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HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ACTOR
Seems like a given, doesn't it? But I can't tell you the number of people that go out to Hollywood, or in Calgary, thinking that all they need to do is get a job as a waiter at some popular restaurant, meet a talent agent, get "discovered" and then it's nothing but champagne and caviar from there. Uh...no.
Acting is first and foremost a craft. The best of the Hollywood and great Calgary actors understand this and no matter how far they have come in their careers, they are constantly looking to improve upon their craft. They take classes, work with acting and dialogue coaches, they study life experiences, etc. They know full well that even after a lifetime of work and study, they may never reach absolute perfection.
So, for you, it's imperative that you take a wide variety of acting classes. Work in a wide variety of styles with as many different groups of people that you can find. Try it all. From Shakespeare to improv to scene study to audition technique -- the more you know, the more professional you'll be and ultimately, the better prepared you'll be for whatever roles come your way
Step 2: Do What it Takes
No, that doesn't mean what you think it means. Don't worry about the "casting couch." But you must be willing to do what it takes for the sake of your craft. You might ultimately have to sacrifice certain aspects of your life to ensure that you will have success as a working Hollywood actor.
You must take the time to master your craft. If that means sacrificing a relationship or a few friendships along the way, so be it. I know that sounds rather harsh, but acting is not a 9-5 job by any stretch.
If you're lucky enough to land a role in a major film or television production, realize that this is not the glamorous Hollywood job you might've thought it would be.
It's a lot of work, often 14-20 hours per day, in all kinds of conditions and at least initially, for not much money.
Even actors who make millions of dollars per picture still must "work" to earn their keep. They are on location for months at a time and every day they commit themselves both emotionally and physically to their roles. It can be extremely exhausting. You must prepare yourself both mentally and physically for this type of challenge.
It's one of the many reasons why Hollywood stars have trainers, psychologists, plastic surgeons, nutritionists and divorce attorneys at their beck and call. Their job is hardly an easy job.
Hollywood is all about helping those you know because they might one day be in a position to help you as well. So, you need to remember this steadfast rule -- be nice to everyone. From agents' assistants to fellow cast members to whomever you meet in Hollywood. Remember, that assistant you treated poorly two years ago might one day become a casting director, film producer, talent agent or whatever. And trust me, they'll remember those who stomped on their toes on their way up the ladder.
Conversely, they'll remember those who were nice the whole way up, and they'll be that much more inclined to help them achieve their own goals.
Regardless of what you may think of improvisation theater, it is one skill that most actors that I've worked with count on in a time of need. Especially for you theater actors who might be stuck with someone who freezes midway through their lines.
Beyond a crisis situation, improv is one of the few styles of acting where you have absolute freedom to discover what things you're good at, and which things could use some work.
As one actor friend told me, "improv is a way to discover your range as an actor while at the same time, it forces you to explore new territory while having to commit wholeheartedly to the situation at hand."
So, where you can find an improv class, consider adding it to your repertoire.
We've all seen those actors who seem to constantly be working in a particular range of roles. For years, Clint Eastwood epitomized the "tough guy" image, Meg Ryan, the "cutesy, girl next door" even Tom Hanks was once the "goofy, nice guy." These actors made their name playing certain roles because they found a range they made work for them and stuck with it.
But then, as many of the better actors will often do, they decided to challenge themselves and break through the mold that audiences, producers, and their agents had put them in.
Initially, it's somewhat important to find a range that works for you. It helps people (meaning, casting directors) know who you are and often when you're starting out, it's those memories that get you paid work.
But that doesn't mean you stop developing as an actor. Use the character traits you've discovered to get yourself working. But continue to learn new facets of your personality. From voice characterization to exploring a wide variety of acting techniques. You will find that everything you learn in the acting realm will be put to use someday.
There is one general rule in Hollywood -- talent won't get you there, but persistence just might. If you are a dog with a bone, then Hollywood is the town for you. Those who are gritty and willing to give it their all day in and day out will have a much greater chance of success than the Julliard-trained actor who waits around in his apartment for an opportunity to come knocking.
The trick is, you have to get out there. Meet people and let them know what you are doing. It's essential to your success.
Rare is the true "overnight success." Sure, there are those actors that seem completely unknown one day, only to dominate the limelight the next. But the reality is that there were years of hard work and preparation that led them to that "sudden discovery."
Hollywood is a strange town. There are actors who have been working for decades when all the sudden, they're in a role that gets a bit of attention and suddenly, they're famous.
Patience is not only a virtue in Hollywood; it's an absolute must to keep from going insane. So develop your patience and you will enjoy the process of rising to stardom that much more even if you never end up getting there. talent agency casting calls Calgary
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