Advice for Actors
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I read this article in an issue of the Back Stage West
and I think that all aspiring young actors should take heed.: "DON'T
PAY TO PLAY. Remember: Managers and agents make money after
you get work. Never pay a fee to be represented, submitted or considered
for a role. If you do, the only thing you're being considered is an easy
mark. A message from the Back Stage editorial staff." No truer
words were ever spoken. If you have paid a fee sometime in the past,
please send me your experience and I will post it here for others. Give
me the names of those representatives and I will publish them so that
others don't fall into the trap
Expectations and Assumptions
by Sam Younghans
Expectations and assumptions in real life and in relationships usually
lead to disappointment. However, in the theatre there are basic
expectations and assumptions. I would like to clarify some of those so
that we may have an enjoyable, friendly, united production. Most actors
know these things innately.
It is assumed that an actor is dedicated and committed to the
production and the other cast members:
Dedication has many meanings, but in terms of the theatre it
means to wholly or earnestly give of yourself to the production. When you
are dedicated; you learn your lines, you are punctual and you extend
courtesy to your fellow actors. Most of the top professionals are
Commitment also has many meanings, but again, in terms of
theatre it means you stick with it. When you commit to a production, you
place that as top priority and you don’t audition for another production
or take a part in an other play because you got a "bigger" part.
People who are not committed soon have a reputation, and directors will
not use them. If you don’t feel right with a production, don’t accept
the part. Accepting the part is stating your commitment, and if you do
accept it, with the feeling that you can always drop out, then you are
cheating the director and your fellow actors. If friends come from out of
town for a visit, bring them to the rehearsal or leave them at home, but
attend the rehearsal. I know of one lady (I can’t call those people
actors) who missed a rehearsal to attend an audition. She said she didn’t
want the part, just the experience of auditioning. She soon left the
Use you head if you want to be in the theatre business..A good director
schedules rehearsals so that actors can get work done and not stand
around. It can not always be helped. It is expected of actors in those
instances to work on their lines or help someone with their lines.
Attending the performance goes without saying (I said it.).
Punctuality is respect for everyone in the production as well as
respect for yourself. Time is valuable to everyone involved. Being late
undermines the production and is unforgivable. Most professionals are not
late. If you know your are going to be late, show some respect and call
Actors are expected to:
Learn their lines and be off book before dress. (Two weeks or sooner
Prepare before rehearsals: Vocal and physical warm ups, character
thought, etc. directors expect the actors to bring something in with them
to rehearsals (a sign of preparation). If he is a secure director, he will
be open to suggestions and listen to the actors, as the actors should
listen to the director. We are always learning.
Sincerity does not mean that you must be HEAVY. Humor does not
mean that you are not serious. Everyone enjoys working in an atmosphere of
professionalism and professionalism is not HEAVY.
Teamwork is important. All parts are equally important. Respect,
compassion and humility are the markings of greatness.
If you feel this is too much for you, do something else. Spare those
who are dedicated and committed.
To Under-age Aspiring
If you are a truly committed
actor, you know better. This is for those that think they can become
stars over-night, because they think they are special. You are all
special, but there are many dangers for young people who say they will
do anything to become an actor.
I receive an occasional email from
young people who make statements about their desire to be an actor;
They say they know they can be the best. They want to know where they can go to be
discovered. They give their email address and sometimes a phone
number. Don't do this!! It is dangerous and not too bright.
Chances are very good that You will run into someone who is looking to
prey on young people.
When I receive an email like
that, I delete it. If you are really serious, start with a drama class in your