Monday, April 24, 2017

What All Actors Need to Know About Getting Signed by Agents and Agencies

What All Actors Need to Know About Getting Signed by Agents and AgenciesSure, everyone wants that lucky break where you’re discovered and booked for the best roles at the best pay. So when you’re given the chance to have an agent or an agency, it’s easy to want to hurl yourself at the opportunity. But before you do, we want to help you make sure you’re ready and know what the process is. 
First off, in order to get a talent agent, you must already have a good amount of acting experience and an impressive acting résumé. So 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. 
So if you want to be taken seriously, make sure you’re focused on working and getting your resume ready for the day the legitimate opportunity does come along, you simply need to build it up by searching out acting roles on your own by searching out quality and legitimate casting notices, casting calls, and auditions. Diligently reading the industry trade magazines and by joining casting web sites.
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!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mindfulness Tips to Increase Success and Reduce Stress for Actors

Mindfulness Tips to Increase Success and Reduce Stress for ActorsActing takes it’s tole on you physically but it also drains you mentally and emotionally. You’re always on. You’re feeling many feelings; some are yours and some are contrived for the performance. The set can be high stress and all of that pressure can really weigh in. So if you’re wanting to have an incredible acting career, without burning out from the stress of it all, we’d like to share with you some simple mindfulness tips for added success and wellbeing. 
First of all, It's vital that you set aside your frustration with the industry, the directors, your fellow cast members and even yourself as you simple rest in gratitude. Gratitude is the fuel the expands our creativity and success. It feeds the relationships and opportunities in your life while inviting more good to come in.  

Tip 1: Create a list you of all the things you’re grateful for in your life and acting career. From the big to the small details, list them. Have two copies; one being a notecard you can keep in your pocket and read off-set when you’re low on steam. 

Tip 2. Celebrate your wins. In your daily journal, record each time you remembered to have gratitude today and took time to simply breathe.

Tip 3. Be aware of your responses. Notice when you’re reacting emotionally to what someone says or does and chose to shift your perception in that moment to appreciate the learning experience at hand.

Tip 4. Decide how you’re day will go by setting an intention at the start of each day.  How do you want to feel? What state do you want to be in? How do you want to communicate with others? Set the intention and go back to that space throughout the day. 

Did you enjoy those tips? If so, know that it only gets better. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we offer classes, coaching and hands on learning for actors wanting to take their careers to the next level. Want to know more? Contact us today!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Simple Tips for Dealing With Acting Anxiety for the Actor that’s Ready to Win!

Simple Tips for Dealing With Acting Anxiety for the Actor that’s Ready to Win!
Anxiety is one of the most common struggles adults these days are faced with and actors aren’t exempt. Anxiety in actors is often dubbed as stage fright. It’s totally common but with the right education, training and practice, your audience will never know that anxiety is even an issue for you. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, it's an acting block we deal with and see all the time. Luckily, through classes and coaching, it's a block that can be overcome. 

Don’t want to wait for the class? Here are some tips to get you started: 

You’re totally normal. 
Expect, and accept, that you will feel anxious, especially at first. That's OK. If you allow yourself to work with the anxiety, not against it, you'll be able to calm down and proceed. If you resist the anxiety, you'll make more trouble for yourself.

All eyes aren’t on you. 
The audience isn't here simply for you. They are here to see a performance that has nothing to do with you. Today, you happen to be part of the performance. 

Feel emotion? Show it!
Take the emotions and passion you feel for your subject or artistic expression and channel it into your performance. Don't try to "hold it down". If you try to suppress it, it will work against you. Express it!

Make eye contact and connect.
Establish contact with the audience through eye contact and talking directly to them. Ask them questions to get them involved in your talk (i.e., How many of you here have ever had this experience...?) While your natural instinct will probably be to avoid the audience as much as possible, just like the reviewer cited above, you will actually feel less anxiety once you get the audience involved with you.

Breathe from your diaphragm.
In order to speak calmly, you need to breathe from your diaphragm as it allows more oxygen to come to the brain and for the blood to circulate more slowly, resulting in a naturally more calm state.  This isn't a natural skill and will need to be developed with practice. If you're a trained vocalist, this will come more naturally to you. But with everyone else, it's an important skill to master.  

Where you focus is where your energy will go. So focus on the scene, the win, the art and the fun of it all. Focus on your breath, focus on your lines and fall into the performance. Remember, that The New York Acting School for Film and Television is ready to get you through it and on your way to success. Anxiety isn’t an end all, it’s an invitation to get better than ever.

Friday, March 31, 2017

It’s Audition Time and You’re Sick. Here’s What to Do:

It’s Audition Time and You’re Sick. Here’s What to Do:Nothing’s more frustrating than finally getting getting a great audition and getting sick. You put all this work into putting yourself out there and now what? Should you call your agent or the casting office and try to reschedule or just put on your best face and go anyway? 

Well there are many different opinions out there and and in the end, you’ll have to choose for yourself. But here’s the truth of it. 

Especially in New York, you’ve got thousands of actors pining for the same job. You as an actor, won’t want to miss your chance at the part. 

But then again, casting directors have a very different take on everything. They don’t want you to come near the building if you’re sick. They consider it a very selfish thing to do and a clear representation of your professional integrity. 

Even if it is with the casting director you have been trying to meet for years, don’t go. It is so not worth it. The fact of the matter is, if your illness will affect your audition in ANY way, don't go. The truth remains two fold. If you audition a sick voice, it may indeed be that voice the casting director picks is that of a sick one. You want to audition as your truest and most authentic self. 

Here’s the thing. I don’t want you to miss out on the audition of your dreams. So in the end, if you’re just on the edge of sick, you make the judgement call. If you’re definitely sick, stay back, call and try to reschedule. And to avoid the whole thing, take care of your health by eating and sleeping well. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we’ll do anything to see you succeed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Get Seen and Booked as an Actor in New York

How to Get Seen and Booked as an Actor in New YorkWith New York City being a hub for actors, it can be hard to get noticed and stand out in the crowd. But rest assured, there are ways to do this and we at the New York Acting School have mastered the system. I want to leave you with a few rules to keep in mind so you are more easily remembered on a positive note and will be more likely to get that part.  

It’s vital for you to remember that this is the acting business and not a hobby sport, if you’re looking to succeed; so you need to treat it as such. Study this list well and follow the instructions. Professionalism is key and these guidelines will get you there. 

Always be on time. Sure, that may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised to find out how many actors just have no sense of time. It doesn’t matter how late you were out last night or where you had to be beforehand. Your audition time is the time you need to arrive; at the latest. Keep in mind that audition time slots are limited, pass quickly and are scheduled at odd times.  When they call you to be there, be there early.  Being late will will only leave a negative impression.

Know your lines and know them well. Understand, that you are not the writer.  Many actors don’t like the script and feel the lines should be re-written, but that's not your role, and it's offensive to the actual writer. Simply memorize your lines. Don’t be cocky, just do what you’re there to do and do it well. 

Be attentive and listen carefully. If you don’t, you might miss something vital.  Sometimes the casting director, writer or director will give you a bit of direction before or during your audition on a particular line. Listen carefully to what they’re saying and take the time you need to process it. Don't panic, if it’s during an audition, they will usually be happy to give you a few minutes to incorporate the new direction into the lines. So ask for it if you need it. They'll respect your effort more than you ignoring it all together.

Have real, professional headshots. Nobody likes to get a headshot in their hands and find out the person standing in front of them looks nothing like the photo. Don't be that actor. Don’t have your photos airbrushed or polished. Just make sure your head shot accurately portrays who you are right now. If you’ve gained weight, cut or drastically dyed your hair, or aged, then you've got to make sure your head shot shows this. Your head shot isn't the one getting the job and you won’t either if you look totally different than the face people were expecting to see.

Go all in and be fully committed. The most successful actors are the ones that know how to fully dive into the moment and role they are playing. When you are able to fully commit to the scene you're playing, you'll show the casting directors that you should be considered above the rest because you perform with authentic passion and aren't limited by nervously holding back.

Don’t bother with excuses. Got to be honest here, there is no real excuse that will defend you.  It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, as insensitive as it may feel, the only thing that matters on set or on an audition is that you’re there. No one will care if there was traffic, you should have left five hours early.  You 'just couldn't learn the script in time'... too bad. Better luck next time! Sorry that this may sound harsh, but the cold truth is that no one cares that these so-called emergencies popped up. Sure, life happens and sometimes things go wrong and in a normal world, this may in some cases be taken into consideration. But DO NOT depend on that. No matter what excuse you think you have to get you out of a particular situation, there are dozens of other people happy to take your place. So do your absolute best, not to need an excuse.

That list is gold for your career. It’s like the rule book for being respected and honored in the field. So follow them well and keep on learning; that’s what will carry you far. Then come to The New York Acting School for Film and Television and let us know how we can help you further succeed in your career.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Simple Tips No Actor Should Be Without If They Want to Succeed

Simple Tips No Actor Should Be Without If They Want to SucceedA career in acting can be very rewarding with the right intention and passion, but if you really want to succeed and not get swept away by the discouragement, rejection and journey, you need to remember a few key points of wisdom.  Why? Because an acting career isn’t an easy craft. It’s not all glitz and glamor; and you need to be really committed to go the distance.
I really want you to succeed, and that’s why I do what I do. So please take a few minutes and hear what I’ve got to say.
Remember your why.
Acting is hard work and you are going to experience rejection. You won’t always get the part. You’ll get yelled at. You’ll be tired. And when the going gets tough, you’ll need to remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Why did you start acting? Why do you love it? Your why’s going to keep you going.

Good things take consistent effort.
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.
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.”

Be wise with your earnings and investments.
We've already established that acting isn’t usually a lucrative career, 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.

Enjoy the journey.
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. 

Of course, there is so much more to learn but that’s why it’s so important to hire a coach or take classes. So start now, and 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 can’t wait to see you succeed!

Friday, March 10, 2017

These Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Character Development That Every Actor Should Know

These Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Character Development That Every Actor Should KnowIf you’re an actor of any sort, you know how important it is to develop your character. You need to understand your character’s past, present, future dreams, strengths and weakness and emotional tendencies. But there are certain ways to do this and if you don’t do it right, you’ll end up holding yourself back. I want to help you today by helping you know the do’s and don’ts of character development so you can just keep getting better, keep getting booked and take your career where you want it to go!

Read the script.
As soon as you get the script, read it! No procrastinating. You need to get to know and become this character and it starts now. Read the script, your lines, other characters' lines, the stage directions, the prologue, epilogue, other works by the playwright (especially any others that your character might appear in!), everything!

Do the Research.
It’s your job to know your character and the script is not the only resource you have. Learn as much as possible about your character outside the text by researching the time period, the setting, the culture and politics of the area, and all the qualities one could ever know about one's self or another person. . . but for your character.

Don't just memorize.
Many people think memorizing lines is the "meat and potatoes" of acting. It isn't! Memorizing is just the first step. If acting was like painting, the memorization would be merely mixing the colors. There's so much more to it. Rehearse many times, for different audiences. Play different objectives and look for new tactics to achieve those objectives every time you rehearse, if possible.

Don't just play it safe.
In real life, people don't just speak to one another monotone while sitting in a single chair or standing in a single spot indefinitely, so why should anyone do so onstage? Move around, be ridiculous! Honestly, be ridiculous onstage. You might feel odd doing so, but the effects will always be great! Acting mirrors life. If you play it safe, you'll most likely be "just okay" 100% of the time. But if you take a few risks, your work will always be more interesting, more dynamic, more effective, more memorable, and more inspiring. Plus, if something you try flops, you'll have many days of rehearsal to exchange it for something new.

Be a good listener.
Listening is important no matter where you’re performing, but it's something actors don't do enough of. I don't mean just hearing your director give you instructions. While in character, actually listen to the words the other actors are saying. Don't just spit out your line simply because it comes next on the page. Actually take the time to listen, comprehend, process what was being said, and then speak when the words come. Not only will this keep you in the moment, your acting will seem infinitely more honest and natural if you do! Listening is supremely important.

Don’t just recite.
But merely reciting lines with emotion doesn't take into account anything else about the character, and if your only approach to the piece is reading the lines "with feeling," you'll likely come across as just that. Your goal is to create a character who is saying each line with a distinct thought process and purpose.

Be prepared; improv isn’t always the best choice.
Don't just go up and "wing it." This is an easy trap for an actor to fall into. Preparing a monologue or scene for performance takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and sometimes, there isn't enough time to fully commit to or even memorize the piece. However, winging it hardly ever works, even for an experienced actor. More often than not, the audience will be able to tell you aren't prepared.

These Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Character Development That Every Actor Should KnowIt’s not just about playing emotions.
Instead of playing an emotion, play the objective. Your character may have just won the lottery, and that's why he or she is happy. Maybe the family dog just passed away, and that's why your character is sad. Or perhaps you just discovered your significant other has been cheating on you, resulting in a whole slew of different negative emotions. See? Playing objectives can lead to the desired emotions, but just playing an emotion itself is impossible in theater.

Don’t be a taker.
Give. Another tidbit that mirrors real life. A production, even when you're the lead, is not all about you. It's not all about any one person. A show belongs to everybody, and everybody deserves an opportunity to have their moment. When onstage, see what you can do to make your cast shine, and they'll do the same. Don't hog the spotlight. Being a diva, as it's called, is something people really disapprove of in theater. Be humble.

At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we want you to grow and succeed. This is why we offer a range of acting classes and coaches meant specifically for your need. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!