I am scared to death. I’m backstage at one of the top acting schools in Los Angeles. I am about to tell my story, my real story in an exercise called a personal monologue.
I’ve got the unloaded gun I borrowed from a fellow student on stage already, alongside my flute and just a couple of props. I’ve given the stage manager the cue for my music at the end of the scene and I’ve even enlisted a friend in class last minute to join me on stage for a final dance to close out the piece.
Why did I ask to do this? I felt inwardly guided and yet I am now sweating, fear gripping me, knowing that I may be judged severely and the truth will be known…the truth I’ve been hiding for years. My father killed my mother and married her sister just a few years ago. He shot her in the head, cleaned up the crime and then abandoned me forever. My life is a Shakespearean tragedy.
Lights up, curtains open, all eyes in this 100 person class are on me.
I am free. I am in the moment. I am telling my truth through story and music and movement and narration. I’m being seen as I really am, in all my vulnerability and strength. My secrets are out for the first time since that fateful night and in that reveal I am free.
That short piece changed my world. Not only did I get a standing ovation but several of my peers flew over to me during the break and through tears they shared their secrets which were heavy until then. A directing student wanted to direct me and I was off. I realized I could change peoples lives. Read more…
Please welcome guest poster Sam Garland to the blog! She’s here today sharing why self-producing is one of the greatest tools for actors that most people never take advantage of. And you all know how much I admire actors self-producing! :)
WHY YOU MUST CREATE YOUR OWN WORK
There are many reasons why it’s important for actors to be creating their own work. (In fact, I just hosted a free training call where I delved into all of them. Plus, I shared some awesome-sauce ideas on how to jump in and get started with a project tailored to your talents. Want to grab your free copy? Click here.)
But I wanted to highlight one in depth for you today. Quite simply, it will make you a better actor.
Let me explain.
First, I have to confess that I am slightly addicted to acting classes. I love the safety, the support, the constant stretching. I love knowing that I’m growing, and working on my craft. And I love the high I get from being in front of an audience and committing to a role.
But the difference between acting in class and acting as a job is like — apples and snakes. Read more…
Please welcome Alex Soare to the blog today!
Alex is an opera singer and the founder of ArtRise, a social network for creative professionals. He’s sharing some wisdom with us today that you may find comforting if you feel like your professional success has an expiration date.
13 Wildly Successful Actors Who Made it Big Late in Life
Hollywood is chock-full of kids fresh out of high school, hoping to make it big in the movies.
Most of them will decide by age 25 whether they can make a living as actors or not.
However, there are many big names in Hollywood who didn’t achieve massive success right away – some toiled away for many years before landing a dream role, while some didn’t start acting until they were in their 30’s.
If you need a little motivation to keep trucking, learning about their unconventional paths to stardom may just do the trick.
- Harrison Ford
It’s hard to believe, but Harrison Ford’s career was languishing until he auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars at the age of 33. The Star Wars trilogy got him into Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones franchise, and Ford has been a bankable star ever since. In fact, ford didn’t even take acting classes until his college years, which he signed up for to help get over his shyness.
- Sylvester Stallone
Sure, he’s Hollywood royalty today, but Stallone wasn’t cast in Rocky until he was 30 years old, and up until that time he was so broke, he performed in pornographic movies to pay the rent. Many don’t know that Stallone is partially paralyzed on the left side of his face, which is precisely what gives him such distinctive facial expressions and enunciation – talk about overcoming the odds! Read more…
Hey, Green Room Blog readers!
Remember when I wondered if it was crazy to self-produce, fundraised for a hugely ambitious Anne Boleyn play, shared my crowdfunding tips, and then produced a crazy successful and beautiful piece of theatre?
Well, I’m at it again.
I wrote a feminist short film called Choice, and I’m raising $10K by mid-March to shoot it.
Choice is a film about the challenges of being a modern woman, and I can just about guarantee that there’s something in it that every woman will relate to. And something in it that every guy should learn!
We’re already 20% funded (hooray!), but we need your help to make it to $10K.
In exchange, I promise to create a great film, give opportunities to women in indie film (we’re hiring an all-female crew!), and tell you all about what I learn along the way. Plus, we have some fun perks you can get, too!
So please throw a few bucks our way if you can spare ’em. I’ll do ya proud! :)
I had the honor of attending Monday’s 2015 TEDxBroadway event at New World Stages as a representative of Green Room Blog, and boy, did I learn a lot.
The day was billed as a whole day of talking about how to make Broadway the best that it can be, and we were treated to 6 hours of talks on the subject from both theatre industry insiders and non-theatre people — think the founder of Warped Tour, a climate change expert, the VP of Marketing at the PGA Tour, and the woman responsible for running Governor’s Island, among many more.
It was an inspiring day talking about the future of Broadway, and lucky for those of you who weren’t there — I live-tweeted it all! And made a handy dandy transcript for those of you who missed the tweets.
Check out the transcript for wise gems from even wiser people. Already looking forward to next year’s event. Thanks for having me, TEDxBroadway!
Many women that work in theatre at some point come across doing in some way, shape, and form a production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” This month I had finally dipped my toe into working on the play that to some is considered the female theatre artist’s “right of passage.”
In December I applied for the rights (and got them 2 days later) after a friend of mine gave me the idea to do the play. It seemed like the right time since not only had I never done the play before, but I was in a place where I felt I needed to express my voice on women’s issues. Thankfully, it seemed the world agreed since getting everything together seemed to really fit into place from finding the perfect venue to the right cast.
From watching the show several times in the past, while I developed a strong appreciation for it, I never thought about my own artistic choices I’d want to put on it until preparing to do the show. The first thing I realized I wanted to do was to actually make the stage look like a vagina (with the actors sitting on the outside layer and one chair upstage center representing the clitoris). Most performances of the show have actors sit on stage anyhow so why not do it in a way that help show what the show is about? On top of that, the actors got to perform inside a vagina (and how many people get to say that one in their lives?). Also it allowed me to really think about what I wanted regardless of what I’ve seen before. Several monologues that we meant to be for one person, I divided up into 2 or 3 people to represent a wide variety of women or really show different personalities. On top of that, a lot of actors in this production never did or even saw the show before, so they went purely with their own instincts. I felt that that was perfect, since it really allowed us to go an artistically free route, as oppose to go with the traditional ways the show is done.
Being an actor is tough. So when there are fun resources available to us, I’m all for it! One of the most fun is The Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund.
Mr. Conrad Cantzen was an actor who starred in films and performed on Broadway in an impressive 17 shows (check out this 1937 Playbill from when he played Mr. Vik in An Enemy of The People!). He died in 1945 and left his estate of $226, 608.34 to The Actors Fund with the express instructions that it be used to buy new shoes for unemployed actors so that they don’t look “down at the heels” when auditioning for casting directors.
Today, 70 years later, the fund is still available to help you purchase a pretty new pair of audition shoes. The fund will reimburse you up to $40 for a pair of shoes costing no more than $100 if you meet the criteria and provide the original receipt and fill out an application.
To qualify, you must be:
- An actor who is currently unemployed in the field
- A current and paid up member of one of the performing arts unions
You can only apply for the fund every two years.
Happy shoe shopping, fellow actors! Thanks, Mr. Cantzen.
If there’s any small, twisted comfort to be had, the Sony hack has shown us that even female celebrities aren’t immune to gender wage inequality. Actually, it’s not much of a comfort really, but at least I know that it’s not just me and it’s not just those of us whom I’d deem “working class actors.” Which doesn’t make the larger problem better, but it does help me to take it less personally. We all should be taking this personally, though.
There is a real problem in the entertainment industry with taking women seriously.
I’m sorry to get so real here on Green Room Blog, when I’m usually full of motivational wisdom and sharing successes, but if we’re being honest, I’m not really sorry at all because this is something that’s really been getting me down over the past year or so and it’s time that we all talked about it for all of our sakes.
If I had an acting job for every time in the past year that I’ve heard “You’re great, but we’re casting that [insert young female role here] locally” or seen a breakdown where all of the 12 characters are on equity contracts except for the two young women leads, I would be swamped with work and turning gigs down. Read more…