Career advice and ideas on the craft of acting

Move Towards A Career in 2019

Did you finish 2018 with your hopes high after auditioning for acting schools across Australia only to begin 2019 confused, frustrated and down hearted because you weren’t successful? Were you excited and looking forward to spending 2019 working towards your dream career and now are feeling hurt and unsure as to how to move forward but determined not to give up on what you know you can achieve? Do you feel a little humiliated after telling people of your plans and then not getting anywhere – even your parents are beginning to lose faith and have begun leading conversations to the subject of “back-up” plans? Have you been asking yourself, “Am I ever going to get started?” Are you feeling confused and wondering why other actors, not as talented as you, are getting through the door and winning opportunities, when you get overlooked? If you answered yes to any of these questions; firstly, you are not alone, and secondly, these questions have been created from my own personal experience going through exactly what you are going through. And I am sure you don’t want to take “no” for an answer in 2019. There are three mistakes people make after getting an industry knock-back: a) They allow the setback to alter their ideal. They start changing the goal posts. No longer believing they can achieve the dream in their hearts because they feel low after the setback, they convince themselves that they will be happy settling for a smaller, less scary, version, telling themselves its more “realistic” and that they aimed too high previously. b) They begin to buy into... read more

Acting is Being Awake

  Awake, being present and mindfulness – they are all the same thing. And without it our art dies. Never before has our society been so preoccupied with the past or the future or what we might be missing out on. With the increasing popularity of the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter the anxiety associated with the fear of missing out is on the rise. All of this takes us out of the present moment. With our fast paced living we are becoming less and less present in the moment. “We often cannot hear our own inner voice, the voice of our artist’s inspiration, above the static.” Julian Cameron – The Artist’s Way   Without these distractions, we are once again thrust into the sensory world. The present moment is one of the greatest tools for an actor.   Actor training has become more about training the mind of the actor to remain present and the discipline associated with being mindful to the moment. If an actor cannot demonstrate this kind of discipline over his/her mind then their art is lost. It is in the moment in which the spontaneity of the scene lives.   One of the first lessons my first acting teacher taught me was there are 3 types of actors: 1. The first swims on the surface with mask and snorkel observing the fish below. 2. The second dons scuba gear and bravely swims amongst the fish. 3. But the third type of actor swims down and breathes with the fish.   I love this analogy! It describes the mindfulness needed for a magical performance and... read more

The Cost of Investing in Your Dreams

A New Study Exposes ‘Class Ceiling’ That Deters Less Privileged Actors – see link below. Dreams do take a certain amount of investment. But is it our financial situation that really stops us or is it that we are afraid to invest in ourselves? How often do we use our financial situation as an excuse not to invest the goal? Can we see the value in investing in our goals (and therefore ourselves) and stop at nothing to move towards the goal? After all if we are not ready to invest in ourselves why should anyone else – why should a director, or producer, or production company for that matter. When it comes to investing in ourselves it should never be a matter of invest or do not invest. We should approach our goals with a “do-whatever-it-takes” attitude and look for that third option and ask instead “how can I make this happen?” Often all it takes is the decision to invest for the money to magically appear. Stand behind your talent and do whatever it takes. Click on the link below to find out more:... read more

Doing It Alone Is Expensive

Reach Out for Help and Invest in Your Training.   I have interviewed a number of aspiring actors and the common thread I have identified is the fear to invest 100% in the goal. Afraid they won’t make it, so they divide their focus between the goal and a back-up plan. If your goal was to be a doctor, you would focus 100% of your attention on becoming a doctor. Right? But, with actors, fear gets in the way. Perhaps because they have been told too often it is a difficult career to get into. Or, perhaps because they have not clearly defined the specific goal. The reason why is not important. In working with these aspiring actors, I have learnt: those that have backup plans need backup plans; and those who do not, do not need them because they achieve the goal. Their focus is 100% on the goal. Those who have no choice but to succeed as they have nothing else approach the work with a different mind frame – a more determined one. They are far more determined to identify the problem and find their own solutions to it. In order to achieve the dream you must not be afraid to invest in it and yourself. If you want to ensure you get there and want to get there quickly, then, like an athlete, you need to invest in training. And those who give over 100% to the training are the ones that really achieve. After all, what is the point of investing in the training if you are not going to take on board the... read more

Discover What Excites You

In order to start making big, bold choices you need to first determine what excites and amazes you about the character. Ask yourself, what is the story that resonates with you about this character? What makes you the best person to tell the story because you understand it better than any one else? Make the most of what you have seen or experienced. What is the story…

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Lets Get Clear On The Dream

People need to be repeatedly reminded of their goals and reinforced in their efforts in order to progress. a) Choose the Dream / Goal You need to determine your focus so you can clearly see when you are off track, when an opportunity is right for you to pursue, and so you have clarity with regards to the people you want to bring on board to help you achieve your dream. The dream is the reason why you are doing it. It motivates you to keep moving forward. So before anything else you must get specific, very specific, about the dream. Most people, when you ask them to get specific about what they really want, feel uncomfortable discussing their goals/dreams or writing them down and in some cases feel that their dreams are stupid. You need to get comfortable and very specific. Your goal will guide you in making the right choices. It will keep you on track. It will motivate you when the work gets tough. b) Have a clear vision of what it looks like Write it up, or create a visual image of it by drawing it or even collaging it (where you cut out images from magazines that represent what you really want). c) Refer to it regularly Refer to it on a regular basis. As your relationship with your goal/dream develops, so does your determination to achieve it. As you begin to acknowledge how important it is to you, you begin to adopt that “do whatever it takes attitude”. The more you see the dream, the more achievable it seems. The dream keeps you... read more

Mastering Auditions

Understand the value you bring before you start Often when new actors walk into an audition they believe they are there to please the panel. To show them that they are exactly what the panel wants them to be. Whatever that is! They believe they need to show how easy they are to get along with, what a great sense of humor they have and what an all round nice guy/gal they are. Afraid that the casting panel may not like certain attributes about their personality, the new auditionee “waters down” who they are and in fact almost completely loses their personality altogether. Remember it is your personality just as much as mastery of the craft that will get you the job. Your personality IS the draw card. Hiding your personality from the casting panel leaves the panel unsure as to what you will bring to the production. And besides, how can you be what you think they may want when you do not know what that is. Sometimes they aren’t really clear on that either. You are not a mind reader. Stand in your own power and confidently make them aware of who you are. They will thank you for it. It makes their job so much easier. So how can you ensure you bring YOU to the audition? a) Before the audition, sit down and list all the ways that you are right for this job. Identify attributes in your personality that you think the production team would benefit from by having you on board. This may mean some research into the production team and their mission... read more