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Will Risk-taking Really Pay Off?

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Is it smarter to take a risk to stand out or play it safe in an audition room?  The truth is, there is a right place and time for both approaches, and knowing when to take risks and when not to could mean the difference between landing a role and standing out in all the wrong ways.

The same can be said, really, for almost any situation.  For example, you probably wouldn’t jump up in class in the middle of a lecture and excitedly start applauding – unless, of course, your classmate just delivered an excellent presentation and applause is expected.  Knowing when to do so and when not to will help you either pass or fail, and this is largely unteachable.  It’s all about using common sense.

When you’re in a time crunch and a director expects you to have memorized all of your lines flawlessly by, well, yesterday, thinking about anything above and beyond can seem particularly daunting.  While, in a perfect world, you would be given amble time to prepare and infuse some creative risk-taking into the role, this isn’t always an option.  Entertainment is fast-paced, and there are times in which you might be asked last minute to join a project. 

If given more than 24 hours to prepare, you might choose to add a little pizzazz to your role.  If you’re playing a mad scientist, the quirkier the better, right?  Maybe your persona speaks in a creepy tone or adjusts his glasses every five minutes.  These are nice-to-have add-ons if you have enough time to infuse them into your performance. 

Risk-taking in a role means being physically able, health-wise, to do so.  If you’re supposed to fend off an intruder, you may be given some direction, but the way you fend the person off will be largely left up to you.  Do you grab a baseball bat for protection and timidly tell the person to go away or you’ll call the police?  Or, do you bravely attack the stranger?  If you are physically able to chase the person around, go for it.  Otherwise, you might want to opt for the former approach.  You certainly don’t want to engage in any overly strenuous activity that just going to lead to an injury.  This may mean you’re out of a job for a while.

Creative choice and the ability to adapt your reaction to the situation you’re in is key to getting booked.  Time and physical fitness can be huge factors, too.  If you take a risk and are met with a confused gaze, you’ll probably want to scale it back a bit the next time around.

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