#1 thing I learned is that everyone’s journey is completely different. There is no ONE way of approaching your career. Certainly, you can listen and take advice from other actors, but at the end of the day you have to create your own path. Do all the things that are in your control (healthy lifestyle, working on your craft, going to classes, auditions..etc), and enjoy the ride.
Since graduation I have had the honor of working with several great indie filmmakers, on projects that I feel extremely lucky to have worked on. I find these projects to be very rare, but when they present themselves to you, there’s no better word than “Honor.” After I graduated, I still continued to despise the audition process. I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t good at it. But yet this was the way it was and has been forever. It wasn’t until I auditioned for a film entitled “Anymore,” where I finally understood what I was doing wrong. For this particular audition, I REALLY went to work on it. Just like in class I created a very extensive biography, I went out and did some personal histories for myself, I broke down my doings for each of my lines, and even went as far as going to thrift stores and finding what my character would wear. By the time I had the audition, I felt so comfortable with the lines and knew exactly why I was saying them and who I was. Long story short, I was a “doing machine” at the audition and there was so much depth that I brought to the character. I ended up getting cast as the lead in that film and enjoyed every moment of that experience. I later asked the director out of curiosity why he cast me? He said it was simply because of my commitment and my attention to detail. After this experience, I realized that the reason I didn’t like the audition process, was because I wasn’t putting in the time and the work. I learned that you have to put your heart in everything you do, regardless of what it is.
I am very lucky to live across the street from a Library. I spend a lot of my time there reading plays and science fiction. Also I have friends who write screenplays and often they need a pair of eyes to look over. I find reading screenplays is very important for the growth of an actor.
Going to auditions and meeting like-minded people has been a very important process for me as an actor. I have made countless friends who have shared their stories, advice and even offered to refer me to their agency or managers. Finding your artistic family is EXTREMELY necessary! Luckily I am surrounded by these hard working and humble artists that inspire me every day!
A legend! A man that truly believed in his actors and found a way to get them to really listen and get out of their heads.
#1 thing I learned in class is to NOT compare your instrument to anyone else. This is probably my favorite teaching of all time, because Ive constantly compared myself to others. This is a teaching that I am still growing into and constantly reminding myself of. There is only one of YOU! So be the best YOU you can be! Warts and all!
Do the work! Do NOT cut corners! Be the student that everyone wants to work with!
I had a lot of insecurity I had to deal with, the first year of the training. Lots of open wounds that needed to heal. The biggest challenge for me personally was to stop using my head and to start using my heart!
Moving away from my family to pursue my dreams. Even though they are EXTREMELY supportive, I often miss them dearly.
Since I now live in LA, I miss the studio. I miss my artistic family in San Francisco. I miss working with people who truly care.
Working with flaky students that didn’t care, and as a result would bring me down. Luckily these students were eventually exposed and kicked out.
Auditioning isn’t as scary as I thought it was while i was in the training.
I had a hard time letting Jim or Melissa know about problem students, simply out of fear of ruining that friendship.
Speak up when I was having problems with scene partners.
There was a particular class where we all had to bring in a funny joke and a sad story. It was the first class where they introduced Spoon Rivers to us. Anyways, every one of my classmates told a funny joke. And we all had a good laugh. It wasn’t until Melissa decided that she was also going to tell us a joke. We all listened with curiosity. She ended up telling us the most inappropriate joke which we all were shocked because it was a side of Melissa we all hadn’t seen before. It was the funniest thing ever!
I remember I was working with my classmate Emily and I was changing the strings on my guitar because I set up that I just received a phone call that Emily and I were invited to perform with Metallica at the Fillmore. I set up that Emily and I were best friends that have been doing Metallica covers for years and that the band saw a video of us on YouTube. I remember it was a really solid activity that really fueled me!
My breakthrough “aha” moment was definitely when they introduced impediments to us. I remember this was the first time where I felt the most free. First of all I remember I was working on Cerebral Palsy, and I took it out in the world. I remember feeling so disrespectful and self conscious because people were staring at me, and treating me differently. After several hours of doing this I felt so much respect for the people that have this condition. I remember, in class, I did a moment to moment exercise with my classmate Santiago with this impediment and it was some of the most free, and connected work I had ever done up to that point. I was no longer in my head but working from my gut.
From every actor in LA that I have talked to, they all agree on the same thing. It is way easier to get an agent if you have someone refer you. I was lucky to land my first agent within the first 2 months of moving to LA. My vocal coach and I became really good friends and he offered to refer me to his agency, which he has been with for 10 years, and set up a meeting. I prepared for it and they ended up signing me right away.
After being with agency “DDO” for 5 months now I have learned that communication is extremely important. They are there to help. Don’t make them have to search for you. Keep them updated on your projects, and on the days you wont be able to audition, and your new Head Shot sessions, etc. Be always available to them.
For commercials, in my experience, they don’t really give you anything in advance. Usually you show up and they give you a brief explanation and that’s it. The important thing here is to commit like crazy! One time for a Toyota commercial, they had me get on my knees and pretend I am a dog, and guess what, I was the best damn dog that I could be!!! Strong choices quick! For theatrical, definitely, do the work! You all know how!
The importance of knowing who you are as a human being, and knowing your product. Be yourself! Dont be an idea.
Continue to work on my craft, getting that much closer to my dream career.
have many more credits of films and projects that I am proud of. And at this point only 10 more years to become an actor 😉
I have an incredibly supportive family and long list of friends who are living this dream with me. I feel incredibly happy and blessed to have had the mentors that Ive had, the training, and the chance to be able to live my dreams every single day. But most importantly, I get to continue to grow and work on my craft.
Money often gets tight.
to not over direct an actor. Give them the necessary tools and adjustments and then let them fly.
I currently took new Head shots with this master photographer named Nogen Beck. He has an incredible science behind what he feels makes a great Head Shot. Very skilled photographer!
In terms of an acting studio….I audited countless of schools that were simply, for lack of a better word, bullshit! Lots of scam out here. Like Jim says, actors who think they are teachers whenever the rent is due. However, I found this gem of a teacher named “Don Bloomfield” who has his own Meisner Studio in North Hollywood. He believes in the same principles we believe in. I currently go to his Studio once a week where I get to workout with other dedicated Meisner Students.
Continue to work on my craft, getting that much closer to my dream career.
Johnny Depp! He is such an inspiration to me and the type of chameleon-like character actor I hope to be some day.
“Perks of being a Wallflower.” I was in love with the book, because the character, Charlie, very much resonated with me. I would love to have played that role.
Tim Burton was one of my biggest inspirations in my life. Because I loved “The Nightmare Before Christmas” so much as kid it was only natural that after high school I would study Animation. During this time I was also obsessed with the guitar, so a lot of my heroes growing up were musicians and bands.
I was in my final year of studying Animation at Ex’pression College of the Digital Arts. I had just learned that Acting was the most essential part to becoming a great animator. During this time a friend of mine, who was studying film making at this same school, asked me if I would act in his short film. I agreed and one film, led to another, and then another, and then another and I became the go to actor for the department. When I finally graduated I felt a desire to learn how to truly act. And it wasn’t until I met Jim that I developed a deep respect for the craft of acting and that’s when I truly knew I wanted to be an actor.
My incredibly supportive family that no matter what crazy dream I may have, they are the first to be on board. I am extremely grateful for all the friends and mentors I’ve met along my journey, who have inspired me to continue to push forward.
making friends quickly! I have made some of my best friends in life just by approaching them and having a genuine conversation.
Trying to do too many things at once. I have too many passions and at times it can get overwhelming.
I there were more 5 versions of myself so I could get more work done!
have a career where I get to create and do what I love doing every single day!
Edward Scissorhands. It is a film that changed my life. I saw it at a time where I felt like a complete outsider, like I didn’t belong in the world around me. This is a film I hold close to my heart!
Lots of current and informative advice!
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I write everything out. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
Facebook and Instagram!
Most likely I would pursue Animation and Graphic Design.
The ability to keep going even if it scares you!
Quit! I have never quit anything I love.
You’re only as good as the chances you take!!! Stay in school kids!