12 Days of Advice: Day 2

For my actor friends, this one is for you. My wonderful DP/cinematographer intern gave me this note while helping me with a video audition.

“It’s not about how good of an actor you are, it’s about the right actor in the right role. And that’s why the best actor doesn’t always get the part.” – KS

So act your pants off, and then let it go.

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Advice for Creatives / Hustling in LA

Took a dance class to support my acquaintance from college who’s been doing his thing out in LA. I asked him and his sister for advice and here’s what they had to say:

  • Keep a checklist of what you want to do and who you want to work with. Check it often.
  • “Always feed the beast of your career.” Work within your craft/ industry. (As opposed to sourcing income from a diff industry/focus. It’s easy to get distracted.)
  • Don’t let the Sunshine get to you. NY is all about the grind, but in LA, it’s more laid back. Don’t do it. Keep your hustler mentality. It’s a trap!

Life-changing opportunities are coming my way.

Today I had the opportunity to audition for CBS! I dropped a headshot in the mail, and they responded, inviting me in. I flew to LA knowing that I was literally flying across the country for a 3-min audition, but hey, it’s not every day CBS hits you up.

The longest part if the process, was figuring out which lot to park in, and walking from the garage through the campus to the right building (and finding the right door to get to the right floor/room… Yes it was a JOURNEY).

But once I got there I was legit there for 3 min, including wait time, into, and performance. It went so fast, I couldn’t even guage how well it went. I’m just taking the fact that I’m not eating myself up alive as a good sign that I did what I needed to do — left everything in the room and if they liked something they saw, they’ll let me know.

“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

I also just started working for a media/ecomm hybrid startup that specializes in street wear. It’s the perfect side job to supplement my acting. I already loved the world of streetstyle and I get to produce/be on camera. Not to mention the founder is super flexible and supportive of my acting, and values what I bring to the table.

Looks like the fall/winter has BIG TINGS in store! I just need to book that guest star/costar role right now.

Humanity is messy. People are messy.

Acting tips, bookmarked for my personal reference.

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For artists of color– lifting the burden of representing your race: 

Viola Davis was direct. “That very mindset that you have and that a lot of African-Americans have is absolutely destroying the black artist,” she said. “The black artist cannot live in a revisionist place,” she added. “The black artist can only tell the truth about humanity, and humanity is messy. People are messy. Caucasian actors know that.”

“We as African-American artists are more concerned with image and message and not execution,” she said, “which is why every time you see your images they’ve been watered down to the point where they are not realistic at all.”

“My whole thing is, do I always have be noble?” she continued. “As an artist, you’ve got to see the mess.”

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Auditioning – Leave your ego outside the door:

“​Leave your ego outside the door. Resist thinking about the potential outcome of this audition. Bask in the joy of living in the character for the 10 minutes that you have in that room.” ​- Warner Loughlin

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Audition Slates – Introduce yourself to a person, a human: 

I suggest that you slate as if it were an introduction to someone, not as a presentation, announcement, or line reading. When auditioning, I suggest that you honestly introduce yourself to someone in the room (usually the person running the session) while looking into the camera lens. You should be positive and enjoy introducing yourself. Smile, if it feels right, but if you smile just to smile, it will look insincere. Smile because you are confident and having fun, then it will be relaxed or engaging.Be spontaneous!

Don’t lock in one way of introducing yourself. Be aware that each time you say your name the inflection is just a little different. If there isn’t some difference each time, then you have probably locked into a “line reading.” Add a “Hi, I’m” or a “Hello, my name is” and then your name. This will make it friendly and less like you are reporting for military duty.

– Caroline Barry