You’re Awesome. Maybe You Just Suck At Auditioning.

The NHL Playoffs just started their divisional finals so I figured it’s a perfect opportunity to work hockey and the New York Rangers into a post.

Trust me, gentle readers, this won’t be the last time.

I love ice hockey. It’s thrilling to watch and offers many valuable life and professional lessons. Case in point: Ryan Kessler, a center for the Vancouver Canucks and member of Team USA at the Sochi Olympics. When he was 13, Kessler was cut from every AAA (elite) team he tried out for.

Clearly Ryan Kessler is an elite player, so when I heard this about him I had to wonder, was the 13-year old Ryan a young hockey talent who was just bad at trying out? Did he have great skills but didn’t display enough fighting spirit? Did he get psyched out? Was he feeling the pressure and made dumb, little mistakes? Did he hesitate in clutch situations?

The hockey tryout is a sweatier, stinkier version of an audition or job interview.

Presuming you are smart, talented and right for the job, let’s discuss:


Breathe, Focus, Visualize and read up on Dr. Gregg Steinberg (he’s taught me a ton)

When I am casting or hiring staff I am looking at many things besides your obvious qualifications:

–       do you have the experience and mental strength to handle the pressure

–       can the crew stand to spend 13 weeks on the road with you?

–       Do you have range? Or are you one note?

–       Are you adaptable? Can you go with the flow when the production suddenly goes to plan B, C or D?

–       do you want this job? vs Do you want any old job?

–       have you done your homework?

So my clients and I throw things at you. Unexpected things – like random questions, additional copy to read cold, improv scenarios, tough situations, executives who seem like they’re not paying any attention.

It started out great but suddenly there’s no love in the room.

It’s all part of the test. Smile, relax, never let us see you sweat. The harder it gets, it means the more we like you (usually).

Here’s the other thing: We’re rooting for you.

Go Rangers!!

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