Our nerves come from the fear of the unknown. Nerves are probably the biggest problem actors encounter at auditions and on set. The fear they create, short circuits our brains and creative process. There is only one way I know to combat the fear of the unknown and the sometimes paralyzing case of nerves that often sabotages our auditions. Be prepared. This is probably the most consistent piece of advice given by virtually every acting teacher and casting director in their columns on acting tips. There is no substitute for being COMPLETELY prepared!
Learn to listen. To audition well you must be in the moment and allow things to happen organically. For that to happen you have to really listen to the other actor or reader. You can’t be thinking about yourself, your lines, your choices or how you are doing. To be truly in the moment you must be so confident that you can completely forget about all your technique. You know your lines, have all your substitutions, understand the character, and know what you are going to do. You have to trust you did everything you could. That trust will let you relax and let go.
Do the work. Fully prepare. Know your lines, Then trust your work and LISTEN. You will be amazed how liberating and relaxing it is.
Matt Newton frequently contributes Acting Tips to BACKSTAGE take a look at this one and pay particular attention to items 3 and 6.