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Kids & Teens: How to Dress for an Audition

How to Dress for an Audition

Today we’re going to discuss a big topic of concern all actors face. The number one question we hear when actors come in for private acting coaching or to our acting school in Los Angeles is, “What do I wear?!”

The best way to answer this question is by first focusing on what NOT to wear. The casting director doesn’t want to come into a waiting area that looks like a Halloween store exploded! If an 8 to 10 year old girl is called in to audition for the role of a fairy, there’s no need to go full Tinkerbell. Leave the wands and the wings at home, little ladies. What the casting director wants is far simpler and much less expensive than going to a costume shop every time you have an audition.

Here’s what you need to know about audition ensembles: whenever you go into a character specific audition (i.e. fairy, space camp kid, soccer player, etc.) all you need is a HINT of the character. Little fairies wear sparkly shirts; space camp kids have jackets with a spacey looking patch; and soccer players wear jerseys (leave the cleats on the field!). I think you get the picture.

One thing we tell our students in our kids acting classes and acting classes for teens, is that casting directors have already seen your headshots, so they know what you look like even before you step into their office. Don’t distract him or her with complex costumes or over the top outfits.

As for non-character specific auditions, always wear a color that compliments your skin tone, hair shade, and eye color. If you don’t know what colors look good on you, ask a friend, a parent, a sibling. Also, a great way to boost your confidence is to wear a color that makes you feel good! Just make sure to stay away from the following colors: black, white, grey or red. These colors don’t translate well on camera. Black makes everything look dull, white can blow out the camera lighting, no one ever remembers grey and red tends to do funny things to skin tones and camera settings.

Now that you know how to look your best, go out there and break a leg!

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When is the Best Time to Come to LA for Pilot Season?

Every weekend Agents and Managers are traveling to some city scouting for new kids and teens for pilot season. The top kids Agents will look at from 100 to 300 kids every week from now through the end of January. These are the brightest kids from around the country with parents who can afford expensive weekend jaunts to L.A. They are ready to come to Hollywood for early Pilot Season, meaning October, November and December. The green lighted projects begin casting these pilots early because they want the best actors – first! Every single top kids Agent and Manager will meet wonderful, cute kids with parents who will do what it takes to make it in Hollywood! The competition is fierce, so what can you do if you are not able to travel to Hollywood? Or, what can you do to compete with the kids and teens coming in if you are already an L.A. actor?

What can you do to help your child or teen compete?

  1. Encourage your child to build skills on a regular basis by staying in acting classes and private coaching. On-going training is the foundation for a successful Acting career. It essential to be on top of your game so you are ready to shine when you get those big auditions.
  2. Make sure your child is known to as many casting offices as possible by bringing your child to our Casting Director workshops to develop relationships with casting directors. This also includes sending postcards and booking announcements. Make sure Casting Directors know you are in the game! Developing and nurturing relationships with Casting Directors is vital for success in this industry.
  3. With early pilot season here and your Agent has over 1000 kids to represent; it is up to you to make sure that you don’t let them forget your child. It is vital to take proactive action by keeping your child on the top of the Agents list. This does not mean that you bombard your representation with unnecessary calls and emails; but keep in touch with them. If there’s a part that you feel you are right for, make sure they are sending you out for it. Don’t get lost in the shuffle.
  4. Surround yourself with a strong team! This includes your reps, coaches, and family. Without a strong team, you are a lone ranger and not the professional team player it takes to succeed.
To enroll in a class with Diane call 818.523.8283 or email actupdi@gmail.com
www.DianeChristiansen.com
www.ScenesforTeensBook.com
Interview with Carol Goldwasser part 3

Interview with CD Carol Goldwasser, Part 3

This is the final installment of my 3 part “In the Moment” interview with Award Winning Disney casting Director, Miss Carol Goldwasser. The wonderful thing about Carol’s insights in this interview that separate her from others, is her realistic approach to working with and getting the most from child actors. Not that her comments aren’t relevant to actors of all ages. It’s nice to know that she sees the extra special care needed when drawing out the best performances from kids and teens. Especially when the child actors and teen actors are often the most free. Enjoy the interview. I know I did.

Diane: Welcome Carol, it is so good to have you here for the second of our 3 part interview today.

Diane: How is casting Kids and Teens different from casting adults?

Carol: You really have to give them more leeway and more coaching. A question that I get asked a lot when I teach is “would you give that same redirection in an audition room?” And my answer is usually, “it depends on how many people I have in the waiting room and how interested I am.” You really have to give kids the benefit of the doubt. You have to guide them along. Adults, hopefully, have come through a conservatory program or an acting program and will come in having made certain choices; you’re physically right or wrong, or you’re funny, or not the right quality or you are the right quality. I have to be more flexible with kids and lead them by the nose. When you direct them they will understand and take your direction but they don’t necessarily come in with the choices so I have to give them a lot more room to find it. Casting is a compromise as is, it’s not going to be exactly what the producers and writers envision. As a casting director you have to let them know that. Maybe an actor doesn’t have all of the elements of what you envisioned the character to have, but he’s 14! Can we make some adjustments to what he brings in the room? Can we put him with a coach and coach him through the testing process? On one of my pilots we had to do just that. There was an actor that we felt had 80% of the qualities for the role but he definitely needed work on his acting skills because it was a role that required not only acting skills, but singing skills and dancing skills and instrumental skills. We had him work with a coach through the audition process. We really had to take it home. This has happened on more than one project. You really have to work with them to get them there, especially for a series where you are banking on this person’s ability to perform and have the appeal to get the audience. It’s not just one episode. You are trying to build the skill or get them to a place where you see that this is someone who is going to bring viewers in for 3 seasons. It sounds like a very daunting process but it is actually fun! The whole process of playing comedy and learning comedy is a lot of fun. If it’s something that you’re interested in you should take advantage of all the training that’s out there, both online and in person. And you know, jump in and see what you can get from it!

D: I agree! Training, training, training and some more training.

C: Yes! Training is so important. Auditions are pressurized situations and if you are in your class on a weekly basis, when you go in for an audition you think “this is what I do. I say words. I enact a character.” It doesn’t feel as if you’re so invested or freaked out in that one situation because this is what you do on a weekly basis. You’re open to taking direction because it’s what you do in your classes every week.

D: And collaborating and making choices and all of the things that Actors of all ages need to do.

C: Exactly.

D: I want to thank Carol Goldwasser on behalf of all of us because I’m sure that there’s so much that we’ve all learned here today. She’s a wonderful resource for really knowing how to audition for Children’s television. So tune in next time and thank you so much for joining us! We’ll see you at Diane Christiansen Coaching. Give us a call! www.DianeChristiansen.com

Interview with Carol Goldwasser Part 2

Interview with CD Carol Goldwasser, Part 2

After 22 years of teaching and an equal number of years working in the Entertainment Industry, I thought I knew quite a bit about casting. Additionally, we have guest CD’s in for our monthly casting director workshop, Actors Platform, at our studios and we learn a tremendous amount about what goes on in the audition room. But Carol really has some great new information in this interview. Actors of all ages ~ LISTEN UP ~ this one you do not want to miss, because Carol has some very valuable information to share in regards to the casting process that even I didn’t know!!


Diane: Welcome Carol, it is so good to have you here for the second of our 3 part interview today.

Carol: Thank you for having me.

Diane: When a young actor comes in to audition for you, does their talent, their resume or their look matter the most?

Carol: Most of the time, when a young actor, say 5 to 8 years old comes in, because I do have to cast actors that young, their credits don’t matter. They could have only done some print or a commercial, then if I see a talented 5 or 8 year old, as long as they have a look, or a funny personality or a quality that works, then we’ll cast them. When I’m casting teens, 12 to 14, L.A. is a competitive market, and I will look at their resumes to see if they have done any other comedy TV shows in town. I’ll see “Oh, well so and so cast her on this or that, and I will notice” Because there are other Casting Directors in town whose work I respect, and I will take note. But if it’s one line, say a cheerleader, if she has the right look and can execute the line as it was written, then it will be equally about the look and the delivery.

D: What is a NO NO in the casting office?

C: Don’t touch the casting director! I mean, I work with kids and teens of all ages and now and then, a young child will want to give me a hug at the end, I don’t worry about that, that’s harmless. But if sometimes, experienced adult actors come in and get down and start acting out a part of a love scene with me, I’ll be like, “No no, you don’t go kissing the casting director on the ear”. That’s a NO NO! You know, I get asked about my pet peeves a lot. One of mine is when an actor comes in and says, “I just got this”. Which, to me, sounds like me and my office didn’t get it to them in time to adequately prepare. If an actor just got this, then everyone else in the waiting room just got this because WE just got it because the writers did a rewrite overnight. So, everyone’s in the same boat and if an actor comes into a Producers session and says “I just got this”, I have to do an internal eye roll, because the feeling is like a DIS to the casting director. Unfortunately, auditioning is part of the job and preparing on short notice is part of the job and when you get on set, you’ll get revisions every day, so you have to be fast on your feet, that’s what you get paid for. It’s not like theatre, where you get 8 to 10 weeks of rehearsal, you get line when you get to set, and you have to be quick. So, that’s a NO NO.

D: Would you encourage or discourage props at an audition?

C: Most of the time I don’t like them because I feel like it takes away from the actor. If the audition becomes about the coffee cup and not the actor. One exception I would say would be in a phone scene, it’s more distracting to see an actor mime a phone than to use one. Because phone scenes are so common now, that when an actor says “Can I use my phone?’ I say yes because it looks weirder to not use it than not to use it. But don’t bring in any bananas, or Frisbees, or fire hoses!!

D: How do you feel about miming in an audition?

C: As long as I don’t feel like I’m watching Marcel Marceau, I’m fine with it. If people are doing a little bit of business in a scene, to support the scene, then I’m fine with it, as long as they’re finding the balance between the action and the dialogue. It can be distracting when it becomes more about the miming and not the communication. There are certain scenes that seem to require it, I mean, I haven’t worked on anything like this for awhile, but when I was casting Medical dramas and things like that, when there’s a lot of business going on in a scene, it seems like you need to add some movement to make that scene live, whether or not it is a little bit of action or exact movements. If it’s single camera, people become so used to staying in frame, they are very still. We will actually encourage people to enter and exit in and out of frame because when we shoot on set, it’s in front of an audience and we are going to see that actor move and at the audition, if they are framed very tightly, then they get on set and we see them walk, and if that actor walks funny, we’re like “OMG we don’t want to see that”, so I do think it’s important to add some movement in the audition.

Interview with Carol Goldwasser

In the Moment: Interview with Children’s Network Casting Director Carol Goldwasser

Have you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of casting Children’s TV, such as Disney or Nickelodeon shows? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because today we have the Award Winning casting director, Carol Goldwasser, here for Part I of an interview with me, Diane Christiansen, exclusively for Master Talent Teachers.


Carol’s tips for kids, teens and even adult actors are so invaluable if you really want audition advice. She has taught me a thing or two in these interviews that even I didn’t know. You can never stop learning, right?

Diane: Welcome, Carol, it’s so great to have you here, thank you for joining us.
Carol: Thank you for having me.

D: We should get started, because there is a lot that our viewers and readers want to know about casting Disney shows and you are our gal. What made you decide to cast kids and teens TV?
C: Well, it was more like the Universe decided for me. I was working more in Network Television, in comedy, with a partner, and we were looking to expand our business and we sent our casting resume to one of the Children’s Networks. We got hired on one project and then we had some fairy dust on us from that because it was a highly successful project and the work just kept coming and we never looked back. We both work solo now and the work has pursued me. It wasn’t necessarily a choice that I really pursued in a major way, but once I got into it, it felt comfortable, it feels good and I enjoy it, obviously, because I’ve kept doing it.

D: What has been your favorite project to work on?
C: Probably a Disney XD show called “I’m with the Band”. Even though it was a children’s show, it had a lot of adult series regulars. The writing was more sophisticated, but it still played to kids. It had a lot of physical comedy. It was like the 3 Stooges in a rock band. So, it was a really just a group of people who really gelled and who came to the set each day and had a lot of fun. So, I could cast adults as well as kids and teens and it was just a great experience. Interestingly, it was probably the least successful show I’ve worked on, but it was such a joy to show up to work every day. My impression was that the Network hoped that it would be a real flagship show to luring a lot of boys to that Network. They see that as the Network that attracts boys. The Disney channel being the one that’s more girl oriented and Disney XD more for boys. But, for some reason, the numbers didn’t support it continuing. I guess, even though it was joy for the adults to work on, maybe the fact that there were so many adult regulars meant that the kids couldn’t connect as much to what they were seeing on screen. That’s their formula, that the protagonists on the show are actually the same age as their audience.

D: What makes an actor stand out in the audition room?
C: When someone comes in, and this happens with kids and teens a lot, they are looking to me to give them the keys to the Kingdom. They’re looking to me to tell them this is where the joke is or this is how the character is. When someone comes in and they show ME how the character should be played and they not only find every joke on the page, but they elevate the material and they add stuff of their own that really makes the character sing. Then you’re like, “Well, my job is done”. That’s when it’s a joy and that’s what makes people stick out. When they commit to the character, they make choices – sometimes the choices are surprising, but comedy is surprise! I always think comedy is much more difficult to cast than drama because you actually have to find people who can deliver comedic material. In drama, if you look a little bit like what the Producers are seeking, you have a naturalistic acting style and you understand the rhythm of that particular writers words, then you move the exposition along. That’s pretty much what you have to do. In comedy, you have to do all that AND land a joke and in multi-camera sit com, which is the bulk of what I work on, for kids Networks, there’s a rhythm to the language and it’s not honestly naturalistic at all. It’s very theatrical. It’s much harder to come in and nail a comedy audition, I think because it requires a very specific kind of work. You have to understand what the rhythm is, understand where the jokes are and you have to have a little extra something that makes us want to watch you, that makes us want to hang with you and makes us want to turn on the TV set.

D: Like a naturally funny person.
C: Exactly. You’re right and you know you hear people say comedy can’t be taught. The elements of comedy can be taught. But if you read a page and you don’t understand “funny”, and you don’t know where the jokes are, you probably won’t be cast as a funny actor. Unfortunately. I read comedy scripts for a living, so when I read a comedy script, it’s like a road map to me. It’s like joke, joke, joke and I understand where they are. But someone who is unfamiliar with comedy material doesn’t necessarily do that. But if you have a comedy kind of mind and you have a bent for comedy, then hopefully the particular comedy gimmicks can be layered on top of a natural affinity for comedy.

To be Continued…

This has been Part I of a two-part interview with Carol Goldwasser. We wanted to thank you for joining us and invite you to stay connected at MTT for Part II. Have you subscribed yet?

Carol has had 5 nominations for Artio Awards, which are given out by the Casting Society of America (CSA). She’s won two times. Once for outstanding achievement in Children’s Casting Series programming for Hannah Montana and once for Best Children’s TV Programming, also for Hannah Montana.

diane_make_it_in_Hollywood

How to be a Child Actor: Does Your Kid Have What It Takes?

I’d like to address the most commonly asked question that Parents of young Actors ask me; “Does my child have what it takes to make it as an Actor in Hollywood?” This is almost like me asking you, ‘Do you have what it takes to make it as a parent in the World?’ Not easy to answer is it? I would almost have to be a God to answer that question. If I were some sort of Deity, I might say something like this…

“He who surrounded us with his ever-evolving mystery of creation has also implanted in us the desire to question and understand. The Karmic Law requires that every human wish find ultimate fulfillment.”

“I am ever with those who practice complete devotion to his craft and consequently obtain pure knowledge of his art. I will guide you to your Cosmic Dream through your enlarging perceptions. Divine guidance and success are possible though self-effort and dependent on one’s belief in one’s self, not on the will of a Cosmic Dictator. The truth, those unforeseen truths – which you will discover – are even now all around us, staring us in the eyes. We need only open our eyes to see them.”

Well, if you got that, you’ve got the answer to your question. Meaning, success is more a combination of:

  1. The desire to become an Actor
  2. The commitment to find professional training
  3. The support system to get you there
  4. The drive and talent to succeed
  5. An understanding of your art and yourself – KNOWLEDGE
  6. …And most of all – A LOT OF FAITH.

In other words…you need to be more than cute and talented. You need to be ‘The Package’ and you need to be coach-able and so does your parent.

Some of the most talented and adorable kids and teens I’ve trained have parents that will ruin it for them.

What does that mean you ask?

This is key Parents – you need to be a thirsty, open and as receptive to gaining knowledge as your child. You need to come with an ‘Empty Ricebowl.’ If you come to this business as a ‘know it all’ or are unwilling to believe you have things to learn, you will fail. Surround yourselves with Coaches, Managers, and Agents who are there for you, and there to answer your questions. Make lists of things you need to learn and then REALLY LISTEN and USE the guidance being given.

Try not to monopolize interviews with Agents, Managers, or Coaches or Casting Directors. These are the busiest Industry Pros whom you will work with and you need to remember that we all have busy schedules. You could hurt your child’s career by inserting too much of ‘you’ in their career. Never go through your ‘to do’ list when your Agent or Manager call. Your job is to support, guide, nurture, and find the best team you can to supply knowledge and opportunities for your kids.

Young Actors – you need to practice, rehearse, and try out every single thing your coaches offer. You need to take risks with your work and get coaching for every audition – especially early in your career. Remember, never take an audition for granted. Always treat it like gold, because the kids coming in from out of town are your competition and those families have moved mountains to get their kids here for auditions.

I trust we have answered that elusive question. I hope you realize that everything comes from your commitment. Especially your kid’s success!

Four Resources for Actors Part 4

Four Resources Available to Actors – Part 4: THE MOMENT

“Live each present moment completely, and the future will take care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each instant. Practice the presence of peace. The more you do that, the more you will feel the presence of that power in your life.”
Paramahansa Yogananda

This quote is by my Guru, Yogananda, and yet it could just as easily become an acting lesson that very much aligned with this lesson I am about to write about.

My mentor and acting coach, Sally Kirkland, once said; “You have to stay very human, from moment to moment. You can’t in any way let the audience know what’s going to happen next.”

This is yet another inspiring quote on being in the moment. How very true. Once we harness the ability to stay in each instant, allowing it to take us to the next, then we can call ourselves actors.

The antithesis of that would be to practice thinking of our next line or anticipating what the other actors line will be. All of that is the opposite of being in the moment.

Many times, I ask actors to keep going when they feel they have made a “Mistake”. Mostly because that mistake can keep you in the moment more quickly than if you had stopped and started all over again. These are the golden moments we live for in our work. Those moments when we go up, the hair stands up on our arms and our mind is a blur. Those precious moments are something that can take you on a journey in a split second from being in your head, thinking about your lines, how you look to others or wondering what the heck to do, to the NOW. They are golden moments that Meryl Streep says she hopes for when she works. They bring you immediately into your own skin, your body, and your mind and then you must KNOW where you are in the story and live in it. Allow those moments; do not be afraid of them, for they will take you places that are delightful, organic and raw. They not only give us a little journey to the NOW, they also keep your scene partner on their toes, wondering, “Where is she going with this?” Thus, needing to follow along on the trip to our truth, our moment. Giving us the opportunity to live through the role and surprise not only ourselves, but also whomever we work with. Of course, having confidence in our Improvisational ability and trust in our scene partner goes a long way. But if you can relax and allow those moments, they are truly what we strive for in each moment of our work as truthful actors. When I say relax, I mean really don’t worry about what will happen, just go with it. Just as Yogananda believed each moment will take care of itself, I also believe that will happen when we forego any upset or frustration and just allow the voyage to take you to yourself to your soul. To performances full of surprise and wonder, much like the journey of Life.

4 Actor Resources-Imagination

Four Resources Available to Actors – Part 3: IMAGINATION

I’d like to preface this installation with a quote by Albert Einstein before I elaborate on the lesson.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

I know that knowledge is power and it is certainly an important part of any research any actor may need or use. But our imagination can literally take us anywhere, into the mind and soul of another’s psyche. It leads us to our dreams. Not to mention its vastly mysterious function.

The greatest gift we have ever been given is the gift of imagination. Within the magical inner realm is the capacity to create anything at all. Simply imagine it and it can be so. Thus this lesson on using your vast imagination to create the life of another living being in our work.

I am sure I tell actors every week to use their imagination in their scene work. That’s why actors are paid large sums of money, to use their vivid imaginations to conjure up delightful histories and back stories for their characters. We use a technique in my curriculum called the “as if” or “magic if”. What if I were this person? What would I do? Where would I be? How could I bring to life the desires and goals of this individual?

Where parts 1 and 2 of this four part series cover and explore using one’s own life in the work, this lesson is purely imagined. The actors in my recent Master Talent Teacher videos, Joey and Nicole, have been given a scene with characters that have physical abilities and disabilities very different from their own. Therefore, in addition to being on task for their research and finding the truth about these characters through observation, who are both mentally challenged and hard of hearing, I have asked them to imagine what their interactions would be like “as if” they had these conditions. They have demonstrated beautifully the life of the characters by allowing themselves to slip into their own imagination and let it take over.

Without your imagination, the process of creativity is halted. You have this enormous power within you. It is virtually an unlimited power and it has been given to you as your birthright. So let’s put this gift to work every time we work. It is crucial or you to know how compelling it can be.

Remember, everything originates from something akin to your imagination. You cannot touch, taste, hear, see or smell without it. Imagination has no boundaries. These fanciful imaginings always percolate within you. You get to use it in any way your choose. Once the actor surrenders to his or her imagination, you have reinforced the life of the character you are playing. Simply let go and the nonexistent character on the page unfolds with ease and grace in your performances and comes to life under your healthy commitment to it through your imagination.

KIDS AND TEENS PART THREE

How to Be a Child Actor: Part 3

This is the last of my three part series on “How to get your child or teen into Showbiz.’ Assuming you have followed the specific tips I’ve offered in Parts I and II, by now you should have a child or teen embarking on the exciting journey of Acting in Hollywood. Which means you are going on auditions and beginning to book work. This is a critical piece of the journey and a time when knowledge is power. I have interviewed several parents, who have been doing this for some time now. Plus, I have interviewed an Agent from the Bobby Ball Agency and a Manager from Stein Entertainment. I have even brought in a few young Actors to speak to other young Actors about their careers who offered fantastic advice to help you make this journey fun and successful.

Several of the topics covered in the interviews include:

  • What to expect when auditioning
  • A typical path
  • A Cinderella Story
  • Staying in class and keeping training your priority – even when your child begins working

The last being the most important according to ALL of the people we interviewed. Every single Agent or Manager in our Industry agrees that ongoing training is critical. Often times an Actor or their family assume that once an Actor signs with Reps in L.A., that the fun begins. We hope that becomes the truth for everyone. You must know that once you begin to audition, the real work starts. Now you have fierce competition, and now is when you must be on top of your game. This is not the time to sit on your laurels, this is the time to stay sharp, to hone your craft in quality classes and to bring your A-Game to each and every audition. This is also a time for Parents to continue to increase their knowledge of the business and to prepare their child with skills, knowledge, and a realistic approach to the work at hand.

Rarely, as stated by Manager Joshua Finn from Stein Entertainment, does the Fairy Tale unfold. On occasion a young Actor will experience immediate success and move up the ladder very quickly. The Cinderella Story, however, is very rare. More typically, a young Actor will go to about 40-50 auditions prior to each booking. Once they book a commercial or two, possibly more, then you might expect to book a short film or two or an Independent film. Then, hopefully book a feature film and within a few years, then a Co-Star or two, or three. Then within the next year it is realistic to expect to book a guest star role and/or a feature film or a web series or two. After 6 or 7 years, it is typical to expect to book a series regular or several recurring roles on Televisions shows.

This is all possible, and we encourage you to keep your child and teen in an Award-Winning class, much like we offer at Diane Christiansen Coaching. We offer all levels for all ages in two locations in the L.A. area and you can call anytime for ongoing, on-camera classes and workshops with Casting Directors and Agent Showcases throughout the year. To join a class or audition for our Casting Director workshops, please call us at 818.523.8283 or email at: actupdi@gmail.com. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit my website: www.DianeChristiansen.com

Prior to that, please visit Master Talent Teachers for all of the outstanding free training available to Performers of all ages. You’ll be glad you did.

Diane Christiansen

How to Be a Child Actor: Part 2

There are many ways to go about getting an Agent for a child or teen actor, including cold calling and/or submitting online through each Agencies website. This is the least effective way to go about this monumental task and the most daunting. There are numerous ways to go about it and enjoy it more with more successful results and we are going to address those options with you here, assuming you studied Part 1 of this 3 part series. If you have not done so, I recommend you do that now.

Part 1 is critical to your success. You need only visit MasterTalentTeachers.com to read the article or watch the video and will take only a few minutes. Without those preliminary steps, it would be difficult to proceed. Especially without training in an Acting class with a credible coach or teacher. Find the best one you can at a reasonable price and be sure to get busy! All Agents in Los Angeles only want to work with trained Actors, of any age.

The Agents and Managers that you WANT to be with generally have a pretty large and well-established roster in each category. They have their “go to” people who are bookers and who are established, so why would they sign a newbie or someone without credits? The answer is simple; they have to keep growing and expanding and “cleaning house“ each season. That means they only keep the talent that is booking after their contracts are up and if they aren’t then it’s often “bye bye”. That is where your opportunity lies. That is when the Agent or Mgr needs to call that actor they saw in a showcase, and that’s where they want to find you!

Agents know that if you have taken the time to perform in a showcase that it is pretty likely that they had to prepare with a coach in an organized setting. They know that many coaches, like myself, accept actors that have had to audition and have had a night or two of training with a coach who will help “package” them. A- list reps love that. Not only do they see you in performance mode, they also see you in a “niche” that you can play. We do everything we can to make sure you perform in a scene that represents your type or shows off your skills at maximum “castability”. This is not the easiest task for individuals on their own, but with a team to support you, it is much more fun, for both the actors and the reps attending. They get to “scout” talent and “discover” you from a reputable coach and you get to have fun performing with a coach who has your best interests at heart. Win – win! We hold 3 to 5 Agent Showcases per year in two locations and 90% of our actors sign with A list Agents when they are accepted into our showcase workshops.

Once you have been accepted, I want you to know that there are specific ways to stay in the forefront of your Agents/Managers minds. You can be obnoxious and call them or email them every week and lose them because you don’t understand “protocol” or you can contact them (after 2:30) on weekdays only when it is pertinent to your development with the Agency. Agents and Managers want to know if you are in a play or workshop and they want to know if you’ve lost a tooth or some weight. Or changed your hair color or your address and staying in touch with your reps by email or phone is best if it’s about once every 6 weeks. Knowing things like this will not only keep you in the forefront of their minds, it will also keep them saying “Now that’s a pro”. Mom or Dad or Guardian, keep in mind that once your child or teen reaches about 14, it is time for them to start doing business themselves. This not only teaches them to be business like, it keeps the relationship between talent and the reps current, so that the rep is privy to the young actors changes and growth. It helps them see who the teens are becoming, and they do change a lot during the teen years. It helps your rep know how to re-market you or submit you for roles.

So, in conclusion, work smarter, not harder. Parents will also help your kids to succeed by remembering that reps have very little time to “chat” when you call for auditions. I always tell parents to “just say yes” to auditions when reps call. Say yes and then go figure out your life. They definitely do not have time to listen to your “to do” list. So, keep it succinct and let those wonderful people get back to work on your behalf. They will never want to let you go!