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HOW TO BECOME A MASTER SLATER

3196435750_4cef980063_zPhoto credit: uuikibeach

By Marci Liroff

I’m seeing an epidemic of extremely uncomfortable actors in casting offices across the globe. Actors who are seemingly adept at tackling Shakespeare to Mamet have one major problem—slating. One would think, “My gosh, how hard could it be? You just say your name, height, representation, and whatever other info is asked of you.” Yet, time and time again I see actors tripped up by this simple task. Grown men brought to their knees by merely having to say their name to the camera.

Let me help you be a pro. Instead of standing there and feeling like you’re naked and the skin on your face is being peeled back, try slating as your character. As an actor, it’ll give you something more to grab on to.

I’ve talked to several actors about this phenomenon and they tell me that standing there just being themselves is sometimes too intimate for them to handle. They feel vulnerable and miss the security of being able to slip into another’s skin to play a character. They feel silly and awkward and it shows.

If you’re self-taping, follow the directions exactly. For my office, we ask for a full body shot, so make sure your camera is far enough away from the actor to be able to pan down from their head to their feet in one shot. If they ask for a profile make sure to do that as well. Then come back up to the actor’s face in a medium close-up (chest up) and look right at the camera and state your name, height, present location (i.e. I want to know if I’ll need to fly you out from Kansas if that’s your location), if you can be considered a local hire, and your representation. Many casting offices ask for your age but, truth be told, that’s actually illegal. If you’re under 18 and a minor you should state that. Likewise if you’re under 18 but can work as “legal 18” we need to know that.

Keep the audition scenes separate from your slate.

Make sure to keep your slate as a separate scene and not roll right from your slate into the scene—that signals an amateur.

Nowadays, many casting offices already have your profile page set up online ahead of time so you don’t have to slate. Nonetheless, it’s a good skill to develop so that you’re comfortable with it.

Australian actor Lucy Fry, whom I cast in the upcoming film “Vampire Academy,” is probably one of the best “slaters” I’ve ever seen. She seems self-assured, confident, and truly connects with the camera. She shared her process with me. “It’s the only chance you ever get to look directly at the lens, so I try to channel the energy of the character with warmth and confidence so the people watching it can see the way the character sits in me through the eyes. I try to let myself be seen without pushing a fake smile or worrying about what anyone thinks. I am nervous, so I take a breath before I speak and wait a microsecond to feel ready to speak so I am not rushing into it. I guess I treat it like a scene. I try to fill it with the same energy that I would any action as the character because focusing on energy, the breath, and the character makes it feel easier.

Make sure to check out my new online course “How To Audition For Film and Television: Audition Bootcamp”. You can take 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.

Please share your comments on slating and how you overcome feeling awkward!

Glad you’re here – Marci

AUDITION BOOTCAMP ONLINE COURSE IS HERE!

“How To Audition For Film and Television: Audition Bootcamp” is now online!

 

Hey gang, Happy Holidays! I wanted to let you in on a special limited time offer on a new online course I’ve created. Thousands of people have bought my Audition Bootcamp DVD and many have asked me to put it online.

Are you a really well trained actor, but you seem to stumble when it comes to auditioning?!

Or, are you just starting out and need a road map to navigate the slippery slopes in Hollywood?

How would you like a VIP pass to learn casting secrets on booking more acting jobs from one of the top Casting Directors?

Based on my top-selling DVD, Marci Liroff’s Audition Bootcamp, I created a one-of-a-kind online class to help actors learn exactly what it takes to win the role in a film and television audition. I’ll take you step by step on the audition process.

This is a must have for any actor! The online course is designed to provide a clear perspective of acting and auditioning from the business end to the creative side. From my over 35 years as a casting director and producer, I will give you insider secrets such as:

  • Audition techniques that will make them remember you
  • Re-framing your perspective to book more jobs
  • On-camera technique to show that you’re a pro
  • Essential knowledge into the competitive world of auditioning from the point of view of directors, producers, studio executives and casting directors.
  • Easy-to-follow video clips take you through the process from preparation, what you should be doing in the audition room (and what not to do!), and your all-important mindset before, during and after the audition.
  • As an added bonus, several of my blog articles are included throughout to highlight the course.

Competition is huge in this business – this course will give you the edge over other actors.

I know you’re all being sold gimmicks and tools and shortcuts to “Get on the red carpet” and “Get on the A-List”…frankly I don’t think that should be your goal. If all you’re seeking is fame, then you’re probably in it for the wrong reasons.

I believe, and I think you do too, that you’re an artist – a storyteller. You want to be on stage and on screen because you have a story to share and characters to embody.

“Your audition should not feel like a visit to the doctor! It is your time to show us what you’ve got. I will help you feel more in your body than you’ve ever felt before.” – Marci Liroff

Read what people are saying about Marci Liroff’s “How To Audition For Film And Television: Audition Bootcamp” – scroll down after class description to “Testimonials”

I’m teaching this course on the UDEMY website. UDEMY is an online education platform and one of the largest destinations for online courses. I find it to be easy to use, free to join, well organized and once you subscribe you have lifetime access to my course.

The course is priced at $29. You can get a lifetime of viewing for this course here. I’ll be adding new lectures throughout the year.

Make a commitment to yourself and take advantage of a rare opportunity to sharpen your audition skills under the guidance of one of the most respected and successful casting directors in Hollywood.

Happy Holidays everyone. I hope you’ll take advantage of this offer!

Marci Liroff

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOUR CHILD TO BECOME AN ACTOR?

By Marci Liroff

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So your child wants to be an actor? Really? Please think about this long and hard. Let me share my perspective as someone who has worked with children for the last 35 years as a casting director and acting coach.

Whenever I meet a child actor I always ask them how they got into acting—what makes them want to be an actor? “Well, my mom and I were at the mall and this lady came up to us and said, ‘You should be a model! Let’s get some headshots of you! Then we got my pictures taken and now I’m an actor!” This response always breaks my heart: “There was this convention in town and I went with my parents and they picked me! My parents paid a few thousand dollars and I met a bunch of agents and now I’m an actor.” Or this classic one: “I really don’t remember how I got started or why. It’s ok I guess.” Or my least favorite, “I want to be famous!”

Here’s what I actually want to hear: “I asked my mom if she could get me involved in acting because I just love it. She said no, but I kept asking her every year and she finally said yes. I’ve been in plays at school and just can’t wait to start my new acting class.” Or, “Because I have to. I need to tell stories.” A wise little girl told me, “I just love to zip out of me and zip into another character.” These are the kids that make it. These are the kids who are there for the right reason.

Anne Henry, co-founder of BizParentz Foundation and the mother of a young actress herself, says, “When kids are asked why they want to act, I like to hear things like ‘I love to create characters and tell stories. I love to make people laugh.’ Or ‘If I couldn’t be a professional actor, I’d still be performing somewhere—at my school, in a class, or in community theatre.’ I’m looking for some sort of answer that tells me that the child likes the day-to-day job of acting.

Rather than ask kids why they want to act, I like to ask them about their favorite acting experience and why it was great. Their answer will tell you a lot, and tends to negate any canned answers they learned from their parents.

On the flip side, I cringe when a child says, ‘I want to make money’ or ‘I want to be on the Disney Channel.’ When I get that kind of answer, I know that they don’t love the art. That answer tells me that they bought into the fame myth or they haven’t actually done any acting. If this is their perspective, they are unlikely to have the stamina for the real job—they just want the result (fame), not career itself (acting). They probably don’t understand that fame for a child is usually not very fun, and not very likely.

When I talk to the parents of committed successful professional actors, they say things like ‘My child has been reading, making up stories, and performing their whole life. They begged me to let them audition for the play, get them into an acting class.’ Wise parents will talk about doing everything they could in their local community, and watching their child have success and accolades from lots of different sources before they enter the professional arena.”

Talk to your child before and during their journey into acting to make sure they’re here for the right reasons.

If you started as a child actor, how and why did you get into it? Parents – please share as well!

Glad you’re here!

Marci

 

 

 

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