2009 is coming to a close, and many of us will be assessing our accomplishments for the year. Too many times we make the mistake of only measuring the things we have NOT accomplished; and while this may be valuable in helping us set new goals for the year, it is important that we take a moment to appreciate and congratulate ourselves on the things we DID make happen. If you were in class, sent out marketing, continued networking, saw theater, television or film, attended auditions, or set foot in front of a camera or audience this year YOU MADE PROGRESS. You made an investment in your career that will one day pay off, even if it didn’t pay this year.
Be good to yourself, continuing to be encouraging and positive to yourself and to other artists. Coming from a place of gratitude makes your future success arrive faster… and you have a better time while you’re waiting for it.
I want to once again personally invite you all to my holiday concert! It’s the one time a year I perform: songs I’ve written and songs of the season. It’s a great family event that will bring you much needed holiday cheer. It’s at the Nate Holden Theater on Washington Blvd. Yes, tickets are $15 (we’re donating any profits to an educational scholarship), but PLEASE don’t stay away if you don’t have $15 (you can get them at www.stuartkrobinson.com). E-mail Kat at firstname.lastname@example.org – and be my guest if money is that tight. We’d love to see you all at the Robinson Creative Holiday Reception after the show in the lobby of the theater.
Let’s take this one chance to feel good about ourselves and the trying-but-wonderfully rewarding business we have chosen as our life’s work.
Stuart K Robinson
Once a day an actor or actress tells me, “I can’t get an agent” or “I can’t break out of my slump”.
Are you kidding me? If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible if the will is strong enough. By saying “I can’t”, we give ourselves an excuse not to succeed. I’m not saying the challenges aren’t mind numbingly tough. Believe me, I know. But if this career is what you truly want, and you won’t be happy without it, what choice do you have but to press on and find your dream?
The actors who say “No agent will sign me”, I ask “How many have you asked”?
The response usually is: “Well, I mailed to fifty of them”. So, you didn’t get “no” for an answer. You got a non response, which is a “yes” waiting to happen. All that’s needed is perhaps better pictures, stronger cover letter, a personal connection, some brilliant tape of your latest performance, a good word from a respected colleague, repeated attempts, or a combination of the above. How many wonderful relationships would have never come to be if one of the couple had given up after the first non response?
Come on! Get fired up and figure out what it is about you that will make money for that agent- and find a way to articulate it in the shortest time possible. Where is the money?
Once you believe there’s money there, and have the vocabulary or materials to represent that belief, then you can convince others. Yes, you can!
Make good things happen.
“If we don’t start, it’s certain that we won’t arrive.” – Unknown
So often actors say to me that they can’t stand the rejection of our business.
I always try to remind them that what they are feeling is not rejection, rather disappointment.
You have to keep in mind, no one is rejecting you- they don’t know you and all of which you are capable. They are rejecting the emotional/behavioral choice you have offered them. Think about that: one of thousands of choices you could have made. They have determined, rightly or misguidedly, that your choice is not the answer to their needs. They may recognize your talent, but have no time to shape that talent into what they are looking for.
So, there is no rejection; only the decision to continue the search for a choice that better answers the need. And that, it’s true, is disappointing. So, in lieu of depression, hating the business, or reinventing yourself, the solutions are basic:
1. Continue the effort to make better choices.
2. Get better at handling disappointment.
Our profession is filled with little and big disappointments. But it also is a journey of the most positive and rewarding creative experiences one can imagine. It will all balance out if you let it. Hang in there… your day is coming.
“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.” – Unknown
You only have three seconds.
The largest difference between commercials and theatrical projects is the value of a second. Remember, in a film, an audience can wait 15, 20 or even 30 minutes to piece together vital information about a certain character: who, what, when, where, why. A commercial is less than 30 seconds total! For this reason, our viewers have only seconds to be 100% in the loop and prepared to be subconsciously brainwashed by our hidden sales message.
So, it would stand to reason that the most important part of a commercial audition would be the first three to five seconds.
Never mind the age-old argument about whether slating in-character works. Simply ask yourself: after five seconds, have the advertisers decided I’m right for the part… or am I out?
Granted, if you get caught falsely trying to “indicate” that you are right for the part, you are using bad acting techniques, and deserve to be disqualified.
But, the fear of indicating does not excuse you from bringing the qualities the commercial needs.
So, practice, practice, practice… and win the game in the opening seconds.