Advice and Tips for Actors Helpful thoughts on acting from someone who wasn't the least successful actor of all time.

July 31, 2007

Are You a Bad Actor?

Everyone actor wants to know if they’re any good. And unless you’ve got an Oscar on your shelf there’s never any conclusive proof you’re a good actor. Over the years I’ve figured out a few flags that indicate if you’re a bad actor and really should be looking for another job.

  • No-Repeat Customers – Sometimes you get lucky and book a part. You might be right for something once. But if the people who audition/work with you figure out you stink they’re not likely to bring you in again. If one job never seems to lead to another, you might want to think about why.
  • No Redirection – Sometimes you’re just not right for a part. So you go in, audition, get the old “thank you” and are shown the door. But if this is happening to you time after time, maybe the auditioners just don’t see much of a reason to re-direct you. Because no matter how much work they put in, you’ll never be able to pull the part off.
  • Career Going Nowhere – This one often happens because of bad business sense. If you never learn how to promote your own work and never learn how to market yourself you’ll probably never go anywhere with your career. This is just as bad for your career as being a bad actor but at least you can learn to promote yourself well. Acting can’t really be learned (don’t worry, there will be future posts on self-promotion as well as my whole “acting can’t be learned” thing). But if you’re been promoting yourself and find that you just can’t get that SAG card, can’t get that first commercial and can’t attract any sort of representation, maybe it’s because you’re just not that good. Unfortunately there’s no good time frame to give yourself to accomplish these goals. Some people take years to get their SAG card, but go on to have real careers. But you have to give your career an honest look and see if it’s moved forward in the last year. If it hasn’t at least moved towards these goals, maybe it’s not just bad luck.
  • “You were in a play!” – Yes, that’s a line from Friends. It’s what the crew tells Joey after his play (which was awful). If you never seem to be in a quality project, maybe it’s because the only people who think you’re good have no idea what they’re doing. Everyone’s allowed to do some bad projects. But if that’s all you seem to do, it might be because the people who do good work know better.

You’ll notice almost everything on this list is subjective. What constitutes a “bad play” or “no progress?” It’s going to be truly impossible to know if you’re any good. Sometimes people work for years before these symptoms start to rear their heads. And it’s tough to walk away from a career, especially if it’s something you feel you “need to do.” But it’s easier to leave now than 10 years from now when you’ve still made no progress/money at it. So it may be worth a thought.

There’s no shame in not being good enough to be a professional actor. I feel only a minor twinge that I’m not athletic enough to be a professional baseball player. I have no bad feelings about not being musical enough to be a rock star. There’s a long list of cool jobs that I’ll never have. But this isn’t a problem, because I’m doing something I know I’m good at which is ultimately more satisfying.

July 24, 2007

Super-Mega-Over-Booked Showcase!

Filed under: projects — Biographer @ 1:51 pm

Hey, woo!  Break out the streamers.

The Cricket Feet Showcase (including but not limited to Eitan) is incredibly over-booked.  How over-booked is it?  The industry response has been so strong that the first night (tonight) will probably only have five or so non-industry guests.   In fact, there are 70 confirmed industry RSVPs tonight and the theater only holds 66 people.

Some will flake (no doubt after learning Eitan is in the show) but this will still be one industry heavy packed house.   Wednesday and Thursday won’t be much less crowded.
Why is this worthy of an update?  It’s probably not.  Eitan just wanted to brag.  He’s modest like that.

Will Act For Money

Filed under: acting philosophy,eitan's writings — Eitan @ 1:39 pm

You’d be surprised how often I hear this statement: I want to be a professional actor, but I’ve never done any acting before.Shocking, isn’t it? Can you imagine someone saying, “I want to be a professional football player, I’ve seen a few games on TV?” It boggles the mind, yet some people honestly believe all they need to do to be a professional actor is “want it.”

In this week’s diatribe I’m going to talk about a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you want to be a professional actor, even if you have acted before… (more…)

July 17, 2007

How to be an Actor

Filed under: acting philosophy,eitan's writings — Eitan @ 1:18 pm

Hamlet Skull This is it. The ultimate technique to becoming an actor. Are you ready for it?

Always be pursing acting work.

That was really helpful, wasn’t it? That answered all of your questions, right? No? I’ll have to explain further.
(more…)

The World of an Actor

Filed under: eitan's writings,message to the readers — Eitan @ 12:50 pm

Acting MasksOver the years I’ve gotten dozens of calls, e-mails or Myspace messages from people hoping to be actors. Or people who are actors who have questions about how I’ve done what I’ve done.

In playing around on message boards and reading articles online I’ve noticed there’s a lot of good information for actors on the web. And there’s a WHOLE lot of bad/outdated information. So I figured, from my gilded pedestal as an actor and a showcase producer I could try to get some good information out to hopefuls who want to make it as an actor in Hollywood. I’m sure most of this stuff will apply to you if you’re a New York actor but I only know for sure what’s going on in Los Angeles.

In addition to my rants about what it means to be an actor and why you need good headshots I’ll post a few interesting anecdotes as well as referencing things on other blogs/websites.

This isn’t going to be a typical actor blog complaining about how I have trouble getting work (like that would ever happen) or how Hollywood is evil. I’m going to try to shed some light on the unnessicarly mysterious world of show business and I’ll have some deep thoughts about what it means to be an actor.

Now, here’s where you (the reader) comes in. I want this to be interactive. I want you to comment, e-mail in thoughts and of if you have questions send them to me and I’ll try to answer a few in my postings.

Something Very New…

Filed under: eitan's writings,projects — Eitan @ 12:31 pm

Hey guys, it’s Eitan here.

What?!  You must be shocked.  I never write on this bio/blog.  Well, that’s changing today.

Today is the launch of a new part of EitanTheActor.com.  My biographer will still be writing all “official” career updates about bookings and things but I’ll be posting (hopefully often) on various topics.  I’ll explain in another post, for organizational sake.  But rest assured you’ll be seeing a whole lot more updates on this site than you ever have in the past.

July 11, 2007

It’s Showcase Time, Baby!

Filed under: projects — Biographer @ 9:38 am

Round up the kids, de-ice the freezer and tie down the dog, it’s time for the second Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase.

What in Sam-Hill is this? Well, a showcase is where a bunch of actors put on a bunch of scenes for people in the entertainment industry (talent agents, managers, casting directors, etc). The Cricket Feet Showcase features about an hour of amazingly funny scenes, free booze/food/parking for industry guests and that’s it! The show takes place July 24th, 25th and 26th at the Promenade Playhouse on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA. For information/reservations/directions/dancing bunny photos visit the link above. If you’re not in the “biz” and you want to go there’s a special preview performance July 16th at 7:30PM. To get into that one go to the link above and don’t use the RSVP form on the website but follow the directions for alternate registration.

This sounds like a dream come true. But wait, you ask yourself, what does Eitan have to do with all of this? What’s the catch? Well, as you might have guessed this isn’t random publicity for a showcase. The bad news: Eitan is not only producing the showcase with his good buddy Bonnie Gillespie but he’s acting in it as well (he’s like M. Night Shyamalan, won’t get cast in something unless he casts himself). So in addition to an hour of hilarious comedy there will also be one scene featuring Eitan. Feel free to take a nap during that one. Or get up and go to the bathroom. Or even vomit quietly in your seat. No one will judge you.

But you should still go, even if you have to watch Eitan act. That’s how good the showcase is going to be. At the last one various industry guests remarked, “This is the best showcase I’ve ever been to” and a few industry guests were having so much fun shmoozing/drinking the free booze they had to be asked to leave so the crew could shut down the theater at around midnight. All this in spite of Eitan. Amazing, no?

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