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
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
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!
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
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
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
I sometimes wonder how its possible to dabble at acting. I mean, working as an actor or working the beat, as I call it can be hard work. And if one isnt fortunate enough to have his finances in order before starting to pursue acting and has to work at least part-time, how do you stay focused?
What Ive learned is that starting an acting career can be a full-time job itself, if you want it to be. When Im hitting it hard day after day, my time is filled pretty much to the brim. What working as an actor really means is lots of drive and a lot of discipline, lots of stamina and a lot of energy.
Working As An Actor Means Working The Beat: Early to Rise!
My days usually start around 7:30am - 8:00am with a good breakfast of cereal, toast, yogurt, a big bowl of mixed fruit and green or white tea. While Im enjoying my favorite meal of the day, the computer is connected to the internet and Im checking my email hoping that a casting director or someone has contacted me from one of my online submissions the day before and checking out the three casting websites I subscribed to, seeing if anything interesting in the way of roles for productions, films, tv shows or what have you, came throughthat I should submit myself for.
Working As An Actor Means: Actor Marketing & Mailings
If it is a day dedicated to mailings, I usually use the time to write cover letters to new contacts, casting directors and agents, producers, etc. and make packets together with my headshot and résumé. Since my headshot is horizontal with space on one side, I downsized my cover letter and stapled it to the front of the actor headshot. This way, whoever receives my materials, will have everything at the grasp of one hand, because in addition to the headshot and cover letter, the résumé is always cut to the size of the headshot and stapled to the back of it. Thats industry standard. Another reason why you should always staple them altogether is because if they get separated among all the mail that comes into those offices, they might not find their way back together again and you might lose out. Worse yet, you might not ever know it!
The downsizing of the cover letter was just one of the little tricks of the trade that I learned from a consultation I had with an acting career coach that I hired.
I also use this mailing time to write postcards to my existing contacts to keep in touch and report any jobs Ive gotten recently or even close calls such as call-backs or on-holds since the last time I sent correspondence to them. On that note, in the many question and answer sessions I have participated in with casting directors and agents, one of the questions that frequently arises is, How often should actors keep in touch with agents and casting directors? Almost always, the answer is, whenever you have something to say. The best things to say, as far as I have learned are things about what you have done recently in the way of acting; shows you have been in, movies, tv programs, independent films, commercials, or whatever. Ive been taught to make my communication count and not send cards or correspondence just to say hi!
So working as an actor also means keeping in touch. And keeping in touch this way is professional and has paid off in that even the close call reports have resulted in my being called personally by casting directors to come in and audition.
And how to keep in touch with casting directors and talent agents is something I learned from. I completely transformed the way I approached my business of being an actor, after having taken several forums, during which I met with casting directors and agents. Brian ONeils book Acting as a Business, Fifth Edition: Strategies for Success (Vintage) is full of tips and valuable info for working as an actor. Its easy to see why its one of the most read books in the Drama Book Shop in New York. I read it twice!
Working As An Actor Means: Auditioning!
After putting together my mail, its shower time and off to the first commercial audition of the day, which usually isnt before 11 11:30am. The first could be an on-camera commercial audition at House Productions in downtown Manhattan. The next one is around 2pm, for an industrial at Don Case Casting and then another around 3:30pm for an on-camera commercial down at Liz Lewis Casting. Theres no rhyme or reason to what types of auditions, how many or where they will be. Coul even be three or four auditions usually either commercials, film, industrial or go-see (term used for commercial print auditions/castings) for print work.
In between all that, there is usually a buffet lunch, dropping off the mail I prepared that morning and the night before and a few phone calls from my agents checking my availability for auditions the following day or to tell me that Ive been called back. Occasionally, there will also be a series of four, yes thats right, four reminder text messages from Actors Access that I have been contacted by their CMAIL by a casting director or by someone who has responded to one of my submissions through their website. I have to check them when I get to a computer.
Here you will find some acting audition tips.
Working As An Actor Means: Staying Informed!
The rides on the subway up and downtown are dedicated to either reading the trade paper articles or a book about acting or to practicing a technique that I learned in class to help me get in touch with my emotions. Or it might just be to observe the different characters to get some more ammunition for my acting bag. Its a great place to get ideas for your acting technique.
By this time Im starting to get tired of trapsing all around the city with a backpack and a trolley or one or the other, which contain clothes for my auditions. Gotta take the right clothes to dress the part. In addition, in the summertime, when its 90° outside, you must take a change of clothes, otherwise you arrive soaking wet and make a terrible impression. Gotta get there early, change and look fresh! Now I cant wait to get rid of the bags for a while!
Working As An Actor Means: Keeping Fit And Going To Class
Now its off to the gym for an hour and a half workout: abs, cardio, weights and stretching. Then, back uptown to the apartment to drop off the gym clothes and the trolley, check my email, a quick check of the casting sites again, grab a quick bite to eat. After about forty-five minutes to an hour at home, its back to the subway to head downtown for class from 7 10pm. A drink and slice of pizza with some classmates and then back home again around midnight.
The days I dont have class, I might take in a movie.
Working As An Actor Means Late Nights With...Myself!
But the day isnt finished yet! Grab a beer, turn on the computer and check the casting sites one more time for the day to see if there has been any activity: new auditions that have been posted for example. If I see an audition I feel I might be right for, I might send in a couple of submissions, prepare some more mailings for the next day, recap the days activities, a little self analysis (what went well and what didnt), go over my notes from class, look over my plan for the next day, get my clothes together for the auditions, an episode of Law & Order, a quick snack and then off to bed around 2am! Tired, but happy to be doing what Im doing! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Working As An Actor Means Rest Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Getting to the point that you are actually working as an actor (regularly and not just sometimes) takes a lot of work and you should be honest with yourself if you think you need help or if you think you can do it alone.
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY