Monday, 9 November 2015

How to get Acting Jobs

  Welcome. Thank you for your click. What we're doing here, I hope you'll agree, is reminding ourselves of what we know, getting ourselves to calm down, making sure we don't do silly things. 

  Advice from the Great Soprendo:  Potentially earn money every day. 

  Which means that as a matter of course - this age old thing of how to get acting jobs - you're touting around, making those contacts, following up leads, putting yourself forward for things, networking, being visible and audible. 

  Even, yes, if you have an agent.

  Let's agree that you really can go only so far without an agent. Beyond that are shutters barring your way to the closed shop where agents try to interest casting directors in their fancy goods. And it's very much a buyer's market.  

  I treat having an agent like having a lover I'm not sure of: I never wait for her to ring. 

  Before you've had a thought get out of bed and to the work that will potentially earn you money.  (In my case:)  Hold the wall for ballet exercises, get on the floor (check the mousetrap under the dresser for dead Mickey) for breathing exercises, then stand and fix eyes on the horizon for spoken and then sung voice.

  See some reminders here:

  More about Voice Work


  Learn repertoire as you go; be it a routine for a talk at the Women's Institute: I'll be Home for Christmas, But Only in Your Dreams, research before an interview with adult actor Isaac Jones, or the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in the Liberace mix. 
  Check all the papers and magazines.  Wherever possible check the actors' studios, the dance spaces and theatre green rooms. Check the sites you have on RSS feed that post information about open auditions.  And around whatever it is you have to do to actually earn your living, audition for anything that fits your casting type. 

  Anything that fits, mark me. As the bottom line goes in my Madame Galina skit:

  'Desperate is never attractive!' 

  Don't go up for something just to be seen by whoever it might be taking the audition. He wants to see only people that can be put in the frock, the slap and the role. Yes, he may also, as you found out, direct straight theatre, but don't put yourself in front of him and hope he sees your potential to play reined in Chekhov when he's getting you to belt out "Change from a New Brain".
  About those 'no money involved, but muchly exposure and a beautifully filmed show reel of your work'...casting calls. 
  One: would they ask a plumber to bring his gloves and wrench for a backed-up toilet and say there was no money involved but think of the potential for stopping cocks in Kensington?
  No.
  Oh, I know - we always want to think they'll lead somewhere, right? 
  Bless us!
  Okay, if you believe you can get what you might need by doing this and by no other means, then, okay.

  But a note of caution: number 3 here...

  Read: An Update for Those Lies



  Arrive at an audition with plenty of time to spare but don't cause a jam. A bit of catching up, some networking - but, as ever, Desperate is never attractive. Be light, ask five questions in two minutes, listen to the answers.  Don't recite your CV. 
 
  In a cattle market dance audition, yes make sure you get seen - but not through GBH.
 
  Only present relevant skills and play down over-eggy abilities. Nobody likes a clever-bollocks. 
 
  Help the panel see you in a role by dressing and making yourself up accordingly. 
 
  If the panel asks for your own choice of song in whichever order, get on with it. Don't simper that you don't mind and ask them to choose.  Their brains will be cocotted by now and the only thing they want to have to choose is the shot for their mochaccino. 

  Present music that will stay on the music rest, with pages that can be turned easily.
  Have worked out exactly how to tell your accompanist what you need him to play and how fast. Don't say: 
  'You'll be fine, I can play this myself!'
  'I need it as fast as Barbara Streisand takes it.'  
  And certainly not:
  'I've been channeling the spirit of Mary Martin, who created this role, since we found the Ouija Board in our student flat in Oakley Court.' 
  Sing a bar or so for speed - and do not, not click your fingers. 

  If someone on the panel holds up a hand and asks you to stop, do so immediately, smile, thank your accompanist and the panel.  And leave.
  Don't say  'I wish you'd heard me yesterday. I was better yesterday. They told me there and then I got the part.  And it was a much bigger audition than this one.'
  Which I once did.

  The audition panel is neither your mother nor your shrink.

  
  Do not take the rest of the day off after an audition.  Get on with potentially earning money. 



  



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