A filmmaker’s career is like the soil. The soil will only grow what has been planted. The soil doesn’t discriminate between what is edible and what is poisonous. Whatever is planted and fertilized will eventually become the crop. Occasionally, the wind may blow a useful seed into the right place, but the best way to ensure the right thing is planted in the right place is to do a bit of farming. What are you planting in your mind? Do your actions match the results you want? Don’t allow poor habits to move you further from your dreams. Tend to your career as if it were a garden. Plant something useful. Water and fertilize. Remove the weeds. It takes time, but eventually you’ll harvest a nice crop.
There aren’t many people in the industry more helpful than Wendy Alane Wright. Her YouTube channel provides great information to anyone who has ambitions of becoming an actor. Below is a short, but informative video on self taping.
This is one of the most practical and informative videos on acting for film. Not a bad way to start your Monday.
Set a goal for the week. Inch closer. The Grand Canyon was created by the persistence of the river, not by a large event. Be like the river. Always move, create your pathway. All of your steps, big and small, are steps towards your ultimate prize. What will you have accomplished by next Monday?
Dream big, live with your hopes up and don’t forget why you started this journey. At times, it can be hard to believe in oneself. You may get rattled. In those times you can benefit from just believing in someone else’s belief in you. When you have doubts lean on those you can trust they will get you through it. There is enough….more than enough for everyone. The resources are as limitless as the mind. It is your time, to take ownership of a stake in what you’ve help create.
How will your acting career be remembered by those you care about?
Get professional headshots. Headshots are the gateway to the majority of your opportunities. The longer you go without them, the more gigs will pass you by. Don’t make the mistake of getting pictures taken by your friend that dabbles in photography. I know you can get those pics free or cheap, but they likely won’t move you in the direction you want to head. Fewer calls will lead to less inspiration. Less inspiration can lead to giving up. Great headshots get you work and help keep your dream alive.
In Athens/ATL, I recommend Griffspix. He does great work and has photographed me and many of my students. No matter where you live, you can do a search and find a good headshot photographer. It can be pricey, but spend the money. Headshots are an investment in your dreams. What better investment could you make?
Make sure that you pay attention to what current headshot trends are hot. Take a peek at some of the larger agency websites and see what they’ve approved for their actors. When you get your proofs, select a look that you want to sell. Select a look that is the fantasy of what types of characters you’d love to play.
Are you a “whatever it takes” actor or a “whatever I can get” actor?
If you want to stay in the game, don’t settle. If you’re having trouble finding work, don’t lower your standards. Elevate your standards. We all, inevitably, move towards the standards we’ve set for ourselves.
Audition and train with purpose. When we give purpose to our actions, we get results from our actions. We create wins for ourselves. Think about how often you’d like to audition, what kinds of characters you want to play and what direction you want to head in. Set your standards and keep them high. Let’s figure out what we can do together to help transform you into the vision of what you want to be on screen. The stronger and more detailed your vision is, the better it can be expressed on set. I see big things ahead for you, but you must see them too for this to work. There’s no shortage of work out there.