At the end of the day, everyone had the chance to get up in front of the group and "audition" a commercial. I made sure everyone got a chance and then went up last. I was as calm as a Hindu cow and really pretty much nailed it. The immediate thought was, "Stephanie goes on a lot of auditions so she's used to this" which is true, I used to audition for the hell of it, even if I was already cast in a show, just to have it as part of my routine, so I was never nervous , but what I really love about taking these workshops is that it allows me, as a teacher, a chance to reflect a bit more on what I teach and why I approach aspects of acting with more ease than most. I can sum up exactly why I didn't seem nervous "auditioning" and why, what they saw that day, is pretty much exactly what I'm like in an audition room: Because I have NO idea what the auditioners are looking for.
This shouldn't be a source of stress, Marjorie and Stephen said to avoid trying to figure out WHAT they want and just bring what you HAVE. It's like improv shows, I don't get nervous BECAUSE it could be bad, it could be amazing, there is no way of me knowing unless I actually start performing. This sounds terrifying but I want to try to suggest to you that it is very liberating. If you go in prepared, know your lines, understand the story and then, like Stephen mentioned, the first take is YOURS this is your vision of how you see it, when they say cut, you now get this wonderful opportunity for them to TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT, isn't this great?! You came in not knowing what in the hell they wanted, and now they are going to tell you! It's not a knock against what you've shown them (maybe they'll decide your first take was better, once you leave, and that's the one that gets passed on, who knows!) but what I'm stressing is exactly what Millie coined perfectly as "playing". This audition is a CONVERSATION, you come in and say, "Watch, I'm going to show you what I think this might look like. Cool, huh? What do you think?" and then they say, "Okay, not bad, try it this way and give me more of this and less of this" and you try it their way because it's just "playing". It's beyond just taking direction, treat it like a wonderful acting experiment. It's a pot luck, you bring something and they add something and you try it out together. If you come in with the attitude of "I have no idea what they want and I couldn't possibly read their minds" you'll be OPEN to suggestions and GUIDANCE, they are in that room to help you, they WANT you to get the job!
If rolling with the punches and feeling put on the spot is still the root of your anxiety, PLEASE get into an improv class, that will help with all of this, whether it's here at my acting school or in the city where you live it will help get you comfortable with failing, getting thrown into weird and scary situations that require you to do some fast thinking. When I am in an audition and they suddenly say "Can you do it like Fran Drescher?" or "Can you flirt a bit on that line?" I'm now IMPROVISING, this is my territory, but it's the easiest kind of improvising because they told me exactly what I'm going to be saying ahead of time, how much easier can this get?!
Try to switch your FEAR into ANTICIPATION, try thinking "I can't wait to see what they're going to ask me to do!" (my tag to this is "because the lines in this script are so bad/don't make sense/are boring") then you, and those nice people inside the room, get to make something out of some silly words on a page...together!