Thursday, August 7, 2014

Here's to us, Who's like us? Damn few.

Hey, old friend,
Are you okay, old friend?
What do you say, old friend,
Are we or are we unique? *

We are all unique.  Of course.  And it is what actors need to channel and embrace. Of course, you can fit into a type and might choose to market and sell that. The really special work and best auditions, however, come from embracing what makes us different and not like anyone else. Our friends and family know we are special. But the real trick is how to share it in the audition room and, more important than that, how to GET INTO THE ROOM! This is not news!  I am an actor and I have the same struggles which is why I have started The Actor's Friend.

Helping Charles Baran with his online profiles
He's currently working in a regional production of "Hello Dolly"

Time goes by,
Everything else keeps changing.
You and I, 
We get continued next week. *

Things in the business are always changing. And it is our job to keep on top of it all.  It would be lovely if we could just turn up at the theatre or on set and not worry about the other stuff, but I think we have to accept it as part of our job now. I have many older actor friends who tell wonderful tales of auditioning in Broadway Theatres, turning up at their agents' offices and having a wee dram and browsing the breakdowns. Times have changed. And whether you have representation or not, YOU have to look out for YOU. You are your own old friend.

Jean Ann Garrish gets a cmail after using
The Actor's Friend's strategies!

The actor's friend sprouted from several little seeds that were planted by friends.
I am an actress and teacher, by nature and nurture (from a family of artists and teachers and I have a masters in Theatre and Post graduate in teaching and almost 20 years experience teaching). More than any of that, I am a friend.

I started blogging about my experiences as a working and auditioning actor in New York,
warts and all.  People were reading. Friends were asking for help, insights and advice. The blog about getting more Cmail had over 1300 views and casting directors and Actors' Access were sharing it. And the same tactics work for Backstage and any online submissions. A few tricks and you are at the top of the pile of submissions. With or without an agent!

One particular evening, I was out with a few actor friends who said, 
"Can we take you out and pay for lunch if you'll explain all of this stuff you know?" 

And then, a week later, my coach, mentor and friend, Heidi Marshall, said to me, "All these people are reading your blog and it is helping actors. Do you know how many of them would like workshops to teach them all of this practical stuff?"

Actors need tools, not just talent.

Even friends with agents and managers are finding this helpful. Do you have an agent and wonder "Why is he or she not getting me in the room?" YOU can help. Your agent and manager submit you so often through breakdown services and if you have clips and profile that shows YOU, that will help them! 

Most friends fade
Or they don't make the grade.
New ones are quickly made
And in a pinch, sure, they'll do.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?
Here's to us --
Who's like us?
Damn few! *

Extolling the wonder of Audition Update

We are different. Acting and the business is not easy. A community is important and you have to find people you trust who help you grow. I have taken many classes and know that there is a chemistry involved. Learning from fellow actors is so important. I have made lots of mistakes! And I am passionate about helping other actors. I have never viewed it as a competition. Of course we vie for parts but we are either right, or not, and so much is out of our control.  Let's stop being jealous. Let's stop competing.

We are there to help each other and I want to help you.  Come and learn from my many, many mistakes! Come and be motivated.  Come and laugh.

Click image to play video

Learn from someone walking in your footsteps every day.

Your friend,

*Old Friends
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

No comments:

Post a Comment