Whatever happened to the values of the industry? Whatever happened to the fairness and equality? Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity.
It’s leading us away from unity. It’s feeling like I’m walking on the boulevard of broken dreams.
There comes a time when we must heed a certain call. When the world comes together as one. We are the industry…
Nothing like a 2000s song(s) parody to get us started, grasshopper. You probably recognized some of the lyrics form The Black Eyed, Green Day, or We Are The World.
I’ve had these songs on my playlist for the past week or so. They’re so powerful and they have a lot to do with our subject today.
As we get into the nitty gritty of what I promised would be a very tactical release, I want to ask you to mentally push aside everything I’ve shared with you to this point...
Only because I want to get tactical and talk only about the things that you can do today to move your career forward.
Personally, I think the best feeling in the world comes after a nailing a performance. Because you have to nail the audition, before you can nail a performance, that will be our focus today.
Whether you’re reading for a lead role, supporting character, or even if you’re going out for a one liner, the principles are largely the same. Yep, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
The only difference is how deep you go.
For example, a one line role doesn’t require a character story that is as detailed as what you would construct for a leading character.
Even if you wanted to build one that detailed, it just wouldn’t happen. You only have to go deep enough to be able to breathe life into the dialogue.
You decide what exactly that means. Your character story could be a page, a paragraph, or even a single sentence.
See, something almost magical happens when you get “in the zone.” It’s almost as if you cease to exist and you become a messenger for the character. I don’t know a top tier actor that doesn’t identify with this.
The most important thing is to realize your place in the scene. Are you creating it (as with a lead role), supporting it, or are you merely existing in it.
The smaller the role, the more you have to let go. Don’t sweat it though. Most actors see these small roles as part of “paying your dues.” It couldn’t be farther from the truth.
When approached properly, these roles are your pregame workout. They exist, not as a stepping stone, but as preparation. Remember when you first learned to read?
You started by learning one syllable at a time. You then moved on to combining two syllables, then three, and so on. If you had been presented with the word Ecclesiastical on day 1 of kindergarten, you might still be there LOL.
Acting is no different.
You can use these small roles to learn how to merely exist inside of a scene. It’s a huge blow to our actor’s ego to think of it this way, but that’s what it is. However, once you master existing in a scene, learning how to support a scene is as easy tacking on another syllable.
Stephen Colbert started out exactly this way. Soon he graduated to one liners, where so many actors stay. What was different about Colbert, was that audiences remembered him.
When he later joined the cast of The Daily Show, he didn’t fight for the spotlight. He accepted his place in the show and in every scene and supported them masterfully.
This led to him being offered his own show. It didn’t happen by accident. Everyone at the network just thought there was “something about him.”
Knowing your place in the production and operating within those parameters is what that “something” is. It’s one of the leading ways to endear a production staff to you.
No one likes to have to tone down the guy that tries to steal every scene, which is what our training conditions us to do. Do this instead and employ the other strategies that you have learned about here at Boost My Star (like the Palm Trick) to make an impression and you’ll be set!
If you have had any kind of training, you’re familiar with the “backstory” process that coaches like to teach. The whole “what did your character, eat for breakfast, what they dream about, blah, blah, blah…” sounds good.
In fact, it feels good when you’re going through the exercise for your own character but it’s way overcomplicated.
You only need to answer one question about your character. Everything else stems from that. Remember, it’s up to you to decide how deep to go with the back story that will develop from there.
All you need to know about your character is: what is the chip on their shoulder.
Think about real people, not characters, for a moment. There’s something that drives every one of us. Some of us want to prove to someone that we could defy the odds and make something of ourselves.
Some of us are trying to live up to someone else’s expectation of us. Some of us are trying to __________ fill in the blank with whatever that is for yourself or for your character.
That is what we call the “chip on your shoulder.” Once you master how to uncover this for your character, the acting world is your oyster.
No Boost My Star release would be complete without a super stealth, you won’t get it anywhere else strategy, right?
Here it is.
The easiest and simplest way to do this is something that legendary actors have quietly talked about forever. Anytime they mention it, it typically gets swept under the rug, and only the sexier parts of the interview make it to print instead.
It requires you to open your mind for a moment.
The way you can discover the chip on your character’s shoulder and consciously become a vessel for your character to reside in while you are “in character” is to enter Alpha.
Here’s how you do that…
Close your eyes and tilt your eyeballs about 20 degrees upward. Count backwards from 50 and imagine yourself descending a ladder with each number.
When you reach 1 picture yourself in a perfectly lit, bright-white room. See yourself as the character you are playing, standing before you. Then, ask your character anything you want to know.
What drives you, why does this affect you in that way, is this line accurate or would you say it differently in reality?...
There are 2 schools of thought for why this works so well.
- There’s the mystical that states that when you enter this level of brain activity (the Alpha level) the information you seek is available to you from the ether or the collective human consciousness.
- Then there’s the practical. When you quiet your mind, and mentally detach from a given situation, you give yourself “permission” to get creative without the filters present in a busy mind.
Use whichever school of thought suits you best. What happens when you perform this simple exercise is that you quiet the noise of the outside world. If you were to hook up to a monitor you would see your brain function slow, and that is the level at which creativity thrives.
Tilting your eyes upward a few degrees, activates the visual neurons which amplifies the experience for your purpose of interacting with your character.
Once you are finished, slowly count from 1 to 10 and picture yourself climbing back up that ladder and reentering the real world. Then say “I’m wide awake.”
Do this anytime you are prepping for an audition. Do it anytime you need direction for your character on set.
You can even use this technique to solve real world problems, but that’s a release for another time.
So there you have it grasshopper.
Go forth and use it now. Today.
Prepare for your upcoming audition using the technique you just learned. Let me know how it goes, in the comments below or shoot me an email.
If you don’t have an audition to prepare for right now, that’s where this comes in. It’s the key to getting you the attention of the people you need to be in front of, in order to push your career to the next level.
Oh yeah, the reason I’ve had those songs (from my parody above LOL) on repeat lately is that, the industry is so fragmented and ultra competitive now that I often wonder “where is the love?”
Isn’t it time that we start looking out for one another instead of looking for ways to one up the competition. Actors are among the tightest knit group of people on the planet but the nature of the industry is so divisive. We all know someone that ruined a friendship over a role.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. In fact, my own career trajectory really went skywards when I did this. I started Boost My Star out of a sense of duty and a sincere desire to help as many actors as possible.
Since I can’t stroll with every one of you down Hollywood Blvd. (you know the one of broken dreams), and make introductions, this is the next best thing.
So, now that you know how to nail an audition the next logical step is to get yourself as many auditions as possible. To do this, you will need a stellar industry reputation and attention. Here’s the way to do that.
Look, I know that doing something differently is scary sometimes. But if you do what everyone else does, you will get what everyone else got. So if you want to be one that stands out above the crowd, do something differently.
You will end up in good company among your fellow tribe members, that are experiencing careers they never would have even dared to imagine.
See you at the top,