woman sitting in theater

6 Actor Traps Professionals Should Avoid

Don’t fall into these common ACTOR TRAPS that are surefire ways to lead you towards dissatisfaction in your acting career.

  1. Over-analyzing your audition. Give yourself 2 minutes to think about how you can improve your audition next time. Write down some tips for yourself. THEN LET IT GO! Replaying your audition over and over in your head for days on end won’t book you the job, make you feel good, OR make you a better auditioner. Follow the 2 minute rule– and then MOVE ON WITH LIFE.
  2. Lights, Camera, Action!Not making time to enjoy other things in life. I say this ALL the time. YOU ARE NOT AN ACTOR ROBOT. If you are only doing acting related things you aren’t populating your brain with new life experiences to source from when building new characters. The more life you live…the more interesting things you can use to build incredibly realistic and authentic performances. Go out there and do new things and meet new people.
  3. Skipping the research. If you aren’t making time to research the work you are going in for– then step aside and leave the business for the true professionals. With the internet at your fingertips– there is no reason why you can’t set aside an hour to research a role you are right for or a show you are auditioning for. Going in blind doesn’t send casting the message that you will take the job seriously. Dig a little deeper.
  4. Selecting overdone material. With millions of choices for great material out there, there is no need to do things that are known to be overdone. Veer away from materials that are being done time and time again and swap it out for specific choices that are perfect for you. Look at earlier bodies of work– or lesser known bodies or work. Or repurpose something to fit your needs. Unexpected material that suits you and the project are the best routes.
  5. Submitting for jobs they aren’t right for or don’t want. Nothing frustrates casting more than someone who takes time out of their auditions for “relationship building” and not because they actually are right for the job. That is a selfish move and could certainly backfire in a big way. Make sure you want the job/are RIGHT for the job/ are AVAILABLE for the job. Time is money for casting teams and when you knowingly take advantage of their audition process you will put an unnecessary dent in what could have been a positive relationship. Don’t lose trust going out for the wrong jobs.
  6. Comparing your careers to others. Everyone is different and this journey is no exception. What works for one person doesn’t work for all people. You need to customize your path, and make adjustments depending on what helps YOU to be bookable.

Need help navigating this advance along with all the other the ins and the outs of your acting career? Consider our FAST TRACK program. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Colleen Finnegan Kahl is an accomplished Theatre Arts Educator, author of this article, and President of Actors Connection. Colleen is an expert helping aspiring actors find acting classes not only in New York, but also in Atlanta and LA.

Photo kindly by Vladimir Fedotov.

six eggs laid out

6 Reasons Why It’s The BEST Time To Pursue Your Acting Career!

Ok so it has been a tumultuous time for our industry with pandemic related shut downs and restrictions— but I STILL think that it is a better time than EVER to start pursuing your acting career. Enjoy my list below (in no particular order) of some of the wonderful elements that our current world has brought to our wild and crazy industry.

  1. Media LogosStreaming created TONS of new opportunities. There is more work being produced now than EVER before. Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Peacock, Hulu, Netflix, Disney +– the list of streaming services acquiring and producing new works goes ON and ON. With such a need for content, more projects are being produced more than ever. Sure, they are all not big box office releases with mega budgets— but that is why it is good for YOU. All these projects can’t afford A listers, so they are discovering new talent left and right– making lots of room for you in features and recurring roles on new episodics.
  2. Covid made self-tapes the new norm, opening up new opportunities. Once upon a time, if you couldn’t make the audition, you lost your chance. Now everything starts out via tapes! Traveling? Bring your self-tape equipment! Sore throat today? Tape it tomorrow! Self-tapes allow you more time to perfect your audition, more time to squeeze an audition into your schedule, and EVEN SOMETIMES the ability to participate in projects outside of your local area.
  3. Equity membership is OPEN. Equity JUST announced that membership is now OPEN to those who have received compensation for theatrical work. New professionals can now join the union and avoid the strict joining guidelines that used to be in place. Check out the Actor’s Equity site to learn more.
  4. Numerous online resources. You can find information about auditions, casting directors, agencies, self-tapes, voiceovers– YOU NAME IT– just a quick google search away. You can find all sorts of blogs, podcasts and info on career strategy and know-how so you can get your most pressing career related questions answered as they pop into your head.
  5. Diversity is embraced. Our industry is embracing and celebrating diversity and we are HERE for it! All looks, shapes and sizes are being brought to the table for projects and it is truly exciting! Finally our industry is catching up to what is actually represented in our worlds!
  6. No need for tons of printed color headshots. I miss opening up that box of pristine pictures but– boy oh boy are we all saving LOTS of money! It’s good to have a handful of hard copies always at the ready— but in our virtual lives these days, emailed files are preferred and used MOST of the time.

It’s a good time to be you. It’s a good time to be here. It’s a good time to show the world your talent! Don’t forget— if you are craving training by top notch Casting Directors— we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of upcoming classes and events HERE!

Colleen Finnegan Kahl is an accomplished Theatre Arts Educator, author of this article, and President of Actors Connection. Colleen is an expert dealing with online casting especially in regards to New York. If you find yourself wondering how to meet casting directors, Colleen can help. Photo kindly by Danielle MacInnes.