Tag Archives: Film Industry

6 Tips To Ace A Cold Read Audition


Ahhh the dreaded cold read. It’s something that a lot of actors fear. That’s because usually there is no opportunity for preparation. A script is thrown in front of you moments before you’re to appear on camera, and panic can set in. You worry that you’re going to deliver the lines completely flat, you aren’t […]

Ahhh the dreaded cold read. It’s something that a lot of actors fear. That’s because usually there is no opportunity for preparation. A script is thrown in front of you moments before you’re to appear on camera, and panic can set in. You worry that you’re going to deliver the lines completely flat, you aren’t going to figure out what’s going on in the scene fast enough to deliver a satisfactory performance, and it’s just going to be painful and you’re going to be terrible. Yes it might not be the most comfortable thing you’ll have to do, but it’s a big part of the audition process and something that you’re going to have to get a handle on if you want to book acting jobs.

At AMP Talent Group, we want our clients and talent to excel in every opportunity so we recommend you keep these tips in mind to help you improve your cold reading skills for audition purposes, we’ve highlighted 6 important keys to cold read success:

Arrive early for your audition: Sometimes if you arrive early you will have the opportunity to read over the sides and begin your preparation early. This way you can at least be familiar with what you’re going to be saying and doing. If you are able to get the material beforehand, spend less time on the actual lines that you are going to be delivering, instead focus on the story and situation, as well as try and get a feel for the character that you’re going to be reading. This way you can at least ground yourself in the world of the scene and you won’t require quite as much attention on the actual words, so you can feel yourself as the character in that environment.

Research the project you’re auditioning for: Even if you know you’re going in to do a cold read audition, you can still go online and find out some details about the audition. You can also ask your agent to provide you with some more information if possible as well. You should find out the type of project that you’re going out for (commercial, feature film, TV show), as well as the time period of the piece, and what the story is. While you might not be able to find a ton of information on the project, you will definitely be able to get some background information that will at least put you ahead of most of the actors who will be walking into the audition blind.

Be Flexible: When you’re going through your cold read, it might not be blatantly clear from the outset if you’re reading a comedy or a drama. I mean, hopefully it is, but there is a possibility that you won’t get the tone of the script right away. This is why you need to enter into your reading with complete flexibility. Go in with the mindset that they might ask you to read the script in a certain way that you weren’t expecting, or maybe you’ll even discover things in the middle of the reading that take it to a whole different place than you expected. Considering that this will be one of the first times you’ve read through this passage of the script in its entirety, you definitely can’t be opposed to figuring out certain things from the inside. So be loose, flexible, and ready to go in any direction.

Take risks and do more than just read: Even though it’s a cold read, you don’t want to sit there like a pile of concrete and just read the lines in a voice that will put the people holding the audition to sleep. You still want to be lively, take action with your body, and use your voice as an instrument to get yourself into character and convey emotion. Even though it’s just a cold read, that doesn’t mean you can’t make strong choices and go with them. In fact, you will standout more at your audition if you make a decision and try something out. Even if it’s wacky, there are no wrong artistic choices during a cold read. You want to show them that you were able to read over the script, and in just a couple of quick minutes, be able to make a strong artistic decision and do something with the character that nobody else has done. They want to see how you interpret the script, just as much as they want to gage your actual performance.

Look up at the reader: Unless this is the first time you’ve ever acted or been to an audition before, you will know that you must always look up at the reader when you deliver the lines. You should never read directly from the page, but be following along with your finger and make sure that you use the person reading with you as a reference to get yourself into the moment and be authentic. Try and look up and connect with the reader as often as possible. Just be sure that you keep your thumb on the page and follow along so you don’t lose your place during the read. The people running the audition understand that the material is completely new to you; therefore they don’t expect the audition to be perfect. Also, taking your few minutes before the audition starts to get a good grasp of the scene, story, and your character is going to be hugely instrumental in allowing you to go with the scene and connect with the reader, instead of having your eyes married to the page the whole time.

Practice your cold reads: If you want to take it one step further and work on your cold reading skills, then you should practice reading passages and memorizing as many of the words, as quickly as you can. At least learn to memorize important points, or key phrases that you can use and rely on so that you don’t have to be looking down at the page every two seconds during your audition. By practicing this technique, you will slowly start to improve your ability to retain words and dialogue very quickly so that you can be that little bit more off book when it comes time for your audition. By working on your cold reading skills on your own time, you will be miles ahead of the competition when it comes to stepping up and delivering a great cold read performance.

Cold reading only has to be a painful experience if you make it one. You can decide to ignore it and just do your best on the day of the audition, or you can take matters into your own hands and prepare yourself so that when a cold read audition comes your way, you’re ready to attack it and destroy it. Casting directors are testing you when they give you a cold read; they want to see how you handle it and what you do with it. So make sure you do everything in your power to show them that cold reads don’t faze you, in fact you look forward to them.

Remember, audition for your career, not for the job and you will feel more confident about your performance!

 

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Pursue Acting To Be Famous


  “I want to be an actor!” Even just admitting those words is a huge step in the direction of your dreams. For a lot of people it’s a scary step because it finally becomes real when you say it out loud. All your fears, doubts, insecurities, and disapproving opinions of others come rushing to […]

 

AMP Talent Group Blog Actors Models Toronto“I want to be an actor!” Even just admitting those words is a huge step in the direction of your dreams. For a lot of people it’s a scary step because it finally becomes real when you say it out loud. All your fears, doubts, insecurities, and disapproving opinions of others come rushing to the forefront. But it’s that all too important first step. Just before you go any further, you have to ask yourself this very important question:

“Why do I want to become an actor?”

If your answer is that you want to be in magazines, date supermodels, own an island in the Caribbean, and walk red carpets, then you probably need to think again before you walk down the acting path. The biggest mistake you can make is get into the business because you want to be famous or you want to be a celebrity. You have to be in this business for the love of the craft. For the love of taking on new roles and characters, for the pure joy that you get from telling stories and helping play a small part in telling some important ones. You goal has to be in service of the craft and the art form you’re cultivating. Ultimately, your drive in this business has to stem from a place of pure passion.

So what are some of the dangers of pursuing an acting career when you’re chasing fame?

AMP_Talent_Group_Blog_Almost-Famous-PosterReaching the level of A-list Hollywood movie star is rare: The harsh reality is that very few actors will ever reach that A-list Hollywood movie star level. The term “starving artist” has to be a label that you aren’t afraid of, because for a period of time you will struggle to make a living as an actor. There are very few actors out there who were lucky enough to drop right into it and be successful immediately. I’m sure you’ll hear stories of guys like Johnny Depp, Leo Dicaprio, and James Franco who killed it from the start, but they’re rare cases. You need to dream big, so there’s no problem with wanting to be an A-list Hollywood movie star because you’ll know you achieved great success in the business if you get there. But you have to love it enough that you’d be willing to put in a lot of work and push through the years of being a struggling actor, or a middle class actor and not get depressed and discouraged. If you want to be famous, you will give up or get angry when things don’t work out the way you fantasized them in your head.

Your role selection might lead you down a bad path: Let’s just say, if you’re in it for the money and fame, you might take some roles that are “artistic suicide’. Yes you need to pay the bills, so of course you will take whatever role you can get in the beginning, but once you start to see some success, you can go after those roles that really challenge you as an artist. If you’re in the business for the wrong reasons, you might take the more commercial role that pays you more money and gets more attention, but doesn’t really challenge you or interest you as a performer. So if your intentions aren’t coming from an authentic place, you might end up with a career that isn’t all that respectable. When you see a lot of big name actors taking time away from film careers to do a play, or taking a smaller and grittier role in an indie film, you know they’re really in the business for the love of the game.

The business is a grind: There’s no way to sugarcoat it, the film industry is amazing, but it’s cutthroat and it’s a grind. Being an actor isn’t all about having assistants and people doting on you all the time. Days on set are long and they can be exhausting. If you don’t love it, it might be a nightmare for you when your call time on set is 6am. You have to love the process of what it takes to create something, whether it’s a film, a show, or a commercial. Acting is all about the process and being a vessel to help execute a creative vision. It will be easy to lose sight of these things, or not even be aware of them, if you’re only concerned with being “the next big thing”.

AMP_Talent_Group_Toronto_Agency_Blog_Overnight_SuccessYou won’t put in the time: They say that it takes 10 years to really create a body of work as an actor. That’s an entire decade if you weren’t aware. For somebody who’s just starting out in the business, that number can look more daunting than Everest during a windstorm. So it doesn’t seem normal for somebody who doesn’t love it to invest that amount of time for a superficial outcome. Also, you need to train and put in a lot of your own time to build your skills as a performer. Someone who is chasing fame probably won’t go that extra mile to improve the same way somebody who truly loved it would. For this reason, they probably won’t ever be as good and book as many roles. So make sure you love it and are prepared to dedicate yourself to it.

Understandably, an actor needs to crave the spotlight and love the attention to a certain extent. That will require a certain amount of the ego to be involved. There has to be that element in someone who is pursuing this as their career. If there isn’t, you probably won’t be able to rise to the occasion and separate yourself from the competition. And, underneath that dream of seeing your name in lights has to be a completely head over heels love affair for the craft of acting and art of storytelling. 

 

 

How To Handle Rejection


  “As actors, we have to deal with rejection so much more than any other business. So I don’t care how much of a genius you are, if you don’t have the propensity to be able to get back up every time you get knocked down, then you’re not going to survive.” — Ryan Kwanten […]

 

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“As actors, we have to deal with rejection so much more than any other business. So I don’t care how much of a genius you are, if you don’t have the propensity to be able to get back up every time you get knocked down, then you’re not going to survive.” — Ryan Kwanten

If you looked in the manual for “How to Become an Actor”, being able to handle rejection would probably be somewhere on the first page. Being an actor, or trying to become an actor is going to require you to face rejection dead in the face on a regular basis. Rejection just comes with the territory of wanting to be an actor. The only thing you can control is how you handle it, how you move on from it and take it with a grain of salt, without a damaged psyche and dwindling self-confidence.

So what are some of the steps in ensuing damaged control and making sure rejection doesn’t break you? We’ve listed some of the ways to go about it below.

Try not to take it personal:  One of the biggest things in the film industry is that there are so many people vying for the same roles and the same opportunities. The industry is a competitive beast. So when you’re going out for a part, there are most likely 1,000 others who look like you and have the same level of talent. Actor, Sylvester Stallone (Rambo) says “I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get me going, rather than retreat. You can’t take it personally when you aren’t selected for the part, or didn’t get a callback. The casting director’s job is to find the right person for the role; it’s not to make sure nobody’s feelings get hurt. It doesn’t mean they didn’t like you, in fact they may have loved you, but you just didn’t fit the exact criteria for what they were looking for in that role. Its up to you to deliver your best performance and leave the audition at the door.

Listen to what they’re saying: The most honest things are often the hardest for us to take. So when an acting coach, or somebody that sees our work gives us some unpleasant feedback, we really need to do our best to listen to what they’re saying. Bare in mind, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and somebody who’s just trying to break you apart. It’s important that you listen to their feedback and distinguish between the two yourself. If it’s from a trusted source, or somebody you respect, it’s definitely going to be worthwhile to listen to what they said and see what you can apply for the next time to make it better. This is easier said than done, but do your best to not get super emotional and sensitive when somebody rejects you or turns you away. Find out what they think you need to work on, so you can get better.

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Get Better: Drake has a famous line from one of his songs, “don’t get bitter, just get better”. This definitely applies to actors as well. When you get rejected, instead of responding with anger and resentment that does nothing but boil your own blood, you need to work on your stuff and become better. Use it as fuel to your fire in improving your craft and becoming a better actor. You need to say to yourself, “Okay, what can I do to get better?” If you can walk away from rejection with that sort of positivity and action, you will eventually start to succeed in a very big way. At the very least, you won’t sit in a pity stooper when you get rejected, but instead, keep your head up and make the best of the situation.

Stay Persistent: Every successful person will tell you that they had to handle rejection on countless occasions. They had to deal with doors being slammed in their face, people telling them they weren’t talented, or were crazy, or people who didn’t believe in them. If you don’t have the ability to bounce back from rejection with unwavering enthusiasm, then you will have a tough time succeeding in an industry as tough as the film industry. Talent Agent, Anne Marie Perrault says, “Prepare yourself that the rejection will come, but be sure that you love what you’re doing and you’re going to continue to work at it and get better until those “No’s” starting turning into Yes’s”. If you commit yourself to it, work hard through training and stay persistent, your success will only be a matter of time.”

Sure rejection sucks and forces us to retreat back into our shells for a while, but it’s all about the bounce back. It’s all about working at it, getting the right mind set, working on your skills, and making sure you have the right attitude so that bounce back time is faster every time. Pretty soon you will develop the thick skin that is required of an actor, and rejection will be nothing more than an opportunity for you to go through another door with someone else who sees the potential in you.

It’s up to you and how you let it affect you. Rejection will only break you if you let it.

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What’s Being Filmed In Toronto This Summer


Lights, Camera, Summer! Summer 2014 is just around the corner and for most “normal folk” it means impromptu trips to cottage country, days of energy-drowning on patios with cold beverages, and basically trying to work as little as possible so you can enjoy the summer. But for those who call the film industry, “their industry”, […]

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Lights, Camera, Summer!

Summer 2014 is just around the corner and for most “normal folk” it means impromptu trips to cottage country, days of energy-drowning on patios with cold beverages, and basically trying to work as little as possible so you can enjoy the summer. But for those who call the film industry, “their industry”, it’s quite the opposite. Summer is a time when you strap on your working sandals and get ready to cram as much filming work as possible into your summer, until you’re working like a dog well into the dog days in August. Summer presents a great opportunity to finally film that passion project you’ve been yearning to do, or film that indie movie you’ve been trying to squeeze into your busy schedule. In short, there’s a lot being shot during the summer in Toronto.

So what’s being shot in our fair Canadian city this coming spring/summer? Obviously there’s a lot, but we’ve broken down a few of the highest profile projects to keep you in the loop.

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Pixels.

The movie will be bringing Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Michelle Monaghan into our town for the summer months. Brought to you by Arcaders Productions Ltd. and directed by Christopher Columbus. Pixels tells you the story of what happens when aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them. This begins a war against the human race, using the games as models for their various assaults. Filming will take place from May 28th – September 30th. So keep a look out this summer for the dynamic goof balls of Kevin James and Adam Sandler taking in a Jay’s game and maybe even throwing that all-important first pitch.

Regression.

Written and directed by Alejandro Amenabar, and starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson. Regression is about a man who is accused of abusing his daughter — a crime he doesn’t even remember committing. Sounds like it’s an intense thriller that should see Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson acting opposite one another in some very intense scenes. Filming is well underway, starting on April 15th and due to wrap on June 12th.

Crimson Peak.

Principal photography began back in February at Pinewood Studios, and filming began at the end of April in Hamilton, as well as in Kingston. The film is starring Mia Wasikawska, Charlie Hunnam, and Jessica Chastain, and is produced by Legendary Pictures. The film is supposed to take place in Cumbria, a crumbling mansion in a largely rural and mountainous region of Northern England in the 19th century. A young author (Wasikawska) discovers that her charming new husband is not who he appears to be. Photos from the Hamilton set this spring have already been released all over the Internet. Filming is due to run into the summer here in Toronto.

October Gale.

Written and directed by Ruba Nadda, and starring Tim Roth, Scott Speedman, and Patricia Clarkson. October Gale is a thriller about a doctor who takes in a wounded victim that washes ashore at her cottage. Quickly they realize that the killer is there to try and finish the job, just as a storm draws in. Sounds like something to be shot on Toronto Island, doesn’t it? Filming started on April 21st and wraps up on May 25th.

The summer months are also a very busy time for TV shows to shoot in order to get prepared for fall premieres. This summer keep a look out all over the city, as Suits will be filming Season 4 from April 7th – November 7th. Lost Girl will be filming their fifth season from April 7th – August 17th. Also filming their fifth seasons will be Covert Affairs from March 31st – September 19th and Rookie Blue finishes shooting on June 9th. Then the ever-so-popular Canadian sitcom, Degassi, will be filming their 14th season from April 22nd – October 1st.

So that means there will be opportunities for actors to audition for roles on one of these productions, or simply, just catch sight of a star or a film set in the middle of action.

It’s an exciting time. The entertainment industry is bursting with projects on the go and it’s a great time be working on set. Which is all in the lead up to TIFF in September!

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