I describe my work with actors as bridging the gap between prior training—be it conservatory or otherwise—and what it’s actually like to work on-set or to prepare for a major audition. The goal: to create inspired work that doesn’t “reek” of acting technique.
Step 1: Realize that you are more interesting than the role.
Step 2: Live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.
Step 3: Take it off the page.
And then come on down to the Tom Todoroff Studio. The more I read articles from every different coach out there, the more I realize that this is the one studio that incorporates EVERYTHING.
The fake cry. Every parent has heard it and knows in an instant when their child is pretending. I would say the same is true for good casting directors. They can spot a young actor pretending to feel something they don’t.
Great advice for parents who are wondering whether or not to start their kids off in show business.
I’ve mentioned the Four Agreements in my posts before, but I don’t think I’ve ever expanded on them.
The Four Agreements is a book by don Miguel Ruiz on how to your best in everyday life. It’s a short book, worth the quick read. They are, in no particular order:
-Don’t make assumptions
-Always do your best
-Don’t take anything personally
-Be impeccable with your word.
These are great morals to live by in life. But, how does this apply to acting?
-Don’t make assumptions: When you receive an audition, don’t automatically start thinking about what “they” want in the character. That’s an assumption. You have no idea what “they” want. You can only give them YOU, and your choices. Work from yourself, and the rewards will be richer.
-Always do your best: If you don’t do your best, and you don’t get the part, your ego says “it’s ok, because I didn’t do my best”. But what if you had done your best? Would you have gotten the part? Maybe. But even if you didn’t, the satisfaction of knowing that you did your best is heartening.
-Don’t take anything personally: If you’ve been reading any of the articles I’ve posted here, you know that casting can be as simple as you are blonde, and they want a brunette. Or you were perfect for the part, but the writer decided to cast his sister because he owes her money. You have NO CONTROL over anything but your performance. So, don’t take rejection personally (if you’ve done your best!).
-Be impeccable with your word: Once you get the part, you MUST show up on time, be prepared, be professional, and courteous. You were hired because of your skill and professionalism. The hiring creates an unspoken contract - you have given your word that you will see this project through to the end, and do your best along the way.
The Four Agreements promote joy and avoid needless suffering.
Let’s imagine you are offered roles in two different stage productions and you must make a decision between the two.
Cuz, it will happen, trust me. :)
This may seem like a no-brainer, but Brian O’Neil’s article helps you make a list of pro’s and con’s and to really take a look at what you are gaining and giving up when choosing between multiple roles.
Today’s post is from SAG-AFTRA Voice Actor and Voice123 premium member, Dude Walker. He graciously invited me to attend an online meeting of his voice over group to answer some questions about Voice123. What I found out from this meeting, is that many Union members feel that Voice123 is not a good resource for them [&]
What a great post from Dude Walker. I’m still pretty new to the Voice Over world, but I know a lot of people who make their bread & butter from just their voice. And now I see why.
Before this article, I would totally have taken a $100 job - usually it’s about an hour to record, an hour to edit (if I’m doing it at home) - that’s $50/hour! Not bad!
But Dude says that’s too low. And at $401 scale, I can see why!
I’ve been on Voice123, and I’m not the biggest fan. ACX also provides some good auditions. But I’ve received most of my jobs from the regular casting sites. But, now, with this new information in mind, I’m willing to explore the voice sites once again.
I like to call what Perlman is describing as one’s “tip.” A tip is the unique fingerprint [or mark] of personality you leave on your performance. Here’s how to make your mark on a performance and book the roles you deserve.
Or, as my coach says “pee all over it”.
The other part of this article I really like is #3: Stop trying to guess what “they” want, because as Steve Jobs said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
Aside from staying positive, owning a functional cell phone, and checking the status of the project on IMDb, here are some other fun and proactive things you can do after an audition.
Oh. I love this article. My post-audition process has always been to just forget about it. Not think about the audition. I can’t control what happens after I have done my best (or worst - HA!) in an audition, so, I just let it be. And sometimes, I’ll get called back, or booked. And frequently, I’ll get double or triple-booked because I’ve auditioned for multiple roles that go up on the same dates.
But, the techniques in this article are much more fun!
The great Shakespearean actor is taking New York theater by storm. Here he talks about his various characters.
The brilliance of this man comes from his dedication and research. He even pulls from the Kabuki Theater of Japan to create his Olivia in Twelfth Night. What a lovely learning experience, reading this article.
A great audition requires you to be in complete command of yourself, your work, and the room. Accepting everything as it is in the present moment is key to having this kind of command.
Great little article. Especially #3. Accept the room. In film and TV especially, you’ll be acting in closets, with the whole crew jammed in with you. Be comfortable in tiny spaces with lots of people. And conversely, be comfortable as the only person on a giant stage with 1000 people staring at you from afar.
Stage combat is an element of theater and film wherein so many other elements combine, and yet it’s often relegated to “supplemental” training. Fight director Meron Langsner breaks down a half-dozen ways that stage combat will improve your acting skills.
I’ve seen a few plays in the past couple of months that incorporated stage combat. It always adds to the drama (or comedy, in some cases) when it’s performed in a choreographed and safe way.
Be suspicious when an advertisement, webpage, or person claiming to represent a casting agency uses one of these telltale strategies to lure you in and take your money.
What a great article to read, ESPECIALLY if you are just starting out. Save yourself some time and money. I would also like to add, that if you are just starting out, DO NOT send your headshot and resume to every agent and casting director in town. Get yourself into a class, and meet people. Put up work. Audition for a small play. Have people come see you. You dod not need an agent to get cast in off-broadway plays!
Despite all these obstacles, you can really find inner peace and your own sense of forward momentum, and start having more fun. Because if you’re not having fun with your own life path as an artist, then all the sacrifice is just not worth it.
What a great article on calming the voices in one’s head. I especially applaud the “create your own opportunities”. That way, when you are on the down-swing, you always have something to work on, and you’re not waiting around for opportunities to come to you.
BLOG: A post about acting, and the imporance of keeping it simple.
When I was a kid young actor, I got by on my instincts and ability to take direction. As I got older, I began to realize that instincts only go so far, and I felt a need — a very strong need — to formally study the craft of acting, and to gain a deeper…
Our inner critic rears its ugly head at the most inopportune moments—auditions, opening nights, first days on set—and reflects our own self-doubt and fear. It’s that little voice that says, “That was terrible. You’re not good enough. You’re a failure.”
It’s all about how you talk to yourself. Speak to yourself in a positive way, and you’ll have a positive experience!
What a great article that hits on so many major points that my acting teacher drives home every class.
Two that stick out the most in the article for me:
1) Fear-Based Decisions: never good! Be excited for the career you chose!
2) Agents: Once you get one, your work has just begun! They do not “take over”. You need to work just as hard, if not harder, to book work once you get an agent. Show them you are a hard worker. Keep training!
I’m still on the fence about crowdfunding. I’ve met the people who literally “wrote the book” on the subject (ReinventingCrowdfunding.com) but still, is it for me? It seems so hit-or-miss. Let me know your thoughts.
Tell it like it is, SAM! I don’t mind a SKYPE audition, if I can’t actually attend the casting, but video submissions are grueling. I’d love to get a note from the director to show them that I can take direction as well as make bold choices (even if they are completely off from what the director has in mind.)