Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Mastery of This Real Skill Is the Secret to Make It In Acting

Mastery of This Real Skill Is the Secret to Make It In ActingYou want to act and you want to get booked now. You’ve got plenty of experience but success is seeming to take on a slow momentum. What do you do? What are you missing? Is it always going to be this way or is there a faster way through it? One thing I’ve learned in my lifetime of both experience and education is that there are certain skills that if you don’t master, your career will be a disaster, but when you do - you’ll… get there faster. Today I want to cover one in particular that’s known for being able to make or break your career, depending on what you do with it. 

This skill? Has to do with your mind. It’s not so much about mindset or positive mental focus, even though that’s very powerful. In fact, it’s slightly connected to that, in the sense that too much of a good thing can also lead to you’re ruin. 

The problem and solution? Thinking. Too much and overthinking is one of the fastest ways to sabotage your chance at an audition, your character development, even your wins and losses. Not sure if this applies to you? Check the list below.

  • overthink your role?
  • stress about landing the part?
  • fear that others are succeeding faster than you?
  • see acting as work more than play?
  • find yourself desperately taking low end jobs and then complaining about it?
  • beat yourself off for not performing perfectly?
  • dream about the red carpet, money and glory more than the experience?

You can’t overthink the role. Acting is about studying and embodying; becoming, not over analyzing. So if you find yourself over thinking - it’s time to get into a new class that helps you hone in on your skill as well as loose yourself to the role.

Stressing about landing the part will get you nowhere. You will be rejected more often than you’re chosen. It’s not personal - it’s just a very particular art. Trust that you will be perfect for certain roles and as long as you’re showing up as you at your best, you’ll get the roles you’re meant for.

Some people will succeed faster than you - but don’t compare yourself or get bitter about it. If anything, learn from it. See what they’re doing that you’re not, or where they’re gifted that you could stand to have more education or practice and then do something about it.

When actors see it too much as a job, they lose their love for the art. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep it fun, keep your passion alive and see the good in each experience.

In the end, you are the leader here and sometimes leading is about allowing the path to unfold. Other times it’s about educating yourself and it’s just about always about being thankful for where you’re at. But in the end, if you have the right intention for succeeding (you love it) and you’re humble and committed to learning - you’ll go far.

At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we know you want to succeed. But we also knows the very habits that hold you back. So we focus on helping you excel while keeping it fun and keeping your love of acting alive! We hope you'll join us for one of our many classes and other offerings in New York City as you continue on the path to acting success!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Wow The Crowd: Simple Tips All Actors & Presenters Should Know

Wow The Crowd: Simple Tips All Actors & Presenters Should KnowIf you want to wow the crowd, you need to show up like you own the place. So is a smile and knowing your lines all you need? Well it’s a good start but it’s not enough. You need to have both the confidence and the know how if you want to captivate their attentino and keep it. Really, it’s about sales. A good salesperson and performer have this in common: when they get in front of the crowd, they not only captivate them, but they have them convinced in the emotion they’re selling. Sales is simply getting up on stage, taking the audience into the emotions required to need what you’re selling. 

Performance is taking the audience into the emotions of the perspective you want them to feel, so they get lost in the story. But how do you do that? How do you get up there, reel them in and then keep them there? When it’s your turn to get up in front of a crowd and wow them into applause, you want to be ready and give it your best so you keep them wanting more. The New York Acting School for Film and Television is here to teach you just that.
Remember, as I stated before, all presentations are sales. You’re always selling a thought, idea, emotion or experience. And your job is to captivate your watchers so that they become transfixed and can’t wait to hear and see more. But how do you get there? We want to share with you the best way to prepare for your presentations and performance that keeps you feeling confident, prepared and prepped for success.
So the best way to go at it, is to not just prepare, but plan wisely. Caroline Goyder, a former acting coach at the Central School of Speech and Drama who helps business leaders to communicate effectively says, "Writing it down tempts you to just read it out, which gives a dead, impersonal delivery."
Next, is know your props. Perhaps you’ve got actual props or maybe you’re the prop, using your hands and expressive posture. Ed Brodow once beat up a rubber chicken as part of a presentation. It's crazy and odd, but people remembered it. This allows for a multi-sensory experience and connection to both you and the message you’re sharing.
Be true to yourself and skillsets. This doesn’t mean that you have to be you while being the other character, but don’t lose your personal skill by being overly dramatic. Be sure to tap into your own emotional experiences to bring their impact and authenticity into your performance and presentation.
Play emotions well with climax. When it's time to deliver you big point or climax, take it slowly. Putting pauses between each thought helps you slow down. This is useful as nerves tend to speed up speech. Imagine you are delivering each point to one member of the audience and wait until you can see from their face that they have got it. This is a technique used by stand-up comedians.
Imagine your success. This one is used by most successful people in the world.You simply spend a little time each day to visualize yourself confidently delivering and your crowd going wild with awe and applause. Imagine how it feels. Imagine you confidently delivering, remembering every line and point. Imagine being asked to come back and do it again!
The New York Acting School for Film and Television loves to see you confidently set up for success. Whatever your need, from better presenting to on camera comfort, we are here to support you with classes and coaching. Call us today!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How to Embody Your Character and Captivate Your Audience Emotionally!

How to Embody Your Character and Captivate Your Audience Emotionally!It doesn’t matter how well you captivate an audience, if you don’t know how to capture the role you’re playing, you won’t succeed. It’s like I say so often, mastering just one aspect of the trade is not enough. And knowing the vital aspects of character development is a skill you have to master to be cast often and really go the distance in your career. This is the benefit of taking classes and working with a coach because they help you better yourself in the ways you might have missed.
At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we understand the need for mastering different skills and we want to share some character development tips with you today. The method we want to share with you is actually called Method Acting. With this method, the actor is asked 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:

Embody What You Already KnowKey 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. Perhaps take out your journal and write through some of your memories that carry a significant emotional charge and relive the moment. Put yourself back there and journal from an out-of-your-body perspective, what you see and feel your face and body doing.

Keep Your Eyes on the World- 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? Notice people in restaurants as they discuss, argue or simply interact. Pay attention to body language; how people close off and open up to each other.

Emotional Role Play- 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. Think of it like emotional dominos. What would the starting emotion be and what emotions would that lead to?
In the end…
Master Your MethodThe 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.
Embodiment is the core aspect method acting and is a great way to practice authentic and believable character development and can be applied in all forms of acting from stage to camera. If you have any other questions or would like information on classes or coaching, please contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television today.

Monday, October 1, 2018

6 Tips & Habits to Master for Fast Acting Success

6 Tips & Habits to Master for Fast Acting Success If you’ve been wanting to take your talent to the stage, you’re going to need to master more than being a great performer to get there. Amateur habits will land you amateur opportunities. If you want to land the bigger roles, you need to have certain things down without needing to be told, or be given extra instruction. Direction is fine and to be expected, but save it for the things you shouldn’t already know. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television we help actors from novice to seasoned talent, improve their skills and reach their goals. If you’re just getting started, please, check out the classes and coaches we have to support your journey to stardom. In the meantime, enjoy these 6 vital tips and habits to master for the acceleration of your acting career.  
Never be on time. One thing you never want to make a habit of is being on time; and no, I’m not suggesting you be fashionably late. Late isn’t fashionable and on time isn’t either. “On time” leaves you open to too many risks and fine line red lights. Early is the name of the game. If you can plan to be 15-20 minutes early to your auditions and rehearsals, not only will you avoid the risk of being late, but you leave a clear message that your career matters to you. You’ll stand out in the crowd and people will want to work with you and your professional attitude.
Audience in mind. Beginner actors often think their space ends at the end of the stage and that no one in the audience can see them when they stop talking. They talk directly to other actors and forget that the audience needs to hear and be connected to them too.
Stay visible. This is true for both stage and film. Never turn your back to the audience. It’s called ‘opening up’. Practice staying open and let the crowd connect with the front of you even if it’s at an angle.
Raise your voice. Again, film or stage, you’ve got to speak up loud enough for people to hear you. Enunciate your emotions. Sad doesn’t mean silent and angry doesn’t necessarily mean yelling. AND, sometimes it does. So play with it, but be heard.
Body talks. We’ve noticed that a lot of newer actors spend a great deal of time thinking about their lines and their blocking, but they neglect to include the physical world into their acting preparations. It’s important to remember that the first connection the audience makes with an actor is visual. And if what they see is boring, you’ve likely lost their attention.
Know your style. It’s definitely ok to play a part that is familiar and comfortable, but it can happen a beginner actor can get stuck in a typecasting groove. There’s no difference between how the actor and their character moves, walks, and sounds. The character is stuck in a box, which is hardly fun to play. Some people like to be type-cast. If you do, great! But if you don’t, do a character analysis. Define the similarities and differences between you and your character. Highlight the differences and choose specific moments where you play them up. Playing outside your comfort zone will give you a challenge and make you a better actor.

Don’t let old habits keep you from your dreams. Learn new habits from those who’ve gone before you. For more information on acting classes, acting coaches and more, please contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television and we’ll get you going!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New To Acting? Here’s the Casting Process; Simplified.

New To Acting? Here’s the Casting Process; Simplified.When you’re new to acting, there’s a lot to learn, even if you were born with the talent. For a right brained creative thinker, these logistics and details can be pretty overwhelming and actually sabotage the potential you have to succeed! It’s happened time and time again. It’s one of the reasons enrolling in classes or working with an acting coach is so beneficial. You get to become better at what you’re already great at, while getting properly prepared and strengthened where you might not know the ropes or be weak! And remember, there’s no shame in admitting where you’re weak. Because the truth is, everyone is somewhere. No matter how ahead you are in life, there are always new levels to achieve and new things to learn. If you can embrace that, you’ll achieve anything.

Let’s apply that to casting. You want to land a gig and find an audition. Great! Now what? Do you just show up, wait for them to tell you that you’ve got the roll and celebrate with your friends? No. Even though that’s the common perspective. There’s a process you need to be familiar with, respectful and prepared for. In the example below, I’m going to use an audition for a soap opera to illustrate the process simply. Keep in mind, it can go differently from audition to audition, but for the most part, it goes like this:

• The producers of a soap opera just received the script for an episode set to air next month.
• The producers call the casting director that they have used for years and describe the character role needing to be filled.
• The next morning, every agent reads the "Breakdowns", which is a publication that lists every role that is currently being cast. The agent goes through his files, searching for clients who would be right for the role He selects several photos and sends them to the Casting Director.

• The Casting Director receives envelopes from all these agents and will then have to through many photos looking for face for the role. However, even if a photo looks great, the casting director will still need to review the actor's resume and then narrow it down to around 30 of the best candidates to arrange for an audition.

• Next, each agent will call their client and inform him or her about the audition. He may either send her the sample script (slides) or have them come to his office to pick them up.

• Then the actor will go to the audition dressed as they feel the character would.
• After waiting and hopefully not pacing nervously, the actor will be called into the audition room and sit across a table from the casting director and the casting assistant. If the actor has read for that CD before, they may talk and catch up for a moment before starting the audition. The assistant will then read the other character's lines as the actor auditions.

• Assuming the actor has read with confidence, it will all go smoothly. The Casting Director will watch the performance closely, noticing everything.

• After the reading, the Casting Director will thank the actor and ask for another copy of their headshot and resume. The actor does as asked, smiles, then walks out past all the other actors still waiting for their chance to read.

• Then the actor will go home and live life as usual. After all, auditions come and go, sometimes you are called back and sometimes you are not. But if your agent DOES call you and inform you that they want to see you again, you know it's starting to get more serious. This is your callback. Sometimes there will be several callbacks for one role and sometimes just one.

• After narrowing down the hopeful candidates down to about ten, those actors will be called back for another reading. It's smart for the actor to wear the same clothing and act the same way. They should get into the character they believe the role calls for; which should be the same as the first reading. The casting director may ask the actor to do the same scene but slightly different, so see what else they are capable of and to see how they take direction.

The important part throughout all of this, is to show up professionally and deliver at your best, as you. Play the role, show you’re flexibility and talent for taking direction with enthusiasm. Be cooperative with the director as well as the other talent. This shows massive professionalism and an energy that people want to work with. And of course, you won’t always get the part. But don’t let that get you down! This is a process. Use each audition as an opportunity to learn and get even better and the dream your working to make come true!

For more information, coaching and classes, contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television and we will be happy to help you out!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

6 Useful Tips for Hacking Past The Acting Struggle!

6 Useful Tips for Hacking Past The Acting Struggle!
Photo: Variety Magazine;  Elsa Keslassy

When it comes to acting, those big dreams are likely to take you to great heights but it's still important to keep your feet firmly rooted on the ground. I'm sure so many people agree that you've got the talent and the drive to make it as far as you desire to go, but it doesn't mean the road won't get rough. You'll have dry spells. You won't get the part 3, 4, 5 times in a row. You'll get discouraged and wonder if you've got what it takes and you know what? You can't let yourself drown in the self doubt. You've got to be ready for the fearful thoughts that come your way. You need to know how to keep charge of your path even when it doesn't go according to plan. How, you ask? I'm so glad you asked. Because over here at the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we know what holding to the course is all about and there are a few things we've learned along the way to help us keep stride. 

Remember your WHY: The first thing you need to do - as a preemptive way to keep your head straight - is tor remember why you do what you do in the first place. Remember what your dreams are and what you love about this art. I'd recommend having a "This is My Why" sort of manifesto printed on your wall at your desk or wherever you might see it most. Just don't forget to read it! 

Keep getting BETTER: Learning how to act is hard work. It seems simple to the outsiders but the truth is, it takes practice, and consistent learning. Of course, there are some people born with tremendous acting talent, but the majority of actors spend years in classes and in training. This isn’t a bad thing. Taking classes and participating in workshops, or studying in full-time drama/theatre programs, can help you fine-tune your existing skills and pick up new ones. You’ll learn from instructors, directors, and other actors. It’s also good to take on as many roles as you can, so audition for student films and community theatre.

Manage your MONEY: The beginning of an acting career isn’t usually a lucrative one for most, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that balancing your books is on this list. Most acting jobs are in large (expensive) cities and if you don’t live in one already, the cost of living may be a shock. Do what you can to build a safety net: Get a loan, roommate, affordable apartment, part-time job—whatever you need to. Just don't put yourself in a hole trying to make ends meet. Another idea for flexibility sake is to hustle a skill of yours online. Go in business for yourself and there won't be an income cap or a schedule to keep. Do your thing on your time, without stressing about the finances along the way. 

Stubbornly find a WAY: Most actors have to split their time between honing their craft, performing, working other jobs, and finding auditions. You won’t have a lot of time to be social. “To be in this business you really have to want it, commit to it, and work for it,” says actor Sarah Jean Hodkinson. “There’s going to be a lot of sacrifices.” Go to networking events, enroll in classes, hire a coach... do what it takes. Never stop learning.
Have other HOBBIES: You don't want to get burned out on what you love, so make sure there are other fun things filling your life. Like writing and other creative activities, acting benefits from having quality life experiences—for example, it’s easier to play a character that loses someone if you’ve been through something similar. This doesn’t mean that you should cause trouble just to feel what it’s like or have a story; it just means that you should try to embrace things when they happen and appreciate the lessons you're learning. 

RELAX: Lastly, the best thing to beat the stress is to do whatever it takes to get out of your own head. It's time to meet new people and do new things. Get registered for an acting class; you’ll gain new experiences and perspectives that you can apply to future roles.

From all of us at The New York Acting School, we salute to your success!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Not All Actors Have Unshakable Confidence. But Here Are Tips To Get It.

Not All Actors Have Unshakable Confidence. But Here Are Tips To Get It.
Just because you’re a performer, doesn’t mean you don’t get insecure. It’s actually pretty common for people to feel shy, introverted or even afraid of getting up in front of people and performing. But you’re great at it! So there’s got to be a way to hack that hold-back and get fully into the confident skin you’re ready to show the world. And there is!  We as The New York Acting School for Film and Television would love to share a few simple confidence increasing tips for every actor out there, so you can stop feeling held back by your racing mind and instead get in front of your audience and shine!

For starters, half the time, the things we worry about are simply the product of our imaginations running wild. So keep those fear thoughts in check by asking yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Imagine what the real worst case scenario could be and decide how you'd deal with it. Once you know what the worst case situation is, and it's solution, it's hard to come up with more excuses not to do it! We only have a certain amount of energy so let’s apply it to living well, bettering our careers and meeting our goals INSTEAD of wasting that energy worrying. Take action on what you have control over and minimize risks for what you don’t. Then invest your energy wisely.

You’ll go into the situation with all the worst case situations mapped out and prepared for. The funny thing here is that you find yourself so proud of all the ‘solutions’ you created for the problems you imagined - that when you don’t need to use them, you might even be disappointed! But thankfully, you’ll get over it quickly enough.

What might even be a better point to share, before even preparing for the worst, is to not take it all so seriously! I mean, really? Is that worst case scenario really that bad? There was a scientific experiment done once where there were people of different backgrounds all living in the same building, but dealing with psychological issues. As different people would come in, raging angry or in a panic, the leading doctor would say, "Remember rule #6?" Instantly the person would snap out of it. What was rule #6? "Don't take yourself so seriously." (It was a little more colorful than that, but you get the idea.) As humans, we take everything so much more seriously than it is. So you might make a fool of yourself. Who cares? It was the effort that mattered. Life is fun. Acting is fun. Have fun.

There was a scientific experiment done once where there were people of different backgrounds all living in the same building, but dealing with psychological issues. As different people would come in, raging angry or in a panic, the leading doctor would say, "Remember rule #6?" Instantly the person would snap out of it. What was rule #6? "Don't take yourself so seriously." (It was a little more colorful than that, but you get the idea.) As humans, we take everything so much more seriously than it is. So you might make a fool of yourself. Who cares? It was the effort that mattered. Life is fun. Acting is fun. Have fun.

In the end, most of the fears we get swallowed up in are a result of the biggest fear of all; the unknown. So before you tackle the next big (or small) challenge, imagine it as an already done thing. Imagine what the success felt like, imagine handling the challenges, and imagine how proud you are of your growth. The truth is, the mind doesn't actually know the difference between something clearly imagined and something that's real. So activate your right brain and imagine as vividly as possible, what it is you want to accomplish or overcome. Use as many senses as you can. You may really surprise yourself at the ease you create!

At the  New York Acting School for Film and Television we pride ourselves on our teaching techniques, experienced coaches and interactive classes. To learn more or to register, please contact us today.