So, your life's dream was to move to NYC... or LA and "Make It" as an actor...
You got to said city and gave it as good of a shot as you could... but it wasn't enough... for whatever reason you've found yourself back in your hometown when you swore to yourself you'd never go back.
Actor Nightmare, right?
While, it might seem like complete surrender at first, moving back home does not necessarily have to signal the end of your acting career.
In today's video- with Ava Gaudet of #TipsOfTheTrade -- we get real-- we've actually both been here before, and are pumped to share some tangible tips that we discovered along the way.
Check it out!
Be sure to pick up your free gift: The Global Actor GPS here!
This is the third of 3 videos Ava & I shot together. Be sure to check out our previous videos "How to be a Working Actor from Anywhere" and "How to Break Down Big Career Goals" here!
And be sure to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments below :)
Networking. You either love it or hate it. Am I right?
Have you ever felt awkward or nervous at an industry event? Has it kept you from connecting and meeting new people? You are not alone, my friend.
But what if your approach to networking was related to your acting technique? Specifically, let’s think of good networking as being an amazing listener and rather than being so worried about what to say, you just react to what’s happening in the moment.
The following may seem obvious for some, but if you’re not currently focused on consistently building fabulous relationships in the industry, be sure to start here.
We all want to be heard.
Rather than worrying about your elevator pitch or making sure folks know your website URL, let your next interaction be all about the other person. Whether you’re meeting a fellow actor, director, or writer for the first time, remember that they’re also humans and therefore want to be loved, accepted, and heard.
Read the full article, published on Backstage April 10, 2018 here.
Want some help?
I've created a Networking Challenge just for you to have more fun and success at your next opening, mixer or other industry event. Check it out here!
In the past few blog posts/videos, you've learned
In this week's 4th and final video with Kari Nissena, she let's us in on a juicy insider story from her own acting career. Find out why she thinks it is so very important to just "Put A Date on the Calendar!"
So, how can you apply this advice to your own acting career?
Well... What is an event or milestone that you can schedule and then work towards? Even if you don't know how to get there right now-- put it on your calendar and share what and when it will be in the comments below :)
And if you haven't yet, be sure to pick up Kari's FREE GIFT at - tinyurl.com/FreeGift3Steps
You can further connect with Kari at any of the links below:
GET MORE INFO HERE:
Be sure to check out Ep. 1, Ep. 2 and Ep. 3
AND Then join us in the #GlobalActors FB group for ongoing discussion, tips, and tools for your acting career!
This one goes out to all those actors attending large combined auditions this season. Whether a summer stock/educational theater type gathering (i.e.Strawhats, NETC, SETC, Midwest Theatre auditions) or a regional theater consortium (i.e. Unifieds, StageSource, etc.) these large auditions can be a fabulous opportunity to make an impression and begin relationships with several theaters, casting offices or productions companies at once.
How you make the most of an audition like this is up to you, but I’d love to share an outline of the process I use with my power group clients. When followed completely, these steps have led to dozens of bookings and callbacks.
Research (8-10 weeks before audition)
Once you’ve decided on which audition you will be attending, and have registered, determine if a list of attending producers is available. Who will be there? If a list is not available, is there one from the previous year? Begin to research each company- check out their website. What shows/projects are in their upcoming season? Do a few companies stand out as specific to your skill set and current level? Do you have relationships with any company? Do you know someone who may be able to introduce you ahead of time, or whose name you may be able to mention in a callback situation. Create a target list of the companies you’d specifically like to begin relationships with. This research may continue through the next couple months as more info (i.e. season announcements) become available.
Preparation (4-8 weeks before audition)
Based on your research, decide on an audition piece(s) that will showcase you in the best light possible. If a company is producing a play that house your dream role? Find a piece that that play and stand out! Brief comedic pieces typically work best on these busy auditions days. Work your pieces with an acting coach (I have some availability if you're looking for a coach), and make a plan to perform your audition piece(s) for several small audiences (handfuls of friends/family) before audition day. Is the audition time? If so, be time be sure to make proper cuts so you are well under the time limit. If callbacks take place on the day of, be sure to have a range of back-up monologues/songs ready to go. If you are a dancer or move well decide on fab dancewear, and jump into class, if you're not in one already.
Postcard Reachout (2-4 weeks)
Now that your audition pieces are ready to go and you are clear on which companies you’d like to pursue, reach out to the companies on your target list with a brief postcard introducing yourself (I like the TouchNote app ), your website (if you have one), and what day/time they can expect you at the audition (i.e. “I look forward to auditioning for you at UPTAs in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, January 27.”)
Ensure a full night’s sleep the night before the audition, then begin your day bright & early. Make time to fit in a quick workout (if your audition is not super early). Complete a full physical & vocal warm-up before you arrive at the audition site. Bring healthy snacks, water and whatever positively fuels you- maybe headphones & music that pumps you up and cools you down. If callbacks are a possibility at this audition be sure to bring several headshots, resumes and other promotional materials you might like to share. Bring something to take notes in, as you’ll want to remember actors, directors, volunteers and producers you meet. Check-in well in advance of your audition time, and do whatever you need to ground yourself. Deliver your audition with the best of who you are. If callbacks come up that day, remember “they already like you!”
Follow-Up (1-3 days after audition)
Be sure to follow-up on any callbacks you may have received as well as any companies on your target list with a heartfelt hand-written thank-you note. As you build an Industry Contact List, be sure to include the directors, producers, casting professionals you met at this audition and loop them into future updates you send out.
You've got this! Break a leg and let us know how it goes :) Head on over to the #GlobalActors FB Community and fill us in.
With Joy & Inspiration ~ Elise
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 (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!
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!
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!
build an acting career from anywhere!
This article was first published in the Thriving Artist Circle on October 9, 2017.
“Ugh!” You have tried to make it work in NYC… LA… Chicago… (fill in the blank with a major city w/ bustling film/tv/theatre scene… )
But you’re broke… or your mom is sick… (or fill in the blank with a legit reason that your life has taken an unexpected turn…) nervous breakdown, anyone?
The move out of the city might feel inevitable; it might feel like you’ve lost your independence, and it may feel like you no longer have a viable acting career…. That was me at 26! However, that time out of the city ultimately ended up serving my career and life in ways I did not initially anticipate.
I’d like to offer a few key steps to survive artistically during such a time.
Find a release – A confidence boost.
It can be tough to leave a thriving city with unlimited performance opportunities. You may go through periods of extreme emotions, mourning that independent, busy city-life. Find a healthy activity that helps you cope with extreme ups and downs. For me, I found positive endorphins through running. Other activities may include yoga, hiking, painting, songwriting, therapy, karaoke. What were the activities that kept you sane in your city life?
Pursue theater/film/tv opportunities in the area.
Share your experience and training with this new community. Research local performance groups and production companies and find a “way in,” whether it’s through readings, auditions, open mics or networking events.
Work is work, and in smaller communities, you may have more opportunities to be a big fish in a small pond. You may be seen for roles outside of your type and have the opportunity to stretch your acting chops; be gracious. The quality may not match what you were seeing on Broadway stages, but you may find projects that have the ability to enhance your craft and build your resume. A smaller market afforded me great opportunities to attain Equity status – something to consider if you are thinking of joining an acting union.
Check out local universities for further training. I trained with the head of a major grad school voice program for years, without the six-figure tuition bill; career-changing!
Focus on the task at hand.
If you moved away from the city to pay credit card debt, HUSTLE. Work as often as you need to pay those bills as efficiently as possible. If you moved to support a loved one, then do so full-heartedly. Be present. Don’t forget the importance of self-care (remember that endorphin, confidence-boosting activity). It will keep you facile and ready for the moment opportunity comes your way.
Tap into your network and be open to surprises.
If you have moved back to your hometown and have contacts there, let everyone know you’re back. Interesting opportunities may arise. I began teaching voice lessons and was able to tap into my family’s reputation in the area (my dad and brother are both music teachers). Think about what skills you have and the connections already in place to put them to work.
Create a clear vision and identify goals & milestones within that vision.
There is a reason you have left the city; keep that front & center, but remember to nurture your love of performing and continue the pursuit of your craft. Take some time to map out where you’d like to be in your career 1-3 years from now. As Dallas has shared time & time again, “reverse engineer it”. What is half of that goal (six months) and a quarter of that goal (three months)? Plan accordingly, and get into action. A thriving acting career IS possible outside of a major city.
But watch out, you might find that the fresh air and small-town living appeals to you more than you thought… you may not want to return to full-time city-living again!
For more on building an acting career from anywhere, download my FREE #GlobalActor GPS here.
Have you been on this pursuit for awhile?
You have every intention of Booking a Co-Star but you're not achieving results?
Is your patience starting to wane?
Don't give up- check out this 5th and final episode of the #BookACoStar series with John Cramer (House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Blue Bloods, Norman). This week we tackle some bonus actions you can take (from self-producing, to working with partners & more). John also introduces us to "The Pomodoro Technique" (which I am totally implementing my work this week!)
Watch it now!
A very special thank you to John Cramer for so generously sharing his expertise with us this past month!
If John's advice on partnering up for accountability sounds like it might work for you, I'd love to invite you to join the #GlobalActor Power Groups. I am welcoming a few new members to the group in October. Let me know if you'd like to be one of them. The bi-weekly coaching sessions are an awesome way to stay accountable, gain some laser-focused attention and specific actions to help you move forward strategically & efficiently toward your current acting goals and beyond! Set up a time to chat with me about it today!
If you missed any of the previous #BookACoStar episodes, get you can access them here!
Ep. 1: How John Cramer Booked His First Co-Star
Ep. 2: Narrow Your Target List
Ep. 3: Prepping for the Shoot
Ep. 4: How To Build Relationships Outside of Workshops
the global actor