How much time do you spend searching for acting class material? Are you giving yourself enough time to fully read the script and find content that challenges you?
If you're still waiting until the last minute to find scripts, then be sure to read my post How to Always Have Scenes Ready for Acting Class. That post will teach you how to make reading scripts part of your regular routine.
In this post, I'll teach you how to quickly scan a script to see if it's actually worth your time to read the entire thing.
By the way, rehearsing or memorizing scripts should be part of your daily life as a working actor.
But first, you need to find scripts, and you need to quickly decide which ones are worth your time. I hate reading an entire script only to find that there isn't any usable scene work for me.
1. TYPE TITLES INTO IMDB
My acting coach always tells us not to watch another performance of a scene before we put it up in class. It's too easy to allow someone else's choices to infect our choices.
When you're trying to quickly find scripts to read, however, it's a good idea to start with titles you already know but maybe haven't seen in a while. Whenever you hear about good movies or plays that you haven't seen, add those to a running list of scripts to research later.
Let's breakdown that research process now:
2. PICK MATCHING CHARACTERS
Please be realistic about which characters you can play. If you're young, don't try to play someone's grandma. If you're in a scene with two females, don't pick a father/daughter scene and "try to make it work."
These characters will be written in certain way to denote the relationship between the two characters, so it will be obvious this script wasn't written for you. Plus, finding characters that fit your profile will help you work on material that you're most likely to get cast for, which will be highly beneficial to you in auditions.
Run through the top-billed cast on each of the IMDb pages to see which characters fit your general description. Eliminate scripts that don't have a good match.
We're only looking for top-billed roles because these characters have more lines, thus helping us to avoid scenes that are too short for class.
3. SEARCH SCRIPT WITH "FIND"
Here's where the magic happens, baby!
Steps to quickly scanning scripts:
I like searching for scenes with supporting characters whenever possible because they won't show up in the script as frequently as the leads, which will allow you to scan the script faster. The leads are typically on every page.
Use the Find feature under Edit to quickly search
for a specific word on a page, like a character's name.
Save yourself time in the future and take these next two steps:
Go ahead and practice the process right now with the first few titles that pop into your brain. Going through the motions now will help you research faster in the future.
Speaking of acting class, have you ever written your acting coach a really meaningful thank you card? I promise you that learning the art of writing a very personalized thank you card is going to change the trajectory of your career.
Think about what it feels like to be someone on the other side of the camera in this business constantly having actors saying, "Me, me, me!" Not you, Actor Boss! I want you to be an actor that's a breath of fresh air that people love to see coming because you've learned how to be interested versus interesting. Click the picture below to get started on my thank you card challenge.
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HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Let's discuss a very dangerous mindset a lot of actors have. Most of us have believed the lie that our success comes with quick moments of "hitting it big."
What if our acting success actually came from the simple day-to-day habits that we practice?
A few years ago, a mentor sent me a book and told me to start reading for at least 10 minutes a day to kickstart my personal development.
I'm not sure why I wasn't already practicing that habit. I love learning, and I've always been a good student, but somehow adulthood stripped that away from me.
Plus, crazy successful experts are literally giving us their answers word-for-word and helping us bypass their mistakes by taking us straight to the best practices.
Disclosure: Hey Actor Boss, I have affiliate links in this post, which means at zero extra cost to you, I make a commission if you purchase through my link. I made the decision to add affiliate links so I can keep this blog up and running, but I'm only linking to products I know, use, and trust and would recommend to you in face-to-face convo.
The book was Darren Hardy's bestselling book The Compound Effect. This was the first personal development book I read as an adult, and it inspired me to create my daily habits list. He teaches that our success is based on the (sometimes boring) day-to-day tasks we complete.
The habits of successful actors consist of any tasks they need to complete on a daily basis to reach their ultimate long-term goals. These can also be referred to as Habit Goals, a concept I learned from leadership expert Michael Hyatt.
Creating your daily habits list will require you to think long-term. What goals do you want to achieve in the next year? Visualize achieving those goals, then reverse engineer them into simple tasks that you can incorporate into your actor daily routine.
For example, I want to become fluent in French so that I can add a foreign language to the special skills section of my acting resume. That means I need to form a daily habit of completing three Duolingo French modules to reach that goal.
In this post, I will share seven habits that I think should be included in the daily life of an actor. Adjust these habits to fit your routine. I'll list examples from my own life to get you started.
These habits should be transferred to a checklist on your phone that you can look at daily. I use the Awesome Note app thanks to a suggestion by Chalene Johnson's 30 Day Push, now promoted as her Smart Life Push Journal.
1. START A SKIN CARE ROUTINE
What do actors do on a daily basis to stay looking so good on camera? For starters, they take care of their skin.
You can't afford to have a job that requires you to be on HD cameras without following morning and nighttime skincare routines.
Now you know that if you have blemishes in your footage, you're not going to use it in your demo reel, which you need to book jobs. That's assuming you can even get your footage, am I right? But if you do luck out and get your footage, you need something you're not embarrassed to use.
So the next time you think you're too tired to wash your face in the morning or before you go to bed, I want you to visualize how embarrassed and aggravated you'll be if you have acne the next time you're on camera.
Not all good skincare products are expensive, but you may need to splurge on a celebrity-grade product if you're really having issues. If that makes your stomach hurt, it's time to get your financial crap together with my favorite free budgeting tool. Read that post, then read this one to learn how to save for important acting expenses like skincare.
So, how do celebrities have such clear skin? What are their Hollywood skin care secrets? That depends on a number of factors.
Everyone's skin is different. If you want to learn how to get celebrity clear skin, you'll need to experiment with various products to figure out what works best for you. My husband can just wash his dang face with regular soap, but I have a 4-5 step routine.
Let's make this process a little easier:
Lastly, I want to discuss the possibility of laser hair removal. Before a shoot, I always need to prep my eyebrows. No matter what I do (tweeze, wax, shave), my forehead breaks out like crazy. This is not acceptable.
I'm considering having that unibrow area laser treated for permanent hair removal. Do you have any experience with that? Please comment to let me know if so! I'll keep you posted on my journey.
2. DEVELOP SPECIAL SKILLS
A lot of actors find themselves asking, "What goes on my special skills section of my acting resume?" If you want to know what successful actors have in common, you can bet they develop their special skills. Let's discuss your list of special skills and talents for your acting resume.
It's time to decide on a maximum of three special skills that you can start developing on a daily basis. If you really want to take your special skills to the next level, I highly recommend you implement Cal Newport's Deep Work technique.
If you've already decided on your special skills:
I hate to break it to you, but no one is paying you to knit on camera unless a breakdown specifically requests that skill. Even if it does, you should place that information on the notes section of your casting submission since it's not strong enough to place on your resume.
You can easily get bogged down in a list of cool special skills, but you should focus on becoming an expert at just a few things. If you're having an issue narrowing down a list of special skills to put on an acting resume, then check out my post 1 Crazy Useful Special Skill Casting Directors Love to get you started.
Try to group three skills together that paint a picture as well. For example, a foreign language, handguns, and martial arts would bode well for action roles. This isn't critical, but it could be beneficial.
continue reading below break
3. EXPRESS GRATITUDE
You've probably noticed that I post this tip a lot. I once thought it was a "woo woo" practice, but the science has spoken. I feel strongly that the life of a working actor includes expressing gratitude.
If you want to see the research for yourself, then read these articles from Harvard Health Publishing, Psychology Today, and UC Berkley (PDF).
Here are a few ideas on how to start expressing gratitude daily:
Expressing gratitude is also a great way to boost your confidence. You can read more about that in my post How to Build Acting Confidence ASAP. If you want a good laugh, you can also check out 5 Confidence Boosters for Actors.
In summary, expressing gratitude can have a number of positive effects that make you more likable. Set days can be long days, so likable actors just straight up get more referrals and work.
4. PERFORM VOCAL & STRATEGY EXERCISES
This habit technically has two parts. It's not imperative that you do them together, but I think it will make the exercise easier to implement.
This gist of this habit is to warm up your vocal cords (even if you're not a singer) and then perform one line of a script three different ways using three different strategies.
First, let's discuss the importance of voice exercises for actors. This is a crucial daily habit for you as an actor even if you're not singing or performing on stage. You can't perform without your voice. You don't want a shoot to get wrapped for the day because you lost your voice. What if a director wants you to perform the same scene 180 times? What if that scene requires intense emotion and you strain your vocal cords?
If you want a strong voice, you also need to practice breath control exercises and techniques. It's very possible you're not be breathing correctly. You can train your physical body to relax via breathing, which in turn will relax your vocal cords. I highly recommend the book Freeing the Natural Voice by Kristin Linklater.
I know you're taking your smartphone with you everywhere, Actor Boss. I recommend that you play vocal exercises on your phone and perform them while you're in the shower and standing. I do not recommend performing these in the car while you're sitting since sitting will change your posture and disrupt your breathing, thus damaging your vocal cords.
Now that your voice is warm, you should perform this strategy exercise to prepare yourself for a director saying, "Do something different." Essentially, say the same line(s) three different ways to start flexing your strategy muscle. I breakdown that process more in my post How to Run Scene Rehearsals with Confidence.
If you're an on-camera actor, I need you to understand something: the editor is going to piecemeal together your various takes, so you might as well give them something different each time. There's no point in worrying about what the final scene will look like because the hard truth is that the editor is going to decide, so make sure they have enough variation to keep your performance from feeling "one note."
5. PRACTICE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
If you want to set yourself apart as a professional actor, you need to create a personal development plan. Starting personal development doesn't mean you don't already have strengths; it simply means you're learning new things to help you expand those strengths or grow in your areas of weakness, which everyone has.
Don't confuse learning something new with learning something better. Being an actor requires us to be relatable, multi-dimensional humans. Personal development adds new dimensions to our lives, not necessarily better ones.
Here are a few areas you can develop:
Listen, you have the ability to learn and grow, which not everyone has. Start practicing a minimum of ten minutes of personal development per day. I promise you'll get hooked and do more!
Here are various sources of personal development:
My favorites are books, podcasts, and educational apps. I'm about to confess something to you that will make incorporating books much easier: read while you poop. Yep. I said it. It makes both more efficient. Put that phone down, and leave a book in your bathroom. You won't be able to resist reaching for the book. Side note--I also highly recommend the Squatty Potty. That is all.
I'm not asking you to totally give up music, but you should try listening to podcasts while you're driving in your car. Experts are giving you their best tips and advice for free! It's an actor's dream. The trick is to save the episodes that have a ton of good tips so you can listen to them again-and-again or take notes later.
I'm gonna bet you have a smartphone, especially if you're self-taping. Try downloading free apps with brain teasers, puzzles, or word games. If it's been a while since you practiced math, you can seriously go into the app store, type in the word "math," and find a free app to work your brain. We need to fire different parts of our brains to keep us sharp, which can improve our improv abilities at auditions and shoots.
Here are a few benefits of personal development:
All four of these benefits are important to an actor. Self-awareness and confidence always look good on you in an audition. Mental focus will help you listen to your scene partner. Stronger relationships will create better sense memories and life experience for your scenes. Motivation will push you forward even when you've been rejected a million times.
6. EXERCISE OR STRETCH
There are a hundred million different articles on how to get into shape, each one attached to a different diet it seems! Our goal for this habit is daily movement for overall health, not weight loss or muscle gain. While those are both valid goals that can be incorporated into this habit, neither are the primary focus.
Your body is your instrument. If it's not working, you're not working. I suggest you exercise or stretch every day simply to keep your body primed for basic functions. Focus on moving your body for at least thirty minutes a day.
You must ultimately decide which exercises are best for you based on your preferences and medical history. If you have a pre-existing condition, then definitely discuss your ideas with your doctor and a trainer.
Here are a few reputable resources to get you started:
This list isn't comprehensive. If you know of another great resource, please feel free to post it in the comments.
Let's chat more about stretching. It's crucial to do this after performing any physical activity, even walking. I personally need to stretch more on my rest days. Stretching helps relieve tension and is actually a crucial relaxation technique to adjust your breathing before you perform. You can literally do it anywhere with zero equipment. Even if you only stretched for thirty minutes a day to implement this habit, you'll be doing your body a favor.
It's obvious that our bodies were made to move. Imagine that your body is a car. If you left that car in the yard and didn't crank it or drive it for years, what would happen? It would stop moving! It was made to move and needs to move to keep moving.
I want to mention one more thing for anyone who has a physically demanding job. I know what it's like to be on your feet all day working various part-time jobs and only have time to sleep, work, and eat. If that's currently true for you, you're already moving your body a lot, but you should still incorporate stretching, especially for your feet and legs.
7. REHEARSE OR MEMORIZE SCRIPTS
While I still think it's worth scheduling a fully focused once-a-month rehearsal, I started working through my monologues every single day. Holy crap. It has made such a huge difference.
Listen, most film actors may never be asked to perform a monologue at an audition, but you do not want to be the one actor that gets asked and not have one ready to perform. You can learn more about having monologues ready in this post.
Memorizing lines is our job. That means we should adopt the practice of memorizing or rehearsing scripts every single day. You may seriously get cast over someone who has more experience than you just from being more prepared.
My first professional job was for an industrial gig, and the head honcho producer kept asking us actors to swap lines--entire paragraphs of lines. I was so nervous about embarrassing my friend who got me the job that I ignored everyone who talked to me, plugged my ears, and stepped to the side to memorize.
Guess what? I hit every freaking word every freaking time. The director was impressed, and he cast me a few more times because he knew I would be good for the money. It also greatly built my confidence that I can handle multiple pages of dialogue with last-minute changes, which is a basic requirement of a professional actor. I want you to feel that same confidence.
"Memorizing lines is 99% of your job." This is what the head of my college theatre department always told us. He would also drop us an entire letter grade if we weren't off-book by the deadline. The reason was simple--you can't think on your feet or make different choices if you're worried about the lines.
What if you were given 30 pages of dialogue to memorize in a day, every single day? That is the life of television and soap stars.
I worked with an actor who doubled as the script coach for the show Good Behavior. He told me that the lead actors would immediately come to him after a scene cut to run their lines for the next day's shoot. Could you handle that, Actor Boss? If you start memorizing lines every day, you'll be way more confident when the time comes because it will come. How you respond could make or break your career.
Are you already incorporating some of these daily habits? Comment to let me know which ones and which ones are new to you.
The only way you'll remember to practice these daily habits is to log them on a checklist on your phone that you'll see every day, so go make that list now. Your phone is always with you, and a digital list will be easier to checkmark over-and-over again.
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Tired of influencers snagging your acting jobs? Start competing by building your personal brand package. Get your free download here.
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The business and marketing side of acting doesn't need to be complicated. A lot of actors I work with tell me, "You're good at the business and marketing side of acting. I need to work on it." Are you going to be an actor that just talks about it, or will you take action this year?
I think you'll agree with me when I say actors hate the words business and marketing. The good news is that you don't need an MBA to market yourself as an actor. In this post, I'll give you a few super easy ways to better market yourself that you can take action on today.
Consider what leadership expert John C. Maxwell has to say about taking action: "Dreams don't work unless you do."
1. BRAND YOUR SOCIAL BANNERS
How many social media platforms are you using? Comment and let me know. I suggest having at least one but no more than three that you actively use. Otherwise, your entire life will be consumed with posting.
One of the easiest ways to make yourself look more professional online is to brand your social banners. In other words, make them all look the same or very, very similar. I'll teach you how to do that for free in this post.
Branding your banners will be a lot easier if you create separate personal profiles and business profiles. Facebook makes this the easiest. I suggest having a private personal profile and a public like page. If you want to know why, or need help knowing what to post on which page, read this post.
Human brains love consistency, so if your social banners look the same, it creates a sense of trust that they're in the right place. It will also give you a professional, polished online presence if someone searches your name.
Download your Actor Boss Roadmap and build your personal brand package this week with my personal branding email challenge. It will make posting on social and taking photos a lot easier for you, even if you don't have a background in marketing.
2. USE A NEW HEADSHOT STRATEGY
I have a sad story to tell. I spent $300 on my last headshot session, only for my agent to reject them. In fairness, we had a few technical difficulties at the shoot, especially with the wind, and I tried a new foundation that did not work (Smashbox 15 Hour). I also had a freaking stye in my eye.
Your agent expects new headshots every so often of various looks, but you don't have money to waste if they're not going to use them. To learn more about rotating your photos, read this post.
Side note: I did not realize that agents and casting directors expect to see a full body shot in your casting profiles, so make sure you dress according to your body type so your clothes look flattering. Google what's my body type to find yours. I am a pear, so skinny jeans do not look cute on me in photos, which I learned the hard way. Now I know I need to wear wide leg dress pants or bootcut jeans for my full body photos.
The silver lining to my rejected headshots is that I created a new headshot strategy. Now I'm booking various photographers for just one outfit per session, which is a lot cheaper and will give me a more diverse portfolio throughout the year.
The focus of my next shoot will be a full body shot. While we're at it, I'll see if we can get one good commercial and one good theatrical photo. The next session will be a little more gritty. I'll probably listen to music that makes me cry, work through a good sense memory beforehand, and be ok with my eye makeup looking a little rough.
In summary, I suggest booking various photographers for just one outfit per session, focus on getting one type of shot (see list below), and then ask for a few closeups at each shoot to see if you can get a new commercial or theatrical headshot while you're at it.
Here are a few ideas on how to focus your one-look sessions:
Casting directors love special skills photos, by the way. You may need to hire a very specific photographer if one of your special skills involves action, such as sports, to make sure they know how to capture movement correctly.
Again, only hiring them for one outfit will make the session cheaper. You'll also get better photos because you won't be worried about pulling off various looks. You can just focus on looking awesome at playing sports or looking professional, not both.
3. WRITE THANK YOU CARDS
Please for the love of God stop wasting your money printing and mailing resumes or postcards. I know for a fact that the casting directors you want to get your headshot and resume in front of don't have legitimate addresses listed.
I let an actor friend of mine use my P.O. Box as her return address, and all of her mail to the most popular casting directors was returned because, well, they like their privacy.
Writing thank you cards is always a good idea because you'll be writing to people that you've actually worked with, and you'll have a call sheet or email containing a legitimate address.
Word travels fast in this business, and everyone likes an actor that expresses gratitude. Gratitude also increases your confidence according to a study cited by Forbes.
Please don't assume you know how to write thank you cards correctly. I had a steep learning curve, but now I can write cards that get a response, even from directors. Start practicing this habit now, and make sure you're writing your thank you cards correctly with my quick tips series. Click here to start with Part 1 0f 4.
I had a director email me after receiving my thank you card saying he planned to work with me again. That has never happened from me sending out snail mail, assuming it even gets to where I hope it's going (see the first part of this section!).
A lot of actors only ever communicate about themselves . Imagine how tiring that is for casting directors and directors. Now imagine how refreshing it must be for them to have an actor not only say thank you but personalize their card in a meaningful way. I'll teach you how to do it, starting with this post.
If you know you need to start writing thank you cards, you can always go straight to my card templates by getting my super low-priced Ebook Actor Boss Thank You Cards over on my favorite Ebook platform, Payhip.
Remember, dreams don't work unless you do.
Here's your marketing checklist for today:
The best foundation for each of these steps is to create a strong personal brand package because it will influence every decision you make about how you market yourself. Download your Actor Boss Roadmap to join my branding email challenge. We'll start building your personal brand package this week for free.
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I know that you're always looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, actor friend, and special skills are a great way to do that.
What special skills do you have listed on your resume? Comment below and share. I'd love to hear! Mine are currently fitness instruction (kickboxing/weightlifting), handguns, and karaoke queen. No, I cannot sing, but I can perform the crap out of a song.
It's ok to have one fun thing, such as karaoke queen, as long as you can actually follow through on it. However, do not list anything that you can't perform in front of a camera such as fashion or travel.
In this post, I'll discuss the one special skill that you should be working on this year. I found it mentioned over-and-over again by casting directors when I researched the most in-demand skills.
I'll also share my favorite free tool to help you learn how to do it.
THE USEFUL SKILL
Don't dismiss the rest of this post if you already have this skill.
The one special skill that you should learn this year is a foreign language. This is the one skill that I saw casting directors consistently list when asked which special skills they love to see. Don't forget to include sign language in this category, which was used in multiple hit films this year.
Do you already know a foreign language? Comment to let me know what languages you speak. Why not learn another one, especially one that's similar?
How do you know which foreign language is best for you? I'm personally learning French right now because I took two years of classes in both high school and college. You'll be surprised at how much you remember! I could easily be cast as European, so most languages from that region suit my look.
Consider these criteria when choosing a foreign language:
You can also use your newfound foreign language skills to make freelance income as a translator or tutor. The average salary is $20 an hour. Translators are often hired by hospitals or government officials to help with cases, and there are a number of online tutoring services that allow you to work from home.
THE FREE TOOL
Learning a foreign language is easier than ever.
I highly recommend the free version of Dulingo. The smartphone app is very user-friendly, and the desktop version has grammar lessons attached to each module. You can pay to eliminate ads, or you can watch the ads to earn gems to make "purchases."
Duolingo has made learning a foreign language feel like a game. In the free version, you can only miss five answers before you lose all of your health. However, you can use your earned gems to purchase more. Trying to keep all of your health is a fun challenge, though.
They also offer cool badges that encourage you to learn. My next goal, for example, is to earn 100XP in one day, which requires me to complete ten lessons in a day versus my typical three. You decide how many lessons you want to do each day, and Duolingo sends you reminders. It's stupid easy.
THE BEST STUDY METHOD
I want to suggest a few effective study methods to help you quickly learn your language. These include using Duolingo, a method called Deep Work, and speaking with a native.
The trick to using Duolingo is to finish multiple lessons each day from various categories. For example, I currently take one lesson per day in Food, Animals, and Weather as opposed to three lessons in just Food. That forces my brain to actually learn the words as opposed to just memorizing. I'm always surprised at how much I've retained.
I highly recommend that you read a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport. It's the best way to quickly add any special skill to your resume in my opinion. Essentially, you'll need to block out a chunk of time, say four hours, and lock yourself in a room with zero distractions. That means no technology, which means no Duolingo, so you'll need to go old school and buy an actual foreign language workbook. The only other option is to use Duolingo in conjunction with an app that shuts down the other functions on your phone or desktop.
The best and only way to know if you're accurately speaking a language is to talk with a native speaker. Hire a tutor, search for a free meetup, or use the bots option on Duolingo. Better yet, try all three! You do not want to show up to an audition and be embarrassed if there's a native speaker in the room to test your skills.
What if your big break happens because of this newfound skill? Comment and let me know which foreign language you want to learn.
Download the free Duolingo app today and browse through the language options. Pick a language and try the very first lesson. You'll be hooked! You can also find friends to follow or compete with.
If you want another way to stand out from the crowd, then you need to start writing personalized thank you cards. Don't send the first one without learning these tips.
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Should actors tell their age? There's been a lot of debate in the media over the years about whether or not sites like IMDb should allow actors' ages to be posted.
I personally fell victim to that dreaded question in an audition once. Randomly, in the middle of a slate, someone who worked for the production company asked me, "How old are you?" We'll talk more about my answer in this post.
Ultimately, it's up to you to make this decision, but I want you to consider a few things first.
There are reputable Facebook groups for actors managed by casting directors, so what I'm about to tell you comes from a post I saw in one of those groups.
The industry standard (apparently released by SAG-AFTRA) is to pick a 5-year age range.
After doing a quick online search, I didn't find a link directly from the union on this topic, but I did find a few other reputable sources saying the same thing. Do your own research, and comment to let me know if you have a good reference.
My acting coach, who has been on the other side of the camera for hundreds of productions, says we should put 0-99.
So which is it?
ASK YOUR AGENT
I like the idea of not using an age range in my casting profiles. Let casting figure it out!
Ask your agent their two cents because they're the ones submitting your profile and have a better sense of what age range to submit you for.
I would love to change my age range from 0-99, but if it complicates filtering roles for my agent, then it's doing more harm than good. It might not, though, so double check with them to see.
If you don't have an agent, then you can either change your age range to 0-99, or post and ask your friends and family on social media to crowd source your five year range.
WHEN YOU SHOULD TELL
There's an exception to the age range rule that's super important.
The only time an actor should reveal their age is if they're a minor, for legal purposes. A production company can get into big trouble if they violate certain laws. If you look 18, but you're 16, do not lie!
SAG-AFTRA has great resources for Young Performers and Parents including a PDF download discussing information for minors.
Age discrimination is a real thing in this business. Once someone knows your age, they can't see you as any other age, which sucks for your casting opportunities.
Here's how that casting conversation I mentioned earlier went:
Producer: How old are you?
Me: I typically get cast as young 20's.
Producer: I'm not from casting, so it doesn't matter if you tell me.
Me: (knowing this is false) What's the age range for the casting?
Me: Yea that's how I typically get cast.
Remember to keep the conversation light and humorous. Don't get defensive. Directors and producers make the final casting decisions, so their knowledge of you is just as important as casting's.
If someone keeps pushing, my suggested response is the following: "Unless my agent gives me explicit instructions to tell my exact age, then I'm going to stick to the standard age range we've discussed." This takes the pressure off of you because now the answer depends on your agent, who is not in the room.
If they keep pushing, just smile and say, "Nope."
Here's your checklist:
Age range is one tiny part of your overall personal brand. If you still haven't put together your branding package, start with my Actor Boss Roadmap (recently updated). Personal branding is the first stop, and I'll help you build yours for free this week.
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,