Ugh. Anxiety is the worst, especially when it gets in the way of pursuing your dream, or fully committing to it. We feel your pain as do countless other actors.
While anxiety can creep up on us in many different shapes and sizes for a variety of reasons, many actors have the most difficulty battling audition anxiety.
Let's take a minute to go over a few ways to help loosen anxiety's grip on you, so you can go back to kicking ass and taking names during your auditions...or at least help you not have a panic attack in the waiting room, and black out.
1. Reframe how you view the situation. Many times when we walk into an audition room we have this "us vs. them" mentality where we feel like we have something to prove. First of all, you don't have anything left to prove. You proved it already and that's why you're there. Perhaps even more importantly, those people sitting on the other side of the table are 100% on your team. They want your audition to go as well as you want it to. They want to be able to say, "finally, we found the right person!" Just keep in mind that you are in this room because someone recognized your talent.
2. Figure out exactly what you're afraid of. If you can pinpoint exactly what it is that is making you anxious, then you can take back control of the situation. For most people their anxiety stems from a fear that they are going to mess something up. The best way to combat this is by preparing so thoroughly that you know your material by heart, and you can feel confident going into your audition. Identify your specific anxiety triggers and then take back control by remedying whatever that trigger stems from.
3. Visit your friendly neighborhood psychiatrist. Sometimes anxiety is caused by an actual chemical imbalance in your brain and isn't just the result of one specific incident or situation. If you feel that might be the case then it is important to look after yourself and talk to a doctor about your options. Don't let the stigma from others, or from yourself, prevent you from living the life you deserve. Anxiety is one of the few hereditary illnesses that some ignorant people still blame you for having, or not being able to just 'get over'. But would you give a diabetic a hard time for taking their insulin? We didn't think so. Taking care of your mental health is definitely part of getting your shit together.