In life, you have very little say when it comes to what you feel, how much you feel and what you reveal. This all happens pretty much without your awareness. You don’t have to think about it. If you unexpectedly sit on a tack, the first emotion you will more than likely experience is surprise. The pain you experience might trigger some anger. Or if a dog starts growling at you, bearing his fangs, you don’t have to decide how you feel. According to research, when an emotion is triggered, emotional facial expressions happen without your consent. The most you can do when these emotions are provoked is attempt to manage or distort them.
So with this research in mind, if you create it truthfully, honestly, organically it should be revealed on your face appropriately. The problem is, in the audition there is no real tack for you to sit on or dog threatening to attack you. There’s just you, some sides and the casting director. You have to create all this through your own imagination. Without much feedback, you begin to question, how surprised or angry am I about the tack? How frightened am I about the dog? Is it reading? Is it enough?
Just because you create an emotion doesn’t guarantee the proper reveal. In real life, we have no say about what is coming at us, as actors we are creating the stimuli and have the power to turn it off. If you are an introvert when it comes to expression, you might create the emotion but reveal very little. If you are an extrovert you may over express it. You might distort the emotion. If you don’t know about the nature of emotions, you may even miss the signs in the scene that trigger the emotion. If you don’t know what muscle groups are involved with the emotion you are creating, you will be at a loss if they ask you to make it bigger or smaller.
The on-camera actor who has the ability to create and manage what his face reveals from its slightest hint of emotion to its strongest reveal, has a greatest chance of booking the job.