I often extoll the virtues of workshops – learning from and meeting your first-level customer, the casting director, is a basic tenet of running your actor business like you mean it. But how do you get the absolute most out of the workshops you take?
My Act Now consultant, Dufflyn, has some great advice.
(This is a bit longer than most of my missives, so strap in and take notes. Dufflyn has a lot to say.)
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WORKSHOPS
By your consultant, Dufflyn Lammers, who loves you and wants you to succeed!!!
What is a “Actor’s Interview Log” and how to use it?
– Keep good notes from workshops and auditions
– Keep Addresses to keep up with CDs and use a service like Castingabout.com to get current updates.
– At www.breakalegbooks.com and at Sam French you can buy an “Actor’s Interview Log” or something like it to keep track of your auditions. You could also create a spread sheet, whatever floats your boat!
– Join a power group, or make one of your own, to check in with fellow actors and keep up morale and momentum, and begin to create projects for yourselves and each other.
Ask smart questions!
– Do research before you get there so you’re not asking questions that you could answer for yourself on IMDB, etc. This is your chance to find out more!
– Ask questions tactfully, ie: where do you find most of your actors–from agents, plays, workshops, stand-up comedy?
– Then, if, at the end of a workshop you have a good rapport, ask questions that pertain only to you privately.
Pay attention to the sides you get (and the sides you NAIL)
– This is how you can determine your castability, your type.
– As well as how casting is seeing you- are they on-target? If not, is it your headshot? Or do you need to adjust your own concept of who you are in the marketplace?
How to take re-direction/feedback
– For clarification you can re-state the direction which also helps get it into your body
– Avoid argument. Your best bet: repeat after me “Yes, thank you.”
– Postcards/email/keep in touch at least twice a year. Christmas cards are a nice touch. Put a business card inside.
– Be specific, provide your contact info. And if you have new representation or pix, that’s a good time, also if you have something airing or a live show up (offer comps).
– It’s not ALL about you (gasp!) comment on what they’re casting, doing, etc.
– You can also promote yourself in person by attending film festivals, networking breakfasts, volunteering in the industry, interning, etc.
– A website is a great tool, www.speedreels.com is also used by many CD’s. If you have a reel it should be up on LA Casting, IMDB, Breakdown Express, Facebook, etc. as well as your own site.
– Twitter. Nathan Fillion does. So do lots of CDs!
– Get creative! For ex: Create a blog about acting to communicate with your fellow actors.
Be a human being (what is that?)
– CD’s are people. So treat them the same way you would anyone else. What I mean is that they are not rareified or godlike, no need to be awestruck. On the other hand, they are not the enemy, they are just another person doing a job.
– Sometimes it’s just about making a connection with a human being who happens to be a casting director. We all want to work with people we like. If you can’t be a human being in the room, how will you interact on set?
– Be available. Be yourself. Be present.
Agents: how do they play into workshop equation?
– Keep your agent updated on CD’s you are meeting.
– If you get breakdowns, it’s okay to call your agent once in a while if you see a part you are perfect for that is being cast by a CD you know. Don’t do this constantly, it undermines your Agent’s confidence.
– It is not necessary to remind your agent that you got a job for yourself by doing a workshop. They know. And yes, you should still pay them. Unless it’s a series regular part, and if that is the case they will earn their money before the negotiations are over.
FYI, Act Now has a resource guide
– Many discounts are provided by companies we refer actor’s to for our clients only, Ex: Reproductions gives 10% off on printing services, Casting About gives 10% off on membership to their site!
– SAG also has a good number of discounts- look at the SAG website for details!
I hope some of these suggestions will inspire you!!! Go get ’em!!!
14140 Ventura Blvd. #203
ph: 818-285-8522 Ext. 103
(Note from David: if you are lucky enough to get Dufflyn as your consultant at Act Now, consider yourself taken care of by the most caring hands in the business. She always looks out for my best interests. Thanks, Dufflyn!)
Hope this helps.