ACT TIPS

AUDITION TIPS FOR FILM & TELEVISION

• Make sure to bring a copy of your photo/resume into the audition (stapled back to back is best)
• Always show up at least 10-15 minutes prior to your audition time so that you have time to get settled and focused before going in for your audition. (and sometimes the auditions are ahead of schedule so you may be called in sooner)
• Wear clothing that you are comfortable in and that you feel suit the character
• Bring appropriate props if needed (ie: cell phone if scene requires talking on the phone)
• Make sure that all your lines are memorized
• Before your audition, you may be asked to do a SLATE: you to look directly into the camera and say the following: Hi, my name is (first & last name), with (name of talent agency if you have an agent), auditioning for (character name).
• If you stumble over your lines, don’t worry. The most important thing is to stay in character. Never let it show that you did not like what you did. If you mess-up, don’t ask to start again, just stay in character and improvise or make up a line to get through the rest of your scene.
• Stay in your scene until you hear the Casting Director or Director say CUT. (Even if your lines are finished) We want to see that you can stay in character.  The characters behavior is more important than lines!
• It’s very important to have a moment before and a moment after.
• If you have any questions about the scene before you start, feel free to ask.
• Your entire audition will be videotaped.
• Always be truthful – the key is not to ACT!
• Remember to breathe and to relax (keep your shoulders down and the muscles in your face relaxed). If you’re not breathing, chances are, you’re not acting truthfully.
• Don’t rush – take your time, breathe – this is your audition and you can’t do a good job if you’re trying to get it over with.
• Once your audition is done, the best thing to do is forget about it. There are many factors involved in casting (ie: age, height, hair colour, look, matching with family members in film, etc.) You will only hear back if you have a callback (this can take anywhere from a few days to a few months). Never call a casting director to get an update.
• The best thing you can do is start to look for more auditions, the more you audition the better you’ll get. For more audition notices talk to your agent, visit the audition listings page at www.ACTottawa.com, www.ottawatheatre.ca, www.aactionauditions.com, www.mandy.com, www.canadianactor.com, various facebook pages, etc…

A few tips about acting resumes:
1. on plain white paper
2. no more than one page
3. do not get fancy with the fonts – Times Roman is best
4. do not put a photo on to your resume
5. put the last thing you did first
6. do not include dates on a film/tv resume
7. put your film/tv experience at the top
8. list all of your activities that you can do ie: cycling, rollerblading, swimming – you never know when
this will be required
A few tips about head shots:
1. matte not glossy photo paper
2. black & white or colour – the most important thing is that the eyes tell a story
3. be present in your shot – relaxed jaw, shoulders, face, etc…
4. wear colours that best suit you
5. bring your fun self – if you are a guy with facial hair, perhaps do half the shoot with and the
other half without – same thing with glasses
6. conceal blotches, blemishes or zits with concealer – try a mac counter – they will set you up
with the right colour.
7. use powder to hide shine from your face, forehead, nose, etc..
8. women – keep your make-up simple, natural looking
9. children should not wear make-up
10. this photo should represent you, not a glamourized version of you – this is acting, not modeling!

A few tips about talent agents:

Credible talent agents to do not offer acting classes or head shot services as it is a conflict of interest.
Credible talent agents do not charge registration fees – only commission of 10-15% when a job is booked by the actor.
More clients does not equal a better agent.  You don’t want to get lost in the shuffle.
You will have more focus on you as an actor if you are in a talent only agency.
It should feel like you are part of a team; you should not be afraid to call your agent to discuss your progress.

 A few tips about advancing your acting career:

Read Peter Jazwinski’s book ACT NOW! – every day ask yourself, “What did I do to advance my acting career today?”
Do you have every excuse in the book, not to follow your heart?  Read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Training – it takes 20 years to begin mastering a craft.  Acting is included. Train. Train. Train.  Be a skill sponge not just in an acting class,
but dance, singing, music, gymnastics, you name it – the more skills you have, the more doors that can open.
Experience – build up your resume with as many indie film & theatre gigs as you can
Professional Portfolio – you need a kick a#$ head shot and resume as your basic tools

Tips for Bringing Wardrobe to Set

1. ALWAYS BRING AT LEAST 3 (OR MORE) COMPLETE OUTFITS.

2. CARRY YOUR CLOTHING ON HANGERS, NOT CRUMPLED IN A BAG.

3. ENSURE THAT ALL CLOTHING HAS BEEN CLEANED & IRONED.

4. UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, AVOID BRINGING: BLACK, RED, STRIPES, PATTERNS, LOGOS & WHITE.

5. DO BRING: SOLID COLORS – BROWN, GREY, GREEN, BLUE, NAVY, LILAC, TAUPE, MAUVE, BEIGE, SOFT PINK

6. SHOULD SHOULD ALWAYS BE SOFT SOLED – THIS IS TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS NO ‘CLICK CLACK’ ON MARBLE FLOORS

7. ALWAYS DRESS ACCORDINGLY TO CURRENT WEATHER AND SEASON IN FILM (ie: extra socks & thermal wear in the winter)

8. DON’T BRING CLOTHES THAT YOU DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE WEARING – MURPHY’S LAW SAYS THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT WILL GET SELECTED BY THE WARDROBE PERSON!

9. BRING APPROPRIATE ACCESSORIES – EARRINGS, HAND BAGS, KNAPSACKS, NECKLACES, BALL CAPS, BELTS, ETC…

10. WHEN IN DOUBT – BRING MORE STUFF!!! (THE WARDROBE PEOPLE WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT)

Tips for Background Performers on Set

1. ALWAYS SHOW UP AT LEAST 15 MINUTES PRIOR TO YOUR CALL TIME – IF YOU COMMIT TO A SHOOT – YOU MUST SHOW UP OR YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE NEXT ONE.

2. NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA LENS!

3. SILENCE! Please keep quiet; it’s easier and nicer to work when no one has to scream. If you’re asked to talk while doing your action remember you must fake it. We shouldn’t hear any sounds unless specified by an AD that they do need sound for a shot.

4. When you come in or leave ALWAYS check in/out with the 3rd assistant-director (AD) or the person responsible for background performers. It’s the only way for them to know where you are and to pay you for your hours.

5. Once on set, always listen carefully to the instructions given to you. There might be a few rehearsals first. Remember your action and position as well as those around you. You’ll have to repeat that action many times exactly the same way. Be aware of what’s going on around you, especially in relation with the actors and their dialogue.

6. Start your action on “ACTION” or “BACKGROUND ACTION” and stop on “CUT”. Then get ready to go back to your “FIRST POSITION” and do the same action once again.

7. When shooting you’ll hear “ROLL CAMERA”. This cue is for crew only.

8. Sometimes you might be asked to “FREEZE”, just stay in place until given further instructions.

9. Always try to act as natural as you can. It must look like real life.

10. If you are given props; take care of them and remember to give them back to the props person before leaving the set.

11. Avoid talking to the director and actors they need their concentration.

12. Be alert and set-wise. There are a lot of people working on set try not to be in their way.

13. At the end of the day, return your wardrobe, props etc… to those who gave them to you, and make sure to sign your time sheet.

14. Have Fun!

We wish you continued joy and success in all your acting endeavors!