|May not be helpful in acting career|
It's Hard Enough to Make IT Big in this Business. Why Sabotage Yourself?
If you are following this blog or have just arrived and are serious about being successful as an actor or actress in television or film, you may want to use our blog as a springboard to some other online sites that provide additional direction. One of those would be one of the oldest online actors advice sites, http://actortips.com
I have provided you with an example of what you can expect at http://actortips.com/ways-to-ruin-your-acting-career/
I’m off tomorrow to Los Angeles to see some theater and meet with some professional actors (interviews will be coming soon), but I thought I’d send off a newsletter before I hit the road.
Last week, I received a question from a reader who was pondering whether or not to get a tattoo. He wondered if it would hurt his chances of making it as an actor.
This was my response: Get a discreet tattoo if you must, but anything that will be generally visible can only harm, not hurt you. He mentioned actors such as Johnny Depp, who are famous for their tattoos (some of which have had to be “re-worked” as love affairs waxed and waned). Again, the answer is this: If you are already a super star, you can get a tattoo of Mickey Mouse across your forehead and you’ll probably still get work, but if you’re trying to break into the business, you should avoid everything that can limit your chances of getting a role.
If you have a scorpion tattooed on your forearm, it’s unlikely you’ll get cast as an upper class tennis player, for instance. However, a discreet ankle tattoo or a small symbol anywhere else that the general public doesn’t visit, should be fine. Use common sense.
But this brings up a larger issue: if you are committed to becoming an actor, you must sacrifice certain things in life. For instance, I’ve found that the most successful new actors have these qualities:
1. They take care of their bodies.
Too many actors get caught up in drugs and alcohol. Of course, there are many stories of how these addictions mix with stardom, but believe me, 99 times out of 100, they only derail acting dreams. The actors I know who’ve made it have exercised enormous self control and they treat their bodies with a great deal of respect. So leave the cast party early, get some sleep, and outshine everyone else at the next performance.
This should go without saying, but NEVER drink during or before a performance. An actor in one of my plays was seen drinking before a show, and I determined never to work with this person again.
2. Be Professional.
Over several years as a producer and casting director in New York, I’ve met dozens of actors who seem to look upon this profession as a hobby or a chance to enjoy themselves. All of them are now working day jobs, their dreams of acting long gone. Succeeding in this business will take as much organization, dedication, and professionalism as an engineer or stock broker. Don’t ever be late, memorize your lines early, and know your blocking before everyone else.
Several wonderful actors have also committed the terrible sin of agreeing to do a project, and then backing out. This is the best way to ensure that NO ONE ever casts you again.
3. Avoid the Drama.
Anyone who’s been in a theater production or on a film set knows that drama abounds. Do your best to avoid this. In every show someone falls in love with another actor or has their heart broken. This is understandable, considering how intimate casts become, but do your best to postpone romantic entanglements until AFTER the show.
You’ll be better able to focus on your work, and you won’t incur the disapproval of the director and producer, who will ultimately hire you in the future and will either recommend you or not. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy the theatrical experience and indulge in normal human flirting; just that you shouldn’t cross the line and become the center of gossip.
4. Be Positive.
No matter how well you act, your associates will want to be around you if you bring a positive attitude to the stage / film set. More importantly, directors and producers will remember — even if unconsciously — whether you were a pleasure or a problem to work with. I’ve been at many meetings where we’ve been deciding between two actors. All else being equal, the one with the positive personality always gets the role.
Don’t spend all your time fretting about why you’re not getting cast in pilots of sitcoms. Instead, make a list of what you need to accomplish to achieve your goals in the NEAR TERM and focus on that. If you need an agent, then do a mailing to the main agents in your area. If you need to improve your acting skills, then take classes.
Most importantly, you must CONSTANTLY network. For many, this seems undignified, but it’s an essential aspect of the business. The more people you meet, the better your chances are of getting work. So get out there, smile, shake hands, and present yourself as a future star.
Best of luck in your acting pursuits,