• Ray Watters

I’ve heard all too often from fellow actors (and have experienced myself) that there are people in your life you have considered friends…until you became successful in your craft. These people changed from “friend” to the latest word du jour…“hater”…almost overnight. It happens. These people are what former HBO Casting Director, Amy Jo Berman (see link below) refers to as “Dream Stealers” or “Energy Vampires.” If this has happened to you, read on.

 

Many of us have worked hard through the years to train in our craft. We have worked free just to build our resume. We have spent considerable time and money in training. We understand rejection after having driven many miles to many auditions, only to hear nothing, except for that rare call back. In the beginning, our experience on a film set is one of the passing pedestrian on the street, or the diner in a restaurant. After some time, however, things start happening and we see some success.

 

When success is reached, it’s only natural to want to share it with others. The problem is, how do you share your success…your big break…without appearing like a narcissist…a boaster…a braggadocios character? When someone shares that they just received their college degree, we know what it took to get that degree. We know a person has worked to get that job promotion. However, when we finally get that big break, people have no clue what it took to get there, and some assume it was just dumb luck. There is a way to share your success without sounding like a braggart.

 

When you get that big break and want to share it with others, mention what it took to get there. You can tell them that after years of training, lots of little parts, and many auditions, you finally got that great role. When we talk about the hard work it took to get success, most people will cheer your success and support you…most, but not all.

 

Unfortunately, there will still be the dream stealers…the energy vampires who are jealous of your success. There will be people who will try to put you down and make you feel “less than.” These are people who feel bad about themselves and the only way they can build themselves up is to put you down. You also may experience those who were once friends and have stopped communicating with you.

 

For those people who are truly happy for your success, treat them like gold!

 

We know what it took to get where we are.

 

Check out the link below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBQbw69w-I4

  • Ray Watters

There are many workshops, YouTube videos, and books for actors on how to overcome that unpleasant feeling in your gut when you’re in front of that scary monster, The Casting Director, or when actually performing in front of several cameras. There are many wonderful methods that work to ease that feeling of panic and make you feel less scared. I want to share the most important method I use for overcoming that anxious, scary feeling.

 

Know your lines.

 

Yes. The key for me is to be prepared. Memorizing lines is a bit difficult for me. I don’t know if it’s age-related, but whatever the reason, I have to work harder than many. When I book a role and get a script, I read it in its entirety. I then take the pages with my scenes and highlight my lines in yellow. I read my lines…out loud…over and over again. I then take one page at a time and learn the lines on that page. I go to the second one and learn those lines…and so on. I put them all together.

 

If I'm memorizing lines for an audition and have very little time, as in a cold read, I will memorize the first, last, and middle lines after I have gotten the idea of the scene and made my choices. I hold my audition sides in my hand and glance at the lines only when necessary.

 

When I feel I have the lines somewhat to memory, I take my little digital recorder and read the other character’s lines. I leave blank spaces where my lines would be. I then play the recording and speak my lines in the blank spaces. I speak my lines without punctuation. No emotion.

I do the same for an audition when I am given the sides to a script and it’s not a cold read.

 

When I think I have my lines down, I continue playing the tape…over and over…until I know them forward and backward.

 

Yes…with all the foregoing, I have still dropped a line on occasion. It happens. I’ve watched it happen to famous actors as well.

 

Knowing my lines forward and backward is a great benefit since it allows me to be creative and work off the other’s dialogue rather than be concerned about mine.

 

One note on auditions...when you leave that audition room, leave the audition behind. It does no good to lament about why you didn't do something different. I like to practice what other professionals actors do...that is, simply do not get anxious over the outcome of the audition since it is out of my control. I have seen so many actors excited about the outcome of an audition, only to be disappointed. Professional actors understand rejection is part of the business.

 

Not getting stressed about an audtion also allows me to have fun.

 

So...have fun!

  • Ray Watters

Today I travelled to Orlando and attended an Actor’s Seminar at the SAK Comedy Club. Speaking and answering questions to a large group of actors were Lori Wyman (Lori Wyman Casting), John Peros (John Peros Casting) and John Lux (Executive Director, Film Florida).

 

Lori Wyman and John Peros were present to give valuable information about the casting process and answer questions, however, the main reason for the event was to promote the organization, Film Florida, and urge actors to join and get involved. To that end, the Executive Director, John Lux, explained the purpose of the organization and gave us an update of legislation now pending that, if passed, will provide incentives to production companies in the form of rebates to attract more filming to our state.

 

The yearly cost to join Film Florida is $75.00. I heard that amount compared to many things, the most common among many folks is the cost of a few trips to Starbucks, however, if we use that comparison, we are missing the point.

 

I will speak for myself only, however, I am sure what applies to me applies to most of my fellow actors.

 

If I were to add the cost of my SAG-AFTRA dues to my monthly fees paid to IMDb Pro, Casting Networks, and to the cost of keeping my website running, I would come up with a significant sum. Let’s add the cost of headshots as well…they are not cheap...and the cost of ongoing training to keep our instrument tuned. Those costs add up to an amount that makes the yearly cost of membership in Film Florida seem like pocket change. Yet, without the help of Film Florida, all the money spent on dues and other costs will mean little if we don't have films being made in our state.

 

It’s a no-brainer, my Florida Actor Friends. I joined a year ago. You should, too!

 

Check out Film Florida by clicking on the link below https://filmflorida.org