Here’s one more tip that applies to both professional and drama school auditions.
7. New beat
When actors ask me for help with their audition pieces, I often find that they’re overcompensating by forcing the emotion, when what they really need to do is focus first on the structure of the thought.
Get the structure of the thought right and it will do half the work for you. Here’s a powerful technique that I’ve found makes a big difference in auditions.
Break the speech down into beats. A beat in this case is the smallest unit of thought and each thought or beat should have its own energy. It’s as simple as that. Technically this means that each thought is different in pitch, volume, tempo and timbre. You might spit out one thought, caress another and whisper yet another. Sometimes a new thought will be a complete sentence, sometimes a single sentence will comprise several thoughts. There is not necessarily a definitive solution for any text: how you divide it into beats will depend on your interpretation. Sometimes you may simply follow the commas and full-stops, sometimes not. For example:
The line is immaterial. / Mr Worthing, I confess I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. /To be born, / or at any rate bred, / in a hand-bag, / whether it has handles or not, / seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. / And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to? / As for the particular locality in which the hand-bag was found, / a cloak-room at a railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion – / has probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now – / but it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a recognised position in good society./
Try emphasising the difference in each of these thoughts. You’ll immediately be aware of the varied rhythm, which is there in all good writing. Go for accuracy of thought rather than rushing in with the emotion. What are the words actually saying?

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