Monday, August 24, 2009
I often get questions from people who have just graduated from college with a theatre or acting degree or who have just finished a program at a professional training academy. They ask me "Now what do I do?" It is the exact same question I asked when I graduated from college with a theatre degree. I also get these questions from people who have gone to NYC or LA and have tried to get an agent via mass mailings and who are trying to find auditions but coming up short. Upon analysis of the vast majority of these enquiries, I find that these people are generally unprepared to attempt to become actors. First, the college and academy graduates have unceremoniously been booted out the door without ever understanding that they have spent from two to four years supporting the institutions but the nstitutions have not really been interested in supporting their desire to become actors. If they had done so, these people would know what to do next. What has happened? The schools have not taught them how the acting business works, how to get an agent, and how to find work. Then this may be compounded by the aspiring actors not having enough acting experience. Thus they have not built a strong enough resume to suggest they are talented enough to attract an agent or casting director's attention. Experience, including acting in non professional theatre, is far more important than training. Since actors are born and not made, they do not need a lot of training. Talent cannot be taught. If someone is not gifted with extraordinary talent at birth, no amount of classes will give them talent. A well informed aspiring actor knows that classes are used for networking more than for getting ready to be an actor. They know that acting is a business and they approach it in a businesslike fashion. It is helpful to have a class or workshop from a well respected acting teacher on one's resume, but it is not necessary to complete a two or three year program with them. So now what do these aspiring actors do? They find out how they should proceed in their quest to become actors and they make a plan and follow it. Such a plan is described in my book "The Tao of Acting, Mentoring for Aspiring Actors" which is free for the asking at my email, firstname.lastname@example.org.