What Type of Actor Are You? | Answers for Actors

September 16, 2012 at 9:01 am | Posted in acting, actors | Leave a comment
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Paul Russell

Photo Credit: JackMenashe.com

If you’re a constant reader of Answers for Actors or any print on perfecting your performance; you’re not an actor waiting for others to push your career forward.

If you join and actively participate in an online forum or group related to the industry such as the Paul Russell Casting Facebook groups–offering insight and constructive tips to your peers; you’re no slouch sideliner.

If you set time aside daily (an hour to four hours) dedicated to promoting your career to the gate keepers of artistic employ (social media updates tossed to friends and barely-friends don’t count); you’re not a pretending player of the game that is entertainment.

If you’re constantly taking classes to better you skills (acting, the business of the business—how else will you learn how to get work?, voice — speaking and/or singing… too many actors don’t know how to effectively use their speaking instrument, stage combat—you need to learn how to fight for films too); then you’re not a transparent talker about your craft.

Over the years I’ve seen far too many ‘actors’ who have no right to assume the honor of the title call as they wait and hope for someone else to take the reigns of their life. From the drudges that trundle into actor expos with their overly, inappropriate glossy and poorly focused and composed headshots (if they have a picture of their puss at all) to the actors with agents who think their champion will do all of the toil of job seeking and career growth efforts for the actor. If you dare call yourself an actor and you’re investing your time and financial resources to the latest Angry Birds app on your hottest new technology toy bought to replace the must-get gadget you snapped up six months ago… may I suggest two options: Find a patient spouse with cha-ching. Or, if the well of happiness is dry of romances who will tolerate your hoping your career will be bettered by a fortune cookie… get off your lazy ass and get your life moving forward.

Momentum begins within. Every force that pushes upon others begins somewhere. From the big bang to the phone call or an e-mail that announces you got the job. The end result comes from an origin.

When I do my marketing for my various careers (directing, casting, writing and teaching) I often don’t get an immediate response but eventually my labors pay-off.

When I study to better myself, or learn a new skill for a whim, I may not immediately have a need or know if I’ll require the knowledge beyond personal enlightenment but many times I’ve found eventually what I learned comes in handy at some point in my life (My knowledge of web sites is one such skill that came from boredom in the 90s when I built a gay gaming web site).

Artists can not wait for the bus of opportunity to roll up to the curb as do civilians in the Paul's book ACTING: Make It Your Business!tedium that is the real world. Most civilians move up the ranks in their fields by deeds. The deeds of actors exist momentarily and then become forgotten to reside as fading lines on a resume. When an actor is not active acting, their skill set weakens. Hence, why classes or garnering knowledge via other means is vital to keeping an actor’s vitality.

If your career is not as active as you desire… what are you doing about it? Are you involved in your growth? Or are you a lackadaisical actor? Or are you an investor in your career? You’re the only adviser who can answer such honestly… that IS… if you can be honest with yourself. A fool is his own greatest listener.

My Best,

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Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.

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