Theatre is what I would call my favorite hobby. I first started acting when I was 6, but only in the school skits and church plays that parents were obligated to watch. I auditioned for my first play when I was 10, it was' Guys and Dolls' and, to my horror, an open audition.
As anyone in theatre can tell you, open auditions are quite frightening your first few times, and it's almost entirely unheard of to have an open audition for your first play. In an open audition the entire group of auditioners sits in the audience as you read, act, sing, and/or dance. In my case I would have to preform a monologue, and sing part of a song from any musical. I was near the end of the group and by the time was called I had almost talked myself out of it.
I walked up to the directors table and handed them my CD and a copy of my monologue. I tottered onto the stage, nervously gripping my printer page, and clearing my throat. I began, my voice small and my movements minimum, and the director interrupted me and commanded me to raise my voice. I cringed and began again, this time practicing like I had when I was alone in my home. The director gave an encouraging smile and a thumbs up and my confidence level rose. Slowly the other people in the room, who all seemed far older and more experienced, melted away and I ended my monologue loud and confidently.
Although I didn't receive a lead role until a few plays later my first audition really helped me to learn that it's okay to be crazy and loud, because that's what they're looking for.