t mean at the competition, I did that and look what happened, self doubt and inspiration for a post. I guess it isn’t all bad! Looking around shows you have everything together and that you don’t need to keep going through your work.
- Don’t be arrogant- There is a fine line between arrogance and false confidence. Never belittle someone and if someone isn’t interested don’t persist.
- Don’t get personal- When I made chit chat I didn’t ask questions about their monologue. It may throw them off and it could have an opposite effect giving you more self doubt. Keep the conversation light.
I haven’t got too many tips for false confidence as I hardly have to use it but when it’s needed I use these. Do you have any tips?