Middle of the Road (to nowhere)

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to…the middle of the road.

No. That’s not how the saying goes.

(And as an expert in owning chickens – yes you read that right, I can confidently say that chickens are perfectly happy hanging out in the barn).

Unfortunately, many actors craft auditions that only get them to the middle of the road.

But a middle of the road performance does not book you the job!

How does a middle-of-the-road audition happen?

Weak choices

Strong choices come from a strong understanding of the material.  If you don’t understand the script you are about to perform, how can you make a strong choice?  A good writer has left clues in everything that appears on the page.

Not personalizing it

A strong choice gets stronger when you can personalize it.  We want to see choices that have been so personalized, you come across as though you are living the material, right now.  When you do not personalize the material, you only come across as an actor.

Not Fully Committing

This can also be a symptom of not making a strong choice, or not committing to one choice.  If you’re waffling between one choice or another in your audition, it reads like middle of the road.

Many actors don’t commit fully in their choices because they are “afraid of going to far” or “being too big.”  It’s important that you test out just how far you can go in an audition (before you get into the room of course) so that your work doesn’t fall flat (aka middle of the road).

Not Creating A Strong Relationship

The most important relationship is with the person you’re in a scene with.  If that relationship doesn’t have the ring of truth, your audition will feel middle of the road.  When you’re beginning to craft your relationship, be specific so that you are emotionally affected.

“She’s my sister” is general.  “She’s my older sister that I feel the need to prove I am better than” is a much more specific relationship.

When you do the work to make each scene you play deeply personal, with specific relationships that have an emotional affect on you, you will go past the middle of the road audition to get to the other side!

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12 Comments

  1. Thanks for your honesty

    Reply
    • Hope this info helps Carol.

      Reply
  2. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Wendy this is GREAT information. Thanks for staying in touch with me. I DO NOT want to be middle of the road in my auditions. Your Workshop/Class/Comments/Teachings have been valuable learning tools for me. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Zoe. You are in way “Middle of the road”. xo

      Reply
  4. Thanks Wendy, wonderful information, you are good.

    Allison A Shaw

    Reply
    • Thanks Allison, just passing it on. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing Wendy- you have a way of articulating so that the light bulb comes on!

    Reply
    • Thanks Theo. Hope this info. makes a difference for you in your acting career.

      Reply
  6. https://vimeo.com/121161192
    I’m practicing my on camera as a new actor. Mostly I’m working on memorizing which I have not done in years, if ever. I used this blog entry as text. Please let me know if you mind.

    Reply
    • Don’t mind at all Joseph.

      Reply
  7. Your blogs always seem to come up at the right moments. This is something that I have been struggling with and working on. I wish I was actually in the LA area so I could take your next class! Thanks so much for keeping up with us. You always share such real situations!

    Reply

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