Friday, April 25, 2008

Question: I'm on a budget and need to get good headshots. Where can I get them?


If you are at the beginning of your career which it seems like you are, you might find that getting pictures taken at this moment, is not the best thing to do. If you don't have a good photographer and you couple that with no acting experience, your pictures could very well turn out to be not very good, expressionless and blank.

First thing I would recommend is for you to start getting some training as an actress. Get into a good acting school or get a good teacher and stay there!

Secondly, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. You will find a lot of information about head shots, how to find a photographer, questions to ask and how to get really good shots.

And lastly, just remember that you get what you pay for. If you want head shots for free, don't expect a lot.

Good luck!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Question: I have 3 agents, but I'm not getting much work. What should I do?

I really love my agent and don't want to leave him.


My suggestion is that before you drop your agents, to try and figure out why you are not getting much work?
Learn how to analyze your BUSINESS, because that's what it is.

Loving your agent is not a reason to stay with her/him.

Have you had a discussion with your agent?
If you have, did you learn EVERYTHING you need to learn about why you are not getting work?
What does your acting teacher tell you about your acting ability and about your readiness to audition? Especially if you are not working a lot, what ELSE are you doing while you are waiting for agents to call you for auditions? There are so many other things that you can do!
What ways are you using to promote yourself and get your work seen?
When's the last time you were in a showcase?
Did a targeted mailing?
Submitted yourself online?
Tried to get some experience in community theatre, just to keep your skills sharp?
Taken classes?
How would you evaluate your auditioning skills?
Your cold reading skills?
Your monologues? How are they?
How are you with the camera?
How do you keep track of your auditions and what information do you keep track of? How often do you analyze it? What conclusions have you drawn recently from your auditions?
Which ones do you do the best at? What kind of auditions were they?
Which ones did you do the worst at? Why? What was the situation? What kind of audition was it?

Especially now at the beginning of your career, you really need to become analytical so that you can figure things out for yourself.

I have a whole lot more information about how I analyzed my work in the beginning and still do.

Good luck!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Question: I want to be an actress so bad its my life long dream! but my mom doesn't want me to. Can you help?


If you were an adult and a young person came up to you and asked you to do something against her parents' will, would you help them do it?

What would happen if your mother found out you had an agent and were going to auditions and getting acting jobs...every now and then?

If you really want to act, you will definitely get your parents on board. If you are young and still at home, you will need them. They can protect you from the hyenas and give you guidance.

I wrote two articles about how to convince your parents on my website for aspiring and new actors. They are about the approach as well as how to structure the communication.

Basically and with regard to the approach, you need to know more than she does about acting and acting careers. If she knows just as much as you do about the industry, what actors do, the value of taking classes, how to get an agent, what agents can do and how they work, then it will be difficult to convince her. You will have a much greater CHANCE if you know more than she does and even then you still might not convince her, but at least YOU WILL KNOW MORE than you know now about what it is you say you want to do.

Also, if I ask you, "Why is it that your mother doesn't want you to be an actress?" Do you know the answer?
If you want to convince someone of something, you have to know what it is REALLY that they don't believe in and not what you THINK it is that they don't believe in.

Then, with regard to the structure, you should know that persuasive communication has a structure to it. My personal favorite structure of persuasive communication has 7 steps to it, BUT it will only work if you go through the first step, because you will need ALL that information to make your communication more effective. This answer is getting too long or I would take you through the 7 steps. You can also go to the site and look it up. Here's the structure layed out in detail.

The last thing is, "Are you ready to get an agent?
Where have you been studying acting?
Do you know what agents look for in an actress?
Do you know what to expect when an agent calls you in?
How many monologues do you have?
What's your type? (And I'm not talking about guys either.)
What would you say to an agent if you found one?
What do you have to offer to the world of acting that is unique?

And that's what I like about this technique if you will, to helping kids convince their parents that they want to become actors. It forces them to meet with their parents on the subject face to face and talk about it and it forces them to learn a lot FIRST about what it's going to mean to be an actor.

Let's say your mother agreed to let you start acting, but only if you show her that you are really serious and mature about it.
How would you demonstrate that to her? What kinds of things would you do to show her that you are working hard every single day? Be specific when you think about the answers to those questions.

Think about it. If you are really serious, you're in for a lot of hard work. If you do work hard though, the rewards can be great. Not necessarily stardom, but rather doing something that you really love. Have a look at this page on my site. You might find it useful: .

Good luck!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Question: I am so blessed that I have found such an informative site like yours, but I have some questions about where to start.

I do have specific questions such as upon chosing an
acting class gaining experience how do I create a resume. Also I am
considering getting headshots done but should I get headshots before I
get experience? After gaining experience and headshots, and creating a
resume what specifically should I do?


Your question has confirmed an idea I have had for some time now about
helping people to know exactly where to start and how to make that clearer
for them.

Here you go. I will give you a series of pages to go visit that should help
you get started.

1. Go to this page on a squidoo lens and read:
The Top 10 Reasons Why Most Aspiring Actors Never Make It!

2. This page has 7 steps
to get started including 23 benefits of taking acting classes.

3. - on how to choose an acting school.

4. About a resume: .
There you'll find 10 things you need to know that will help you create a resume.

5. How to write a cover letter:

6. With regard to headshots, part of your answer you will already have if you read
the squidoo lens article about The Top 10 Reasons... . For the rest of the answer,
I'd like to you go read an interview I did with a Hollywood Acting Coach. See what
he says about headshots. You'll find it about half way down this page link:

7. Here you will find everything you need to know about how to make sure you get the headshots
you want, choosing a photographer, etc.

8. What to do after you have some experience and have headshots?

Ashley, that should get you well on your way to your dream of becoming an actress.

By the way, when I talk about studying the industry, I mean researching some of the links
you will find on this page:

If you sit down and go through this 'mini course' that I have outlined for you, I'm sure you
will make progress. You must be diligent though.

Question: I have a stage fright issue. People tell me that I am a good singer. They even say that I am amazing.

My problem is that I have to perform in front of a few hundred people in a couple of weeks and I am scared to death! Please help!


I recently conducted a seminar for 300 people. My seminar was on the second day of a three day event. I had the whole day. The organizers really hyped it up and tried to put me under a lot of pressure to do well telling me that everyone was really expecting a great seminar and performance from me.
They called me the day before while another seminar leader was on stage, telling me that he was doing a fantastic job and asking me if I was ready to 'perform' the next day. I said I was.

For a split second I thought about how, unconsciously, these guys were really trying to put the pressure on me. They wanted to look good for having organized a great event.

I then thought to myself, that this is MY seminar. They asked me to come and deliver it, because they believed in me...for the most part. I also thought that while I am on stage, NO ONE in that audience knows what I'm going to talk about better than I do.

I felt extremely confident! And guess what?

It was a smashing success! I had people wanting to take their picture with me, people wanting me to sign autographs and dedications for their books and things. They loved it.

Now. If I had let those guys put me under pressure, I would not have come off like I did. I'm sure.

So, my message to you is. You KNOW YOU CAN SING well. Strut your stuff girl! Like Cider says, give them the reason that you know you have to like you. They will love you.
Also think that there might be one person in the whole group who would want to be in your shoes, up in front of the group singing like you will do. Maybe just one. The rest of them will be more than happy to just sit back and listen to the great performance that you will give.
Think positive!
Be confident!
Walk on that stage like you own it!
It's yours!
It will be the best performance of your life!

For a little technique to help you with all that, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors about how to get over stage fright

Good luck!


Question: How do you get discovered!?


Think about this.

Instead of thinking about how you get discovered or how someone will discover you, try thinking about how YOU can put yourself in the position to be discovered.

I recently did an interview on my site with a Hollywood acting teacher named Bernard Hiller. He said that he runs into people all the time who say that in the acting business, it's all about who you know. He said that he disagress with that. In his opinion it is NOT who you know, but WHO WANTS TO KNOW YOU.

People will want to know you if you have something to offer. Most aspiring actors want to meet people who will give them something. Hiller said in the interview that actors should always be thinking about WHAT THEY WILL BRING to the party and what they have to give to casting directors, agents, directors, producers, etc.

In order to have something to give, you might first want to think about getting some training and learning how to act or sing or dance or model or whatever it is you want to do. Start taking classes.

Also, find out what it means to be an actress. Talk to people who are already doing what you want to do. Also talk to people who are and have been trying to do what you want to do, but just can't seem to get things going. Compare what they are doing wrong with what the others are doing right and from both you can learn.

Here is a list of 17 things you can do today to get your career started. I recommend doing them after you start to have some training under your belt.

Good luck!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Question: I have the phone number of a talent agent looking for teens my age. Should I call? And if I do, what should I say?


Get together with your parents and figure out what it is YOU want and that will help you to know what to say when they answer the phone.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket though. Don't do like so many other aspiring actors do and make that one phone call or send their package of headshot, resume and cover letter to one agent, casting director or director and then sit back and wait.

1. Know what you are striving for and make it clear to yourself.
Here is a page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It is a provocative look at 9 different types of acting careers you might think of strivng for.
2. Start learning what it means to be an actor. Talk to actors who are working all the time and also talk to actors who have been doing it for a while and who still are not really doing anything in terms of acting work that is important. You can learn from them too and find out why they are struggling to be successful. There are a lot of people like that around.
3. Know that agents are in the business to make money. They can only make money if they represent clients (actors) who they are sure will get booked on jobs from going to auditions. The way to get that certainty is for them to work together with or represent actors who are good and know how to act, which brings me to the next point.
4. Start learning what agents do and what they look for in an actor.
5. Start learning about the industry. Here are some good sites to do that:

Also know that there are many different variations of acting careers: film, theatre, day-time televsion, prime-time televsion, hosting, educational videos and corporate videos, on-camera commercials, commercial print.

So this answer goes full circle back to the original point I made. Know what it is you want.

If I were your parents, I would probably tell you that finding an agent right now is premature until you start doing some of the things I said above.

Lastly, when you do start contacting agents, don't just contact one. Contact as many as you can in your area that are looking for your TYPE. Knowing what that is will increase your chances of getting an agent.

Good luck!


Question: How can I become an actress in the U.S.A.?


1. you English must be very good. Not necessarily without accent, but almost.
If you still have a strong accent, you will have to work on accent reduction while
you are in the states.

2. You will need your parents to be involved as you will need to have someone
to stay with in the States while you are studying.

3. You should do a lot of research first. Find out about what it means to be an
actress...really, especially at the beginning. It's tough Manuela. Not impossible,
but very tough.

4. Figure out what kind of actress you want to be:

5. Study the industry and gather as much information as you can so you understand
the arena in which you will be playing.

6. Read. Read. Read! I wouldn't advise you to start with my book. Start with
two other books first and then read mine. Those two are:
Sanford Meisner on Acting
Acting As A Business: Strategies For Success

7. Sign up for the rss feed for my blog on, so that you receive
updates every week when I put up a new page.

8. Here is a complete guide for how to plan your trip to New York to study and/or
work as an actress.

Good luck!