Saturday, November 3, 2007

School's Out...for now, anyway.

Whew! Finally done with class. It has been a long, productive and insightful week. I've come to know many wonderful people through this experience - both peers and potential contacts in the industry. During the many workshops I was given plenty of notes - both about things I am good at and things I need to work on.

We mainly worked on cold reading this week (where a casting director/agent will give you a script and a few minutes - sometimes less - and you then have to read the script to him cold, i.e. without much prep. Here, as in Chicago, a cold read is the standard first audition. Often, when you make the cut and are called back, they will give you a script and more time, sometimes a day or two, to prepare). I got pretty good feedback on my cold reading skills and also a couple of things to work on in order to really nail each audition. Truly though, it will take the actual DOING of auditions to really see improvement. It is easy to practice these skills, but so hard to simulate the actual audition environment - the self-induced pressure, the old dude with one tooth who is the director's reader (your scene partner!) who often is reading the lines of a young woman's character, the annoyed and tired casting directors who have seen this same scene 100 times already today, etc. The key to any audition is to shrug off that pressure, use your nervous energy to your advantage by channeling it into the emotions of the scene, and somehow make your audition different than those other 100 folks. Therein lies the challenge...

So, now me and my 30 some-odd classmates head our separate ways - some back to their own countries, some on to the next step here in L.A. For all of us that is something different, but most of us need to accomplish similar things in the long run - get an agent, join the union, find an acting teacher/class, start meeting casting directors, etc. All of these things are much easier said than done. There are many unemployed actors out here who have spent years trying (or not so much) to accomplish those things. That being said, there are some folks who are here for a couple months and manage to do all of them. It truly seems like an industry where you have to persevere, work your arse off, and put yourself in the best position to succeed. So, when those serendipitous things happen - that chance meeting with a producer at a coffee shop, an agent who likes your new headshots, a casting director who spots your quirky postcard on the corner of his desk and calls you in for a role, or a manager who you meet on the YMCA basketball court - you are ready and able to grab a hold and take full advantage.

So, I have a lot to do. And I need to get started. But just for tomorrow, I think I will watch some football...

1 comment:

  1. Leia and I are so proud of you for going after your dreams! We miss you and love you!... and we can't wait to visit! :)


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