How Mistakes Can Make You a Better Actor

As an actor, one of the most embarrassing and depressing feelings can involve walking out of an audition knowing you’ve made lots of mistakes. Whether you talked too fast while reading the script or you just forgot your lines, mistakes are often regarded as an actor’s worst nightmare.

Well, we’re here to say something that might shock you. Mistakes aren’t just a normal part of the auditioning process; they can actually make you a better actor. And help you book the job.

Surprised by this? Don’t be: handling a mistake during an audition reveals just how fast you are on your feet. Casting directors may be impressed by flawless auditions – but they’re going to remember an actor who was able to quickly recover from a mistake by incorporating it their audition.

After all, casting directors know that there are going to be challenges and obstacles on the set of any television show or film. That’s why they’re looking for actors and actresses who can quickly get over a mistake without blowing the entire audition.

So how can you use mistakes to make yourself a better actor? Use the following techniques:

  • When you recognize you’re making a mistake, don’t allow it to undermine your entire audition. For example, if you’re talking too fast, just slow your speech down. If you forgot a line, move on without apologizing or deprecating yourself. If you get stuck on a mistake for too long or draw too much attention to it, you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons.
  • If your memory has lapsed on your lines, don’t stammer or stutter. Instead, improvise, let your instincts take over until you can back on script. If you’re not confident in your improv skills, take a few improv classes. The ability to think fast as an actor can help you book more jobs.
  • If you mispronounce a word, don’t correct yourself as you correcting yourself. Instead, stay in character. This is an impressive way to show casting directors that you’re able to commit to a character without getting hung up on mistakes.

Improv, humor, and the ability to move on from a mistake are great ways to show CDs that you’re a talented actor who will also be easy to work with. Don’t try to avoid mistakes at all costs, as this might make your audition feel stilted or cookie-cutter. Embrace the mistakes IF they come – after all, they turn you into a better actor and auditioner!

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