Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Build Integrity and Professionalism in Your Acting Career!

The best way to succeed well in acting is to know the tips that keep you respected professionally. Showing up in a professional way proves character. People want to hire good character. Talent can grow. Selfishness and laziness is a pain to work with.

So how can you prove your solid character and professionalism in an industry where your whole life is under the microscope?

Be Honest.
Nobody wants to be told excuses or lies. You are an actor. That doesn’t give you permission to be dishonest or bend the truth to support your situation or the furthering of your career.

Honorable Name Dropping.
This is an industry based on who you know. But be true about who you know. Talk to your connections and get permission ahead of time to mention their name. Remember, if you name drop someone you hardly know, and word gets back to them, that will be a detriment to your developing reputation.

Learn the lines correctly.
First of all, I want to clarify that you are not the writer.  Many actors 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. This might seem obvious, but there are too many actors who learn a few of their lines and then try to wing it (accidentally rewriting them) and fail miserably. Please spend the needed time preparing your lines. Don't just prepare what you’re going to say, but also how you’re going to say it.

Don’t be late.
I know this seems like a given, but you'd be surprised to find out how many actors just have no sense of time.  Audition time slots are limited, pass quickly and are scheduled at odd times like 2:50 or 10:05. When they call you to be there, be there early.  Being late will definitely leave an impression, but not the one you are hoping for.

Don’t make excuses.
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.

Pay close attention.
Acting is a job that depends upon people being able to take direction. So listen to what you are being told. 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.

Real photo representation.
It is incredibly annoying to get a headshot that looks nothing like the actor that showed up. Don't be that actor. Please, make sure your headshot 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 headshot shows this. Your headshot 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. 

Write these tips down and keep them close. They are foundational for the integrity of your career. In the meantime, better your abilities and learn more tips through the coaches and classes at the The New York Acting School for Film and Television. We can't wait to help you on your way!

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