Preparation is the Key

SIMONE BALL'S AuditionSIMONE BALL delivered a very successful self-test this week for a U.S. series. Her listening was terrificly open and responsive. This allowed her to be different on every run which kept every take fresh. She was confident, engaging and very believable. When I commented that she had done really well she replied, “I didn’t do as much preparation as usual. Maybe that’s the key.”  That was a very interesting observation.

Over preparing can be a big problem. I AM CONVINCED YOU CAN PREPARE TOO MUCH.

Over preparation has a number of significant deficits.

  • It raises expectations trapping the actor into alternatives they think are the best ones for the scene.
  • It therefore confines active listening.
  • It makes it difficult to add extra ingredients because they will often disrupt the planned approach.
  • And it generates stress because in the end the performance rarely matches the expectation generated by the preparation.

SIMONE BALLIt isn’t the quantity of preparation that is important. It is the QUALITY that counts. Preparation that …

  • enables a clear and simple understanding of the circumstances
  • has considered a couple of diverse possibilities for Conversation Goals
  • that has assessed a couple of different possibilities for the patterns of behaviour within the relationship
  • and has learnt the lines satisfactorily but in a flexible way

… should set the actor up for a free and playful audition.

That’s where Simone was for this audition. She was playful, relaxed and confident. The result was terrific.

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