Monday, September 21, 2009

Confidence vs. Cockiness

Whether going out on a modeling audition or for an acting role, there’s one thing both auditions have in common if you want to succeed… confidence. Casting agents want to see you radiate self-confidence and shine from the inside out. I’m not talking about being the best-looking person in the room. I’m talking about attitude! Agents can walk down the street every day and see beautiful people, especially in LA. Even if the role you want requires you to be “Average Joe” or “Everyday Ethel,” success is more likely to happen when you have belief in yourself.

When casting a role, agents are looking for someone who isn’t afraid to stand out. Walk through that door with a smile on your face and a sure stride. Many times it’s just a matter of the interviewer taking your photo and recording as you say your name. No big deal, right? Wrong! They have to sort through hundreds of pictures and videos later so make yours memorable. Say your name with energy behind your voice. Smile and mean it. Let your inner confidence shine as you stare directly into the camera. You’ve got one shot so make it count.

If the audition involves a lot more than a picture and you flub it up, make the most of the situation. Don’t whine or beg or apologize for twenty minutes. Get up and do it again right if they’ll let you and if not, take it with humor and learn for next time. No one wants to hear how much you miss your girlfriend and can’t memorize lines or how your boyfriend cheated the night before. They want to see someone who is ready to work.

Here’s where a warning becomes helpful. Confidence and cockiness are two very different attitudes that are easily confused. Be sure to know the difference and choose the right one. Confidence is a positive quality. By definition it means, “great faith in oneself or one╩╝s abilitiesSynonyms: aplomb, assurance, self-assurance, self-confidence, self-esteem.”

By contrast, an attitude some people mistake for confidence is cockiness. Again we go to the dictionary and find that cockiness is defined as: “heedless of the consequences : audacious
b: done in haste without regard for consequences : Rash .”

No casting agent wants someone who is heedless of consequences or is too self-absorbed to work as a team. Think about the difference between the two when mentally preparing for an audition. If it were you hiring, what qualities would you hope to see? Self-esteem is a highly sought after personality trait. Egotism (cockiness) is not only unattractive but it usually puts an actor/model on the Don’t Call Again list.

Being yourself is always important; just try to be the best you possible. Show casting agents you have a unique inner light that will be enhanced by the camera and that you are responsible enough to take your audition seriously. Be ON TIME. Be Confident. Be hired!

Chris Fabregas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Casting Directors

A Casting Director (CD) is a person that is hired by the producers of a show, commercial, or print ad etc. to find talent for a project. Casting Directors are the people who agents will send photos and resumes to, and the actor (you) will audition for. It’s the Casting Director’s job to find the best possible talent out of thousands of actors and models submitted for each role. A CD wants you to do well so they look good as well. Usually, a good CD will walk you through the audition process so you do your best job.

If there’s a Casting Director that you’d like to meet with it’s a good idea to mail them your headshot and resume. It’s also a good idea to send postcards to the CD’s with your recent projects. I usually do this every couple months. It’s good to get your face out there on a regular basis, eventually the casting director will bring you in to audition for a part that’s right for you.

It’s possible to submit your photo and resume directly to a Casting Director if you know of a role being cast, however they usually only consider submissions by an agent or actors they already know. The best way to get to know a casting director is by auditioning for another role with that CD or you can set up an “interview” which is a tuff process with all the talent out there and everyone wanting to meet with them.

Extra Work for Brain Surgeons: A Hollywood OS Directory 24th Edition This is a great book with tons of information about casting directors and information for extra work. Also included are all the addresses and names of casting directors for the LA Soap Operas.


Chris Fabregas – http://www.cfab.tv/

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Positive Thinking

There’s lots of “How to’s” when starting out in the acting/modeling field.
I plan to share many ideas and experiences to help you get going, but I also want to share how to keep going once you’ve started.

So you have “the look” down and you’ve started eliminating high school plays from your resume because you actually have some real experience! You’ve managed to be on set and realize that no matter how long it takes, this is the career you love. There’s a jump in your heart every time you get a call for auditions, and you plan your grocery shopping around what you’ll be eating from Craft Services. As great as it all seems, there is a major quirk in the works. As happy as you are, your relatives, girlfriend, boyfriend, 4th grade teacher, or all of the above are equally as unhappy. They keep telling you that you’re a dreamer and your girl/boy friend is threatening to break up unless you get a “real” job. Your parents tell you they won’t send money if you continue such a pointless path. Your 4th grade teacher says she didn’t teach you everything she knows about the Pilgrims so you could throw it all away as a stand-in for Jack Black.

What do you do to stay the course when everyone you always respected seems to be causing waves? First of all, check deep inside your heart and soul. Are you doing this because you truly want it with all your heart? Because if you are, don’t give up your dream. If you just want some glamour and think it’s an easy way to meet “the beautiful people,” then go home and think of some other way. It’s not easy and you have to want it more than anything else. For those who can relate to that feeling, stay positive. Don’t let anyone get you down. Walk into every audition with confidence and energy. If you have one line, make it the best line in the show or movie. Use affirmations to replace your own negative thoughts and doubts. Maybe people are saying discouraging words but you can replace those with positive words of your own. Every successful person had someone who didn’t believe in him/her – but they didn’t give up.

“I am prosperous and successful.”
“I am a success in work and life.”
“I am being led right now to my perfect good.”

Make up the affirmations that fit you and then use them without ceasing. There’s a lot of time on set and you can both write or say them to yourself. When no one else helps lift you, lift yourself.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Check out The Secret (Extended Edition) I think this is a great way to stay positive in the acting and modeling field.


Chris Fabregas – http://www.cfab.tv/

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Agents

The role of the agent is to find work for actors (like you). Legitimate and reputable agents will only get paid after an actor or model has been paid. The rate is usually about 10% - 20% of the actor’s salary, depending on the job, ie: print, commercials, TV, fit shows, or runway. NEVER pay an up front fee to join an agency! This is a huge warning sign. If they do charge you, find another one, there are plenty of other agencies out there that are right for you.

While it is not necessary to have an agent in order to get work, it’s beneficial to find an agent as soon as possible. Agents have industry contacts and professional resources, which will help get you into auditions and interviews that you otherwise may not ever hear about. Like I said before, this industry is like sales. So the more auditions you go on the more jobs you can book. Why not have an agent looking for work too?

There are a couple ways that I like to go about finding an agent. The first is to ask around. Talk to friends that are in the business or ask people on set or at auditions who they are represents them. Ask about their experiences with that agency. People are usually very friendly and like to help others so it never hurts to ask. They may even refer you to an agent which will help get you in the door. If you don’t ask you’ll never know.

Secondly, for those of you in LA go to Samuel French Bookstore and get the paperback book “The Agencies.” It lists all the agents in LA, with phone numbers, addresses, and also has a section of what some agencies are looking for right now. Look through the agent descriptions such as children, models, character actors, leading women, leading men, commercials, theatrical, print, etc. Find the agents who fit your type.

Now you need to submit your headshot and resume to the agent, with a brief cover letter introducing yourself, no more than a couple paragraphs. Agents receive hundreds of letters and don’t have time to read a long letter. Try to be different. I like to send my pictures in a white envelope instead of manila like most people. Also, you can buy clear envelopes online so the agent can see your pictures as soon as he/she gets them.

There are hundreds of agencies in the LA area. Don’t just send out two or three letters and be bummed you didn’t hear anything. About 1 in 5 actors or models in LA has representation. It’s important to mail out 25 – 50 headshots. Make sure you’re prepared when you come in to meet with them. Bring headshots, resumes, and ask them if you need to have anything else prepared such as a monologue. During these economic times it may be hard to spend money on all the stamps, envelopes, and printing costs. Visit the agencies web site and see if they take email submissions. This saves a lot of time and money.
Once you have an agent, don’t expect your agent to make it happen for you while you sit back and collect checks. Keep in touch with your agent and continue to develop your skills. Make sure to thank them for their hard work and continue to ask them how you can improve your chances of auditions and what you can do to help them.

Chris - www.cfab.tv

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Auditions: What to Expect

The wait is over, you’ve finally been called in for your first audition, now what?

You arrive in the casting office and realize there are about 15 complete strangers that are auditioning for the same exact role as you. Some are sitting rehearsing lines to themselves in the corner, others may be bragging about all the jobs they are booking to the guy next to them. Find your way to the sign-in sheet and make sure you have all your paperwork, polaroid’s, and headshots ready to go before it’s your turn. Ask any last minute questions and check to see when the callback and shoot dates are. In the meantime find a seat in the lobby and wait for your turn. Rehearse your script one last time and don’t pay attention to the guy talking about all the jobs he’s getting, usually it’s just for show.

When you’re called in for the audition the people in the room will consist of yourself, the casting director, and even more complete strangers staring at you with a blank look on their face. Some of the other people in the room may be the producer, a camera operator, a representative from the advertiser, or the casting director’s buddy. No matter who’s in the room, treat everyone with respect. That guy munching on a sandwich in the corner, with old torn jeans, and sending text messages, could be the producer.
By the time it’s your turn to audition, the casting director has probably seen hundreds of other people, which means he/she and anyone else in the room is likely to be tired, bored, and maybe a little irritable. Try to make the casting director’s job easy and not talking until it’s your time to talk is one of the best ways to do this. Don’t tell the people in the room some story about your friend Timmy’s new band and how they blew their first show.
Someone may ask for your headshot and resume if you haven’t already handed one in. At some auditions, someone may take your picture with a digital camera, so the casting director can review all the people who auditioned that day. This may be before you walk in or at the beginning of the audition. Be sure to smile, dress the part, and look your best.
Next someone will tell you where to stand which is usually a mark on the floor made of tape. The casting director will then ask you to slate which means saying your name clearly with a smile. He/she may also ask you to include other information such as your agency, age, or related experience for the part. The casting director will then say “OK GO,” “Start,” or “ACTION.” This is your cue to start the audition you’ve been preparing so hard for.
After your audition is complete, thank everyone who helped you out, the casting director, the man eating a sandwich in the back, and the receptionist who helped you check in. Also, before you leave the audition, you may have to sign out on the same sign-in sheet if you are part of a union. After you sign out, leave quickly and make sure you have your keys, phone, portfolio, and anything else you don’t want left behind. Now just sit back and wait for that call back. Check out this book as well Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part


Chris - www.cfab.tv

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Acting and Modeling Websites in LA - Find your Own Work

So you’ve packed up all your stuff and moved to L.A., the entertainment capitol of the world. You mailed out head shots and resumes to 50+ agents and managers and heard back from ummm…. maybe four. After meeting with the four agencies, you decide that maybe two are a good fit for you. Finally, after a long and thought-out process you have decided on the “Here For You 24/7 Agency.” Perfect, now you just have to sit back, relax and wait for all the auditions to come in. Only if it were that easy! Most agencies in the L.A. area have hundreds of talented people just like you on their roster. You need to be proactive and also be your own agent and manager. Remember, acting and modeling is like a sales job, you need to sell and market yourself. The more you submit yourself the more auditions you get, the more auditions the more bookings. There are some great websites in L.A. that you can use to submit yourself to castings. I am a member of all three and submit myself daily.
Here they are in no particular order…

http://www.lacasting.com/. Once you set up your account, you can view and submit yourself for audition notices. You can find principle and extra work in TV, Film, Commercials, Theater, Music Videos and more. This site can be pricey. The first picture you upload is $25. Each additional picture is $10. Make sure to upload a variety of looks and try to upload as many as you can at once. The next time you add a new photo you will have to pay the $25 fee for the first picture.

http://www.actorsaccess.com/ As a member of Actors Access you have the option of two memberships. 1) Pay as you go. Which means every time you submit yourself to a casting notice, you pay a $2 fee. Or, 2)You can pay for an annual membership. This is the route I went and most people I’ve spoken with agree this is the best option. For an annual fee of $68, you can submit yourself to unlimited castings. You also get a membership to http://www.showfax.com/ where you can download sides and other helpful resources.

Last but not least, http://www.nowcasting.com/. There are different membership levels that all have their own price range depending on your needs. I chose the basic package that is $9.99/Month. You can upload six pictures and also gain access to valuable resources.

One more site that I’ll mention is http://www.craigslist.org/. You can find great acting and modeling jobs under the Talent section as well as the TV/Film/Radio section. However, be cautious when submitting for these jobs. Although there are a lot of legit castings there can also be some crazy people that just want to waste your time. (Just what you need). Make sure you fully check out the company or casting director before your audition. I usually google them to find out as much info as I can before an audition. You can also try typing in the word scam after the company name, Ie. “Waste of Time, Inc. scam.” This way you can see if anyone else had a bad encounter with this company/casting director.
Just remember to stay positive and the more you submit the more auditions you’ll get.

Chris-http://www.cfab.tv/