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

March 17, 2011

Just a New Website

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eitan @ 10:47 pm

With the original title Eitan The a new website sensation has launched highlighting my writing career.

March 25, 2010

New Agent – Arlene Thornton and Assosciates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Biographer @ 2:11 pm

You read that headline right, Eitan is now represented by Janet Tscha of Arlene Thornton and Associates for all commercial representation needs.  So if you want Eitan to shill for your manure factory, call Janet.
And this also means Eitan is no longer represented by the Levin Agency.  But figured that out already, right?

March 10, 2010

Baseball Analogy to Acting Professionally

I’ve been accused of using too many sports analogies when talking about acting.  Well, I’m a guy who likes sports.  It’s what we do.  Watching the Winter Olympics I marveled at how many non-Winter Olympics analogies were used by the announcers.  It’s pretty hard to equate bobsledding to baseball, but they managed.

So now that spring is hitting it’s one of my favorite times of the year: spring training.  Once a year I get to pretend the Orioles have a shot at being good and this is it.  Watching some pre-season games I had a thought about the guys I was watching play:  every one of those guys, with only incredibly rare exceptions, dominated every level of play they’ve been in before making it to a professional roster.

This is something I don’t think we appreciate enough.  The guy who is in single-A ball (the lowest rung of still being attached to a professional team) was the star of his high school baseball team.  Then he went to college where again he was a major star.  Upon turning pro he was now in the company of many men all of whom were the best their whole lives on their respective teams.  Despite all that, this guy may not ever make it to Camden Yards to get to play a single inning.  The talent level of every one of the guys who wears a professional jersey is so high that even if you’re “the best” in Iowa it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily good enough to play with them.

Actors face a similar (but slightly different) system.  Many of us start out acting in school.  Think back, were you one of the top actors?  Did you have trouble getting cast?  Did you end up being the tree?  If you didn’t get consistent work even at the lowest levels how do you expect to compete with the actors who’ve been at the top of their class everywhere they went?

This isn’t a perfect analogy as their are casting considerations.  Even in high school I was a character actor so I didn’t get the huge glamorous parts of the romantic leads.  That said I worked pretty consistently through high school and college and only had trouble getting cast in a college where they went out of their way to give first crack to their drama students (which I was not).  I still got parts (good ones too) but it was tougher.

So you played Hamlet, Romeo and every other lead part in high school and college so you decide to come out to LA and be professional.  Well guess what, so did the vast majority of the people you meet in LA who want to be actors.  This is not the middle of Nebraska where there are three people competing for the role of Officer Krupke this is the “Superbowl of Acting” as an actor friend likes to say.  If you can’t compete in the lower levels you stand no chance here.

March 1, 2010

New Series of Posts is Coming

Hey people who actually read this thing, I wanted to give a “heads up” on a series of posts coming down the pipeline.

I keep getting asked about various acting teachers and acting services that I’ve used over the years and wanted to start posting reviews.  I won’t be reviewing casting offices or agents, just services.  Some of my experiences are years old and some are newer but they should all give a good idea of what I think about a few of the opportunities actors have to spend money around Los Angeles.

August 20, 2009

An Interview with Eitan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Biographer @ 9:37 am

Eitan has conducted an interview with (*snicker*) The Art of Manliness about the realities of being an actor in Hollywood.

Eitan is about as manly as a tutu-wearing pink princess drinking a chai latte in the middle of American Girl Place.  But to each his own.

A hearty welcome to the AOM readers visiting this site for the first time.  Become Eitan’s fan on Facebook so this poor biographer doesn’t have to write updates on this website.

April 20, 2009

What to do when there’s nothing to do.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eitan @ 8:03 am

Did you hear that?  It’s crickets chirping.  Honest to goodness crickets.  I’ll be right back.

There, I squished them.

It’s darn quiet around LA this time of year.  Pilot season is over, commercials slow down and even student film makers are done for the summer.  It seems like there’s nothing going on from now until July.

Even the past few months have been only quiet for me.  The entertainment business is cylical.  Last year there were hundreds of auditions for hilarious late 20s guys, this year there are less.  Next year there may be even more.  It all comes around.  Patience.  Patience.  Patience.

But what do you do when the summer hiatus hits or when you’re experiencing an invoulentary personal hiatus?

Well, let me tell you what I’ve been doing:  Writing.  Obviously not on this blog.  I’ve been working on a screenplay.

I know, I know, everyone in LA has a screenplay, but mine’s good.  Well, it will be when I finish it.  Most people write one draft of a screenplay, fix some typos and say they’re done.  I’m on probably the fourth major draft of the story and the second of the screenplay itself.  Writing isn’t just having good ideas, it’s actual work.   And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a very good part for a late 20’s slightly overweight (slightly) funny guy!

Nothing may ever come from the script but I’m doing something to try to move my career forward when there’s nothing going on in the industry to help me.  Being stagnant is the worst thing you can do in the entertainment industry.

Next time someone asks me what I’m doing I may not have a play, commercial or TV appearance to brag about, but you know I’ll mention my script.

It’s a great time to launch that new web series, do a show or start your own writing project.  It’s not like the phone’s going to be interrupting me in the middle of a brainstorming session…

October 7, 2008

Grit, Gumption, Moxy & Cajones

Filed under: acting philosophy,eitan's writings,Uncategorized — Eitan @ 3:35 pm

It takes a special kind of person to be an actor.  And I do mean “special.”

Some people don’t respect acting as a career choice.  They think it’s all a crap shoot and you really have no control over your destiny.  I’d argue every career involves luck and various other aspects you can’t control.  But the thing about acting is the infrequency and random timing with which things happen.

Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and I’ll hope I get a call for an audition where if I’m incredibly lucky I’ll be able to get a callback for the chance of a job.  If I just get an audition, I’m a happy man.  That means if tomorrow I get rejected for a part, I’m happy.

Something must be wrong with me.

But, careers do typically move forward.  People do get bigger and better parts.  People do make their living doing this.  But along the way there’s much rejection, heartbreak and stunning silence on days you’re sure your phone should be ringing off the hook.  Even worse, some peoples’ careers just don’t go anywhere.  There are actors who spend half a decade and never get their SAG cards, an agent or a decent break.  There are people who have careers move forward quickly and then stall.  There are people who think they’ve “made it” and then a few months later can’t get a single meeting.

But there are the people who stick with it, keep plugging away and manage to constantly be taking steps forward and put together a decent career.

Do you know how difficult it is to face the very real possibility that you could invest years of your life and have nothing to show for it?

Being an actor takes courage.  And I’m not even talking about the courage to get up in front of two, five or ten million people and perform.  For most of us that’s the fun part.  It’s truly hard to know that today could be the highlight of my acting career.  It could never get better.

So what kind of person does this every day?  One with real determination and a drive to succeed.

I meet plenty of actors who say they’re giving acting “a shot.”  I meet many more who half-heatedly do a play once every few months.  And that’s fine, acting can make a good hobby.  But those of us who plug away every day truly have some guts and that has to be respected.  To really succeed you have to be in this for the very long haul, you have to be consistent and you have to be dedicated.

I know I am.  But I meet very few other actors who are the same way.  But the ones I do know tend to have the most success.

July 21, 2008

Watch Eitan on iCarly This Friday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Biographer @ 6:54 pm

Official iCarly LogoThat’s right, this Friday (7/25/2008) at 8:30PM Eitan will be appearing on Nickelodeon’s iCarly.

Eitan’s episode is titled “iHave a Lovesick Teacher” and Eitan plays a dad who gets ping pong balls dropped on his head by his son as part of an attempt to get onto iCarly’s show.  The episode will air as part of a very special iCarly new episode double header.

12 year olds of the world, rejoyce.

June 13, 2008

No More Manager

Filed under: Uncategorized — Biographer @ 6:11 pm

Hey, an actual announcement from the Eitan The team instead of more of Eitan’s blathering.

Eitan has parted ways with Steve Buchsbaum of Ad Astra management.  He will soon start searching for new representation.  If you really want to hire Eitan for anything other than a commercial call him directly.  But seriously, who wants to hire Eitan?  Eitan is still represented by Origin Talent for commercials.

And if Variety wants to pick up the story:  Eitan Ankles Ad Astra will be a very fitting headline.  It’s got both visual and phonetic alliteration.  That’s why Eitan’s biographer gets paid the big bucks.

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