So You Want to Be a Canadian Actor, eh?

At a show a parent came up to me once, and told me regardless his daughter is singing and training, she should have a real life plan; like go to University and become a lawyer. I looked at him, and explained, “There is no backup plan- she is going to be an actress.”

Photo Credit: Sarah Reid and supportive mother of 4 young actresses. 

Being an artist is not an easy career choice, but if that is what you want to do, then the first step is showing up. Have no regrets about your journey. Go where the work is; go to the industry parties, attend the workshops where you can meet casting directors, and meet other actors that will inspire you to go for your dream.

It is your job as the actor to do the work. Build your resume starting with indie films or community theatre. Take workshops. You should always be training. It should never stop. I do not want to hear the words, “I’ve trained enough.” All professional actors when they are not working- they are training.

Photo Credit: Dayna Miller one of the many actresses on my roster that train extremely hard!

Getting an agent is the key to success as it will open doors to get auditions for TV, Films and commercials.  I’ve had some very interesting approaches from actors.  If you have little relevant experience on your resume, no professional headshots where you appear ‘pretty’, you are not ready to approach us. You will never get an audition. You should consider modeling instead.  Take the time to build your resume before looking for an agent. We are looking for professionals. If you write your resume on a napkin, you will not be given the time of day.

When you get an agent, make sure that you communicate with them. If you do not, they may feel that you are not taking your career seriously or have little interest. An agent will be less inclined to get you auditions with that kind of attitude. It is your job as an actor to update your headshot, resume, reels, experience and training while your agent is out there trying to get you auditions. If you are not doing this, it is a big problem while agents are busy hustling all day. Agents need to hustle their top clients. Become their top client by growing as an actor.  You should be checking your Casting Workbook and your Breakdown account weekly. 

Photo Credit: Roseline Mouana a professional actress and has been on speed dial.
She has been constantly booking monthly. She shows up.

Two accounts: Casting Workbook and Breakdown.

You should have access to both of them to update. Make sure that your demo reel and clips are on both, and all clips are ORGINAL. You do not want to copy anybody else work, otherwise there would be legal infractions to consider, and casting directors will compare you to other actors. They want to see what you can bring to the table. For instance, DO NOT film a movie scene or theatre monologue that has already been done. You can put up clips from indie films (if it is quality footage and quality acting). If you also have a professional voice reel, make sure you have them on both sites as well. The demo reel is very important for an actor to market them. Do you think casting directors will watch the entire reel? NO! It is for you and for marketing purposes. All actors should have one, but what we need on Casting Workbook and Breakdown are genre clips.

? a clip of you doing commercial work
? a clip of drama
? a clip of comedy

Directors are more inclined to watch clips related to their project. If it is a comedy, they want to see your ability to do just that. Not several clips together.  Keep the work original.
If you are sitting on the couch and watching TV, auditions will not come to you. You must be hungry for the work and be proactive. Being an actor is a lot of work, just like any profession. You have to DO the work.

Remember, any kind of work is work. Do not complain if a part is ‘too small’.  You never know who will see you on set, so SHOW UP.  TRAIN hard like an Olympic athlete, but for the screen and stage. Update you reels, headshots and resumes.   Let start there.

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