Teen/Senior Actors


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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 dedicated.

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 production.

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 in.

Actors are expected to:

Learn their lines and be off book before dress. (Two weeks or sooner before dress)

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 Actors

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 school.