1. Get Inspired
Realize that it is a time for you to take ownership of your craft, and that you get that chance to be in front of a CD (that you are always hoping a rep would get you). Tune out the white noise of the other actors, just as you would at an audition. Focus. Show ’em what you got. Find the excitement in a chance to be in your craft and show your skills.
Don’t give into the tension in the room between the other actors who are fighting for the CD’s attention. When/if you see other actors “showboating” and asking innocuous questions just to get the CD’s attention, don’t participate. Be the professional who shows up, does their work, and has confidence that it will be enough.
3. Find YOUR Scene
Find a scene that resonates with you! When you watch a TV show or a movie and think, “I want to do that kind of work!”, then do it!! Transcribe the scene, bring it in. As long as it is not obnoxiously recognizable, out of your castability, something that the CD cast (big nono), or an intensely climatic moment that will not play well taken out of context, then you should do it. Nothing looks better on you than a story you are passionate about telling. And yes, please find something in the genre of the show that the CD is currently casting. Do your homework.
4. Go Often
At Actor Salon, we suggest starting off with a bang. A multi week workshop gives you a chance to make a stronger impression, right off the bat. If you haven’t been called in around two months later, try to do a one night to remind them of you. After that, move on to your next targeted show. Focused energy shows the greatest return.
5. Maintain the Relationship
Postcards and Twitter are best. I know their are multiple opinions on postcards, but when you get a flyer from Bed Bath and Beyond in the mail every month, you aren’t mad about it, right? You may throw it away if you don’t need it, but when you do need something from that world, they are in your mind, you use the coupon, and they get your business. But on that note, please be reaching out only with positive wins from your career! No messages just to say hello. Share new information that helps brand you as an auditioning, working actor. And lastly, if they give you an email in their workshop, use it sparingly as a direct line to reach out about role you know you are right for, or an invitation to see your work (web series, short film, play, etc.) Don’t over saturate the tool.
‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ has been and always will be one of my favorite films of all time, let alone one of the most influential, innovative, record-breaking, and awe-inspiring feats of creativity ever accomplished.
Today, Bob Hoskins passed away. Yes, he is one of Britain’s and film’s greatest actors ever, with a resume longer than any of us could ever dream of attaining (BUT DO IT ANYWAY!). But for ME, and to millions across the globe, he is Eddie Valiant. Here is an interview I dug up from YEARRRS ago, in which he discusses his (PERVERSELY UNDER APPRECIATED) performance in that film. REMEMBER- this was made in the late 80s. The technology was nowhere near what we had even 20 years ago, let alone today. Listening to him discuss IMAGING, remembering THE CAMERA, using your IMAGINATION (and the way he describes what happens to our imaginations as we grow up???) is jaw-dropping.
RIP, Bob Hoskins. There is a permanent wrinkle on my brain from 1988 because of your gifts.
– scottyB, JRS Blog Moderator
PS- If you’re one of the many a-holes I know young enough to not have seen this film, do it now. It’s an absolute MASTER CLASS in all things entertainment, film, Hollywood, and acting. Truly.
Think giving a ‘clean slate’ in your commercial auditions is the easiest thing in the world? Think again. Full article below this sneak peek:
“… your slate should grab the clients [CUZ IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FUCKING CLIENT!!!], ensuring they’ll actually watch your audition. Seriously, do you think they take hours out of their day to watch every single audition? You have to hook them with your slate first.”
Great read. Full article in the link below this sneak peek:
The 7 C’s of Auditioning
* CONFIDENCE *
If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. The audition starts the moment you walk into the room, so find a way to be relaxed, and project unshakeable confidence. If you don’t have it, fake it. This is all about body language and eye contact, so walk into the room with your head up, shoulders back, with total focus and relaxation. It’s the kind of confidence that makes people trust you, and allows them to feel they can put you on set or on stage tomorrow and you will be fine and not waste their time. You are prepared, know your job in the scene, your lines, and believe in the circumstances. Even if you are freaking out inside, you have to “act” like a confident person. (You are an actor, right?)
* CHARACTER *
* CONFLICT *
* CONCENTRATION *
* CONNECTION *
* CLARITY *
* CHARISMA *
“It’s better to be known by six people for something you’re proud of than by 60 million for something you’re not.” – Albert Brooks
– Being approachable is swell. People could, like, approach you with a paycheck and stuff.
– A good actor’s brain is like a clubhouse. This clubhouse has a sign on it, written in black marker: “NO ACTOR THOUGHTS ALLOWED! GROSS! YOU HAVE COOTIES!” We must only allow character thoughts. Strong moment before and opening thought. That is ALL you can allow in your clubhouse at the top of your scene. Some of us need to do more than others to get the focus that is needed to smoothly and safely head into the scene. Whatever YOU gotta do for YOU? DO IT. Cuz other stuff will fuck it up. Something, somehow, some way, regardless of whether you think so or not WILL fuck it up. It’s like termites: you never know those little fuckers are there until the sofa falls through the floor just before the end of ‘Game of Thrones.’ Those microscopic bastards have been there by the billions just gnawing away for a LONG time. And you had no idea. So check your clubhouse for termites. And cooties.
– ELLIPSES: rather than dragging them out for purposes of trying to create an awkward/funny silent pause, try making them faster/shorter but more thought-filled. Smaller, fuller ellipses pop more. Like Lisa Rinna’s lips if they weren’t fucked up.
– Focus on what your character wants rather than what they don’t have. It’s the much shinier side of the same coin. And people dig shiny coins.
– CONNECTION. You gotta be connected to your partner (s). Pay attention. Live your character’s LIFE. Listen, think, respond. The scene won’t work without being connected. Same goes for appliances.
– I think we want our work to be seen. It’s almost as if we don’t trust that our homework will be given credit if it isn’t handed in before the exam. (God I hated school) That’s why the whole ‘throw it all away’ thing can be difficult. How the fuck do you do that? Well. Time helps. Repetition, REHEARSING. That shit helps. It soaks in. It just becomes part of us. I, Scott Allyn Borden, openly admit to this being a prominently featured issue on my newsstand. SHOW THEM EVERYTHING! If they don’t see EVERYTHING it won’t make sense, or they won’t believe it, or they won’t grasp the entire picture I painted! Well. A lot of people enjoy a really great meal, right? What’s better than a great meal? We LOVE great meals! Even if the chef doesn’t sit next to us and read the recipe and preparation instructions, right? When we see a gorgeous building our jaw drops without the architect mapping out his blueprints and the crew bringing out all the bulldozers and scaffolding, right? Prep and time and dirty hands is all part of the PROCESS OF CREATION. And when it’s time, it’s time; when it’s not, it’s not. THROW IT. ALL. AWAY. It’s there! TRUST THAT. I’m calling myself out here- I REALLY REALLY STRUGGLE WITH THIS ONE! So I’m calling my own ass out here. (Please join me. Guests welcome.)
– Stakes have absolutely nothing to do with volume. Raising your stakes means raising your stakes, not your volume. Save your volume for a No Doubt concert. (#BordenObsessionPlug)
– Note to self: beats are paychecks. You have to earn those beats by working your way through ALL the text that appears BEFORE the beats. EARN THE BEATS!
– There are two types of people in the world: actors and civilians. We must be careful not to allow the laws of civilians to invade our actor territory. Rules in the civilian world are often times disruptive on our turf. For example- my mother is a civilian. One of her thousands of quotes for me has always been, “DAMMIT Scotty, MUST you ALWAYS dive into the pool without checking for WATER FIRST?!” (it’s true guys- mother knows best). In civilian territory, that is a bad thing to do. My myriad of experiences in civilian territory sometimes make it very hard for me to go there in actor territory. Because when I do that sorta thing I end up face-planted on the cement at the bottom, broken and bleeding. (Then I blame the sun. For evaporating H20 too quickly, see?) BUT. That hesitation, that fear, that prediction that if I leave the diving board I’m going to end up broken and bleeding at the bottom of a cement hole? Is so very restrictive and limiting to one’s potential in actor territory. That EXACT rule of good ol’ mama’s is PERFECT- for the LEFT brain. But we’re not worried about that hemisphere in our acting- we’re on the OTHER side. And the BEST POSSIBLE THING we can do in actor territory??? RUN off the fucking diving board, IN our day job clothes, NOT looking where we’re gonna land, LOVING the tickle in our stomach and the wind slapping our faces, and TRUSTING that our CLASS and our TEACHER and our SCENE PARTNER(S) are the water in that pool. We are not civilians when we are together- we are insane, lewd, hilarious, vibrant, rad, fucking awesome actors. It isn’t possible to face plant in our pool. CANNONBALL THAT SHIT.
Great article from the Business section of today’s LA Times about constructive criticism. Click the link below the excerpt to read the full article. – scottyB
“… one of the main reasons we react so badly to any whiff of criticism at work, the authors argue, is that we feel generally underappreciated and under-praised. The good news, they contend, is that we can learn how to identify and manage the emotions triggered by the feedback and extract value from criticism.”
Great article on taking risks and the cool things that can unexpectedly happen along the way. Check it out. OR ELSE.
Here’s an excerpt with a link to the full read below.
“A casting director friend of mine once told me she believes that for every hundred actors auditioning, there are about four who can play the role, and one who is the role. When asked if she ever knew what she was looking for in that person, she said, ‘No, but I know in which general direction to look.’ Like searching for a passport, and in the process finding lost money, embarrassing old photos, and that odd sock we thought was gone forever, our predetermined checklist simply serves as a ‘direction in which to look..’ and nothing more.”
Class Notes Highlights from Brian’s Ongoing, by Jonathan S.
– Relationships are different points of views fusing together.
– Make sure that when we are working with relationships we have different points of view and that we have clear choices.
– Explore what makes each partner in a relationship different.
– What differentiates [your character] from the rest of the characters?
– The circumstances [are already] there and present. What is already happening that causes the scene to start [and] take place?
– Breathe life into the character. Don’t walk the audience through every beat.
– What is feeding your aesthetic [as an artist]?
– What is your artistic diet?
– Take care of what you need to take care of before you get to class [so you can be fully present].
– Warm up and do exercises to prepare yourself to work to your best ability.
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