Updated: Jan 23
Red carpet event for the premiere of the movie Unlimited
The path to the red carpet isn't always paved
Like most actors I dreamed of the day I'd walk a red carpet as one of the stars of the movie premiering. Most of that dreaming was done while sitting under a tent in the Texas heat, makeup melting, trying to stay hydrated without my lipstick wearing off and patiently and attentively waiting to be noticed by an AD or maybe the director! Praying that I'd get a feature and maybe a new connection.
Extra work is part and parcel of the actors career. I "paid my dues" as many like to say, in the early days of my career. In fact, I'd done quite a bit of extra work by the time I was finally signed. Most of it never made the cut, but the lessons I learned while on set were invaluable and led to my understanding of how to comport myself on set once I was signed and booking roles. It heavily fed my ability to work with directors and agencies on many projects.
Professionalism is a huge factor in creating a relationship that brings repeat work. It's massively important to leave a good impression because once you begin to audition for professional work, you will find that you audition for the same casting directors.
Even when you don't book the part you are paving the way for yourself to the next role. Casting directors remember good work and will call you in repeatedly to audition for projects. I often say and firmly believe that the casting directors are our best friends in this industry.
In order to build a career you MUST create auditions that are memorable. The audition is how we demonstrate what we can do. In order to have a successful career, we must learn to audition well.
I heard a star once say that they auditioned for a living and on a good day they got to play a character in a project as well. I like that! We are professional auditioners.
That's why I have always formatted my classes to teach students how to audition well.
I've learned a lot over the years and have changed my approach on multiple occasions and I expect that it'll keep changing as I go.
Another thing I tell my students is that the rules were made to be broken. My favorite example of this is that in a fi'm/tv audition you never speak in to the camera. You speak to one side or the other of the camera, to your reader, who is voicing the other character or characters in your scene. However during one such audition I was told to speak in to the camera. Although I'd done that for years because it's common in commercials, it took me a moment to make the adjustment for that particular audition.
That being said, I realized how important it was to be ready for anything.
In my classes I teach from my experiences, and since those experiences are so varied, there is always something new to teach, because there are always new students to educate.
The path to the red carpet is a bumpy one, with many twists and turns on a road that we make for ourselves until we reach a point where the path gets smoother and more defined by the projects we book, as the roles we play get larger just like the projects. Thats' our goal.
We must all start somewhere and the best place to begin is on set. Whether as an extra or a featured extra, you will learn so much from being on a set that you will take to your bookings.
If you aren't signed like I was in the beginning or if you are signed but not yet booking, get yourself on a professional set and LEARN!
We have built a community of resources at OGAC that includes the sharing of information regarding projects that are casting. Many of my students have gotten their first credits through projects that have been shared on our GroupMe page.
I'm extremely proud of the opportunities that have come our way and have been taken by OGAC actors. From extra work to roles on projects large and small, OGAC students have started on the path to achieve their career goals.
When you register to take classes at OGAC you get so much more than just a few acting classes. For more information on how to register email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713.492.8621 TODAY!