Choose your songs wisely.

Dale Brown

A.C.: What three songs do you never ever want to hear again at an audition?

DALE BROWN: I don’t think I really have a running list of “ugh” songs. Nonetheless, there are two things I believe helpful to keep in mind:

  • In this age of needing pop/rock style songs in your book, be careful to choose wisely. Select a song that has a story arch, an emotional journey. These songs are generally written to relay a feeling, not an active story. Expect as much from your pop song as you would from those written for theater.
  • Also, songs of all types come in and out of popularity to use in auditions. Have an awareness of what songs are tending to be over-done. Give yourself some options in your book in the event you’re hearing your song in the room while you’re awaiting your turn.

DALE BROWN is currently leading a 5-week Musical Theater Showcase that began Monday, January 3. Click here to learn more about the showcase.

Dale joined Tara Rubin Casting in 2007. His current specific projects with TRC include on-going casting for all US companies of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and the original casting of both BILLY ELLIOT, THE FIRST WIVES CLUB and Des McAnuff’s production of GUYS & DOLLS.

Looking for teen singing opportunities in the city? Check out our Kids/Teens section.

Do you need some extra cash?

By Bob Johnson

I have lead several NY acting classes where we covered the importance of using YouTube to boost your acting career. During the class, I share some of my favorite (or, if not favorite, very successful) YouTube personalities. One of them is MirandaSings08.

This is one of my favorite videos, a cover version of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,”  from Miranda’s channel:

I often wonder where/why/how actress Colleen Ballinger created the character of Miranda and — wouldn’t you know it — Playbill.com posted a video with Seth Rudetsky interviewing Colleen about the creation of Miranda (and he also accompanies her on a very funny performance of “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three,” posted below). Watching Colleen transform from Colleen to Miranda is pretty amazing.

Colleen’s character is only one example of an actress using YouTube to help advance and promote her acting career (Colleen has performed all over the world as Miranda). If you don’t have a YouTube presence, you are crazy not to have one. Some people (Fred, for example) are making $15-$30,000/video.

It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution that could be fun, help your career along and, also, make you a little bit of money. Stephanie Faith Scott created her own web series, don’t you think it’s time for you to do the same?

Box Office Friday

By Lisa Gold

Starting today, and every Friday, I’ll be offering an insider’s point of view on the Business of Show.

Most actors are addicted to the craft and artistry of acting…and that’s a good thing. However, it’s only half of what you need to know to be a successful actor. Imagine one of your favorite restaurants, really, visualize it now. The food tastes so good, the presentation wonderful, the price is right – you just love it don’t you? Well how did you find out about that restaurant? Word of mouth (a referral)? Advertising on TV? Did you get a coupon in the mail?

You are just like that restaurant. Great food (talented) and so what if no one eats there? If you can’t locate the restaurant, it doesn’t matter how good the food is, right? I know to some this sounds like a dumb analogy, but I’ll tell you that after 32 years as a professional singer/dancer/actress/model/waitress..ahem, I mean print model – I’ve come to learn a few things about show BUSINESS. It’s more business than show!

As partner of Actors Connection for over 10 years and president/owner of Act Outside the Box, my mission is to get as many of you who will open your minds, to understand and implement some basic strategies and practices that will advance your acting career much more quickly than you could imagine.

So check back here every Friday from now on for amazing and helpful tips, hints, biz buzz and more…remember it’s show business, not show art! To your success, Lisa Gold

P.S. You can get started next week by attending my FREE seminar on How to Get and Keep an Agent on Wed. Jan. 12th at 1pm here at Actors Connection. Click here to learn more and register.

You’ve got to please yourself.

Roz Coleman, actress, acting coach, and podcast host recently took the time to answer the question, “What’s the best advice someone has offered you?” Here is her response:

It was an observation that came from August Wilson…  It was when we were on Broadway in SEVEN GUITARS and it was more of an observation that I made over time.

August Wilson had so much joy about his role in the work and he had a recognition of who he was in the world. This made him about his work, it made him focus on the work.

I remember that I helped him join AOL and the screen name he chose for himself was “POWERSOURCE.” He knew who he was as the creator and storyteller. From that observation I knew that he was not apologetic about who he was but very comfortable.

The second observation that I made about him was that he always had the next play ready. Although he was grateful for his current success, he started talking about his next play. Wilson was always about the work. He knew it was important to dedicate time to his craft

You have to do your work, alone in a room creating. That’s what he talked about. It wasn’t on what was he had already done but what was coming.

Those observations translate into acting.

You can’t wait for permission for someone to tell you to create something. As an artist, you have to create every day. You have to create something. When you wait for the phone to ring, your instrument will atrophy.

Actor Sam Rockwell and I used to get together and read plays at each other’s house. If actors aren’t working, they should do the same. Sit down with some friends and and read some Tennessee Williams. Don’t talk about it. Get together and act it.

You have to be pleasing to yourself in your work.

Catching this blog post too late for Roz’s class? Check our schedule of events for a list of acting classes in New York city.

Roz will be leading a 4-week class, “Advance inTREATMENT”: On-Camera Acting for Film & TV, beginning Thursday night (January 6). Click here to learn more about the class and register.

So, you want to do voice overs?

AC: If people tell an actor that he should really consider doing voice overs — and he’s never done voice overs — how does he go about getting started?

Paul Liberti: Bottom line: Training! Good training. Never stop training. Find a great coach and learn all you can. Then experience OTHER teachers and professionals in the business. If you find a class that an agent or casting person is teaching… GO! To have the chance to find EXACTLY what a casting director is looking for… then by all means that is a golden opportunity (that is why I love the opportunities at Actors Connection as that is what they are all about!)! Find a good VO class in New York and a great coach and learn all you can.

Learn all aspects of voice over—not just commercial voice over and animation. Take a class in audio books… or narration, or promos!! Even if you never plan to go into those aspects of voice over, the techniques you learn will help your story telling skills and character building skills to make you the most competitive actor out there.

You don’t plan a career; it works around you. We compete for jobs and you need to be just a little more of yourself then the voice guy/girl out there!! You need to be ready for any curve ball thrown. I have classes for the WORKING actor because you should always be growing and studying. When it all seems too comfortable, you need to get back into class. Any actor of longevity will tell you the same.

Paul will be co-leading “Professional Voice Over Tune Up” tonight (Monday, January 3) at 6:30 pm and also will leading and co-leading other courses through March. Click here to learn more and register.