Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The actors nightmare=ego.

If someone asked me what the major hinderance to success for an actor or actres was, I would say it is their own ego. Thinking too much of yourself is a sure way to sabotage your career. In my 50+ years of teaching acting, I have seen more young actors ruin their own chances for success by being on some ego trip or other. Recemtly a most tragic story has occurred. A young woman went to NYC to seek her fortune as an actress. She was attractive, but had a very weak resume. She asked me for advice on where to study and I recommended my favorite NYC studio. Just a few weeks after having completed a workshop at this studio, she met a famous NY agent and producer quite by accident. He was very impressecd with her, and she had no trouble getting an appointment to meet with him in his office. He wanted her to get new head shots and recommended his office assistant take them. The price was reasonable and she agreed. But when the pics came back, they were not the best and slightly flawed for really good headshots. Even though the agent thought the pics were ok and was ready to begin working with her, the young lady was so disappointed in the photos that she said she didn't like them and would have a friend of hers take new ones. It took three weeks for the new photos to be ready, and neither were they the greateest as far as head shots are concerned. But the young lady liked them very much. The young lady tried to get an appointment to see the agent with her new headshots but he office manager said that the agent was intereviewing new people and they would call her if they were interested. The young lady was stunned at the coarseness of the situation. She thought that the office assistant would not give her an appointment to see the agent with ther new headshots just because she did not like the photos the assiatant had taken. Only partly true. She had also left the agent hanging for three weeks when he had been eager to get started and work with her. Thus, a golden, perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity, eluded the young lady. And why? Because of ego. Hers and the office assistant's egos. She should not have been so vain about the first set of photos. If the agent liked them, they were no doubt fine, and they would have been cropped or touched up before distribution, but the young lady was young and naive and egocentric. The office assitant who had her photography rejected by the young lady, also allowed her ego to take its revenge. The difference is that the office assistant is out nothing, and the young lady is out in the cold, perhaps out of the buisness. The theatre world is small and it is easy for one agent to mention to another agent that so-and-so is very attractive, but a bit of an ego. The famous man had been ready to start work with her, and she put him off because of her ego.
Aspiring actors, be careful. humility, not ego wins the day. If you have a golden opportunity, do not destroy it. Nuture it, and let it work for you. Never, ever, do anything to make an enemy in the business as word travels fast and it travels far.

A career like no other

God, am I tired of seeing teens write on Yahoo Answers about their "acting careers." Of course they do not have a career as an actor, they just think it would be nice to have one. There are quite a few adults who feel the same way. None of these people have any idea what having an acting career is all about. I recommend that all of them see the Anthony Franciosa movie of Career, a play by Lawerence and Lee. Then they all need to read all the posts on this blog and finally read Acting Professionally by Robert Cohen. Bur , ya know what? Most of them will not be interested enough in what it is like to be an actor to do any of that reading. Most of them are just fantasizing. Well, as I have said, they have been seduced by the images on their TV and movie screens and think that acting is want they see there. And they are so wrong!

Acting is a career like no other. Of all the people who are professional actors (those are the members of Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association and some are members of AFTRA), of all those people only a handful actually earn a living at acting. Fewer yer are those that are stars, who have earned enough money to live lasvish lifestyles for ever. Does this mean it is not a good idea to try to become an actor?

Yes and no. Yes it is a bad idea if you think you are going to be a star and/or earn a living at it.

No it is not a bad idea if you love acting and are willing to devote your life to it and do it on the side as you earn a liviing doing something else. Acting as a career, you see, will not fill your pocketbook, but will fill your soul. If it is something you have to do, then by all means do it, but don't expect too much of it. Become the best actor you can, arrange your life so you can take advantage of auditions and occassional work. Make your career in acting an avocation. Work you do on the side of what work feeds and houses you. Be very good at this.

There is always the possibility that luck will find you and you will join the few who are made rich and fanous Just don't count on it. It is such a longshot and it takes so much luck for that to happen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Acting without Method

I have long been anti-Method, pehaps stemming from my visit to The Actors Studio in NYC in the mid 1960's and watching the members who included many well known professionals savage a young man who was auditioning for membership. Later reading about Strasburg and The Method shaped my opinions that Strasburg was merely a good PR man and a fraud as an acting teahcer, and that The Method was created from a misinterpretation of Stanislavsky, does not represent Stanislavsky's teaching on acting, and is a fatally flawed approach to acting.

The major problem with The Method is that is lives on in a constant flood of PR. Articles are written that 75% of Oscars since the year 2000 have gone to Method actors. So how does one identify a Method actor? You certainly cannot tell by watching their performance. Effective acting is effective with or without The Method. Even if someone has taken a class or classes in Method acting, that person may not be a Method actor. I think the only way you know if someone is a Method actor is if they say they are and there is anecdotal evidence to prove it. But an actor may use Method technique in one role and not in another. It is widely acknowledged that Method acting is not the most effective approach to Musical Comedy, Classical Theatre or Comedy in general. Finally there are the 25% who won who were not Method, by whatever meansurement. Therefore, we have to conclude that Method acting is not the reason why people will Oscars. It is more likely Politics that determines the winners.

One of the problems with Method acting is that if purports that actors create characters when , in fact, characters are created by the storytellers, the playwrights, novelists and screenwriters whose stories are being presented, What an actor does is stand in lieu of the character on the stage or before the camera. David Mamet is quite adamant on this topic in his book "True and False." The actor may, with the help of wardrobe and make up, create the physical appearance or 'vessel,' as I call it for the character. This includes posture and mannerisms, voice and dialect, and other part of the physical being of the character. But the vessel only holds the character that the playwright (or other writer) has created. The actor has no part in the psychology, enviroment, and history of the character. Method exercises which have the actor invent these things, filling in information that the playwright has not included in the script are not only truly useless in being faithful to the script, but may be in conflict with it or with the director's interpretation of it.

A recent email I received from a Method student was asking help in "letting go and throwing herself more completely into her acting" because her teachers said she was holding back in her perforamces. I explained to her that she was waiting for her Method technique to supply her with her responses and that that wait was obvious in her performance Method acting doesn't aways work. Affective memory sometimes gets stale and does not produce an instant emotional response as needed in a given moment of acting. Affective memory may also not give the proper response as if the affective memory is of the death of a pet and the actor is doing a scene in which the character has lost his dearest love. Not the same response. My solution to this student's problem was to stop acting. The more modern acting teachers, Tony Barr, Eric Morris, Harold Guskin, myself, and many others, favor non-acting. What the non-actor does is react rather than act; give an honest response instead of a pretended one; and , instead of creating a character, uses his or her own emotional responses to the immediate circumstance of the script rather than trying to call up some childhood memory to respond. This eliminates holding back and creates an honest, individually unique, and vulnerable performance of the role.

This is new territory for the Method actor. It it actually what Stanislavsky originally favored, that the personality of the actor be the actor's creative contribution to the play. That the actor has to rely on him or her self instead of Magic If's and Affective images. It takes the Magic If of Stanislavsky at its word. "What if this were really happening to me?" That is how the actor responds, as him or her self in the given circumstances of the play. And because the actor must use the playwright's words to accompany the responses the actor and the character become one in the performance.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I know.....

This is a phrase I see a lot in my email and on Yahoo Answers, 'I know..." . Usually the people writing this phrase have no idea what they are talking about and do not know. For instance, "I have never been in a play, but I know I am very talented." Yeah, right! Or, "I want to be an actress, and I know I need a talent agent." Well, if it comes to that. But first be an actress. Talent agents do not want inexperienced wannbes. They want actresses and actors who have evidence of their talent (a resume), and who they can make money from by representing them. Talent agemts do not make actors out of non-actors, nor do acting schools or colleges make actors out of non-actors. And to return to the first example, one that all too frequently is expressed by the hopeful youngster, upon what evidence do these dreamers base their conclusion. "I fool people all the time," or "I act all the time at home." I'd say that they probably are fooling themselves and have no idea what acting is really all about. It is too bad that we cannot have a disclaimer on all the Disney shows, "Do not try this at home, these are trained professionals under the guidance of experienced directors." Ah well, the consolation is that it is most likely that non of these people will ever become actors. The pity is that they might just try.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I have decided to tell the unvarnished truth

Well, I know I will not be able to stem the flood of youngsters who have a burning desire to be actors, but recent email assures me that the best course of action is to tell them the truth about having an acting career, even if it shatterns their dreams or breaks their hearts. If someone has not had a great deal of experience and training by the time they are 13 or 14 and at least one of their parents is not working hard to make a career for them, they just are not going to have a teen professional career. If someone has not been in a lot of plays and playing really good roles by the time they are 17, they probably are not going to be an adult professional. The past is prologue. It is a rare, very rare, instance when someone with absolutely no background in acting luckily tumbles into the profession. The aspiring actor who has a strong history of acting and training is more likely to 'be lucky.' Generally it takes extraordinary talent, wide experience and some training to be qualified for professional acting. It is unreasonable and unrealistic for anyone to assume they are talented without experience or to assume they can be an actor without experience and training. Experience in amateur theatre is a bellweather, telling us what we can expect from someone in the professional theatre. But one has to be born with the extraordinary talent to be an effective actor. Only one in a hundred aspiring actors even comes close. If you read my earlier posts, you will learn that acting is not like most professions. You cannot just decide you will be an actor and go learn how and do that. Not only is the native extraordinary ability required, but also there are so few jobs in relationship to how many actors want each job that it is very very difficult to ever get hired as a professional. When someone understands what the nature of professional acting is really like, they can better decide if they want to pursue it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Debating my stance on acting careers.

Well, it has come down to this. Do I continue to be mostly encouraging and posititve about people who want to become actors or do I take a tougher stance on the reality of the situation side, that most of them are never going to do anything? There is nothing dishonest about encouraging people with strong motivation and talent to go ahead a give it a try, but the reality of it all keeps popping up and saying to me, "There just are not any jobs for these people. They are not qualified nor are they likely to become qualified." A former actor of many years asked me yesterday to help him get started as an acing teacher. Now there is another dilemma. Do we really need more acting teachers encouraging young not quite good enough aspiring actors to continue on with it? Of course we don't. That is the problem.
Actors cannot earn a living at acting, so they become teachers who teach people to become actors who cannot earn a living so they become teachers who teach people to become actor who cannot.....And on and on ad nauseum. What shall I do? I always felt that since I got into professional acting rather easily, that others, equally well qualified, could do it as well. But can they really? IT makes sense to me that most professionals are never going to earn a living at acting, but they may make a few dollars now and again. Does that make it worth while to pursue? What is the necessary ingredient, the persoality trait, the psychological that would make someone devote his or her live to a part-time professional endeavor? There must be a middle gound where I stand, between those who say it is hopeless and those who say it is well worth it. Is it an ego trip? I am thinking of revising my book to include the reality of ever "making it" being mostly a matter of luck for a miniscule percentage of those who try.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's the real deal?

Professional acting has about as many myths as ancient Greece. Today I got the "How can I get an agent or a SAG job when you have to be SAG to get an agent and you have to have an agent to get a SAG job?" Ok. This is all myth. You do not need to be a SAG member to get an agent. And it is possible, though not probable, that you could get a SAG job without an agent. If you work extra in three SAG films and get the vouchers, you can qualify for SAG. The other way to qualify for SAG is to have a speaking role, even one word, in a SAG film. It is important to get the facts and not listen to "they". You know "They say" and "they said". Get the facts about things. There are a few of us around who will help. But be careful.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What do actors and actresses look like?

There is a misconception among a great many people that only goodlooking people can become actors. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many homely people have become professional actors. What an actor needs, besides extraordinary talent of course, is to have a personality quality known as charisma. Charisma is personal attractiveness and charm. It comes from the actor creating in the audience a desire to see them perform again. They create a link to those who watch them act. This quality cannot be learned, it is a natural in born quality of a person like his or her talent. One either has it or they do not. If you have a great deal of fun when you act and do so with energy and excitement, with honesty and communication, you may have charisma. Charisma is star quality and very rare. It is what talent agents and casting directors are really looking for, not beauty. It matters not if you are fat, thin, muscular, athletic, svelt or pot-bellied. You can have a little turned-up nose or a great bulbous one. Warts, wrinkles, and all. If you can charm the talent agent and casting directors with the effectiveness and uniqueness of yourself and your acting---now that is what an actor or actress looks like.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is there an acting profession?

This question came to mind while I was reading the first chapter of 'Acting Professionally' by Cohen, a book I have begun to recommend to all who thing it would be great to become an actor. I was especially struck by his statement that acting is more a boutique career, like being a Senator. In the US Senate there are only 100 jobs and only 1/3 of them are open every two years. Likewise, there are a very limited number of people actually earning a living as an actor. We can usually crowd them all into one auditorium for the Tony or Academy Awards. At least all the stage actors for the former and all the screen actors for the latter, I mean. And among all of those, many will not be earning a living at acting the next year. Now, if acting is in your blood and you just have to be an actor, fine, Cohen and I have written books on how to go about doing that. But you really should not count on earning a living at it. There just isn't enough work. The flooding of the acting market with new actors for whom there are no jobs is the fault of our colleges and universities and professional training conservatories who have found an endless supply of revenue from people who want to become actors. These institutions fail to teach their students that they will most probably not earn a living at acting; and in most cases do not even teach their students how to go about finding employment as an actor! Yes, Virginia, there is an acting profession. But it is a very closed one mostly open just for part time participants. Only one in a million or more aspiriants will actually make a career of acting.
Should you just give up on being an actor? Certainly not if you are extraordinarily talented and willing to dedicate yourself to it. If you are the rare person who is born to act, it will not matter to you if you every make a living at it, as long as you can do it. Contact me if you are this kind of person, I will be happy to help you at no charge.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No magic way to success

Lately I have been getting email from young people wanting to be actors who beg me to help them to fame and fortune. Unfortunaely, I cannot do that. I can only give them advice about acting as a career. There is not quick, magic way to suddenly be the next Miley Cyrus. I read a treatise on acting as a career lately that opined that the one thing that made an acting career happen was LUCK! And I have to agree that luck is a big big factor. There are so many aspiring actors and acresses and so few parts that it is only by being the best prepared, most talented and right type for the part that anyone ever gets a role. The first roles that most actors and actresses get are very very small and they often go unnoticed in the industry and often do not even get a screen credit. It takes years of experience and training to get that far and it take more years, maybe a lifetime, to get better roles and screen credits. The lucky few will become known actors. It is the most difficult way in the world to try to earn a living.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What is taught in acting classes?

If actors are born and not made and talent cannot be taught, then what is taught in acting classes? Not very much, in most cases, I'm afraid. Too many acting classes are filled with games and exercises to make the students comfortable with being on stage and intereacting with one another. I confess that many of the classes I taught at the University did the same. And that is because beginning acting classes often attract many students of limited talent and experience and that in an academic setting you want as many students in class as you can get. It is a matter of survival. But these exercises have little or nothing to do with how to improve as an actor or how to become a professional actor--the two reasons besides networking why one should take an acting class. Acting classes (and acting curricula at academic and professional schools) most often are much concerned with various kinds of script or character analyses which are rooted in Stasislavski and Stanislavki-based teaching such as The Method or approaches by Adler, Meisner, Hagan or other notable acting teachers. Now it has been years since I read Stanislavski, but I do not recall where he advocated such analyis. He did describe exercises he used to retrain the Russian actors of his time. All teaching based upon his writing, emphasises these exercises, especially affective memory, as the key to effective acting. Much of what a student gets in acting classes is an indoctrination to the approach being taught. But so far we have not got to acting. The most benefical things done in acting classes is the presentation of scenes and monologues and having them critiqued and repeated to make them more effectibe and the introduction to techiques such as those needed for effective acting on camera, or to be a more effective cold reader or auditioner.
Well, that is about it. And that is why actors take classes for networking more than for instuction and why I think experience is more important than instruction.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Over and over an over again

It just never stops. Everyday I read questions from young people who say they want to be an actor and do I know an agent who isn't a scam and how do they get started? These questions point to the appalling lack of information about acting in the public schools and to the equally appalling amount of misinformation that is being given these young people. You don't start an acting career with an agent, you wind up with an agent if and when you have something they can market and make money from. Scams make money from you just wanting to be an actor. And they do not help. The first thing anyone who wants to be an actor must do is to provide evidence that they can act and act very well. They do this by creating a resume of roles they have played in amateur theatre such as at school or in the community. Once they have done that, they might seek the help of their parents or someone like myself to see where to go next. But there is no where next to go if the aspiring actor does not have an impressive resume. You wanna be an actor? Prove you can act is #1.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How do I be more believable?

This seems to be what a number of aspiring actors have been concerned about lately. Believability comes through two things. First when the audience looks at you, they see the character. Thus you have to assume the proper physicality for the character via posture, walk, gesture, mannerisims, and so on. This I call "establishing the vessel to hold the character". Sometimes you need do nothing but be yourself with the proper anount of energy to be interesting. Second, believability comes via doing what the character does with purpose, as a reaction to what is occuring around him or her. That means speaking the lines as an honest emotional response so they sound like you mean what you are saying and by doing the action the lines reperesent as well. Avoid pretense and artificiality. Do not act, but react. That will make you more believable.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sadly, the real world is different

Among acting aspirants there are the realists and the dreamers. The realists understand at least a little about he realities of becoming an actor. That it takes extraordinary ability, lots of acting experience and some training and business know how and as a recent writer from the UK said "It all boils down to luck." Being the right person (that you are born as and have nurtured with experience and training) in the right place (perhaps through your networking) at the right time ( just as they are looking for someone just like you). The dreamers think that all they have to do is get that one audition, or send in their photo to that magic web site, or be discovered as they shine in the chorus of their school musical. They usually have little or no experience, have no concept of what being an actor would be like, often refuse to accept what it takes to become an actor or actress and prefer to go on with their fantasy rather than to take action to join the realists. I think they are mostly afraid of the truth, and that is that they have no acting talent. Information is the most important asset of anyone who seeks to be anything.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Let''s be honest about an acting career

I get hundreds of emails each month from people who say they want to become actors and actresses. Few, if any, of these people have any idea what acting is about except what they have seen on TV or in the cinema, experienced in a drama or theatre class or from being in some school plays. What they lack is knowledge of what an acting career is all about. They have no idea that an aspiring actor spends most of his time networking and looking for work. They have no idea, although they have heard that it is a difficult career to be successful in, that almost no actors make a living at acting, that most actors have to have a job outside of acting to support themselves. They have no idea what an agent really does and how very very difficult it is to get representation by an agent. They often have little or no acting experience which indicates that they do not really know if they have the extraordinary talent needed to even be a bit player in the professional world. I answer hundreds of questions about becoming an actor on Yahoo Answers every month. Anyone considering an acting career needs to read Acting Professionally by Cohen and The Tao of Acting by Dr. Kenneth Plonkey.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How theatre became academic

I shocked my colleagues with these ideas when I was teaching at the university. But the truth of the matter is that what happened to get theatre into academia was a ruse that keeps on growing. Everyone knows how difficult it is to become a professional actor today and to earn a living at acting. The reason is that there are enormously more out of work actors that there are available jobs. It has always been so, but movies and TV has made it worse, since people become enchanted with these media and think they would like to do that for a living. To accomdate those desires professional acadamies and acting studios have popped up like dandelions in my front yard. The aspiring actors are also served by colleges and universities who are offering more and more BFA acting programs which have grown out of their theatre or drama majors. Almost every college and univestity has a theatre program, producing plays and offering a curriculum of theatre classes. How these got started in the colleges is an interesting story. First, of course, Greek and Roman plays were studied in the Renaissance Academies which starting in the 15th Century set the model for our colleges and universities. Greek and Roman plays were read in grammar schools for years as long as those languages were taught there. Then famous playwrights' such as Shakespeare and his contemporaries and Moliere and his contemporaries were added to the literature classes in colleges and universities, then classes in drama were added to the English Department classes. Colleges and universities produced plays that students volunteered to work on. No matter that plays are not literature, a discussion comming up on this blog, they could be taught as though they were are they still are in schools at all levels from middle schools on up to universities. Now back in the 19th or early 20th Century, out of work actors talked their way into faculties which taught drama. It wasn't long until they began to add other theatre classes until there was enough of a curriculum to start a separate department. More and more out of work theatre people were hired as faculty. More degrees and classes were added to accomodate the interest of the prospective students, and here we are. Theatre sneaked in the back door of academia as a ruse to provide employment for out of work theatre people. This practice continues as more and more out of work professionals are hired at every level of education.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Acting and academia

I was a univeristy theatre department chairman, theatre program director and theatre professor for 28 years and before that had been a university theatre instuctor for four years. I designed and taught a variety of acting classes. Looking back now some dozen years after I retired, I have realized the weakenss of teaching acting in an academic setting. Besides the fact that my academic superiors, regardless of their lack of knowledge concerning theatre and acting, always new a better way of doing what I was trying to do. They are much like liberal politicians in that way, and of course many were politically liberal, assuming they knew better than the experts in the field. Anyway, their constant meddling, often ludicous such as when I was told I should produce a morality play every year, so I asked, "You mean like, 'Everyman?"" "Yes,"they(my dean and department chair) knowingly replied. "That would become rather tedious," I answered, "since 'Everyman' is the only extant Medieval morality play." They just sat there, dumbfounded. Academia has, with reason, some mistrust of things artistic. Theatre is the weak link in the creativea arts in academia. Music and Fine Art are much more widely accepted. Music is so widely popular, following years of excellent PR by the educational music organizations, that it is more nearly considered a necessity rather than an art. Everyone has music in their lives, but, save for the entertainment media (featuring all of those immoral and odd people that are reported about in the news media), theatre is an ugly stepchild. That makes it difficult to even get in the curriculum, and to sustaing and make grow with in academia as well. The point of all this is that acting and academia are a poor fit. They just don't get along.. While Music is allowed to give credit for classes that have no reading, writing, or written testing, theatre seldom is. Vocal and instrumental students take individual and group instruction which consists of merely performing and being criticised for imporvement. Acting classes are hardly ever so. They are full of reading and writing assignments (that the students and the faculty have been told will help the students with their acting) and then are allowed a bit of actual performance and critique. But because of acting (and theatre in general) having to be made academically viable, the performance of acting is neglected. A reading of college and university catelog description of acting classes is ample evidence that few in academia are taking acting as an art seriously,. The educationalese and catch phrases used by acting teachers to make their courses sound academic are quite laughable by someone who understands what acting is and how it needs to be "taught". Topics for future posts: how theatre became academic, what is the art of theatre? and If actors are born and not made, what is taught in acting classes and how are they taught? Stay tuned.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How to audition

I get a lot of requests for information about how to do well at auditions. This is the basic info: Be prepared, read the script if at all possible, understand the story and who the characters are. IF it is a musical, sing a song you sing very well as you want to be comfortable and energetic when you sing. Always approach an audition as another opportunity to play and have fun. That is what acting is after all, playing. Not allowed to do that at work, or school, or home very much. So it is going to be fun. Then always dress comfortably and neatly, be well groomed. When you leave the house adopt a positive attitude and keep it until you get back home fromt he auditions no matter what happens there. Approach the audition with energy and enthusiasm, but stay under control, don't get giddy and be silly or stupid. When you read from the script or do your monologue, remember: first adopt the physical qualities of the character and then use the lines as the emotional and physical expression of the character (now you) to the stituation and stimuli of each moment of the scene. Act will full expression. Have a blast!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

You are as good as your word.

In the world of acting, it is very important that information that you give others about yourself is completely accurate. One never lies or puts false information on his or her resume. That would be completely unethical and often you will get caught if you try it. If you are caught in one fabrication, maybe your whole resume is fake is what someone may think of you. Similarly, if you tell someone you are doing such and such, then you had jolly well be doing that. For this reason, it is frowned upon in the acting world to talk about what you are going to do because that is all too often just a wish or a dream and when it doesn't happen your veracity is againg challenged. Thus, if you make a statement, it must be true. And if you promise that you will do something, then you should follow through and actually do it and not blow it off. Also do not forget the committments you make and keep all of them. If you need to write in a notebook or daily planner that on such and such a date, you are going to do this or that, do so. Many of my greatest failings in my career were that I promised that I would do something and then forgot to do it. This almost always led to other things like retalitory actions from the slighted party. You really can't blame them. You broke your word, why should they have to consider you in their plans. Well, you get the idea. Nothing can be more important to the aspiring actor than to me a man or woman of his or her word.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Acting amd Websotes/

Young people aspiring to becoming actors seem to have the mistaken belief that there is a magical website out there in cyberspace that can make them a star, if they can only find it and get an audition. This is just part of the fantasy that they build up while watching TV and movies and dreaming that they might become a star, the idol of all their friends and enemies. Of course such websites do not exist. Most of the websites dealing with casting and becoming an actor are of course SCAMS which are designed to part young people's parents fromt their money. There is just no quick, magical way to become an actor. There are a few legit websites that have good information on them that aspiring actors need to have, but any web site that asks you to sign up so they can get you auditions so you can become a star, well forget them. There are also a few websites that actually can help actors get roles, but these should only be used by people who are already actors or aspiring adults or by aspiring teen's parents. Some of them have fees, some do not. My advise to people under 18 is to stay off the web, it is a place where you can get into trouble.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It changes out of high school

While school acting is pretty much the same from elementary through high school; acting, like playing sports, changes as you move up the latter. What starts out as a simple school activity, social gathering and play time, becomes more and more serious as you get to high school and then to college and then to the professional world. By the time you get to the pro world, acting is still fun, when you can get work, but it is no longer simple, no longer a recreational fun time and no longer just based on your ability to do it well. There are other considerations. First and foremost is that business end of acting. Professional productions cost millions of dollars and so those responsible for the money are much more serious about the work being done. To take part in this huge business, the aspiring actor needs to learn how the business works and how he is now a businessman who must package and sell his product-himself as an actor. It is a far cry from the idealism of school acting.