May 7, 2013
Forum School Of Acting
The dreaded question. It rarely comes up straight away, but I watch day after day around town as new actors or actresses struggle to define themselves. It almost pains me to watch the conversation happen. “So, what do you do?” “Oh, I’m an actor”. “Oh really, but what do you do for a living?” or some variation. I actually think that conversation is rude on BOTH sides. Unfortunately, there is such a huge amount of information out there about creating a positive mental image of an acting career, a lot of which revolves around mental imagery and projection. The basic wisdom being to “say that you are an actor, because if you don’t, your brain will not let you become an actor.” The problem is, it forces an actor to not deal with reality.
And, that’s the thing, it’s rude to say that you are something that you clearly are not. When the question is posed, the people asking expect to know what do you do for a living. When you tell them what you are working on becoming, but then state that it is what you are doing for a living, you are creating a falsehood, pure and simple. That falsehood gets tossed around so much, that almost everyone in town automatically assumes that “I’m an actor” is a lie. Which is what leads to the rude second half of the question, where the person asking basically calls the “actor” a liar.
Not exactly a great way to start off a conversation, especially if it happens to be with someone you might be flirting with, or worse yet, wanting to get a job from. My advice to the new actor or actress is to simply state what you are, but frame it in a way that is:
- And encourages conversation
Instead of “I’m an actor”, why not start with the truth? Something like, “I’m working really hard on becoming a professional actor, but right now I’m in marketing” or I’m a waiter or waitress, I’m unemployed, whatever the case may be. Tell the truth about how you make your money (as long as its legal, of course!)
With that one subtle shift, you are now being honest, but still giving the information you need to get out there. Here’s the thing though, if the person you are talking to is interested in what you are doing, they will ask about the acting. The natural follow up question is, “oh, that’s interesting, what are you doing for your acting?” And, the way you’ve framed it, you now have a lot to talk about, right?
Think of all the great things you doing to become a pro! Taking classes, reading books, attending seminars, networking, doing Indie films, student films, working live theater, doing stand up comedy, getting headshots, meeting agents, talking with managers, going on auditions. You’ve got a lot going on! Give yourself the best chance to let people know that you’re serious, motivated and have a legitimate plan.
Thing is, to people who are not in the industry, that sort of stuff is incredibly fascinating. But, more importantly, to people who do work in the industry, you will no longer sound like a wanna be. You will sound more confident, be more engaging and interesting to talk to and all of that without ever having to apologize for what you “really do.” The biggest thing though, you will be getting your information out there without having to force it down peoples throats.
Try it out, I’ll bet you’ll find a lot more doors opening up with just one little tweak!
May 4, 2013
Forum School Of Acting
Nearly every young actor or actress I come across is almost fanatical about getting representation. The common wisdom is that, once you have an agent, then you are ready to work. I can’t tell you how often I watch those same young actors put countless hours researching, preparing packages, and just generally pursuing an agent. Then, once they land an agent, they just sit back and wait for the jobs to come in.
Unfortunately, that is just not going to work out. Put it to you another way, I’ve never seen that work, ever. Not in twenty years. A lot of people view getting an agent as a start to their career, but in truth, an agent is just a component. The only thing an agent can do for you is send you out to try and book. You have to book the work though. And, I can tell you this right now, if you feel like you’re being neglected by your agent, I’d say the trouble lies with you.
Agents are an interesting lot. They have wildly different styles and approaches in trying to book the talent on their roster. But, just like most people, if they can make great money doing a little work, versus busting their butt for very little money, most will go for the former.
It’s important to understand that, because you, the actor or actress, represents a certain level of work on your agents part in order for him or her to make money. If you’re not confident, or able to make fast choices, or know how to handle audition pressure, or know how to work a room, and, ultimately, know how to work on set, you’re going to be the same amount of work, but the agent won’t make money.
Because, if you’re not really good, you’re just not going to be booking. There is just no other way to say it. There are simply too many qualified people with really strong skill sets to waste time booking an amateur.
The thing is, that time spent chasing an agent would be so much better served on honing not just your craft, but also your acting trade skills. There are a ton of actors that study craft, there are very few that have the trade skills though.
Knowing those trade skills is what is going to help you book work. Not knowing those skills will prevent you from booking work. Not booking work is sure fire way to get your agent to ignore you.
So, what’s a better use of your time? Spending three months trying to get an agent that is going to ignore you, or learning how to book work? Because, I can tell you for a fact, that if you’re booking work, high caliber agents will start calling.
Best part is, you get to be picky then, rather than begging now.
April 25, 2013
Forum School Of Acting
Live theater requires a strong expression of emotion. “Whisper to the back of the room” is a commonly heard notion. The trouble? On camera, you look like a ham. The camera magnifies and the microphone amplifies your everything. Your every thought, emotion, feeling, all of it. Think of it this way, have you ever seen an “indie” film? Notice how you can almost immediately see when people are uncomfortable or awkward on camera? The thing of it is, there were people on set that thought “that’s pretty good” and they proceeded to put it in their film.
The point is, that it can be difficult to discern on set, what is a solid performance. For the inexperienced, the theater trained actor can appear to be delivering a solid performance. But, the camera is revealing that which would be lost on a live audience. The camera is there to capture subtlety. The live audience, including the people on set, are far more likely to react to the broad strokes of the theater performance. It takes an exceptional actor to reign the emotional content in to a level of expression that is truly subtle for the screen.
The simple method to switch? Keep the emotion, drop the action. The theater demands expressive people and the best way to express on the stage is to make it big. It’s still genuine, it’s still complete and emotionally “real” for the scene, it’s just larger, to fill the stage. The switch in thought is to instead fill the lens…simply glancing at one will tell you just how small it really needs to be.
Just make sure you fill it to the top and the praises will rain upon you.
April 16, 2013
Forum School Of Acting
Free Audition Monologues And Auditioning Tips For Women
Powerful, Compelling And Unique Monologues Plus Tips To Audition More Effectively And Be More Confident.
I hate to say it, but I think that most actors and actresses don’t really have a solid foundation to approach their auditions from. To make matters worse, women in particular have a much harder time just because of the lack of material out there to audition with.
While I lean towards helping actors and actresses with their film and television careers, I receive a lot of email regarding monologues and auditions for theater, as well as for colleges and universities.
But, acting is acting and those of you in the theater are faced with the same problems as your film and television counterparts…
- How to make a good impression.
- How to prepare and not be nervous.
- How to choose the best material for the audition.
The last bit is more for the theater, because in film and tv, the auditions are usually just from sides. But, it’s a really important aspect that you need to be aware of in the theater and when you are auditioning for school.
This is the biggest thing in auditioning as far as I’m concerned. It’s hard to realize how many people the casting people will see on a daily basis. It’s true for the university admissions people as well. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people that want to be actors and they’re probably going to be going for the same opportunities to act as you are.
How do you stand out?
The worst part of it all is that, if even just a few of them knew these simple techniques, they would find out that it doesn’t have to be a struggle! They could actually enjoy acting again, just like when they started.
The things I’ve noticed that just kill off the enthusiasm and enjoyment of acting are:
- Seeing that blank, empty look on the casting peoples faces at the end of your audition.
- Hearing a plain “thank you” at the end of your audition.
- Not knowing and second guessing what the casting people may have wanted at the end of your audition.
Taken by themselves, these things aren’t so bad. But, pile them up day after day after day and they become very hard to deal with. I think people that don’t act have a hard time understanding how tough it can be emotionally.
My brother-in-law was a prominent actor in his youth and he once told me somthing that always stuck with me. He said ”when people go on job interviews, they may go to two or three, sometimes even four or five, but they know that sooner or later they’re going to get a job, It’s just a matter of time.”
But, then he said “but, imagine if after the 5th interview you didn’t get the job. And then the next and the next and a year later it’s been 200 interviews and you still haven’t gotten a job. How would you feel?”
And I said something like, “probably pretty low”
To which he replies, “that’s NORMAL for acting work.”
It’s hard to keep up with, as I’m sure you know too. Well, hopefully we can start changing that experience for the better right now!
Fixing the problem(s)
First off, be sure to read the samples from “AMAZING AUDITIONS – Powerful Audition Techniques And Monologues For Actresses“ below. I will show you how to avoid some of the biggest and most common mistakes actors and actresses make in choosing and delivering monologues.
Plus, I have given you some free monologues to work with as well. The best part about them is that they are powerful, from a unique perspective, professionally written and hardly anyone has ever seen them.
How can you beat that?
I hate to see really good and talented actresses struggle in auditions, so I’m more than happy to share this information and these wonderful monologues with you. Once you know these simple tweaks, your auditioning will literally go to a whole new level.
So, please take the time to read the article and get to know the material a bit. These aren’t hard fixes, but, the people that know them, namely the actresses that keep booking aren’t giving it away. I mean, why would they? The competition is hard enough as it is!
I don’t mind sharing though.
If you like what you learn here, then definitely check out the e-Book version of Amazing Auditions. Inside this easy to read and printable eBook, I’ll show you the really easy techniques that some of the best in the world have secretly used for years. Plus, you’ll get all of the really great monologues, that even by themselves, will transform your auditioning experience.
The most important thing is that you’ll learn the inside track on how to approach these monologues the same way the professionals do. It’s no small thing to get that information, because like I said, they definitely are not giving it away themselves!
These audition techniques and monologues present you with a wealth of opportunity to show off your chops. I’ve seen these exact same methods used in front of a full house by actors that weren’t even all that great and the effect was still show stopping incredible. These performers were memorable.
Read on to learn how to make the casting people feel the same way about you.
From the Introduction: ”We all know the difficulties of choosing a strong monologue, especially when it comes to female characters. The last thing anyone wants to be is the 105th “Blanche DuBois” the casting director has seen that day. Unfortunately for the aspiring actress, there seems to be a real limit on quality material that hasn’t been performed into the ground.
I decided to put this little collection together after receiving numerous requests from women looking for audition advice. More specifically, for information about not only HOW to prepare a monologue, but how to CHOOSE one that is appropriate. Now, I am no acting coach here, but I have a fair amount of experience on both sides of the camera, as well as the auditioning table. I’ve seen a lot of what works, what doesn’t and what has stood out through the years…”
What Not To Do: ”The first major problem is finding unique material. As you are already reading this, I imagine that you have been looking and are discovering how tough unique audition monologues can be to find! They have either been done to death, or they are too lightweight or amateurish.
Even worse, if you do choose one that has been done to death, it’s usually NOT something that will engage you with the casting people! This is because these monologues are usually lifted from plays and often the best material isn’t directed at the audience. Unfortunately, most actresses don’t realize this, but that’s where these monologues are different…”
Why This Is Different: ”…some of the best in film, television and theater have been using this exact material to book work for over 70 years. They do this because they work!
They concisely blend excellently written, emotionally filled writing that is directed to and engages the audience. Just ask Joanne Woodward, Grace Kelley, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen…the list goes on and on. And everyone of them has used these EXACT techniques and monologues during their careers.
Why shouldn’t you?
With these audition techinques and monologues, you are almost guaranteed to be unique. They are designed so that you COMMAND attention and you draw the casting people into YOUR world instead of having them sit back and WATCH you in their world.”
The casting people will never know what hit them! Be sure to check out the rest of “44 Fantastic Audition Monologues For Women” to learn more.
In the meantime…
Some Free Audition Monologes For You To Use
MRS. BENJAMIN PANTIER
I know that he told that I snared his soul
with a snare which bled him to death.
And, all the men loved him,
and most of the women pitied him.
But, suppose you are really a lady, and have delicate tastes
And loathe the smell of whiskey and onions
and the rhythm of Wordsworth’s “Ode” runs in your ears,
While he goes about from morning til’ night
Repeating bits of that common thing.
“Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?”
And then, suppose you are a woman well endowed,
and the only man with whom the law and morality
permit you to have the marital relation
is the very man that fills you with disgust
every time you think of it – while you think of it
every time you see him?
That’s why I drove him away from home
to live with his dog in a dingy room
back of his office!
From Bindle’s opera house in the village
to Broadway is a great step.
But I tried to take it, my ambition fired
when sixteen years of age,
seeing “East Lynne” played here in the village
by Ralph Barrett, who enthralled my soul.
True, I trailed back home, a broken failure,
when Ralph disappeared in New York,
Leaving me alone in the city -
but life broke him also.
In all this place of silence
there are no kindred spirits.
How I wish Duse could stand amid the pathos
of these quiet fields
and read these words.
I was only eight years old;
And before I grew up and knew what it meant
I had no words for it, except
that i was frightened and told my Mother;
And that Father got a pistol
and would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy,
Fifteen years old, except for his Mother.
Nevertheless the story clung to me.
But the man who married me, a widower of thirty-five,
was a newcomer and never heard it.
Til’ two years after we were married.
Then he considered himself cheated,
and the village agreed that I was not really a virgin.
Well, he deserted me, and I died the following winter.
When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me
I went to Springfield.
There I met a lush, whose father just deceased left him a fortune.
He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.
A year passed and one day they found him dead.
That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.
After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain.
I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate
went mad about me – so another fortune.
He died one night right in my arms, you know.
I saw his purple face for years thereafter.
There was almost a scandal.
I moved on, this time to Paris.
I was now a woman, insidious,
subtle, versed in the world and rich.
My sweet apartment near the Champs Elysees
became a center for all sorts of people.
Musicians, poets, dandies, artists, nobles,
where we spoke French and German, Italian, English.
I wed Count Navigato, native of Genoa.
We went to Rome. He poisoned me, I think.
Now in the Campo Santo overlooking the sea
where you Columbus dreamed new worlds,
see what they chiseled: “Contessa Navigato Implora Eterna Quiete.” ****
****translated means “Countess Navigato Asks For Enternal Peace.”
Yes, here I lie close to a stunted rose bush
in a forgotten place near the fence.
Where the thickets from Siever’s woods
have crept over, growing sparsely.
And you, you are a leader in New York,
The wife of a noted millionaire,
a name in the society columns,
beautiful, admired, maginfied perhaps
by the mirage of distance.
You have succeeded, I have failed.
In the eyes of the world.
You are alive, I am dead.
Yet, I know that I vanquished your spirit;
And I know that lying here far from you,
unheard of among your great friends
in the brilliant world where you move,
I am really the unconquerable power over your life
that robs it of complete triumph.
To Sum It Up
As you can see, there is some powerful stuff in these wonderful monologues. If you find that you like them and would like to explore these monologues futher, as welll as get more insight into the way they should be approached, be sure to check out “AMAZING AUDITIONS – Powerful Audition Techniques And Monologues For Actresses.” It can be delivered straight to your inbox if you like, or if you’re more of a purist, you can order the paperback directly from Amazon.com.