Hey wonderful acting creatures. Thank you so much for checking this out!
Episode 1 of #AsktheEactor: Obviously it's very basic I'm looking forward to this growing over the course of many episodes.
Please give me any feedback on what you liked, what you didn't like, anything that wasn't clear or could be improved!
If you have any music you'd like to give me permission to use for the intro or outro please let me know!
If you're ultra talented and would like to help me a make a speccy intro please get in touch and let me know.
And finally MOST importantly, please keep sending in questions to me on Facebook, twitter or in the comments below using the
hashtag #AsktheEactor :)
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The Entrepreneurial Actor's 2016 Career Planning Template
If you've been with us up to now, you probably understand that this site is dedicated to the idea that being an actor, is like running a small business. But even then, when confronted with an idea such as the need to sell ourselves, most of us will probably still saying something like: "But I'm NOT A SALES PERSON, I'm an ACTOR, I can't do that!" and then run in the other direction.
But here's the bad news: If casting directors, producers and agents don’t buy your product, you don’t make any money. So you have to rely on selling yourself right? Not quite and I'll tell you the reason why.
People are afraid of saying yes to sales people because they’re afraid of feeling tricked and being made to look like a fool. You see nobody wants to be sold to, but everyone has things that they’d like to buy. As a society we love buying things. It’s exciting, a little daring, a little risky, a little fun and it tests our instincts, values and taste.
When someone chooses to buy something they don’t feel tricked, because they feel like they owned the decision. So quite simply you don’t need to sell, you just need to improve the chances that your customer will want to buy.
Good salespeople don’t exist anymore, because that’s not what they call themselves. Their names have changed to things like Head of Relationships, Personal Wine Advisors or Entrepreneurial Development Coaches depending on the industry. The word sales is nowhere to be seen! Because if they’re doing their job correctly, these people never get caught “selling” at all.
They educate, they consult, they position themselves as experts in their field, they connect, they ask questions, they advise on the best strategy going forward and they empower their prospects to make good choices. They're known, liked and trusted by their prospects. They’re generous and they care, not only about themselves, but meaningfully, about the people they do business with.
From a psychological stand point the goal is never to change a prospects mind. The goal is to help a prospect get out of their own way and empower them to do something they should be doing. They do this by showing how the product already lines up with values and ideas the customer had in their head before the conversation began.
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The Entrepreneurial Actor's 2016 Career Planning Template
In fact, a good “Head of Relationships” invests in their customers so much that one purchase is never a close, but an opening. Because the process they go through in starting a relationship with their clients often makes those clients, customers for life. The customers don't want to go anywhere else, because they have loyalty to their new found friend. In fact, the client is now so invested in the relationship that they actively want that salesperson to succeed, so they tell their friends. The exact same thing happens in acting.
A-listers like Hugh Jackman and Will Smith are examples of actors famous for getting to where they are today because they were so great to work with, that decision makers along the way wanted them to get there. They just wanted them to succeed. They're such nice guys after all!
This is very different approach to that of 'the pushy salesperson'. Their strategy is entirely based on what you can do for them in that moment. They assess the situation and either pressure you to buy or move on to the next prospect. I want you to be very honest with yourself right now and ask yourself these questions about how you come across with the people you do business with.
Do you only contact casting directors or agents when you want something in return?
Are your emails designed to benefit them and make their lives easier or only yours?
Do you lead out with what you can give rather than what you’d like to take?
Do you follow their careers with interest?
Do you celebrate their wins and offer support through their lows?
Do you build relationships over time with patience and thought or do you act like pushy salesperson and only focus on the now?
How much deeper can you go?
How much more positivity can you provide to your industry as a whole?
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The Entrepreneurial Actor's 2016 Career Planning Template
In order to answer that last question, let’s take a look at six things that ‘great products’ do for the people who purchase them?
Is that the experience an agent, casting director, director or producer has when they purchase your services as an actor and If not, how can we make that the case?
I think it comes down to this simple buying strategy. People buy things when they deem the value of the product to be greater than the price they would have to pay for it. In which case, your job is essentially to tell the story of that value.
For instance: Sleek, stylish, ergonomic and beautifully designed, It's the only device I need. These are a few of the words/ phrases that I associate with an iPhone that make me feel like they're worth paying $800+ to get the new version each time one comes out. It’s part of the story I tell myself rationalising that the value is worth more than the price.
Now in acting, you’re price is usually predetermined by what your auditioning for because generally speaking, starting out, you don’t have your own fee, which is actually a great thing, because you know that nobody can beat you to a role just by being cheaper.
The problem/ opportunity is that with such a level playing field, everyone seems to be delivering the same thing. And it’s usually a minimum viable product i.e. it's not very impressive and it requires minimal thought and effort to produce. Nobody's going above and beyond in anyway, other than try and give their best performance and chat to anybody important with a tone that's meant to be friendly, but often comes across as a little desperate. Harsh, I know. I’m sorry.
As you might’ve guessed, that's no way to tell the story of your excessive value. Nor is it the way for you to get the casting director to build positive associations with you, the way I did with the iPhone. This is the homework I want you to take away from this article. If you could choose the words that a casting director would use to describe you... what would they be? Just as an example mine might be something like Instinctual, inclusive, generous and charismatic. That'd be pretty good right. If they called you those things.
So how could you embody and integrate those words into the process of auditioning you, to the point that process became an experience in and of itself? Something that the casting director, their associate and their secretary all looked forward to every time you came in the door? It's not easy work, its hard and it takes a lot integrating, but In that answer lies the key to creating a product that people want to buy and that you don’t have to sell.
Let me know your thoughts on this article. I hope you liked it. I hope it helped. I hope you get loads of work using it and I hope you download our 2016 Career Planning Template. If you'd like help implementing this or any other goals from the career planning template get in touch, we do offer a career mentorship service for people serious about their acting careers and I hope to hear from you soon!
Michael Drysdale, Founder and CEO
"MEAA was formed in 1992 as the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance from the merger of three organisations: the Australian Journalists Association, Actors Equity of Australia, and the Australian Theatrical & Amusement Employees Association." - Courtesy of the MEAA Website.
Chances are if you're reading this article you either are or should be a member of the MEAA. When you're actually fortunate enough to be in paid work MEAA look after your interests and make sure you get a fair deal on pay, conditions, health and safety etc. They also campaign on major issues like keeping jobs shot in Australia filled by Australian's, the growth of diversity on our screens as well as fighting for their members rights at work. But all that aside, even if you're not working, there are still some pretty boss perks to being a MEAA member. Here's a little taste of what you can expect or what you might have been missing out on:
1. Discounted Theatre Tickets To The STC.
Want to catch a bit of Cate Blanchett treading the boards of the wharf? What about Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe, Robin Nevin or Geoffrey Rush? Yes the giants of Australian theatre have all performed with the STC and thanks to MEAA - "Sydney Theatre Company is pleased to offer MEAA members a discount of up to 30% on all our productions. In our 2015/16 season, ticket prices with the MEAA discount range from $24-72." Not bad at all.
2. A Free Ticket To Every Main Stage Show Produced By Belvoir For The Past 20 Years!
The Unwaged Performances at Belvoir have now been running for over 20 years and provide an opportunity for actors that on one Thursday matinee of every season a full house of 320 tickets are on offer to anyone with a MEAA or Equity card. The next performance of this variety is on this Thursday the 28th of January for the current season of Jasper Jones at 2pm.
3. Cheap Hoyts Movie Tickets Pretty Much All the Time.
Present your Membership card when purchasing tickets and your entitled to 2x $14 tickets on any day bar Tuesdays, (because cheap Tuesdays are cheaper anyway) and Saturday nights. There are other provisions, $17 for 3D, its not valid on "No Free List" movies i.e. when they first come out etc. But still... $14 movie tickets are pretty rad.
4. Malthouse Theatre Industry Memberships.
For $30 upfront you can get an industry membership to the home of some of the best indy theatre in Melbourne and then only have to pay $20 to every play on the schedule for the rest of the year. That's almost as cheap as going to the movies ;).
5. Loads of Discounts at other Prominent Theatre Companies.
Griffin (NSW), La Boite (Qld), Chapel off Chapel (Vic), QTC (Qld), TTC (Tas), New Theatre (NSW), and Darlinghurst Theatre (NSW) all of offer concessions to Equity members, as do AFTRS on their short courses too.
6. Ticket Giveaways Featured In Nearly Every Newsletter.
Again we could be talking tickets to the theatre or a movie premiere or special screening, its important to keep your ear to the ground for every opportunity that comes up as is the case with the...
7. Free Workshops and Scholarships To Paid Workshops Throughout The Year.
Often times the most important investment an actor can make in their career is getting to casting director workshops. Being exposed to the casting environment, being able to show your work and connect to decision makers in a low stakes environment can be invaluable to a young burgeoning career. Unfortunately it can also be really expensive. Equity, however often gives actors the chance to do it for free with their special members only workshops, that regularly don't even fill up because people forget to check when they're on. It's not just CD workshops however, specialty workshops on things like voice overs etc also come up from time to time.
8. Access To The MEAA Casting Hot House.
Every year Equity host a number of prominent Casting Directors over a couple of days to host the mother of all Casting Workshops. So take everything I said above and times the benefits by ten. Spots are always limited and participants can only enter via a raffle like system and selection is random, but if you get the opportunity this is an invaluable experience and well worth the price of your membership.
It’s something we all went through and not something we all like to talk about. High school for many is a time best forgotten and hidden in the recesses of our memory bank. A select few might remember them as the glory days and while that may not have been you, even if you read the title and thought, I was a drama nerd, there’s nothing wrong with my acting, stop and think again. The problem isn’t you per se, but rather the conditioning that we were all bought up with: That the path of least resistance is to dampen our individuality and try to fit in.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m don't blame you. High school is a cruel place, one that is built on a pressure to conform. Stray too far from the mainstream and you risk social suicide. For some, that didn’t matter, they did their own thing and didn’t care what people thought, but for many of us, including myself, even if part of us was off beat, we were constantly at war with ourselves to blanket the polar ends of our personality. To stifle our impulses to do the things that were seen as weird or be interested in things that would make us nerds or crazy and outcast from our peers. Our personalities were formed out of fear and fear told us the safest way to fit in was to teach ourselves to be beige: like what everybody else likes, do what everybody else does and just fit in, but that doesn't work for us now.
Of course beige is fine in the real world, if you’re and accountant or banker, lawyer or doctor. You might have your little quirks, but if you’ve got no individuality, you’re probably serving the system better than if you did. But that’s where being an actor is different. While other jobs serve the system, actors are here to serve humanity. To show us where we came from, who we are and what we have the potential to be. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve experienced a moment watching a film where a character has reached into the very core of your authentic self and showed it you, just for a moment… and in that moment, as you recognised yourself in someone else, no matter what was going on around you, or where you were in the world, you knew that you weren’t alone. That’s when beige becomes a big problem.
Nobody wants to recognise the beige parts of themselves on screen. They want to see the outliers, the people who have gone to the poles of their personality, that are still inherently universal in everyone, but have been stifled by years and years of trying to fit in. (Sorry folks, the social norms don’t end after high school.) Everyone denies the weird parts of themselves, the ugly parts, the flawed parts in favour of something more palatable. That's why you see these 'flawless' Instagram models posting weird "be you" inspo photos where it's like: be 'you' as long as 'you' wears Lulu Lemon yoga pants, a Nike singlet and looks perfect after a 12km run. This article is here to tell you to go the other way. Treat social norms like the enemy and embrace the fact that your power lies in your uniqueness, in your vulnerability and your individuality. Because everyone else is hiding it, so if you have the courage to show it, to stand, metaphorically naked in front of everyone and expose yourself, they'll thank you a million times over, because you’ll have given them the chance to recognise the person that they always wanted to be and always believed they could be, but never believed anybody would let them be, until they saw you do it!
If you’ve been to drama school you’re probably even worse. It’s treason yes, but something needs to be said. Two and half years are spent boiling you down, stripping away apparently “bad” habits in order to form a blank canvas, where you’re supposed to be able to go anywhere from. I suggest you go straight back to where you came from. Because again your uniqueness is the thing that will get you work. Know thyself! We’re a million different people from one moment to another, from one relationship to another. Being yourself isn’t limiting, it’s limitless. The best vessel for your character is you. Even Meryl Streep says: "It’s about finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there."
I have a friend who’s an incredibly talented actress with brilliant comic timing, who I shared this idea with a month ago and her response was golden. This actress is a big fan of heavy metal and she told me a story of getting turned down four or five times by a prominent Sydney casting director. Each time she would do what she thought was expected of her. Put on a full face of makeup, do her hair, put on her Burberry trench, look picturesque, go to the audition and nail the sides. After the fifth time the casting director said something that she would never forget. “Look It’s okay. You’re just always a little beige.” That was like a punch in the mouth. Where had she gone wrong? She knew that she could act but the product she was delivering wasn’t being received the way she wanted it to at all. A workshop came up and another chance presented itself to work in front of the CD. This time she wouldn’t be misled. This time she would unleash her individuality. She wore a loose fitting Led Zeppelin singlet and skinny jeans, her hair was up and practical and she had the air of a woman who owned herself and would tell you to take it or leave it, if push came to shove. Beige no more, now there were fireworks. Two weeks later she was called in for another audition and she booked that very gig.
So why do we do it to ourselves? Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. Stop being who you think everyone wants you to be and have the courage to be yourself. Dive into what makes you weird, swim in your passions, be immersed by your curiosity, explore the depths of what society perceive as your faults and embrace the things that make you different. Make yourself a vivid, blinding colour. Fitting in will get you nowhere in acting. Standing out will. No five line character brief, one page biography or explanation of a character will ever be as interesting as you. The limitless you, with your experiences, memories, relationships, body and brain, you are what we want to see. Marry that with the character and you'll have something unforgettable! So don’t try be cool. Don’t try to be beige. Try to be you.
Optimising Showcast - An Exhaustive Guide for Australian Actors On How To Get The Most Out of Australia's Premier Casting Tool.
"The biography’s not something that’s supposed to be printed and looked at in pretty way, it’s meant to drive a search engine that allows you to come up as many times as possible in as many searches on any given day." - Danielle D'Costa of Showcast
Today I get to share with you an incredibly valuable conversation I had recently with the business development manager of one Australia's premier casting websites. There are so many great take aways from this conversation that you may want to take it in over a couple of sittings, but I thought it was necessary to share it all because we dive deep into some great lessons for experienced actors as well as those just starting out with the service.
Some of the stuff we cover in the this interview includes:
And much, much more. I had so much fun chatting about it. I hope you enjoy reading about it. Big thanks to Danelle D'Costa and the team and don't forget to leave your comments below!
M: Fantastic, well first off it’s really, really great to have a chance to have a talk to you, I’ve talked to a lot of people on social media and they’re quite interested to see what comes out and I am too.
D: Yeah well there’s so much choice out there for the actor now too, it’s good for the to always be informed, in any choice they’re making I guess.
M: Yeah and with that in mind I wanted to start with that idea of why Showcast and with you too, obviously you’re the person we’re talking to from show cast so it’d interesting to sort of here a little bit about you and what you within the company and how you came to be with them?
D: Okay I’ve been here for 15 years, I run business development and basically just started off as administration but have just stayed here and really enjoyed it. Now I’m basically a liaison between the casting director, the agent and the actor and then our internal team to try and translate what those clients are wanting back through to our it guys and I also run our admin team as well.
M: And roughly at Showcast how big is the team?
D: Roughly, ah just let me count… Ten people.
M: Without needing to go into a page long word for explanation, but kind of simply put: What is the mission statement of Showcast or the main goal of the company, what is the key problem that your fixing the service that you’re providing that sort of thing?
D: Okay. The key problem I guess would be for us to make casting more efficient for the casting director, so for them to get there job done easier with less stress, in a more timely manner. All the while servicing the actor and making sure the best opportunities are made available to them, from those casting professionals. So we do that not only based on the professionalism of the people using the system but also the integrity of the database that we’re establishing.
M: Great. In terms of as an actor, is there a stage at which its more beneficial and less beneficial for an actor to be using Showcast?
D: Yeah I definitely think you could say that. Showcast has been around since 1960 and we’ve always been an actor database and we definitely still pride ourselves on being that, so we actually don’t market to the mass market end of the industry. We don’t directly market to extras and kids and people like that. They are on our system, because as I’m sure you’d know there are a lot of agencies that cross over between actors, extras and kids etc. There’s also many child actors that legitimately have a place on the service. But we have a policy that we don’t directly market to extras agencies. So it is very much an actors database, that being said it doesn’t mean that you have to have a three page spiel of professional acting credits. There’s a lot of people on the database who have a huge amount of passion and are stating out and wanting to work in the industry and know that it’s a place they need to be to stay connected to agents and casting directors. So I think personally if you’re an actor you need to be there. If you want to be an actor you need to be there. And if you’re interested in extras work or just the occasional dabble in the industry then I’d take your agents advice on where you need to be.
M: Sure and if you are in the first group that you talked about, the actors who want to be there and want to use it, what is kind of the best way to put your best foot forward on Showcast. What needs to be done, to have an effective Showcast profile?
D: Sure so, contrary to what a lot of actors do and we try to educate actors about this, is that oftentimes more is more. And that doesn’t mean making things up just to put them on your profile, it means being as open with your profile as you can possibly be. So a lot of people go, oh I’m not going to list all of my sports and athletics skills, because I think its going to look messy or unprofessional, but the crux of what showcase is, is a searchable database and quite often for casting, they will be searching for people that can skateboard, or they can horse ride proficiently or they can do yoga, and so a lot of the time actors don’t include that information because they don’t think it’s relevant. But it means that they’re not coming up necessarily in the search results that they should be coming up in and it might be for a tv commercial and they’re looking for a group of women that can do yoga, but if they haven’t ticked that, they’re just not going to come up in the search.
Now they’re agent is also going to stay in touch with those casting professionals and go oh yeah so and so does that. But chances are the casting director’s also done a search on Showcast before they’ve even picked up the phone or typed an email. So I definitely think if you can fill in as much information as you possibly can, including height, including age spans, sport and athletics and any other professional skills that you have or training you’ve done, I think is hugely beneficial! The biography’s not something that’s supposed to be printed and looked at in pretty way, it’s meant to drive a search engine that allows you to come up as many times as possible in as many searches on any given day.
M: Yeah so the goal for the actor is really to make themselves as easy to find as possible and that’s great what you say as a key thing to understand is that your your biography is there to power a search engine.
D: Yeah it’s not something that we want you to print out and walk around town an hand out, it’s not meant to be that kind of biography your agent usually takes care of that bio and we do have an attachment facility where you can attach like a printed version of that bio, but in terms of what’s driving it, yeah it really needs to be something allows you to come up as much as possible in a really true and honest way. So it doesn’t mean ticking everything just so you come up. If you can’t work in Perth and you can’t get yourself to Perth then don’t say that you can, because chances are you might get called into a casting at 9am tomorrow morning and chances are you’re just going to annoy a casting director because you can’t be there.
M: Perfect and look there might not be an answer to this, but something that I’m curious about because it’s something that we do at the Entrepreneurial Actor is we hold Masterclasses in specialised skills: is there anything like martial arts, horse riding or skateboarding that come up time and time again as interesting and valuable differentiating factors?
D: Yeah look as you said it’s not something I could tell you off of the top of my head, so I couldn’t single out a single thing. But I definitely think if you have a proficiency in anything like that and it shapes your performance or your body type or what you look like, then I definitely think it’s something that should be put on there. And you see particularly TVCs and huge campaigns now, that feature a wide variety of those sort of things that people are doing and people are interested in like free running and all of that sort of stuff. But definitely if it’s something that enhances your performance then I would include it.
M: So two questions in terms of actors and the stage that they’re at and I’ll ask them both together because they might be able to be punched out pretty quickly. One is: Is it worthwhile for non Sydney and Melbourne based actors and the second is how much traction can actor get without an agent on Showcast and what difference does that make in the experience?
D: Definitely yes for non Sydney based actors. We get a lot of stuff happening in Queensland and even Western Australia particularly and you’ll notice a lot of the feature films being shot in Australia often happen up in Queensland or happen over in Western Australia through the Pilbara to get that Iconic Australian look. Then you’ve also got casting directors in Adelaide that are big users of the system like Angela Heesom who did Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2, so yes there’s lots happening in all states of Australia.
The second question in relation to free lance artists, look I think you’re an actor you need be on Showcast, whether your freelance or represented. A lot of the time we will often have a freelance actor or someone who becomes free lance, that will then say to us look I’m not going to renew this year because I’m free lance and I’m just going to look for an agent and wait until then. We’ll get them calling back within twelve weeks, because casting agents are looking for them and can’t find them or when they’re calling agents and trying to seek representation the first thing the agent will do is look at their profile on Showcast and if its not there it sort of makes them look like they’re not necessarily that serious about where they are and what they're doing. I also definitely know that a casting director will phone or email a freelance actor if they come up in a search and they want to see them. it does happen all the time.
The thing I guess about being freelance compared to represented is that your agents job to is to search for work for you. So it does make it that much harder to try and form those connections and relationships with casting directors and stay on their radar when you don’t have someone out there doing that for you as a full time job.
M: For an actor who’s a freelance for an extended period of time or what have you, I’ve had a few people asking and I don’t think this is the case but I’m going to ask anyway because I’m a bit in ignorance town here, but they’re asking whether theres a feature where actors can find out what auditions are available and apply via Showcast. Because it seems very much that casting directors come to you, you can’t go in search of them?
D: It very much is. It very much is like that. And it’s not something that we’re trying to put a little box around and say this is how it has to be, we encourage casting directors to include freelance artists in those briefs and things like that. Our system isn’t a broadcast service where a posting goes up and everyone can just respond to it. It’s actually a direct communication from the casting director and they choose who they send it to, now that doesn’t just mean do I send it to agents or free lancers they actually have an agents list that they also go through and handpick which agents they wan to receive things, based on what they want their best response to be, because they want to be necessarily inundated with a hundred thousand profiles that they can’t get through. So they do very much target on Showcast and it is very much a part of why casting directors use us, because they know that they can do that and they’re not be inundated with profiles that they wont be able to get through. They can do it on there, but the majority of the time they don’t send direct to freelance. It’s something that we’re always trying to change but because Showcast is predominantly paid, professional, work across feature film, television and TV commercials I think its just one of those trends that’s going to take a long time to turn around.
M: Yeah, so in terms of the actor, the end user, the best thing is just optimisation then?
D: Correct and also to let the casting director know as well that you are there and you are available to work. I think even being part of the system shows them that. So by being a freelance and going oh I won't put my Showcast back on until I’ve got an agent, it really just takes you completely out of the loop. So even when you’re just doing your own marketing and your own emails and things out to casting directors, having that Showcast link on there means they can click on it immediately and go okay yeah they’re still here.
M: Perfect, that’s great advice. Just a few more. I had a question come up through one of our readers, What are some important events, Or workshops with overseas acting coaches/casting professionals that you run that you’ve got coming up?
D: We don’t actually run any of the events that we advertise directly ourselves. So if you’re a member of Showcast you will be on an email list of things that are coming up. But it’s things that come across our desk. Like companies that contact us directly to make offers to our members and if we think its something that’s going to benefit our members then we will release it through the service and often in a way that makes it possible for our members to either go for free, or win spots there, or go at a discounted rate at those masterclasses. So we don’t actually run them ourselves.
In terms of things that are coming up at the moment there’s an Ivana Chubbuck actor/ director masterclass that’s currently available to either book into or you can win a free place to either the Sydney or Melbourne workshop and I believe that’s in January that she’s coming out here but I believe the applications are open now to win a place and all you have to be is be a Showcast member and the details for that are on our website.
M: Last two questions, somebody was interested in how Showcast is differentiating themselves, particularly now since Casting Networks came on the scene?
D: Sure basically Showcast has been trying to differentiate our selves the past fifteen years, independent of casting networks obviously because there’s obviously always been AT2 around, E-caster, Starnow and there’s lots of other startups always vying for actors to join as members. I suppose the biggest difference I would put for us is that, I mean essentially were all trying to do the same thing, we’re all trying to make casting easier, we’re all trying to service the actor, the biggest difference for us is the reputation and the longevity that Showcast has seen in the Australian entertainment industry. Everything that we’ve done and everything that we can continue to do, we always do still with the actor still in the back of our mind. So we try and keep our costs fixed which we’ve done for the last ten years while continuing to improve the service which is no small feat. You know continuing to employ more and more IT staff to put more and more features online, but not charge the actor any extra, so it’s something that we’ve alway done and will continue to do and as I said the relationships that we’ve formed over the course of the last 50 years across Australia and New Zealand that I guess give us that reputation and longstanding that we’ve always had and hopefully continue to have.
M: Great and now the last one this is actually from Greg Apps, and this is very much along his theme of thinking and what he teaches but he’s basically asked In a market place that is being over taken over by digital connectivity, as in the distance between the CD and the actor is the shortest distance it has ever been, where do they see the future? I think specifically in relation to casting and casting websites like Showcast how are you going to stay relevant?
D: Yeah look I think he’s exactly right in what he says in that connectivity is getting shorter and shorter and the time frame that you have to connect is also getting shorter and shorter. So as I was saying they want to be quick and want to be efficient, so it definitely is correct in what he’s saying. I think the future is going to be dictated by the speed of the internet and I mean we’ve done a lot of work on audition software in the last couple of years and we’ve got casting directors using that. Its still looking like self testing and live streaming of auditions is where the industries going to be going in the immediate future. So rather than a casting director necessarily having to have a studio, they’ll be able to self testing and also live stream there own sessions to clients anywhere in the world. Whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen. But I definitely think its going to be something that rather than necessarily appearing in person you might honestly be appearing on screen much more often.
M: Okay great. Sorry I’ve just had one last thought. In terms of a great Showcast profile, something that gets you noticed on the regular. Is there anything that you haven't mentioned thus far, that works as a positive differentiating factor, in terms of media, in terms of choice of photos things like that?
D: Yeah I think today regardless of the technology I think a good clear photo is always hugely important. Media is always an interesting one because I think the media is important if it’s good. And I think if you’ve got something to show. So I think a lot of people panic about there media and whether they should put it on or shouldn’t put it on. I think if you’ve got something together, I think its worth putting it up there. The other thing is I think today people don’t need to spend a ton of money cutting their showreels together like they used to. We also offer credit clips on the site, which allows an actor to put on 60-90 second of a production that they’ve been in and link it directly to credit that’s on their biography. So a casting director can jump straight to that point and start watching, rather than having to watch a 3-5 minute showreel. Its something that the Americans are always asking for and really interested in. It also means that the actor doesn’t need to constantly cut in new work to their showreel as frequently as they used to. They can have their showreel up their and link to new credits without having to cut that new work into their showreel immediately.
M: So those credit clips is it best that they are like 30 seconds long?
D: No they can be as long as they want, we don't put a time limit on them. We do recommend 30-90 seconds, because it is meant to be a quick clip. We restrict our media by file size rather than file length so as long as it’s under 200 megabytes which is a large file, you can make it as long as you want. The 30-90 seconds is more just a recommendation and more of what we see quite frequently thats the sort of time limit that people are watching before they then close down and then move on to the next piece of media.
M: Yeah great. Well thank you for that and for this whole conversation it’s been very educational, we’ve worked through everything I wanted to get through, it’s be great chatting to you and for you to give us the opportunity too, so thank you for that and look forward to seeing more from Showcast in the future.
I Curated The 8 Best Episodes of the Tim Ferriss Show For Actors and Creatives. Please Enjoy This Pure Goodness
Some of you probably already know that I'm a big fan of Tim Ferriss. As the author of the Four Hour Work week, he's had a hugely positive impact on my life. But his Podcast The Tim Ferriss Show, where he interviews and deconstructs world class performers took my appreciation to whole other level. Through Tim's interviews; I've heard pearls of wisdom from amazing people and some of the worlds best artists as if they were sitting down in my living room, personally mentoring me. For that I can't thank him enough and today I want to pass that onto you.
The following is a list of the 8 episodes of Tim's show that I think 99% of creative people will love to listen to. From here on out, most of the text is straight from Tim's site with a dash of editing by me. If you've got a morning commute, go running or just want to feed your mind do yourself a favour give these a listen, you'll be soaking in some of the best conversations on the web.
Comedy’s Dynamic Duo, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
This episode features a dynamic duo. Seth Rogen (@SethRogen) and Evan Goldberg (@EvanDGoldberg) Together, they get into a lot of mischief and create amazing comedy.
In December 2014, Rogen and Goldberg’s film, The Interview, became the most-talked-about news story around the world. Under extremely difficult circumstances, the film persevered to become Sony Pictures’ #1 digital title of all time.
In this conversation, they discuss all manner of tactics and silliness, including:
• Kyokushin karate
• Their writing process
• Who are the most underrated comedians and comedy writers?
• How Superbad got made… after they first drafted it around age 13
• The movie they both wish they’d written
• Common pot mistakes
• Recommended newb pot for working versus relaxing
• Will there be a McLovin spinoff?
• And much more…
The “Wizard” of Hollywood, Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) is a film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, and musician. While a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, Rodriguez wrote the script for his first feature film while he was a paid subject in a clinical experiment at a drug research facility. That paycheck covered the cost of shooting his film.
Rodriguez went on to write, produce, and direct a series of successful films including, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, and Machete, among many others.
Whitney Cummings on Turning Pain Into Creativity
“In order for art to imitate life, you have to have a life.”
– Whitney Cummings
Whitney Cummings (@whitneycummings) is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and producer. She is the executive producer and co-creator of the Emmy nominated CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, which was recently picked up for a fifth season.
She has headlined with comics including Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, and others. In the episode they cover:
Brené Brown on Vulnerability and Home Run TED Talks
Dr. Brené Brown (@BreneBrown) is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past 13 years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is the author of two #1 New York Times bestsellers: Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection. Her brand-new book is titled Rising Strong. In it, she writes, “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This is a book about what it takes to get back up.”
Hit Filmmaker Jon Favreau’s Techniques and Routines
Jon Favreau made his feature film directorial debut with Made, which he also wrote and produced. He established himself as a writer with the iconic cult hit Swingers, in which he starred. Other directing credits include Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Cowboys & Aliens, Elf, Zathura, and Chef, which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in.
This episode goes deep into everything --
– How did he get started?
– What role did Dungeons and Dragons play?
– What made Swingers unique, and how was Elf an inflection point?
– What are the creative (and control) choices he made in Chef and why?
– What are his writing techniques, routines, and tools?
– And much, much more.
Amanda Palmer on How to Fight, Meditate, and Make Good Art
Amanda Palmer, first came to prominence as one half of the internationally acclaimed punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls.
You may have seen her surprise hit TED presentation, “The Art of Asking,” which has been viewed more than 6 million times. But her story goes much deeper, and, in this conversation, Tim delves into her routines, habits, creative process, relationships, business models, and more.
Her new book is aptly titled The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. She made international news when she raised nearly $1.2 million pre-selling her new album, using both “direct-to-fan” and “pay what you want” (patronage) business models to build and run her business. It’s a brilliant conversation. Enjoy.
Tim Ferriss Interviews Arnold Schwarzenegger on Psychological Warfare (And Much More)
In this episode, Tim interviews the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger… They dig into lessons learned, routines, favourite books, and much more, including many stories I’ve never heard anywhere else.
As a starting point, we cover:
• The Art of Psychological Warfare, and How Arnold Uses It to Win
• How Twins Became His Most Lucrative Movie (?!?)
• Mailing Cow Balls to Politicians
• How Arnold Made Millions — Fresh Off The Boat — BEFORE His Acting Career Took Off
• How Arnold Used Meditation For One Year To Reset His Brain
• And Much More…
How Renegade Filmmaker Casey Neistat Breaks Rules, Reinvents Himself, and Gets Thanked For It
Casey Neistat (@caseyneistat) is a New York-based filmmaker. His online films have been viewed more than 50,000,000 times in the last 3 years.
He won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards for the film Daddy Long Legs. His main body of work consists of dozens of short films he has released exclusively on the Internet, including regular contributions to the New York Times critically acclaimed Op-Docs series.
Casey is excellent at breaking every rule imaginable and having people (fans, sponsors, big brands, etc.) thank him for it. In this conversation, we dig into his history, techniques, influences, habits, and more…
Why Acting Isn't Enough, You've Got To Live Too. One Sure Fire Way To Make Yourself More Employable as an Actor.
Put yourselves in the shoes of a casting director for a moment and imagine their conundrum. Project after project, day after day they're on the search for characters and project after project, day after day all they seem to attract is actors.
Actors who come into the room for an audition, ready to deliver "an actor". A well trained, technically proficient performance, that does't deviate from the character brief and is a slave to the script. An actor completely stripped of any and all individuality.
This is a problem, a very serious one - because art cannot imitate life, if the actors employed to imitate it, don't have one. A life that is. They can perform an idea of one, they can research and use empathy to understand what it would be like, but there's no substitute for the real deal. Life experience is like an actors currency. A valuable commodity that makes the owner richer and builds their character.
That's why, as an actor it's so important to invest in yourself. To have stories to tell, to travel and learn skills outside of acting that help shape you as a person and colour your point of view. So when you go into the audition room you stand out, you deliver a person, a rich, multifaceted, detailed, clearly defined character. And you're memorable. Not technically correct, not the same as everyone else. Different, unique, with your own voice.
But this problem isn't isolated to the audition room, it affects the communications we have well before then as well. Think of the percentage of emails sent to agents and casting directors that start with the sentence: "Hi, [agent], my name's [your name] and I'm an actor." If you, like me, put that number in the high nineties, you can see the problem. There's nothing remarkable about telling an agent you're an actor, big whoop, you and everyone else that's emailed me lately. You need more differentiation than that.
On the other hand, if you were to meet someone at an industry event that had just come back from three months mountaineering in South America, or volunteering as a PA shadowing a prominent startup entrepreneur, or from a weekend bootcamp with a former member of the Australian SAS. They'd have some stories to tell, some life experience and some instant, magnetic, character.
Ask yourself the question - what can you say about yourself, other than the fact that you're an actor? If somebody was to ask what else is there to know about you what can you say? If the answers are slim, it may be time to dive into learning some new hobbies, I'm not saying stop training your acting muscle, continue that by all means and keep it fit, but remember to keep adding strings to your bow. Conversation starters and points of interest for a casting director or agent. If you're able to talk about a project that they've done or are doing, and relate it to a skill that you have like, say you took a course you took on how to dismantle and reassemble an AK-47 blindfolded.
If you've read one of our early articles on "Embracing your Niche" you know that you can't be all things to all people, but if you look around, you may well find that your peers are trying to do exactly that, pitching themselves as an everyman. An actor for all seasons. In marketing terms it's like pitching yourself as the Kmart of actors. You can find everything here, not much of it's high quality, but it's available. But If you find a niche, a small group of characters that suit you to a tee and develop skills that sell those characters, then whether your marketing yourself as a Lamborghini dealer or a BCF, as a lulu lemon or a tree of life, it's a hell of a lot better than being a Kmart, because when I need that specialty item, I'm coming to you and if the products good, I'll rave about you.
This way of thinking is exactly what inspired the idea behind our first Entrepreneurial Actor masterclass THE STORY OF THE FIGHT. Did you know that:
Insights From One Of Sydney's Brightest Young Independent Producers On: Acting, Producing and Workhorse Theatre Company.
Troy Harrison is the Artistic Director of Sydney's acclaimed, independent Workhorse Theatre Company. Their last production, Stephen Adly Guirgis' -'The Motherf**ker with the Hat' was nominated for Best Independent Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards. And off the back of that success, they were invited to remount the production as a part of the inaugural season at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Troy some questions on what it's like to be an actor, producing your own work and running your own theatre company. I now have the pleasure of sharing his answers with you here, so check it out:
M: Hey Troy, huge thanks for chatting with us, first of all, can you tell us what you're working on at the moment?
T: We are currently working on getting our own theatre space. The plays that we have coming up have not yet been launched so will have to let you know at a later date.
M: How many hats do you wear on a regular basis? ie producer, actor, writer, director.
T: Actor, producer, film writer and am just starting to get into the directing side of things. I also teach acting at the Actors Centre Australia and a few other places.
M: So out of those which roles have you loved since the very beginning and which have you had to learn to love over time?
T: I always loved acting. Always. I love writing, although it can be the most frustrating of all the hats I wear. I am yet to direct anything outside of when I'm teaching but have a feeling I am going to love it.
I had to learn to like producing, it s a lot of hours and really hard work being an indie producer for film or theatre. Until you have tried producing you have no idea of the time and effort involved.
M: What have been the most significant, tide changing events of your career to this point as an actor, then as a producer?
T: As an actor there have been 2 quite impactful points. Working with Larry Moss the very first time he came to Australia changed my whole attitude to my career. You had to submit to be a part of it and being chosen along with some of the country's best actors and holding my own amongst them gave me a lot of confidence. The next was playing the lead role of Jackie in The Motherf**ker with the Hat. All the pieces of all the work and study I have done over the years just seemed to fall into place with this character and play. I was very proud of the work I did in that production.
As a producer it was by far making our first production happen. Like I said it was a lot of work and the fact that we had such a successful first production built our belief that we could produce a high standard of work.
M: What was the story or the steps that took place that lead you to that moment. Could you tell us that story?
T: As an actor I truly feel that every moment leads to the next and it all just came together for Motherf**ker. You never stop learning. I love that.
As a producer, We started as a group of actors who just wanted to get together on a regular basis to work on scripts and to challenge each other. Pretty quickly we decided that we were putting so much time and energy into what we were doing that we should look at putting on a night of our work. Even quicker we decided to give ourselves a name and to do it properly. So we became Workhorse Theatre Company and have never looked back.
M: What has been the biggest impasse in your career so far? Something that made continuing seem futile.
T: Right now it's a lack of theatre space in Sydney. It is so stupid that there is not a venue that is there for emerging artists to showcase their work. Everywhere these days is curated, Sydney is in dire need of more affordable indie theatre spaces. It's really tough.
M: What was the biggest thing you learnt from that experience?
T: You want a space... go get your own.
M: What was the first show you produced?
T: It was the Australian premiere of Sheila Callaghan's THAT PRETTY PRETTY; OR, THE RAPE PLAY.
It did very well for us.
M: If you could speak to the version of yourself that produced that show what would you tell them?
T: Remember to take your producer hat off earlier each night before the show and put your actor hat on.
M: What do you wish an older wiser version of yourself would explain to you now?
T: That it'll all be worth it. Keep going.
M: Who have been some of your best mentors to this point?
T: We have very much created this company from scratch on our own. We've had help, guidance and support from some people like Mitchell Butel and Adam Cook but it has mostly been driven from us wanting to create something great. We have learned along the way. Trial by fire as they say.
M: What advice would you give to would be first time producers looking to create their own work in Sydney?
T: It depends on what you're wanting to do. If you're looking to just put a play because you want to act in something on or if you really want to create a theatre company. Because they are two really different things. If you just want to act in something then my best advice would be to get your team (actors, director, designers) and just do it. Find a venue, rehearse and just do it. The best advice we were given first up was to invest in a publicist. If you don't it'll just be family and friends turing up to see your work.
If you're wanting to build a Theatre Company then you need to realise that you are setting up a business. You need to treat it as such.
Bank accounts, taxation, business status with the government, setting up an ABN, registering your business name etc.... and that's just the start from there you need to look at your business structure: for profit, not-for-profit, gaining DGR status all which will decide if you can apply for grants or ask for tax deductable donations. There's a lot that goes into setting yourselves up as a company so if that's what you'd really like to do then be ready for long nights. It's a business. And then you still need to produce your productions.
M: When you've had great audiences for season of your shows, what have you seen as the major driving factors for that success ? Well known text? Any specific marketing strategies? Reviews? How have you gotten people through the doors early?
T: People will always come to see good work. You don't need to choose known text but you need to set yourselves a very high bar for the standard of work. Especially being a new company. You'll get known for your standard very quickly so aim high. This includes only casting yourself in a role if you are right for that role. You need to forget your ego and cast yourselves right.
Our first production wasn't a known play but we had great reviews and word of mouth from the production was also a big driving force. From there it's continuing to grow and become known for that standard of work. People need to trust you as a company and the only way to do that is to continually produce a high standard of work.
We made sure to get a publicist because it's no good putting on great work if noone sees it.
We did a lot of ticket giveaways for the first week of the run just to get the maximum amount of people through the doors as word of mouth is your best friend.
There's a lot more to it than all that I've written but it's a good place to start. You'll figure it all out as you go along.
And that's a wrap. Thanks so much for reading guys, please join me in thanking Troy Harrison for taking the time to provide his valuable insights and leadership on such an important element of what we do as artists which is of course create our own work! If you'd like to follow the Workhorse Theatre Company Story or get in touch with Troy himself you can check them out on FB at https://www.facebook.com/workhorsetheatrecompany?fref=ts or Twitter @workhorsetc As always, work smart, think big and keep chasing your goals. Thanks Guys.
Must Read Pearls of Wisdom From The 2015 Emmy Nominated, Drama Actresses - Best Of The Hollywood Reporter Round Tables.
Every year The Hollywood Reporter treat us to a fantastic series of interviews with actors and actresses in the lead up to award season. My favourite thus far needless to say was when the emmy nominated actresses Viola Davis, Taraji P Henson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lange and Ruth Wilson came together and shed some genuine pearls of wisdom. I've curated that content and brought the absolute best of it too you here. Read on :)
On feeling like you want to quit
“I think I felt that way before I even got started, because I didn’t know how to get in (to the industry). The only thing I had was a desire and people thought I had talent. But then what? How do you get a job? How do you audition? You know how to be an accountant. You got to school, you study, you do all of that… And then I was like how am I going to make a living. I didn’t come from people who could pay my bills and then (chuckles) and then I majored in English and I said I could become a teacher until, I realised I’d make a really bad teacher…(on overcoming these obstacles) I dove, I think that when your passion and your drive is bigger than your fears is when you just dive… I’ve been on my last unemployment cheque, no way to pay my bills after that and you stay in it, because you know that’s an occupational hazard.” - Viola Davis
“Early on when I first started coming out of drama school was quite tough. You’re going up for every audition and you're going for things you’d never want to go for, but you have to, and early on I got rejected so often that I gave myself two years and if I didn’t act in two years, I knew that I wasn't good enough… You have to find someone who's going to take a risk on you, early on.”
- Ruth Wilson
“There have definitely been times when Ive realised that I don’t have any sort of real education or skills in any other area so I have to make this work or I’m on the street.” - Lizzy Caplan
“She says something in it, where she says; a lot of people think acting is pretending or like lying or something like that, but that actually, even though on some level it is, obviously, like you’re saying you’re not actually a falconer, but it’s actually telling the truth.” - Maggie Gyllenhaal
“I find it very therapeutic, you know I’ve healed myself through characters and you know dark places you have to reach to go, to find the emotional place for that particular character your portraying and then you come out the other side of it and you try to reach for the tears and it’s like I don’t feel about it that way anymore, I’m healed.” - Taraji P Henson
“It’s that element of surprise that they talk about all the time in acting, I use that a lot, because I like leaving myself alone now, I love it. Because what I do is, I ask myself a question; “Why does this scene have to be that way? Why do I have to say the line like that? I’ll say it completely different. If I’m supposed to be screaming it, I’ll say it calm. And through that is a period of surprise and discovery where I find that the scene will take me to a place that’s far more interesting than I possibly could’ve imagined when I was sitting in my living room.” - Viola Davis
“It was a heated moment and I didn’t know the fucking lines and I panicked… And they kept on saying are you ready? I was like give me five minutes, just let me… and there was a, the storm was about to happen and then all of a sudden a calm came over me, I said; Girl, you’ve been doing this too long, you’ve got this! You know where you are, you’re a mother. What happens when you go to the FBI and want help and they’re not helping you? Now you go in there!…So when I went it there, it came to life. And I just started doing things that maybe I wouldn’t have seen, if I’d structured it the night before.” - Taraji P Henson
“Look I was never the actress who was like asked to be the hot girl who just took her clothes off on her first day of work, I wasn’t. I never had that. I always, whenever I was doing nudity there was always something else that the scene was about. I wasn’t totally objectified in that way… But I am interested in… what a woman my age actually looks like and how is that hot? And actually, I am much more turned on when I see shows, where peoples bodies look like bodies I recognise.” - Maggie Gyllenhaal
“I’ve had to do a couple of sex scenes in “How to Get Away With Murder… And I just allowed myself to feel uncomfortable… I’m not going to talk myself out of it…I mean I am just a human being, at the end of the day, Okay and I’m doing something very private in public and the nerves and the insecurities I feel is a part of Annalise, I cannot will her to be made of teflon before she dives on top of a very hot looking guy.” - Viola Davis
On Type Casting
“What is a type? What does sexy look like? What does sexy feel like? How is it played out…When you get these roles you automatically fall into it. Of what you've kind of seen in TV and Film. But you never really go to the truth of what it actually means to be sexy. I have found that in this point in my life that I know longer want to do that I reject that notion.” - Viola Davis
“But do you ever find that you get a part and if you get attention for that part then lots of people offer you things just like that? But then the person who doesn’t offer you that, somebody who like sees through that and says ‘ do you want to play this part?’ My experience is that is the part I need to play now.” - Maggie Gyllenhaal
“Don’t you think in some strange kind of… not to sound to kind of psychedelic or anything, that like parts come to you at a certain moment in your life. It’s almost like a learning experience. Like the universe has presented you with: okay now you, your father just died, so you’re now going to have this period of time where you are going to work on, or you, you know you’re in a crisis here or a relationship, so here’s a way to kind of move through something… to maybe learn something, to experience it and I always think that, that’s the best work that you do.” Jessica Lange
“Now I see the new actor emerging who only picks the role that they think that they deserve. So that they’re not out there, like in the fields, discovering; you know what, I did this role, I did it this way, it didn’t work, so then they’ll go to a regional theatre gig, or a broadway gig or an off broadway gig, or a bad after school special on tv and after years of experience, they develop a way of working. Now they want to be Denzel Washington right away!” - Viola Davis
“It breeds a different kind of actor than the one that got that big part fresh out of the gate. And there are those stories, people love those stories. Oh She came straight from acting school and look now she’s the star of this movie. (interjection: Lupita, Lupita’s a perfect example) I think everybody, I certainly had that, that’s going to happen to me, obviously, and it so didn’t happen to me, and for a while that was tough to swallow. But I’m so grateful that I had to do it that way, that I had to scrape my way up.” - Lizzy Caplan
“All of the roles that I really want to play I’m producing… I want to feel like my past counts for something. I’ve been doing it for 27 years. I’ve been performing in basements of churches, off broadway, on broadway, I’ve got two tony awards. I want the work to reflect my level of gifts and talent. I don’t want it to reflect my colour, or my sex, or my age. That’s what I want.” - Viola Davis
For The whole round table interview you can see it here
The Best Actors Are Just Kids Who Never Grew Up - 5 Bulletproof Techniques For Embracing Your Inner Child.
There’s nothing quite as charming as the face of a smiling child.
Joyful, unquestionably optimistic and filled with an open, generous nature. A child is both vulnerable and powerful all at the same time.
As we get older things happen to us, we can close off, put up walls, develop limiting beliefs about; our worth, our purpose, how deserving we are of love, even what kind of a person we are. It’s so important to remind yourself that at the end of the day, all of that is just an illusion. That’s not to say the consequences of thinking those thoughts aren’t real. Because our thoughts are what determine our reality.
Thoughts are things.
To play to the crowd here for a moment, a wise man named Shakespeare once wrote “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” That is to say; our minds are powerful things. Much more complex than any smart phone or tablet. Our minds have the power to manifest both positively or negatively and a thought is all it takes.
In a recent workshop I did with one of Australia’s leading casting directors; Greg Apps, he made the point to challenge us by asking: “tell me the name of an A-list actor who doesn’t flirt?” Can you come up with a genuine answer? Someone said Danny Devito, but the response of the group was no, no, he probably flirts more than he should.
And if you ask me, I think that it all comes back to charm. That unguarded, childlike, fearless charm that’s so magnetic to watch on screen and in real life. You see, kids love danger, they’re so often at their most charming when they know they’ve done something wrong and the stakes couldn't be higher. If you’ve ever seen the viral video of: the Dad who found his two sons completely covered in paint, you know what I mean. The Dad completely loses his disciplinarian act when his son makes him crack up laughing by trying to manipulate his brother's answers to their Dad's interrogation. Even better is when he follows it up by asking “what’s funny Daddy?” followed by a little chuckle.
Watch it here.
As actors we need that. That trouble maker, that charming little rascal, we can’t let the dull routine of everyday life get us down or dowse the twinkle in our eye. Therefore I suggest you don't waste another minute of your precious time. Do what pleases you, be curious, adopt a gameful mindset and take on the adventure of life. Look at the world in wide eyed wonderment and explore it as if for the first time.
Watch Hook and see Robin Williams begin to believe as the lost boys say “It is you Peter, it is you!” and don’t let your little spark of madness go out.
These are a few of the little techniques I recommend to help encourage and bring out your inner child and that infectious sense of play.
At the end of the day it’s not the most practical advice. Adults wearing suits certainly wouldn’t condone it. Baby boomers might say it was immature and I’m sure no relationship counsellor could get behind the 'flirt as much as you can for the good of your acting' technique. Somehow though, I don’t think that’d stop our little kids from trying… and after they’d looked at you with those bright, sparkly eyes and cheeky grin, could we really hold it against them?
What are your thoughts? Do you have something you do to embrace your inner child? If you found this helpful, remember to join up for Premium content and insider news.
And if you're keen to embrace your inner child in your work, maybe try giving Script Gym a go.
Film and Theatre Actor Based in Sydney. Creator of Script Gym. Lover of Stories.