Why hire a coach?
Coaching is very different from training.
Some of you may have been away from auditioning for a while. Some may feel that you’re auditioning well, but frustrated that you’re not booking. Some find it freeing to get out of their own living space and into a more neutral environment. Coaching may be considered a luxury by some, but it is a luxury that most successful actors indulge in. Many very famous actors have an on-set coach for TV and film, and some of the top theatre actors engage them as well.
Some trained actors ask, “But, I went to graduate school. Why do I need more training?” I labored under that misconception for a long time. But coaching is very different from training. It’s immediate, concerned with the material in front of us and how to make it breathe. When I first tried private coaching - about four years after I finished grad school - I was surprised to find how far from the mark I was. I wasn’t able to answer some very basic questions about the scene in front of me. I had become so concerned with how I looked and what “they” (the auditors) were going to think and what the breakdown said and who else might be going in for the role and how I was going to get the time off to audition and etc., etc…
It’s not necessarily about being told something you haven’t heard before. A lot of good coaching is reminding good actors of things they already know. Sometimes it’s just turning the prism to see things from a different angle, or in a different color. We’ve all had the experience of helping a friend with an audition, and thinking, “Gosh, I wish this were my audition. I see exactly what needs to be done here!” The truth is, it’s very hard to get that “third eye” on our own work. It can be incredibly beneficial to have someone outside of your own mind and heart who can see what you bring organically to a character, and to assist you in drawing out those qualities. Also, the biggest difference between a proper rehearsal process and an audition is TIME. Often, an actor is given the most complicated scene in a play to prepare on their own in a few short days (or hours!) and it’s ridiculous to think that anyone can completely crack that nut on their own. Coaching can help alleviate the stress, and two or three brains are better than one!