Living in a metropolis like NY or LA is hard. There is so much to worry about and things can slip through the cracks. Juggling your career, your side job, your social life, your instagram, your dating life while still having time to keep your apartment clean, workout and get 8 hours of sleep a night
1. Not taking time to read
Backstage. Deadline. The full script for your audition. Acting books. The background on acting teachers. The different projects that casting director you're reading for on Thursday has done. Different people who are booking's IMDb accounts. You need to read everything. As actors, your job is to research! So why are we so quick to let that part of our job go? Read the whole pilot you are auditioning for. Read the WHOLE script before you jump to your sides (should I do a post on preparing for auditions?) Research the filmmaker before putting yourself on tape - know their style, their tone. Trust me. That makes a big difference. Also - knowledge is power. (Duh). So give yourself some power.
2. Not mapping it out before you head out
In LA we all know traffic is THE WORST. So if you know that it usually takes you 40 minutes to get to that casting office in Santa Monica but low and behold there is a major accident blocking every single lane on the 405 (shocker, right) and traffic is backed up all the way to the valley so now it is going to take you over an hour to get there because you have to take side roads! When you have an audition or a callback that should be your focus for the day. You are an actor. That is you "going to work." So don't be late for work.
3. Not keeping your materials updated
Headshots are expensive, I know. But building a website isn't. You don't need to update your materials every 6 months, but if it has been 2 years since your last headshot shoot - it might be time to look into getting new pictures. Also - if you haven't looked through your actors access profile since 2008 - do it. Clean it up, trim the fat. Casting directors in LA don't care that you did a student commercial back in 2001. Any "resume padders" should come off - because they are exactly that and make you look less legit. Update your website, clean up your reel, stay current. That matters.
4. Not giving yourself enough time to prepare
I see this the worst with taped auditions. People don't take them as seriously as they do in-person auditions because they think the get a bajillion tapes so they don't need to read the script and they can just run their lines a few times before laying down the tape and their read will be great. No. That is not how that works. A taped audition is exactly like an in-person except you get to play a little bit of the casting director's role. You need to treat tapes with the same weight that you treat in-persons because at the end of the day you are doing exactly what you want: auditioning.
5. Speaking poorly about yourself
I don't know who to blame for this trend of self-deprecating humor, or it being funny to make yourself the butt of a joke, but let me tell you it is not good for your psyche. The way we speak about ourselves is how we tell the world we feel about ourselves. No, we don't need to be a narcissistic asshole, but you should be celebrating your accomplishments. You should be building yourself up. You shouldn't be around people that cause you to self-shrink (or people who put you down themselves). On that note.....
6. Not keeping relationships in their proper place
I think I am going to do a whole post on boundaries - with friends, family, agents, boss - so I will keep it brief here. What I said in a previous post about your "top 5" - about who you keep close to you - is so important. You've all seen the video about how "fake friends are ruining you," right? Well if you haven't here is an article explaining it (really worth the read). Part of growing up is learning where people fit in your life and setting up boundaries to make sure they stay there. Work a freelance job? You need to set up boundaries so your boss isn't asking you to edit a photo for them at 9pm on a Sunday night. Have a friend that you're not sure is actually happy for you? Pay attention to what information you are sharing with them - set up boundaries and don't give them more weight than they deserve. Boundaries protect your and your mental state and there is nothing more valuable.
Okay y'all, rant over. (But really I am going to do a post on boundaries because the digital world has made us ALLLLLLLL too accessible).
Until next time!
Oh hey there
Thank you for stopping by. My name is Ansley and I am a creative being. With not much to show for it. Feel the same?! Welcome! For all of you artists out there who are just hanging in there - this is for you!