Kevin E. West

Acting Philosophy – Part 1

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Education – Above All Else!

The most important thing for me in this pursuit is…

EDUCATION!

This blog, at first, might not have something relevant for your current — TODAY — acting pursuit. Never fear. I have a catalogue of content that will be added into this site over the next several months.

These articles  are dedicated to educating actors and their parents  all over the world on the  in-depth realities of the “actor business needed for show business.”

My Focus

Kevin, why should I listen to you or read you or whatever? Look, I totally get it. I’m not for everybody. Like a lot of actor business coaches, I do have professional credits and you can check them out here.

That said, I’m not going to make these posts very long. I want you to get through them in 10-15 minutes, find something useful, apply it, and move on. 

The reason for that is… 

Isn’t it just too hard to read something for longer than  a few minutes?

Plus, I’m going to take various acting-related subjects and break them up into parts anyway.

So much easier.

My Authority

The content here is not only from my “in-the-trenches” 30+ year acting career, but also as the founder/CEO of The Actors Network here in Los Angeles where I spoke and shared actor-related subjects that were, quite often, hours in length. So, rest assured, there is plenty of content that will be added/edited/updated. As we’d say, it’s so easy to get stuck trying to compose the perfect article but it’s more important to simply get something out there. Over time, you’ll ping me with edits and requests.

Let’s Get To It…

What do I mean by Acting Philosophy? Very simply, it’s not only my philosophy but also “other” philosophy. As I said earlier, my philosophy might not be what you’re looking for, but I’m sharing it regardless (otherwise I’d have to shut down the blog… ;)) along with “other” or, more simply, “industry” philosophy. Acting, in general, is a very noisy space.  In today’s world, apart from all the books, seminars, streaming education, websites, blogs, etc. that people are told to consider to further their acting future, there is always more like all that behind the scenes exchanged advice.

In short, there is plenty of content. 

Is mine better than theirs? NOPE!

Listen, I would encourage you to absorb as much information as you can. Just because there’s a lot of it doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. Focus instead, very directly, on someone’s practical experience where they took another’s advice, show how it worked (or didn’t), and now they’re sharing that honestly with you. Especially if it’s from someone credible in our acting community.

Ideally, it would be advice or content that almost has the weight of a university course and then is taught by someone who has practical knowledge with exactly what they’re teaching. I’ll certainly give experiential, factual information but I want it shared or explained through my practical experience.  

My Prism

I’ve been doing this since the late 80’s. I’ve had forty-four representatives in my career. I started out doing stand up, improvisational and sketch comedy all to a level for which I was paid to do it for a living. In addition, opportunities came and I branched out into half-hour television, daytime television, feature films, independent films, student films.

The only area where I can’t share any expertise are musicals. Nevertheless, a conversation on that subject would still have a lot to do with the “show” side of things and not the business side of things.

I want you to realize that I’ve been talking to my fellow peers since 1991 — the same year I founded the Actors Network in my Studio City apartment. Believe me, my actor peers ask a lot of questions, and back then, the answers were sometimes found in actually heading out to get it. Today, the dynamic process by which we share information, does make this construct a little more different.

Nevertheless, I will certainly try and keep it light. For those who don’t know me, I’m unapologetic about shooting straight and I can sometimes be colorful with my language. Don’t worry. I will tone down that side of me for purposes here, because it’s not particularly appropriate. Even though the realities of this business are such that the audition and working environments of this profession are very demanding, I will do my best to keep what I share with you professional and entertaining along the way.

Let me be clear that a high percentage of what I’m going to share with you and the way in which I present it, will be, unequivocally, honest and straightforward. What is offered here applies to all of you in this profession regardless of starting point, current location, or future plans.  Some of this might be “Hollywood-centric.” And truthfully, it might not correlate to your present day. However, “other-market” matters will be specific and clearly rendered for you.  

Why is this important? Well, I started in a smaller market —Atlanta. Not surprisingly, there are some things about being in Atlanta that will never apply to Hollywood. Relatively smaller markets are still small markets. Still, do now that this is coming to you as education in progress to be applied…

REGARDLESS OF LOCATION!

Finally, one of my core philosophies that I will expand on in the next blog, is that this entire process might remind you of another process we’ve all likely had experience with — dating. I use dating analogies frequently because it correlates so well with the “Tinder” process we might go through with managers, agents, casting representatives, etc. 

What are they looking for? I will expand on that in the next blog.