Friday, March 21, 2008

Question: I dont know what to do to get started in acting.

Ive always wanted to be an actor. Like an actor in movies, and I always wanted to give that a good shot and if I fail at least i would know...but I want to be a doctor if not an actor...but by the time I graduate medical school I'll be like 30....and I don't know how I could try acting at such an old age...=( Most big actors start while they are I just don't know what to do..whether to give up on acting...cause i need to go to medical school, if I would do acting I would need a fall through...but I almost feel like acting would be a pointless endeavor...basically I'm asking, would be pointless under the circumstances to try to be an actor?


... if you read your question again to yourself, you just might find the answer in it. It sounds to me like you have already decided what you need to do.

One important question to ask yourself once you decide whether or not to start an acting career is whether you chose acting or whether acting chose you.

In your question it sounds like you are choosing acting, but that wanting to become a doctor has chosen you.

What I mean by something choosing you is that you just feel that it is something you MUST do. You can't not do it! You simply have to do it! That's the way it seems that med school is for you. It doesn't seem like acting has that power over you. In the long run you will be happiest doing something you are passionate about, something you really love.

To help, go through this exercise on my website for new and aspiring actors. It will help you clarify your goals. On this page link you will find a series of goal questions and then a link to other questions. This is just for starters, but my hope is that you will begin to understand why you want what you want. Once you clarify that (and it will probably take some time-in other words, don't think you will just read that page once and then it will be settled. My advice is to continue to ask yourself those and other questions until you feel 100% sure of what you want.) you will be at peace with yourself and with your decision. Here's the link:

You can also take those questions and adapt them to your medical career as well.

Good luck in your future.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Question: I want to start an acting career. I'm feeling a little lazy and bored today.

I spent a lot of time over the last two days looking up famous actors.
I'm not sure what I need to do to get started. Can you help?


One question you will want to answer sooner rather than later is, "Did I choose acting, or did acting choose me?"

Why were you looking up famous actors? Was it because you would like to see what kind of life they live? Was it because you hoped to see what kind of path they followed to get where they are today? If that's the case, it might be a little soon to be declaring that you want to start an acting career. If you are already trying to become an actor, then you should already know they answers to those questions.

But you are on the right track for starters. It's important to find out what it really means to become an actor FIRST.
Getting back to figuring out what your goals are, it might help if you ask yourself some questions:

Why do you want to become an actor?
What will that do for you?
How will it make you feel?
What kind of actor do you want to become?
How far are you really and truely and honestly willing to go for your acting career?
Do you know what it's like to work as an actor?
Do you know what actors do when they are looking for work or in between jobs?
Do you know what kinds of different acting careers you could have?
How hard are you willing to work? Honestly. (I ask that question, because you openly declared that you feel lazy and bored. If you become an actor, your days should never be that way.)
What do you think having an acting career entails?
What do you think an actor does day to day, when he's not working?
Do you know anything about business? Do you realize how important it is to know how to promote yourself and to be able to get your work seen?
Have you taken any acting classes yet?
What method are you studying?
What other methods are you aware of?
Do you know what the benefits are to taking acting classes? In other words, do you know what they can do for you, other than teaching you how to act?
Do you know how you can tell if a class is right for you or not?
Do you know how to choose an acting school?

Do you know of at least ten different ways that you can promote yourself as an actor?
Do you know how to go about finding a talent agent?
Do you know what agents look for in an actor?
Do you know your type and why knowing that is so important?
Do you know how to do a mailing?
Do you know how to use post cards?

How about head shots? Do you know what the disadvantages are of getting head shots taken before you are ready?
Do you know the right questions and what to look for when selecting a head shot photographer?

Do you know what the industry formats are for an acting resume?
Do you know one of the first places agents and casting directors look when they look at your resume?

If you were further along, I would ask you other questions like:
How did you get your agent?
What do you do while you are waiting for your agent to call you for an audition?
How did you choose your monologues? Do you know the most common mistakes actors make when performing a monologue and how to avoid them?
How do you prepare for your auditions?

What method of acting are you studying and why does that method speak to you?

Do you know how to build a character?

You shouldn't be bored any more now. If you really want to be an actor, then get to work and answer all those questions and look for others to answer as there are many more. If you start with those, you should have a pretty good idea what it means to become an actor.

Good luck

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Acting Career Question: Talent Agency in NY?

Talent Agency in NY?
I am considering getting an agent, I have had a lot of experience, and next week I am getting head shots. I have made up my resume and so far it's really good. My mother and I just can't find a decent talent agency in NY.

What do you suggest?

I am not saying I'm going to to get an agent, but it's worth the try.


Well it sounds like you are doing the right thing by keeping your mother involved. That is especially important as there are a lot of creeps out there preying on young people. They will tell you anything.

I just recently received a story that I will be posting soon on my website for aspiring actors. It is from a girl, sounds like she's about your age. She and her mother were almost victims of a scam at some agency.

One of the things you will want to think about doing is making sure that you know what your type is.

You have two choices. You can either go after any and all agents or you can go after an agent in a targeted and methodical way. Needless to say, the second way will get you better results.

First of all it's important that you know what your type is. If you are not familiar with that concept, find out. See if your acting teacher can help you figure it out. Type is important because it will help you to make sure that your head shot, your résumé and your cover letter are all giving off the same message. That will get you some extra points, because you will be not only projecting an air of professionalism, but you just might make it easier for an agent to decide to bring you in for an interview.

I can recommend to you a way that I used to personally get my first agents in a relatively short period of time.

Don't forget then that you will want to prepare for the interview itself. One of the best resources to help you do that and to help you be able to prepare for some of the questions that an agent might ask you is Brian O'Neil's book, Acting As A Business: Strategies For Success. I know Brian personally and he has many years of experience in the industry as an agent, actor and personal manager.

Lastly, another thing that you must never forget is that agents are in the business to make money. They can make more money from, and will be willing to invest more in people who are well-trained, prepared and who have a better chance of booking work.

In order to be all those things to an agent, you need to be trained...well. You should be taking classes continuously.

I wish you the best of luck!


Acting Career Question: I want to get into television hosting. How do I get started?

You have two main possibilities in my opinion; both of which I would pursue. First of all, I am an actor, author, motivational speaker and seminar leader and I have done some hosting of live events and presented on video for companies.

Get yourself some hosting training. Learn how to use an ear prompter and a tele prompter. If you want to be a host you will need those skills. You can find people who teach classes on those things like Pat Murphy in NY . She's very good.
So, first and foremost you will want to be trained!
You will need to be good at marketing yourself to production companies and casting directors who cast hosts.
You'll also want to find out which agents or agencies have hosting departments and contact those people directly.
I wrote an article on the site about 12 steps to getting an agent that you can check out if you want.

Something else you should take into consideration. That is become an expert at something and create your own show! With today's technology, you could create a program of your own and shoot it all over the internet, youtube, myspace, facebook and there are so many other sites like that. You could build a website and become a point of reference.

Remember that something else that is important and that will help to increase your possibilities of getting booked on jobs is how big your fan base is. What I just suggested is an excellent way to create a fan base or a following of people who can't wait to see your videos or the next episode of your show.
Here's another page on my site with videos on it that I took off youtube that show how some actors and entertainers are making their own videos to promote their careers.

To follow the path of creating your own show or website you will need an extremely high dose of PASSION. If you have passion you will want to work on your project all the time and doing things for it will not be a chore. If you are thinking more about what people want and less about your passion, you will find that the things you have to do for your site or for your show will be a chore and you won't enjoy it.

Lastly, when you do create your videos and your show, you will then have more things to show your agent or to casting directors interested in your skills.

Good luck!