Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Off to LA? God bless you.

No matter how much I reason with young, aspiring actors they insist they need to go to LA to become a film actor.  Somehow they can't seem to grasp the unique world that film acting really is and they think that all they  need to do is to show up and film makers will be clammoring to cast them in their latest blockbuster epics.

You wouldn't imagin  yourself just showing up at the local hospital and announcing that you are here and ready to perform the next brain surgery even though you do not have any experience or training in brain surgery. No, that would be really dumb. Well, to show up at a film producer's office and announce that you are there and ready to play the lead in his next film is just as dumb. Unless you are fully prepared.

To become a film actor you need three qualities above talent, looks, charm and desire.  You have to be prepared through training, you have to be known through experience, and you have to have something special to offer. There are good acting schools everywhere. Most large cities have them.  Many universities have good BFA Acting programs. These schools will give teh aspiring actor the training he or she needs. Acting schools also can lead you to theatre and film productions in which to take part.  These will give you the experience you need and if you are a skilled networker, they can give you the recognition you need. The really best reason to do to LA is that you have a contract to work there,  Finally, you have to be special.

IT is important that you have a voice quality, a look, or a deportment that is uniquely yours.  Examine the films of half a century ago.  The stars had easily recognizable voices, they carried themselves with a special posture and moved with a special walk.  If you are just another one of the crowd and not indistinguishable by a special quality of voice, look or deportment, it is most likely that  you will be lost in the crowd like most of the others.

You also need to arrive in LA with credentials.  A strong resume, an outstanding show reel, and your SAG/AFTRA card.  There are plenty of cities in which major films are made. IF you have what it takes you can get started there in small roles that will earn you union membership.  With these things in hand, you at least are no problem to be used in a film.

Everyone else in LA who wants to be a successful film actor probably has their union card.  And they have great talent as well.  You will be surprised when you attend an acting class in LA with the high level of talent there. But even  so, that talent will not necessarily succeed.

One thing will surely happen if you go to LA to become an actor.  You will quickly find out if you are lacking any of the necessary qualities to succeed at it.  I wish you well. I wish all the headstrong youngsters well. Nothing is so rewarding as to be a professinal actor. God bless your efforts, Doc