Self-Direction and Becoming Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Ultimately, what those casting are interested in is how you would animate this spot. How would you color it? How would you play with the phrasing? How well would you adapt to making changes and applying direction? And where would you put an … [Read more...]

The Difference Between the Audition and the Session

The same performance energy, the same uninhibited imagination and full-on creativity—all the same performance goals are required of you at the audition as on the job itself. In some respects, imagination and creativity are even more vital at the … [Read more...]

Embracing Commercial Work

I meet talent every day that I would consider as a casting director as extremely marketable for commercial work, yet far too often, the talent themselves don’t consider themselves commercially viable at all. And the reason they don’t? They are … [Read more...]

“Just Be Yourself” vs. Being Someone Else

March 23, 2009 Talent are typically taught to pursue everything all at once. We are told that’s what we are supposed to do in order to be read as versatile. Unfortunately, by doing so, we often lose who we really are and find ourselves creating a … [Read more...]

You Can’t Tell Yourself How Not To Do Something

Before you even open your mouth to utter your first syllable—before you even set foot in the booth—know that there’s already an internal monologue going on inside your little noggin. In fact, I can hear it all the way over here like some small child … [Read more...]

Acting as Your Own ‘Artistic Director’

It occurred to me you might be interested in a few morsels to better define who does what on a set or at a casting. So, without further ado: AD— On a film or television set, an ‘AD’ is the acronym dedicated to an Assistant Director. This is a … [Read more...]

By Any Other Name . . .

It happens all the time. Actors ask me, “Do you think I should change my name?” To be honest, asking anyone with a name like mine (‘McClanaghan’) is sort of a silly question, don’t you think? Frankly, unless someone in SAG already has your name, … [Read more...]

In Memory of a Legend

We lost Studs Terkel this past week. He was ninety-some-odd years old, a Chicago icon and a national treasure. (No kidding. He literally was.) I met him at a bus stop many years ago and he had me follow him to his office off Michigan Avenue, only … [Read more...]