So the buzz at the Australian Open today (and around the world on social media) is about the controversial win by WTA #1 Victoria Azarenka over American upstart Sloane Stephens. Here's what happened: at 4-5 (VA leading) in the second set, Vika took a questionable 10-minute injury time-out on Sloane's serve to get off the court, while Sloane sat in her player's chair and waited. When Azarenka came back, she eked out a win by breaking Sloane's serve on her 6th match point to book a spot in the finals. I'm not sure what was going on with Azarenka - she's still one of my favorite players - but that was a "veteran move" on her part. Sloane, on the other hand, will undoubtedly learn from this experience; and she would have been well advised to stay warm during Vika's 10-minute walkabout. But she didn't. And what can we as actors learn from this?
At auditions, or in between takes, or long periods off stage, we are that athlete just before serving to stay in a match, who may be "iced" intentionally or unintentionally by the opponent or situation. Sometimes it's a legitimate injury on the other side of the net, sometimes it's a casting director simply running behind schedule, and sometimes it's a tactic employed by your opponent to make you think and get nervous about the moment and/or cool you off when you have momentum. In any case, you can do yourself a favor by staying warm, staying loose, jogging in place, taking some practice swings, etc. during this time.
If you feel you are being "iced" before a big moment, use that time to warm up and/or stay warm. If you're an actor waiting in the hallway of some cramp Manhattan space to audition or have to wait 15 minutes for your next entrance in a show: go to the bathroom and do the Crazy Eights exercise. Get your energy up! Because you'll need that whether you're auditioning for that next big role, serving for a place in the finals of a major championship, or just jump starting your day.
Because the more you're on your feet for a performance, the more likely the audience will get on theirs!