A persistent difficulty for me in auditions is that under the gaze of auditors I too often don't do what I've rehearsed: my work too often flattens out. It compresses. Highs are lower and lows are medial. Whites and blacks turn grey. This happens to me LESS frequently than it once did--MUCH less frequently, actually--but if I'm too eager to please I can find myself in the same old trouble. Earlier this week I rehearsed an audition for a company I very much hope to work with in the future, and after walking into the room, in which I found myself facing a panel of mostly twenty-somethings--as well as one guy my age--I reverted to old 'protective' stage habits, i.e., habits designed to hide rather than reveal myself. The work I did was not terrible, if only because I can't quite do 'terrible' any longer, but it was generic. I 'connected' but not from out of the world of the character for which I was auditioning. The work I did felt actually distasteful, to me, and probably did to them.
Other than prepare as well as I can there is one thing I can do that will help (and did yesterday in an on-camera audition): stretch my expressiveness further than feels natural--i.e., be willing to exaggerate--especially at the top. If I allow myself to exaggerate that first beat, I can flip myself into the 'brighter' and more reactive modality I need to make my work read. "Exaggerating" does not mean not filling action with internal work--i.e., letting the 'expressiveness' be bigger than what's feeding it from inside--which would be deadly and I'd soon find myself back in community theater. '"Exaggerating" means--for me at least--going 'bigger' than what I feel is natural at the moment, remembering that at that moment--that moment in from of auditors--I'm feeling unnaturally shy, or vulnerable, more 'visible' than I really am. Exaggeration in this instance is my self-corrective for under-existing. It worked for yesterday's on-camera audition.
Again, I want to be clear: "exaggerating" may be a misleading way of stating this for an actor trained the way I am. The word helps me in this very specific instance, when I'm not quite the same actor in front of auditors as I am the actor who was rehearsing to be there. In every other circumstance, I would not say to myself, "exaggerate," but rather "match the word to the action and the action to the word," as per Hambone's advice.