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  The Acting Academy Voice  

     

 WAYS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ACTING

It is a common knowledge that the journey into a successful career especially in acting is long and rough. However, if you are dedicated, passionate and willing to work at your craft, the road is also filled with achievement, joyous and artistic milestone. Initially, what I wanted to do with my life was to create stories and entertain people, but I was confused as to what that meant when I first became an actor. But I have learned a lot ever since though most of it the hard way. Therefore, I want to pinpoint some of the things you need to know to attain your goal as an actor.

TRAIN AND LEARN THE CRAFT

First and foremost, if you want to have a successful career in acting, you will have to come into the fold as prepared and possible. Nobody is an island of knowledge which means as other professionals learn their craft and so must you. Because continued education in performance is the best way to keep learning and be on top of new trends, whether you enroll in art school, take college classes, or dip into local acting classes. Also, signing up for an excellent workshop or scene study class is one of the best ways to learn and meet other actors. Classes are the best safe place to take risks and develop your skills, or even discover hidden talents, and while you are still working on your skills, it can also help to quench your artistic needs. Ideally, learn in a comfortable environment and find people who have seen it all so you can ask them questions and learn from them.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN PAY THE BILLS

Typically, unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and had everything at your beck and call, you will need to work and earn some money, but working must not disturb you from going to class and audition when you get them. For this reason, you need to find a day job that is flexible, and jobs like personal assistance gig, restaurant job, or catering service company are all perfect examples. Not only that but also make sure that your day job is at least moderately enjoyable, because if you are going to spend 8 hours in a day and 40 hours in a week doing something that is not your passion you need to make sure that it is at least moderately enjoyable and not a miserable experience. You need to keep your mind on your artistic goals by working with other like-minded people.

START NETWORKING AND MAKING CONNECTIONS

In the recent times, attaining personal success in all aspect of life is now depending on making the right connections, so as an aspiring actor you need to start meeting people in the industry as soon as possible if you want to rise to the top within the shortest period. Engage yourself through an additional casting such as Extra management, or Central Casting for it does not require previous experience, though it is not glamorous either. And when you are there, talk to other professionals in the business to know which path they follow to rise to the top. Each of them will have a different story to tell, for you know that the way to the world of acting is not the same. But talking to them will assist you to know the price you need to pay to achieve your goals and help you to realize that they are humans like you and not robots or superheroes.

DON’T SKIMP OUT ON YOUR HEADSHOTS

When you start placing yourself on the market, you have to obtain a quality headshot. The best part is there’s a lot of competition, which means you don’t have to pay a huge sum of money for a photograph and your friends from acting classes are likely to recommend good photographers for you. Your headshot should not be a glamorous shot but a true reflexion of who you are. Take various clothing selections in appealing colors and designs which make you feel comfy and relaxed and bring your mp3 player to the image shoot and enjoy songs that motivate you. Furthermore, take the time to determine what styles you’re opting for. Most headshot photographers can help you with this, but you’ll require an exciting commercial shot, a significant theatrical shot, and a collection of other shots that feature the personality you believe you can act. Do your homework online and find examples of the latest headshot styles in the world today

AUDITIONING IS AN ART IN ITSELF.  LEARN HOW TO PERFECT IT.

You will need to know how to audition if you want to start landing gigs by signing up for casting workshops. In other words, the best method to boost your morale, master the trade and learn to be comfortable in audition room is to attend classes that will get you in front of legitimate directors. On the other hand, these workshops can be costly, but you have to ensure that you spend your money judiciously. Do your research and ask the people around you especially those people in your classes for good workshops and casting directors to meet. Attending workshops will not only stretch your skill beyond the limit but also help you to make the right connections.

IT’S TIME TO START MARKETING YOUR BRAND…YOU!

Apply for the job whenever you have the privilege to do so. The world is now a small village with many websites dedicated to getting jobs as an actor such as Actor Access, Casting workshop and Backstage which list both big projects and short films and plays. Then update your profile with your current picture as you sign for an account and any credit as you book them. Having done that, don’t be afraid to get yourself out there as much as possible and submit to every project you are right for, either big or small. Modest student shows will help develop your reel and broaden your network. Big gigs just might be searching for somebody like you, and you can never tell when you might be submitting to a casting director who just saw you in a workshop and wants to give you a shot. This truly happens on a regular basis. It might not result in a booking, but it could lead to a great audition. And it will be a breakthrough if you make your mark in a big casting office.

THERE ARE A LOT OF BUMPS ON THIS ROAD….KEEP YOURSELF POSITIVE AND FOCUSED.

Putting your mind on your fundamental objectives while you’re struggling to earn a living is one of the things that can be a persistent issue while chasing your goals. The desire for luxury and security can keep even a great artist off the track. And seeking a fine car and clothing can limit individuals from exploring their capabilities. Therefore, making your acting career your number one priority will be more significant to your future, and keep your extra cash for lessons and headshots rather than eateries and holidays.

Also, you should always look after yourself most importantly physically and emotionally. Do physical exercises on a daily basis, and maintain upbeat, good music in your car or on your mobile phone device. Whenever you sense a tough day is imminent, overcome this with a decisive dance break or a happy sing-a-long. Surround yourself with encouraging people that are on the similar path or who understand your challenge and who can also help you to rise above your struggles in life. Go for a walk and catch fresh air, read a book, or do whatever that makes you feel important and happy and connect with the people that can put a smile on your face.

And most importantly, remember how fortunate you are to be chasing this vision. A lot of people out there neither get the opportunity nor do they have faith in themselves enough even to try. Just to be attempting your dream is a blessing.        

                                                                 The Acting Academy Voice

The Oscars And The Canadian Movie Industry 

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony will be celebrated this Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, as hundreds of Hollywood’s biggest stars gather to honor the best films of 2017 and the people behind them. It’s the movie industry’s biggest night of the year and although it’s based in the U.S., it’s also greatly tied to the Canadian movie industry. You see, Canada is a very popular spot for many Hollywood executives as the location of choice for both movies and TV shows. Producers have realized that a trip north could easily double as anywhere in the United States – doubling for middle America or transforming into a bustling metropolis like New York City. 

But besides being able to look like many cities in the States, Canada is also a huge draw for producers because it’s less expensive to shoot movies and shows, which is actually a huge reason why many of Hollywood’s biggest movies are shot in Canada. Because of this major benefit, the Oscars have a history of many nominated films that were actually shot in Canada! This year alone, a few Canadians were able to bask in the news that “The Shape of Water” was a highly regarded movie for 2017, racking up 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. One of its producers, a Toronto native, considered the film’s leading Oscar nominations as a tribute and “unprecedented” win for Canadian talent. 

According to producer J. Miles Dale, not only was the film shot in Toronto, Canada, but besides the director, Guillermo del Toro, the cinematographer and a few of the actors, every one else involved with the film was a Canadian native, proving that this type of recognition from Hollywood on the industry’s biggest night is huge for Canadians and the country’s movie industry. 

Not only was it this year’s most favored picture, but was just one Oscar nomination shy for tying the record with other huge Oscar-nominated films like “La La Land,” “Titanic” and “All About Eve.” This feat is just an indication of what the landscape of Canadian films currently is and its impact on Hollywood. The movie business in the States is now recognizing Canada for its vast potential in movies and realizing that they are just as equal to anywhere else, which is huge news for Canadians in the business!

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The Acting Landscape in Vancouver, BC

Looking to get into TV and film and live in the Vancouver, BC area? Well you’re in luck since the acting landscape in the region is growing and thriving! Hollywood may be the capitol of movies and TV, but Vancouver, BC, is where it’s all shot! The movie industry in Vancouver is booming, which means loads of work for aspiring and up-and-coming actors. Not only is it close to Los Angeles, where all the magic happens, but it also provides many producers and studios beneficial tax credits, making it a production mecca for both Hollywood films and loads of TV shows.

So why the sudden boom in acting gigs in Vancouver? Well, it’s closer to L.A. than other notable film production spots like Atlanta and Toronto, so it’s much more accessible to talent and those in charge. But the biggest draw is probably the tax credits that allow movie and TV budgets to get more for their money. And with the growth of Netflix original films and shows, the area is booming with work for potential actors! Some of the biggest shows being filmed out there right now include The CW’s “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “Supergirl.”

Getting started being an extra in all the TV shows and Hallmark movies filmed in the region is a great way to start in the industry and get some credits on your resume. When you land a gig as an extra on a show, you can get up to 20 days on set or more on a single show! But don’t think the abundance of extra work will eventually land you an acting gig. It is, however, a great stepping-stone to see if acting is a career you want to pursue with all your heart and passion. While it’s a great addition to your resume, you should still pursue other avenues to make your acting career a reality like taking various acting classes to hone in on your craft and continuing to go on auditions and open calls for actual role work. By doing everything you can to realize your dream of acting coupled with living in Vancouver will eventually help land you that breakout role!

The Acting Academy Voice

Thе Imроrtаnсе оf tаking  Clаѕѕеѕ for Aсting еvеn аѕ a Prоfеѕѕiоnаl.

Onе оf thе rеаѕоnѕ whу a рrоfеѕѕiоn асtоr. Nеwbiе, or writer should tаkе асting сlаѕѕеѕ iѕ tо improve thеir writing аѕ well аѕ knоwing mоrе аbоut hоw tо рlау сеrtаin rоlеѕ in a mоviе. when уоu lооk аt writing frоm a tоtаllу diffеrеnt реrѕресtivе , уоu will undеrѕtаnd it iѕ necessary fоr уоu tо lеаrn mоrе аѕ thiѕ will imрrоvе уоur wеаk роint аѕ асtоr. еvеrу actor hаѕ hiѕ/hеr оwn wеаk роint. ѕоmе аrе уеt tо undеrѕtаnd thеir wеаk роint whilе ѕоmе hаvе figurеd it оut but ѕtill nоt a direct ѕоlutiоn tо уоu оr did nоt knоw how tо ѕоlvе it.

Juѕt likе dirесtоrѕ, рrоfеѕѕiоnаl асtоrѕ оr writеrѕ ѕhоuld tаkе асting сlаѕѕеѕ tо undеrѕtаnd hоw аn асtоr рrераrеѕ fоr a role. Aѕ аn асtоr, you need the tools tо рrераrе a rоlе that m been may not have been developed fully with regards to character dеѕсriрtiоn, bасkgrоund, аnd what is going on “at the moment “of the scene. Undеrѕtаnding whу a сhаrасtеr dоеѕ whаt thеу dо iѕ fundаmеntаl to ѕсеnе ѕtudу. An actor can оnlу dо ѕо muсh to bring уоur wоrdѕ tо lifе.

Mаnу оf thе асtоrѕ аnd асtrеѕѕеѕ оut thеrе wеrе fоund аftеr thеу hаd worked vеrу hаrd. Tаking acting сlаѕѕеѕ hеlреd thеm rеfinе their ѕkillѕ ѕо thаt whilе thеу wоuldn't necessarily bе thе most реrfесt асtоr in thе wоrld but thеу will bе сlоѕе. Thеrе аrе mаnу reasons fоr needing tо tаkе thеѕе сlаѕѕеѕ. Thеу will рrоvidе уоu with thе tооlѕ tо be in реrfесt shape. Thеrе аrе a lоt of tесhniԛuеѕ tо lеаrn. Bу tаking acting сlаѕѕеѕ уоu will lеаrn how tо еnunсiаtе. Sреаking рrореrlу , using your instrument, аnd allowing the character to play you will mаkе асting a lоt еаѕiеr.

Here аrе оthеr bеnеfitѕ оf tаking асting classes. еvеn аѕ a рrоfеѕѕiоnаl

· Thеу givе уоu a bаѕе tо wоrk frоm.

· Thеу givе you a solid tесhniԛuе thаt you саn fаll bасk on аnd rесrеаtе timе аftеr timе in diffеrеnt situations.

· Thеу will hеlр уоu tо bе аblе tо ассеѕѕ your еmоtiоnѕ.

· Thеу will hеlр уоu tо ѕее whеrе уоu nееd tо imрrоvе.

· Tаking асting сlаѕѕеѕ will еnаblе уоu to ѕее оthеr асtоrѕ wоrk, whiсh in itѕеlf iѕ invаluаblе!.

· Yоu will see hоw оthеr асtоrѕ оvеrсоmе ѕоmе оf thеir оwn iѕѕuеѕ whilе асting аnd intеrрrеting their rоlеѕ.

· You will see how оthеr асtоrѕ рrераrе еmоtiоnаllу fоr thеir ѕсеnеѕ.

· Yоu will hаvе a gооd tеасhеr (hореfullу) who саn givе уоu gооd, соnѕtruсtivе аnd реrѕоnаl fееdbасk tо hеlр уоu imрrоvе уоur сrаft..

· Thеу will mаkе уоu mоrе соmfоrtаblе whilе реrfоrming.

· Thеу will givе уоu соnfidеnсе.

· Thеу will help уоu tо knоw уоurѕеlf bеttеr; уоur ѕtrеngthѕ аnd wеаknеѕѕеѕ аѕ an actor.

· Thеу will hеlр уоu to ѕtrеngthеn уоur рubliс ѕоlitudе! (уоur аbilitу tо blосk оut everything еlѕе and соnсеntrаtе ѕоlеlу оn your work in thе mоmеnt).

· Thеу will help you оvеrсоmе ѕtаgе fright.

· Thеу will help уоu tо figurе оut hоw tо brеаk down a сhаrасtеr аnd hоw tо prepare fоr a rоlе.

· Thеу will hеlр mаkе уоur арреаrаnсеѕ in frоnt оf саѕting dirесtоrѕ аnd аgеntѕ оf greater imрасt and more memorable.



                                                                                        The Acting Academy Voice

The Do's and Don'ts of creating a demo reel

A demo reel is one of the most important things that you need as an actor to help you market yourself effectively. It is therefore inevitable to have the best demo reel if you wish to get your prospective employers to consider hiring you. This is your commercial, and you definitely need it to represent you appropriately, sell your skills and land you your first or even your dream job. You want to be noticed and the only way to do this is to know the right way to create your demo reel.
Here are a few dos and don’ts that will help you create the best demo reel

The Dos
  • Only include the best of your work
This sounds pretty obvious but should definitely not be overlooked. I am sure by now you know that your weakest point determines your strength, in the same way, your demo reel will be just as strong as the worst piece you have ever done. Whenever you create more pieces, you should constantly edit your demo reel and re-evaluate what work you would currently consider to be your strongest. Constantly replace the ‘weak’ pieces with stronger ones. Consider having a demo reel that has few quality pieces than one with many mediocre pieces.
  • Mark the beginning and the ending of your demo reel with the strongest pieces
There is a high probability that your demo reel won’t be viewed all through. To be on the safe side, start off with your best work and end with something that will make the viewer remember you.
  • It should be geared towards the job of your dreams
If you are sure of the specific job title you would like to be hired for, you should take time to do pieces that are related to that. If you generalize by doing many reels with unrelated areas of focus, then you may not be placed where you would like to be.
  • Know and focus on your strengths
Let your demo reel reflect what you are good at. It is not necessary to show that you are capable of doing everything.
  • The simpler and shorter, the better
If your demo reel goes beyond two minutes then you need to edit and get rid of some of your weaker pieces and leave only your very best.
  • Include a cover letter
Most people overlook the cover letter but it largely determines whether or not your demo reel will be watched. It should be very specific to the particular position you are interested in. Highlight your experiences, skills and your strongest technical skills.
  • It should be easy to play
Test it on as many systems as possible and ensure that one does not need to install special codes or software to play your demo reel. If you are sending it to a specific studio, check their site and convert your demo reel to their preferred form.

The Don’ts
  • If you do not have approval for some work, don’t include it
You may have done some work under some ‘not-for-public’ agreement, strictly do not include it. If you would like to show that you are capable of doing such a project, then you should recreate it in a personal project.
  • If you do not love doing certain work, don’t include it
Your demo reel determines what work you will be hired to do. If you end up being hired to do what you do not like, you are likely to perform poorly.
  • Do not insist on music
If adding your favorite music to the reel does not add value to it, then it is better off without it. It is risky to add music, because it may make some viewers dislike the whole reel.
  • Don’t include work that you haven’t done
Honesty is valued in every field. A demo reel is supposed to tell your employer that you are capable of doing the work in it. If you end up being employed and perform way below the expectations, as dictated by your demo reel, then you will be labeled dishonest.
  • Don’t waste so much time on fancy packaging
Your focus should be on the content rather than the packaging; you will be hired 

                                                                                        The Acting Academy Voice


Importance of Continuing to Take Acting Classes- To be Easily Noticed By Casting Agents/Directors

Acting classes are very important for any aspiring actor. By now you should know that the greatest challenge in the field of acting is that there are so many people from all over the world who want to become actors. This is why you need to find an effective way that will give you the edge when it comes to talent and experience and the truth is, there is no better way than taking acting classes. Whether a new or already established actor, acting classes are a sure way of getting the experience and confidence that you will need to make it big in your career.

As an actor, you will face extraordinary competition; there is no specifically established path towards becoming a great actor. Some have made it because of their hard work that led to them being discovered as talented actors, while others are in it because they were lucky to have been strategically placed in the right place at the right time. This is clearly a matter of choosing what works for you and waiting for your right time. However, if you really intend to be a successful actor early enough, experience and acting lessons are the fastest way to getting there.

One great thing about taking classes is that you get to learn from those with the experience.so if you faithfully take the lessons and practice what you are taught in class, you are much more likely to be noticed by casting directors than someone else who hasn’t taken classes. It clearly gives you an edge over others and sets you apart from the rest of the competitors.

I am sure we are in agreement that the best way for you to home your acting talent and skills is taking acting classes. It is true that taking classes adds significantly on the financial input towards your career, but at the end of the day you will agree that it is totally worth it. The fact that you took classes will be a great way for the directors and agents to know that you are determined to making a great actor; you put in money, time and effort in working on your skills.

Now, most actors will give up on the acting classes as soon as they land their first job. This should not be the case; the classes are a combination of practical skills development, acting games and other vital acting exercises and activities like firearm training that you will need throughout your career. You need to remember that the acting field is dynamic and you most definitely will not keep your current job for long and therefore, you will still need to take the classes to the end in order to be noticed as a great actor.

Of course there is the usual very debatable statement that some people are naturally great actors. The truth is that it is a lot easier for those who have taken classes to find acting jobs and roles. If you look into the backgrounds of the greatest and the worldwide best-known actors, you will realize that they one way or another got some acting lessons and for most of them, the classes were very expensive and extensive too. So if you want to be anything like them, you have to continue taking acting classes.

                                                                                        The Acting Academy Voice

                                Picking the Right Agent

Picking an agent is more or less like college selection. It is one decision that needs to be made carefully because it will greatly determine the future of your acting career. Sadly, most actors blindly rush into making this decision. There are thousands of well-established talent agencies and narrowing down your choices can be very confusing. Those who have made it in the acting industry will tell you that finding the right agency that perfectly fits what you need is a daunting task.

Well-established agencies versus ‘boutique agencies’

I believe the biggest mistake that most start up actors make is trying to get signed with the famous, well-established agencies. Sure enough, if you get lucky and are offered a place, this could really work out well for you. However, there are advantages of being signed by the smaller agencies. You are most likely to be very important to them and they will work around the clock to secure a lot of work for you. The bottom line is that you seek to create business relationship with your agency. At this point, the best thing that could happen to you is you becoming a working actor, so the best agency for you is one that helps you find work, regardless of its location, the length of time it has been around or its size.

Having said that, these questions should help you pick an agent or agency that best meets your needs;

  • What are the projects and talents that the agency handles effectively?

Find out what the agency in known for; what is their specialty and do your needs fit in? Different agencies specialize in different areas. You either want to go commercial or for theatrics, it is true that some agencies may be representing both, but there are agencies that are better than others at one or the other.

  • How does your agent see you and your casting? Is that how you see yourself?

There are certain types of roles that you believe are the right ones for you; you have practiced them and you feel comfortable with them. If the agent does not seem to pay attention to this, then feel free to keep looking for the right agent. There are many agencies to choose from.

  • At what level are you in your career? Is the Agency at that level?

With time, you will notice that you have built your career to a certain point and you need to move to the next level. If your current agency is not able to find you audition for the next level, then you need to change to another- upgrade.

Now, when is the right time for you to start looking for a new agent?

I want to presume that the fact that you are currently working with an agent means that you accessed them and chose them. It therefore, means that they saw your talent and your casting as you wanted them to. However, there comes a time when you feel like you no longer work well with them. Here are some genuine reasons for you to start looking for a new agent:

  • When you are not being called for auditions despite having done everything that your agent requires you to. If you have put in all your efforts in getting the perfect demo reel and headshot and attended classes as your agent recommended and you still are not getting auditions, it is high time you left and looked for another agent.
  • If others in your age-group are getting out. You may not be in the agency’s age-group sweet spot and therefore, not being pushed forward for auditions. If you realize that many actors in the age group within which you fall are leaving, you too should leave.

 

The Acting Academy Voice


The Perfect Headshot


Important things you need to know in order to have the perfect headshot


The headshot. This is the most important tool that any serious actor needs in order to effectively market themselves. It is therefore, crucial to do it the right way-you need the casting director to be impressed and not scared by your headshot. Believe it or not, it is a powerful representation of you and so if it looks bad, then your prospective employer will believe that you look bad too; you will be hired based on this 8x10 photo of your face. This is to emphasize to you the need to distinguish this from your Facebook or Instagram photos. It will eventually earn you a lot of jobs and money if you do it the right way.


Here is a list of 5 most basic and very important things you need to know in order to have the perfect headshot:


  • Go professional

For the perfect headshot, you should go to a trained professional who understands lighting and has a good reputation. It is true that professional headshots cost a lot but at the end of the day it is worth it. If you take it as an investment in your career, it is the second most essential investment after your acting training.

  • Your headshot should look like you

Headshots are not about who you want to be, they are about who you are. It is a representation of you on your best day; ensure that it accurately represents the current you. You can imagine how unhappy the casting director will be if you showed up looking very different or way older. The secret here is to choose your personality over all the glamour.

  • Focus on your eyes

Ensure that your eyes are captured in a way that makes them draw the attention of the viewer. Your eyes should, on their own, be able to establish some kind of connection that speaks volumes. So make sure they are well focused, energized and alive.

  • Pay attention to your angles

Headshots are close up shots and so, angles will definitely affect the feel and outcome of the shot. Avoid cheesy angles because they make you appear dishonest and nobody wants to work with such a person.

  • Watch the amount of make-up you use

Retouching takes care of a lot of things .It is not necessary to go crazy with tons of makeup. You definitely do not want to look fake or like you tried really hard. Just be you; your face and hair should be exactly as they would look on any audition.


If you asked me, all these tips narrow down to honesty and professionalism. Be yourself and express confidence in who you are. Do not hesitate to invest in quality headshots; they are your ticket to a great acting career.