ok… not really - since summer does not really happen in hollywood (at least not the way we remember from the days when we were kids)! Once network pilot and network episodic season end… we have recast season, cable season, film season (all of which really happen all year round). And then….just when you thought it was safe to take a break…. Network episodic season starts right up after the 4th of July. This is why I think it is funny when I hear folks say… well…. It’s summer and nothing is happening so I am going to go away…. Trust me…. There is ALWAYS something happening. And as I have said in the past… don’t stop your life for hollywood… but don’t be blind about it either… just because you are not here does not mean things are not happening… if it means that much… then always be prepared to put yourself on tape and come back if you need to…. But don’t worry if you can’t…. Hollywood is not going anywhere….!
So recently I have heard quite a few actors talk about NOT being in class - this makes no sense to me….AT ALL….you are an actor (whether you are working or not). Get your ass into class. It has nothing to do with learning to act. It is about working your muscle - no excuses. Can’t afford class…then get a group of friends together that are in the same boat and have a day or night or two that you all get together and work on scenes…there is never a reason to not be working on your craft. And if you don’t think you need class - I am here to tell you… you are the one that needs it there most…..
So not to long ago I heard an actor say that they were not able to learn their sides because they had to (insert excuse here). and they didn’t have enough time - or wanted more time…. uhm…. ok.. I get that everyone wants a little more time to really be amazing….but come on…. You get on a show…. You are ready to go… then they rewrite a couple of scenes….. you gonna say to the director and producer… sorry…. I can’t be ready!! (well… you are not going to say sorry…. but….I digress). folks…. Get your shit together… you are not always going to have the kind of time you need… don’t complain, don’t whine….. just do…..and that will put you two steps ahead of the game! Side note about sides… unless you have been told you are only doing specific scenes… learn them all. You don’t know what is going to happen in the room….sounds simple - but I think you would be amazed at the folks who say to me do I have to learn every thing here…. uh… yes…. Weirdly… that is part of the job….! also… FYI…. All the actors… got the sides or script at the same time… no one is out to get you and make sure you don’t get the part!
When is it time to hire PR…. Another question that has come up a lot lately….are you the lead in a series or studio film? Have you been doing back to back movies and tv? Do you have something to talk about? If there is really is something going on (and no offense…not just that you did a small bit in an indie film or a couple of co-stars). like management - it is good to really have something to talk about…. Unlike management you have to pay for that upfront…. There are some GREAT PR folks out there….and there are some folks that will just take your money. So be smart…. If you don’t have something major going on….. you don’t need PR.
Growing a thick skin - here is the thing…if you show me a photo and you want my opinion - I mean really want my opinion….and I didn’t like the photo… I say for instance… your photo is boring… then you say to me….I am not being very nice….. . GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS….I see a lot of folks who need a lot of touchy feely flowery talk so that they don’t feel bad….if that is what you need then rethink this world. You are not going to like everyone… you are not going to book everything…hollywood is not a safe space - so get over that now.
Lets talk about social media - I want to be clear about something… I don’t bring on an actor based on their social media presence….I get that this is becoming more and more important for a lot of different reasons… but having a million followers on something is not going to make you a better actor…. Not everyone thinks this way… I am only talking about myself here….. if you are an actor and you do cool stuff and you want it out there and your footprint grows organically… that is GREAT!!!
If you are on all the fun social media sites and you are friends with your reps…. Keep in mind…. Unless it is a business page… those are your reps personal pages and you might not like what you see…..so be careful about that as well.
And finally…. Just something to keep in mind when you are filming… especially smaller indie films…. Dont’ forget to sign out and take pictures of your time card…..that way there is no question about things if any weirdness arises….this is your career and your money…. So be on your toes!!
Now go be a rockstar!