If you are new to the business, listen to this podcast.
If you are old to the business, listen to this podcast.
If you’re an actor feeling like you are wasting your life, listen to this podcast.
Audrey Helps Actors, a podcast created by actress Audrey Moore, is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for all things related to the business of acting.
With of all the resources out there that are not necessarily relevant to the daily struggle of the working actor, Audrey’s podcast stands out - offering realistic and helpful advice for actors at all stages of their career.
As a working actress myself, I personally do not care how Meryl Streep juggles family time and work time. What I need to know is how to transition from co-star land to guest stars, when to renegotiate my quote or what to expect at my first network test.
Audrey addresses these kinds of every-day actor dilemmas in great detail, and she does so with humor, empathy and some much needed brutal honesty. Each episode focuses on a specific industry-related topic from how to stand up for yourself on set to what’s inside the latest revisions of the SAG-AFTRA contract to how to handle the holiday family visit when you haven’t booked a job in six months.
The landscape for actors has changed dramatically since before the days of digital submissions, self-taping and social media and Audrey’s podcast addresses all of it. Through her endearingly glib sense of humor, authentic point of view and actor-positive spirit, she offers something that few other valuable players in entertainment industry do: FREE ADVICE.
If you don’t make the time to take it, well, that’s on you.
These are my own personal recommendations based on my ten years of experience as an actor working in Hollywood. Actors ask me all the time who to study with, so these are just a few places and people that I have found to be seriously beneficial to my growth as an artist. At the end of the day, I always say there is no one school or one coach that will fulfill every aspect of your desire for artistic growth. It’s up to you as the artist to figure out what works for you. Hopefully, you’ll find the experience of discovering that as enjoyable as I have
Stan Kirsch Studios (SKS) - Stan Kirsch
Stan Kirsch Studios has been my go-to actor’s gym for many years. SKS emphasizes audition technique and focuses on material from television and film that is currently casting. What I love most about it is not only how professional, kind and supportive the community is, but also the no-BS, sports coach-like mentality of Stan Kirsch himself. This is not a place I would recommend for first-time actors, but for actors looking to sharpen their audition skills or knowledge of different episodic genres.
The Imagined Life Studio - Diana Castle
Diana Castle’s approach is all about harnessing your inner empath. She emphasizes creating the world of the character through imagination work. Her approach discourages strict memorization and rather, focuses on absorption of the material. The Imagined Life studio offers more of an organic process that is perfect for actors ready to dive more fully into complex, layered characters and scripts.
Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB)
UCB is an improv school that follows a unique curriculum outlined in their handbook. The coaches are generally young, approachable and working actors themselves. Classes are fun and challenging and beneficial for all kinds of actors. I have found basic improv skills to be especially helpful for commercial auditions—90% of which require some form of improvisational skill. It is my belief that every actor (whether you see yourself as better suited for drama or comedy) should have at least a basic understanding or level of expertise in improv.
All of these coaches are working actors themselves. They are experienced industry professionals who understand the ins and outs of the business as well as how to help you excel in and NAIL your audition.
For the pros out there, these tips might seem pretty obvious, but it never hurts to check in and be certain you’re making all the necessary preparations before you shoot! Headshots are one the most important investments you’ll make for your acting career. Believe me, as a fellow working actor, I've invested a lot of $$ in them over the years, so I understand the pressure to get them right. Conclusion: do your homework. You'll be so glad you did!
1. Consult with you repsHave a conversation with your agent and manager get their input on the looks and types that are needed for your acting portfolio. They are submitting you daily and will likely have some specific ideas on what they want. Don’t have a rep? Consult an acting coach, a scene partner or a branding expert. You might think you play the gritty villain, but maybe your type is more of a lovable mama’s boy. Who knows? It’s important to get some perspective on how you're perceived by the industry so that you can get the photos that will get you work.
2. Get the right wardrobe. There is no excuse for not having the right wardrobe. You can always return anything you don’t end up using, but do shop around or dig through your closet until you have complete outfits with multiple options for each look. Consider borrowing items from a friend who is your size if necessary. If one of your looks is for a leading lady on a CW show, your wardrobe should be on trend, hip and probably sexy. Watch the shows that are currently casting and get a feel for the overall look of the characters that you think represent your type.
3. Get a good night’s sleep. I cannot stress this enough. There is a lot you can fix in Photoshop, but why spend the time and money on it when a solid night’s rest will do you just as good? No puffy eyes or dark circles allowed. You’ll also need plenty of energy to have a great shoot!
4. Hire make-up and hair. Unless you are a total pro at doing your own hair and make-up, I strongly urge actors to hire a make-up artist. It’s almost impossible to know what the right amount of make-up is for a headshot shoot until you are in front of those lights. The general rule of thumb is to keep it fresh and natural, or there’s my rule of thumb, hire a professional.
5. Know your type. Specificity in casting is everything. This one echoes back to #1, but is worth mentioning again. Come to your headshot session knowing the kind of characters - and their essences - you aim to portray through your photos. Pretty pictures are nice, but for headshots, it's important to think about them from a marketing perspective. What are you selling? And how do you want people to feel when they look at your photos? Do they evoke fear, irritation, warmth, love, or lust?
All that said, the most important thing you can bring to your photo session is you. Your authentic energy and unique personality are as vital to the outcome of a successful shoot as all of these tips combined. So bring that. It won’t cost you a dime.