I have it several times a week, and sometimes, many times in one day. And deep down, in that secret private internal place, I know that I have a dream that I won’t let go of and still want to achieve. It is my little secret vision of myself that I hold tight inside of me.
What is your secret role that you envision yourself playing?
Every actor has a dream role. At every level. Hilary Swank wanted so badly to be considered for Boys Don’t Cry that she cut off her hair for the audition! And her career was doing fine – she was a regular on the T.V. series Beverley Hills, 90210. But Swank had a vision of herself and an idea of what she knew she was capable of doing. So she had to convince everyone else about what she believed in for herself. What holds you back? Sometimes I don’t take a step forward in my career (or life pursuits) simply because I am lazy. Then sometimes, I’m just flat out intimidated. Either way, I freeze and do nothing. Sound familiar?
So I have to search around, dig around in my resources, for inspiration to compel me to keep moving forward towards my dream goal.
There is a saying in the acting industry that there is a perfect role for every actor and it is a matter of you finding each other. In working with you all, I observe that many of you are not actually being clear about that perfect role that you would love to attract to you! Afraid to take that step, perhaps?
Be bold and say what you want to have happen in this wildly unpredictable career!
Here are some steps to put in play to get to your dream role…
1 Take meditative moments to envision yourself in a dream role. What is the genre of that film? What does your character look like? Who are your scene partners? See yourself in the role, in the scene, in the film.
2 Go public with your dream role! Write on your facebook status, twitter or write a letter to friends declaring the dream role that you see yourself doing. I dare you to proclaim it! “My dream role that I will be playing is….”
3 Who is producing or writing or directing or casting these films that have your dream role in it? Get familiar with the market that you are targeting. E.g., if it is comedy, who are the latest comedic writer/directors that you love? If it is indie film, who are the directors that you would love to work with? Which TV shows are happening that your dream role might be found on? If you don’t know your market, how can you compete in it?
4 Spend one week analyzing your marketing materials – websites, headshots, reels, sample scenes. Do these materials present the version of you that is perfect casting for this dream role? If not, take action around revamping the full package presentation of YOU.
5 Dress the part. (At auditions, networking events, in particular.) Give yourself some style. Style indicates that this person has it all together. And it affects self-confidence as well. Don’t you walk into a room differently when you KNOW you look good? Okay…I know you are actors focused on the craft and not just models selling a look. But consider this: which movie do you go to? The one with the good trailer or movie poster! We all get “sold” on something by the presentation of it. Style is a part of the equation that does subversive things to the casting team’s judgement. They want to feel like you are on top of it. Style is a part of the first impression. Very very very few actors can pull off lack of style at the beginning of their careers. You better be wowing them with your talent in that case. Until they see you for the talent that you are, it doesn’t hurt to find other ways to help sell the whole package. A little effort on the external will support the confidence in the internal.
Special note: Sometimes your focus should simply be on the character and suggesting the role with the visuals. You do need to also look the type too. They often won’t believe it if they don’t see it. So don’t feel shy of also really showing how much thought you’ve given to it by dressing so specifically.
6 Pick a scene that represents this role, prepare it, and put it on video and make it available as a link online on Vimeo. Then, you can submit this sample, using the link, when you are pitching yourself for a particular role. Include the video or link on your website or inside an email. Remember what I always say…tell them how to cast you, INSPIRE THEM to cast you in your dream role. Give them proof of why you are perfect for this type of role.
Now, you are one huge step closer to taking the control you want in your acting career…