Joining an acting union can be an exciting moment. The possibility of receiving benefits like higher pay, health insurance, a 401K, a pension and more is suddenly real.
But while there’s a lot to gain by joining a union, there’s also a lot to consider before making this financial and professional decision: Once you pay those initiation dues, you pledge to follow the rules, only accept union work, and uphold the rights and responsibilities expected in a professional performer.
Recently, Actors’ Equity announced a change in their Equity Membership Candidate Program, offering candidates the opportunity to join the union sooner (at 25 weeks instead of 50). While 25 weeks might be right for some actors, waiting it out to 50 weeks might be better for others—it’s really dependent on you and your specific career and lifestyle.
So let’s explore this decision. Here are some major things to consider before “taking your card.” Read the Full Article originally published on Backstage.com here!
And take this quiz to find out if joining Equity is right for you!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Whether you are reading this on February 14th or you have just come across this post, it's always a good day to show yourself some love & care...
As I write to you I am in the middle of a challenging, exciting rehearsal process for a play and as I try new things I find myself needing to come back to the well of self-love often. Saying to self "SHOW UP. BE CONFIDENT. And PLAY!" I don't know about you, but sometimes I take this whole "play" thing a little too SERIOUSLY. And seriousness can only take you so far in "play".
As you find yourself in the middle of a busy audition or performance season, it is super important that you keep your mindset fresh & positive.
You and your mindset have the power to be your greatest fan and your greatest obstacle in your acting career.
So I've put together a few ideas to practice being your greatest FAN today:
1.) Write A Love Letter to Yourself.
What are you most proud of in this moment? In the past month? year? Decade? What is your favorite song? Personality trait? What makes you smile? Light a candle, put on some inspiring music and write... let yourself know how proud you are of all you are up to in your life & career. Acknowledgement is powerful. Use a tool like FutureMe.org to schedule this love letter to arrive in the form of an email you'll receive weeks or months down the road.
2.) Create a "Kind Words" Folder in your Email Inbox.
It's time to flag, save, and remember all of those beautiful things other have said about you. Take photos of thank-you notes you may have received from fellow actors on an opening night, or directors/teachers complimenting your work in and out of the audition room. Send these pictures to your email inbox and place in your new folder titled "Kind Words"-- or come up with your own title if you wish! This is a place for fabulous reviews or emails that "just make your day". It's also a place for you to come back to and review when you're NOT feeling like your biggest fan. Let it serve as motivation that you ARE loved and your work does have an impact on others in the world.
3.) Make an Artist Date with Yourself.
Okay, this one comes to you via Julia Cameron and her book The Artist's Way. An artist date is a date just for yourself, that you go on by yourself. Treat your artist self and explore your sense of play. It may be a museum visit, going to see a play or concert on your own. Check out this list of 101 artist date ideas!
Please share below how you are celebrating some self-love today! And e-mail this post to yourself, add it to your new "Kind Words" folder, and come back to it at those times when you are needing a little pick-me-up!
All my love, Elise
Happy (almost) New Year!
Depending on which time zone you may be in at the moment, you may have already rung in 2018! Cheers!
I have been heavily relaxing this week (which is why you have not heard from me in a bit). I hope you had some time off too... time to recharge as you get ready to kick off 2018 with grace, prosperity and creativity!
As I left my favorite barre class this morning, I couldn’t wait to sit down and write to you, so here we are...
How was your 2017?
What were some milestones reached?
Some personal & professional highs? And lows?
Did you set a goal for yourself and reach it? If you didn’t quite reach it, did the goal set you in action and maybe lead you toward some other pretty nifty achievements?
If you didn’t set any goals for yourself, how did this year go career-wise?
If you have been following my blog for any bit of time, you know I am BIG on setting goals, breaking them down into smaller actions and GOING FOR IT. I absolutely LOVE to reflect and plan this time of year, and invite you to do the same for your acting career.
So, I’ve created a simple roadmap just for you to "Celebrate Your Success & Manifest More in 2018"! Claim yours now!
Photo Source: Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash
So you’re planning to add a new city to your local hire list or maybe you’ve lived in a regional market for a while or perhaps you feel it’s time to begin working with an agent. Whatever the cause, it’s my intention to empower you to be your own agent in that regional market.
First, let’s determine exactly what it is you might be expecting from an agent. Then we’ll explore how you can take on these responsibilities in order to own it in your region!
Agents build relationships with casting directors and other industry professionals.
Over months and years, agents cultivate relationships with casting directors and other decision makers by consistently sending talented, prepared clients who show up on time, are easy to work with, audition well, book jobs, and make the casting director’s job easy. In turn, CDs have certain agencies they’ll call first when they have specific needs, based on good track records with their rosters.
How do you do this as your own agent?
Attend auditions for projects you’re right for, attend general auditions, take advantage of any opportunity where you can begin developing relationships with casting directors, directors, writers, and other decision-makers.
Click here to read the full article on Backstage.com!
Originally published on Backstage.com
So what do you think? Have you encountered feeling of envy & jealousy in your career? How have you dealt with these icky feelings? Would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
If you've found this helpful and and have yet to check out Episodes 1, 2 and 3 of our #Success series, just click on the links for more tips on auditioning for actor/musician shows, managing success and #tourlife!
You can find out more about Erica Sypres here and be sure to SHARE this with any actors you adore :)
Good food for thought, right?!
If you enjoyed our conversation and have yet to check out Episodes 1 & 2 of our #Success series, just click on the link for more tips on auditioning for actor/musician shows and managing success!
You can find out more about Erica Sypres here and be sure to join us next week for the final episode of the series! Please feel free to SHARE with other actors who'd get something out of this :)
So what happens when you land a big job,
...need to back out of an entire season of regional work,
... and suddenly have to live up to the success?
Well, this fabulous problem is exactly what happened to actress/singer/musician Erica Spyres when she landed the national tour of ONCE. When describing this big win to me, she said:
"We prepare ourselves as actors so much for failure... we prepare ourselves for "no" that when we hear a yes.. we're like.. 'wait-what?! I was all ready to hear a "no" I don't know what to do with that!'"
Many of us focus on being in a mindset of letting go after a big audition and haven't given too much thought into how to best be prepared for the feeling of major success.
Check out this week's video for Erica's solutions and how YOU can best be ready for that next big job!
So what do you think? Have you been in a similar situation?
What healthy habit will you begin today to best be ready to manage big success? Leave your thoughts in the comments, please share with any actors you think might be into this, and...
Stay tuned for more from Erica next week! In the meantime, you can learn more about her out at ericaspyres.com
This is Episode of 2 in the #Success series with Erica Spyres. If you've missed Episode 1, go back and watch it here!
In my very first post for this blog, I attributed much of my career success and life balance to having successful accountability partnerships.
And it’s true…
I used to be a patient actor, hoping that eventually the right jobs would come.
Now, I take daily and weekly action towards that next job and have someone to check in with, celebrate with, plan with. I always feel best in my accountability calls when I can report that I’ve done what I said I would do! And if sometime I am a day or two behind in an action, that’s okay too- because, in the end I am taking way more action in my career than I ever used to, so it’s still a major hustle! I have set big goals (begin a career in audiobooks, land great representation, book my first co-star), and I have accomplished them or something better- because I am constantly in action, controlling what I can (and letting go of what I cannot)!
I used to be stopped by my own limiting beliefs.
Because I’ve met my accountability partners via actor business groups led by optimistic, nurturing and strategic career coaches, we have each learned about how our own limiting beliefs can be our biggest career obstacles. I have often helped my partner face the obstacle, challenge it and move past it and have flourished from my partner doing the same for me. I now challenge myself to do something outside of my comfort zone daily, and the actions that used to feel scary - like making a phone call to a decision maker or ask for a meeting - have become easy.
I used to work many “jobs” that were unrelated to my acting career.
Today, I am working full-time in the industry- whether voicing a commercial, narrating an audiobook, acting in a play or coaching an actor the momentum continues to build. I look forward to crushing my next few goals with the help of these accountability partners.
With accountability, actions take way less time than I ever thought they would, so each day I find myself moving on to “what’s next?” The constant positive time and effort invested into the business of the acting career makes it grow exponentially. I began saying “No” to the things I did not enjoy doing and insisted on getting paid for the acting career I had already spent so much money to build.
Accountability can be a game-changer for you, and I am thrilled to see some accountability partnerships beginning to thrive in the current #GlobalActor Power Groups.
It’s early November, if you have an acting goal, you have been putting off, like:
Consider joining us in the #GlobalActor Power Groups!
Since launching in late August, we have celebrated all of the above accomplishments! How?
I’d love to be that optimistic, nurturing and strategic coach that helps sky-rocket YOUR acting career!
IF you’re up for some acting success...
Let’s set up a time in the next couple weeks to see if the #GlobalActor Power Group might be a fit for your current career needs!
With the new year just around the corner, NOW is the FINAL time to lock in the 2017 power group rates- the lowest they will ever be, and take CHARGE of your career today!
Are you a musician as well as an actor and singer?
If so, I'm sure you've been noticing the call for more and more actor/singer/musicians in the theater today- from John Doyle's Sondheim productions to shows like ONCE and NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812. And what a great way to set yourself apart from the herd in this competitive business! If you're ready to market yourself as an actor/singer/musician, you have a special opportunity to stand out and book work that few others can.
So, how can you make the best first impression auditioning with your instrument?
Check out this week's video below for what is being asked of you in these kinds of auditions!
I'm interviewing Erica Spyres who takes us through the step-by-step process of what it was like to audition and be cast in the National Tour of ONCE! (Be sure to follow her, as she makes her upcoming Broadway debut in CAROUSEL!)
Watch it now!
So what do you think?
Now that you've got some tried & true tips, select a song or two that would seriously show off your musicianship and personality on your favorite instrument, and let me know how it goes, in the comments below.
Stay tuned for more from Erica next week and in the meantime check her out at ericaspyres.com
Last week Actors Equity announced changes to the EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) program providing more flexibility to actors currently enrolled.
There is now an option to join AEA after 25 weeks in the program (vs. the former 50 weeks). If EMCs wish, they can stay in the program to Phase II- completing 25 more weeks as an EMC. A new dues structure has been put in place and those who qualify may be able to save $500 towards their initiation fee if they join before January 1, 2018.
Following the announcement, my FaceBook feed blew up with complaints, advice to EMC members not to join AEA prematurely, etc.
I noticed a lot of fear out there...
and I thought it worthy of discussion.
First off, Yay to the new flexibility!
Joining the EMC program may be easier in the regional markets and while some regional actors may want to complete all 50 weeks, it may behoove NYC or LA-based actors to join at 25. The strength of Actors Equity is important for professional stage actors and stage managers and if this change will increase membership and funding, I salute you Equity! #EquityWorks
Joining the union (at any time) is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. I never recommend taking the blanket advice of anyone who is shouting it on Facebook. Your personal credits, relationships & training must all be taken into consideration before making such a decision.
As a career coach for actors, I will never make a solid recommendation to a client on joining or not, until we have thoroughly discussed that actor’s goals, ambitions, past training and current relationships in the industry.
So, I’ve put together a quiz (including some of the questions I ask my clients), so that YOU can begin to explore if joining Actors Equity NOW is right for YOU!
the global actor