How Auditioning is Just Like Dating

Have you kissed a lot of frogs lately? How many dates do you have to go on to find “the one”?

I’m currently exploring the world of online dating and have found a surprising parallel: first dates are a lot like auditions. Whether you’re looking for a role you love or the next love of your life, you have to go on lots of auditions before you find the perfect fit. Online dating, auditioning, or both, these tips offer valuable information you can use in either situation!

You can’t control the outcome. 
When you go on a first date, you only know the basics: height, age, whether they like dogs, etc. Auditions are also big unknowns. An actor often walks into an audition with basic information and is asked to perform without knowing much about the context. Just like hoping “he’s the one,” this is scary, exciting, and a fact of life for actors. Sometimes all you can do is show up to the audition—or the date—ready to be your best.

A good photo is your calling card. 
Your photo is the first step in getting someone’s attention. Having an up-to-date, flattering photo is essential for both attracting dates and those in the entertainment industry. Your headshot will be reviewed by casting directors, potential agents, and managers. Be sure it portrays you at your best but isn’t airbrushed or faked in any way. People want to see the real you!

READ: 7 Tips for a Better Headshot

Be your unique yourself. 
Told a little white lie about how you love to rock climb and now find yourself in a harness and safety helmet on a date? What about fibbing and listing stage combat as a special skill on your actor resume only to find yourself asked to spar with someone during an audition?

In both dating and auditioning, you need to be your unique, perfect self. No matter how talented and amazing a performer you may be, casting choices are often based on arbitrary traits. Your job is to show up ready to audition honestly with your unique interpretation of the material.

Remember that they want it to work out, too.
He shares your interests, is adorable, smart, and witty. You like this guy already, but now you’re worried he won’t feel the same way and you work yourself into a negative spiral before the first date even happens.

News flash! He wants you to be the one, too. It’s the same way in auditions; no one wants you to fail. Casting directors are on your side, hoping that you’ll be perfect for the part. You don’t need to fear them.

Stop trying and let it go. 
My mother tells me love will happen when I least expect it. I think she’s right. Your next part will come along in the same mysterious way. Stop trying so hard. Yes, you need to study your lines, work with your coach, and understand the character. Preparation is always important. However, try to relax and enjoy the process. The sooner you can let go of disappointment over a lost role, the sooner you can move on to the next audition.

READ: 10 Attitudes That Keep Actors From Working

It’s great practice. 
Last month, I went on what felt like a million dates and sometimes I really just felt like giving up. But then I remember my 98-year-old aunt telling me, “Just keep going, it’s good practice for when the right one comes along.” And she’s right: I learn more about myself with every first date.

The same is true for auditioning. Each time you audition, you have the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your craft. Pay attention and keep notes on all you’re learning. The information will be very helpful.

Don’t give up before it happens. 
I dated a lot in my twenties. Just when I thought I might never meet the one, I met my husband. We had a nice long run (although I’m back on the market again). Just like dating, the odds of landing a role are pretty slim. There are often hundreds of actors answering the call for an audition, yet only one will be cast. Every actor faces the same overwhelming odds and the likelihood of rejection. That means you might have to go on 50 first auditions and get hundreds of rejections for every part you do land. Just remember that every “no” gets you that much closer to a “yes.” Actors are rejected many times before finding the right role at the right time with the right people. Success comes to those who stay positive and continue auditioning with confidence.