Acting : First steps... by Erick Freitas

Erick Freitas

First steps...

So, I started taking acting classes earlier this year and fell in love with the craft. Due to coronavirus, I've been doing classes over the phone, which I still feel the benefits from. I also got my headshots done and signed up to actor's access, but I guess I'm completely clueless as to what to do for the next step?

If the Coronavirus wasn't around, I'd be going to improv clubs in NYC and doing auditions I guess? But if you were me, taking classes, headshots, and signed up to actor's access - what would be the next benchmark you would be looking to hit? Get casted in a short? Make your own short with you in it? Just keep grinding with classes and get better? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

Sam Borowski

@Erick, I own an acting workshop that I conduct twice a month - have had it for 10 years. I've had guests and in addition to learning your craft (VERY important), there is equally important information regarding the "business side of The Business," addressing the questions you ask above. We also work on Networking and I have had many guests in the class such as one of the main actors from The Sopranos, a friend that has worked at Universal Studios, one of the actors from The Warriors and many Indie Filmmakers that have hired students out of my class. I have no fewer than four students from Stage 32. Due to Corona Virus, I am holding the classes Virtually through SKYPE, which allows you to see the other students and play to their emotions, react in the scene and so on. If you are interested in learning more about it, please, by all means reach out to me. I can answer the questions you have above and offer you helpful advice. - Sam ;)

Matthew Cornwell

Sounds like you're on the right track. Business-wise, you won't be able to make too much "practical" progress due to the pandemic. My advice would be to cultivate the relationships you've already established from previous classes. No one finds success as an island in this business. Look at Judd Apatow. He's still working the same people today as he was when he did Freaks and Geeks. Build your network, which doesn't cost a dime, just make sure that network includes cheerleaders (people who give you unconditional support), realists who will help you stay grounded, and mentors who you can look up to for inspiration. Organically, you should find a path forward through these connections.

And while Zoom classes can be great (I just finished teaching one this weekend), classes focused on the craft are limited in their usefulness. So I would focus on one's geared toward the business of the business. Also, consider a subscription to MasterClass. There are some fascinating courses on Acting, Directing, Comedy, etc.

Erick Freitas

That's really helpful Matthew. I appreciate it.

Ken Moretti

Erick:

This is a good time to watch other actors work...the more you learn on your own about the craft, the more you will see it in other actors work. TV, streaming, films, online content, etc.

Karen E Ross

Hey, Erick Freitas! I'm so glad you reached out with this question! I have three answers:

1) Our very own Richard "RB" Botto taught me that every day, he practices the craft, the business, and the networking in order to keep himself sharp. However you wish to manage your time, I would highly recommend that you block off at least an hour every day for each category.

2) As a voice actor, I will give you the greatest advice I ever received - read out loud every day. It doesn't matter what it is, but allow the practice to give you space to hone your craft. How long is the practice? 30 min? 60 min? However long you work out, give yourself that time for a "vocal" workout as well. BONUS: If you're reading something new, then you're also learning or burning through your "to read" pile! LOL!

3) Do what sparks life in you! If it feels like a chore, then you will not bring the vitality to it that the profession requires. Oh, and sometimes the things that scare you charge you up more than the things that are comfortable, so _vitality_ is really what you're looking for, not necessarily "joy".So, explore the things that bring you energy, get it on camera, and put it out there!

Oh, and there are LOTS of classes on Stage32 for actors as well! I would HIGHLY recommend this one on self-taping since most auditions are done remotely now, even before COVID: https://www.stage32.com/webinars/Actors-A-Casting-Director-Shares-How-to...

Erick Freitas

Super helpful! Thanks!

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