Hey, thanks for checking out today's post. This blog is intended for the aspiring or working model and actor. Click here to subscribe for our e-mail updates!
Hey, thanks for checking out today's post. This blog is intended for the aspiring or working model and actor. Click here to subscribe for our e-mail updates!
Actress and coach Gwyn Gilliss alerts actors to what she believes is the most important time of their careers.
Is it when you start the first eight bars for your song at an audition? No.
Is it the first half moment an agent looks at your resume? No.
Is it when you receive your BFA or MFA in theatre? No.
Ok, give up?
It's those 30 seconds before you make an entrance.
Before you enter a room to: Meet an agent, audition for a casting director, have a meeting with a personal manager, interview with the producer of the film, greet the star of the film (who decides if you're going to play opposite him/her), have coffee with the writer of the TV series, or charm the art director who will hire you to be the image of his fashion empire or the multi-million dollar ad campaign.
You need to really prepare. Prepare what? And why is this so important?
The energy you bring into the room tells everyone immediately where you're at. Are you frightened, self-conscious, depressed, unfocused? Or do you exude confidence, happiness, joy, warmth, sex appeal, delight, or passion? That is your audition. Let me repeat that. That is your audition.
It's over by the time you start your monologue or begin cold-reading the sides. The decision to hire you has already been made, subliminally.
Getting a job as an actor isn't always about the audition or for a model, the photo. It's about connecting with the casting director, director, art director, or network exec.
People hire people they like, know, and trust. If there's no one in their current circle of friends/professional contacts and they haven't cast a star, they seek the first person with whom they are comfortable, is right for the role, and can do the work – in that order! Most people decide in the first 10 seconds – the audition is the final determining factor not the first cut. We all go with what's comfortable and familiar.
So, your job as an actor is to create an aura of positive energy – calm, peaceful, or full of charm and enthusiasm before you enter a room. Stop and visualize something that delights you. Think about a dream vacation you've always wanted, someone with whom you’re in love, working opposite your favorite A-list actor in a film on location – whatever motivates you to feel excited. Just about the time a smile comes to our face, open the door.
Walk in and book that job!
How are you going to spend the 30 seconds before you walk into that big meeting?Read more at Backstage.
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Taryn Southern a writer on backstage.com, gives advice on how to increase Youtube viewers.
Q. I’ve done a few Web series, but they didn’t get very many views. How do I build an audience?
A. I hear this a lot. You spent months slaving away on a series, you upload to the Web, and...crickets.
Unfortunately, gone is the phrase “going viral.” Our Facebook and Twitter feeds have become a marketplace of self-promotion, and when just about everyone seems to be making a Web series, it’s tough to even get people to watch.
While variables such as format, tone, and personality are always going to be a huge part of the equation, here are five YouTube basics you can control to help you build an audience.
Optimize SEO. Make sure people can find your content. To increase search engine optimization, make sure your description box has plenty of information about the series, links, and cast and crew listings. Include video keywords, possible title misspellings, and other brand associations as tags in the description box. The more information you have under the video, the better your video’s search engine ranking by Google.
Increase video interaction. If your video is particularly controversial or newsworthy, comments and likes often come automatically. Otherwise, creatively encouraging people to comment and “like” the video (through graphics or calls to action) can help increase your content’s search visibility. Depending on their settings, social activity on your content is often automatically broadcast to those viewers’ own social media streams (i.e., Twitter). Voilà, free promotion!
Design your video thumbnail. Time and again, Google studies show that people are much more likely to watch a video with a great thumbnail. If you’re not a Photoshop wizard, take a screen grab of your video’s best frame (command+shift+3 on a Mac), and use PicMonkey.com to crop it to 1920x1080 pixels. Apply color filters (increasing saturation and contrast goes a long way), and export the file as a JPEG or PNG.
Consistency. If you’re serious about building an audience, release content at least once a week. Try to keep your series scalable so that you have the resources to continue releasing on an ongoing basis. If you need time off, maintain consistency by releasing behind-the-scenes content, extras, or vlogs.
Annotations. Annotations are the clickable areas of a YouTube video that drive viewers to other content on your channel. I frequently use the “spotlight annotation” tool to point people to other videos or to my channel subscription box. Go to youtube.com/tarynsouthern and watch the last 30 seconds of one of my recent videos to see how I use annotations.
There are a ton of other ways to build an audience around your content. These YouTube basics will help get you started.
If you have a Youtube channel, how many viewers do you have and what do you do to attract more?
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Have you ever wondered why those models on the runway walk so sexy. What's the secret to walk like a model?
Let's start with your arms and hands - keep them loose. You must look like you are trying too hard, don't curl fingers or keep them too straight. They should be directed towards your feet and not your knees.
Posture is the most important when walking with confidence.
Practice the movement of your arms, as you have seen on fashion shows; a confident walk implies swinging arms.
Stationary arms can look weird and stiff. However control them don't throw them randomly, it is ideal if you swing them from elbows down, carefully not to hit your hips.
It is very important to lift your chin, don't stare at the ground. Look people in the eye, this will surely grab their attention. Attitude is the key to successful walk.We arrived to the most important part, walking. Keep one feet in front of the other, practice it on a rope placed on the floor or a straight line.
Don't imitate their walk 100%, add your personality to these carefully planned steps. The ball of your foot should be set down first and bend your knee, look flexible but at the same time gentle.
Swaying is definitely our signature move, however it should not be done excessively, don't become hilarious. Practice swaying motions at home, you'll see what's the best for you. Walking as presented earlier can make your hips swing more.
Wearing heels is the best way to practice these tips, don't take a high risk and exercise with skyscraper stilettos - choose in between ones, and remember patience is essential.
Are you ready for the runway, take these tricks and apply them to yourself and evaluate your results!!
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Ever heard the statistic that recruiters read resumes and decide on who they’ll consider in 20 seconds or less? It may seem impossible (and scary), but it’s often true. So it’s important to focus on clarity and brevity – how to get the important information across as quickly and clearly as possible.
What are recruiters looking for in those 20 seconds?
- Location. If you’re not local to the opportunity, make sure to include a note in your opening email (and keep that opening email short) about your willingness to relocate. If you have a temporary address in your desired location that you can use, that’s even better.
- Recent experience. Include your most recent role (including title and company, of course) near the top of the page. Don’t spend an entire front page on long-winded descriptions of your skills. You can elaborate on skills and accomplishments under each respective position.
- Industry. If the company is looking for someone with specific industry experience, make sure you include that experience on your first page and/or intro email; otherwise, a recruiter may overlook it and not consider you.
- Turnover. If you’ve changed jobs frequently, that is often a red flag. If you have good reasons for job changes (ie. layoff), please include a one-line note about it in your resume, under the job to which it applies.
- Spelling and grammatical errors. PLEASE make sure you don’t have any of these in your resume. It will disqualify you with just about every recruiter I know. Spellcheck isn’t enough – read through it with a fine-toothed comb, and ask friends to proof it as well.
Recruiters have different opinions on format but, given that we’re typically looking over the information quickly, I go for simplicity. I don’t think it’s necessary to include an objective, though a brief summary is nice. (For example, “Accomplished advertising account services professional with 10+ years of B2B and B2C experience partnering with large brands.”) I prefer chronological rather than functional resumes. I want to see companies, keywords, bullet point accomplishments, titles, and dates - not paragraphs full of jargon. Make sure you include relevant accomplishments with lots of keywords, but don’t write a novel. You can discuss all of those details in an interview. Don’t make a recruiter go to the second page before they can see your current title and company.
I don’t believe in the “one-page-fits-all” mentality – if you’re not junior level, you shouldn’t have a one-page resume. Don’t cut out important accomplishments in order to keep it short. At the same time, don’t go overboard – resumes shouldn’t be over three pages long. Two is ideal for someone who is mid to senior level.
Keep cover letters short and to-the-point. I prefer them to be written directly into an email or message, not sent as an attachment. If you include a cover letter, make sure you tailor it to the individual. It’s embarrassing to send a cover letter to Traci that is addressed to Judy, or a note to Apple about how excited you are to work for IBM.
Above all, be truthful while showcasing your skills in the best possible light. This motto works well for resumes, and for life in general.
Is your resume ready for review and does it include some of the tips provided? What are some other tips that have worked for your resume?
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Emma Gray, a writer for The Huffington Post provides information about Doves new campaign commercial. Do women see themselves less accurately than strangers do?
A new Dove campaign says yes -- and offers proof, in the form of forensic sketches.
Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds and had FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora create composite sketches of them based on descriptions of their own facial features. In the above video, produced for the campaign, you can hear the women use phrases like "my mom told me I had a big jaw," "I kind of have a fat, rounder face," "I'd say I have a pretty big forehead."
"We really weren't sure what was going on," Kela Cabrales, a 40-year-old technology teacher and digital artist who appears in the video, told HuffPost Women. "They asked me to describe myself and use neutral terms and 'just the facts' sort of descriptions."
Earlier in the day, the women had been asked to spend time with strangers, though neither party was told why. These strangers were later brought one by one into a room with Zamora and asked to describe the women who had been sketched earlier. The two resulting drawings of each woman were then hung side-by-side -- and the contrast is pretty stark. The tagline of the campaign is: "You are more beautiful than you think." (Scroll down for more of the sketches.)
It's worth noting that Dove is owned by Unilever -- the same company that owns Axe, king of misogynistic ads that use headless breasts and "flirty girls" to hawk its products. However, despite the obvious commercial intentions behind this campaign, the message rings true and is a refreshing departure from the many female-targeted ads that try to shame women into buying things.
And it's women's existing shame that the Dove campaign does a good job of exposing through its sketches. "I probably beat myself up way more than I should," Cabrales acknowledged to HuffPost Women. "I see my 8-year-old daughter, and she’s so happy and confident, and naturally exudes this beauty. And when I see her I feel like, 'Oh god, what pitfalls did I fall into, and how can I keep that from happening to her?' I don’t know what they are -- I wish I did. I really want to protect her."
If you were to describe your own beauty for a sketch, what do you think the results will look like? Would someone describe you completely different than how you would described yourself?
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Gayle Jo Cater, a writer for the USA Today, wrote about the underlining success of the True Blood actor Nelan Ellis. The following will provide you with further information about the actor and the character.
True Blood’s resident drug-dealing, fang-banging Internet-pornographer/prostitute Lafayette can get anyone just about anything he desires.
And he has managed to do just that for Nelsan Ellis, the actor who plays him.
“I don’t think my agent has to beg to get me in the room for an audition anymore,” says Ellis, who can also be seen this fall on the big screen in Secretariat.
But playing such a wildly flamboyant character has caused more tension in his family. “They accept that I’m an actor and I can now pay my rent, and that’s about as far as it goes,” says Ellis, 32. “I don’t necessarily think they appreciate Lafayette.”
Ellis mother hasn’t seen the show, and only the sister out of “about eight (siblings), give or take” is a fan, Ellis says. “Lakieya never misses an episode: she texts me before and after. I took my brother to a premiere and he sort of disappeared. I think he was a little embarrassed.”
Regardless, Ellis relishes the role he describes as “an actor’s wonderland” for giving him stability in a life that began with a turbulent childhood.
Ellis and his siblings were wards of the state, moving from his grandmother’s house to his aunt’s house to other relative’s homes in Alabama.
“They were strong women,” he says. “They told me if I wanted to do something, to be something, I had to make it happen.”
Ellis did just that. First he joined the Marine Corps, where he says he “loved and appreciated” his first taste of discipline, and then he attended the Juilliard School, where he wrote and staged Ugly, a play about the tragic consequences of domestic abuse, after his sister Alice was shot and killed by her husband. From there, he wrote a screenplay, which he describes as “basically the white version of Precious.” But it was a hard sell.
“It’s something very real, but you have to take the truth and put it in a dress in order for people to want it, to buy it. You can’t just tell the truth, the truth isn’t commercial.”
True Blood, however, has drawn in fans despite its dark story lines, one of which last season revolved around Lafayette being locked in a dungeon, shot and then ultimately saved by drinking lifesaving vampires’ blood.
Ellis promises Season 3, which starts Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, won’t disappoint. “The werewolves are coming in. The vampire King of Texas is being introduced. I get a love interest. I get a mother (played by Alfre Woodard), and you’ll see the softer side of Lafayette.”
Off screen, Ellis’ softer side oozes out of him, whether it’s when he’s talking about his on-and-off girlfriend of 17 years, aspiring actress Tiffany Snow (“When I lose my way, she brings me back”) or the aunt and grandmother who took him in (“They told me my life was my own, to do whatever was in my mind to do with it.”)
“If I didn’t do anything with it, it would be my own fault,” he says. “Whatever happens with it is up to me.”
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The Underwear Expert, which are best known for their fit models were asked to gather advice from some some of their most dedicated underwear models. When it comes to being fit to model underwear, each model has a different stratedgy. Here are some tips to consider.
5. According to Jeremy Brink, it all starts with the right attitude:
“Best advice I could give in terms of working out: Always bring the highest intensity to the gym. If you don’t, there’s really no point in being there and doing a half-assed workout. Go home and come back when you’re ready to bring it.”4. Mike Stalker is all about his weekly weights.
“In the weight room, I basically follow a body-building type program, which focuses on one muscle group a day, and I lift for about 1 1/2 hours 5-6 days a week. I also try to do ab workouts about 3 times a week. An example of my week would look like: Monday- Chest, Tuesday- Back, Wednesday- Shoulders, Thursday- Legs, and Friday- arms. Then, on either Saturday or Sunday, I will focus solely on some sort of core workout.”3. Personal trainer/model Go Green swears by decline push-ups:
“Decline push-ups are performed by propping your feet against a wall or on top of a bench or chair. The higher your feet are placed, the more severe the decline angle, and the more significant the isolation on specific muscle fibers,” says Green. “Decline push-ups incorporate the muscle fibers in the upper portion of the pectoralis major muscle, which means more bang for your push-up buck.”
2. Davey Wavey gets inspiration from our Commander in Chief:
“Did you know that Barack Obama spends one hour a day exercising? If the leader of the free world has time to hit the gym, then so do you. It’s not a matter of not having enough time to exercise.”
1. Julian Gabriel on the importance of striking the right balance:
“I used to use a lot of weights and I was always trying to get bigger,” explains Gabriel. “As soon as I entered the modeling world, they were like ‘yeah, everything’s great but you need to tone that down.’ So my current gym regimen is pretty much cardio-cardio-cardio and abs-abs-abs. I look at the weights from afar and say, “hi,” but then I keep walking the other way.”
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Pamela Goldman, an agent in the commerical department at Don Buchwald and Associates Inc., shared what some agents look for in a talent on backstage.com. There are few things more exciting to an agent than a talented model or actor who knows the ropes and has a professional approach when they walk in the door. Even if you don't have experience, showing you did your research to be prepared speaks volumnes!
When an actor becomes a client of a talent agency, especially a larger one, it is essential that he or she realizes that they have certain responsibilities. Agents must delegate their workday to securing and signing talent, pitching their actors to casting directors, and putting out auditions in a timely manner. We often don’t have time to check up on each client to make sure all documents are in order. Here are some of the things that youth agents, specifically, rely on parents to be in charge of:
1. Current headshots. If your child looks nothing like their photo that your agent has on file, it’s time to update. This is an investment! It is the number one thing we need. If we don’t have a current headshot, it’s not very likely they’ll get any further than a submission. If you’re going to spend money anywhere with regards to a child’s career, this is it.
2. An updated resume. We can’t keep track of everything your child books, their current height or weight and their latest special skill. Along with a headshot, this is very important especially in the theatrical world. Please take a look at your child’s resume every few months and make sure that it is current. Children's information changes often, and the casting director needs up-to-the-minute information on who the talent is and what they’ve done.
3. Work permits and trust accounts. If you’re new to the business, the agent will most likely walk you through getting a 15-day temporary permit that can be downloaded from the NY State Department of Labor website [see your own state's regulations on what permits your child may or may not need if outside of NY]. After that, parents must mail in an application for a permit that is valid for one year. Please, please keep this date on a calendar. If we book a child on a job and the permit is expired, they cannot work under any circumstances. It is the parents’ responsibility to know the expiration date and send away for a renewal with time to spare. There have been many, many instances where agents are left with no recourse when a child is booked and the permit isn’t valid. Don’t let it happen to you. As well, trust accounts are a must by law for child actors, and parents only need to open one (in person) once. Do it early.
5. Passports. More and more, commercials shoot outside the United States. We get numerous castings that take a child and parent to Europe, African countries, and on international cruises. There is no reason why a serious actor in this business shouldn't be willing and able to leave the country for a job opportunity. Again, it means your agent giving up an appointment time for your child if you don’t have the proper documentation. Make sure an adult in your family also has a current passport to travel as their guardian.
6. Bookouts and current school/after school schedules. As stated in previous columns, agents need to know when a child is unavailable. It’s your responsibility to email that information to your representation so they can document it in the system. We have no idea if you’re out of town if you don’t tell us.
7. Knowledge of the material. If your agent gives you copy to learn for an audition, please make sure the child knows it (preferably off book). Most of the times in the commercial world, scripts aren’t given in advance, but when they are, our clients need to be very familiar with them. Agents consistently hear from casting offices that their talent wasn’t prepared [and OH, It is embarrassing and causes the agent to lose confidence in the talent for the next pitch]. Parents need to do their part and study it with their child if they confirm the audition. There are probably other things going on that night – homework, soccer practice – but if acting is a priority, please make sure they know their lines.
You have expectations for your agent's place in your success -- likewise, your agent has expectations for you as the talent. The end result is a successful team for those who both pull their weight. What are you waiting for?
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1. School Showcase. This is one of the more common
ways a young actor secures representation. Each spring, hundreds of BFA
and MFA graduates strut their stuff for an industry-filled audience.
However, if you’re not in one of these programs, you don’t qualify. [Insider note from Melinda: These types of showcases are also done in some acting workshops with coaches outside of educational institutes. Check with coaches in your area to find out more on what is available.]
2. Getting your work seen. In this
instance, an actor’s work is seen in a play, at a film festival, on
YouTube, etc. The downside is it's difficult to “make happen.” Often
it’s by fluke that this method comes to pass. However,
it’s always the best. Having your work seen and being called in as a
result of it trumps everything. They like your work. Now they want to
see if they like you! [Note from Melinda: Don't lose sight of this last statement! Stellar work is great, but it only gets your foot in the door. You still have to sell yourself as someone we want to work with!]
3. Referral. Actors are often granted a meeting when a mutual party (i.e. casting director, current client of the agency, friend, etc.) ask an agent to see a particular actor. The downside is the meeting has been arranged by a mutual party and not out of pure agent-to-actor interest. Often, an actor will say to me, “I had a meeting with an agent yesterday. It didn’t go well.” And I’ll say, “Oh, was it a referral?” And the actor always says, “Yes! How did you know?” And I say, “Because they didn’t want to see you; they had to see you as a courtesy to whoever referred you.” Still, it sometimes does the trick. A note here: If you attempt to go this route, try to get whoever is referring you to pick up the phone, or at the very least, email the person to whom they are referring you. Simply mentioning the person’s name in your cover letter is far less effective and too easy to dismiss or not see.
4. Mailing of photo/resume. This method is usually effective when the actor is a) young and extremely attractive or b) has amassed – perhaps through the efforts of a previous agent – a reasonably impressive resume. If an actor is not in either of these categories, a mailing is a usually a long shot, especially for legit/theatrical representation.
5. Industry classes/seminars. This refers to venues where actors pay a fee, and as a result their work is seen by agents. Mostly effective for actors who fall in either category “a” or “b” as described in number 3, above. It is a more flexible method for attaining commercial representation, however.
Here's a note for all the methods listed above. Although it sometimes happens that the interest isn’t as strong as the actor hopes, it doesn’t mean the situation is dead in the water if representation is not initially offered. Pro-active career measures and reports of the results can make an agent who has previously passed on an actor the first time around, later re-visit the situation. As a former agent, I’ve seen this happen far more than one might think. Hang in there.
What challenges do you encounter (or have you encountered) when submitting for representation?
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Anthony Paul Meindl, a stage and film actor is the founder and artistic director at the MetaTheatre Company and the Director's Workshop in Los Angeles, California. In this video he explains how we as people tend to avoid taking ownership of our actions or results by playing the blame game.
When I was in New York recently, I went out dancing with some friends and I tried to do a very "Dance Fever"-ish kind of move. The tightness of my jeans prevented me from getting as low as I could go so I got stuck somewhere in between. Awkward.
I blamed it on the jeans, which is what one does when one’s ass can’t get quite as low as it used to.
My friend, watching the whole escapade, rolled his eyes and said, “You can’t blame that on the jeans!
I immediately realized that was a great metaphor for life.
It’s easy to blame outside forces for where we are (or aren’t) in life. In love. In career. Whether it’s too tight jeans or an agent (or zero agent) or a boyfriend (or lack thereof) or the business. When we play the blame game, we simply refuse to take responsibility for what actually is holding us back. Which is essentially . . . you.
People don’t hold us back. We hold ourselves back. There’s no force outside us. That idea suggests someone else is in charge of your happiness. Your creativity. Your self-expression. Your success. The more we give up our power to external events and experiences, the more we get to remain the victim. We get to be stuck. We receive a pay-off in staying in stasis and not really doing anything to improve our situation.
I get it. At times it’s easier to blame than to step up and face the fears we project onto others and onto external events. Doing that means we don’t have to examine our own insecurities, our own fearful thinking, our own self-imposed limitations. So we continue to experience more of what our own self-worth demands. And to be honest, our collectively low self-worth doesn’t demand a lot.
So we settle. Or complain. Or get angry. Or blame.
So who would we be without the blame? Well try it and see for yourself. Even if everything doesn’t come up roses right away, there’s a freedom, a sense of empowerment in finally letting go of all the energy we’ve been expending toward blaming others. It might feel like a sense of peace. Or resolution. Or lightness. In short, dropping the heaviness that we carry around with us and perhaps realizing, for the first time, that to not blame feels like . . . well . . . the jeans fit just right.Instead of blaming outside forces on your undesired results, meditate on what you can change to support the results you would like to see. Now, go try it! Feel empowered?
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