Tag Archives: Talent

9 Ways To Become A Better Comedic Actor


Whether you believe it or not, you don’t have to be a stand up comedian to be a good comedic actor. In fact, a good portion of the best comedy actors would be fish out of water if they ever tried stand-up comedy. Take Steve Carell for example, he’s one of the biggest comedy actors […]

Whether you believe it or not, you don’t have to be a stand up comedian to be a good comedic actor. In fact, a good portion of the best comedy actors would be fish out of water if they ever tried stand-up comedy. Take Steve Carell for example, he’s one of the biggest comedy actors in the world, but he has expressed in numerous interviews how he would absolutely bomb if he ever tried stand-up. The point is that comedy acting is another art form in itself that even the most dramatic of actors can become great at. So even if you don’t find yourself to be particularly funny, you can still improve and unlock your comedy acting chops.

Here are some ways to improve your comedy acting performance that we recommend to our clients with AMP Talent Group:

Find the extremes in the character you’re playing: If you look at any great comedy show out there, the main characters will always have very extreme points of view. For example, Raymond in Everybody Loves Raymond was your typical guy’s guy who always got into domestic disputes with his wife and had a very rigid and narrow look at the world and his relationship. He was your classic simple man that every guy out there could identify with. It was his very stubborn and one-dimensional view of the world that created conflict, as well as humour in the show. So with every comedy character you play, make sure you pinpoint the extreme point of view that your character looks at the world from. It’s the character’s perspective that usually brings about pain and conflict, which is what makes it hilarious watching them. We’re just thankful that we’re not the ones going through what they are, but yet we’re so entertained by their misery. It’s also through this extreme point of view that you will be able to find and create physical comedic behaviour that you can connect your character with.

Always play the truth and believe in the character’s stakes: The truth about comedy acting is that it requires just as much, or even more commitment than drama. It’s not a walk in a park, and not something that you can just coast through to get laughs. The way that you’re going to get the laughs and be funny is by whole-heartedly committing to the stakes and truth of whatever your character is going through. Your job isn’t to try and put on a show for the audience to get the laughs, your job is to be completely committed to the world you’re living in. It’s going to be the writer’s words and circumstances that create the humorous world that you live in, and from there it’s up to you to find what’s funny about your character and their behaviour and commit yourself to it.

Find your funny: One of the first things you want to do before you even try and tackle comedy scripts or other comedy characters is by first unlocking what it is that makes you funny as a human being. We all have our quirks and idiosyncrasies and those personal pressure points are going to be where your own comedic hilarity comes from. Also by focusing on your own personal comedy character, you will begin to recognize what makes you funny, and thus what qualities about yourself you can bring to the characters you play. It will also be important that you figure out what your potential limitations are for comedy as well. Are you the type of person that has a very unique way of moving that would you make you good at physical comedy? Do you have a razor sharp wit that would enable you to improvise lines? Or are you just great at delivering the punch line? All of these are important questions to ask yourself before you tackle comedy roles.

Find your character’s comedy behaviour: In the beginning of rehearals, or even preparation for a role, go through your scenes without worrying about being funny. Just concentrate on finding the truth of your character, how they move, how they talk, and who they are. After spending some time getting identified with your character, then you can take steps to exaggerate and elevate the behaviour in a comical way that’s based from your character’s comedy persona — based on the truth of their needs and defenses. Great comedy comes from very real and honest behaviour in situations of anger, pain, and frustration. Also remember that comedy gold is often found in silent behaviour as well, particularly how your character reacts to certain people and situations.

Study the masters: Like with anything, you want to watch and study those that are successful at what it is you’re trying to do. Watch as many videos of some of the top comedy actors and see how they go about their work. Pay attention to the brave comedic choices they make in scenes and how they feed off, and work with the other actors. Most highly successful comedy actors are very giving to the other actors with the material, as well as willing to take themselves and the scene to some pretty absurd places. So whomever you admire and find funny, study as much of their work as possible.

Focus on the physical: So much of great comedy is based on the physical. The way in which our bodies react in certain situations — how we shield ourselves when we’re uncomfortable and awkward, how we completely lose it and thrash our body around when we’re angry and frustrated, or how our body reacts when we’re happy and excited. This is also another reason to study the masters — particularly the likes of Charlie Chaplin who had to convey all his emotion and inner dialogue completely through his body’s movement and facial expressions. Jim Carrey is also one of the greatest physical comedy actors who are known for using wildly outlandish facial expressions to depict character. Bottom line — your body and the way you use it is one of the greatest tools in your comedy performance.

No unscripted movements: It has been well documented in the comedy realm that any unscripted movements will kill the scene. This means that you need to remain static (or do you best to) whenever there isn’t a movement that’s specifically stated in the script. This will mean holding for laughs if you’re in a live performance, and not moving during someone else’s speech when you shouldn’t be. This is why it’s so crucial that you become aware of your body’s movements so you can control it and use it in a way that adds to the scene, not take away from it.

Practice your comedy: If you’re brand new to the world of comedy acting, it would definitely be beneficial to take comedy acting specific courses to expand and improve on your craft. Taking classes will allow you to relax, feel more comfortable, as well as help to develop your comedy character. You will also begin to understand some of the comedy techniques that are used, how to break down comedy scripts , as well as build your comedy repertoire and have more to bring to your scenes and performances.

Let loose and have fun: Comedy is supposed to be created in a fun environment. You won’t be able to bring out the best in yourself if you’re nervous and uptight, or unwilling to make a fool out of yourself. You have to check your ego and pride at the door and be willing to look and feel silly. Be prepared to commit to the ridiculous circumstances that are going to be thrown in front of you and create a world that is full of quirks, but is ultimately real and honest. If you can manage to do that, comedy performance will be your new addiction.

Even if you don’t become one of the next great comedy performers, you can still gain a lot of skills from the comedy art that will relay into your dramatic acting. And of course, comedy acting is a whole lot of fun and something that becomes a real ensemble with the cast you’re performing with. So give it a try, look inside yourself, and get outside of your comfort zone to find your funny!

Audition Etiquette: Do’s & Don’ts


How to execute the perfect audition? I’m sure this question has become exhausting to a lot of you, constantly being drilled with the correct way to go about the audition process. This is because without being awesome at auditioning, you will never be able to really show people how awesome you are at acting. So […]

How to execute the perfect audition? I’m sure this question has become exhausting to a lot of you, constantly being drilled with the correct way to go about the audition process. This is because without being awesome at auditioning, you will never be able to really show people how awesome you are at acting. So while it’s tedious and frustrating incessantly having it banged into your head like a broken record, it’s something that you will want to make sure you have down to a science.

This is why we’ve broken down the do’s and don’ts loud and clear, to make sure you know exactly how to kill it the next time you step into that audition room.

AMP Talent Group Audition Do's and Dont's Agent TipDO respond to all Agency Communication immediately. In this fast paced business, Actors must be on the ball with the best communication skills by responding quickly to confirm auditions, and all communication from the Agency.  Response times by the actor within the hour of an email or phone call being sent is required, not hours or days later.  Casting people are waiting to confirm or replace the actors for the auditions. Know there are many people involved in getting you the audition and timely response to auditions is key with respect to all and future auditions.

DO put your cell phone on silent. Vibrate won’t cut it, particularly if your leg starts shaking in the middle of your intense and dramatic monologue and it’s just your mom wondering if you’re going to be home for dinner or not.

DO be early for your audition. Ideally you will show up 20 minutes early, so you can sign-in, prepare yourself with whatever material you’re going to go off of, as well as ground yourself, relax, and de-sweat (if you were rushing) before going in for your audition.

DO be friendly and professional when you’re meeting everyone at the audition. Even though you’re promoting yourself as an actor, they will be more inclined to want to hire you if you show you are a respectable and professional human being.

Auditions Casting Dos and DontsDO turn up the charm before your audition begins. This is the time when you need to showcase your personality before you showcase your acting chops. Show them that you are ready, and would be a delight to work with, and not in an overbearing, front-row-of-the-classroom kind of way.

DO keep the conversation up-tempo and brief, letting the casting directors and people running the audition drive the conversation.

DO repeat the director or casting director’s name back to him or her when you’re introduced. It shows you’re listening to what they’re saying, instead of hammering out your audition strategy in your head like a nervous wreck while going through introductions.

DON’T shake anyone’s hand in the room unless they reach out to shake your hand first. You are just one of so many actors they have seen that day, you won’t make an impact by thrusting your sweaty palm into their hand.

DON’T wear cologne or perfume. If they meet you and are instantly over-taken by your intense aroma, then your audition is going to drop downhill very quickly.

AMP Talent Group Audition Tips Do's and Dont'sDON’T wear heavy make-up. You’re there to show off your natural self as a performer and what you can do with whatever character you’re auditioning for. Too much make-up will just distract from your performance and focus the casting director’s attention on all the wrong things.

DON’T wear self-tanner. So you just got back from a vacation in Mexico and have a bit of colour. That does not mean you can compensate your skin by applying bronzer you bought at the drug store. You’ll end up orange and won’t book the part.

DON’T bring props or wear costume unless directed to by your agent. Sure you may think you’re taking your audition to the next level by going crazy with your outfit, but actually, it’s the opposite. Never bring a costume for your audition unless it’s something that was strictly outlined in the breakdown from your agent.

DON’T apologize for messing up your audition, or apologize for nailing it, thinking that you did poorly. Just perform your audition, say your thank yous, and be gone. Do not continue to beat a dead horse by apologizing all your way out the door.

Al Pacino on Auditions quoteDON’T disagree or argue with any direction that you’re given. You’re there performing something for them, so make sure you do what you’re asked.

DON’T bad mouth anyone. Of course after enough auditions, you will start to see the same casting directors again and again, and build up a bit of a rapport. This does not mean that you should ever start to gossip about someone else in the business that you may have a mutual disliking for. You should always be professional and business as usual.

DON’T ask the casting director for feedback.  Feedback comes from acting classes, not auditions.  Work with a coach prior to your audition and ask them for feedback.  Come prepared with the material ready to give your best performance and don’t expect to get anything but a “Thank you for coming in” at the end. If you get more your lucky, but do not expect it.  The casting director is looking to hire the best actor for the parts she or he is casting. It is not the casting directors job to give feedback to all the actors at auditions. It is the job of the actor to come in prepared with all the emotion ready to give the best performance.

DON’T overstay your welcome. So you killed your audition, the endorphins and energy is running full-throttle and you instantly want to be chatty, try not to. Just finish with your performance, share a final word or two, and then thank them for taking the time to see you, and off you go. No casting director is going to want to deal with a over-chatty actor at the end of a seriously long day of auditions.

Auditioning can become a very simple, and smooth running machine once you do enough of them and nail down the right way to go about it. There are just some important rules that you have to follow to make sure that you don’t stand out in a bad way. These do’s and don’t are simple guidelines for you to keep in mind the next time you step into the room in hopes of booking your next job!

Remember your auditioning for your career, not the job.  Meaning that you do your best with each audition, come prepared, are on time, are well rehearsed, memorized, in character and ready to perform a killer performance!

Break a leg!

 

Comedy Acting: Is It Innate, Or Can It Be Learned?


Comedy Acting: There’s an old adage, “dying is easy: comedy is hard.” This is very true — comedy is difficult because it requires a certain amount of spontaneity, creativity, and ability to play around with verbal and non-verbal text, and definitely comes easier to some people more than others. When you think of comedy, you’ll […]

Comedy Acting: There’s an old adage, “dying is easy: comedy is hard.” This is very true — comedy is difficult because it requires a certain amount of spontaneity, creativity, and ability to play around with verbal and non-verbal text, and definitely comes easier to some people more than others. When you think of comedy, you’ll probably think of some of your favourite comedians — the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, and Ricky Gervais. These incredible talent were born with comedy in their DNA, they knew from an early age that comedy was their passion and they wanted to devote their life to making people laugh. For a lot of actors, you probably didn’t grow up with quite the same devotion to comedy. Sure you like a good joke and enjoy playing around with your friends, but it was never something that held as much of a focus in your life as say, a comedian. But you want to try it, or improve your ability to perform in comedic scenes, or take on more comedic characters, and are unsure if you’re going to be able to do it because you have never really considered yourself to be the funniest person in the room.

Comedy Acting is it innate or is it learnedObviously it helps if you’re naturally funny, or have a natural tendency to use humour as a way to deflect problems and deal with your insecurities. Great comedy comes from drama, which comes from pain, so most comedians, or naturally funny people, have this innate tendency to use humor as a way to deal with the difficulties and downfalls in their own life. So if you do in fact find yourself to be funny, or are even a stand up comedian or comic actor already, you’re off to a great start and probably just need to hone the skills that you naturally possess.

“One can learn a very rudimentary timing or pattern of comedy. However, this “taught” method can hardly be compared to that of an artist who truly has the DNA of a comedian. This artist will always shine the brightest.”

— Robert Luketic, Director, The Ugly Truth, Legally Blonde

“You can direct somebody to be funny: you can direct timing. But it helps if you have that gift already. And I think most comedians are intuitive, which is why they make good actors. You can tell immediately if somebody has that gift.”

— Marc Webb, Director, 500 Days of Summer

stand-up-comedy-actingFor those that don’t consider yourself to be a stand-up comedian or naturally hilarious person, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to do comedy. It just means you’re going to have to work at it a little more and practice to get better at finding the funny moments in things you do. Obviously timing, and finding the right timing in a scene to deliver a particular joke or behaviour is something you can work on and get better at, the more you do it.

Timing is not something to be learned, it’s something to be found.”

Friends-Comedy ActingGood comedy acting is a collaboration with all the actors and it will be about going wherever the scene goes and finding a way to ground yourself in the truth of that moment. You’re going to have to commit to whatever it is your character is doing, no matter how ridiculous it might seem, as the audience won’t believe you’re going through it unless you do. You will also have to pay attention to the unspoken dialogue, as so much comedy is found in physical gestures, awkward pauses, and extreme behaviour that your character and others are doing in the scene. You never want to play for the audience and outwardly “try” to make the audience laugh, because that’s not where comedy comes from. Comedy comes from you, as an actor, committing yourself to the stakes in the scene as if it were the most important thing in your life. You get the laughs from the audience by committing yourself, whole-heartedly to the drama that your character is going through. The humour is going to be in the weird, quirky, and offbeat way that your comedy character deals with their circumstances.

Not every great comedic actor you see on television is also a touring stand-up comedian. They probably do have a natural sense of humour and know where to find the jokes, but they got good at it by putting themselves in that environment over and over again. Also by drawing on their own personal quirksquote-you-can-t-do-anything-to-be-funny-that-s-cringeworthy-if-your-humor-comes-out-of-a-place-of-love-john-krasinski-104970 and insecurities they were able to open themselves up to their own comedic world.

Comedy acting obviously isn’t for everyone, but most of you will be able to find it and hone it in a way that is hysterical. You just have to commit yourself to being fearless, looking like an idiot and having no shame, as well be willing to make mistakes and have fun while you’re doing it.

 

 

10 Personality Characteristics That Make Great Actors


What personal characteristics help make GREAT ACTORS? This is probably a question that will intrigue a lot of people. What is it about certain people who make them great performers?  Or at least have the potential to be a great performer.  I know this question intrigues many of you, so I did some reading to […]

What personal characteristics help make GREAT ACTORS?

This is probably a question that will intrigue a lot of people. What is it about certain people who make them great performers?  Or at least have the potential to be a great performer.  I know this question intrigues many of you, so I did some reading to investigate what qualities/personality types really translate into great performers.

Charisma: This is one of those real surface qualities that you would expect. Obviously a performer is going to be charming, expressive, and charismatic, right?  They’re those real life-of-the-party type personalities that you aren’t surprised to hear they’re actors as well.  This is because performing on stage, or on camera, requires a certain amount of expressive energy, so those individuals with high-octanes of energy and the ability to translate that energy on-screen should go without saying. While not every actor is going to be the most charismatic personality type in their actual life, having a natural charisma to you will always benefit and help you with your performing endeavours.

No-Limits-Inspirational-Picture-QuoteHard Work & Commitment:  This is another trait that should go without saying.  Lazy people usually don’t make great actors — unless they’re so naturally talented and it comes easy to them. This is the case because acting is such a self-starter business and is going to require so much self-motivation, as well as endless amounts of your personal time in order to be successful. Also, with every job you get, you’re going to have to generously research for your role/character, as well as put in hours and hours of rehearsal time.  Then once you start working on the job, the days are long and you’ll be drained at the end of them. If you don’t have the type of personality that is ready to grind and endure hard work, you will go nowhere. Commitment is also a huge one. You will have to commit your life to developing your craft, as well as bringing 100% percent of yourself to each role you play. Acting requires you to be present in the moment at every turn, which can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting.  People that can whole-heatedly commit themselves to something, even going overboard and becoming obsessive with their commitment, are the ones who will be successful as actors. (Just look at some of the greatest method actors in the business, as well as the great extremes that the best actors will go to in order to prepare for roles: weight loss, muscle-building, extensive research and character development, real-life situational training).

FullSizeRenderConfidence:  This personality trait is another common one.  It will help in a lot of areas in your performance career, particularly in the early stages of auditioning, as well as warding off criticism and rejection when times get tough.  Understanding who you are as a person and being confident in who that is will serve you well in the business.  You will be required to expose many facets of yourself (emotional, mental, and even sometimes physical) in front of people, so being confident in yourself and being able to surge into those vulnerable places without shriveling into a ball of anxiety is a huge component of an actor’s makeup.  Thankfully confidence is something that can be improved on. The better you get at your craft, the more confident you’re going to get in your abilities and the less self-conscious you will be.  They famously say, “tension is blocked talent”, and often anxiety and nerves will come from a lack of self-confidence and dread that you’re going to be horrible. Those nerves will lessen with practice and working on your craft, eventually leading to performances that come across brilliantly, with absolute ease.  So finding a way to be confident in your self, as well as your skills as an actor is absolutely paramount.

Intelligence:  If you listen to actors in interviews, you’re often blow away by how articulate and well spoken they are. They are smart and educated most of the time. But a good majority of actors out there are college drop-outs, that never even went to college, and a chunk of them never even finished high school.  How come they seem so smart then? Well it’s for a couple of reasons. Firstly, their job requires them to do a ridiculous amount of reading and research on a wide-variety of topics that become school projects in their own way. So they’re well read and well schooled on important issues happening in the world because it often relates to the work they’re doing.  Secondly, they’re actually really smart people. You have to be very smart to be a good actor.  But often it’s the type of smart that doesn’t excel within confined institutions like high school and university or college.  It’s the type of intelligence that you could define as emotional intelligence, self-awareness, or a real adept understanding and insight into human behaviour and what drives people.  That’s because actors are constantly asking themselves these questions: what drives this character? What are their needs?  What are their desires?  Why do they act this way?  It’s a constant evaluating and breaking down of the human psyche, which requires a large degree of intelligence. It’s just a very real-life understanding of human behaviour.  So if you don’t find people fascinating, to the point that people watching is one of your favourite past-times and you’re feverously curious about all types of people, then the acting process may not be for you.

bc6846aae6de99b8d353bb80cba7e969

Highly Imaginative:  This is obviously one of the biggest and most important traits that make great actors.  Sure there is a large component of acting that will require you to take emotion and realities from your own life into your acting world, but you won’t always have those resources at your disposal.  Sometimes you have to completely plant yourself in alternate realities that encompass absolutely nothing from the world you know. This is where your imagination will take over.  Most actors have wild and vivid imaginations, and have a real fostered connection with their imaginations. We basically are trained to grow out of our imaginations as we grow up, which is why most actors are adult-children — never really leaving the psyche of that 10-year-old boy inside of them who would dress up as superheroes and saw the world as full of infinite possibilities.  It’s crucial that actors are constantly finding ways to improve and get more in touch with their imaginations, as it’s a huge tool in your career. From the early stages of developing your character, as well as planting yourself in an authentic reality when you have several cameras, crew, and a very artificial world surrounding you on set. Harness the connection to your imagination and work on improving it whenever possible.  It’s one of the useful tools for great performances.

Understanding of Human Behaviour:  This section relates directly with intelligence, as this is where the actor’s intelligence will shine.  The best actors have an exceptional understanding of human behaviour – what people want and need, universally, on the deepest level.  This is what every single role they tackle will require from them — the ability to dig deep into the psyche behind their character and figure out their motives, which will determine their behaviour.  They have the ability to read between the lines of scripts and offer their own insight into the world of their character and bring assets to the script that weren’t there before.  This understanding of human behaviour, I believe, is something that the best actors will have naturally, but it’s also something they strengthen by continuous exercise.  Every actor should have a completely engrossed interest in people and the way the act.  The job of an actor is to emulate people who aren’t themselves, so it should go without saying that they love to observe people and watch what they do, and then try to figure out why they do the things they do.

193491Energy, Energy, Energy:  When you take an acting class, the beginning of the class is often dedicated to exercising the body — both physically with movement and vocally through voice exercises.  These exercises are designed to center the energy in your body and for you to be fully aware of where all the energy in your body is being stored.  Yes, actors are required to exert a lot of energy, thus it’s beneficial if they’re naturally energetic people. But that energy will be chaotic and counter-productive for a good performance if it’s not used in the correct way.  The best actors are exceptional at dispensing and controlling their energy. They know when to release bursts of energy, as well as when to bottle the energy up because their character is holding something back on the surface, but on the inside they’re exploding. So it’s so important that actors know how to move the energy in their body around to help guide and emphasis their performance.  Also, it’s important to note that not all energy is going to be emotionally expressive.  They’re forms of energy that are not emotional, and it’s important that actors have a handle on all energy types.

QuoteIntrospective & Constantly Learning:  One of the most important relationships an actor will ever have is the one they have with their self.  It’s essential that actors are constantly learning about themselves and trying to understand more about who they are as a person.  They will also go to great lengths to improve who they are as a person and get more in touch with their authentic self.  This is necessary, as acting requires bringing a large amount of yourself to every character you play. You will to make the emotion in your performances feel authentic. If you don’t actually feel all the emotions and sensations that your character is going through, the camera or audience will pick up on it and it won’t be believable. The great actors are able to dig deep into themselves and pull out the good, bad, and ugly of who they are and put it on show for everyone to see. If you aren’t willing to live with that type of revelation and truth in front of audiences, then acting will be a tough job for you.  You can’t be afraid, or unwilling to go to the dark and emotional places of yourself and become a great actor.  Actors have to constantly be assessing themselves as people, trying to improve, as well as get closer to who they really are. Another way to get closer to this truth is by constant exercise through meditation, mentors, relaxation, visualization, and classes.

Eager to Explore:  Most actors life out of a suitcase and are constantly on the road. A lot of them are feel best in the characters they portray.  They’re whimsical spirits, with a yearning for a gypsy life.  This obviously relates to the lifestyle of an actor — constantly going from project to project, place to place, changing where they’re working and whom they’re working with all the time.  There’s absolutely no structure (unless you’re a regular on a show) and you’re constantly exploring, both a physical world and the emotional world you’re living in.  It’s definitely important that an actor has a natural tendency to be drawn to this type of life, as opposed to a very structured and matter-of-fact world where most people live that work the 9-to-5 routine. Going deeper into it, acting is a constant exploration and is going to require a real commitment to a journey by the actor.  You have to be prepared to take scenes in directions you weren’t expecting, or let things they’re feeling come across at unexpected moments. A lot of actors live within a very small bandwidth, but the best ones are completely free. They trust their instincts and enjoy the work the most when it turns out different from first expected. So the exploring nature of an actor is going to be both, tangible and intangible. This is must in the makeup of an actor!

quote-the-purpose-of-psychology-is-to-give-us-a-completely-different-idea-of-the-things-we-know-best-paul-valery-189345Interest in Psychology and Humanity: This is not to say that a psychologist would make a great actor, or that an actor would make a great psychologist. But having an interest in the subject will go a long way in improving your performance. Again, understanding the psychology of humans and what drives people is essential in the acting discovery. So those people who are very intuitive and able to quickly conceptualize other’s behaviour and why they do certain things, is a natural skill that very good actors should possess. This also could be why you see so many actor humanitarians (also because they have so much money) but they have such a vested interest in humanity that they’re passionate about world issues, and really empathize with human suffering.

It’s not that you have to possess every single one of these qualities to be a good actor, but it just seems that in the makeup of actors, often you’ll see, at least some, of these qualities, interests, and personality types. While a lot of these qualities are essential to great performing, they can be improved. Great acting happens when both the inner and outer self are portrayed at the same time (sometimes conflicting one another). So get in touch with yourself, reach deep into your emotions, and continue to discover more about yourself and more about your character in the process.

 

 

Personal Branding For Actors


  So what’s a personal brand? “Your personal brand is the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind whenever other people think of you. It’s what you stand for — the values, abilities, and actions that others associate with you. It’s a professional alter ego designed for the purpose of influencing how others perceive […]

 

AMP_personal-branding-for-actors_SEP14So what’s a personal brand?

“Your personal brand is the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind whenever other people think of you. It’s what you stand for — the values, abilities, and actions that others associate with you. It’s a professional alter ego designed for the purpose of influencing how others perceive you, and turning that perception into opportunity.”

So you can see that personal branding is everywhere. We all have developed a personal brand over the years (most of us without even realizing it) that other people use to associate us with certain things. So like the quote stipulated, personal branding is all about recognizing what your brand is and using its strengths to your advantage. As an actor, it’s going to be essential that you realize your brand and make sure you cultivate it yourself, instead of letting it be the one to define you.

What’s the purpose of a personal brand?

Obviously, first and foremost the purpose of developing a strong personal brand is to get more work, to improve your career, and to become more successful at whatever it is you do. A personal brand is all about leveraging yourself so you can influence the particular target market that you’re trying to reach. Your goal is to become a leader in your industry by clearly communicating your brand to your audience and what it is you have to offer. You’re building a promise with your audience about what you can provide them. The strongest brands have perfect alignment between what they promise to offer customers or fans and what they end up delivering. By executing a strong personal brand you will show your followers why you’re different and have something to offer that no one else does, that you’re exceptional at something in particular and always put forth great work. You will also show that your brand is a real person and accurately depicts who you are, what you represent, and that you’re passionate about what you do.

Is your personal brand the same thing as your personal image?

No, your personal brand and personal image are different. Your personal image is the set of qualities that your friends would say to describe you, such as your physical characteristics, style, personality, likes and dislikes, and so on. While your personal brand is how others will perceive you, particularly in a work setting. Your personal image is something that people will formulate, who know you and have been friends with you before, but a personal brand is more how the public will perceive you and the work that you do. They say that in the best circumstances, your personal image will be a direct reflection of your personal brand. But it doesn’t have to — people do go out and create personas that are slight or extreme exaggerations of who they are as a person all the time.

 

 

personal-brand-management

Why is personal branding so important for actors and entertainers?

Personal branding is especially key for performers because you are your product — your look, talents, and physical body is your selling tool for landing jobs. This is why being cognitive of your brand and creating something that’s authentic to you and your skill set is going to be a big difference maker in the success of your career. Also, there is simply too much competition and too many people in your same talent and look bracket that you have to find a way to create an advantage for yourself. You do this by creating a strong personal brand that sets you apart, highlighting what makes you uniquely you.

What are some key platforms that actors should use to execute their personal brand effectively?

We touched on this in a previous article about actors being active in the online space in order to help market themselves, but here are a few of the key platforms:

Branding SocialWebsite & Social Media: In order to effectively build and maintain a personal brand, you will have to be active in the online space. That’s where you’ll be able to build communities of fans and followers, as well as get the most traction with the least amount of work. If you’re serious about developing a strong brand for yourself, then you need to create a network hub online where you’re active in conversations and people can have access to your work and contact information.

YouTube (web series/comedy channel): Again, we’ve touched on this before but creating your own projects on YouTube is the most common theme nowadays for performers and comedians. It’s a way to potentially avoid the long and tedious audition process and build an audience for your work, which can bridge you into more traditional film opportunities if you get enough attention with your channel or web series. A prime example is Workaholics, which started as a series of videos on YouTube and is now going into its fifth season on the Comedy Central network.

Blogging: While creating an actual written blog will take a lot more time and effort, it’s definitely a great way to actively build your personal brand. By building a voice through your writing, you will be able to reach your desired market and connect with other actors who’re going through similar experiences as you. Considering how tough the business is, finding other like-minded people is going to help you to build confidence and gain some different insights and perspectives into the industry.

So now that you have a little more insight into where you should be going to build your personal brand, what are some of the golden rules to make sure you do things right?

Your goal with personal branding is to communicate 3 things:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • What makes you different, or how you create value for your target market

There are too many bloggers, brands, and companies online that give off muffled messages to their followers. You have to be so clear to your audience about who you are and what you do. It’s important to have a niche and a very focused area that you excel in and provide value to your customers. You know what they say, “why do a few things good, when you could do one thing great.” You’re a performer so your message should be very clear to your audience about what you do.

Here are some important rules and guidelines to follow by in order to execute a strong personal brand:

personal branding artistBe authentic and inject your personality into your brand: As an actor, your brand is YOU and what can bring to the different characters you play. Just like you would in the audition room, you want to show off your personality and give everybody a taste of the type of person you are. You need to show people that you would be a pleasure to work with and are a quality person on top of your acting skill. You can do this by talking very openly and candidly to your followers online and creating a real person who others can relate to. Most importantly, just be yourself and leave your ego out of it. There are enough people who achieve a little bit of “social media fame” and think they’re King of the Net. Also, if you want to gain an advantage over others and give people something unique, then just be yourself, as nobody will see things exactly the same way you do.

You must have passion for what you’re doing: Obviously your brand will suffer if you don’t love what you’re doing. Treat your own brand as a labour of love and a unique voice that others can connect with. If you don’t love what you do and force your way through it, people will be able to tell and you will lose motivation over time to continue building your brand.

Personal_Branding_3Simplify your message: The best brands communicate a lot of information with very little. That’s because a strong brand is simple but it ignites a very specific emotional response. For you, it will come down to communicating very simply what you do and what you can offer your followers. Perhaps it’s just a fan page where people can follow you and ‘like’ you if they know your work, but if you want to create a stronger brand then you will need to provide value to your followers and communicate what that value is. Is it acting tips? Funny quotes? Hilarious articles that you find, or write? Find out what your message is and make it simple.

Engage your followers: This is one of the least interesting social media tidbits, but it’s always important to mention because people often forget about it or get too lazy and don’t do it. Always make sure you’re engaging with your followers as often as possible to create that two-way dialogue.

Be relevant: Particularly if you’re a blogger, it’s key that you keep up with current trends and themes so that you’re topical and people see a reason to read your stuff. Always make sure you read about what’s going on in the industry just as often as you’re writing about it.

Working on carving out your personal brand is going to take a lot of work, there’s no denying that. But will it be worth it? What will be the end result?

Well…there are a lot of positive outcomes that will arise from working hard and being consistent with your personal brand. For starters, you will start to gain attention from some key influencers in your industry if you’re active enough in the conversations in your industry. Important people will take notice and begin to follow you and start connecting with you. Secondly, you will start to create a community of like-minded followers who will boost your credibility in your industry. For example: if you go to an audition and the casting director looks you up online and sees that you have your own website and blog that’s professionally done, samples of your work on YouTube, as well as have a Facebook page and Twitter with thousands of followers, how much more likely will he be to cast you? Definitely more so than if you had absolutely no information about you online. Thirdly, not only will more opportunities come to you, but also more of the right opportunities will come to you. That’s because you have created a very strong personal brand that is directly in line with who you are as a person and what you can offer as a performer. Lastly, you will become a leader in your industry and will be perceived of someone who is an expert. That’s exactly what personal branding is all about, figuring out what you love to do and what you’re good at, and then strategically carving out a space for yourself that is in line with your goals and aspirations.

We’ve all been creating a personal brand in our lives, but most of us have been doing it passively. It’s now time that you take control and start to take the active steps to understand what yours is and make sure you’re communicating it to the world in the right way. So do so by creating something that is authentically you and something you can be excited about growing into the future.

 

 

5 Steps To Fulfilling Your Dreams


January Means it’s Time to Get a Head Start on What You Want for 2015! I presume for a lot you reading this, acting is your dream. It’s the thing that stirs your soul and makes you feel alive. It’s your passion and what you’re hoping will one day be your full time job and […]

AMP Talent Group Agency Toronto Blog how-to-reach-your-goals-new-years-goals-set-goals-how-to-write-goals-how-to-set-goals-for-2015

January Means it’s Time to Get a Head Start on What You Want for 2015!

I presume for a lot you reading this, acting is your dream. It’s the thing that stirs your soul and makes you feel alive. It’s your passion and what you’re hoping will one day be your full time job and lead to a very exciting and fulfilling career. Firstly, I commend you for being courageous and deciding to walk the path of your dream. For a lot of people, their dreams remain ideas, things they talk about but never really take action towards; they remain as pictures they drew in elementary school of what they wanted to do when they grew up, but fear got the best of them and they took the safe route. But if you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already done the hardest part — commit yourself to walking the path of your dream, no matter where it may lead you.

Dreams are big and scary, and sometimes hard to imagine that they could possibly come true, so how do you deal with their sheer vastness in a way that makes them seem more manageable?

AMP Talent Group Blog Leaving your Legacy 2015 

Identify What You Want Your Legacy To Be.

This is a very important question to ask yourself before you walk fearlessly in the direction of a large goal or dream. What do you want to be remembered for? This really breaks down and clarifies why you want to achieve this dream. You will know that your dream is in line with your truest self if your big goal is in perfect alignment with what you want to be remembered for as a person, what you want people to think or say when your name comes up. You should write your legacy down on paper, so the driving force behind the pursuit of this dream will become permanently etched into your mind and what fuels your motivation. So do you want to be remembered for making people laugh? For making great movies? For being one of the best dramatic actors to ever live? It’s important that you nail this down so this dream of yours can have some context and purpose towards what you desire in your life.

AMP Talent Group Blog Distance between Your Dreams and Reality 

Set Goals and Visualize.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill

I believe this is absolutely the most important grass roots step in the pursuit of a big goal or dream. A dream becomes a goal when it’s put down on paper, but it’s just some fantasy or fairy tale when it’s kept in all wishy washy in your mind. You have to put a VERY SPECIFIC goal down on paper and then break down the necessary steps to arriving at that specific goal. You will have to break the path to your goal down into specific parts, by creating short-term and long-term goals. Your short-term goals will definitely change as you complete them, or other things come up, but your long-term goal will be the guiding force in your life. The most successful 1% of the population sets goals and the most successful 0.1% of that 1% reads and updates their goals regularly (Source: Brian Tracy). So by making an active choice to set goals, read them every day, and update them once a month, you’re already setting yourself up for massive success. To add to your goal setting regiment, you need to spend some time visualizing your goals coming to fruition. Visualize your world after you achieve your biggest goal — picture how you’re feeling, the excitement and contentment that you feel inside, how happy and inspired others around you are, and generally, just how fulfilled you feel. Goal setting and regular visualization are going to be the seeds that not only help your dreams grow, but help to make you believe that you can actually accomplish them.

Surround Yourself With People On A Similar Path.

Find people that support you. You may have people that you’ve been friends with for a long time, but you reach a point where it becomes perfectly clear that you’re headed down completely different paths. They begin to take you away from your goals by not supporting you, or believing that you can actually accomplish the things you’re setting out to do. You don’t need to completely remove these people from your life (you have all the history with them) but you do need to manage how much of an influence they will have on you. You won’t be able to see them every single weekend, as you will continuously get discouraged because they keep badgering you, “When are you going to get a real job? Are you still trying to pursue the acting thing?” Trying to become an actor, or artist and someone who’s successful in the entertainment industry is a very long and exhausting road — something that someone who doesn’t work in the industry won’t understand (particularly if they work in the corporate world or a standard 9-5 job). This is why it’s very important that you create a circle of actor friends, or friends that work in the industry that you’re pursing a career in. This way you will have people to bounce ideas off, as well as people that just generally support you and believe that you can accomplish your dream. They will be able to spot the talent in you, the drive, and all the potential you have to do everything you’re trying to do. These are the people that you will probably connect with the most and be the most like-minded with, but mostly, they will help bring you closer to your goals. They will probably know people and be able to put you in touch with people who will help you to get ahead in your career. If you don’t have any friends that have the same dream as you, or work in the industry you’re trying to get into, then you really need to make some changes to who you are hanging out with if you’re serious about accomplishing your dream.

AMP Talent Group Blog Failure is SuccessWelcome failure into your life.

This is the hardest one to accept, but it’s one of the most important. One of the greatest pre-requisites for success is failure. This is definitely true for entrepreneurs, as well as artists. The only way you’re going to get better, improve your technique and strategy, is by failing thousands of times. Success comes with a price, through a series of failures that you live through and overcome to create something better. You just have to have the endurance, patience, and persistence to understand that with every failure you go through, you’re getting closer to your big break, or opportunity for everything to turn around in your favour. Failure also makes success feels warranted, making you feel like you’ve earned everything that’s come your way. You don’t want to become hugely successful without feeling like you’ve gone through the gauntlet of struggle. The feeling of triumph will be completely squashed by the fact you feel like someone that just got lucky, instead of having earned every inch that came your way. So welcome failure into your life. You’re the one who decided to chase a dream, which means you chose to walk a path of criticism and skepticism from others, as well as path that will force you to walk into the fear of the unknown being judged every step of the way by people who want to bring you down. Failure is your friend, welcome it, and learn from it.

AMP Talent Group meryl-streep-portrait

Follow the stories of the key players in your industry.

Your dream is to become an actor, so my first piece of advice is to read every single biography of every actor that inspires you. If they have a biography book, go buy their book and take every word to heart. I would suggest that you watch shows such as Inside the Actor’s Studio and note the stories of how the actors got to be at the level they are at now, as well as their words of wisdom for beginning actors starting out in the industry. I would also suggest that you watch as many interviews as you can from actors who you respect and look up to for how they get into character for each role they play, and what they’ve learned from peers in their industry whom they respect. Just as a writer should study the work of the writers they most admire, you have to study the bodies of work of the best actors in the game. That way you can find certain things about their preparation methods, or course they took to success that you can try and mirror in your own career. For these are the actors and people who you aspire to be like, as well as hope to have a career that will be even just a slight semblance of.

I know from my own experiences that choosing to chase a dream is a tough thing to fully commit to, but once you do, you’re on your way. You are finally on the path that you’re intended to be on. However long it took you to get here, it doesn’t matter, because you’ve arrived and are now ready to make any sacrifice necessary to make things happen for yourself. That’s a huge turning point and something that you should feel good about. Just be prepared that along the way there will be endless obstacles, but if you make a conscious choice to overcome absolutely everything that comes in front of you and your dream, your success will happen, it’s just a matter of when.

In order to achieve a dream, you first have to completely surrender to it; you have to tell yourself that you’re at mercy to this path, wherever it may lead you. That’s because you love it, how it makes you feel inside, it’s something you can’t describe or properly put into words, you’re guided by a purpose, something greater than yourself.

The Importance Of Being Yourself In This Business


While you’re going to take on a host of characters and personalities throughout your career, it still remains a fact that in order to succeed you’re going to have to be yourself in this business. And I’m not going to blabber and drill you with that hollow old adage, “just be yourself and everything will […]

While you’re going to take on a host of characters and personalities throughout your career, it still remains a fact that in order to succeed you’re going to have to be yourself in this business. And I’m not going to blabber and drill you with that hollow old adage, “just be yourself and everything will work out amazing” because as we all know too well, that isn’t always the case. But finding success in the acting world, as well as in entertainment, is completely about carving out your niche as a performer and tapping into what makes you unique and sets you apart from others in your bracket. As well as finding and unlocking the reserves of confidence that you YOURSELF are going to have to hold onto when times get tough and the rejection splashes over you like a powerful rogue wave.

So in this business of being yourself: What are some of the important things to remember?

You’re the product: George Clooney said it best during an old Inside the Actor’s Studio interview when he said this:

“The product you’re selling is you, we’re all salesmen as actors, but the product you’re selling is extremely and completely personal.”

What George Clooney was referring to is that your typical salesmen will always have different products, or different versions of the same product to sell. But when you’re in the business of selling yourself, you only have one you. If you get turned down at an audition, or fired from a job, it’s going to be impossible not to take it personal because that person, or director, didn’t want you. This is what makes acting such an intimate and intense experience that is often fueled by gut-wrenching rejection. What you can take comfort in is that not everybody is going to want you, but if you stick to your guns as a person and a performer you will work yourself into those areas that are right for you. The rejection is going to hurt, you can’t avoid that, but you just have to learn to deal with it and carry on.

Confidence in You

Having confidence, or learning to develop confidence is one of the most powerful selling skills, as well as coping skills for actors. Most actors have built up a strong level of self-confidence by battling off criticism and rejection. When you walk into an audition, immediately the director and casting directors are going to be able to tell if you’re confident or nervous. They will be reluctant to hire you if you don’t come across as confident, which shows them that they can have faith in you to play the part. Also, your road to success is going to be filled with potholes trying to slowly scrape away at your confidence and self-esteem. Having faith in yourself and your abilities is going to be the big pulling factor that keeps urging you to move forward and take the next step.

The craft of acting is all about being human

Acting is all about bringing real human experience and emotion to the camera. So in order to do this authentically, you’re going to have to draw from your own life experiences and emotions. This is how you’re going to make your performance believable in front of an audience. You could say that being an actor is just like being in a continual state of self-discovery and self-sacrifice. You constantly have to search deep into the archives of past experiences, moments, and thoughts, to find bits of yourself you can bring to new characters you play and sacrificing yourself as a vessel to convey these experiences to your audience. By deciding to be an actor, you’re committing yourself to connecting with humans and people at an ultra-personal level. You have to commit yourself to breaking down the walls and offering every bit of who you are to your audience. The only way you can do this is finding your truth and living with it cohesively, as well as finding the truth of the characters you play.

Being yourself in this business is absolutely everything. It’s the gold mine that you have to draw from with every new job that you take on. It’s why acting classes can often feel like emotional torture and therapy at the same time — we’re having to search deep within ourselves, sometimes into deep places that we want to avoid in order to open up what it is we need to bring to the material. So don’t be afraid to go there, to continually discover, learn, and show exactly who you are. That’s where the good stuff is.

 

 

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!

 

 

Top 10 Secrets To Success


So you want to succeed in the entertainment business?  Here are 10 of the most important tips you’ll need to live by in order to find the success you’re looking for:   1. Love What You Do. The most important thing with any artistic pursuit is that you absolutely love it. It’s a hard road being […]

AMP_TALENT_GROUP_LOVE_WHAT YOU_DO

So you want to succeed in the entertainment business?  Here are 10 of the most important tips you’ll need to live by in order to find the success you’re looking for:

 

1. Love What You Do.

The most important thing with any artistic pursuit is that you absolutely love it. It’s a hard road being an artist or a creator, but it’s also a very rewarding one if you’re in it for the right reasons. It’s important to ask yourself the question, “Is this something that I can live without?” If your answer is “no” then you know that you have to do it.

2. Be All In (Complete Commitment).

The people that choose to be actors, models or artists, have to be completely and utterly committed to it. The people that call themselves “part-time actors” are never going to be successful because they aren’t completely committed to it.  Whether it’s fear of failure, or even a fear of admitting that they want to do this, holding yourself back and not putting it as the most important goal in your life is setting yourself up for failure.  When you make the decision that you want to be an actor, that goal has to be the driving force in your life. If it isn’t, and it’s just slotted in as a “hobby”, then you don’t stand a chance of succeeding.

3. Always Be Working And Studying.

The simple truth is that those who are practicing are those who are working. The only time that you shouldn’t be studying and practicing is when you don’t have enough time because you’re working so much.  No matter how talented, or experienced you are, there is always something for you to learn.  The most successful actors understand the value of always staying a student. They understand that there will always be someone smarter than them, or more talented than them that they can learn from.  A List, award winning actors such as Meryl Streep, Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, and Anne Hathaway and countless others continue to study with coaches and master the craft of acting, even to this day.  Remaining humble and working hard at learning the craft and studying is a key force in driving home your success.

4. Patience And Persistence

.AMP_Talent_Group_Secrets_To_Success_Blog_patience-persistance-and-perspiration

Being an actor requires an enormous amount of patience.  Whether it’s waiting for the next audition, or waiting for the cameras to start rolling, actors are always waiting.  It’s the name of the game and has to be something that they can handle.  At the opposite end is persistence. So many careers are sprouted from stories of perseverance and sticking it out when the rough times came.  It’s essential that you’re in for your career for the long haul and won’t jump ship when you can’t afford to pay your hydro bill or your sleeping on a friends couch, as well as have the endurance to continue to pound away on your craft even when the breaks aren’t coming your way.

5. Create Your Own Opportunities.

In order to get lucky, you have to work extremely hard and show initiative by creating your own opportunities.  So in other words, don’t be lazy.  Be proactive and create your own projects. This keeps your skills in top shape, as well as creates products that could be launching platforms for your talents.  This also helps your Talent Agent to better market you for even bigger opportunities.  Whether it’s to market yourself as an actor, writer, or filmmaker, creating your own projects sows initiative, and is how a lot of people get discovered.  Remember Goodwill Hunting? Matt Damon started writing that script in a playwriting class at Harvard in his fifth year. Then with the blessing of his teacher, Damon dropped out of school and moved to LA to finish the script with his good buddy Ben Affleck.  That movie launched both those actor’s careers into the stratosphere.  If it wasn’t for them taking it upon themselves to create their own movie (vehicle) to market their acting talents, then the names Matt Damon and Ben Affleck might mean absolutely nothing to us now.  Or how about Garden State?  Zach Braff wrote and directed that little movie, which turned him into a household name overnight.  The best example is probably HBO “Girls” creator, Lena Dunham, who quickly became the “talent of the moment” by continuously creating her own projects that showcased her writing, directing, and acting talents. She even created the show Girls, based loosely off her own life in New York.   This just shows how important it is to create your own things.  You can’t catch your breaks and get lucky without working hard and going after what you want with passion, initiative and good work ethic.

6. Find A Mentor.

A lot of very successful people (in and out of the entertainment industry) will tell you that it’s impossible to be successful without a mentor. That’s because a mentor helps you to steer the ship. They help to cut years off your road to success by making sure you’re doing the necessary things in the present to help you get to your end goal. Talent Agent, Anne Marie Perrault says “Finding a mentor is absolutely essential and can be a major a factor in ones career success. It is important to seek out professionals in the field as they are a wonderful source of career advice.   The best ways to find one would be to find someone in the industry that you admire, whether it’s someone you meet on set, or a teacher who you really respect, in some cases it can even be your Agent or Manager”.  Don’t be shy to ask someone if they’d be interested in mentoring you as well.  They will take it as a compliment.  You can meet regularly to talk about your career, or you can even just keep in touch through email or on Skype to ask questions, and check-in every now and again.  Your mentor will be essential in helping you to answer those difficult questions, help lift you up when times are tough, and ultimately, help you strive to becoming a better performer and person.

7. Take Full Responsibility For Everything That Happens To Tou.

The first step to happiness and success is taking full responsibility for where you are in your life.  The moment you stop pointing the blame on other people, or things, is the moment that you finally point yourself in the direction of success.  So you didn’t get that audition? The director did not think you where right for it or had someone else in mind.  You didn’t book the role? It’s nobody’s fault but your own for not delivering the way you needed to or maybe you just are not ready, or are having a bad day.  Leave it at the door.  Don’t beat yourself up for it.   Use any shortcomings and failures as an opportunity to look at yourself in the mirror and figure out how you can be better. Learn from each experience.  Your career and your life is completely up to you, you’re the one in control of your fate, so make sure you step up to the plate.   The happiest and most successful people in life are those who feel they have complete control over their lives.   This starts with accepting complete responsibility for where you are and understanding that you’re the one in control of your success or failure.

8. Set Goals

.READY-SET-GOAL-SCAN

So you want to be the next big leading man or woman, do you?  Yes that’s a lofty goal, but can you do it?  You better believe you can!  It’s definitely a big dream, so how do you make it seem more manageable, or achievable?  You break your dream down into something smaller; you break it down into parts called goals.  Then you break down the steps that you will need to complete (accomplish) in order to reach those specific individual goals. Once you do this, your wildest dreams will seem a little more in reach. You have to have a plan; you have to create a vision for your career. You do this by creating goals on paper, then continuously visualizing yourself successfully moving towards those goals. When Jim Carrey was a broke, struggling comic, he would drive up to Mulholland Drive a few nights a week and visualize himself making it big in Hollywood. He even wrote a check to himself for 10 million dollars and filled it out as “acting services rendered”. It was only a number of years later when he became one of the biggest stars on the planet; booking roles for the exact amount of money he said he would, 10 million dollars. Believe you can, believe you will, create a vision, put it down on paper!

9. Take Risks

.The Bigger The Dream, The Bigger The Risk, The Bigger The Success.

Those that take risks get noticed.  Most people will say that choosing to become an actor is a big risk in the first place. They may be right.  Actors have to take risks on a regular basis. It’s part of what being an artist and a performer is all about!   When you choose to pursue your passion as a profession, you have to face fear and walk down a road that offers very little security. This is the all-important first risk that you’re going to have to take.  You then have to continue walking down that road fearlessly.  You have to believe in the process, believe that the journey you are on will take you to where you want to go.  You will also have to task risks regularly with new roles and parts that come your way.  You’re going to need to venture out of your comfort zone and try new things, do roles that scare you and really go for it with complete disregard for failure.  They say that success is a sum of thousands of failures, and they’re right.  Failure is success’ most important pre-requisite, which is even truer when it comes to the performing arts.  Take risks, overcome fear, and you will grow closer to success!

10. Be Confident And Believe In Yourself.

On your “Road to Success” you’re going to have to make a lot of big decisions. In order to do this, you’re going to have to be strong and be true to yourself.  If you continue to do that, you will make decisions that are the most agreeable to who you are as a person and you will stay on the right path.  You have to be confident in yourself and make sure you treat yourself the right way. On your path to success, a lot of people will tell you that you’re crazy and you won’t ever reach the big dreams you’ve set for yourself.  You have to silence those voices, look inside and believe in that vision you have for yourself.  Not everybody is going to see what you see, so you have to understand that and not dwell on the opinions and perceptions of others.  Confidence and success is made by marching toward your goals and dreams with massive action, even in the face of adversity and fear of failure.  This is an absolute must in achieving big success!

It’s a comforting feeling knowing that your success is completely up to you.  You’re the one in control of the universe you create for yourself.  Understanding and believing in this is definitely the starting point for every big dream or goal.  Start living by this philosophy and your success will start to grow exponentially.

Now go out there and build the life you’ve always dreamed of!

AMP_Talent_Group_Blog_Dreams_Dont_Work_Unless_You_Do_Secrets_To_Success