Advice for Beginning Actors: Part 1

 Special thanks to the actors who have taken time out of their busy schedules to graciously provide advice for new actors for Wannabe Pride, including Regen Wilson, Chris Pentzell,  David DeBoy, Ken Arnold, Mercedes Rose, Gabriel Voss, Brittany Baratz, Laura Hunter, Lance Carter, Stephon Fuller, and Rachel F. Hirsch.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ALONG THE WAY THAT YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU IN THE BEGINNING?

I wish someone had told me that when you go into an audition Producers, Directors and Casting Agents WANT you to succeed. If you’re good, you’ve solved their casting problem. When I was first auditioning, I thought they were all looking at me like they knew I was an imposter and they wanted me to fail. But that was all in my head.- David Deboy (email, website) 

Whenever possible, memorize the sides for the audition before you go in.  It’s a pleasant surprise for most casting directors. – Regen Wilson (website

Stay in action and don’t limit yourself to one thing.  Do improv, do stand-up, write, whatever.  You never know what’s going to hit.  Drop all preconceptions of how you think your career is going to go.  Even if you’re getting loads of auditions, stay active creatively.  Auditions aren’t creative or rewarding in and of themselves — they’re simply a means to an end.  You need to keep sane. –  Chris Pentzell (email)

That you don’t have to accept every audition and job offer that comes your way. You can say no. And if a situation seems awkward or not right that you can speak up.  – Ken Arnold ( STUDIO BOH)  

I think the thing that took me the longest to realize was to not be embarrassed. I loved acting but I was often afraid of looking silly. The moment I realized “looking silly” was our job, everything changed. I lightened up. I enjoyed the audition process. And I stopped worrying. And started booking.– Mercedes Rose (website) (imdb)

It’s not over until it’s over, meaning that a film isn’t done until it’s released and available for public consumption. I’ve had so many projects fall apart in pre-production, during production, and even after the film is completed. Don’t count on it until it’s done done. Gabriel Voss (website, imdb, facebook, twitter)

Be 100% yourself. Show your personality; don’t try to make yourself into what you think others want to see. Get into a good, supportive acting class, and stay active with your education.  – Brittany Baratz (websitetwitter)

Most importantly, that you have to have a life outside of your “dream.” Friends, family, relationships will be there for you when things go wrong, and will provide stability in a very unstable lifestyle… your career won’t.  – Laura Hunter (email, websitetwitter, youtube, contributor to NonSociety.com

 Don’t pass up any opportunity to be on stage or audition.  – Lance Carter  website, twitter, Facebook)

There are so many things I wish I’d known before I started pursuing acting that I had to launch an entire website (www.ihopeigetit.info) just to list them all! But I think the biggest, most useful lesson I’ve learned is to spend some time figuring out who I am as performer and build on that. Find what you do best and what makes you the happiest, and then seek out those auditions. Not only will this make you a happier person, but it will serve your career well. Casting directors are more likely to remember you because you have given them a distinct impression of who you are instead of trying to adapt yourself to who you think they are looking for each time you get in front of them.- Rachel F. Hirsch twitter, website, acting websitewebsite)  

I specifically didn’t ask many questions early on, but I listened a lot.  I found that people often repeat what they hear, but I had trouble finding a reason to follow much of what I heard.  I decided to create my own reality; I simply did things in my pursuit that made sense to me from a business point of view.  My understanding and love of business has been a great asset to me.  – Stephon Fuller (twitter, blog, website)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When To Turn Down An Audition

Many thanks to Aaron Marcus, premier acting and commercial modeling career coach for providing today’s blog entry! He is the author of How To Become a Successful Commercial Model and creator of the Becoming a Successful Actor & Commercial Model Workshop.

An agent from New York just called me about an audition for a television show. My agent submitted my head shot, and the casting director asked me to read for her. Not only was I going to get the chance to read for a TV show, I was actually requested by the casting director. That doesn’t mean that I am going to book the job, but it does mean the casting director liked my look and thought I was perfect for the role. I was also excited about making a strong new contact. Not only could I possibly book a TV show, I could also be considered for many more projects with this casting director. So far everything sounded great.

Then my agent said the role called for someone with a German accent. Unfortunately, my German accent isn’t great, and I didn’t think I could master it by the next day!

I had to make a quick decision. Do I go to the audition and try to fake the accent – or turn it down? Well, I turned it down, and here’s why: I didn’t want to embarrass myself, ruin my agent’s reputation, or introduce myself to a casting director in a negative way. Better to wait for an audition I am better suited for, and deliver a great read. As a side benefit, it was a great opportunity to speak with my agent about the types of auditions that would be best for me.

Crap Work for Actors

In this tough market, don’t make decisions out of desperation. Do everything you can to make wise choices that will help you now and in the future.