A passive actor begs and hopes
A new client is on the horizon. You’re excited to serve him. In his first project he wants you to work on the weekends though the weekend is family time, and he knows it. Out of fear to lose him as a client you take the job, please him and neglect your availability. But that attitude is harmful - to you, your family and your business because you just disrespected all three due to your scarcity mindset. You disrespected your own process and turned yourself into the bouncing ball for the client. Dangerous.
Pleasing the client is not the same as making him more successful. In the begging and hoping mentality you’d do anything the client asks you to. He’s the client, right? Wrong. Your responsibility as a professional is the outcome. It’s therefore your duty to approach the project in your way (which may be different from what the client had in mind). This is important because only your process ensures the outcome your client desires.
You don’t want something from the client. The client wants something from you, and what you deliver should better be great. This is perspective change for many actors. The same goes for auditions where begging and hoping usually takes place the most. Let’s take George Clooney for example who struggled with auditions:
„He realized that casting is an obstacle for producers, too—they need to find somebody, and they’re all hoping that the next person to walk in the room is the right somebody. Auditions were a chance to solve their problem, not his. From Clooney’s new perspective, he was that solution. He wasn’t going to be somewhere groveling for a shot. He was someone with something special to offer. He was the answer to their prayers, not the other way around. That was what he began projecting in his auditions—not exclusively his acting skills but that he was the man for the job. That he understood what the casting director and producers were looking for in a specific role and that he would deliver it in each and every situation, in preproduction, on camera, and during promotion.
The difference between the right and the wrong perspective is everything.“
Source: „The Obstacle is the Way“ by Ryan Holiday, page 39
See how the point of view changed? The begging and hoping is now on the side of the client (producer, director). They want the (wo)man for the job who can get it done „in each and every situation“. If you focus on the client’s success based on their problems you shift away from your fears towards a thinking that’s more like Clooney’s new perspective: You have something special to offer and you’re the answer to their prayers. Trust that you’re great and show your confidence without being arrogant.
Part 2 of the London One Voice Conference 2018
I finished part 2 of my four-day vlogging adventure in London. I can’t believe it’s been a month ago.
Documenting my journey (calendar week 19–21 of 2018)
I lacked inner tranquility and I didn’t have an easy and quick way to record something. There were too many little obstacles to easily switch from the task I had done to start recording in my studio: I had to take my laptop into the studio, plug in the audio interface, start the recording software and put the blanket above my „studio doors“ to prevent an echo coming from the rear walls. And if I hadn’t printed out the script, I needed to use a tablet to read the script from there which is why I needed to make sure that I synced the script with the device beforehand. I don’t use the tablet very often, so it’s likely it was not synced which meant more waiting time. Besides, the space felt intimidating (see the following photo).
With the laptop on the right and the keyboard to the left, handling that setup was not ideal.
All in all, I had to make too many steps until I was ready to record. It sounds stupid even saying that but that was the case. So, I procrastinated.
When I then found a setup that got me to the recording, I was more inclined to actually do it (see the following photo).
Conclusion for my journey
Commitment and decision. Behind the procrastination to record is maybe also a commitment issue. A commitment means to lose options and I’m probably afraid of losing options because it would diminish my freedom. Commitment is also a decision to make and decision-making is not a super strength of mine.
Building momentum. But I also think me not having been in the routine of recording (or being in front of the mic) made me not gain momentum. In February/March this year I had momentum because I was working on perfecting one script: As soon as I got feedback, I improved my performance and sent it out for another feedback loop. I want to gain this momentum for my commercial demo reel, starting with script one. Only getting the engine rolling is hard, very hard.
Conclusion for actors begging and hoping
I don’t understand why actors don’t save up money, execute their own project and make themselves a name that way. If you want to be an actor (or voice actor) and you’re auditioning with no success, do the following action steps.
Action steps for the proactive actor
- Write a script about something you personally care about for a short piece of audio or a screenplay for a short film with up to 3 characters involved - in no more than 1–3 days
- Get to know your characters and learn their biography (yes you need to have them written down - write one page per bio) - spend 1 day per character
- Rehearse the script
- Produce (record) (of course audio-recording is easier then video-recording when recording on your own but don’t worry recording video you can use different clothes and facial styling to impersonate a different character; later in post you can montage the characters together so it looks like that two or three people were actually in front of the camera; and don’t worry about the cinematography, you’re recording your acting skills, you’re not showing your camera skills)
- Post-produce (edit) adding all dialogue lines together properly, adding music and sound effects as well as compressing and normalizing after
- Publish on your distribution channels (website, social media, web/TV show or podcast)
It can make sense to turn your final audio piece into a video format because people of today tend to like video a lot - if you’re keen to do it yourself learn motion design or 2d animation. You can achieve great results using Illustrator and After Effects as one of my favorite animation studios kurzgesagt.org shows. A screen-actor would have the advantage of having made a video already as part of their recording process.
More show notes
Links I mentioned in the video:
Gear I’ve shown in the video:
- Pop filter: Pop Audio - Classic
- Mic: Sennheiser MKH 416-P48
- Audio interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
- Shock mount: Rycote Invision INV–7-HG-Mark III
- Tripod: Manfrotto PIXI Mini
Last note: This was the hardest episode so far. Still, I’m glad I pushed it out because I want to be transparent about my actor’s journey as much as I can.
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