Play it ballsy. That’s what the old timers used to tell Clint Eastwood when we was coming up as a young actor.
Last week, I showed you some auditioning tips from Aaron Marcus, Hugh Laurie and Natalie Portman. Today I’m going to reveal some auditioning tips from a man so cool he needs no name: Clint Eastwood.
It’s hard to imagine Clint as a struggling, young actor, but back in the 50s, he was. Clint was up for a role in a TV show, a western called Rawhide. You may have heard of it.
Here’s how that audition went down, from the book “Clint Eastwood A Biography”, by Richard Schickel:
“It was now becoming clear to Clint that he was a finalist for the role of Rowdy Yates, and that this was a do-or-die audition…It was also clear to him that there was no time to memorize perfectly the speech that he had been handed. He observed however, that there were three transitions in it, and he thought if he got those right and improvised a fiery approximation of the other lines, he might get by…’I just built up a lot of energy, came running in there [and] blew off steam, tearing those words a whole new rear end.’
He left the studio in that state of ambivalence so familiar to auditioning actors, pleased with some of his work–in this case the dynamism he had brought to the scene–and anxious about what he had left out.
…as Clint stepped out of the dressing room, he overheard one of his rivals’ test. It was not encouraging. ‘This guy had it word for word–every single word. I go home and I’m saying, gee, I blew that one, didn’t I? I came so close and I blew it.”
There are many lessons to learn from this anecdote. One lesson is that no one is ever hired because of their memorization skills. Another lesson to remember is the importance of caputuring the essence of the character in an audition. Another lesson is that mental replays of auditions do you no good e.g. Clint got the part.
One of thing I’ve learned from Clint, is to be a risk taker. Take a look at this interview he did from the 60s, where he talks about his penchant for non-traditional roles and reinterpreting the Western Hero: Clint Eastwood 1967 UK Interview
Yours Truly will be teaching “Networking Tricks for Actors” at PATStudio on Monday evenings from 7:45 – 8:45pm 1/23, 2/6, 2/13 & 2/20. The class is $25 a night.
John Pallotta Studios will be coming to The DC Area this upcoming Feb 2012. Bringing you over 30 years experience on “The Craft of Acting”. As a special promotion to new actors in my class we are accepting student now at the low Lock In Rate of 150.00 a month.
Please text or call 646 619 7777 and register today at www.dcacting.com
Classes will be held in The DC area at either Calvary Baptist Church or The Source. Register Today to secure you seat and lock in rate of 150.00 a month.
John Pallotta Studio
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Remember to do something for your career every day and break a leg!