Actors Writing Your own Material

The biggest mistake most actors make is leaving it to their agent to establish a career for him or her. Then there is the smaller percentage of go-getters who know very well that the agent is only responsible for 10 percent of their work – so they create or write their own opportunities. This way they can have much more of a say in what they actually want to “design” in terms of their creative participation and ultimate success.


This goes all the way back to the days of Charlie Chaplin in the 1920s and Mae West in the 1930s, when they were the most powerful people in Hollywood at the time. Mae West was considered very risqué in her day but she didn’t need permission from anyone to do “anything” she wanted.

Some other standouts who have created star making vehicles for themselves are Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel – to name just a few. Every heard of any of these guys?? Seriously, who else would have made Woody Allen a movie star but Woody Allen?! He created a brilliant way to do whatever he darn well pleases and not have to answer to anyone – ever. With complete creative control, Woody still makes one movie a year. And the good news to all “maturing talent” in show biz – is that some of his latest masterpieces like “Midnight in Paris” and “Blue Jasmine” – are amongst his best work in his 40-something year career.

Fortunately, female writer/performers have finally burst into the “Hollywood Big Guns” scene in a fierce way, starring in film and television gems they have created for themselves and the people they want to PLAY with. Tina Fey established herself mightily as the first female Head Writer for Saturday Night Life, which helped pave the way for Loren Michaels to produce the big hit she penned (and also co-starred in) – the clever box office champ, “Mean Girls”. The next thing you know, she is writing, producing and starring in the highly acclaimed and award winning “30 Rock.” Then more movies… Plus co-hosting the Golden Globes with another female dynamo – Amy Poehler.

Kristen Wiig parlayed her hilarious (and brilliantly written) romps on SNL into the hysterically funny “Bridesmaids”, which turned out to a huge hit! And you’re never too young to get started. Lena Dunham was 19 and 20 years old when she wrote, directed and starred in some award winning short films, which then paved the way for her enormous success as writer, star and often time director of the brilliant series “Girls” on HBO.

You might be saying, “But I’m not a writer.” My answer to that is, “How do you know? Nobody is a writer until they write something!” I have three thriving mastermind groups and I would say that nine out of the ten people in each of my groups are either former or current actors who want to create their own opportunities.

Across the board, I have found that actors are most often brilliant writers because you are very sensitive people and you are keenly interested in human behavior. Plus you have a deep desire to be freely expressed and you have a great imagination that you like to “use”. You love to observe people and emulate interesting behavior. You dive deep and you’re passionate people. These are all qualities of a great writer!

So, my goal here is to plant some seeds so that you’ll be inspired to create your own “ticket to ride”… And it’s never been a better time in the history of show business to do that. Because of the Internet and social media – as well as advancements in technology – you can now buy quality video cameras that create beautiful high definition for very little expense. Plus, if you are fortunate enough to have a Mac or more advance PC with editing capabilities, you can shoot, star in and edit your own short (or full length) films, web series, talk shows, sketches and stand-up comedy highlights. And then gain an entire fan base on You Tube with your own channel! It’s so much easier now to create and edit your own masterpieces, than what was available to the average person just a few years ago… The possibilities to create and share your unique expression – is ENDLESS.

Now it’s time to ask yourself seven questions:

  1. What is unique or outstanding about me that I can enjoy sharing for my own and others entertainment?
  2. What subjects fascinate me?
  3. What characters do I want to explore, dive into, behave like or interact with?
  4. What ironies of Life would I like to contemplate and find humor in?
  5. What quirks or personal flaws do I have that I can have some FUN with?
  6. What strengths or expertise do I have that I can inspire or entertain others with?
  7. Who are the people that I would like to create and PLAY with?

PLEASE NOTE: It’s so important to align yourself with other creative comrades whose talent you admire and whose company you enjoy, so that you can inspire and motivate each other while you create something fabulous together. If you look at the stars I talked about earlier, whether it be Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller or Jason Segel, they keep playing with the same cast of characters! They keep making movies together and they have a ball doing it. They also have a better chance of success when they band together and so will you.

In the next video, I’ll share more great tips about how to create your own opportunities with more information about web series, YouTube and the best equipment for the lowest price.

And I encourage you take advantage of the wealth of information available to you on MasterTalentTeachers.com. It will greatly support you in all this.

For more information about Minda Burr’s Writing Mastermind Groups and Private Coaching go to: www.mbwritingworkshop.com or Call: 310-923-2726

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7 Responses to “Actors Writing Your own Material”

  1. Todd October 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Great video! I am working on this very thing myself!

  2. Larry Boggs October 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Thank you Minda! This whole subject has been percolating with me for awhile now. After seeing your great videos, you’ve got me that much more motivated to create my own projects. I sure wish I lived in LA so I could study with you. Your writing mastermind groups sound just like something I need.

  3. Greg & Eva October 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Very enlightening and encouraging video. Thanks Minda for your generous information!

  4. CJ Schepers October 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Great inspiration, Minda. Yes, I feel like actors have a fantastic edge on writing their own material — for all the reasons you point out!

  5. Bill Wade October 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    My favorite MTT presented me with seven questions that serve as an addendum to an academic and intellectual template for self analysis. Thanks for the ideas.

  6. John Burke October 18, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    Excellent reminder that the source of our power, creativity and inspiration lies WITHIN and is not reliant on others! Never want to forget that little nugget —

  7. Barbara October 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Your information, insights, and expertise empower artists to believe in the gifts they have to share with the world.Thank you for your words of encouragement and inspiration!

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