Knowledge is King!
Indeed. The most important thing in any actor’s pursuit of work is…
This blog, at first, might not have something relevant for your current (read: TODAY) acting pursuit. Never fear. I have a surplus of digital content that will be added here over the next several months. Fingers crossed, there will be something to your liking.
This blog and these articles, simply put, are aimed to educate actors and their parents all over the world on the realities of the…actor business needed for show business.
“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. Then, find something useful, apply it and move on.
The reason for that is…that sometimes it is just too hard to read something for longer than a few minutes. I don’t want to bore you!
Plus, the best way of making a point will be for me to take one of these dense, acting-related subjects and break it up into parts to simplify instruction.
What I will share with you is not only from my “in-the-trenches” 30+ year acting career, but it’s also from very lengthy, comprehensive topical discussions I originated as the founder/CEO of The Actors Network right here in Los Angeles.
Rest assured, there will be no shortage of content here. Furthermore, since it’s very easy to get stuck trying to compose the perfect article, I feel 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 it’s also key industry philosophy as well. As I said in my previous blog, my overall approach here might not be what you’re looking for, but I’m sharing it regardless — otherwise I’d have to shut down the blog!
All kidding aside, let me say that I don’t have a monopoly on actor coaching advice. When I speak of a philosophical approach, please understand that there is a fair amount of grounded, industry standard that has colored it. It works and you need to know about it!
Acting, in general, is such a very noisy space. Everyone has a thought or opinion about what to do. Often, it comes from folks well outside the industry circles. Still, with all the books, seminars, websites and streaming edutainment designed to help actors with their work pursuit, often it can confuse the process further since and I haven’t even mentioned all that “behind-the-scenes” exchanged advice.
In short, there is plenty of content!!
Is mine better than theirs? NOPE!
Listen, I encourage you to absorb as much information as you can from wherever you can. Just because there’s a lot of it doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. Focus instead on someone’s practical experience where they took another person’s advice, show how it worked (or didn’t) and how now, more importantly, 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.
I’ve been doing this since the late 80’s. I’ve had 44 representatives in my career. I started out doing stand up, improvisational and sketch comedy all at a level for which I was paid to do it for a living. From that, opportunities came and I branched out into half-hour television, daytime television, independent and feature films.
I want you to realize that I’ve been talking to our acting peers since 1991. Believe me, we all ask a lot of questions, and back then, the answers were sometimes found in actually heading out to get it. Today, the process by which we share that information: text, email, FB post, etc. really can make information dissemination more confusing and overwhelming.
That said, 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 since 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” or truthfully, might not correlate to your present day. Regardless, “other-market” matters will be specific and clearly rendered for you.
Why is this important? Well, I started in a smaller market. It was Atlanta. Today, Atlanta, and the state of Georgia, routinely pop up in closing movie credits since it has become an enormously popular place to film. Still, and not surprisingly, there are some things about being an actor in or from Atlanta that will never apply to Hollywood. Relatively smaller markets are still small markets. Still, do know that this is coming to you as education in progress to be applied…regardless of your location!
Finally, one of my core philosophies that I will expand on in the future, 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 digital Tinder/Bumble approach we similarly seem to go through with managers, agents, casting representatives, etc.
What are they looking for as they swipe through our photos? I will expand on that in the next blog!