Know before you go

by | Apr 20, 2017 | Blog

Know before you go Have you ever been to a party, walked up to someone you’d never met before and said, “Hi. I don’t know anything about you. But I really want you to like me.” Probably not. But when it comes to the audition process, this very same approach happens quite a bit. When you get an audition, what steps do you take? You probably learn your lines, make choices, rehearse, pick out your wardrobe. But do you take time to know who you’re going in for? If you skip this step, you’re in luck. Today’s video shares some simple questions and easy steps you can take to “know before you go.” Taking just a few minutes to research a teeny tiny bit about who you’re going in for will boost your audition confidence. Know Before You Go Remember, marketing is simply building relationships with people who need what you have.  The operative word being people.  When you can connect with a person in a genuine way, through common values (such as their body of work, your taste in films), you’ll worry less about “being liked” in the audition room. The best relationships are peer to peer, and knowing before you go is the first step to creating a strong professional relationship that lasts. Please like &...

Are you too attached to your audition prep?

by | Apr 13, 2017 | Blog

Has this ever happened to you? You prepare your audition. You make smart technical choices, including rehearsing with a reader. You put that reader on the right side of the camera. Based on the script, it makes sense for your character to stand. You work out these technical details during your preparation. Then you walk into the audition room expecting to execute your choices and what happens? The reader is on the left side of the camera. The tripod is stuck so you have to sit. This is not what you were expecting. This isn’t how you rehearsed the scene. It throws you completely off your game. And then you blow it. Expectation is powerful. Today’s video shows you how to use expectation to work in your favor when it comes to the audition room. When you expect chaos, it doesn’t mess up your audition when chaos arrives. You never know what you’re going to get in the audition room. Things on set don’t always go according to plan. So how do you prepare for chaos? Try rehearsing your auditions multiple ways. Have your reader/rehearsal partner switch sides. Try a few takes standing (or seated) and see how that informs your choices. Don’t get attached to a specific set up. The more comfortable you are with chaos, the stronger your work will be. Leave a comment below. Have you ever been thrown off in the audition room? What happened, and what might you do differently next time to stay focused?   Please like &...

Don’t Make Sh*t Up!

by | Apr 6, 2017 | Blog

Don’t Make Sh*t Up! When you have an audition, how do you create a powerful story? Where do you find the emotional hook? What steps do you take to embody a fully realized character? In some cases, I see actors pull a backstory out of thin air. It’s important to use your imagination to create a unique audition. But don’t make sh*t up that has nothing to do with the script. Here’s what to do instead… Don’t Make Sh*t Up Remember to use what’s on the page to influence your imagination and backstory. Ask yourself: What is the writer’s intention in this particular scene? How can my choices help tell that story in a clear and compelling way? Leave a comment. How do you create strong choices when you don’t have much to go on? How do you avoid the trap of pulling random ideas out of thin air? Please like &...

Don’t blow it at the table read

by | Mar 30, 2017 | Blog

Don’t blow it at the table read You prepare for the audition, nail your callback, and finally get the winning phone call: You booked the role! The hard work is done and it’s time to sit back and relax, right? WRONG!!!! Many actors fall into the trap of assuming that since they booked the part it is theirs to keep. In reality there is one major step between booking and that coveted #SetLife: The Table Read The table read is where all the casting pieces (actors) come together and the creators of the project finally get a cohesive picture of how the script will play. For the producers, writers, and directors this isn’t a simple meet and greet. It is the LAST CHANCE to make tweaks to the project before shooting starts. Those tweaks can be to the script…or the cast. There are so many heartbreaking stories about actors who finally booked to the job only to be replaced after the table read. This happens all the time in comedies (if you can’t make the joke work they will find someone who will), and even in dramas. So what can you do to make sure you keep that role you worked so hard to book? Treat the table read like another step of the audition process! Know the script Come in with a full understanding of the material Make strong choices This is no casual rehearsal for discovery. Look the part Are you playing a surgeon? Don’t show up in jeans and a v-neck. Did you do full hair and make up for your audition? Bring that look back to the table read! Your work will...

Why you SHOULDN’T “Start Whenever You’re Ready”

by | Mar 23, 2017 | Blog

Why you SHOULDN’T “Start Whenever You’re Ready” Usually when you go for an audition, the casting director (or producer/director) says something like, “Start whenever you’re ready.” Now every once in a while, an actor comes along who takes this phrase literally. Don’t let this happen to you! But do have a good laugh at my expense, as I demonstrate what NOT to do in today’s video (with a special appearance by Emily Grace). Start Whenever You’re Ready Take a beat, get centered and connect with your reader. Then you’re ready. Just leave the stretching and exercises at the door! ============================================== Los Angeles Actors: Audit The Audition Game Pro Class Want to find out if our class series is right for you? Now’s your chance to sit in on our most popular class. What is Audition Game Pro? This 12-week series was created by working actress Wendy Davis (Army Wives, NCIS, Scandal). In Audition Game Pro you learn how to play the audition game…and win! The Audition Game is a 9-step technique, with each step empowering you to create powerful, effective auditions that book the job. Audit week begins March 27. We have several dates/times to choose from, but space is extremely limited. We only open up our class to auditors twice a year, and the time is now! CLICK HERE to choose the available date and time that works for you. Don’t miss out! Reserve your spot to audit class for free today.     Please like &...

Feel the fear and STOP

by | Mar 16, 2017 | Blog

Feel the fear and STOP Wait a minute. “Feel the fear and…stop”? That’s not how the saying goes… And yet, it is a long-ingrained habit many of us suffer from. Especially when it comes to putting yourself out there as an actor. Recently I had a coaching call with a client that reminded me of how cunning this habit can be when left unchecked. Here’s what happened: The client is perfect – like really perfect – and uniquely qualified for a certain tv show. Between his experience as a filmmaker, festival connections in common with the director, and his personal experience with the show’s subject matter, he has a ton of value to offer this project. Plus he’s super passionate about being part of this specific show. So we mapped out a strategic marketing plan for him to connect with the director and producer. As we discussed the possible ways he could be bold, directly ask for what he wanted, add value to the equation, and follow up multiple times, I noticed he was becoming more and more quiet on the other end of the phone. “You ok over there?” I asked. Silence. I could imagine the wheels turning in his head. The thoughts going something like: Couldn’t I just put myself out there once and be done with it? What if they think I’m rude, or needy, or pushy? I never should’ve said anything. How can I get out of this project? Come to think of it, I’m not really that excited about this project. Never mind. I’ll just focus on something else. Yeah. Something that would be easier. Comfortable. Something that has...

This word is dangerous to your career

by | Mar 9, 2017 | Blog

This word is dangerous to your career Should. I should be further along my career (for my type, my age, my talent…) I should build up my tv credits (because my agent told me to) I should go for a commercial agent (because it’s easier than getting a legit one) I should cut my hair (because it’s a more marketable look) And on and on and on. Should is a dangerous word. When you set goals and make decisions from a place of “should” you disconnect from what’s in your heart. Have you ever taken on a goal because someone else said you “should”? If you have, you know what happens next. You might go for that goal diligently at first, but eventually you run out of steam. When your heart’s not in it, you can’t stay motivated. We human beings have a habit of looking outside ourselves for reassurance. But the truth is, no one knows what’s best for you. That is your department. When it comes to the entertainment industry, there is no “right way” to create success. No one can predict what is going to happen. A while back Christina Hendricks gave an interview (she played Joan Harris on Mad Men). Her agents at the time dropped her when she signed on to play the role. Why? Because they told her “It’s a period piece. It’s not going to make any money.” She decided to go with her intuition, and love for the script. And they decided to drop her. Hmmmm. Seven seasons later, six personal Emmy Nominations, and countless awards later…who do you think made the better choice? Which just goes to...

Don’t tweet your way out of a job!

by | Feb 23, 2017 | Blog

Don’t tweet your way out of a job! Twitter (and all social media platforms) are powerful tools for actors.  You can connect with filmmakers, editors, casting directors, agents, critics, fellow actors, fans of your work.  It is the simplest way to market yourself, your projects, and your career news. And you should be. HOWEVER, if you’re going to use twitter as a marketing tool, you need to be smart about it. If you don’t use your head, you could tweet (or Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat) yourself right of a job. Actors get fired for posting proprietary information more and more now. Don’t let this happen to you! After all, booking the job doesn’t happen every day. Don’t let your hard work and hustle be for nothing. The question of when it is safe to share about your auditions, your bookings, your onset photos, comes up often here at Acting Pros. So let’s talk about it. Read your NDA’s If you are given an NDA to sign (whether at an audition, at a contract signing, on set, or otherwise), you need to read that sh*t!  Understand what you’re signing.  There will likely be explicit guidelines about the use of social media in relation to the project. Know what those guidelines are.  If you agree to them by signing, you need to do what you agreed to do.  If you don’t, you will lose that job. But you told me to market myself This is true. But not to your own detriment. You should be marketing your acting career progress, like auditions, callbacks and bookings.  Just keep it vague until you either have permission from the production to...

What NOT To Do – Social Media

by | Feb 16, 2017 | Blog

What NOT To Do – Social Media Hey it’s Emily Grace – resident marketing expert here at Acting Pros. Do you ever have the sneaking suspicion that you’re using social media all wrong…and no one is telling you?!? Let’s talk about social media etiquette- Where is the line, and how do you know if you’ve crossed it? Today’s video is one from the recent past, and it’s just as relevant today. Don’t put your foot in your mouth on social media (and not even realize it)! Here’s what NOT to do: Now that we’ve covered what NOT to do – here’s what TO do to be effective on twitter, or any social media platform: Clarify Your Goals Why are you using social media? What do you want to accomplish? Are you building relationships with people who can hire you? Bringing visibility to your latest project? Creating a personal brand that combines your witty one liners and your love of Pokeman? Be specific, and your actions will support your goals. It’s A Cocktail Party When you meet someone at a party, do you immediately ask them to do something for you? No. You engage is Know Who You’re Talking To Social Media is a great of way of sharing what you’re up to. It’s also a phenomenal LISTENING TOOL. Especially if your goal is to build relationships, use the information people willingly share in a public forum to get to know them. Find where you may have common interests, experiences or goals, and use those points of connection to begin a professional relationship. Add Value Because social media makes otherwise unavailable people so easily accessible, it can...

Read What’s On The Page

by | Feb 9, 2017 | Blog

Read What’s On The Page When you get an audition scene, what’s your process? How much time do you spend reading the scene before you think about how you’ll play it? How long do you give yourself before you start trying to memorize your lines? In my experience, actors begin to do this almost immediately. I want to encourage you to stop doing that. Instead, take the time to read what’s on the page. Not just the scene. I mean EVERYTHING ON THE PAGE. The script is a map directly from the writer, that is filled with information. It’s your job to read, comprehend, and use that information to inform your choices. Time and time again I see actors make strong, unique, interesting choices…that have nothing to do with the scene. Why? Because they don’t take the time to read what’s on the page. If you start making choices before you truly understand what’s going on in the scene, you will act yourself right out of the job. When your choices are out of alignment with the writer’s intention, it won’t matter how great your acting is. Instead of wowing the room with your unique choices, you’ll simply convince the casting directer, writer and/or producer that you don’t understand the script. By the time your audition scene gets to you, the script has gone through massive, multiple rewrites. The writer has worked tirelessly to give you clue after clue as to what the scene and the script is about. Pay attention to all of the following… Character Breakdown If this is provided, read it! It will give you clues about your character. If you...
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