SUMMER Newsletter 2017

 

August brings into sharp focus and a furious boil everything I’ve been listening to in the late spring and summer.”             Henry Rollins

 

 

How to Succeed at Anything

To succeed at anything you must risk. You have to stick your neck out, and often farther than you ever imagine. This is true in auditions, performance, promotion… and in life!

Nothing worthwhile has ever come about from playing it safe. In fact, I’d venture to guess, every single goal you ever attained was achieved because you ventured out of your comfort zone. You took a chance. Sometimes you have to take a wild flying leap from 8,000 feet directly into a Dixie cup to succeed.

Nothing comes from playing it safe except seclusion. And you can succeed at that all by your lonesome. But who wants to be lonesome? Get out there and mix it up! You may win. You may lose. Regardless, you’ll likely discover you survived, often far better than you ever might have imagined. So, dive in and take a chance. It’s far more fun and exciting than the alternative, which is absolutely nothing. œ

“No one who ever gave his best regretted it.” – George Halas

 

Are You Trained To Offer Options As A Talent?

Technique training can be rather tricky. Especially when it’s commonly thought in our field “there’s no single approach considered more effective than another.”

We hope to challenge that with a single notion: Acting is acting is acting. In other words, whether you’re acting for film, TV, commercials, industrial narratives, voice-over, or animation… you’re still playing a human being, and the words on the page are expected to sound like what you honestly think and know for yourself to be true.  Therefore, regardless the medium, regardless the genre, you’re always expected to perform as a professional actor.  

Certainly there are a handful of technical demands you must master with each medium if you hope to deliver a credible performance, however, when it comes to recorded media (film, TV, and voiceover) nearly all of the same performance principles apply, regardless of the medium. These principles are at the core of our approach at SOUND ADVICE.

This is not to say every talent is appropriate for every style, and perhaps you’re likely better suited to perform in one format over another. This is a dramatic departure from what actors are most often taught—which is: every actor should be versatile enough to play everything, in every medium, at any given time. Tall order. Of course, most working talent ultimately specialize in certain areas of the entertainment industry. The same applies to voiceover talent. And, like most artists, we tend to thrive in one area over another out of exposure and experience with that medium. It’s the devil we know. Perhaps out of habit, conditioning, simple interest, or passion. Painters might never explore photography or sculpture. And writers might concentrate their efforts in suspense rather than romantic poetry.

Nevertheless, it’s generally assumed actors should be just as comfortable cast in a period drama, such as “Elizabeth I”, as they would be as a voiceover for a Macy’s commercial. For some, commercial voiceover might be a dramatic leap outside their comfort zone. Which is why accepting the realty posed in the script is essential in every genre and medium. But that takes practice. It also requires insight.

What are you looking for in each script that will give you the most dynamic delivery that will elevate the project and, therefore, allow you to stand out among all the other auditions submitted?

Of course, wandering far from the actors’ aesthetic sensibilities always poses a challenge, as well. There’s nothing but discovery and spontaneity for those willing to embrace it.

Unfortunately, far too many actors repel any suggestion outside their standard, cookie-cutter notions of how to approach any given performance. Most talent tend to resist direction when it is offered, even though the claim is they’d do better if they were given some direction.  

The fact is if you’re not used to varying up your expression or approach with each take, or if you haven’t received any real direction in quite some time, it’s unlikely you’ll offer much of your own creativity. Instead, it’s most likely you’ll cling, out of sheer performance muscle memory, to something strangely similar to whatever your very last performance was, regardless of when the last thing you did occurred, and regardless of whether it was any good or not. Talent typically cling to the last delivery because that muscle memory performance became imprinted in their comfort zone. It’s familiar. It feels safe. Or, according to many talent, “It feels natural.” Yet, the performance might actually seem rather stiff and awkward. Talent adhere to this repetitive delivery out of an impulse we refer to as the “Muscle Memory Delivery”. (Which has absolutely nothing to do with Method Acting’s definition of the term. Our use of the term, here at SOUND ADVICE, is more akin to the sport medicine’s definition.) This applies to both good habits and bad. But the performance becomes repetitive by ‘default’, if you will.

After coaching literally thousands of talent, we’ve managed to define the most common challenges you’ll experience, and need to act upon, regardless of the project, circumstance, or your experience level. Coaching should prepare you for what those who are looking to hire you expect and need from you with every take and medium, but most especially when it comes to voiceover. ›

Building and Maintaining Your Performance Skills

Every talent, regardless of experience level, requires coaching. In fact, the more advanced the career, the greater the expectations of your performance; every established professional works with a coach in order to maintain their skills and better themselves if they hope their careers to thrive. You don’t simply coach when you’re a complete novice and leave it at that.

This is why at SOUND ADVICE every coaching session we deliver is private and custom-tailored to your specific career goals and needs, and recorded for your future reference.

Regardless of how long it’s been, no matter how much or how little experience you may have, and no matter where you live or how bad the weather may be, we can coach you from the comfort of your home computer with SKYPE. In fact, in most cases, all of our services can be delivered over SKYPE provided you have reliable Internet service.

Certainly, if you don’t work your performance muscle it will atrophy. And if you attack every project with the same delivery, you will not make yourself as valuable a talent as you could and honestly should be.  Raise your game!

Learn more about these unique services and the variety of assistance we offer here at SOUND ADVICE. ›

 

Food for thought

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. Apple Inc.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.