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

May 6, 2009

The Most Famous Actor (on the Internet)

Believe it or not, I’m a pretty famous actor. That is if you count people who visit my website. As of today (5/6/09) I’ve had over 50,000 hits on eitantheactor.com .

Now, I’ve been on some pretty popular TV shows. Most memorably I’ve been on Ghost Whisperer and iCarly, two shows with huge followings online. I’ve also written two very popular articles that come up a lot in Google searches on how to write an actor bio and taking a good Polaroid.

Those four posts draw a huge amount of traffic to my website, which is awesome. So what do you do if you were an actor on Battlestar Galactica? It doesn’t matter if your scene was with Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) or Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer), your’e going to be able to draw huge amounts of fans to your website. What if you were on an episode of Lost? You could have had two lines with Jack Shepard (Matthew Fox) in the airport bathroom or you simply handed Kate Austin (Evangeline Lilly) her latte, you’re still going to be able to pull in huge numbers of people to your website because both of those shows have massive online followings.

So how do you do it? Well, you need to write about it. This doesn’t mean you need to share juicy on-set gossip about which two actors were secretly dating or write about who has a nasty drug habit. Write about your experiences on set. Be positive. This is less of a “draw traffic to your website” advice than a “be nice” piece of advice. If you want tens of thousands of people to read your post, don’t make it mean. It won’t help you in the end.

After that you need to link to the post. Go onto BSG or Lost websites and write a short snippet about being on the show. When I was on iCarly I went on a few blogs/forums and posted a quick thing. I know from watching my site statistics that many people clicked those links. I’ve seen other blogs pick up these actor posts and repost them. That’s the best way to build up your page rank and drive traffic to other pages on your website.

Also offer to be helpful. I try to write articles (like this one) that not only promote myself but may help actors at large. People love a good “how-to” article. Trying to give back is a great way to build your popularity online. For example, Jenna Fischer (from The Office) wrote a really good article on how she made her way from a no-name actress to being a series regular on one of the top ranked shows on TV. She gave lots of advice and naturally it was passed around like a revolutionary document online by actors. She posted the article several years ago on her Myspace page and just a month ago I saw another actor trot it out. I wish I could find a link to the original, but I can’t. If you Google enough it’ll probably turn up.

It’s also important to update your site more than once in a blue moon. Google doesn’t like sites that never update and neither to visitors. I don’t update my site as much as I used to but I still try to log in once in a while and post something. Active writers draw active readers.

What does all this traffic do besides boost my ego? That’s a topic for a whole other post.

February 19, 2009

The Best Ways to Find Me Online

Filed under: bookings — Eitan @ 1:18 pm

Here are the best ways to find the world famous actor Eitan Loewenstein (that’s me) on the internet:

Eitantheactor.com – My official site.  You’re on it.

Twitter – I tweet quite regularly about my auditions and other day-to-day things in my career.

Facebook – This is my “fan” page on Facebook.  If you’re a fan, join up.  Show your allegiance to the cult of Eitan.

Actors Access – This is my “official” profile which is used to submit me on breakdowns for real big-time jobs.

Those are far and away the best ways to keep on top of my acting career and see what’s up.

January 2, 2009

Booking More in 2009

from the neighbor's
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ali San

Happy New Year to All!

Here’s a very simple exercise.  Examine your 2008.  Look at the records of your auditions, meetings and all the tactics you’ve used. Write them down, you’ll be surprised at how many there are.

I talked about making good resolutions over a year ago and all that info still stands.

This year I want you (as I am doing) to look at all the opportunities, accomplishments and actions you had and took in 2008.  You can make the list as extensive as you like.  Here is an example of some of mine:

  • Got WAY more callbacks than ever before.
  • Got MUCH better at “feeling out” which jobs I would be back for and which I wouldn’t.
  • Helped produce three pretty amazing showcases and helped transition the show from a tiny 66 seat theater in 2007 to a 260 seat theater.
  • Started writing my first screenplay.
  • Made contact/friends with many new “industry folks” online.
  • Started a Twitter Account to keep my fans (I assume that’s you) up to date and build a bigger fan base.
  • And on a personal note ran two half-marathons and a full-marathon having not run more than a mile straight since high school while raising over $2400 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Now, instead of making brand-new resolutions or “goals” as they really should be called I simply want to focus on improving some of these things.  How?  Well, as you can tell from the title of this post I really want to book more jobs in 2009, I want to finish my screenplay, meet even more industry folks online and in person and finally run even more.

These look more like typical resolutions.  They’re not actionable, most aren’t quantifyable and they’re pretty vague.  This is where I go back to how to write resolutions.  I then focus my goals on improving things I’m already really proud of.  Build success upon success.

August 5, 2008

Catch Eitan on iCarly? If Not…

Filed under: bookings,TV — Tags: , , , , , , , — Biographer @ 7:14 pm

Here’s the video.  If you blink you might miss him.  So watch this video while blinking heavily.  In fact, just close your eyes and plug your ears while it plays.

March 10, 2008

Eitan is Not Famous Either

Filed under: bookings — Biographer @ 4:01 pm

Today Eitan shot a scene for the indie project Blake Robbins is Not Famous in which he plays a random guy getting out of the bathroom who knew actor Blake Robbins personally but had no idea Blake was an actor.

What the heck is Blake Robbins is Not Famous?  It’s an internet project where actor Blake Robbins goes around with his friend Subash detailing what it’s like to be a not-quite-famous actor.  Part of the process involves interviewing random people on the street who either know or do not know Blake.  Eitan knew Blake by some random twist of their wives being in book club together but had no idea Blake was an actor.  the story had something to do with him giving a ride to his wife to book club at Eitan’s place and them meeting for a few seconds.  Even Blake was confused.

Eitan also called his own wife “fat.”   Good going there champ.

January 16, 2008

Eitan the Writer

Filed under: bookings,eitan's writings — Biographer @ 2:01 pm

You knew Eitan thought he could write.  But you didn’t know other people agreed.

Eitan has begun conducting interviews for the website ActorsLife.com.

His first interview features casting director Bonnie Gillespie.

Others are sure to follow.  The internet will never be the same.

October 25, 2007

iCarly – Eitan’s Booked Again

Filed under: bookings,TV — Biographer @ 11:12 am

iCarly LogoUch, does Eitan know how much work it is for his biographer to log onto this blog and post about every single booking? There are many other things for a busy biographer to be doing. Did you know that it’s prime fishing season in Nova Scotia? That’d be much more interesting than writing about Eitan’s career.

Oh, the news.

Eitan’s booked an episode of the Nickelodeon show iCarly. He’ll be playing a father (Eitan’s so old, ha!) of a boy who decides it’d be a great idea to dump a bucket of ice water on him while he is sleeping and video tape it for Carly’s show. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll dump a bucket of Gak on Eitan’s head too. You know, just for fun.

The episode number is #125 and the title is “iHave a Lovesick Teacher.” That’s so all you iCarly fanatics can plan your life around Eitan’s TV schedule.

September 18, 2007

Nerves – A Tale of Two Auditions

Filed under: bookings,eitan's writings,film,TV — Eitan @ 12:21 am

It was the best of auditions, it was the worst of auditions. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I actually hate overdone titles like “To act or not to act” but this one just rang true to the post. So enjoy.

I want to discuss two auditions I had in the last couple weeks and how different they were. I think a lot can be learned from these two about nerves as an actor, what they can do to you and a few potential pitfalls to watch out for when you do get a “big” audition.

The first audition was for a film. I’m not going to mention the name of the film as I didn’t get it and I don’t like to talk too much about stuff I didn’t get but it was a pretty large film with an A-List cast. The scene I was reading for was with a pretty well known actor and a major A-lister. It was two straight pages of talking with one of the actors. Amazing, right? I got the call from my manager on a Thursday and the audition was the next Tuesday. I had five days to prepare and five days to freak out.

This wasn’t a “career maker” audition like a pilot or a major role in a film but it would have looked really great on my resume and demo reel. So there I was with a few pages of sides and a bunch of days to work on them. I went online did plenty of research to find out who each character was going to be played by, looked up the director, looked up the writers, read the IMDb board on the film and, of course, read over my lines dozens of times and made some good strong choices of what I wanted to do. I show up at the audition and have to wait an hour to go in and read. Finally I go in and give a pretty good read. Not the best of my life, but I was really pleased with what I did.

I’m so happy I did well because that audition easily could have gone the other way. I could have started to think about how the director works ALL the time and could make my career on his next film, how I’d format my resume with the new credit or how I could easily screw up in front of one of the top casting directors in Los Angeles and never get brought in by her again. Those kind of things can consume an actor and do nothing to help with the actual audition. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of all of those things but I focused my energy on the work. That’s what stopped me from freaking out. When I started to think of how amazing this job would be and how much money I’d make on residuals when the thing runs on TBS every two hours I picked up the script and worked on it again.

And in that waiting room I could have started to worry about what the other actors were going to do. I could have looked at them and judged their wardrobes and demeanors to figure out who my real competition was. But instead I stretched out on the sofa, relaxed and read my lines a few more time. This took my mind off of the hour wait and onto the work.

When you have days to analyze and think about your audition the best thing to do is to focus as much as possible on the work. What good are five days if you only spend an hour on the sides and twenty hours fantasizing about what could happen? Switch those two around (maybe not 20 hours on the scene, that’s insane) and you’ll calm yourself down to no end.  Because you’ll know what you have to do when you walk in that room.

The second audition I want to discuss is my audition for Ghost Whisperer. I get the call Tuesday at 2PM for an audition at 4:30PM in Burbank. That means I have to finish what I was doing, do a little shopping for dinner, get in my car and go. That was it. I barely had time to print out the sides. I read them over quickly on my way out the door.

I drive to the studio, park my car, get lost and eventually find the casting office after asking directions at a production office as well as the casting office for Heroes. I get in there and there’s one guy in front of me. He’s in the room for two minutes and suddenly I’m in there auditioning.

There was no room for nerves. In fact, the excitement of the whole thing didn’t sink in until the morning I shot. I woke up and said, “Hey, I get to shoot a scene with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Orlando Jones today… neat!”

The best way to keep nerves from messing you up is to keep busy and keep focusing on the work. If you feel like you’ve worked the scene to death, go out and watch a movie. Have a cup of coffee with an old friend. Do something other than ponder over and over what would happen if you got this part or messed up. Enjoy the opportunity, get excited about the fact that you get to have this audition and make sure you’re ready to step in there and give a good performance.

September 15, 2007

Ghost Whisperer – Booked!

Filed under: bookings,TV — Biographer @ 11:28 pm

Ghost WhispererHey hey, look who’s working. It’s Eitan proving yet again that if he can get work as an actor in Hollywood, anyone can.

This time Eitan will be appearing on the CBS show “Ghost Whisperer” playing an annoying fan (shocking) of a celebrity psychic in episode 307 “Unhappy Medium.” Eitan will be shooting at Universal Studios on Monday. If you happen to be on the tour, keep a look out for Eitan. And what’s this with Eitan and psychics? Weird, right?

The biographer has long guessed Eitan would end up at Universal Studios but it was assumed he would be on the lot as a tour guide or responsible for spraying down Jaws, not as an actor. The biographer hates being wrong but loves it when Eitan works.

And since you’re wondering, yes Eitan will be shooting his scene with Jennifer Love Hewitt. And no, Eitan will not work up the courage to introduce himself.

August 7, 2007

How to Self-Promote (By Promoting Others)

Filed under: bookings,eitan's writings — Eitan @ 8:04 am

Eitan in a Saturn CommercialCongratulations! You just got a nice part in some TV show. Or you got a great new commercial that’s going to be running all over the place. Or maybe you’re even about to be in a new play that everyone in your town should come and see. Great! Right now your headshot and resume are of no help, you need to get out and promote! So how do you go about talking about your work without sounding like a tool?

Recently I’ve found myself in an amazing showcase, a short film that’s tearing it up on the festival circuit and a bunch of commercials that are playing all over the country. After the performance part of the showcase all the actors schmooze with the industry guests over drinks and food. I hated talking about my work. I really hated it. I figured I could simply smile and be a nice guy and people would figure out who I am and be impressed. Well that doesn’t work. To get recognition for your work (and not just in acting) you MUST self-promote. Today I’m going to discuss one way to do this which won’t make you uncomfortable.

Self-Promote by talking about other people’s work. (more…)

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