Three Sunday Prep Tips For a Great Monday

Hey AC clients!  I know it’s hard to live a Sunday without thinking about Monday so I have some thoughts on what you can do today to help you more successfully attack the week ahead. 

1) Write out your schedule for the week.  Set aside blocks of time to check for auditions, research projects and build your own content on social media.  If you are working on a bigger project, like writing a screenplay or a series, make sure you schedule writing time in as well.  Hold yourself accountable to this schedule.  Schedule in social media and then keep it closed while you are getting your other tasks done.

2) Write a mantra for the week that will help you feel motivated and energized.  Make sure it is written in a positive form and read it to yourself at different points during the day.  Think of this as a quick tune-up to help you keep moving towards what matters and aware of all the little hidden opportunities you may have been missing before.

Here are some examples:
I am creatively and effectively accomplishing my goals all week long.
I am finding and taking abundant opportunities.
I’m constantly taking action for my career and celebrating my successes.

3) Imagine your week going by PERFECTLY.  What do you do?  Who do you see?  How do you feel?  What actions are you taking?  Go thru the who/what/where/when/how.  Imagine it all in your head like it’s the part of the movie where EVERYTHING is going right for the main character (YOU!).  Many Olympic Athletes practice positive visualization techniques during training and science tells us that firm visualizations in full detail on a constant basis DO IMPACT PERFORMANCE.  Are you visualizing your auditions yet?

-Colleen
Actors Connection President

How to Close Out 2018 and Jump-Start the New Year

What should you REALLY be doing before 2018 is over?  We have a few thoughts… I love a good list, so here is my 2018 CLOSE OUT list for Actors– filled with my top suggestions on what you should be doing before the year is out.  These aren’t the only things– but this is enough to get you moving during an already busy holiday season.


2018 Close Out List

  • Order postcards for the new year– announce something!  A new gig, a new picture, a quote about your work- something exciting.  Nothing to announce?  Create something!  Get new headshots!  Launch a podcast!  Stop waiting for life to happen to you and start HAPPENING to your life.  Our friends at Reproductions can help you with this one.
  • If it’s time, schedule your next headshot session.  New hair, new look, grew a beard, been a while, last headshot not getting you in the door, you’ve got smile lines now– all of those reasons are good ones!  If you can shoot before December is over– all the better!
  • Write the list of CD’s you want to know your work.  You hear me say this a lot but it really is THAT IMPORTANT.  Know who is casting the shows you are interested in right now.  See if we have them on our 2019 schedule and sign-up for class ASAP so you don’t miss out on learning from them.
  • Practice your self-tape game.  This part of the industry is NOT going away.  Luckily– we are here to help so you never have to do it alone– but you still need to know how to get a good shot in the shortest amount of time possible.  Work that muscle.
  • START WRITING.  The emerging trend we are seeing in NY, ATLANTA and ESPECIALLY LA, is the rise of the ACTOR/WRITER.  Start writing work for yourself to fill in those moments between jobs. Use the holiday to collect some ideas for episodics, shorts, films– just get out that laptop and start typing away!
  • Write down your goals.  ALL OF THEM.  Professional, personal, physical– get ’em all on paper and put it in a place you can look at all year long.  This needs to be done before that ball drops– so you can start your momentum Jan 1.

Where to Go From Here

The work that happens behind the scenes and between the gigs is staggering– we know it well.  For some, we know the holidays can be tough because you may have family members who don’t understand truly how hard you work and how much you hustle.

We know what it is like.  And we have your back.

We are creating more tools to help you grow and plan and CRUSH 2019.  This career path is in your heart for a reason.  You’re supposed to be here.  The way you are going to close 2018 is going to have 2019 dying for you to waltz on in like you own the place.

Because you DO own it.  Now go tell it what to do!

Always your cheerleader,
Colleen Kahl
President

What’s a Win List and Why You Should Make One Today

Most actors I know are really tough on themselves and while striving to grow and improve is really important in this field, the way you think about yourself is also important.  Whether you realize it or not- your thoughts about yourself follow you EVERYWHERE as a part of your energy and a part of YOU– and if you are thinking ugly things about yourself– well, you might as well be that Peanuts Character, Pig Pen, with the cloud of dirt circling your every move- making it pretty hard for anyone to see the real you.

During those times when you aren’t booking like a Boss, you might struggle with feeling unsuccessful.  That is when your WIN LIST needs a min in the spotlight.  WIN LISTS are helpful when you need to appreciate ALL the steps you are taking to build a great career- not just the bookings.

A WIN LIST is a short list of things you accomplished (in a day, in a week or in a month) that you should take a step back and give yourself a little credit for.  Some examples of what could go on your win list could be:
1) You learned a new side/monologue
2) You updated your website
3) You finished a draft of your web series episode
4) You applied to a better survival job
5) You saved money to go towards your new headshots
or even You got an audition appointment.

This is a great task for a Friday afternoon when you need to take stock of what you did to propel yourself forward, feel good about yourself, and stay motivated to keep building your dream career.

Monday you’ll grind.  But today is Friday– so celebrate. (Champagne optional)

Colleen Kahl
President

Gratitude as A Business Technique

As Thanksgiving approaches we remember the importance of gratitude in our everyday life– but often forget to weave it into our career!  Here are 5 ways to bring gratitude into your acting business this month.
1) After an educational event, write a follow-up thank you card to the educator/industry guests.  Get special thank you postcards with your headshot on them (and Reproductions can help you do that!).

2) Who have you worked with in the past that made a lasting impact on you?  Maybe someone gave you advice that changed the way you saw yourself, your process or your psychology in this field?  Use gratitude as a reason to reconnect!

3) En route to an audition, pull your mental state into one of gratitude and joy.  Gratitude for the appointment.  For your health so you can make it to the appointment.  Gratitude for the materials created to land you the appointment. Let that energy fill you up and give you confidence.  Many things aligned so you could get in that room— you deserve to be there!

Show Gratutide and Kindness

4) Gratitude for Fellow Creators!  In order for more and more actors to receive jobs– more and more work must be created.  We are lucky to be living in a time where internet TV is bringing forth many new opportunities for actors.  Know an up and coming creator?  Support their project!  Donate to their Go Fund Me, sign up for their email blast, or volunteer to help on set/in the theatre/with the launch.  Your kindness may lead to many new opportunities.

5) Show kindness and gratitude for ALL members of the project.  I heard a story a few months ago about an actor who had a small role on set but was so beloved by cast and crew due to his perfect graciousness that they KEPT WRITING HIM BACK IN.  There are so many ways we are connected to others in this industry, and a wonderful attitude noticed by any member of the team could have beautiful ripples in your career.  Everyone matters.

Hope you enjoyed this small list.

In gratitude for YOU,
Colleen Kahl
President

Laughing on Set by Martin Bentsen, NY Photographer and Filmmaker

set clapper with couple in backgroundHaving a good laugh when you’re on set can be fun, but every once in a while it’s not appropriate. It’s important to know when you shouldn’t burst out laughing not only because people could get offended, but worse, they could think you don’t care about their production.

In general, when you’re first starting out on a production and you don’t know the crew well, it’s best to let things happen and try not to show too many emotions (unless you have to for the scene). The more emotional you are in real life (whether it’s laughter, annoyance, anger, or sadness), the more people will form opinions about you. And because you don’t necessarily know whether those opinions will be positive or negative, it’s better not to get too involved until you get used to everyone and know who they are and how they think.

I’ve worked on set where new actors can’t seem to get a line right and just burst out laughing in multiple takes. Not only does this look unprofessional, but it can say to the director that you don’t take their project seriously.

Also, be very careful of laughing when someone on set messes something up. I’ve been on set where a steadicam operator ran through a field grabbing shots. He tripped and fell over a root. It was absolutely hilarious, but the camera fell and one of the lenses was damaged. A couple of people found it amusing, but the director and primary crew did not at all.

The behind-the-scenes videographer captured the fall and replayed it for people to their amusement. However, the steadicam operator asked him to delete the footage. His career could be completely killed from a mistake like that getting out!

All of this isn’t to scare you into never laughing on set. It is to get you consciously thinking about when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. Truth is, you’ll never know for sure. Instead, avoid laughing during the first few shooting days unless you see the director or a higher up laughing. If everyone else is cracking up and having a good time, by all means, feel free to join. If the crew seems somber and quiet, it’s best not to be the laughing one in the group.

Martin Bentsen has spoken numerous times at New York University. He has run educational seminars at Actors Connection and other acting studios as well. These seminars focus on branding and marketing strategies for performers. Mr. Bentsen has written an informational book called Get Cast™, as well. It focuses on marketing tactics actors can use to find more consistent work. He is a member of both the National Association of Sales Professionals and Sales & Marketing Executives International, two highly acclaimed marketing organizations in the United States.

Martin graduated in 2011 with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Film and Television program. Naturally, his focus was directing. City Headshots®, which he founded in 2010, is the top headshot studio in New York according to Yelp. Martin’s long term goal is to run major business and actor marketing seminars across the country while expanding his City Headshots brand to go international

Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver: How the “Star Wars” Stars Are Helping to Alter the Face of Hollywood

Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver at Movie Premiere

Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver at the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” World Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California.

by Brian O’Neil

“Where are the Pacinos? Where are the Hoffmans and the DeNiros? What about the up and comers like the guys who made the edgy, grimy films of the 70s so great?” So went the lament during an era when filmgoers had experienced a shift to a newer, softer and younger “model” that had burgeoned during the 1980s.

And oh, had the teenagers piled in and piled on: Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio and others had become known as the “the brat pack” and largely became the “newer” breed of film star. There are traditional actors in the mix, to be sure, but Hollywood holds onto “kids” whose training is either flat-out nil, or who learn their craft not on stage, but while the cameras are actually rolling.

The trend continued with an endless stream of children and adolescents: Leonardo DiCaprio, Andrew McCarthy, Meg Ryan, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Tobey Maquire, Reese Witherspoon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dakota Fanning, and Jennifer Lawrence, to give just a small sampling. “Kids” move along the Hollywood conveyor belt and then graduate to roles in feature films. Increasingly, this became the process of development for the new American movie star. And so, with some exceptions, most notably foreign actors from English speaking countries (e.g. England and Australia), it continues.

What happened? Certainly, there is no dearth of the swelling numbers of conservatory actors coming out of the increasingly popular and competitive degree drama programs in America. Yet many of this group seem to be moving into an ever-expanding television market while the more “established”, if less formal younger actors keep advancing to the more rarefied air of film stardom. By the 1990s a seismic shift in the way Hollywood recruited their young had taken hold and the culture of men and women had now given way to the boys and the girls.

Hollywood was aware that many, if not most actors in foreign countries where English was the mother tongue, were eager to come to work in the United States. Here the chances of having an international career were far greater than staying home in the United Kingdom or Australia were likely to provide. And most of these actors were willing to work for moderate wages, at least in the early stages of what would often turn out to be ever-expanding careers.

Still, we are told, repeatedly, that the “training” of the foreigners is key. Well, yes and no. Much of what is in writing in this regard doesn’t hold up under actual research. Over time a surprising number of British actors, often Academy Award/Emmy Award winners/nominees, happily reveal that they have “no training whatsoever.” Perception and presumption go a long way.

As we moved into the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century the quantity of scripted American television product was in a state of seemingly unlimited expansion, doubling and tripling the previous amount of content found on the air some years earlier. “On the air” itself took on a somewhat new meaning as broadcast television had made room for cable and both were now facing competition from the newer streaming services of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. And so, the demand for new “series regulars” expanded along with the quantity of television itself. It is there that we really begin to observe the mass escalation of British, Australian, Scottish and Irish actors who are often cast over Americans. Many Americans are now wondering why there isn’t “enough of them” to fill the demand.

Much of being an employment candidate at high levels of the industry requires being at a considerable career level. Understandably, studio and network executives want/need to feel that whomever they pick has proven themselves. They’ve shown some consistency in quality of work and reputation.

What is unknown to most Americans is just how many of the British and Australians have remarkably impressive credits in their homeland prior to their engagements here in the USA. Many already appear as regulars on a series or two and have either won or been nominated for major acting awards including those given out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Again, the internet radically abetted an easy way to “discover” and cherry-pick the cream of the crop from English speaking countries.

Searching for talent “over there” has become far more figurative than literal. Obviously, in times past, this method was a non-option. So to those who said “Why?” one response was: “There’s a lot of high-level casting to do and there are a lot of actors we can consider.” In other words, to those who ask “why” the simple answer seems to be: “Why not?” Hollywood is able to provide American audiences with new faces. However, they are new faces with experience. This helps to create a win-win situation for executives in Hollywood and for the foreign actors.

Dab smack in the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century there emerged in the United States a classically-trained stage actor, a man- not a teenager – who began his training as a young adult. He was getting some early “buzz” for his extraordinary work in drama school. He comes up in discussion as “the young generation’s answer to the days and likes of Al Pacino.”

Oscar Isaac Hernandez, born in Guatemala, came with his parents to the United States as a five-month old infant. Starting in Baltimore, on to Louisiana and ultimately to Miami, where Isaac was raised and educated; Isaac auditioned and was accepted into The Juilliard School’s prestigious Drama Division. There, he performed a wide range of contemporary and classical works. This culminated in his final production in the title role of “Macbeth.”

More Shakespeare beckoned to Isaac, with him leading in the NY Shakespeare Festival’s production,“The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” There is nothing unusual about a new alum from an A-list conservatory being cast in a New York Shakespeare Festival production. However, landing a lead role so quickly – one week after graduation – is out of the ordinary. But, so was Isaac. He continued to do more classics at other A-list New York theaters. These included Manhattan Theatre Club, along with an appearance on Law & Order, along with one film.

Then something happened. Television pursued Isaac, and in a pretty big way. Not unusual for a high-profile New York actor appearing in lead roles. What was unusual was that Isaac declined. Politely, as is always his way, but nevertheless, he declined. It wasn’t that he had a different or specifically planned “other” strategy, nor was it ego. Instead, such is his talent that Isaac is able to accept what interests him. And decline what doesn’t.

And so, minus television he proceeded to build his career in the more old-fashioned New York style. He maintained his focus by going back and forth between film and theater. None of which is to say that had he opted for a television series his film career would have derailed.

In fact, after the Law & Order episode, Isaac would be absent from the small screen for many years until he was well-established in film and an HBO mini-series called “Show Me a Hero” would prove irresistible to him. For his performance in “Hero” he was honored with a Golden Globe Award. If audiences felt they needed a young Pacino, they had one. And then some.

One major difference between Isaac and Pacino is Pacino took on Shakespeare after he was a movie star. His early efforts with classical material were met with disastrous response. Pacino’s background apparently lacked the training that a classics-oriented conservatory would provide.

Many top degree programs have a one to two percent acceptance rate. They consist of auditions and call-backs with days of being put to the test by the faculty and administration for admission. Those who long for the days of the old New York theater training often forget that some of those schools of yore granted entree simply “by interview.”

And so we move to the second actor of this discussion: Adam Driver. We had a young man, a US Marine Corps veteran, beginning his formal training as an adult. Immediately upon graduation, he earned admission into the highest levels of New York theater. This includes performing lead roles in Broadway productions of such British playwrights as George Bernard Shaw and Terence Rattigan. Driver, like Isaac before him, quickly did his obligatory Law & Order. Then something happened that proved very different from Isaac’s experience. Television beckoned in the form of HBO’s Girls and Driver accepted. And whatever Girls was or wasn’t, this was no ordinary television show.

Many critics felt that Driver, from an acting standpoint at least, was the heft and substance of the show. As Girls was finishing its fourth season, the future of Driver’s character seemed uncertain. Not coincidentally, the demand for Driver’s services in the world of feature film was burgeoning. At this point, many felt the show was losing its edge. Clearly, Girls wanted Driver to stay.

But here’s the thing. Girls was a twenty-eight minute show, running only ten episodes most seasons. The amount of content along with the schedule made it easier for Driver to accept other projects. So both Driver and Isaac had the good fortune of having flexible schedules to pursue what they chose.

What, then, is the upshot here? Contrary to the media, there are actors who are classically trained at top American drama schools. They have started their careers as adults, not as children or teenagers. As mentioned earlier, there is no dearth of such actors. However, seeing a new breed of an older world model of actor thriving in film once again is a joy. And in the “unconventional” leading man movie star category as well. Yet, call Oscar Isaac a “movie star” and he won’t like it. Call Adam Driver a “leading man” and he says, “I’m like a sight gag.” Unconventional indeed.

I am very fortunate that my work allows me to see and mentor actors of great substance. I will continue to tell stories of their professional journey in upcoming “chapters” of this series. Stay tuned.

Brian O’Neil is the best-selling author of Acting As a Business: Strategies for Success: Fifth Edition. He teaches at many of the country’s top drama programs including The Juilliard School and New York University. He coaches privately as well. For more information, please visit http://www.actingasabusiness.com.

ACCEPTED! ONE MFA ACTOR’S SUCCESS STRATEGY by Brian O’Neil

Brian O Neil - Acting Success Strategy

My job as a career coach is to teach actors how to think differently about this business and how they approach it. The events and conversation below took place over a period of more than a year.  It began early last spring when an actor contacted me to help him with his auditions for this year’s graduate school MFA programs. He was wise to start early. Here’s what happened.
HIM: I’d like you to coach me on my auditions for grad school.  I know that you teach or have taught at most of the good ones.
ME:  Okay, bring in a few monologues and let’s see what you have.
(Two weeks later after he auditioned for me)
ME:  You’ve probably been told that you’re very good.  Because you are. But a lot of actors are, and that’s not enough. The acceptance rate is 2%.
HIM:  What should I do?
ME:  Get on the websites of all the schools you are auditioning for.  Find out when their New York showcase is.
HIM:  And?
ME:  Normally, I wouldn’t suggest this, but for you I will.
HIM: Suggest what?
ME:  Show up. Tell them that you’ll be auditioning for them next year and that you’d love to see the students at work. If there’s a seat, they’ll give it to you.
HIM: And then?
ME:  Assuming you liked the work, ask someone if the director of the program is present.  He or she will be milling in the crowd. Introduce yourself.
HIM: And?
ME:  Tell him/her how much you enjoyed the students’ work and that you’ll be auditioning next year.  Again, assuming that you liked the work.
HIM: Then what?
ME:  When you write your statement of purpose, mention what you observed having personally experienced the work of the students.
HIM: Then what?
ME:  We’ll work on these pieces and others.
(Months later)
HIM: I auditioned.  Two of the teachers remembered me from going to the showcase.  And another one said I “looked familiar.”  I told him why.
ME:  Good.
HIM: At a call-back, the program director actually had me answer some questions posed by other actors because I’d “seen the students at work.”
ME:  Upshot?
HIM: I got called-back for two, accepted at one and wait listed for the other.  The wait listed one is my first choice.
ME:  What are you going to do?
HIM: Wait and see.
ME:  No, you’re not.
HIM: No?
ME:  We haven’t come this far for you to drop the ball.
HIM: So?
ME:  Write back to the person who wait listed you. Thank him/her. Say you’ve been called back and offered elsewhere, but they remain your first choice.
HIM: Why?
ME:  Because they don’t know that. And it looks good for you to have call-backs and another offer. Shows consistency with your auditioning skills.
(One week later)
HIM: I heard back.  My note got me moved me to the # 1 spot on the wait list!  They said there will probably be an opening, and if there is, it’s MINE.
ME:  Good move.  Stay in touch.
(One week later)
HIM:  I got in!
ME:  The talent was always there. But as I said, it’s there for many. You acted well, but you also acted smart. Congratulations, kid.  Ya done good.
Brian O’Neil is an acting career coach, consultant, and audition coach. A former agent and personal manager, O’Neil is also the best-selling author of “Acting As a Business: Strategies for Success,” which is now in its twenty-ninth printing. In the recent past, his students and clients have won Emmys and a Golden Globe (“The Big Bang Theory”), a Tony Award (“Matilda”), been Emmy-nominated (“Girls”), been cast as series regulars (“Orange is the New Black,” “The Walking Dead,” “Bones”) and have appeared in starring roles in feature films (The Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis”). Although he lives in New York City, Brian teaches at virtually every advanced actor training program in the country, including The Juilliard School. For more information about Brian, please visit http://www.actingasabusiness.com.

Choosing the Right Acting Program for Your Child

Acting Programs for ChildrenThere are plenty of acting programs for children out there, but how can you tell which program would be a good fit for your child? Whether your son or daughter is looking for major roles or just having fun learning to act, there are several key elements that can reveal whether or not a particular acting school or program is a good choice.

Actors Connection strongly focuses on these 3 ideas and encourages you to put them to the test.

Our studio offers both free on-camera opportunities to try as well as Casting Director & Agent intensives and a stellar summer camp!

  1. A Variety of Programs Under One Roof. Does the school you are considering offer a full spectrum of class options for your child to participate in? More options means an opportunity to explore many different aspects of acting within the familiarity of a single school and team of staffers. Familiarity and comfort are important when it comes to helping children learn to act. Find a school that feels good to you and your child, and which offers an ongoing selection of classes for them to experience.
  2. The Acting Business—For Kids. All too many parents make the mistake of thinking that the business aspects of professional acting don’t apply to children. Quite simply, they do. Casting directors expect child actors to be professional. This includes not goofing off in the waiting room when your child is awaiting their turn. A reputable acting school for children will include training for children who wish to step into the world of acting.
  3. Support, not Pressure. We’ve all seen those reality TV shows where seemingly obsessed parents drag their children around. An acting program you can trust will provide training that help not just children but their caretakers, too, to understand the nuances of professional acting. Children need support to achieve their personal best and to have fun while doing so! Make sure your child’s acting program provides compassionate guidance.

With these tips in mind, you will be able to screen for the best acting program for kids. Take a look at the variety of programs for children and teens that we offer. Be sure to explore our seminars as well to learn more about the business of acting. Your child will benefit from your due diligence. And you will help him or her start their acting career off on a healthy, happy and positive note.

5 Ways to Not Get Accepted by a Top MFA Program by Brian O’Neil

Brian O NeilIt’s January and most of the graduate acting (MFA) programs will be holding auditions for a few thousand hopefuls who wish to enter. Having been a guest teacher at virtually every top program, and having sometimes been present during the decision-making, here are a few things I have found that are best avoided.

1. Write a trite “statement of purpose.” The deadline for most applications has passed, but for those who have been given an extended stay, here is what not to say: “I didn’t choose acting. It chose me.” Not only have they read it a thousand times, they won’t believe it. On the other hand, saying “I want to be rich and famous” is equally unwise (although everyone would certainly believe it). Give them a sincere piece of “yourself” knowing  that many of these essays merely get glanced at and sometimes only at the time of call-backs.

2. Wear sneakers. Sneakers are not a wise choice for either sex, especially when it comes time to perform your classical piece. Bouncing around the floor in spongy multi-colored footwear tends to put a dent in the gravitas warranted by such roles as Hamlet, Henry IV, Queen Margaret etc. Not only are solid, comfortable shoes more grounding, you’ll look better.

3. Do Rosalind from “As You Like It”. I’m only half-serious here. If you’ve done killer auditions with Rosalind, fine. Not only is there a finite amount of Shakespeare available, it’s you who’s auditioning, not the piece. Yet I can’t help remembering a lunch break with a program head a few years ago and hearing him moan, “Oh, if I hear another Rosalind!!” There is a vast wealth of classical pieces that don’t get looked at often and should. Consider looking at such brilliant writers as: William Congreve, George Lillo, Aaron Hill, and John Webster.

4. Do a classical piece written in prose instead of verse. For most auditors, the main point in asking for a classical piece is to see how the actor handles heightened language which is potentially better expressed in verse rather than prose. Verse intimidates many young actors who have little experience in this area until they realize how many times a day we speak in verse without ever realizing it.

It has been composed to give a natural rhythm to certain words, and Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter was modeled after the pulse of the human heartbeat. Some politicians deliver in verse-style, JFK perhaps being the most notable. Listen to his famous “Let them come to Berlin” speech and you will hear a man speaking in verse. How to tell verse from prose? Open a collection of Shakespeare and take a look. If each line begins with a capital letter, it’s verse. If it’s narrative-style, it’s prose. Choose verse to show your skill with language.

5. Be the mayor. See all those big squeeze bottles of antiseptic gel on the auditors’ tables? Those are hints that late January is the height of flu season. Most people don’t really want to shake a thousand hands in a forty-eight hour period. Shake hands only if offered by the other side.

Above All, Do Your Best

The good news is that you can break all of the above (except perhaps for #5) and if they want you, they want you. However, the acceptance rate at top programs is one to two percent, so just do your very best.

Brian O’Neil is an acting career coach, consultant, and audition coach. A former agent and personal manager, O’Neil is also the best-selling author of “Acting As a Business: Strategies for Success”. Although he lives in New York City, Brian teaches at virtually every advanced actor training program in the country. His credits include The Juilliard School. For more information about Brian, please visit http://www.actingasabusiness.com.

The Best Way to Prepare for Your Portrait or Headshot Session by Daisy Rey, Top NY Photographer

Daisy ReyModels and actors need to have professional headshots to help them find work. The headshot is often their resume. Many people also enjoy having professional portraits of individuals or families that can be hung proudly in the home. There are many things that go into the best headshots and portraits. An experienced photographer that has the right equipment is important of course. The location and the lighting of the shot is also very important. If these things are not in place, a picture can end up looking very bad or amateur. It is important to take the time to find the best New York photographer to take your headshots and portraits.

The subjects involved in the portrait photography will also play an important role in the success or failure of the work. There are several things that can be done for a person to prepare themselves to give them the best portrait or headshot that is possible.

Hair and Makeup – Take the time to make yourself look the best. Get your hair done and bring a brush to make sure it is perfect when needed. Pluck your eyebrows and remove any unwanted hair before the shot. Have makeup done by a professional. It is also a good idea to take care of the entire body to put yourself in the best frame of mind. A manicure and pedicure will help you feel more glamorous and that feeling will show up in the headshot and portrait.

Clothing – Clothing is important even in a headshot. Do not wear clothes with logos or branding on them. Choose solid color outfits so as they won’t distract from the person in the shot. Soft colors, pastels, white, black, blue or grey are great choices. Don’t bring only one outfit to the shoot. Bring several outfits to find the one that works best for the camera. Layered clothing is another way to change the look of what is being worn. It is important to make sure all the clothes are cleaned and ironed. A lint brush is a very valuable tool to fix any problems on the spot.

Practice – Photoshop is able to remove any skin blemishes and other imperfections that an individual has. Lighting can hide many problems as can the position of the person. What cannot be fixed is the attitude of the person. If a person is nervous or uncomfortable, it will show up in the pictures. Before the shoot, practice posing and take some time to make yourself comfortable in front of the camera. Listen to some relaxing music before the shoot to calm the nerves.

All of this will help get the best possible headshot or portrait.

Daisy Rey is a French photographer based in New York City.  You can find out more about her via her website at: http://daisyrey.com/