This question popped up in my inbox earlier this week and since it’s so pertinent to so many actors out there at one time or another, I thought I’d share...
Q: I am recovering from a viral infection and bronchitis. I have been out of teaching for a week and was thinking I could go back tomorrow but then I started getting this tickle in my throat that sends me in to these coughing spasms.... the kind that don’t stop... that are embarrassing in public. Is there anything when you are recording your audio books that you find helpful... to immediately stop that kind of cough from starting? I put myself on vocal rest because I had a terrible painful episode at home this morning and talking seems to set it off.
A: First off, I’m so sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Such a bummer to be sick. I feel your pain, literally! A couple weeks ago, I was in a very similar situation. I went to my doctor, and besides a prescription for Flo-naze, the information I received is “it’s just a viral infection-- it will go away on it’s own in a 10-14 days”. WHAT?! 10-14 days of coughing and being able to carry on ?! Not so helpful as, you know, professional voice user hear. Fortunately, I had an arsenal of tips & tricks from my early years of vocal frustrations, so my specific bout did not last as long as 10 days. Below is what helped me specifically this time around.
*Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical professional, just sharing my personal experience. Please do not take the following as medical advice.
Hope this is helpful, and that you feel better soon. Please let me know what you find helpful or if you have any other tips to add in the comments below!
This was originally a guest blog post for Actor-Webs
by Elise Arsenault, The Global Actor
Are you feeling stuck in your acting career?
Maybe you are auditioning, even booking, but it’s not quite the work you want?
2019 is now just a couple weeks away, and this time of year is fabulous for cleaning house and getting clear on what you actually want for the year ahead. I can pinpoint almost all of my clients' career success to the ongoing habit of goal-setting and action planning.
Working in this industry often lacks certainty. Sometimes waiting on being called in, casting, and approval from producers leaves us feeling like everything is up in the air. Fortunately today—due to social media, having our own websites and being able to create content for ourselves—there is so much we are in control of. So what are you going to do right now to feel in control of your career?
Let’s dive into the importance of goal-setting and explore why it works.
Without a goal, how can you know where you’re going and how to plan for it? How do you know what daily actions to take, who you’ll need to meet, what further training you need, etc.?
Think about when you went to school. There was a road-map already set for you when you entered Kindergarten. You would go to school every school day take part in all assignments asked of you for a year, and if you passed, then you’d move up to first grade, rinse and repeat for second grade, etc. until you essentially graduated from high school in 12th grade.
This thirteen year plan with a mix of short and long-term goals does not really exist in the professional acting world, which is why it is SO important that you take the time and energy as the CEO of your acting business to create a structure/plan for yourself complete with short and long-term goals.
A plan gives us an end game result, but it also includes mile-markers to check off along the way as well as daily, weekly, monthly actions that move us forward and keep us practicing our craft. With a plan we are always ready for the opportunity that could be right in front of us today! You really never know when that perfect breakdown will come in, and if you’re not keeping up with what’s happening, you could miss out on your “next big break”, or “leveling up”, however you define a big career jump.
How does one specify a goal?
It takes some time to look at the big picture of where you’d like to be a few years from now, but once you explore and get clear on what that looks like, you can reverse-engineer a goal based on where you are now.
For instance, if I want to be a lead on Broadway, but I’ve still not gotten an Off-Broadway role, that might be what I work on next. However, if I do not have any professional credits yet, my next goal would be my first paid theatre role. At The Global Actor, I encourage all of my clients to create time-bound, specific goals that feel both exciting and achievable. Creating both short-term and long-term goals are necessary for forward and upward momentum in this career.
Are you ready to put a plan into place for 2019?
I'd love to help! This winter I have just a couple spots open in the #Global Actor Power Group, and I’d love to invite you to join me on this 5-month long career-changing adventure!
Whether you are looking to dive into voiceover/audiobooks, seriously book this pilot season or learn how to make all your money from acting, I think you'll want to seriously consider this opportunity.
Find all the details here!
Let career coaching via the Power Groups be your big, nurturing gift to yourself this Holiday Season, a major act of self-care!
This article was originally published by Backstage on November 15, 2018.
Ever wonder if you should say “no” to an acting job? Maybe you’ve been working with the same non-equity theater for years and want to move up to equity contracts.
Perhaps you’re no longer interested in taking unpaid work. Maybe you’d like to move from co-stars to recurring roles on TV.
Whatever the situation, it can be difficult to say no if you aren’t sure when and where your next acting opportunity is coming from. But passing on an acting job if and when it doesn’t serve you personally, professionally, or financially can often be a smart business move to make space for bigger opportunities that do move you forward.
At the beginning of your acting career, you may have instinctively said yes to every opportunity that came your way and if you’re still new to acting, it can be helpful advice. I know it served me well to say yes to almost every opportunity in my early years. I took extra work, unpaid student films, and non-union theater tours because the goal at that time was to build my résumé, meet and work with reputable industry professionals and get as much experience as possible. These were the foundational years of building experience, training, and my network of relationships.
But if you have big dreams and goals for your career (beyond unpaid work), there will likely come a time when you must begin to say no. In fact, I believe you can trace a successful actor’s career around the jobs they turn down. Would Meryl Streep or Sterling K. Brown have said yes to background work several years into their career if the goal was to star in feature films?
To help you figure out whether to take or pass on a job offer, here are three things to ask yourself before making a decision:
1. Does this job align with your current goal(s)?
What is the long-term plan for your career? If the job feels like a mile-marker, say yes. If it feels like a step back, it might be the right time to say no.
2. Does it provide a decent amount of money and/or access to reputable industry relationships? Will you be making a decent (as defined by you) income from this gig? Will you be working with a reputable director or writer for the first time? Are you strengthening an industry relationship that already exists? Is the job just gas money and are you cool with that?
All of these could be reasons to say yes.
3. Does it feel right?
Acknowledge your gut instinct. Does the prospect of working this gig make you excited? Check in with how you are treated during the audition and offer process. If you’re getting weird vibes from the creative team or producer, be sure to acknowledge your feelings, do your research, and listen to your gut.
Still not sure whether you should take this gig? Well, since you are the kind of proactive actor who read this to the end, I've created a guide for you to determine what's best for you and your specific job offer. Get it here!
If you do decide to say "no" to an opportunity, please know that as long as you continue to train, market, and network, there will be another opportunity. I promise.
Do you ever feel like you are super busy yet not moving your career forward as fast as you'd like?
If so this week's video is for you.
A few week's back I invited Charlotte to join us for a Hot Seat Coaching inside the #GlobalActors FB Group. Talk about an actor who GETS THINGS DONE-- you may have seen Charlotte playing Kate Mara's mom in last summer's Chappaquiddick, she also runs her own puppetry company, creates original theatre programming and more. I saw that she was feeling a bit frustrated working on her multiple goals & passions and not seeing as much forward momentum as she'd like. I knew that other #GlobalActors out there could benefit from this conversation so we decided to make the coaching public.
Take a few moments out of your busy schedule just for you and your career, grab a tea or coffee, settle in and take in this conversation!
She's done so much this past year, am I right?! If you can relate to any of what Charlotte was experiencing and would like to gain more clarity and vision in your acting goals and finally experience lasting success in your acting career, you are warmly invited to join me for:
"Dream Big, Plan Smart", A 5-Day Global Actor Challenge!
November 5-9, 2018
When you complete the challenge you'll have:
1) A living vision for life & career 5 years from today
2) A time-bound, specific one year goal
3) 3-5 personalized mantras to keep you active & in forward momentum
4) The beginnings of a 2019 Action Plan
5) Support from a community of actors to help you feel connected & accountable!
Hope you'll join us and invite a few other actors you admire to take part, too!
If you are feeling motivated to dive in and make your closet your favorite spot in your home, be sure to get in on Jeannie's upcoming Capsule Wardrobe course, which begins in just a few days, click here and remember to use code ELISE for 10% off. (Code can also be used for consultations!)
And leave a comment below on how you are currently feeling about your closet!
How often do you think about the colors you wear? When heading to an audition, networking event, getting your headshots done, or anywhere else in daily life do you struggle with "what to wear"?
I’d always heard that “blue makes you pop onscreen”. Also that “black is slimming and looks good on anyone”. While these colors may work well for many people, according to my recent color consultation, there is really only like one specific shade of blue that looks good on me, and my best colors are actually greens, browns, plums, etc. Most blues & black wash me out :)
For my birthday this year I gifted myself a color consultation with the Color Guru herself, Jeannie Stith-Mawhinney, and am so glad that I made the investment!
Jeannie helped me get clear on what colors don’t work for me, highlighted those that make me glow (including gold vs silver jewelry) and shared fabulous resources (including makeup & color card) which have made shopping, and getting ready every day SO much easier!
As an actor, it is VITAL that we feel confident in every room we walk into, which is why I’ve invited Jeannie to share her mission with The Global Actor Community via a conversation on “How Color Can Boost Your Confidence (& Acting Career!).
Listen in on our chat here--- Jeannie shares her #1 Key to Looking Better, Feeling more Beautiful AND also simplifying your wardrobe!
Check it out!
If this video has you curious about YOUR colors, you’ll definitely want to check out Jeannie’s upcoming Capsule Wardrobe Course which INCLUDES the same kind of personal consultation I had! Find that here, and don’t forget to use Promo Code: ELISE for 10% Off!
Be sure to check back in next week for Part 2 of our color chat :)
Welcome to the 8th and final week of #VoiceoverCamp! In this episode we dive into the good stuff—- BOOKING A GIG!
So you’ve booked your first Voiceover gig… now what?! Amy Russ, of Actor-Webs, and I are here to prepare you with what you can expect!
This video will equip you with the expectations of a self recorded gig vs an in-person session, some tips and tricks for your first booking, and some mindset essentials to help you stay super confident!
Let’s dive in!
“Trust yourself, you did really well. Roll with the punches”
Congratulations! I want to hear all about it. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
And an extra congratulations!! You’ve made it through the #VoiceoverCamp series! Already miss these videos? You can always watch it all again here, Voiceover Camp Series.
It’s not too late to grab your Free VO Starter Kit! Click the button below and download it today!!
Ah, the age-old demo question…
If this is your first foray into VO and you don’t have a ton of professional recordings at your fingertips, you DO have options. Check out this week’s video for the answer to this big question.
BONUS: If you’re looking for a place to have your demo done, I know just the place! Just hit play :)
Ready to test the waters and start developing a reel? Let me know in the comments below!
And of course, if you need a little refresher on #VoiceoverCamp you can click here to catch up on the series!
Don’t hesitate to click the button below and download your free Voiceover starter kit today!
Are you ready to audition for your first Voiceover gig but you’re not sure what to expect?
We’ve all been there… new experiences can definitely be intimidating! So that’s why Amy Russ, from the Actor-Webs, and I discuss What to Expect at a VO Audition as we begin to wrap up our #VoiceoverCamp series.
Of course, every audition is different. So, for this episode we discuss the differences between an in-person vs. recorded audition, how to prep, and some resources to check out before auditioning.
Pro Tip: An improvisation class can be very beneficial in order to crush your first audition. We get into that and a whole lot more! Check it out!
So give these tips a try and let me know how it works in practice at your next voiceover audition!
And remember, if you need a little refresher on what we’ve covered so far, you can check out the full Voiceover Camp Series here!
The Free VO Starter Kit is still up for grabs! Be sure to download it now!
How’s your voiceover game coming along?
The past few weeks via #VoiceoverCamp we’ve been discussing how to get started in this lucrative branch of acting.
This week we talk agents.
Do you have commercial representation? How about legit? Check out this week’s video to find out if you need separate representation and more.
Likewise, we want you to know your worth as a VO artist and will be sharing some GREAT resources to help you negotiate and be aware of your rate and how much you should be paid for various gigs!
Let’s get in to it!
So what do you think?
Is it time to look for a VO agent? OR are you ready to be your own agent?
Need to catch up on our last few videos? You can check out the full Voiceover Camp Series here!
PLUS, I have created a Free VO Starter Kit just for YOU!
Get it BELOW!
the global actor