“Tristen’s got a checklist for everything!”

My friends often tease me for my love of The Container Store, new Iphone apps, and checklists. They think I LOVE to be organized.

But I’ll share my dirty little secret. I don’t love to be organized – I’m actually a bit of a mess. But I absolutely HATE being stressed. And that hate far outweighs my desire to be “laid back” about the important things.

CREATING RITUALS & WORKFLOW

I’ve started making space in life to create rituals and processes that I do whenever high stress is likely to be a factor. Like when I get a last-minute audition. In those moments of pressure, the last thing I want to do is forget my training, so I created a ritual. Want a peek?

ONCE I RECEIVE AN AUDITION, I:

  • Confirm appointment with reps.
  • Add appointment to my Google Calendar, including address.
  • Run Waze to get an estimate of travel time to the audition.
  • Schedule that time + 20 mins into calendar.
  • Schedule coaching session with audition coach.
  • Print sides & resume.
  • Staple resume to photo / highlight sides.
  • Research any supporting material (videos, trailers, past episodes, etc.)
  • Make a cup of coffee and read full script, if available.
  • Read through sides and start answering questions on my Audition Checklist.

And I’m off to the races! I do more than this of course, but with these necessary steps out of the way, I’m free to play as much as possible in the time I’ve been given.

I get all this done in the first few hours of receiving the appointment so it’s not a mad scramble the day of!

ORGANIZING YOUR KNOWLEDGE

You’ve spent so much money and time in classes to hone your craft. Have you ever felt like, when you get an audition, most of it flies out the window?

How many times have you left an audition thinking “Doh! I forgot to have a moment before!” or “I wish I had practiced that scene with the CD on the other side of camera – I didn’t even think of that!”

Those lil’ golden nuggets you’ve learned along the way can get lost if you don’t have a ritual to keep track of them. I have two ways I do this I’d love to share with you.

MICROSOFT ONE NOTE OR EVERNOTE

These programs are so sexy, they’ve literally changed my life! I use both in different ways but you can choose your favorite. For our purposes here, I’m focusing on One Note.

I have a notebook in One Note called “Class Notes.” Every acting or writing class I take gets its own section in this notebook.

After every class, I take notes of the important skills we covered, instructor feedback on my performance, and nuggets o’ wisdom I picked up. This way, all my info is in one searchable place any time I need it.

I also use this program when reading books that are chock-full of wisdom so I never forget the good stuff!

MY AUDITION CHECKLIST

I used Google Docs to create my Audition Checklist. Every time I learn a new skill in class that could help me in an audition, I add it to this list.

This makes it super easy to use everything I’ve learned when I get an appointment. After years of training and classes, this list is getting long. I don’t always have time to answer every question before an audition. But at the very least, it’s not because I forgot anything.

WANT YOUR OWN COPY OF MY CHECKLIST?

I’ve taken some of my favorite checklist items and whipped up beautiful Audition Checklist to get you started! You can print it out so it’s easy to reference, or you can use the checkboxes from your computer.

I hope this checklist gives you the freedom and ease to play in your auditions and dare I say it… have fun.

See? Organization is super-cool!

As professional actors, what other things should we be systematizing?

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