My child is stuck in the body of an actor!
People give us credit only for what we ourselves believe
None of us were borne with credits!
Meryl Streep did not come out of her mommy’s tummy with an impressive resume! But, she did come into this world with God-given talents, as we all did.
QUESTIONS: I am so bummed! I just can’t seem to get a great theatrical agent without having current TV and film credits. How can I get credits without an agent? And will a casting director see me if I don’t have current credits?
ACTORS: Sounds like an impossible catch 22 to me!
As much as we want a credited resume, we first must feel credible!
Yet, I completely understand, credits sell. And the more credits we have on our resume, makes us “appear” to be more credible. That’s why we see the same actor over and over again. But, each one of those actors started where you are, with a hope and a desire, not a resume. My first headshot photographer in LA showed me one of Brad Pitt’s first headshots that he took. He told me that when he met him, he was not only a nice guy that happened to be great looking, but he had this desire to be an actor.
So, yep, even Mr. Pitt had to start with headshots!
We all have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is in you.
If you get a chance to catch Wayne Dyer on PBS talking about “Wishes Fulfilled,” it’s worth the three-hour investment!
I am sure most of you have heard or listened to “The Secret.” And as actors, our imaginations can easily visualize us working on a set, or sitting in a make-up chair reading our script or giving that once-in-a-lifetime Oscar speech. However, Wayne Dyer stresses two things that will interfere with attracting a desire into our life, which I felt was really important to share.
It must feel natural to you. You have to be able to say to yourself, “Even if I don’t know how to do it, even if I have no experience, even if everyone has told me I can’t do it, my wish fulfilled feels natural to me!”
Wayne Dyer shared a story about a man who asked if he did everything that Wayne told him to do and he really believed he could be a linebacker for the New York Giants, could his wish be fulfilled?
Wayne Dyer then asked him, “Does that feel natural to you?”
And he said no!
He was a short man about 150 pounds. NFL linebackers are much bigger and can weigh-in around 240 pounds. So, it didn’t feel natural to him.
However, it felt very natural for 5’3” Muggsy Bogues to be a basketball player. He used his natural talents and became one of the fastest players on the court.
All things are possible when our mind is open to our natural gifts. And then it’s up to you how you want to be credited for them!
Otherwise, it can feel as if you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole!
I can concur this to be true in relationships as well!
Relationships are not work, they bring out the work in you.
And until you know why you are attracting the same relationship over and over again, it will never feel natural to be in one.
Same with acting, if acting doesn’t feel natural, you will allow the not-knowing-how-to-do-it to interfere from moving forward or you will believe everyone who tells you you can’t do it, or you will accept not having enough credits as the reason why you are spinning in a catch 22 cycle!
When something feels natural, it feels right and you are fearless.
Does being an actor feel natural to you?
I really wanted to be a runway model. Even though I was just 5’8,” I had long legs and thought it would be a lot of fun. However, every agent and casting director told me that they saw me not as “high fashion” but as “commercial,” meaning they saw me as the “mom” or the “girl next door.” And they were absolutely right! TV commercials and commercial print came very natural to me.
However, like the basketball player, if I really wanted to be a runway model, I would be one. I just may have had to go through a lot more hoops to get there!
First, know what comes naturally to you and then you can expand your talents, if that’s your nature to do so!
For example, I got the lead in the theatre production of “Night Watch.” After my bloody scream, (which I am very good at as well!) which opened the play, the entire cast become suspects to the murdered bodies I claimed I saw. But, in the end, the mystery lies within the girl next door, me.
I just had theatre credits when I first got an agent. So, YES, you can get a theatrical agent with few credits; it just won’t be the same agent that represents Julia Roberts! And you wouldn’t want to be that small of a fish trying to stay afloat in that very big pond! You would eventually drown!
There are some great boutique agencies that are always looking for new, fresh talent, understanding that you are new and fresh! The Samuel French Bookstore has a great agent book for $10 that is regularly updated with agent’s needs. I highly recommend it if you don’t have a referral, which often is the best way to get an agent to see you.
Believe you are credible, even if you have just one credit on your resume.
GLENN MORSHOWER, a dear friend of mine, who is not only a phenomenal actor, but an amazing inspirational speaker, shared in his program, “The Extra Mile,” which I highly recommend you attend, that if you had the chance to sit across from a casting director who told you that you didn’t have any real credits, that this would be the perfect opportunity to confidently respond, “I know, and you can be the first to give me one!”
So, don’t feel bummed if you only have a few credits, be bummed if you don’t feel credible as an actor.
And YES, a casting director will see you if you don’t have a lot of credits. When I first started in San Francisco, a casting director called me in and I booked the film, “Patch Adams” with Robin Williams and then another casting director called me in and I booked a guest-star on Nash Bridges and worked alongside Don Johnson.
Next month I will interview this casting director who gave me my first TV credit and ask her why.
*IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR A CASTING DIRECTOR, ASK ME AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE, AND I WILL GET THEM ANSWERED*
When I first moved to LA from San Francisco, I knew I was a small fish in a very big pond, so I heard about these casting workshops. As much controversy as there has been about actors “paying” to meet casting directors, I decided to do one and from that workshop I was cast in the soap, “General Hospital.”
I also did a lot of extra work and a few times I was bumped to a principal role.
An agent can help, but first you must help yourself!
SECONDLY, Wayne Dyer believes what interferes with attracting your desire is if you have any condemnation, criticism or judgment towards any of God’s children.
So, I say, love your fellow actors booking jobs! I know you could have played that role just as well if not better, but instead of wanting their job, want the job that is waiting for you to claim!
Let that actor instead inspire you and remind you that they too had to begin somewhere. And that somewhere… was inside of them; that desire, that wishful thinking that wouldn’t leave them alone.
Naturally, opportunities will come your way, and with the right attitude they won’t be missed, they will be blessed.
We have to be able to keep our minds open to all possibilities.
Minds are like parachutes,
They only function when open
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