John Krasinski on Adding Writing, Directing & Producing to His Resume: “All these other avenues have been fascinating roads to go down but, for sure, acting is the most fun”
It’s incredibly hard for actors on a long-running television series to find success in other roles — mainly because audiences want to keep seeing them as the character that the actor became famous for in the first place. As a result, it’s likely John Krasinski will have a difficult time being seen as anyone else as the affable Jim from The Office for the next few years… at least! Yahoo! News spoke with Krasinski about his upcoming work and whether his decision to move into behind-the-scenes roles means we’ve seen the last of him on camera.
Krasinski’s first post-Office releases were a small role in the revival of Arrested Development and voiceover work for the Disney/Pixar movie Monsters University. Krasinski points out that he enjoyed both, saying, “It was fun to do both those roles but they were small, fun roles … For me it was just supporting two things I love so much. I think Arrested Development is one of the best shows ever on television, so I was just honored to be a part of that in any way. And it is exactly the same with Monsters University. Not only am I a fan, but my nieces and nephews are bigger fans than I am, so it is the first time in my career that I reached hero status in their eyes.” Read more
Jesse Eisenberg is one of those actors who actually admits to having stage fright. Luckily, his role in the new film, Now You See Me, helped him get over his fear.
“I was doing a play in New York, Asuncion, and I had a lot of stage fright and anxiety about performing in it,” he said in an interview with Moviefone. “When I read the script, the character they wanted me to play was the most confident, almost arrogant, stage performer, and I thought, ‘Oh, this will be a great opportunity to live out all the things I was denying myself in the play.’ I got to perform on stage and feel great about it instead of feeling nervous about it, and so I fully embraced that part of the character.” Read more
After weeks of negotiating during a time when commercial actors have seen themselves working harder for less pay, members of SAG-AFTRA have strongly approved a new deals for acting for television and radio commercials. This is the first national union contract that the combined SAG-AFTRA union voted on and was done primarily via electronic voting.
The contract overwhelmingly passed 96 percent to 4 percent in the voting. It will result in $238 million in wage increases, particularly for compensating actors for commercials that also appear on the Internet (overall wages will have a one-time six percent increase). It also contains stronger guidelines for so-called “reality commercials” that utilize non-actors and “crowd sourced” commercials, two trends that have been increasingly popular among advertisers. The Hollywood Reporter details many of the dozens of provisions in the new contract. Read more
Interview: Tony Nominee Shalita Grant on ‘Vanya and Sonia’, Her Rehearsal Process and Why She Was Willing to Wait for Her Broadway Debut
It’s got to be good being Shalita Grant right now. In March, she made her Broadway debut in Christopher Durang‘s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The show opened to great reviews and was nominated for six Tony Nominations including Best Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play (David Hyde Pierce) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for… Shalita Grant.
She plays Cassandra in the show, which also stars Sigourney Weaver and Kristine Nielsen, and she told me that she based her character on her great-grandmother, “who’s pretty bipolar and just out there, like so out there.” Audiences love her and everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen the show says she’s fantastic.
Shalita’s from my home state of Maryland and went to the Performing Arts High school in Baltimore. From there, she auditioned for and got into Julliard, met Christopher Durang, who is the co-chair of the Playwriting Program there. He wrote a short play that she starred in… and that short play morphed into Vanya and Sonia. Great story, right? She’s got an even better story about turning down a chance to be in the ensemble of The Merchant of Venice that starred Al Pacino. She’s got so much confidence in herself that I found it hard not to love everything about her.
I talked to Shalita about what it’s like to create a role on Broadway, getting nominated for a Tony, her rehearsal process, Vanya and Sonia and we get into the whole Merchant of Venice story. It’s great, she’s great and you’re going to love this interview.
Written by Jamison Haase
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” – Thomas Edison
Oftentimes, there is a disconnect between what we do as actors and how we were raised. No one wants to put themselves out there in a vulnerable way; we were often taught as children that to stand out is wrong, either by our parents, our peers, or society as a whole. From an early age, many of us were told to behave a certain way, to be like every one else, to be a “nice boy or girl” — ultimately to fit in and play it safe. Add to that our own fears and anxieties about separating ourselves from the pack, either by making a bold stand, voicing our individual opinion, or doing something we consider daring? Suddenly we have every reason seemingly to stay with the herd, to do everything in our power to try to stay safe. Read more
Tony Goldwyn on the Racy Scenes in ‘Scandal’: “If you think about doing a sex scene with 30 overweight men starting at you, it’s hot”
Tony Goldwyn has tons of female fans lusting after his character, President Fitzgerald Grant, on ABC’s much buzzed about Scandal. But his wife isn’t one of them.
“It’s a problem,” he joked while appearing on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. “The honest answer is, my wife doesn’t watch it. She watched the pilot and thought it was great, but yeah…I don’t encourage it.”
His acting also goes unappreciated by his two daughters. “My two girls think it’s hilarious,” he said, as reported by The New York Daily News. “Disgusting and hilarious. So they send me all kinds of rude texts.” His 18-year-old once sent him a text saying “Excuse me?!” after he tells off Kerry Washington’s character after having sex with her. Read more
No one can say that Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t having success in both movies and television these days with Star Trek Into Darkness and Sherlock, but the clearly-enunciating Englishman once blew the chance to conquer a third type of media: video games. On top of that, he blew the chance to play English icon James Bond in a video game… all because he didn’t dress for the part!
He reveals, “I once got the chance to play James Bond in a computer game. But when I got to the audition there were men in their late 40s in dinner jackets there. I went in casual wear. I thought I would shake it up though and I started to dive over sofas and do all the gun poses and I did not get a call. I am still waiting.” Read more
You want to learn how to become an actor? Join the club! Most everyone at one time or another has probably thought about becoming an actor.
They watch their favorite shows and movies and think, “I can do that!” They think it’s easy and glamorous.
But what most people don’t realize is that it’s a lot of hard work. It’s a huge amount of fun but yeah, it’s work!
It takes a special kind of person to want to become an actor. They have to be determined, unafraid of rejection and willing to work hard to consistently get better at their chosen craft.
This isn’t a site on how to become famous. This isn’t about becoming a star because odds are, you won’t. Hopefully you’re here because you want to learn how to be the best actor you can be. Whether you’re in Los Angeles or New York, Ohio or Colorado, you absolutely can make this happen.
One thing you should know from the start though is that being an actor is expensive. You’ll need money for headshots, headshot reproduction and acting classes. Eventually, you’ll need to market yourself with postcards and a website. You’ll also need to add your material to casting websites such as Actors Access. It’s definitely not cheap!
So, if you’re looking for steps on how to get into acting, you’ve come to the right place.
For links and more information on how to become an actor, check out our actor resources page. (coming soon)
One of the first things you’ll need is a headshot. This is not the place to skimp and be cheap because this is your calling card. If you submit an awful headshot, 99% of the time it’ll be filed away in the trashcan. Having a headshot that isn’t professional, it just automatically shows casting directors, directors and producers that you’re not serious about acting.
Your headshot needs to be shot by a professional and needs to look like you. Seriously, I can’t count how many times a casting director has told me that they’ve called in an actor for an audition and they either look 10 years older in person or their headshot was so photo-shopped that they had to do a double take. Your headshot must look like you, not what you want to look like. You should see my headshot… think I want to look like that?
What’s the cost? For New York and LA, paying $400 to $500 for a headshot session is the norm. Obviously, if you live outside of these cities, you should pay less.
If you need to find headshot photographers near you, click on the link.
The next thing you’ll need is an acting resume.
This isn’t like a resume you’d give to someone when you’re applying for a “normal” job. An acting resume is totally different. You can see examples here. (coming soon)
“I’m just starting out and have nothing to put on my resume!” I’ve heard that before and don’t worry. Everyone starts somewhere. You can easily fix that! Audition for small roles at your local Community, Dinner theater or join the cast of a Church or School production. If you’re in school then join the drama club. All of these things can be listed on your resume. You can even list any acting classes you’ve taken.
If there isn’t a role for you in the upcoming show, ask if you can help out. Theaters always need a good, responsible volunteer. This will get you in with the theater community and will make it tons easier when you actually do audition. They’ll already know you so it’ll be easier for them to take a chance on you!
Click here for more information on an acting resume. And if you need it, here’s an acting resume template. (both coming soon)
Learn Your Craft
Take a class! I’m sure there is some kind of acting class or acting program near you. I grew up in a small town and there were at least 5 acting classes within 20 minutes of where I lived.
If you’re still in school, try and find a summer acting camp. Usually, these are all day workshops that take place Monday-Friday. You’ll learn tons and walk away a much better actor. Plus, these are great places to meet people who are into the same things as you!
Go to college. There are a bunch of great schools you can choose for acting. You’ll be immersed in all things acting so how can you not improve? You’ll learn everything from movement, costumes, theater history, acting styles and techniques and best of all, you’ll be performing constantly.
I went to college in Baltimore, Maryland and loved my time there. I met some wonderful teachers and made some great friends that I still keep in touch with to this day.
For a list of acting schools and colleges, click here. (coming soon)
Audition for Community Theater. Like I said in the resume section, auditioning for Community Theater is a wonderful way to get started. I did a handful of musicals for my local Community Theater when I was in high school and I loved every minute of it. Plus, I learned a lot in the process.
Start off as an ensemble member of a large cast (every town does Oklahoma or another huge production at least once a year). Again, by getting involved, you’ll get to know the local theater companies and the people involved. The more they get to know you, they easier it’ll be to nail a part in one of the upcoming shows – especially if you’ve started off with no experience.
Audition as much as you can. Audition even if you don’t want the part. The more you audition, the better you’ll be at it. Learn to love auditioning because chances are, that’s all you be doing the first couple years once you have decided to become an actor.
Start Your Own Play Reading Group. Get a couple of friends together once every couple of weeks and read a play. Give yourself the lead role! The star of Beautiful Creatures, Alden Ehrenreich does exactly that. When I interviewed him, this is what he told me: “Just invite friends over to read a play. Like, me and my friends do that a lot and it just… it promotes that energy and that energy only builds, but you have to get the… you have to start the engine. You know?”
Don’t know what to start off with? Try something from Christopher Durang or Martin McDonaugh. Or, how about something that’s currently playing on Broadway?
Acting Agents and Managers. At this point, you might want to start looking for an agent. Do you have to have one? No, not at all. Especially if you’re not a member of any of the acting unions (SAG-AFTRA or Equity).
Don’t ever pay an agent or manager a fee for joining their agency or company. There are actor scams out there where you’ll be asked to pay an “agency fee” when you sign up. Don’t do it. Ever. The only time you should pay an agent or manager is after you’ve received payment for an acting job you’ve booked and already worked on.
Will you need a manager? Odds are you won’t. You’ll only need a manager when you have a career that actually needs to be managed. Typically, managers to 20% of what you’ve made on each job. That’s a lot of money to give to someone when you’re only working a couple times a year.
If you’re in Los Angeles or New York City, check out our actor mailing labels. We have sets of casting director mailing labels and agent mailing labels updated monthly.
Auditions and Casting Calls. How do you find auditions and casting calls? If you’re not in LA or NYC, check your local paper or their website. Google – auditions ‘my city’ – and I’m sure something will come up. Also, check out Actors Access or call your local SAG-AFTRA office. Most either have hotlines or audition information listed on their site. That’s how I found out about the audition that got me my SAG card.
Also, take a look at our post, Top 11 Reputable Casting Websites.
Acting is a Business
You have to treat acting as a business because that’s what it is, a business.
When you’re called in for an audition, be prepared. Know your scene, monologue or your song. Come with your headshot and resume (stapled together!). Be professional. You might only have one shot with that casting director. Make it the best and show them you have the goods!
Casting directors, directors and anyone who can hire you want to know that you are the answer to their casting “problem”. They need you and they want you to be great! They are rooting for you.
Keep up with what is happening in the entertainment industry.
Don’t go into this blind. Nothing irritates me more than meeting an actor who doesn’t watch TV or isn’t up to date on what is going on in film, TV or theater. This is your job!
My favorites are The Hollywood Reporter and Variety for film and TV news. Backstage is good as well. And of course, Daily Actor (shameless plug) – we feature interviews with actors, articles where actors talk about the craft of acting. We also we have a huge actors resource page. (coming soon)
This Won’t Happen Overnight
I did my first play in Elementary school, did the fall and summer productions in High School and then started to do shows at my local community theater. When I went to college, I moved onto Dinner Theater and found other theater companies to work with. While I was doing that, I auditioned for an industrial film, got the part and was lucky enough to get my SAG card. I’ve been acting for years and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Some people get lucky right off the bat. Some don’t… it could take them years. But, if you work hard, it’ll happen. If you’re prepared, it’ll happen.
Looking for more acting information? Here are some great resources – More Coming soon
While he never garnered great reviews, Mike Tyson just completed a three-month tour of one-man show Undisputed Truth across the United States. Snicker all you want, but Tyson has built up with a noteworthy acting resume over the last few years, with scene-stealing cameos as himself in The Hangover and The Hangover Part II and a featured role in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. However, Tyson is adamant that he plans on continuing his acting career, and even has a specific Shakespeare role he would like to tackle some day.
He revealed his knowledge of the Bard to reporters a few days before his show ended its run in Chicago by asking, “Wouldn’t Shakespeare be awesome? That black guy … could you imagine me in Othello?”
Tyson later backpedaled a bit on whether he was prepared to play the Moor of Venice, but also confesses that he believes he can do it, saying, “Anything you give me time to prepare, I can do. I don’t think I am ready for that yet, but I would like to try.” Read more
Alec Baldwin Blames ‘Orphans’ Closing on ‘Tabloid Journalism’ and a Scathing New York Times Review… But is That Fair?
It was certainly an unexpected announcement that Orphans, starring Alec Baldwin, would be closing on Broadway on May 19, several weeks before its originally scheduled closing on June 30. Baldwin took the opportunity to provide some explanation for the closing in one of his columns for The Huffington Post. It’s curious to see exactly what Baldwin — who has never been shy about saying his piece (for good or for bad) — blames for the play’s early closing.
Baldwin compares the experience on Orphans to what he calls his last role in a “legit” Broadway play, A Streetcar Named Desire in 1992. Baldwin points out that during that production any bad publicity having to do with arguments or fights was swept under the rug by the producers. He writes, “Bad press about films or shows of any kind can negatively affect your chances. The opportunity to influence an audience through any kind of well-conceived or well-timed ad campaign is lost. First impressions do count. If ‘trouble’ is that first impression, it’s difficult to swim out of that riptide.” Read more