So you want to be an actor? Done. From this moment on you are now an actor. None of this aspiring-to-be nonsense. Once you make a decision to become something, you are what you aspire to be. Now what?
"Hurry up and wait!" You'll hear that a lot working in the movie industry. In the movie business you rush to set so you'll arrive early before your call time. The Production Assistants (PA's) will rush you into hair and makeup and rush you back to your trailer so you can wait for your scene to be shot, which might not be until later that day (6 to 8 hours later). Thus the adage, "Hurry up and wait". I use it in this context because as an actor you must hurry up and get ready to work...there will be a lot of waiting to deal with but we'll get to that later.
So you wanna be in pictures? That used to be an impossible dream back when movies were called pictures. Just a few years ago an actor would have to move to LA or New York to audition for Movies and TV Shows but now that the tax credit has been locked in for 30 years in Atlanta and the video audition has become the new way for Casting Directors to see actors, anything is possible. We've established you're an actor now. Which brings me back to my original question. Now what?
Just like a construction worker, minus all the hard labor, has a tool box containing everything he needs for his job so to an actor must have tools in his kit to compete in the industry. A good headshot used to be the most important thing an actor could have but now the headshot has been bumped down to second place. The most important tool in an actor's kit is a GREAT ACTING REEL! What is an acting reel? An acting reel is a collection of scenes from various movies and TV shows an actor worked on cut together demonstrating the actor in action. Agents and Casting Directors want the actor to prove they can act before they see them. It's a bit of a paradox because in order to audition for movies and television and book roles for your acting reel you need an agent but in order to get an agent you need a good acting reel. So if you've just decided to become an actor what do you do?
You have a few options. You can self submit to projects on actors access or you can audition for student films/independent films but the problem with that is the quality of the project might be unusable or you might not ever get the footage for your acting reel. So you're right back where you started. Or you can hire Reel Monster Productions to write, shoot, and produce a few original, movie quality scenes for your acting reel. This is the best option because you're guaranteed movie quality scenes which means they feel like they were cut from a big movie or television series. We work fast. You'll get your scripts quickly and you'll be shooting those scenes even faster. But this isn't just for the newbies, veteran actors always need to update their acting reels and if you're not booking you might want to consider shooting with us. Actors who've shot scenes with us have been auditioning and booking more thanks to our scenes. Feel free to check out our testimonial page to read about their experiences.
If you're a new actor, fear not I can coach you through your scenes. I can hear you saying, "But I've never acted before, I don't know how to act." Actors, if you remember anything from this blog, remember this: THE BEST ACTING IS NOT ACTING!!! You don't have to bring Shakespeare's "To be or not to be" to camera. In fact, you need to understand there's a big difference between stage acting and film acting. Stage acting is big, loud, and to an audience. Film acting is real emotions, it's quiet, intimate, and just you and the other actor. To be a great actor, don't act. Just bring honest emotions to the scene, listen, and prepare (Know your lines and the scene) before you arrive on set. You don't need an acting technique you just need honest emotions in the moment.
As I said, the two most important tools in your acting kit to begin with are a great acting reel and a good headshot. There's so much more I can teach you but you'll have to WAIT until next time. (See I told you we would get to the waiting part later lol) For now I'll leave you with a few important terms you'll hear on set. QUIET ON SET, SOUND SPEED, CAMERA'S ROLLING, ACTION! These are the last things you, the actor, will hear right before you begin your scene. Quiet on set means everyone needs to be still and quiet as the sound operator gets ready to record sound, he will call sound speed when he's recording. The same goes for the cameraman, he will call camera's rolling which means exactly what it sounds like, the camera's are recording. Then the director will call "ACTION"! Don't start acting until he calls action, give a slight beat then begin acting in your scene. CUT - When the director calls cut, stop acting. Never stop (break character) until the director calls cut. Actors, even if the ceiling falls down around you, you do not break character!!! BACK TO ONE - Think of your first position as one, you'll move to other spots during the scene but when the director calls cut he might say back to one which means go back to your first position.
Consider me a guide on this new acting journey, we'll tackle your dream together. I'll be your acting coach! If you have any questions please post them in the comments section or feel free to email me under the contact tab. I also offer private coaching for auditions and will read with you for your video auditions. Please watch our scenes under the scenes tab. I custom wrote and directed each scene for our actor clients and I would love to do the same for you. Please comment your thoughts here, I would love to hear what you think of our work. Thank you for reading this blog. I look forward to directing and acting with each and every one of you. CUT! Hurry up and wait.