Updated: Jul 11
Aidan Park shares his thoughts on being unforgettable
Hi everyone! In this crazy world of show business things can absolutely get overwhelming. In order to make it in show business one must learn how to sing, dance, act, memorize scripts, know your type and do cold readings! It can feel absolutely daunting
Back when I used to be a dancer, I remember back in 2006 when I wasl in a production of "HOT MIKADO" and the director at the time told me to do a split leap, while belting an F while looking natural and proud to be a "Gentleman of Ja-PAAAANNN" (I'm Korean by the way) . . . So I feel your pain. We need to spin a lot of plates!
But one of the most daunting elements of being in show business is . . . AUDITIONING! How do auditions work? What will they have me do? How do you make it in the world as an actor/performer.
I'm Aidan Park and you may be wondering why you should listen to me. I'm an actor and stand-up comedian based out of LA who has auditioned a lot! I am thrilled to take a break from LA to come to American Liberty Ballet to share with you guys what I know about show business.
I've been in the performing arts business for 20 years (right out of high school) I've performed in all mediums from film, TV, commercials, musical theater, concerts, Shakespeare, plays, stand-up comedy . . .I've auditioned for various projects probably over 2000 times!
I've also worked behind the scenes as director, producer, writer and casting director. With all my experience and years of grinding it out, I can tell you with certainty that casting directors/directors/producers are not looking for the most technically proficient singer/dancer or actor. Technique is not going to win you the role.
Here is what casting directors are looking for...
Casting Directors want to see the essence of YOU! The soul of who you are! Who are you at your core? There are thousands of actors who can dance the dance that you are dancing at the audition with technical proficiency, but no one has the soul of you! To the degree you can lean into the soul, spirit that makes you uniquely you, expressed through the lens of your audition piece, the more memorable and essential you become to the piece you are auditioning for!
Let me explain with a personal story so you get what I mean. Let me use THUY from Miss Saigon as an example because I have played that role 9 different times. Thuy is a character in Miss Saigon who is a Viet Cong military leader who tries to force his cousin (Kim) to marry him and when he finds out she has a child . . . he tries to kill the 6-year-old. Really fun guy. Anyone who knows me at all knows . . . Aidan is not scary. I laugh like Spongebob Squarepants, I am friendly with high energy, I can't even watch a horror movie without getting sad because I start thinking "OMG what about that person's mother? What is she gonna do when she finds out her son was slaughtered?" I'll admit I'm kind of emotional!
When I spoke to casting directors and directors about why I was chosen for Thuy ... I got responses like..."There was an innocence about you in your audition even with the harsh character" or "We saw your gentle soul in this soul less character" or "We found your internal conflict interesting." They were right. As I was approaching Thuy as I would see it . . . I could understand how this character might have become how he is (i mean he had to learn to be tough) . . . and I did have an internal conflict as Aidan, doing what the character is choosing to do (Like trying to kill a 6-year-old). I would have a hard time trying to kill the 6-year-old . . . and so as tough as I was trying to be . . . I kinda couldn't help but feel bad . . . I wasn't trying to show my guilt . . . (in fact I was desperately trying to hide it) but . . . I guess it leaked out.
That intangible element is what won me the role. Sure, I could sing the song and do the blocking, but so can 30 other Asian male actors. What won me the role over and over was my being in touch with who I was and that coming through the lens of the character. This created a unique perspective and interest.
So! Here is what I advocate! Get to know who you are! What makes you unique? What makes you special? Who are you? I would love for everyone to honor who they are and allow that unique special perspective to shine through the lens of the character they are portraying in the audition.
This is what everyone wants actually! Whether you are auditioning for TV, FILM, or SHAKESPEARE. If you are doing stand-up comedy, cabaret, going to a job interview, meeting friends, going on dates. Everyone you encounter, at the end of the day, wants to see who you are. The more comfortable you can become with who you are and allowing yourself to be seen, the more enriching career, relationships, friendships, and life experience you will have.
In order to express the soul of who you are, you must have a basic understanding of what they will expect from you at the audition so that you can custom tailor how you can perform your pieces based on the medium you are approaching. Whether that be in a theater piece, musical theater, on-camera, cold reading etc. You must be equipped with the knowledge that professionals have.
The good news is just the basics will be enough to get you jobs! This is why Valerie is bringing in Piper Harlow (casting director and producer) and to give you a crash course in the world of acting!
About the Class
Get a crash course on all things acting in this very special acting/auditioning intensive led by international award-winning performer Aidan Park and producer/casting director Piper Harlow!
In this workshop done over two days, Aidan and Piper will cover all the important elements you must know to develop a successful career in the performing arts…
Covered topics will include...
-Scene Study Technique
-Acting for Film and TV
-Acting for Theatre
-Cold Reading Techniques
-Musical Theatre Auditioning
-Business of Acting
and most importantly… making sure the essence of who you are shines through!
Your work will then be taped and reviewed by LA/NY industry professionals who will provide invaluable feedback to accelerate your acting career!
After the weekend intensive you will be ready to take on any type of audition and learn what it takes to book an acting job and deliver a fantastic performance!
Taught By industry experts both behind and in front of camera...
Piper Harlow (NYC) - Producer, Casting Director, Publicist, Actress
and Aidan Park (LA) -Best Selling Author, Award Winning Comedian, Producer and Actor.
Whether or not you take the class I would urge all of you reading to investigate the juice of who you are and share that with not just the audition room and the stage . . . But with the world at large. We need your light :-) So share it!