When I meet with an actor to discuss ONE-on-ONE Coaching I ask a few questions:
What are you doing NOW?
(getting showcases, self-submitting)
What do you WANT to be doing?
(goals, TV, Film roles)
How are you making that happen?
(looking for an agent)
The answers give me an idea of the actor's mindset, priorities, hopes, dreams and expectations. If the actor is really frustrated, depressed and desperate I try to figure out what they're doing (if anything) that's wrong. Why isn't their career working? And it always falls into one of three categories:
"...becoming involved with something superficially- an intermittent interest-not serious."
"...being indecisive, lack of conviction, unable to make up one's mind and COMMIT to what's necessary."
"delaying with hesitation, stop progressing, halting the engine, in a plane- a sudden dive."
Here are a few examples.
A middle-aged woman begged for an immediate first consult.I asked her the above questions. Her story was that she'd ALWAYS wanted to be an actress- had studied theater in college and had worked with few top acting coaches. And then marriage, children, a conventional life. Acting was put on hold
Now that she was retired and had plenty of income- her husband was a successful Park Avenue Doctor, she could do exactly what she wanted, she said. She smiled with a sense of pride, gloating- this is my new life!
Good I said. So you'll need marketing tools- a new head shot, a few classes to brush up, a website, a sizzle reel- the basic tools for anyone in the biz even if you're starting now. She asked how much that would cost?
High level? A few thousand, low level, a few hundred. But, if you go the low route, at your age, agents and casting directors will wonder why you have a tacky website or clips from student films or a cheap head shot.
Why not invest in your career and do it right? Build some credits, refresh the training, get excellent tools and present yourself at the highest level, professionally?
She thought a moment and then blurted out, " I don't think I can afford it."
Is your husband still working?
Oh, yes he's a top Plastic Surgeon.
What kind of roles and in which media do you see yourself working?
Well, I could play a wife or a mother...do you think I'm too old?
No, there are tons of roles for baby boomers over 50.Of course you'll compete with other women your age who have some credits.
She was quiet for a moment.
I could just do some commercials, couldn't I?...that would make some money and I wouldn't need to get all those things.
Have you done commercials before?
It's just as competitive as any other media- prime time TV, film, theater. You'd still need a commercial head shot or a comp card - for commercial print -and an agent. You'd have be available for auditions and brush up your commercial technique.
She was silent again.
OK. What else do you like to do...in your retirement? I asked.
Do you paint now?
No. I've never tried it.
Ok. I said, ending the discussion. This is my suggestion. Go to the nearest community center- Sign up for watercolor classes, sculpting, making pottery-anything that is fun and inexpensive.
And my acting career?
I don' t think you actually WANT an acting career. Be happy.
A young guy with a "surfer dude" style came to a seminar I was giving at a large EXPO, stayed afterward to say thanks and really stressed that he was ready to work with a Career Coach.
I got my "sh..t" together. I've studied with the BEST and NOW I want the best Coach-that's YOU.
I want you to be my Mentor. I've waited years for this!
Great! I said. Let's talk.
He sent me an email- Can't wait to get started- You're my new Coach!!
We connected on SKYPE. He asked me what programs I had. I showed him a list of options- 6 different plans -meeting weekly, monthly, bi-weekly, on the phone, on Skype, video chat, in a group...the least expensive was all of $47 a month with a personal session with ME on line in a webinar with other young actors. All the programs helped my other clients no matter how many times they met and spoke with me or whatever budget they had. Most actors even if they claim poverty have at least $50 or $100 available funds monthly for classes, head shots, paying to meet the industry...AND a Coach.
This is sooooo cool - so many choices, he said.
Any questions, I asked? What appeals to you?
I like them all- great programs. I think I'll take the ONE-on-ONE every week.
Great. I said. When do you want to start?
He stared and was silent. Maybe next month.
You could always do every other week or the on line coaching? It's less expensive.
Yeah, that's terrific too.
OK. Well. I'm going to think about it and decide in the next few WEEKS...and I'll get back to you. I CALL you!
Good luck with that!
(still waiting for the phone call- but I knew I'd never hear from him...did I say
something wrong? No. A month later, I got an email from him-"GOOD NEWS! Excited
about starting coaching..SOON!" That was 6 years ago.)
I met a really beautiful model-actress with exceptionally gorgeous photos except they were all either in the nude or wearing Victoria Secret- type Lingerie. No worries there- except she had no head shots. None. No photos where she was dressed with ordinary clothes on. No demo reel or sizzle. A resume with a few seminars and workshops- no serious training. No theater training. No scene study or technique classes. No Speech classes- she had an accent, a thick Russian accent.
So what's your story? I asked.
I want to appear in movies, films, serious films. I took film class.
I noticed. OK. You need some regular head shots or lifestyle photos with clothes on.
These are good enough. I get plenty jobs with these. Everyone LOVES these photos!
They're lovely but not the proper tools for an acting career. You need head shots or lifestyle photos if you want to do commercial print, Prime time TV, Film or even theater. You also need a sizzle reel, a website and more training...otherwise you'll get cast as...a model, a Russian girl who's a lingerie model- very few or no lines. Extra work. That's not much of a career. You need serious theater training.
I don't want to do theater-just film.
Do you have a green card? Can you work or study here?
Yes. No Problem.
So, it's simple. Get the tools. It's easy.
My photos are not to your liking? Is that correct?
Not the professional standard.
But I like my photos. I don't want new ones.
And a website? More acting training? A demo reel? Speech classes?
I'm not interested.
Well, Good luck!
(she could have had a really major career- the charisma was there and beauty- the
camera loved her...but her career wouldn't go any further without the tools and training.Too bad.)
All in all, it's really simple. Easy. You can be successful if you just listen to the advice of a mentor- GET GREAT MARKETING TOOLS. SHOW UP. FOLLOW THROUGH! There is no secret, really!
I could sum it up for anyone in 6 words-
YOU DON'T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
Change your mindset -change your career!
P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Winning Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here..