Are You Being A Responsible Actor?
Up here in Hollywood North, both Vancouver and Toronto are busier than ever! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hiring of actors and actresses has been expected to increase by approximately 10% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
And it seems that this trend will continue to grow as interactive media, new streaming devices, and online movies become more mainstream. While many people enter this field seeking fame and fortune, only the most dedicated performers may produce a steady stream of work.
Of course, in the acting profession, there is much left to chance, luck, and timing. So, to help guide you, we’ve compiled a list of major musts to keep you responsible and one step ahead of the crowd.
Actors continue to hone their craft for most of their lives, by researching to prepare for a part, enrolling in workshops, or training with private teachers.
Actors should have a warm-up routine and practice it on their own before auditions and performances. It’s no one else’s responsibility to make sure you’re prepared to do your job. Would Michael Jordan play a basketball game without warming up first? No. So stay limber, stay fresh, and stay emotionally open!
Having an agent to represent you can be a major asset for your career advancement. An agent can help you find work, negotiate contracts and manage your career. They are instrumental in helping you gain exposure.
Yet, it is NOT your agent’s job to do everything for you. Yes, they can be helpful and supportive but ultimately the hard work is left up to you. Think of it this way, you pay them 15% of your wages, so it’s only natural that they do 15% of the work to get you the job. You have to do the other 85% yourself or by outsourcing.
You are in charge of your memberships, subscriptions, uploads, and your life! Be sure to stay up to date on all materials. That goes for all casting sites, IMDB, UBCP/ACTRA, your website, your social media pages, and your printed materials for auditions. Casting Directors send links to Directors and Producers and they see all your information. What is the point of spending money on a new headshot and then not updating it so that Directors will see it? Your Casting Workbook account has 3G of data for you to upload audio and video materials. So, upload more demos, self-tapes, audition scenes, voice clips, go wild! Of course, if you need to change your videos or photos you can do so at any time with no additional charges or hassle. Give our team a shout toll free at (888) 794-CAST.
Many times it feels as though the acting profession is the only one that requires you to have ‘permission’ to do what you love. Essentially someone else has to hire you or cast you so that you can act.
Staying away from this victim mindset is instrumental to your success, and figuring out what you can do to improve your situation is even better.
There are so many ways to practice acting even if it’s not always a ‘paying job’. Remember when you were a kid and loved to play dress up and pretend to be other people? Think back to why you became an actor and relive that fun! Produce a play, write a short film and shoot it on your iPhone with friends. Flex your acting muscles with a class or by reading a great acting book!
Networking and Job Seeking
Even though your agent does the bulk of the work of finding you jobs and auditions, you can always reach out to filmmakers or students to participate in independent projects. Stay active on casting websites and work on your Networking skills.
To succeed as a professional working actor there are also some general life skills you need to master. These require persistent practise just like your acting training does and include:
- Good communication and listening skills
- Punctuality and reliability
- Ability to take instruction and criticism
- Self-discipline and stamina
- Resilience and determination
Actors face intense competition for jobs, with many individuals auditioning for even small roles. We understand that you can go through a whirlwind of emotions when you’re hoping to book a part or even waiting for an audition to come your way.
Taking action in your career is the answer, but we also want to encourage you to release control over the outcome and the how and when.
Stay Curious! About yourself; your habits and patterns, and about other people. Artists are the lucky few who curiously go out into the unknown and trust their gut in order to make magic.
We applaud your hustle and commitment and hope these tips will guide you to the next level.
Comment below or tweet us (@CastingWorkbook) and tell us how you stay motivated and responsible!