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Getting your child in showbiz

How To Get Your Child Into Show Business – 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. Read more

Diane Christiansen

How To Get Your Child or Teen Into Show Business – Part 2

There are many ways to go about getting an Agent for a child or teen actor to get them started in show business, 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!

Getting your child in show business

How To Get Your Child or Teen Into Show Business – Part 1

This 3 part video series was designed for families who are seeking a professional career in the Entertainment Industry in Los Angeles for their children or teenagers.

Each segment, parts I, II, and III are critical steps designed to be taken with patience, dedication and a 100% commitment to producing results. If you rush these steps, you could really hurt your child or their chances of making a solid first impression. In our Industry, that would definitely be detrimental to their opportunities down the line. The last thing you want to do is send young talent into an arena that is already competitive, and leave a Casting Director or Agent with an impression that says “They were not ready.” Those first impressions are very hard to erase. That would be all they would remember once they actually ARE ready. Let’s not do that. Let’s follow some protocol here and do things right!


How To Get Your Teen Into Showbiz Part 1
by: Diane Christiansen

This 3 part video series was designed for families who are seeking a professional career in the Entertainment Industry in Los Angeles for their children or teenagers.

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Tips for Aspiring Actors

by: Diane Christiansen

Here are a few tips for aspiring actors. My intention is to provide information that will save many of you time, money and heartbreak.

I love helping actors in any way I can, in fact, my personal goal is to guide every actor I meet to success, with the skills, discipline and techniques they will need to be a professional working actor. If you read everything here, you should have a good foundation upon which to get yourself started. You have to do the rest. No one is going to get your career started like you, because no one can jump-start you.

It’s interesting that since I began teaching over 20 years ago, I have received countless emails from young people, most often under 18, asking all sorts of questions about how to accomplish their dreams, and how to tell their parents they want to be actors, and which course of action will take them to the quickest road to fame. Since these questions are so common, and since I can’t answer them all individually, I’ll post a general answer here:

Fame, fortune, and celebrity, from my perspective, are the wrong reasons for choosing acting as a way of life. Real actors are artists first. They make their choices based on living acting as a way of life, not as a career. For most, it’s a struggle of monumental proportions for which there will be no reward. That fact does not concern the real actor, who has no choice but to continue to find ways to illuminate the life of the human spirit through art, because it must be done.

For the artist, acting is like food, a provision that must be ingested to fully LIVE. Without it, we could not exist. For the true actor, the artist, life is about finding the most fulfilling outlet possible. So when you set forth on this path, I always say “Keep your eye on the Prize, and adopt Acting as a Lifestyle”. Remember, this is a Noble profession and you cannot allow anyone to tell you differently.

Acting or Scene Study Classes – What’s the Difference?

By: Carolyne Barry

It is important to understand the differences between “Acting Classes” and “Scene Study”? Up until recently, because I never really thought about it, I believed they were synonymous. Even the dictionary does not differentiate. But after researching the concept, I now know there is a big difference and you should to.

I believe the major distinction is like the difference between a “house-building” class and a carpentry class. One has an instructor to oversee the construction of the project, and directs the student carpenter on what needs to be done to the walls and railings, etc, -helping direct him/her to build that particular house before moving on to the next one. Whereas in a carpentry class the instructor teaches each student how to master the use of each tool, thus making him a master carpenter first, before empowering him to go off with confidence in applying his skill set on most any project. For the actor, who has no clear set of “tools,” he will eventually be lost without his scene study teacher, who in many cases held the actor’s hand until the scene was brought to fruition, – thus giving actors a false sense that they are ready to tackle countless scenes that have yet to even be written. In contrast, in a good acting technique class, the tools to be a great actor are taught first, and then applied to scenes, making the work more about the growth and creativity of the actor than the fulfillment of the scene as the teacher interprets it. In short, a scene study class may make him or her feel good about their work, but in truth they will learn more about their scene than they do about themselves as artists.

For those more dedicated to developing the building blocks to strong techniques (especially new actors) then “acting classes” are the way to go. I personally recommend starting with an acting class with a teacher who is using established techniques or maybe their version of it (which many do). Training this way gives new actors the foundation and tools to eventually not be dependent on their teachers to create quality auditions and work. This is why I am a fan of new actors as well as some self-proclaimed professionals starting their training with ACTING classes.

Four Resources Available To Actors Part 2 – Observation

Observation

One of the things I have observed over the years are the various processes American Actors and British Actors use to becoming/creating a character. The Americans tend to work from the inside out and the Brits often work from the outside in. I believe we must use everything we can to bring a character to Life for a performance.

I’d like to introduce Observation as a way of Life for any Actor of any Age. Specifically Kids and Teens, because the sooner a young actor begins to approach the work in this way, the more natural it becomes as they grow into full fledged actors and conscious human beings. Awareness must become a way of Life for the Actor.

We have exercises in our classes for younger child actors to do outside of class that are simple and fun. They begin to take on observation as a natural part of their daily lives, illuminating human behavior. One of the things younger actors can do is this.

Choose three people to study, and make sure you take notes, but don’t tell the people you are examining that you are doing this. It can be anyone, and it needs to be three completely different types. For example, a child actor can observe a teacher, a parent, sibling, the grocery store man, a homeless person, someone at Church or a Bus Stop. Ask yourself the following:

How does this person look? What do they wear? What are they doing?

How do they speak, eat, write, and walk?

What are their quirks, idiosyncrasy’s, or patterns? Do they smile easily, laugh, frown, scowl or grin a lot? Do they hide or show their teeth?

Do they twitch or have nervous eyes, hands feet or mannerisms? Do they fidget or are they calm, cool and collected? Are they direct or do they avert their gaze when addressing people? Are they confident or shy?

Do they seem happy or sad? What is their general vibe? Do they walk or run funny or normally or do they limp, use a can, wheelchair or crutches? Do they have nervous speaking patterns or are they articulate? Do they have a large vocabulary or are they limited in their communications?

Once you have observed people, I recommend taking notes and keeping a file on various types of people. You can give each different person a file title like, The cute guy in Spanish class, The nerd at the pharmacy, the Queen, the President of the U.S., the popular cheerleader, the jock. My Mom, my Rabbi, my little brother, the ditzy girl, my favorite cousin, my Grandpa, my Aunt at my Uncle’s funeral. You get the picture.

Now that you have a catalogue of characters to draw from and you find a role that you will be playing, you now have observations to help you begin to create a character that has layers. People watching is fun, creative work. We aren’t paid to guess, we are paid to make playable choices and deliver magic that is believable.

Much of what we play will be ourselves, that is always the most accurate, but for those characters that are not like us, we must look outside of ourselves, go on task, and use your Observation Files. Not only will you have wonderful details to use in your study of the human condition, you will be come a much more expanded person along the way. What a wonderful quality. This really is sacred work we are doing and it is so much fun!

Four Resources for Actors, Part 1

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