Another great aspect of social media is that there are so many wonderful little morsels of useful information to help our careers. One of the great resources is Twitter. Here are cool people to follow and twitter lists to check out for info on auditions, career advice, inspiration and more…
I’ve been noticing what a small world it truly is. Just like any profession, you’re in it long enough and some familiar names and faces will keep popping up. I’m not even a seasoned professional or anything, by any means, and yet consistently going to acting classes, taking workshops, producing theater, seeing plays, attending networking events, I’m starting to bump into people I know or find out I’m connected to people I didn’t know. And as we all know, LA is not a small town.
It’s actually quite comforting. And motivating. Here I am, still “green” as far as Hollywood is concerned, and yet I’m already getting called in for an indie feature via a director I know through a past scene partner and seeing multiple familiar faces at auditions and finding out certain actor friends are connected to other actor friends completely unrelated to me. Attending that screening for Four Faced Liar is a prime example.
It’s so great watching these connections and networks grow and to start feeling like Hollywood, believe it or not, is a real community.
Yesterday felt very productive.
I spent the afternoon with a brainstorming creative writing session with my friend and fellow actor. We whipped out three rough drafts of scripts in about two hours and, might I add, they’re pretty funny. It felt good following through on a commitment we had made to each other- to make a webseries in order to obtain our SAG eligibility. (If all goes as planned, I’ll share exactly how we did it!)
First thing’s first, which was coming up with the ideas. So, last week we met for lunch to come up with a sort of game plan. Then we set a date to actually sit down and write. After a couple cancellations, we finally met yesterday, keeping the ball rolling and not letting our project lose steam. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve had with friends, fellow aspiring directors/producers/actors, which disappeared as quickly as they arrived. But, that’s okay… because one day one of those millions of moments of inspiration will actually materialize. The trick is, to never stop having these ideas, to never stop creating even if your last 998 ideas withered away to die…. it’s that 999th one that just may be the hit!
Then later on that day, I spent the evening at a webseries launch/networking/charity event in West Hollywood watching the smart, witty, entertaining, feminist, funny work of my peers. This made me feel good. This day made me feel good. I felt motivated. It’s like the feeling I get after going to a really awesome art opening– all I want to do is go home and paint! It’s like I get this burst of creative energy and I just have to make something. But if I never go to an art opening or a museum or a gallery then that creative fire dims and I could go months or, dare I say it, years without making a single work of art, another great passion of mine. This is exactly why it is so important to go to screenings, film festivals, workshops, networking events… to keep that fire burning bright! This is your dream after all, let’s make it come true!
Show up! If you’re given an audition appointment- you honer it. And that doesn’t mean 25min after your scheduled callback time. Sorry, buddy, got other things to do! And, no, I wont reschedule.
Make a choice! Now I really know what acting coaches, casting directors and the like mean when they say how important it is for actors to just make a choice, any choice, when they audition. After seeing auditioner after auditioner just come in and give this lukewarm read that was more or less the general mood of the piece, the actor that came in and did the work of coming up with a choice would undoubtedly stand out. Even if that choice was weird, or didn’t follow the logic of the rest of the sides, it didn’t matter. We were just excited to see someone commit to something! To watching something actually happen on stage.
No excuses! When we give you a re-direction please don’t get defensive. Usually it’s a good thing, anyway, because it means we actually want to see more of your work. But if we say “try it like this…” and you say “well, how am I supposed to do that if I don’t know the rest of the play!” then we think “have you never auditioned before?!” Usually sides are just that, sides, not a whole script! You don’t have to tell me that you haven’t seen the other pages– I know, I’m the one who sent them to ya! I don’t care if what you do doesn’t make sense in the rest of the play. All I care about is that you show me something, anything. Like I said before, make a choice.
Hold your script! These are callbacks, so yes, it’s best if you’ve memorized your lines. But if you don’t know the lines 110% then, please, spare us. We wont hold it against you that you’ve got your script in hand. A solid performance with a script is better than a rocky performance without the script.
Bring energy! Don’t suck it out of the room. There were some people who, maybe they were good, I have no idea, because they came in with such low energy I struggled to pay attention to what was going on. Then there were people who, may not have been the greatest actor in the world, but had such great energy when they walked into the room, when they were playing the part, when they were receiving the re-direction that they instantly went to the top of my list.