5 Tips to Get Cast Again and Again by the Same Director (One Will Save Your Life)

Paul Cram, a working actor (check out his IMDB profile here), shares his thoughts on getting cast again and again by the same people.

1. Know Your Lines, No More Faking
This seems obvious, but about 30% of actors I’ve worked with didn’t know their stuff before they arrived on-set.  Memorize ‘em and you’ll not only come off as a pro, but also have the benefit of taking out all the fakey dramatic pauses that actors do when trying remember their cues.

2. Save the Drama for the Movie
No one likes working with divas. (Male or female.) “But I am not a drama
queen,” you say. Of course you aren’t… Does it seem that if other people
would just do their job better, then you could finally do yours? If you do, then
it’s time to revise your attitude. Actively seek solutions instead of
pointing blame.

Recommended reading: Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmonds

3. Practice the Golden Rule
If you find yourself in on-set purgatory with a toxic drama queen, refrain from
your instinctive desire to pull their hair out. Take a deep breath and remind
yourself that many creatively brilliant individuals weren’t hugged enough as
children. Choose not to take everything to heart while practicing the Golden
Rule. Which doesn’t mean you should become their personal Dr. Phil or bend
over backwards to get them to like you. Rather, do your job, learn as much as
you can, and take it all in stride. It’s a business after all, and treating
everyone with respect and dignity will be noted by the director. An added bonus
with obnoxious people is they make for good veteran actor stories later on.

Recommended reading:
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

4. Require That Someone Show You How To Perform a Stunt Before You Do It
If a director or stunt coordinator won’t perform a stunt for you to see how
it’s done, don’t do it. You’ll avoid breaking bones, scarring your face,
or worse yet… dead from a stunt gone wrong. I’ve handed a baseball bat sized
candle stick back to a director and said “Before I hit the other actor with
this, you show me how to do it” Once he realized he might break the other
actor’s spine, he said “We need to change the shot.” I gained his respect
saying “no.”

Recommended resource:

StuntPlayers.org. Get a Stunt Coordinator
to show you how to do a stunt.

5. Boil Directions Down to A Physical Action and an Emotional Need
For example, a director says “In this scene your character is fleeing
childhood failures through seeking another level of physical height.” How do
you act that? Look to the script’s stage directions for your physical action
Run up the stairway, slam the door and attach an emotional need to escape bad
memories. Put together Run up the stairs while remembering bad things that have
happened to you. It seems simple, that’s the point! It’s something you can
physically and emotionally actively do in the moment. Quickly taking directions
and translating them into stunning performances always gets positive attention
from the director.

Recommended reading:
The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor by Larry Moss

Paul Cram, a working actor (check out his IMDB profile here), shares his thoughts on getting cast again and again by the same people.

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