Archive for May, 2011
Let me say it again. ACTING IS NOT ABOUT THE LINES. More often than not when I ask an actor about their audition they tell me that they forgot or stumbled their lines. But I don’t care about the lines because that’s not what acting is.
Okay, the exception to this rule is Sitcom. Yes, the lines and the jokes are crafted and you need to be word perfect, BUT, even for Sitcom, what’s more important than the lines is that the actor creates an experience for their audience.
In class, two actors did a cold reading about a couple whose marriage is on the brinks. The actors were so absorbed with making sure that their lines were right that they didn’t connect to each other and the scene lacked the intention and passion of a couple who are fighting to keep their marriage.
The actors had missed that the experience of the scene is an argument. So, I coached them, “Have an argument.” This time the scene had passion, physical movement, their eyes got off the page, and their lines came to them effortlessly. They even flubbed a couple of lines, but it didn’t matter, because now we were watching a couple fight for their marriage and that’s interesting.
Casting Directors want you to create the experience of the scene, so their experience of watching your audition is like watching a movie. Yes, know your lines. But create an experience and you’ll get a callback.
A manager’s job is to help you become a marketable talent. They should assess and guide you in your training, grooming, voice, (speech, diction, and/or singing) body (dance, movement) and image. They should advise you regarding professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions that may affect your career.
Good managers have relationships with licensed talent agencies and access to Breakdown Services. Managers should be team players who want you to have an agent. They need to have relationships with Casting Director and Producers.
Be aware that anyone can print up a card and be a manager; there are no requirements by law. So do your research on the Internet, check with Talent Manager’s Association and above all TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If they tell you they are going to make you a star or ask you for any money whatsoever – RUN.
Here are 5 important questions to ask when you’re interviewing manager.
1. How long have you been managing?
If they are new to management – what did they do before? Former agents, casting directors and former manager’s assistants can make great managers.
2. Can I call or email you anytime?
3. Do you get feedback on auditions?
4. Who are you representing now and what are those actors’ credits?
5. What agencies do you work with? And what agency do you think would be right for me?
What are your experiences with Managers? Any questions you would add. Please comment here and help other actors.
Last week I spoke with Lesli Linka Glatter, an Academy, Directors Guild and Emmy Award Winning Director. You have seen her directing work on MAD MEN, HOUSE, and ER. When she directed her first film with kids, NOW AND THEN, she called Steven Spielberg and asked for his advice about working with child actors. This is what Steven Spielberg said:
1. “Only hire a child if they give you the performance you want in the casting room.”
Spielberg is saying don’t choose an actor that needs to be coached into the role. Only choose the child who is has the look as well as the ability to act.
2. “Don’t feed them sugar.”
This is great advice whenever your child is on set and before auditions.
3. “Don’t let their parents direct them.”
When a child has been prepared by a parent, they are often so rehearsed to do the scene a certain way – hand gestures or intonation – that the Director can’t break the child of the pattern. So don’t coach, rehearse, or direct your child – have a good acting coach prepare your child with thorough script analysis, so that they are ready to take the Director’s direction.
Focuses on learning and applying the 9 Questions of Intentional Acting with script analysis, cold reading, audition skills, and scene study.
The class will give you a foundation of knowledge and skill while beginning to get rid of the nervous habits that keep that “Zone” performance from flowing through.
Classes begin with a fifteen minute warm up which connects you to your greatest resource – you. Based in Alexander and Linklater Voice Technique, this warm-up creates “Presence” and “Star Quality” and teaches you how to “Own the Room,” and bring yourself to the role. This class is kept to an intimate setting so that all actors perform at least two times a class.
- Tuesdays 7 to 10pm
- Location: Historic Lankershim Art Center (North Hollywood)
- Class Size Limited to 12 students
- Pre-Requisite: Interview with Loren