Quick Hit: The Other Side of Failure


Justin doesn't want you to be the asshole. In today's Quick Hit, he gives you three great reasons to fail while nerding out about synaptic pathways.

Welcome to the third episode of Audition Secrets!

Fail, Baby, Fail
Are you willing to fail? Justin unpacks a huge fear for performers: looking like an asshole. No one wants to fall on their face or embarrass themself. But failure is an asset, and Justin lays out three reasons why.

In Self We Trust
Justin lives by the mantra “let go and let god,” which isn’t so much of a religious sentiment as it is a resignation to the universe — a recognition that things are out of your hands. In the moment, failing feels terrible, like an eternity, but there is gold on the other side of that feeling.

You can’t apologize for anything that happens, and if you’re prepared, you shouldn’t have to. Go with the flow! Justin encourages you to push through your mistakes and find what the character would do in that circumstance. Trust in your preparation, technique, and training.

By doing this, you also gain the trust of the casting personnel. They know that you know that the show must go on. This is invaluable.


The trauma of your first kiss
Justin meanders down memory lane with the story of his first kiss (in a bomb shelter). He remembers that the nerves he felt before and when it happened quickly transformed into something magical. He was buzzing for the rest of that night.

Justin sees an equivalent experience in auditioning: a nerve-wracked moment is imprinted on you, you (somehow) get through it, and the trauma diminishes every time you do it after that. This is about facing the pain, cultivating a thick skin, and coming out stronger on the other side.

Asking your brain good questions
Pushing through mistakes is really about strengthening your synaptic pathways. Synapses are structures in your brain that permit nerve cells to send signals to the rest of your body, and they play a large role in the formation of memory. Just like learning any skill, getting to the other side of a horrible, mistake-induced feeling takes practice. This is mindset work.

Justin also shares a story about looking like an asshole in his very first dance class.

Justin Guarini