Did you know LGI3 is the secret formula to success for actors? Could it really be true that the art of audition success lies within these three letters? Well I’m going to break it down for you and challenge you to test it out the next time you’re in the audition room.
So what on earth does LGI3 mean? And no it’s not the latest in refrigeration innovation, just in case you were wondering. Let’s take a look:
Listen (L) + Grounded (G) + Intelligence (I1) + Imagination (I2) + Intuition (I3) = a bloody good actor
Now that this equation is starting to make a little more sense, let’s have a look at each of the key ingredients.
I am totally aware that the minute you walk into the audition room you have 1000 things running through your mind. What was the casting director’s name? Is the other person the director or just a colleague? I hope I look okay, where do I put my bag? Do I leave my glasses on or off? And so on. All of this nervous chatter in your mind is absolutely valid and normal; however instead of helping you, what it is actually doing is inhibiting you from being present and listening to others in the room.
What I often find when actors have the chatter going on in their mind, is they fail to take direction because they are not able to LISTEN and take on what the director or casting director is asking from them. Not only does this make an actor look weak but it queries our faith in their ability to do a good job on set, if they were to book the job.
Another point to always think about when in the audition room is to LISTEN to the person reading opposite you. After all acting is simply listening and reacting, so if you’re not listening to the other actor you’re not going to be reacting authentically or doing your best job. If by chance you are one of many people who are just poor listeners, try some active listening exercises during your day. Ask someone to tell you a short story like what happened on the weekend or a plot from a film and try to repeat word for word everything they just told you. Go on, I dare you to test it out.
So the next time you find the chatter in mind getting louder, take a breath; trust you’re ready and perfect for the audition; choose to be present with who is in the room and LISTEN to who is talking to you.
Pretty please dear actors be GROUNDED and master how to contain all that nervousness and creative energy. Twitching, swaying, shuffling, fidgeting and nervous ticks in general are not only unnecessary but draws our attention away from your performance. In my opinion, being grounded is one of the most appealing and attractive qualities an actor can posses. It automatically makes everyone feel at ease and has the ability to draw us into your eyes and soul.
If you don’t believe me, take the time to watch famous actors when they do live interviews and compare the difference between those who fidget and those who hold their ground. Often I see great performers and they start fidgeting or swaying and all I want to do is hold them down or get them to stay put. Being grounded is also especially important when casting commercials that are usually only 30 seconds long. In these scenarios every second counts and unfortunately your fidgeting or restlessness is not going to win you the job.
I understand that intelligence is one of those things that you either have or you don’t. But when I talk about intelligence in terms of acting, I’m talking about taking the time to research the character. Make sure you read the text clearly and that you understand the scene and any subtext. And if there is no apparent subtext, intelligent actors always seem to find away to create it. Layers of subtext or background knowledge of your character will help you remain grounded in the scene and open you up to being present and confident in your performance, ticking off my previous two points.
If there’s a word you’re not familiar with, look it up. Know what you’re talking about and if something doesn’t make sense or you’re not too sure how you think something should be played, ask the casting director these questions when you arrive.
And finally, don’t be afraid to make a bold choice, actors who make strong choices are actors that are remembered even if their choice is way off the mark. I’d prefer an actor to make the wrong choice compared to an actor who plays it safe and makes absolutely no choices.
I really love and connect with this word. IMAGINATION is the source to all greatness and food for your creativity. Allow yourself to connect with your IMAGINATION when you’re in the audition room. IMAGINE the environment around you; feel the wind in your hair if it’s an outdoor scene; feel the weight of the cup of coffee and its warmth. Take the time to imagine what just happened before the scene starts and what’s going to happen next.
Another great tip when rehearsing and preparing for an audition is to IMAGINE the different ways the scene could be played and try them out. Test out all the different ways you can play the scene and this will help you develop character and make you feel more comfortable. It also helps to find a unique angle on the scene and will even help you take on new direction during the casting session.
I can never say it enough but actors should always trust their intuition and instincts when performing a scene and especially during the casting session. Often this intuition won’t make much sense and you will have no idea where it came from. But more often than not, your intuition is what makes you brilliant.
Just think about that feeling you get when get inspired to do or say something and you just go for it and the other actor responds so delightfully. It gives you such a rush. It’s exciting. It makes you an exciting actor to watch and adds an unpredictable quality to your work. In my opinion, these experiences are the reason why you are an actor. It is for these rare moments when intuition strikes that feeds the eternal hunger of any great artist.
Unfortunately I can’t help you build on your intuition but I strongly believe if you take my advice of the above points and just trust yourself, your intuition will kick in the next time you audition.