Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why We Want to Be Actors--Honestly

Hundreds of young people have contacted me wanting to be actors. They almost always include in their email that they are not interested in fame or money or that they want to influence the world for good.


With almost no exceptions, every actor I have known gives up on having a professional career because they have not achieved the success in fame and money that they had hoped they would. Acting is a very selfish undertaking. . You do it because YOU want to do it. You want to be known as an actor.. Yes, you want to entertain the public, but that is because you want them to adore

Acting, most people believe, will bring them fame, money and admiration. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to reach that high a point of success as a professional and for those things to happen. It does on rare occasion actually happen, and that is what continues to spark the wide-spread interest in becoming an actor.

Everyone wants to be admired. Humans have a need to be thought worthy. And many people choose acting as a means to attempt to meet those needs. Now, let's leave it at that. These are not
bad things. They are normal things. People do not have to apologize nor make up some altruistic motive for wanting to be an actor. Those of us who have been in the business for many years know that such motives are false. Though it is true than many actors do philanthropic work, we know that people want to be actors to meet their basic needs for acceptance and admiration -- for love in many cases.

It is more than tiresome to read how aspiring actors try to justify their acting on some sort of philanthropic base. That is just baloney. You love acting. Enough said. Who cares why
you want to act? What matters is how good you can act. I know that when talent agents get cover letters from young people that include altruistic reasons for wanting to become actors, they just laugh and through the letter in the trash.

So it is time to be honest about why we want to become actors. We want to do it to feed our egos and to make us feel important. That's fine. Leave it there. You really do not have to tell anyone why you want to become an actor. They actually know already. So stop covering up your selfishness. It is OK. But don't flaunt it either.

It is just as bad to say openly that you want to be an actor so you can be rich and famous. Since this is true of all actors, it becomes boring to hear it repeated and repeated. What you should always say is, "I want to become the best actor I can be." And let it go at that. No problem. Best wishes and God bless, Doc

PS. Don't talk too much about wanting to be an actor. Just be one.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How not to be embarassed when acting intense scenes on camera

First, I would say relax and not worry about it because you are most likely a beginner and are not working in the same way that professionals would do. That is, the production is not as effectively done, and the acting, therefore is not as effectively done. Second, If you mess up because you get embarrassed and laugh, then shoot it again, that's what the pros do. And they do exactly that--they giggle and break character. Third, you are an untrained actress, inexperienced outside of home made and school videos. It takes a long time (years) for actors to learn to be perfectly comfortable doing intense scenes. The best thing you could co is to be in some school plays and get more acting experience. Finally, putting yourself into the imaginary circumstances of the film and doing the role is something you need to concentrate on. Use your imagination to create the situation and characters of the film, then stay focused on that so you don't think about yourself being anything other than the character. This,of course, sounds easier that it is to do. But with practice you can become quite good at it.
One of the things an actor has to do is reveal her emotions. You have heard of good acting being vulnerable? That means that the actor shows his or her true inner emotional feelings. Sandford Meisner, perhaps the most famous of movie acting teachers said it takes twenty years for actors to finally be able to do his technique which accomplishes what we are discussing here. You have to be able to be so involved in the moment of the scene that there is nothing in your head but the moment. You never think about the fact that you are acting and there is a crew there. You just do the scene--you just react honestly and without inhibition to the stimuli of the scene.