Entries by Tony Nation

Retouching Headshots: Is It Really Necessary?

With Fall just around the corner, many actors are getting new headshots for the upcoming busy audition season. One of the common questions that many actors have is: “Is it really necessary to retouch my headshots?” We spoke with the specialists at Reproductions- Maurice and Fyzal to get their take on this question and more. When should actors be retouching headshots? Maurice: You should retouch your headshot(s) once your representation has decided which image(s) they want to promote you with.  Unfortunately, some agents want to see the final image(s) retouched before they decide.  This can present a high cost to the actor.  Since they are representing you, sometimes you’ll have to just bite the bullet and get them retouched.  I would encourage the actor to politely ask if their reps can decide pre retouch which image(s) they want to use and then just retouch those. Fyzal: Actors should retouch their headshots […]

Do Your Homework Before an Audition to Improve Your Chances of Being Called Back by Martin Bentsen

Who, what, where, when, why, and how? Before an audition, each of these is extremely important to figure out, not just for the character you’re playing, but also for the production itself. When working with actors, I’ve found that there are typically three types of people: 1. There’s the actor that just does a shotgun approach and tries to go to as many auditions as possible. These actors are typically stressed out because they are so busy all the time and find that nothing ever seems to work for them and they never get any callbacks. 2. There’s the kind that just chills out and goes to auditions when he/she wants but doesn’t actually try to push their career forward, and if something happens, it happens! They are typically relaxed and happy but don’t have many strong credits to their name. Do Your Research 3. There’s the kind that do research for every role […]

Making It Happen: Build Your Inspiration

If you had a magic wand, and you could create the exact life and inspiration you want, what would be in it? Who would be in it? Where would it be? Once you have that answer in your head, work backwards from that goal and write out the staircase to get there. What actions “lead-up” to that life? What kind of person do you need to become to live at that level? How does the person you are now compare? Which of your habits would change? How would your thinking be different? How can you start living more like that person in action and thought TODAY? It’s easy to forget your road map, inspiration and your target destination when you are getting stuck in the daily grind, listening to the nay-sayers, or comparing yourself to others. The only one who determines the success you achieve is YOU. Not your competition. […]

A Note on Actor Research: Be Mindful

Dear Actors, A little note on Actor Research. Be mindful of the questions you ask your industry contacts.  If you can GOOGLE the answer, or find it in a short internet search, I don’t suggest emailing your contacts for the answer instead just so your research is more convenient. Agents, Casting Directors and other industry professionals are very very busy.  They want to see you succeed and many of them do everything they can to help you– but you need to be mindful about the time you request of them.  Using their time for a question you can google isn’t ideal.  Using their time for a more complicated or situational question– that is more worthwhile and a million times better for building a positive relationship with that contact. Career research is YOUR job.  Creating your brand is YOUR job.  Knowing about opportunities is YOUR job.  Asking someone else to do […]

The Importance of Self-Talk

Let’s talk about your self-talk. This has come up a bunch of times recently. Isn’t it amazing that things you would never DARE to say to another person you are saying to yourself? There is a DIFFERENCE between helping yourself learn/grow/improve and tearing yourself apart.  Let’s take an audition for example.  Say you get in there and you botch your 16 bars.  Maybe you didn’t warm up enough.  Perhaps went out the night before and shouldn’t have.  Maybe you chose a poor cut.  Perhaps you didn’t do your actor homework on what the character actually wants in that moment. Well– you have two choices. A. You can beat yourself up for hours or even days until your faith in yourself is black and blue and you feel miserable and unworthy of success OR B.  You can take some notes on how to adjust for next time, congratulate yourself on the […]

Pre-Audition Mantras

Have you been struggling with your positive thoughts in your pre-audition time?  Especially thinking positively about your auditions?  We’ve all gotten stuck in a bad thinking pattern at one time or another. It is SO IMPORTANT to stay focused and aware of your thoughts.  In our industry, your energy in the room is an enormously important factor for booking work.  If you are feeling not good enough, it WILL shine thru.  So– KNOCK IT OFF 🙂 and sit with these pre-audition mantras instead. 1) This audition is just another opportunity to do what I love, and I’m going to have fun and be creative with it.  (and then after the audition, let it be. Don’t pull it apart, don’t analyze every choice– let it GOOOOO) I’m here for a reason, might as well bring my A-game (getting appointments, learning about opportunities and having someone believe in you is not an accident.  […]

Handling Disappointment As An Actor

Let’s talk about DISAPPOINTMENT. I know…it hurts our hearts.  I don’t know of a single actor that hasn’t felt it at one point or another. Especially when you KNOW you got close to the desired result, and at the last moment, things change and you are dealt with the task of handling your emotions. Handling disappointment with grace is a talent we ALL need in our tool kit—and in this industry more than most! So if you have been feeling a little sad and a little frustrated over not getting the callback or not booking the role– know we are sending you ALL the good vibes.  Take a min to pull your thoughts together and go thru this check-list. AC’s FEEL BETTER CHECK-LIST FOR ACTORS 1) Remember that you are a fantastic human being and receiving or not receiving an opportunity is no measure of how fabulous of a person […]

Self-Inspiration: Love Your Product, Love Yourself

Ever go to an audition and you look around the waiting room and think “wow I feel like I am sitting in a room of a whole bunch of people just like me — how on earth am I going to get this role? What can I do to be different?” It’s time you started praciticing self inspiration and self-love. We’ve all been there.  It’s especially freaky when it looks like you’ve all shopped the same store for your outfits and seemingly went to the same hair stylist. BUT– YOU!  You ARE NOT them.  They ARE NOT you. You’ve lived a life of unique experiences, circumstances and emotions.  Your brain connects thoughts differently.  Your heart loves differently.  You give and take differently. If you bring honest and authentic connection with the script into the room, play specific verbs and intentions and show off that sliver of your natural self– you […]

5 Key Components of Actor Research

Let’s talk about ACTOR RESEARCH. It is easy for us to spend hours talking to actors about individualized plans of attack– every single person is different and what works for one person in this business isn’t the magic juice for everyone– BUT there are a few KEY research projects that need to be a part of EVERY actor’s homework.  Here’s a few things to get you started! ACTOR RESEARCH HOMEWORK 1) What working actors are most like you?  Be truthful about this.  Who can you be playing right now?  Know EVERYTHING about their careers.  Jobs they booked, representation they have, casting directors who have cast them, even look into their little indie projects before they got bigger roles.  This is a great way to find scenes that are good for you that aren’t super famous and recognizable but still worthwhile to perform. 2) If you need representation-RESEARCH!  The old give a man […]

Be the Change You Want to See in the Industry

A little note inspired by some convos yesterday…. How cool is our industry!  I don’t know of any other jobs where you can feel like family with your coworkers the way we do when we work on a project.  There is so much LOVE that we have for the people we have worked with.  I see actors LIGHT UP all the time talking about past colleagues, favorite directors, inspiring scene partners and so on. SO really… everyone you come to find in auditions including the people you feel like you are “up against”— they are just one project away from being FAMILY. YOUR FAMILY. What does that thought do for you? You will get the roles that are meant for you if you bring your whole self into the room, continue to grow your craftand stay grounded and authentic through it all. And you can do this like you are FIGHTING […]