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

May 14, 2008

Lying On Your Resume

Filed under: classes,eitan's writings,film,theater,TV — Eitan @ 12:40 am

Lying on your acting resume? You think this would be a really short post. I’d say something like “don’t do it” and run off for another month or so without posting. Sorry, it’s way more complicated than that.

Some of the stuff I’m going to talk about is risky, some of the stuff is safe as a Volvo. It’s all about your comfort level and how honest the lie actually is.  Mostly these are white lies that actors are expected to tell.  But they can get pushed too far if you’re trying to be sneaky.  The biggest rule I can say is don’t get caught lying.  Even if it’s minor.  You don’t want to have to start justifying your whole resume to a casting director in the middle of an audition.

Lying On Your Resume Can be a Good Idea – In a perfect world everyone’s acting resume would be a list of parts they’ve played and casting people could easily look at the resume and see where the actor is in their career and if they could possibly be a good fit for the part they are currently casting. Problem is, it’s just not possible. No one’s going to recognize every item on an actor’s resume. Credits don’t always mean the same thing in different contracts. School plays can be really hard to sell as “legitimate experience.” And the list goes on and on.

The First Lie Every Actor is Told To Tell – Let’s get this one out of the way. I’ve read this in books and on other websites so this is the least risky thing in the post. If you did a play at Xavier High School and you played the part of the Fiddler in The Fiddler on the Roof you don’t need to list the production company as “Xavier High School,” you can list it as “Xavier Theater.” Or if the theater has a name you can list it. “The Herbert Einstein Memorial Theater.”  Whatever.  Because no one really cares.  It’s a play in a theater they’ve never heard of.  They’ll ask about the play (if at all) and that’ll be that.

Don’t Upgrade Yourself –  I’ve seen a fair number of actor resumes in my life.  I can’t even calculate the percentage of which have obvious attempts at upgrades but it’s a high number.  Suddenly that guy with one line has a “Major Supporting Role” in the film.  Or the guy who passed by the star in the hallway is a “Guest Star.”  Well guess what, the bigger the lie the more likely someone’s going to catch you.  Saying you had a Guest Star part on a very successful show when you had a one liner is typically pretty obvious.  I’ve seen resumes listing multiple large parts and when you type the name into IMDB maybe one of the parts comes up… as “Waiter #3.”  That’s no “Starring” role.  And do you know who’s going to catch you every single time if you list that extra work as principle?  The casting director.  They remember people they hire.  And they’ll never be hiring you.  And if you say you were a guest star someone just might try to check your quote, they’ll find out you were lying and you’ll get fired before you were even hired.  That’d suck.

Move Laterally –  Look at my resume and you’ll see the Final Justice part listed as a “Co-Star.”  My contract doesn’t say “Co-Star.”  In fact, I have no idea where my contract is so I can’t read the actually billing.  But I was hired as a “Principle” and that’s the only billing I had.  Problem was, it just stood out on my resume as a weird thing next to my other two actual “co-star” roles (as of this writing, just for the record).  So I moved myself laterally.  I changed it to “Co-Star.”  It’s not really a lie, it’s equivalent.  If I were hired on any other AFTRA show I’d be billed as a “Co-Star” with that part.  I just didn’t know to ask for that when I was starting out.  Also, they never ran credits on that show.  Uch.  How do you know what your billing is supposed to be?  Read your contract.  The other great time to move laterally is on a feature when you’re booked as a “Featured” part.  Technically this means you got paid a day rate and had a line or two.  In resume world, this means you were an extra who thinks they could pick themselves out of a crowd.  “Featured” is a term that is dead and gone on resumes.  It’s been ruined.  You’re now a “Principle” or “Featured Principle.”  That means you had a line otherwise people think you’re making stuff up.  Isn’t that ironic?

A Real Serious Lie – Ok, this last one is beyond anything I’ve ever done.  I’ve said time and time again that no one really cares about films and plays they’ve never seen and never heard of.  They just see lines on your resume and assume you know something about being on camera or being on stage.  There’s nothing that’s going to excite them unless they recognize something from your resume.  That means you can completely make up student films, short films, original plays, acting classes and cast yourself in plays you’ve read and know well enough to pass a quiz on.  You can, but you shouldn’t.  This is where you really can play too much with your resume and head down a dark and dangerous path.  I did a few student films in college but how does someone know I didn’t do three more in which I was the lead?  Heck, I was in a few plays there that I know like the back of my hand.  Who’s to say I didn’t play the lead instead of the guy carrying suitcases?  No one would ever catch a single one of those lies and they’d pad my resume quite nicely.  Or at least they would have back when that was all I had on my resume.  But know I’ve seen directors ask about a random part, just to make conversation.  Just make sure you could make something up if need be.

Don’t Do That! – I hope you read this paragraph after reading the one before it.  Don’t do it.  Don’t completely make stuff up on your resume, even if you’ll never get caught.  It’s useless, no one cares about these projects.  Why be a liar for something unimportant?  BUT I’m totally down with making things look as good as possible on your resume.  Let’s say you did a staged reading for a class of an original play your friend wrote but never did anything with.  Why can’t that part be on your resume under theater?  You did the part, it just wasn’t a full show.  That short fillm that you shot with your buddies?  Put your friend as the director and put that on your resume.  You shot it, it’s a film.  No one judges an actor by how small the font size is on their resume.  A List actor resumes only have their latest, greatest and most famous roles listed anyway.  B and C list actors don’t even have their theater listed most of the time.  It’s only us working class stiffs.  If you only had one liners in student films no one’s going to be upset if you make one of those a lead.  The director might get annoyed but if he’s teaching 5th grade in Kansas now, how does that affect you?

Lie as Little as Possible – What we can take away from all my examples is that you should lie as little as humanly possible.  Don’t go for any lies that can be caught or pointed out easily (See that guy with an iPhone at your audition?  He’s checking your IMDB page and knows you’re lying).  Lies should be used only to very lightly massage your resume, never to try to bump it up to the next level.  Nothing I’ve suggested here will land you a single extra audition.  None will make any perceptible difference in your career.   They’re small and they just smooth the way towards getting some real credits that you don’t have to work to pretty up.

February 27, 2008

Don’t Be an Actor

Filed under: eitan's writings — Eitan @ 2:55 pm

Please, don’t do it.  Don’t be an actor.  Be anything else in the world.

I’m not talking about not being a professional actor.  I’m talking about being an actor in italics.  You see, actors are wonderfully creative people who are generally fun to be around actors are miserable, annoying and come off as crazy.

What is the difference between an actor and an actor besides the italics?

Actors are selfish.  They don’t help their partners with their parts.  They refuse to run lines after “they got it” and they won’t ever move a single piece of scenery.  Actors are happy to help out people in need, they’re always there for their scene partners and they’re willing to help out a production any way they can because they undestand their star rises and falls along with the productions they’re associated with.

Actors are often overly competitive.  It’s funny to see this at auditions.  Actors feel the need to try to throw their competition off.  They’ll give “advise” on how to do the part.  They’ll tell other people auditioning “You look totally different than everyone else here.”   I’ve even heard stories of people throwing away sides so the other actors can’t learn their lines.  And does any of this help their chances at getting the part?  Of course not.  Actors, on the other hand, are gracious and friendly to people they audition with.  If they can help out, they will.  They put their best work out there and let the casting people do their job.  It’s the person best suited for the job that gets it not the cattiest, unless you’re auditioning for Project Runway.

Actors consider themselves artists.  I’m not saying acitng isn’t an art form, of course it is.  But there’s a major difference between being a poet/painter and an actor.  Poets and painters don’t depend on anyone else to keep doing their jobs.  Actors need to be hired (or be accepted into a class) to keep working.  Actors don’t get this and make themselves so difficult to work with that no one will ever want to hire them.

Actors are insane.  Don’t know why but a large number of people giving Actors a bad name have something wrong with them.  It’s like someone hung a sign at LAX saying “If you’re crazy, think about being an actor.”  Actors are usually well balanced normal folks who can hold normal conversations and pass off at parties as normal people with normal jobs.  The funny thing is, some of the people I know who work the most are very laid back and regular.  They’re not overly theatrical or difficult to be around.  Isn’t it funny how that works?

The reason this came up was that we recently cast the latest version of the Cricket Feet Showcase one of the first things we considered when casting actors was if they’d be hard to work with.  We can’t focus 90% of our time on making one person happy, there’s just too much else to do.  So if the actors auditioning were actors then we didn’t cast them.

I love working with Actors, I hate working with Actors.  I feel like a white, Jewish, non-stand up comedian version of Chris Rock.

February 12, 2008

Post-Strike To Do List

Filed under: eitan's writings,projects — Eitan @ 6:42 pm

You probably heard the strike is ending tomorrow. That is unless there’s some silent majority in the writers camp that hates the new deal. No, I don’t think that’s going to happen either. So with the strike over that means your (and my) phone will suddenly start ringing of the hook with auditions and offers for TV and Film parts. I’ll let you know if that happens.

Unless something major happened to you over the past few months chances are you’ll be sticking to the same old grind that you went through before the strike. Well, I want to charge you to create a strategy, a “to do list.” Make yourself a list of five or ten good actionable goals you want to accomplish now that the strike is over. They could be new projects, improvements on old projects or simply something you’ve done before and want to do again.

To get you off on the right foot I’m going to share my very own post-strike to do list. Feel free to bug me in a few weeks if I haven’t done any of them.

  1. Shoot some new headshots of myself. The ones I have now still look like me, but I want something fresher.
  2. Raise as much money as I can for my half-marathon. Seriously, contribute. Help me out here kids. It’s all part of fighting the good fight.
  3. Post a whole lot of useful articles on this blog.
  4. Do the two billion things I need to do to make sure the showcase goes well.
  5. Get a good mailing routine going. I used to be better at this, I want to make sure my stuff is in the hands of casting people more often.

That takes care of most of the stuff I want to do. Within each of those goals are a bunch of little things I need to get done. That should keep me busy for quite a while.

Get a piece of paper, blog or just a text document and write yourself a list. I get 10x more done when I make lists than when I just say “oh yeah, I got stuff to do.” They don’t even all have to be acting related. It’s just a good time to step it up and get your life in order.

January 28, 2008

Lest We Forget the Strike

Filed under: eitan's writings — Eitan @ 11:06 pm

Yup, there’s still a strike going on. Don’t know if you remember that whole WGA not getting a fair contract offer thing. It’s impossible to forget if you live in Los Angeles or New York but if you live anywhere else it’d be quite easy not to notice (unless you count the horrible episodes of Leno and the fact that there’s almost no new episodes of anything else on TV). Personally, I notice every day as the number of auditions I’ve been getting has dropped off dramatically since the strike.

Today was marked with a rally by SAG and the WGA outside the Fox lot to show support for the writers. I brought along my camera and took a few photos. Let these act as today’s moment of zen in lieu of an Daily Show moment of zen.

In case you’re curious the first two photos are of SAG president Alan Rosenberg. Followed by a clever sign, an older gentleman being blown by the strong wind and actor Stephon Fuller with his friend.

January 16, 2008

How to Write an Actor Bio

Filed under: eitan's writings,theater — Eitan @ 7:34 pm

A surprisingly high number of people find this site after typing the phrase “how to write an actor’s bio” or “acting bio formats” into Google. So I figured I’d take this blog entry and give a shout out to the actors as far away as Malaysia and Iran who are looking for advice on how to write a good acting bio and searching for an actor bio template.  While I’m shouting, I might as well distribute some of my very useful advice.

Why-o a Bio?

There are many reasons an actor might need to write a short biography. Maybe they need something to put in a theater program or they need some PR materials for a film they did. Until the day comes that you can hire a publicist to do the work for you, this job lies on your shoulders.

What’s in a Bio?

A bio is not a resume. I’ve already written an excellent post (if I must say so myself) on writing an actors resume. So I advise you read it if you’re looking on how to write an acting resume.

Like I was saying before I interrupted myself, a bio is not an excuse to list dozen parts you’ve had since 3rd grade. It’s a chance to brag about your work but also show who you are as a person. The vast majority of people reading your bio aren’t ever going to meet you, so this is an excellent chance for them to find out something about you as a person.  Don’t let them come away thinking you’re defined completely by your work.
It’s also not a place for you to personally thank every member of your family for their support. Unless no one besides your family is going to see the play you’re in, it’s best to limit the thank yous and inside jokes. Make your bio something everyone who sees your play or reads the press packet will care about.

Stop listing what’s not in a bio. What IS in a bio?

Let’s first talk about credits. Unless everyone seeing the show is going to get a copy of your resume (like in a showcase) you’ll want to list a couple of credits. If you don’t have any, this is a perfect place to say “Eitan is making his theatrical debut. Please be nice.” But the general rule of credits is the same as with writing a resume: keep it simple and only list your most well known or best work. Look at the lits on my resume post if you want to know my order for which credits trump which. There’s no reason to list thirty credits in your biography. Depending on how many words you’re give for your bio you’ll want to list somewhere between one and five credits. Any more and you’d better have a Tony or an Oscar gathering dust on your mantle.  Otherwise you’re probably not going to impress anyone with those credits, only bore them.

Give up a little information telling the audience who you are as a person. When I read in a program that someone has a degree in engineering I know I’m rooting for them right out of the gate because we have something in common. By telling something about who you are as a person you help the audience like you as a person before you step foot on that stage. You don’t have to pour out details you’re not comfortable with disclosing and don’t mention your recent divorce (unless you just got divorced from one of your cast mates, steamy!). Pets, hobbies, odd jobs and funny anecdotes always fit well in this area.

What if I want to be really silly/funny in my biography?

Sometimes it’s appropriate to have an acting bio which is completely silly and has nothing to do with acting. As you can guess I’m guilty of having done this many times in my career. Here are a few examples of silly bios I’ve written over the years.

  • Eitan as the printing Press: Eitan was invented by Johann Guttenberg in 1440…
  • Eitan as Abe Lincoln: Eitan was born in a log cabin in Kentucky. He would later issue the Emancipation Proclamation…
  • Eitan as a deity: Eitan is a master of all matter and energy. Bow before Eitan…
  • Totally made up information: Eitan has never been stuck in traffic. He competed in the 1984 Olympics as the youngest pole vaulter in Olympic history…

These work for me because I’m a little goofy and I think this type of thing is hilarious. Feel free to throw a joke in to a more serious bio if you think it’ll work. Be true to yourself.

First or Third Person?

Eitan says your bio should always be written in third person. It’s standard and doesn’t sound as elitist as you think it does. Also try to refrain from making the “Eitan likes talking in third person” joke in your bio. It’s been done a billion times.

Bio Formatting

There’s really no wrong format for an acting bio. As long as you keep it in third person, short as possible and appropriate for the production you’re not going to go wrong. Here are a couple examples of bios in various formats for you to enjoy and dissect like a James Joyce novel.

“Eitan has appeared in various TV shows such as ‘Ghost Whisperer’ and ‘iCarly.” He has also appeared in several national commercials for products like Saturn and the city of Las Vegas. He studied electrical engineering at UC Santa Barbara before realizing engineering wasn’t really his bag. He promptly announced to the world he would be an actor and hasn’t been taken seriously since.”

“Eitan lives in Los Angeles where he works as an actor. His most recent TV appearance was on Ghost Whisperer. In his free time Eitan enjoys playing on his computer and updating his website (www.eitantheactor.com). Eitan would like to thank each and every one of you for coming to see his show. Please form a line outside his dressing room after final curtain.”

“Eitan is an avid and horrible softball player. He also enjoys playing Dance Dance Revolution and cooking. Eitan once worked as a telemarketer so it’s very likely you hung up on Eitan at one point in your life.  Eitan has appeared on Ghost Whisperer, iCarly and various commercials.”

Hope this has helped all you wayward souls searching for information on how to write an acting biography.

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.

December 31, 2007

Making Good Resolutions

Filed under: eitan's writings — Eitan @ 12:01 am

2008 is almost here.  Oh goody.  That means the sound of thousands of resolutions being broken at 12:01AM. 

“I’ll stop smoking, I’ll lose weight, I’ll shave my dorky beard.”  Actors make career related resolutions as well as personal ones.  “I’ll get a new agent, I’ll finally book a guest-star role, I’ll become a movie star.”  Problem is, none of these are good resolutions.  So I’d like to take a few paragraphs and talk about how to make productive resolutions to help advance your career.

Make sure your goal is actionable.  This means a goal you can accomplish by your own actions.  Resolving to book a guest-star role isn’t actionable.  It requires you to be called for an audition and then be hired by the producers.  You can’t use mind-control on the casting director or producers (believe me, I’ve tried).  An actionable resolution is “I will send out more post cards to casting directors.”  This resolution can lead to you booking that guest-star role, but it’s something you can take into your own hands.

Make sure your resolution is time limited.  Let’s be honest, if someone tells me I have a year to clean my apartment I’ll probably not clean it until at December if I remember at all.  If the same person gives me until the second week of January to clean my place, I’ll probably start right away.  Set a good time frame for your resolution and you’ll find yourself following through much more often.  And no, it doesn’t take an entire year to get new headshots.

Set goals within your limits.  I can resolve to run a marathon February 2nd.  It’s actionable and it’s time limited but it’s darn near impossible.  But if I resolve to run 26 miles over the entire month of February, that’s a whole lot more reasonable.  Know what you can reasonably accomplish.  You probably won’t lose 100lbs. this year but you might be able to lose 25. 

Still be sure to challenge yourself.  It’s not challenging for me to resolve to blog five times in 2008.  It’s too easy and even if I follow through I won’t feel like I accomplished anything.  Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself a little bit. 

And my final piece of advice is not to make new years resolutions at all.  Seriously, it’s silly to only try to change your life once a year.  If you want to set resolutions in July, go ahead.  If you notice something’s wrong with your career or life don’t wait to change it. 

December 19, 2007

How to Take a Good Polaroid

Filed under: commercial,eitan's writings — Eitan @ 12:52 pm

Commercial actors get their Polaroids taken at almost every single audition. Why? So the casting office can have some pictorial identification on your paperwork and because the ad agency might ask for the guy in the “red Hawaiian shirt” instead of asking for “Eitan Loewenstein.” No, I don’t actually own a red Hawaiian shirt.  But I should.

So if you’re making your living (or trying to) as a commercial actor you’ll get hundreds of Polaroids taken over the course of your career. Commercial casting directors often swear that no one has ever lost a job because of a bad Polaroid. But I don’t believe them. I’ve seen some of those photos and they look like the devil himself has taken them to torture actors who take great pride in their appearances. Very few actors have learned how to minimize the chances of looking like they have been woken up in the middle of a nap for their snapshot.

Here are a few techniques that I’ve learned/stolen over the years to have your Polaroid not suck (mostly from models, they all know how to have a good picture taken):

  • Get down to or below the level of the photographer. I’m tall. Tall people know that they look really silly in photos because the photographer is typically below their eye level when they shoot. In the photography business this is referred to as shooting “up someone’s nose.” The bottom of the chin is featured as well as anything that happens to be living in the actors nasal passages. The way to combat this is to get down so your eyes are at the level of the camera or even an inch or two below. The best way to achieve this is to spread your legs apart so you don’t have to hunch over.
  • Don’t let your chin fly away. For some reason when you aim the camera at people they tend to throw their heads back trying to look like a “badass gangsta.” Well, it’s just as bad as being shot from below, so don’t do it. Tilt your head down slightly. Very slightly. Think of aiming your nose at the bottom of the camera.
  • Don’t point your nose directly at the camera. Polaroids are wide angel cameras. They’re meant for shooting big group photos. So they distort things at close range (where most commercial audition pictures are taken). So by aiming your nose slightly to the right or left of the camera (and still looking straight at the camera) you prevent your nose from looking bigger than it actually is. This is a very slight tilt, don’t overdo it. Aim at the left or right side of the camera with your nose. That’s it, perfect, you look beautiful.
  • Get away from that wall. Every session runner shoots photos against a wall because it makes for a neutral background. But they also use a flash which casts a shadow on the wall. You want to avoid a dark, sharp shadow floating behind you. So make sure you’re not leaning against the wall. A trick I learned was to put your hand behind you to feel the wall. Try to space yourself six inches to a foot away from the wall to minimize the shadow but not annoy the photographer.
  • Relax. These tips are helpful but every commercial actor has booked a job with a horrid Polaroid. It’s not a make or break moment for you but it’s nice to lead with your best foot forward. No one’s expecting these to look as polished as your headshot.

December 6, 2007

Starting Your Own Actor Blog

Filed under: eitan's writings — Eitan @ 12:41 am

As an actor the second most important job you have (after acting, of course) is to promote, promote, promote.  There is no easier way to promote yourself and your work than by starting your very own actor blog.  Here are a few benefits to starting your own blog to discuss your acting work:

* Your accomplishments are automatically broadcast all over the internet for the world to see.
* It’s easy for your family and friends to keep up with your career.
* Starting your own blog is not only easy, but you can do it for free.

Actors are always wondering how to promote their newest accomplishment.  If it’s a commercial, part in a TV show or even a new play you aren’t always going to get invited onto The Late Show to talk about your endeavors in front of an attentive public.  This is where your blog comes in.  It’s your blog and you can write whatever you want.  I get daily hits on my site for people looking for information on iCarly.  That means whenever an iCarly fan is searching for information on the show they get to read about my upcoming episode.  That’s great targeted publicity!  Someone’s going to watch my episode and say, “hey, I read that guy’s blog!”

Does your mom call every week and ask how the career is going?  Do your cousins always bug you to find out when you’re going to be on TV next?  Well, with a blog they have no excuse to bother you again (like that’s going to stop them).  You have a centralized place to post your accomplishments and your friends and family can check in whenever they want an update on your career.  But not only can family and close friends find out what you’re up to, so can long lost friends.  People I used to perform with in college, high school drama friends and people I’ve worked with in Los Angeles and since lost touch have found me and what I’m up to through my blog.

About now you’re looking at my shiny beautiful site and you’re starting to think you could never put anything like this together.  The second you hear the letters “HTML” or the word “program” your brain turns into a lump of igneous rock.  Well I’ve got some great news for you, you don’t have to program anything to get a blog up and running.  There are several free and simple ways to set up your very own slice of blog real estate.  The two most popular are Blogger.com (0wned by Google) and WordPress.com.  You get a spiffy domain name like stephonfuller.blogspot.com (a “must read” actor blog), easy tools to update it yourself as well as a very friendly help pages to point you on your way.  And did you catch the part that it’s all for free?

These free blogs can make a great substitute for a full fledged “actor site” if you’re not ready to take the plunge both technologically and financially.  There’s really nothing to be scared of and loads to gain.  So get out there, start your blog and start promoting yourself!

Look for an upcoming post with some great actor blogs and other sites every actor should have bookmarked.

November 29, 2007

Never and Always be a Hyphenate

Filed under: eitan's writings — Eitan @ 3:01 pm

hyphenWhat the heck is a hyphenate? Here’s an example:

You’re at a party, and you meet this lovely gentleman. You ask politely, “What do you do?” He answers, “I’m an actor-writer-producer-director-manager-model.” You pretend to see a friend at the other end of the room and excuse yourself briskly.

A hyphenate is someone who has a million job titles. And in Los Angeles there are more job titles floating around than citizens.

For today I’d like to discuss why I think you should never be a hyphenate and then I’ll discuss why you should always be a hyphenate. Confused? Good, that’s the way I like it.

Pretend for a second that I’m John Q. Producer and we meet on the street. We strike up a friendly conversation and I politely ask what you do. And like that creepy guy at the party you rattle off a thousand job titles. Maybe I’m interested in working with you, but now I don’t know in which capacity. If you said you were an actor I’d consider you for my next project. If you were a writer I might read your script. If you were a director I might watch your demo and see if it’s up my alley.

The vast majority of people who introduce themselves as “writers-directors-actors” have never written or directed anything professionally. I’m not arguing that you need to be published or have sold a screenplay to call yourself a writer, but is it in your best interest to lead off with that in your introduction?

You say: Eitan, what the heck are you talking about? You write short scenes, a blog and other stuff you haven’t told us about yet, shoot actor headshots, you produce a showcase AND you’re an actor. Why are you telling us not to be any of those things ourselves? Do you not like competition?

Please, you’re not competition for me. I’m way better than you.

When I meet people I say, “Hi, I’m an actor.” Why? Because it’s my primary focus as well as being the one job I can talk about the most. If I started saying, “I’m a writer.” I’d have to explain about this blog and the scenes I wrote which have been done in the showcase I produce. Hardly as impressive as my flash of brilliance on Ghost Whisperer or the Las Vegas commercial.

Once we are talking for a while I happily mention the showcase and my photography. But if I only have a few minutes to make an impression, I’d rather lead off with the actor stuff.

There’s no one way to be successful in this industry. Dozens of successful actors got where they are because they either wrote, produced or directed their own films. Love him or hate him Vin Diesel (or as I like to call him, “Vinny-D”) wrote, directed and starred in the film Strays which got him in front of Spielberg. If it wasn’t for the fact that he didn’t pigeon hole himself he’d still be a tele-marketer with a really awesome voice.

Actors really owe it to themselves to try break into the “biz” from other angles besides acting alone. Try writing something for yourself. Grab a camcorder and shoot your own short film. Team up with some friends, chip in $100 each and make a decent short film. It’s another great way to be proactive instead of sitting home all day waiting for the phone to ring.

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