Have you ever seen the movie Gladiator?
You are Russell Crowe and the games are the industry.
Who else in their right mind would choose to go into a profession, where the longer you work at it the more likely you are to be chewed up and hung out to dry?
Actors are special people Grasshopper. I admire the unique qualities it takes to be an actor.
What really shines through is the passion it requires.
This passion can be somewhat of a double edged sword. It keeps us pushing through after tough days and it also clouds our judgement at times.
Through my time in the industry, I’ve met tons of actors and I have gotten to know many of them very well.
If you pay attention to what they say, you start to pick up on the patterns very quickly. They’ll say things like, my agent doesn’t send me out very often. My boss won’t let me off work so I have missed a lot of auditions. The CD said they wanted someone with more experience. I haven’t been able to book as much work, since I joined the union…
Those are what I call complaints and actors talk about them in a breezy tone.
However, because I truly love people and love hearing their stories, I’m the kind of person that asks questions like “why have you only booked one job this year?”
I ask from a position of pure curiosity and I’m genuinely interested, so they respond.
This is usually when things go from complaint to contempt.
There are 2 things that drive actors crazy, like nothing else. It shouldn’t come as a surprise but the thing that drives them crazy most of all is being passed over for a role when they know that they are better than the actor that ended up being cast.
Unfortunately, the industry doesn’t run on talent alone. There are a host of other factors that CDs consider when making casting decisions.
More on that in a bit.
The second thing that drives actors crazy is boredom. By nature, creatives are the type of people that cannot sit still so if we are idle in our careers it’s a pretty horrible feeling.
Sometimes actors will have months of downtime in between jobs
When I ask people what they do with all that downtime, I typically get an answer that is somewhere along the lines of “working on my plan B.”
To be fair, less than a handful of actors have ever used those exact words. It’s usually a veiled answer such as “I’m working on launching my fitness business, I’ve spent more time volunteering lately…”
Here’s how these 2 things will impact your career.
Both of them shift the balance of power in an audition setting.
Remember, Boost My Star is the only place you can go to discover the side of the industry that no one else will dare to talk about.
So, let’s get real.
When you are auditioning for a role. You want something from the Casting Director, so they have the upper hand in every way possible unless you know what you’re doing. More on that in a second.
Some actors, get this part but that’s where the thought process stops. You have to put yourself in the Casting Director’s shoes and think of who they want something from. What are their responsibilities, that they don’t share with anyone else.?
When you can uncover the CDs true desires, you can then shift the balance of power and put yourself in control.
When you do this, everything changes.
You no longer go into an audition, with a need. You go in with something to offer and if the CD doesn’t take you up on that offer, that’s ok. Someone else will.
Instead of working on other stuff during your downtime you have to work on marketing yourself to the industry so that you can fill up calendar and get rid of that downtime. Here’s a quick fix for that.
See, nobody wants to hire an actor that isn’t working but they will trip over each other to hire someone that is booked solid. They will even rearrange production schedules to accommodate you, if they want you bad enough.
Most actors can’t even begin to wrap their mind around that, but it happens every day and it’s not even just the A listers that do this.
I’ve seen no name bit players, have production schedules rearranged for them. It happens when you present yourself properly and have something to offer in exchange.
That something should be an X factor that draws an audience.
Something that almost nobody realizes is that when a film underperforms, the first thing that the studio looks at is the cast list and they start to ask questions like “Maybe we should have cast someone else in the lead, maybe the rapport wasn’t strong enough between the actors, maybe nobody wanted to see this actor in the role…”
Is that fair to the CD? That’s a topic for another time but that’s how the industry works.
So when you are auditioning, the CDs chief role is not to assess whether or not you can perform the part. They are considering whether or not you can draw an audience.
That’s what you need to bring to the table in an audition setting.
When you were passed over for a role that you could have knocked out of the park, the actor that ended up being cast was in a better position to attract an audience to the production.
It’s easy to gain an audience, when you already have some traction. Here’s how I can help with that.
The bottom line is that if you truly want to be a successful actor with a full calendar, then you need to go all in on this. Take a proactive approach to marketing yourself to the industry and creating demand for yourself.
Lastly, make sure that your resume matches your desire to succeed. I don’t mean the resume that is stapled to the back of your headshot.
IMDb is the “resume” of choice for Casting Directors and even a phenomenal actor with a horrible STARmeter, is likely to be passed over for someone more established.
Be sure that you are giving this factor the attention it needs. Here’s how.
So what will you do to shift the balance of power in your favor Grasshopper? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email. I read every one that comes through and I will help in any way I can.
After all, my goal is to:
See you at the top,