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Tony
Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia

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Hi Tony!
Most people don’t even take the time to tell a person how to reach their goal. I want to thank you for everything and for responding to my messages. Sometimes I just test people to see if they really care about my career and you do. You can continue to send me some tips on how I can accomplish my goals, because you inspire me a lot. Thank you for caring.
Jeffrey, Dallas, TX

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Hi Tony!
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada

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Hi!
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Mischa, UK

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Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress

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Tony,
I did what you said and…I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you…how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA

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This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA

Starting An Acting Career In Hollywood
Interview With Hollywood Acting Coach
Bernard Hiller - Part II

Bernard Hiller

If you are thinking about moving your acting career to Hollywood, part I of this interview with Hollywood acting teacher and success coach Bernard Hiller will certainly give you a better understanding of what you will need to do to adequately prepare for your trip. This second part of the interview focuses on what it will be like once you get to LA. Enjoy the interview.



Tony: What advice would you give to, say, your nephew who tells you, “Uncle Bernard, I decided today that I want to become an actor. I want to start an acting career. What should I do? Where should I start?”.

Bernard: It depends on where your interests lie. If you are interested in a film & television acting career you need to come to LA as soon as possible, because the younger you are, the better the chances are of getting agent representation. When you are young, casting directors and agents don’t have high expectations with regard to your level of talent and achievements. You can get agent if you are around 18, but not so easily if you are 25. The younger you are the greater your chances at the beginning of you getting an agent to represent you.

Tony: OK, Great. So then I assume that you would tell him the same things we discussed in part I of your interview?

Bernard: That’s right.

Tony: Ok, so let's say he decides to go to LA. From the time that someone who is at the beginning of their acting career and who arrives in LA, in your opinion how long should it take to get set up and get started? I realize when I ask you that question that it depends somewhat on the individual and how prepared they are, how much drive and determination they have, how many contacts they have and so forth. But people ask me this all the time. Is there some time frame that you can give them with regard to how long it would take to get set up and get into classes, etc.?

Bernard: You’re right. It does depend on the person, but I would say, that in two weeks to a month you can be set up and organized. That will depend also on how prepared you are before you get here and if you meet the right mentor to show you the way.

Just to finish that point, I realize that you already have agent representation in New York, but just for example, someone of your profile Anthony who is starting out his acting career and who is of color and who is in his forties will have a better chance of getting representation, generally speaking, than a Caucasian male in the same age group. There are so many Caucasian men who have an incredible film and television resume and as a consequence their competition is so great. That would be one of the worst categories to be in if you are just starting out your acting career.

Tony: “They” say that one of the best things to do is to get your training first in New York and then go to LA. True or False?

Bernard: No. Like I said, if you are interested in film and television get to LA as quickly as possible. If you are primarily interested in theatre or musicals, then New York is the place to be. It’s true that New York trained actors are highly respected, but there are good teachers here too. 85 % of all the Film and Television work is created here in LA.

Tony: Earlier you talked about acting coaches and acting classes. Is it better, especially at the beginning of one's acting career to get into acting classes right away from the start of your career or to get an acting coach?

Bernard: It really doesn’t make a difference whether one or the other. The important thing is that you get into a class with a great teacher who can also be a mentor to you. You need to learn the latest acting technique, because acting changes and so does training.

I personally think that there are only 24 great acting teachers in the entire world. You need to find the best coach in the world, because only by finding the best coach, can you be the best actor.

Tony: OK so once you have found an acting class or an acting coach, how do you know if it’s the right one for you?

Bernard: There are four ways that you can tell you if you are in the right acting class. It should be:

1) Fun.
2) Very motivating.
3) And also scary, meaning that it challenges you. It pushes you artistically. Only when you are put under pressure will you grow. You’re not going to grow as an artist doing things that are easy for you. You will only grow by doing exercises and acting scenes that are difficult and that challenge you in some way. In my classes I try to make actors do things that make them somewhat uncomfortable or do things that they find difficult to do. Because in the end that is the only thing that will helps them grow and become the artist they always wanted to be.
4) At the same time though, they will need to find a class that they feel very safe in and feel that they can try anything.

The subject of acting classes and training brings me to another point that I’d like to mention if I may.

Tony: Sure! I’m a sponge. Go ahead!

Bernard: Headshots. One of the first things people want to do at the very beginning is to get headshots taken. I would say that you should wait on getting headshots until you are very strong in your acting, because the more training you have, the better of an actor you are and the more power you will be able to transmit into the camera. It changes from the way you are when you have no experience at all. So, I always tell my actors to wait to get headshots until you are more developed in your acting training. Then you will have a greater chance of getting some truly awesome pictures.

Bernard: Headshots. One of the first things people want to do at the very beginning is to get headshots taken. I would say that you should wait on getting headshots until you are very strong in your acting, because the more training you have, the better of an actor you are and the more power you will be able to transmit into the camera. It changes from the way you are when you have no experience at all. So, I always tell my actors to wait to get headshots until you are more developed in your acting training. Then you will have a greater chance of getting some truly awesome pictures.

Tony: Bernard, a young woman recently visited ActingCareerStartUp.com and told me that she was at the beginning of her acting career and planning to move to LA and get a job as a waitress, because she heard that that was a good way to get discovered. What do you say to that?

Bernard: I would tell her that, that is not true at all. You get discovered through lots of hard work. Tell her that the express elevator to acting career success is broken and that from now on, anyone who wants to be successful in LA will have to take the stairs! The best way to get discovered is to position yourself to be seen by the right people. Find a mentor who will show you the way. There’s no other way. There are no shortcuts. All great athletes say that that they attribute their success to their coaches, because a good coach brings out the best in you and can help you become successful. Even Al Pacino still has an acting coach.

Tony: Any general comments in closing about starting an acting career Mr. Bernard Hiller?

Bernard: I estimate that there are around one hundred thousand people in the United States who define themselves as actors. We have to understand one thing though. The word ‘actor’ is grossly misused. Fifty thousand of those so-called actors haven’t acted in many years or they do some acting sporadically, but yet they still call themselves actors. Then you have around ten thousand actors who are really seriously pursuing an acting career and who are studying and working and doing all the right things. There are lot of wanna-be actors. But wanting to be an actor is like wanting to be a millionaire. Everybody wants to be rich but nobody wants to do the work. Many people never get past the wanna-be part. When you ask them what they are doing to get closer to their dream, the answer is very often nothing or very little. So for me, they don’t count as real actors.

What I can say is that those people who are really serious about pursuing an acting career and who work hard, will definitely get work. Successful people are always willing to do things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do. It’s that simple.

Tony: So what you are saying is that of all the real actors out there, the percentage of them that can be considered successful is actually higher than what we have been led to believe. Correct?

Bernard: That’s right. The percentage is much higher. What it all boils down to is, if you are serious and work hard you will make it. Also remember that acting isn’t something you choose. It chooses you. It’s something that you feel so strongly about that you just have to do it. You can’t live without doing it. If anything or anyone can stop you from becoming an actor, then it’s not for you.

Read Part I of this exclusive interview with Hollywood Acting Coach Bernard Hiller. Bernard Hiller is an acting teacher in Los Angeles who has been teaching acting and success coaching for twenty-nine years. He also conducts Master acting classes all around the world. For a more up-close and personal contact with Bernard Hiller, to learn more about how to get into one of his classes and contact him directly, watch this video interview with him directly from his Hollywood home.

If you are just starting out, before making such a big decision, take the time to understand if that is really what you want and if going to Hollywood in this particular moment is the right thing to achieve your acting career goals.

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