Author Archives: Shawn Plumb

Some actors wonder why improv is essential for your acting training. WHY? Can you all of a sudden become a different character? Can you switch on different emotions? Can you do different accents? Are you comfortable with doing this without overthinking it? Overthinking usually leads to bad acting. It means you aren’t present and the audience can feel that from you. Sort of like a bad interview. When the interviewer asks you a question and you can’t respond. We make a face like this…
Photo Credit: Weird Science. Hilarious film if you haven’t seen it.

It’s a really good tip to start with improv training to get out of your comfort zone and be present. Even if you’re not an actor it’s really great for problem solving skills, leadership and communication. Funny enough I started my improv training in grade 9 and did it competitively in high school. I absolutely fell in love with it and the people that had no shame to do whatever it takes to get a laugh on stage. Maybe that’s why so many people on my roster our Second City Graduates. I LOVE IMPROV! 
I remember one of my characters I would mock in this commercial and use any reason to say, “People don’t see the real me. They only see my acne problem.” Do you remember this commercial? One of my favourite characters. 
I was the first one to make the competitive team being in grade 9 with my friend Marc and we got to go do a special Ottawa showcase. Don’t get me wrong though our team was exceptionally bad but we would make people laugh. There is just something great about that. When the world give you lemons we gave people laughter. Maybe everyone should do improv.
Once you feel comfortable in your own skin the better actor you will be. Do improv to break these walls down. Step out of your comfort zone.  Fear is something that holds everyone back. Nerves before auditions. Nerves to get on stage. Nervousness holds us back from the characters we should be showcasing. 
Many commercials and non union series as well expect you to do improv auditions. That means NO SCRIPT.  There are lots of opportunities to take classes and join improv clubs in the community. Try to take advantage of that to develop your wall breaking skills.
If you don’t see the light through the wall your acting will look sort of like this…
Photo Credit: Weird Science. You really need to see this film if you haven’t. Maybe this could be an improv character that you develop. 

Remember to develop your art and shine through! 
Lisa Meuser
Talent Agent  
P.S. Don’t ask me to improv for you or do the acne commercial.
P.S.S. Ask me twice and I might. 


Many actors believe that auditions should always be coming to them if they have an agent. An agent can pitch an actor based on whatever they have accomplished for their resumes and portfolios. If you have no training and barely any film experience it’s very unlikely that casting directors will bring you. Why would they? So what do you do? Binge and watch Netflix on TV wishing that could be you on your favorite show…NO. Don’t do that. Start creating your own content while your training. Here are 10 steps to create your own content.
1) Create a blog and talk about the work you have been doing. It’s nice for casting directors and producers to look you up and see that you are a working actor. Do it once a week. Get an agenda and make a specific date to write it. That way you can stick out your writing schedule.
2) Think of something creative to do once a day. You are a creative person. It is what fuels your soul. Learn a new song. Write a poem. Memorize a new scene.  Just do something.  Don’t eat a bag of chips.
3) Waiting for that epic scene for your reel but still didn’t get that role? Write one or get a writer to write you one. Film it.
4) Join some sort of actors group. Improv and community theatre. Heck, even create your own. Get a group of friends together and study scenes.
5) Do Karaoke. It’s fun. Even if you can’t sing.  You could always rap. Gangster Paradise is my jam.
6) Go to film festivals. It’s a good place to meet producers and directors.
7) Do student films. They are future producers and directors. You can apply on casting workbook. Student films through legit schools use proper equipment and can be good for your reel.
8) Get involved with voice acting. Look for local podcasts or community radio to get involved in. 
9) Attend the monologue slams. Perform or support local actors.
10) Keep working. 
Just some steps to keep you on your toes.
Lisa Meuser 
Talent Agent. 

7 Weekly Tips For Audition Success

  1. Train. Take a workshop, study a scene with a friend, work on a new accent, or develop a special skill. Do something new weekly. Develop your craft. Training is endless. The actors that train are the actors that book jobs. Keep a journal and keep track of your development.   
  2. Surround yourself by positive people. Acting is hard career but if it’s your passion you need to surround yourself by people that support your path and not push you away from it.          
  3. Healthy body. Healthy mind. Keep active. You may have to do a running scene someday.
  4. Discuss how you can improve your portfolio with your talent agent. Don’t be afraid to communicate with her/him they want you to succeed! Really listen to their advise and follow through on it. If they request you to change your head shot and you don’t and complain you are not getting auditions….usually it’s because you need to change your head shot.  
  5.  Don’t regret auditions.  Always do your self tapes. You never know who is watching. They are not optional auditions. 
  6. Go to a local event where you can meet film producers and casting directors. Always good to be seen.
  7. Watch and study the shows that you audition for. Understand the directors style and what they want to see in the room. 

These weekly tips will help you with your success!    
Talent Agent 
Lisa Meuser

I love being a talent agent!!!  It gives me a chance to give hard working actors opportunities that they may not get on their own. Being at the Talent Inc conference I was very fortunate to see actors showcasing themselves to get an agent and to reconnect with some brilliant casting directors. Anyone that has the guts to do that is very brave. I am proud of everyone that was at the conference whether they got picked up by an agent, got a job from a casting director, or know what they have to work on. A key part of being an actor is managing rejection. It’s about staying professional, not taking rejection personally, and moving on  quickly to prepare for you next opportunity.

‘It’s been mythologized now but it started with about 600 auditions without success,’ he said about his long slog to stardom. ‘Most smart people would have quit when it takes that long.’  Mark Ruffalo 

Actually, when I was younger and considering acting I went to a talent showcase. My uncles Mike and Chuck were very supportive of this. Stayed at their place in Toronto. I was actually picked up by an agency and already part of the acting union. but it was that showcase that made me realize that I didn’t want to be an actor. I wanted to be the guys sitting at the table recruiting talent. I wanted to create a positive atmosphere for actors so we can support them accordingly and encourage them.   Anyone that has the guts to showcase their talent in front of 300 people is very brave. I am proud of everyone that was at the conference whether they got picked up by an agent, got a job from a casting director, or know what they have to work on.  The important thing is you showed up!

One of my highlights about being at showcase is when Kendra Ricard by accidentally knocked on my room thinking that I was one of the parents from the show. I told her who I was and she said, ” Oh I know who The Meus is. I did my research.”  She honestly won my heart right there.  It’s very important to do your research in anything you do whether it is looking for a talent agent or for a part you’re auditioning for. Know what the director is looking for.  I’m really excited to be working with her and her brother.

At Talent Inc. we signed these three hidden gems from Ottawa! Where have you been hiding? Triple threats! They sing, act and dance together. Watch out world for the G-Mekki’s ! I’m overly excited to work with these guys. 

One story really touched my heart another hidden gem in Ottawa. Apollonia is one of the bravest actresses I know and I know that she will be doing great things. Team Meus  looks forward to working with her!!

Two words. Lauren Carver. She wins you with her eyes but her she is an award winning teen actress.  Watch out world. As we develop our youth branch in Toronto we are so fortunate to work with the best.  The youth has our adult roster to look up too as they passionately work towards their goals.
Exciting times ahead and more news to come soon! 
Talent Agent
Lisa Meuser

1) Find a pair of cozy fun socks. Don’t go plain Jane on me.
2) Watch a new film and study the acting in it. Maybe even learn a scene from it. For women roles I highly suggest watching Battle of the Sexes. Emma Stone performance is amazing and for the men I would watch Downsizing with Matt Damon. Both current and strong performances. I really enjoyed just watching the films too. 
Battle of the Sexes Trailer

DownSizing Trailer
3) Start an acting blog. Show people what training your doing, what plays your doing and talk about the work. 
4) Go to the gym. I don’t care what size you are but what if there is a running scene and you can’t run. YIKES! 
5) Do an acting workshop in your hometown or better yet travel to one. Keep your training current. The good thing is that training is indoors and you can wear your cozy socks. 
6)  Gear up for pilot season and rehearse some scenes. Get ready for self tapes. There will be lots if you have your portfolios in full gear. Demo or footage on your breakdowns are key.
7) Breakdowns are slow. Relax. February is coming. Be prepared for a busy season. Get an agenda and a calendar. Color code. Block off self tape deadlines. Self tapes don’t mean optional auditions. It’s just like going to one in person. Make sure you find some reading buddies that you can call up. If you need a male reader make sure it’s a guy and if your reading with female characters make sure it’s a girl. So make sure you have a few buddies.
8) Make sure you set some time aside so you and your agent can review your profiles before February. Take notes and really listen. Make sure you do this before pilot season. When working L.A. hours and regular hours February gets crazy and we are focusing really hard on pitches. Do it during the down time.
9) Go see a theatre show. Go see people act and see what inspires.
10) Get more than one pair of fuzzy socks. Canada’s winters are long. One pair of fuzzy socks just won’t cut it.
Hope these tips get you out of these winter blues. Remember…PILOT SEASON IS COMING. 
Lisa Meuser
Talent agent

2018 is here! Are you ready to work hard? Are you determined?  You really have to make sure you really want to be an actor. Being an actor is one of the hardest jobs.  It’s a really hard road if you don’t. There is loads of rejection and you really have to believe in yourself and work hard for it. 
Be brave about rejection and remember it’s not personal. It is necessary.  It usually means that you need more training when you don’t get the job whether it’s audition techniques or just in general. With every rejection you learn from it.  Remember being an actor is a vocation. You are going to get people saying no, so what? Fail. Fail again and keep going. Go to all your auditions. Build your portfolio. If you can’t do anything else it means you are an actor. 
Going to start with some tips that would hopefully inspire you to what you want to achieve as an actor.  Since it’s 2018  I decided to do 18 tips.  
1) Have an audition journal. Write down what you thought went well and what you thought didn’t. Make a note if you got the job or not. You may start to see a pattern of what works for bookings and what doesn’t. Monthly go through it with your agent and start working towards your goals.
2) Tom Hiddleston chats about how actors are like anthropologists. They are sort out there. They are digging away at a mind chart of collective emotions of human beings. The present, the past and history. The actors have to bring back their findings.  Think of different characters in shows and breakdown the characters. This will help you with auditions and projects. It will bring more depth to your roles.  Have a character notebook and start breaking down roles. What can you bring to different characters? Even go to a coffee shop or a bar. Really watch people.  Take notes. Not for very long though cause that might get weird. Watch people’s mannerisms. 
3) Work with directors as much as possible. 
4) Practice memorizing lines so it becomes effortless. Then you could put more work into your character rather than focusing on memorizing.
5) Train. 
6) Work on special skills like accents. 
7) Think of what your brand is. What characters can you play? Do you look Russian? Could you play this character? Maybe it would be a good idea to work on that particular accent. 
8) When you figure out what characters you play make sure you get head-shots that illustrate this. If your head shots don’t display a character how would that director think you would fit that role.  Head shots are your golden tickets.
9) Read scripts. You are an actor. 
10)  Watch films that were filmed in Canada and Canadian TV shows. Figure out who the director is and notice what he/she is looking for within the characters that you can portray. Take notes and you will see a pattern. If you get an audition for a show or movie with the director you studied you can bring those notes into your sides and character. You know exactly what the director is looking for in a character and you can portray that accordingly. That can help you get a job. Every director has their own style. Study. Study. Study. 
11) Do your size card on casting workbook and breakdown. Sometimes you can be hired directly if you fit what they are looking for. They can search it. If you are missing something it basically means you could be missing out opportunities.
12) Do your slate on Breakdowns. ONLY say just your name.
13) Demo reel should be up on casting workbook and breakdown. Make sure your material is professional. Bad material could harm you from getting an audition.
14) Prepare for pilot season. If you don’t have your demo up on the breakdowns by February you will get less auditions. Be prepared to do self tapes. Check out this link to view some self tapes:
15) Don’t be afraid to talk to your agent to discuss your career and goal. I know I can always make myself available for my roster.
16) Take the time to update your profiles. Make sure everything is current.
17) Go to networking events. Meet people in the industry. Apply the 15 minute rule. Don’t over talk. Introduce yourself, who your represented by and maybe a bit more. Then leave. 
18) Love yo self.
Keep working for your dream. 
Lisa Meuser
Talent Agent
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