Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Big Question Is, Should You Show Up Sick For Your Acting Audition?

The Big Question Is, Should You Show Up Sick For Your Acting Audition?
( what SHOULD you do? )
With as much time as you’re putting into your acting career, it’s best you don’t sabotage the opportunities you get. You’re taking all the right classes, you’ve got your coach; you’ve gone ‘all in’ with this passion of yours. So you’re not about to ruin your reputation or career options are you?At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we've seen aspiring actors make the same mistake over and over again, and it's time you knew something really important, so you don't stunt your career unnecessarily. There are definitely many things you should never do before, during or after and acting audition and those are the things we want to make sure you’re ‘in the know’ about now - before it’s too late and you’re left cleaning up the accidental mess you’ve made.
To be clear, the beginning of your career is less about your talent and rides much more heavily on making a proper, professional first impression. Because those that present themselves confidently and professionally are the ones people want to work with. So all the tips here are meant to guide you into that professional space with ease.
This leads me to our point of the day; which is a grey area for many actors and I’d like to share my take on the whole thing: “Should you show up if you’re sick?” Ever wondered that?
I lean toward two camps with this one. If you’re just a little under the weather, show up anyway. Sick happens and the show must go on. However, there are two times when you shouldn’t. First, if you’re so sick you won’t be able to be in convincing character, or second, if you’re contagious and will affect the rest of the cast and crew. Other than that, show up.  If you’re unable to perform or are contagious, call in and let them know.
Sure, there are specific scenarios and situations that will call for a different answer, but this has been a great go-to for myself and students to lean on. And there’s more where that came from! For more information on bettering your audition, acting classes and coaches in New York City, contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television and we'll get you on your way better than ever!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

12 Easy Ways to Cut Your Budget by $250 a Month with No Change in Lifestyle

One sage said: “It is easier to save money than it is to make more.” That may or may not be the case for you, but if you follow the steps below, I can pretty much guarantee you that you will save at least $250 a month and maybe $500 or more. 

Think of the ways you could use an extra $250 a month or more. How about acting lessons?
Please let us know in the comments how much you were able to save by following these ideas. 

  1. Get rid of recurring charges you don’t need anymore – Go through every bank statement and every credit card statement. Look for recurring charges that you have forgotten about from online resources, magazine drives, newspaper subscriptions, and more. We’ll assume you find one of these at $10 a month. You might find way more.
  2. Call your cable TV provider. Tell them you are considering going off grid or switching to satellite. If you have satellite, call the provider and tell them you are thinking of switching to cable. Watch the dance begin. You are very likely to end up with at least $20 or more in savings. Now call the competition with your new rate and see what they will do. You are likely to end up with the same or better rate and some kind of promotional money or free stuff for switching.
  3. Go off the grid on cable. Between Apple TV, Hulu, NetFlicks, RedBox, Amazon Prime, and other TV offers, it is hard to justify any upgrades to basic service on cable or satellite. The savings for getting off of cable could easily be $50 or more.
  4. On to your cell phone, internet, and land line providers. This gets a bit more complicated, but the cost of all of this is dropping fast. By changing providers, bundling, unbundling, and just shopping, you are very likely to end up saving another $30 a month and improving MBPS. Recently I tried to end my land line service, but the bundle cost less with it that without. 
  5. Saving on your utilities. The water company (at least in California) will be happy to help you cut down your water use. Check with your supplier to find out how to get free or reduced costs products to reduce use in bathrooms and irrigation. Then check to see what the recommended water needs are for your yard. The electric company will help you with lighting and other ways to save on electricity. LED lights are fantastic and save a huge amount of money. Switch appliances to natural gas to save even more. Saving $25 or more per month for these changes should be a cinch.
  6. Budget. Keep a penny by penny ledger of all expenses for three months. There are many online tools that can help with this process. Once you see where the money is going, you will almost certainly be able to find ways to cut that won't hurt even a little bit. We’ll put this down as $25.
  7. Shop your car insurance. We have 4 drivers on the policy, so your results may vary. Don’t forget to check Costco or AAA. It is not unusual to save $100 or more. You should also review your other insurance policies annually to make sure you have the coverage you need, and to see about savings on rates. Life insurance is another very likely savings point.
  8. Speaking of Costco. The savings by purchasing your groceries and other items at Costco are real and significant. Costco marks up all items by 15%. What they buy for $10.00, you pay only $11.50.  Most discount department stores mark up 50% to $100.  So you would pay $15.00 - $20.00. I know you have to buy huge quantities. Find nooks all over the house for storing commodities. Buy and extra freezer. A one-time small cost for huge savings. Multiple online sources report Costco as cheaper than Walmart, Sam’s, and Amazon Prime. Imagine the savings compared to your local chain market. Potential savings of at least $25 per month per person.
  9. Amazon Prime. When it isn't a Costco item, why not buy on Amazon Prime?!? Pricey toothpaste, supplements, household items and more are almost always cheaper on Amazon than at Target or CVS. And there is no freight and no auto expense. When you need more, you have a record of what you bought. Savings of another $10 per person per month.
  10. Get rid of any high interest credit card. Use the savings from these other suggestions to first pay off all credit cards with interest rates higher than your mortgage interest rate. The only good use for a credit card is to build credit. Pay them off every month. Or get an interest free credit card and transfer all balances into the interest free card. If you owe $10,000 on credit cards that charge interest and you put this on an 18 month no interest card, you’ll pay 3% for the transfer ($300) and save at least $1800 if you pay the card off in the 18 months for a savings of $100 a month. Most families will save at least $25 per month. If you owe more than that, try a credit union for a low interest loan. If you owe a lot more, consider a HELOC.
  11. Take your lunch to work. Eating out a lunch is expensive and usually not great for your waistline. A normal lunch your make at home will cost under $2.50. Savings of $100 a month and maybe 10,000 calories.
  12. We promised not to suggest changes to lifestyle, but if you want to add another huge amount of savings, get rid of one expensive, useless or worse, habit. Smoking, buying booze in bars, daily Starbucks, fast food, gambling (including lotto.)  This could be the biggest savings of all. An expense of just $10 per day is $300 a month.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Agents, Agencies and How To Break Into Acting Success

Agents, Agencies and How To Break Into Acting SuccessEveryone wants to be discovered and promoted as that talent that every director is lucky to have. To be in demand is every actor’s dream, right? And most entertainers assume that the only way to get from beginner to the red carpet, is to have an agent representing you. Now, I’m not saying that it doesn’t work, but I will say it’s not wise to put all your chips in on that bet. So if you have a few minutes, let’s go over some other important info first.

First thing you need to know is that in order to be represented by an agent, you can’t be at the beginner level of still learning the ropes. You need a good amount of experience under your belt with happy directors and finished works to speak of. ySo if you don’t have that, and you get approached or scouted, don’t just dismiss the offer, but go into it with eyes wide open. There are scammers out there and you don’t need to get taken for a ride. There are a lot of sketchy people out there that know how badly ambitious young actors are looking for their chance at fame.  Unfortunately these people post bogus casting calls where they may coerce you into nudity and other compromised situations. So if in doubt, bring a friend or relative along with you and always let others know where you are going. A good way to safeguard yourself is to avoid responding to small, inexpensive ads and stick with legitimate avenues to achieve your goals.

Basically, do your best, and strive to be seen as a professional. Focus on building your your resume so that when a really great opportunity does come along, you’re ready!

Keep ready by always learning. Take classes, hire a coach and make sure you’re at the professional level you need to be to be represented by agencies that can get you high quality work. Don’t be afraid to start small either. There are many online resources and well-established casting companies for inexperienced and experienced actors alike. A little diligent research and patience will pay off in the long run.  

At the New York Acting School, we are here to help you along in your goals with classes, coaching and more!  Call us today for more information!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Present Yourself As Pro Talent Even If You’re Just Starting Your Acting Career

Present Yourself As Pro Talent Even If You’re Just Starting Your Acting Career
You want to go pro, walk down the red carpet and win that Oscar. I don’t blame you, who doesn’t? But all that wanting will be for nothing if you don’t know how to get from here to there. If you want red carpet success, you need to learn how to be known, get your name out there and develop a solid reputation. And the most important trait you need to focus on beyond talent? That’s professionalism.

Don’t pass up the chance to propel your career. Use these easy marketing and networking tips to help turn hobby acting into the career of your dreams.

For starters, get alone with a journal and answer the following honestly: Know who you are; your strength and persona.  People need to know, for the most part, who they are going to get. Focus on your strengths and see that they are communicated on your page.  Are you bold and confident? Are you kind and determined? Ask yourself what that means to you. 

Why? Because, where you’re going to go next is to build a website. Even if it’s just one single page, you want to have a place online, beside Facebook and Instagram, where people can find you professionally. But be sure to buy your own domain name. Nobody takes an “ xyz.wordpress.com ” site very seriously. It says you don’t take your future seriously. Try to get your own name if possible. If not, get something along the lines of yournameacting or yournameinfilm dot com. This is not only professional, but allows you to build off of it in the future if you choose to do so. Use it and think of this as your bio with a headshot online. This is a place where people can go to see your headshots, what you’ve done  and the projects you are working on.

Keep it simple.  Your site only has to be a single page, if that’s what you want and it gets the job done. Also, keep your photos classy and with high resolution.  People want to feel that they are working with a professional. For the body, simply tell a short bio highlighting your skills and passions.  People are interested in your story, but more interested in what you can do. This is a good place to put another, different head shot.   If you create videos or audio samples, feel free to include these on the page as well, if there is room.

Lastly, don’t just leave it there. If you don’t already, make sure to be active on the social media platform that fits you best - be that Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You’re an entertainer, so entertain. It’s important to have a certain social media accounts to connect with people and show them what you’re up to.  Feature pictures of you on set. Show glimpses of the fun you’re apart of, being in line at an audition, or getting makeup done. Announce bookings and callbacks. Get people excited about your work and adventure. As they see your progress, that circle of people will expand and more and more people will be aware of your skill.

Every successful industry or career has to be built with a professional foundation. At The New York Acting School we want to facilitate your success.  Please call us and let us know how we can help you achieve your dreams!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How to Make the Most (not totally fail) Your Next Acting Audition

The long awaited acting audition or interview has your stomach up in knots. This is the big one. And you've got your foot in the door. The last thing you want to do is fail it and need to go into hiding, right? First of all, everyone nose dives at least once (or a hundred times). Of course, we want to help you avoid that but in the case that it happens, one of the key aspects of success is the ability to rise above failures and keep trying. No acting career will ever take off if you focus on the failure that might come. Know this: They'll come. Avoid them if you can. If you fail anyway but keep trying, there is no failure, only feedback. Learn and move forward. 

But today, it's time to focus on learning.

For starters, first impressions are pretty much everything. Sure, we'd all like people to stop judging books by their covers, but the truth is, judging the book is often what keeps us alive. Safe from danger. Intuition aware. Book covers can be a false sale as well, but I'll get there. For now, my first word of advice? If you want to be taken seriously and seen as a professional, look and smell  the part.
How to Make the Most (not totally fail) Your Next Acting AuditionShow up dressed to deserve their attention!
Freshly pressed; no wrinkles. Black, white and neutral tones are great colors to go with unless you know you're going for a role that shows you off as more of a clown or Keep your shoes professional too; classy casual - not too little or too much. Makeup should be the same; clean and natural but accenting.  Let them see you. 
To make my point clearer, if you want to totally blow it, follow this advice instead: 

Don't shower the night before.  Show up dressed in a ragged or dirty old shirt and jeans, a worn out pair of converse, your greasy hair hanging across your forehead, no makeup (for the ladies), or unshaven (for the men). You CAN NOT just show up that way and expect to be taken seriously... or professionally, for that matter.  

Tips for the audition itself:
  • You will often be asked for a monologue. Be sure to have three or four ready at your fingertips. so that you can go into auto-pilot, if necessary. Do not stop, smile sheepishly, or apologize if you forget your lines. Cover your errors.
  • You'll likely be in an office so it would be preferable to go with a monologue that doesn't have yelling or screaming in it. Also, keep it clean. Most agents, etc. prefer monologues without obscenities.
  •  If you're a singer, also have three songs fully memorized. Have your music with you. 
  • Don't claim to be someone or to have done anything on your resume that is not true. Do not try to pass off extra work as a featured role. It's unimpressive and will create a bad reputation for you in the long run. 

Becoming and actor and mastering an audition can be tricky but it isn't impossible.  That's why we at the New York Acting School for Film and Television provide the coaching and classes.  It's not an easy industry, but with the right help, you can succeed.  

Don't make the same mistakes as so many others before you.  Call us and let us know how we can help you achieve your dreams. 

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.