Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Question: How do you convince your parents to move!!!!! please I am so desperate!!!?

How do I convince my parents that moving away from this place is the right thing for me to do for my acting? I'm a pretty good actress. I've done professional work, but there's noting here!!! But my parents don't want to help me out by moving to Chicago which is a great city. What can I do to convince them?

What you said about the good actresses that can't live their dreams is so true. Not always but often. The reason that is true is because people think that

If you haven't been able to convince them, there is a reason.

What is it?

Why haven't you been able to convince them?

I would guess that it is because you haven't been able to make your case. It's just like in court.

Imagine that there is a big trial. A man risks being found guilty of a terrible crime that he didn't commit. The defense attorny comes out and says to the jury, "You should believe us. My client is innocent." That's all he says.

The prosecuting attorney comes out to speak to the jury. She has facts about where the defendant was on the night of the crime. She has testimonials, witnesses and people who actually saw the defendant at the scene of the crime. She has DNA and experts come and testify.

Which lawyer do you think would be more likely to win the case? It's obvious.

The defense attorney must present proof, "beyond a shadow of a doubt", that their client is innocent. In order to be able to do his/her job, the defense attorney must do research. She/he must be very, very well prepared. They work long hours and they work really hard to present their case so that it will be compelling and credible. If they don't do that, they risk being defeated.

You must do the same. You are on the defense. The example might not be a case in which a terrible crime was committed, but the principles are the same and preparation is key!

Have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It has 23 links to pages about different aspects of starting an acting career including two pages about how to convince your parents. One talks about the basic concept and what it will take to convince them. The second page actually tells you how to set up and conduct your communication and how to talk to them about what it is you want.

Good luck!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Question: What to expect in an open call with a talent agency?

There is an open call for a talent agency that is registered with SAG that I will be going to. Anyone know what they do when they call you in/ what should I expect while having this interview with them?


You can also check with the Association Of Talent Agents to find out if the agency is registered with them.

At any rate, you will probably be in a room waiting with a lot of aspiring actors and people who really shouldn't be there, but who have a dream and think that even without training they are qualified to get an agent.

As far as what to expect when you get your turn, it really depends on the agent and what they are looking for. They could very well ask you to do a monologue 1-2 minutes. You should have two or three monologues to choose from anyway when you walk in.

They might ask you to do commercial copy. You might want to practice that as well.

Haven't heard of too many agents asking you to do a cold read, but you never know.

And then again, they just might want to talk to you to see what your personality is like and what your motivations are for wanting to become an actress. In that case, with their training they will look deep into your soul and try to figure out if in the long run, they can make any money off of you. In other words, they will be trying to determine whether or not if they send you to auditions, if they think you will have a good chance of booking something. If not, they will most likely not be interested in you.

So if you don't have training, then just go for the experience, but don't get your hopes up too high.

Don't pay anything, no matter what they say!!!
Don't go to any photographers they suggest!!!
Those are indications that they are trying to scam you.

In fact, decent agencies don't usually have open calls. They have no need to do so. So I'm skeptical already.

Also, don't put all your eggs in one basket. I hear of so many kids who talk about that ONE open call or that ONE friend who said they would introduce them to that ONE agent or that ONE casting director and they put all their eggs in that basket and then just wait...and wait...and wait... and most often (99.999999%) of the time, nothing every happens after that.
That's not a strategy.

A strategy first starts with your true and deep desire to pursue acting because it's something that makes your heart smile and because you just can't live without it.
Then, you first start trying to become the best actor you can possibly be. And THEN you start thinking about an agent.
Putting the cart before the horse, you are thinking short term and not long term.

Have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It has links to 23 different pages that have to do with different aspects of starting an acting career. http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/teen_acting.html
Including much better ways to think of getting an agent rather than going to an open call!!! Ugh!

Anyway, good luck!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Question: What's the best way to get discovered?


The best way to get discovered is to POSITION yourself to get discovered.
Train. Train. Train.
See if you have the talent.
Develop your networking and business skills. (One of the biggest mistakes you could possibly make is underestimating their importance. It could have you end up with most aspiring actors that never, ever make it!)
Be determined, patient, persevering, inquisitive, PASSIONATE.
Make sure you create a circle of friends who can help you, encourage you, give you tips, mentor you, help you along, whom you can model after.
Don't believe the hype, that all you need is a good look and your natural, God-given talent and that taking acting classes isn't so important. Get someone to tell you those things who is qualified, like your acting teacher for example.

First thing?

Take some classes and start training.
If you worry too much about getting discovered, it'll probably never happen.

Remember, it's not about who you know.
It's not about who knows you.
It's all about who WANTS to know you.

Make sure you do something that is so different and so unique that you make people WANT TO KNOW YOU.
Otherwise, you'll be just one of the crowd.

Have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It has lots of links to pages that have to do with different aspects of starting an acting career. http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/teen_acting.html .
It might also help you to figure out how to make this happen with what you called your "crazy life."

Good luck!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Question: Stage fright!!!!!!!!!!!? Okay, so I made a speech compition, like the top 2. Now, I have to speak...

...in front of all the grade 7 and 8 students, and all the teachers too!!!!! I am in grade 8, I am shy, but somehow, I was not so shy in my first speech presentation. What should I do?? ALSO, I AM NOT POPULAR, AND EVERYONE HATES ME.


First of all, read over your message to us and see if you can find the things in it that are only pulling you down further.

Did you find them? They're there.

First your title:

"Stage fright!!!!!!!!!!!?": Now does that sound desperate or what?!!!

1. "I have to speak in front of all the grad 7 and 8 students and all the teachers too!!!!!!" : Sounds like you are really scared.Plus you used the words "have to". Do you have to? Who is making you do it?

2. "I am shy...": This is talk that isn't helping you at all if you have to speak in front of a lot of people.

3. "What should I do??: 2 question marks for me is starting to sound desperate.

4. "I AM NOT POPULAR...": A negative phrase in all caps is a double whammie.

5. "EVERYONE HATES ME.": Another double (negative) whammie.

All that is talk that isn't helping you at all, so stop telling yourself those things and thinking about them! It's not helping you at all. Think positive things!

Now let's look at the positive things, the things that you said and that some part of you at least must believe or feel that can help you.

A. "I made a speech competition, like the top 2.": That's great news! Be happy, pleased and proud!

B. "I have to speak in front of all the grad 7 and 8 students and all the teachers too!": Notice how I took out all the exclamation pointw. To me, the way I wrote it means excitement!

C. "I was not so shy in my first speech presentation.": You see, you even said it yourself that it is possible. Try and remember how you felt and what made you feel so comfortable. Re-create that feeling of confidence. If you did it once, you can do it again!

D. Instead of "What should I do??", how about "Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help me relax?".: It's more cool, calm and collected, which is what you will be if you prepare well.

Stay away from the negative things and stick with positive things. If you want still another explaination, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It has to do with how to get over stage fright: http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/how_to_get_over_stage_fright.html

One last thing. Be prepared. Practice. Practice. Practice. The more you practice, the more you will feel comfortable when you are in front of the group. That feeling that no one know this speech better than you, will give you a lot of confidence.

Good luck!

You will be great!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Question: I need an actor's agent anywhere in the uk. I have been in hundreds of theatre productions but i need an agent?

My experience tells me that if you are here asking us this question, then even if you get the names of different agents, you will still have a difficult time getting one to sign you.

I don't mean to be harsh, but rather to give you an important message that you won't forget and that will hopefully help you.

You see, it's all about your approach and even that is no guarantee that you will be successful.

How long have you been looking for an agent?
Why haven't you found one so far?
Aside from the productions you have been in, have you been training as an actor?
Do you know what agents look for in an actor?
Do you have all your materials together and are you prepared for an agent interview?
What's your type?
What roles do you think you would be best suited for?
What kind of acting career would you like to have?
What kind of people do you hang around? My guess is that they are not all the right kind of people who are already doing what you want to do or you wouldn't be asking this question.

On my site for new and aspiring actors, I have an actor quiz. One of the questions is, "How long have you been acting?" Another question is, "Do you have an agent?" More often than you might think, there are people who fill out the entire quiz and who have been into acting for more than 5 years and who still don't have an agent. The question I have is, "Why not?" After a few weeks or a few months, the answer, "I don't know how to get one." is acceptable, but not after five years! Not after 6 months even!
If a person doesn't have the approach that if they don't know something they have to figure it out, then they will never be much of a success, not only in acting, but in anything else they choose to do in life.

Change your approach. Change your way of thinking and I'm willing to bet that you will start to see positive results in your acting career as well.

Have a look at this page on my site. It talks about different aspects of an acting career including how to get an agent. http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/teen_acting.html
Even if you are not a teen, read some of the titles you find interesting anyway.

One last thing. You said you need an agent anywhere in the UK. Are you sure? What if you live in Manchester and your agent is in London and most of the auditions they call you for are in London? Are you really going to want to be trekking down there frequently for auditions? That will cost you time and money. Do you really want to do that?

Good luck!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Question: Stage Fright! Please Help! I have an acting performance in a couple of days in front of 300 people.


Not too long ago I conducted a seminar for 300 people. The person who organized it asked me to do the seminar for the entire second day of the three day event. It is true that I do that regularly, but this guy was so worried about the three day event going well, that he really tried (probably not intentionally) to put me under some serious pressure. He told me that there were big expectations for my day, that the speakers and seminar leaders in the past were all very good, that some of the people in the group were very tough critics. He even called me the day before and asked me if I was ready and that the guy before me was doing a great job.

I thought to myself that if I were insecure, I would be worried, but I wasn't! I thought to myself that this is MY seminar and I know this better than anyone else. No one knows this material as well as I do. I also had done it before and knew what to expect. I TOLD MYSELF THAT I WOULD BE FANTASTIC! And guess what? They loved it. Fortunately I had the whole thing taped and I'm having a promo video made up.

So how does this relate to your situation? Maybe you haven't done this before, but just like I was, you have to BE PREPARED! Practice over and over and over again and know your lines, know your character, know everything about her, know the lines inside out, backwards and forwards and upside down, know why she is saying them. BE your character and remember when you're on that stage that it's not about you!!! It's about your scene partner. Put your attention on him/her. Really listen to what they say and then respond with your lines in a natural way. Sounds easy, but tell yourself positive things before you go on stage.
Be ready and you will feel better.
For a more, somewhat technical explanation, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It talks about how to overcome stage fright.

Good luck! You will be fantastic!!!