Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Important Things to Know Before You Commit to an Acting Career!

Important Things to Know Before You Commit to an Acting Career!
Just because you’re a great performer doesn’t mean that you’re cut out for an acting career. It’s a brutal playground and if you don’t have what it takes, you’ll be swallowed up or lost on the wayside. That’s why I’m writing today. Because if you’re going to make such a grand commitment, I want you to do it from a place of preparedness and knowing what you’re getting into. So when the going gets tough - you’re ready to stick it out. Sound good? Read on. Whether stage or film, these tips will help you understand the basic building blocks of a career in acting.
I know it’s not a make-or-break aspect but because I don’t want it to go unmentioned, one absolute necessity is knowledge of the of acting vernacular - so you know what to do when you’re given on-set commands. You have to know Stage Right, Down Stage, ad lib, upstage left, close-up, hit the mark, and...Action!
Another "must" for an adult newcomer is to start working on material immediately. The most basic acting requirement is the ability to say a line and sound real. It's hard to imagine an audition or a scene without having to speak. And his potential to sound real when he says a line is precisely what all beginning actors must discover. This is basic.
If you can't learn to sound real and authentic, then acting is not for you. It's best to discover your level of sounding real before spending too much money and building up great expectations. You must find out if you can say a line believably. That is the basic of basics.
Lastly, you have to handle rejection with confidence and unwavering determination. You’ll get no’s often. You’ll be criticized for your looks, voice, talent and everything imaginable. Sometimes it will be personal and other times, just part of the process of finding the right person for the part. At the end of the day, you can’t get sucked into taking it personally.
To summarize, if you are an adult who has always wanted to act, make sure you start with community theatre or with coaching sessions. Get a feel for the different fields, and start taking lessons. After several lessons you can then decide, based on an intelligent assessment of your potential and an honest evaluation by your coach, if you want to spend the next several years following the delayed dream. For more information, please get in touch with us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television today and never give up!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Character Development That Will Place You With the Pros!

Character Development That Will Place You With the Pros!You can’t just be a great performer to succeed in acting. You have to be an expert at living life as another person. You have to convince people that you’re someone else entirely. And to do that, you need to know how to have another person’s emotions, dreams, triggers and habits. Can you do that?
While it might seem complex, it’s actually quite simple when you know the foundations and get support. Like all skills, it’s one that needs to be challenged and exercised to become stronger and second nature to you. So of course, we recommend committing to learning and expanding your toolbox of skills and abilities so you’re never held back.
So let’s talk about the skill of quickly and convincingly getting into character, shall we?
To excel at character acting, you have to understand the role you’re playing almost more than you understand yourself. You’ve got to know their habits, fears, dreams and wounds. This is how you not only develop the character, but become them. This is also known as Method Acting.  This method calls the actor to internalize the emotional life and thought processes of the character. The actor is expected to literally feel the same emotional impulses as the character would in circumstances described in the script. The classical approach, in contrast, focuses on externalizing these processes of character development by developing a certain set of skills.
Here are the main points and processes:
Real Life Observation  – In developing the character, the actor must first spend time observing how the character’s real life counterparts move and operate in the world. Where do they go? Who do they interact with? How do they interact?
Character Motivation – The actor needs to ask a series of questions to determine motivation: how would the character react in the given situation? What situations would need to occur to motivate the character in a particular direction? What events would trigger particular emotions within the character.
Emotional Memory – Key to the method acting approach is the shift away from the actor’s portrayal of emotion toward the actor’s internalization of that emotion. The actor is expected to feel the emotion rather than simply pantomime it. This process is typically enabled by the memory of a past event within the actor’s own life that triggers the same emotion.
Re-Training – The method acting approach focuses on the portrayal of lifelike and “believable” characters rather than theatrical caricatures. The actor is expected to readjust the way s/he thinks and feels to fit the portrayal of the character.
Method acting is a great way to practice authentic and believable character development and can be applied in all forms of acting from stage to camera. It allows you to become an incredibly convincing character. We at the New York Acting School for Film and Television teach this and many other skills you need to succeed in front of the camera. Contact us today to find out more about our classes and coaching options.

Monday, May 28, 2018

How to Audition With Absolute Confidence!

How to Audition With Absolute Confidence!In most careers, first impressions are everything and your auditions are no different. Acting auditions can spike your nerves in a make it or break it kind of way. How you show up at an acting audition is half the battle.  So let's start there. Here are some basic tips to help you act with confidence at your next acting audition.
First impressions are vital. That first impression you give has the power to determine whether the viewers want to take those three minutes to read the you – or not. They want to see that you are confident, focused, prepared, and ready for the audition. You need to show that you can take control of the room. Make eye contact as the directors greet you. Believe it or not, they are rooting for your success, but in the end, if you walk into the room looking insecure, mumbling, or like you’d love to run away, your viewers will assume you are either very nervous, unprepared or simply inexperienced. With this, they will tune you out and won’t want to bother reading you even before you say your first line. So own that confident mind, behavior and connection… and then throw it into your presence.

Relate immediately! Your audition begins the moment you step into the room. The casting director is watching you the whole time. So be sure those steps as you enter the room are part of your act – your act of confidence.  It doesn’t really matter if you feel it. Your goal should be to live it.

When you get there, remember that your audition begins long before you ever enter the room.  You are an actor the moment you wake up, so step in to your role. Do whatever you do to get into your zone and mental focus… and begin your audition the moment you walk into the building.  Your role to play is the ‘talented actor’. Embrace it and be prepared to take control of the room.

While you’re waiting, make good use of the time. Those golden minutes of sitting and wondering, going over your lines while surrounded by others both nervous and confident alike.  It’s true. You will likely find yourself in that situation. But the fears and egos of those around you do not determine your ability or the success of your audition.  This brings me to my next point-

Watch your thoughts in the meantime. Did you know that your thoughts influence behavior? It’s true. What you think about and focus on determines how you will behave and ultimately portray yourself. If you are surrounded by people afraid or nervous about failure, you will likely pick up on their anxiety and own it as if it were your own. Do not limit your opportunities by wearing the anxiety of others.  Remind yourself of your talent, your passion, drive and goals. Be proud of your decision to follow your dreams and confidently wait – proud and thankful to have this opportunity.

Your body follows your mind and your mind can be changed by your body. Just as our thoughts influence our behaviors, our behaviors also influence our thoughts. If you are sitting with your posture slumped and shoulders rounded, you allow your body to tell both others and yourself that you are not worthy of the job.  Rather, train your body to BE the confidence you desire to communicate. You’ll find that you’ll not only enjoy this proud stance, but that others will be drawn to it as well.

Exude strength and confidence. No matter what your experience, always present yourself with professionalism and self-respect.  I’m not recommending egotism or arrogance, rather knowing and respecting yourself enough to stand tall and be professional. Don’t underestimate the power of grooming and a tidy appearance. You don’t need to adopt a new identity or wardrobe, but by all means, show up with an aesthetic that says, ‘I care, I am prepared and I expect to be treated as a professional.”  You can be as talented as ever, but show up without having showered and your pants in shreds and people may never really see your true colors.

Own your future in the moment. Ultimately, nobody is going to own your talent until you do first. You know what you can do – so do it.  Even if you don’t fully believe it, rehearse it in your mind and wear it when you sit, walk and talk until it fully becomes a part of you. Make eye contact and communicate readiness, excitement and professionalism.

At the Acting School for Film and Television, we have a class we’d love to invite you to called,The Business of Acting. Don’t let inexperience stand in your way, visit us at the best New York acting school and get started on your path to acting today!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Acting Hacks: How to Keep Your Lines In Your Mind!

Acting Hacks: How to Keep Your Lines In Your Mind!There’s nothing worse than standing in front of a crowd and forgetting what you’re supposed to say, whether you’re an actor or even a presenter. It’s not just embarrassing but it can mean big consequences and loss of opportunity. This makes for a stressful situation which doesn’t help in the slightest! You need to be confident at go-time, so let’s review a few important points so you can sleep peacefully and confidently show make that dream come true. At the New York Acting School, we to make sure you always reach your goals, so let’s talk shop. 
You know your learning style better than anyone else, so this is the time to ask yourself how you used to remember things in school. Did you doodle? Learn the songs? Read it repeatedly? Have it read to you? All these are different styles that point to different strengths in learning. So as you read the suggestions below, keep your own habits in mind and try the ones that make the most sense. 
Write It; On Repeat: This one is perfect for presentations, speeches, comedy and shorter performances. Get out a paper and pen (better than the computer because it stays in your mind more deeply) and write out the whole thing. If there are areas that you’re forgetting even more, write those parts in a different color; color will keep the memory even more visual for you.
Get Moving: This is a method that’s actually working a lot with children. Memorize and repeat while your body is in motion. Running, jumping rope or on the trampoline are all great body movements to go through your lines with. The mind and body connects in a powerful way and you’re more likely to remember your lines!
Record It:  Take everything you just wrote, and record yourself reading it. I suggest recording it in the way you want to say it. This not only gives you practice, but you’re working through it through different senses.
Listen and Take It Everywhere:  Use your run or long commute to listen to your own voice on the recording. This is a simple yet efficient way to rehearse what you’re learning.
As a reminder, even if you do forget what you’re supposed to say, don’t stress. Stress will cloud your thinking, only making it more likely that you will forget what you’re trying so hard to remember. Instead, breathe deeply, ground and trust it will come. Then let it go. Laugh it off or go to the next point. It happens to the best of us and the show always goes on.
The New York Acting School for Film and Television is the place to go for learning techniques like this one and many others that support your path to better performance. If you’re looking for classes, coaching or simply more information, please contact us today!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Fastest Acting Hack to Ditch the Stress, Audition and Chill.

The Fastest Acting Hack to Ditch the Stress, Audition and Chill.It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been acting, there are going to be some auditions you’re really
nervous about. It can be because you’re new to the game, or because it’s a really important part for a role you’ve been waiting for - but either way - you’ve got a lot riding on this audition and you’re afraid to mess it up. All of these feelings are totally normal, but you’re going to need to get ahead of them if you’re going to get anywhere in this industry - much less the part!

The downhill slide you’re experiencing is basically an anxiety snowball. You get anxious about the results so you tense up during your performance and you mess up. This makes you anxious that you won’t get the part (the results) and causes you to trip up your lines and focus during the audition. You get the idea, right? I mean, if you’ve got any experience at all, you get it because you’ve been there.

The truth is, you’ve got to start by letting go of the end outcome. As long as you think it’s a life or death situation around you getting this job, your body’s nervous system will step in to protect you with anxiety and the underlying need to run. Your body’s running from a fire you’ve decided exists but only exists in your mind.

So when you think of it like this, then there’s no actual reason to cave to audition anxiety, and it can lower your chances at getting the part, so we want to share with you some simple ways to calm your nerves before embarking on an acting audition.

The first thing you can do to empower yourself is to remind yourself that these feelings are normal. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last to panic over a mind-made fire. You also aren’t going to be the first to overcome it. That’s great news, right? No need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s just go with what works, shall we?

And what works, is actually your breath. It’s the only aspect of your autonomic (unconscious) nervous system that you can consciously control. AND, it’s the part of you that has the influence over your nervous system to calm it down! What does that mean? It means the fastest way to put out the mind-made fire isn’t with water, but with breath. Your breath.

Here’s how you take the concept to the anxious moment of your audition. The minute you start to feel the nerves racing, you take a deep breath. Breathing deeply brings more oxygen to your nerves and helps to calm you down. Be sure to take a long deep breath in through your nose and out your mouth as soon as anxiety hits, with an inhale for 4 counts and an exhale for 7 counts. You will be pleasantly surprised at how fast this works.

It’s not too complicated, it’s science based and it’s proven itself to work time and time again. So the next time you find yourself sweating under pressure, remember there are simple ways to get you through it. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we know that auditions place a lot of stress on the actors shoulders. But with classes and coaching, these weaknesses can be overcome. Please call us today and see what would be best for you.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Are You Making the Most of Your Acting Income Potential?

Are You Making the Most of Your Acting Income Potential?
Most people dreaming of acting success do themselves a big disservice on the road to it. The smart ones wake up and well, the rest get discouraged and even quit. 

When you have a goal in mind, especially when you’re just starting out and needing momentum, it’s important that you keep your eyes open for creative and less obvious opportunities. And in my experience - many of those opportunities are passed by not because they’re hard to get, but because people have too much pride getting in the way. 

Taking on other opportunities doesn’t make you a failure on your desired path. It makes you flexible, builds character, adds to experience, furthers your connections and increases your wealth. So are you willing to do new things? Learn new things and get farther down the road of success?  The big thing you may not have thought of?

Voice over acting. From children’s voice overs, to animations and commercials, your options are vast.  You can practice your knack at theatrical performance, comedy, drama, suspense, children’s adventure and so much more. Think Robin Williams - in the sound booth, with the chance to have fun making a fool of yourself, bringing your character to life without having to look a certain way.

You hooked yet? An acting gig where you can look tired and dress your way? Relief. And if you’ve already found your performance groove through stage, improve or classes, you’ve got the first steps covered. If not, it’s as simple as connecting with different classes and opportunities in your area. Many of the techniques you'll use are the same ones used on stage and screen especially when it comes to the training of your voice and shifting the personality of your voice with the character’s emotion, age and presence. You've got to be able to think on the spot, develop your character and the voice to go with it, while reading text perfectly and responding quickly to direction.  It's a lot but you can do it with ease and the right training.

Once you get some practice, you’ll want to create an audio portfolio of your voice samples. Record the various voices you’re so great and performing and be sure each track is clearly marked by gender, age, region etc.  The more variety you are able to provide, the better! Read scripts and be both parts of the conversation.Provide contrast in a single sketch by playing one character as a southern belle and one as a British gentleman or Viking.  Going from male to female with different accents while including emotion can really impress a casting director. But keep your tracks short. You want to grab them, hook them and bring them to the next track - wanting more. Too much, and you'll bore them.

Of course, most importantly, speak clearly and enunciate!  This, oddly enough has been a hard one for many.... but if you don’t master it, you’ll really limit your opportunities. Practice speaking slowly and articulately to make sure you’re never rushing or mumbling; of course unless that’s how your character speaks! 

In the end, this is a fantastic way for actors everywhere to expand their horizons and succeed.  And if you are ready to take your career further and get serious about acting, visit us at The Acting School for Film and Television.  We'd love to help you succeed!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Big Audition? How to Keep Calm & Carry On, When It Matters Most.

Big Audition? How to Keep Calm & Carry On, When It Matters Most.
Keep calm, carry on. That’s what they all say. It’s on all the mugs and journals and posters and you know it’s true, but they don’t know what you’re going through; how important this audition is to you. How can you keep calm with all the nerves and pressure?

First of all, take a deep breath and remember that it’s normal to feel nervous when you’re under pressure. But nerves only lead to more nerves and honestly, mistakes and sub-par performance. So the most important skill you can choose to master - more important than acting itself, is the ability to keep calm.

It’s when you’re calm that you think clearly, have better memory and are honestly, more magnetic and enjoyable to be around. That’s what sells anyway, right? Charisma? You can’t have charisma and that easy-going ‘work with me’ vibe if you’re nerves are on fire.

The good news is, none of that is necessary. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we understand that auditions can be a lot on your shoulders and we do our best to provide you with the tools you need to not only survive your audition, but to succeed at it.
It’s a vulnerable place to be when you’re getting up and performing in front of people because you’re at the mercy of their judgement and choices. A little bit of stress here, is normal. However, if it's an overwhelming amount of stress each time, you may need to reconsider whether this is your true calling or not, or also consider that maybe you need more classes first, before going for the audition.
In the meantime, here are some helpful ways to keep your cool when panic hits and you’re front and center:
Breathe. If you remember nothing else, remember this one. Taking a deep breath brings oxygen to your nerves and helps to calm the senses. Be sure to take a long deep breath in through your nose and out your mouth as soon as anxiety hits. You may be surprised at how fast this works.
Mistakes happen. Keep Going. Focus on finishing the rest of the scene calmly and confidently, and do your best, improvising naturally where needed. If the casting director needs you to do the scene again, he or she will let you know.  Additionally, choosing to move on and past the mistake, shows your ability to recover under pressure and your talent for improvisation. Of course, don't do it on purpose, but don't be afraid to do your best with what you've got. The worst thing you can do is to stop. Keep going and do your best.
As for holding notes. It's totally fine, and in fact, expected for you to hold your highlighted line cards in your hand during the audition. Many actors put theirs away, thinking they'll impress everyone, but then they end up forgetting their lines and slow the flow. Keep your lines in hand. If you forget a line, all you have to do is glance down and grab it. However, don't just stare at the cards or read off of them. Watch the other actors when they are talking, and when it is your turn, know your first line and glance down quickly to grab the next one. Do not simply read from the page - that's not acting and it's not what will get you hired.

People are actually rooting for you. Remember that the casting director and everyone else in the room wants you to succeed. It doesn't mean you'll always get the part, but this is a fun art and the others in the room are cheering you on.

Show them what you’ve got and remember to have fun. The pressure will always be there, but you are bigger than that. Don’t let it take you down!
Trust in your talent and remember that of course, you’re still learning and you’re in this because you love it. Just be humble enough to breathe and stay the path. Learn more tips on acting and classes at the New York Acting School for Film and Television in New York City. We'll get you on your way.