By Marci Liroff
Is Backstage Magazine schizo? After going through the “Experts” advice along with the regular columnists’ articles (such as myself, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Secret Agent Man) I’ve noticed a huge discrepancy from one writer to the next. We are actually contradicting each other week after week. I imagine this is confusing to the reader.
Some examples I’ve noticed in the last few weeks:
- Don’t bring headshots to auditions; no one uses them anymore. Or, even worse, “I don’t bring headshots to auditions anymore, I’ve outgrown that.”/ ALWAYS bring headshots because the CDs need the hardcopy for your audition.
- Don’t connect with your reader – you should be able to act on your own because CDs and their associates don’t really give you what you need anyway / You need to connect with your reader to give a fully realized performance.
- Don’t memorize the dialogue word for word. Put your own spin on it. /Honor the writer and do not change the dialogue as it will make the show creator (who is usually the writer) furious.
- Take Casting Director workshops because it’ll help you network with the gate-keeper / Don’t ever pay for what amounts to an audition. CD workshops are not an educational experience – you’re just paying for access to a casting office.
It seems that everybody wants the answer. Everybody wants the magic pill. How do I do it? How do I get there?
I’m here to tell you that there is no one answer.
There are many ways to get from point A to stardom – or better yet, to be a successful working actor.
I’m often asked for referrals to acting classes or head shot photographers. I send actors, managers and agents my well thought-out lists. These are my suggestions of acting classes that I’ve actually sat in through the years so that I know, first-hand, what the classes are like. Yet, I still get responses like, “Well, which ones do you like? Which are the best?” I’m sending you the ones that I like on a narrowed down list. You now have to do the research to find out which acting coach or photographer clicks with you. Finding the right teacher or photographer can be like finding the right shrink. Only you know which one you’re going to let in. By auditing classes and going through photographer’s websites and meeting them, you need to use your gut to find the person who you can trust and who will inspire and push you. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. There is no “best”. It’s not “one size fits all”. There is no right answer here.
The takeaway here is that our articles are all opinions and points of view based on years of experience in this field. There is no “industry standard” on the right way to attack your acting career. Take it all in, continue to do your research, and use your instincts to figure out which advice is best for you.
Make sure to check out my new online course “How To Audition For Film and Television: Audition Bootcamp”. You can view it on your laptop or your mobile device and your subscription gives you lifetime viewing privileges for this course. I’ll be adding lectures throughout the year.
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