Film acting is a difficult business. It’s not for the faint of heart, or the weak-willed. A career can be made or broken in a single incident. But for those who are willing to dedicate their lives to making it on the silver screen, the potential rewards are vast.
As an modeling, dance, vocalist, and acting advice blog, we talk a lot about what it takes to make it. But this time, we thought we’d hunt down acting advice from the best – Meryl Streep, Ellie Kemper, and Will Smith.
Castivate is the first app (iOS & Android) in the US and Canada to send local, matched castings right to your phone. We also host the headshots of our users, putting their faces in front of hundreds or potential directors. And best of all – the app and our services are completely free!
So let’s get right to some acting advice for beginners!
Hollywood is littered with stories of almost missing their big break – from Kit Harington (Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow) getting in a fight the night before to Kristen Stewart almost bailing on her last big audition (her mom had to call her to task!). Meryl Streep recently opened up about her experience in The Devil Wears Prada.
Ms. Streep stresses that inspiration for a character can come from anywhere. Her character Miranda Priestly was largely inspired by a man – Clint Eastwood. The indomitable Man with No Name exudes absolute confidence and control with a simple trick – never raising his voice.
With this small thread, Meryl Streep was inspired to create one of the most commanding film characters of all time. But there’s always a risk when an actor creates a strong, dynamic character – as Ellie Kemper faced with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Kemper discusses how hard it was to portray her character’s innocence – and sometimes outright stupidity – in a way that doesn’t turn off viewers right away:
“In Terms of playing Kimmy’s naive side, there is always a danger of that being grating or obnoxious for people to watch.”
But people want to watch real characters; they want you to pop off the screen and seem realistic. And let’s be honest, real people aren’t perfect and can often be “grating or obnoxious.” So the trick is to find a balance between a character that is entertaining to watch (but not over the top) realistic (but not annoying) commanding (but not overwhelming).
It’s not easy, as Ms Kemper herself knows. She’s been in the game since High school and has worked her tail off for years. She’s a master at creating awkward characters – but not too awkward!
Unfortunately, however, those years worth of experience might also result in you being stuck in the past. Legendary Star and Fresh Prince Will Smith himself warns of the dangers:
“Back in the ’80s and ’90s you had a piece of crap movie you put a trailer with a lot of explosions and it was Wednesday before people knew your movie was shit. But now what happens is 10 minutes into the movie, people are tweeting ‘This is shit, go see Vin Diesel.’”
Smith goes on to state that he considers himself a marketer and his acting as a commodity. But where once you could market a bad movie and still have it be successful, now you need to provide what you promise.
The acting advice is not to water down your work; in the digital era, people not only find out immediately but they remember that crap work you did before. Don’t sell out to a bad role because you think it will make you famous. It might – in the short run. In the long run, it can be a death knell. As Smith states,
“Smoke and mirrors in sales and marketing [for film] is over.”
Of course, you can’t turn down any role if you spend hours combing over audition websites only to not actually find a good casting. Which is exactly the situation we at castivate found ourselves in a little over a year ago.
That is, until one of us had the idea “hey, why isn’t there an app that does this for us??” And thus castivate was born. Our app combs those audition sites for you, matching each audition to your custom profile and to your location. So acting advice quotes aren’t enough, Castivate is here to put the right auditions at your fingertips.
Modeling is such a fascinating industry. It’s incredibly tough, more than most people realize and so much work goes into perfecting the craft and getting work. There are many amazing gigs out there for both aspiring and professional models.
Sometimes it can be difficult to sort the good and bad modeling gigs. The other part is knowing what cities to be in to receive the best opportunities. Here we list some great shows that you can take advantage of and you don’t have to worry about sorting through the bad casting calls.
The Here and Now
Most people are aware of the highly popular show America’s Next Top Model. It’s been around a very long time and has always been the show that gives a successful career to models. However, there are plenty of modeling auditions for various shows like The Face and COVERguy.
Major Networks are always looking to hire different models for various projects. Look at casting calls from Fox, NBC, Bravo, MTV, ABC, and CBS. You will be surprised at how many different projects they actually have which needs models.
You should also try reality shows that are a little less obvious for models to get noticed but they can definitely help push your modeling career to the next level. These shows include:
♦ The Real World
♦ Project Runway All Stars
♦ Project Runway Junior
♦ Face Off
♦ Skin Wars
♦ Fashion Star
♦ Dating shows
Many of those series are great because they need models to show off designs. They are not shows about models but they certainly need quite of few of them. Don’t be afraid to put your hat in the ring for all of them.
Coming up Next
Get ready for new things coming your way in the modeling game. A teen modeling competition show which is looking for girls ages 12 to 16 who want to be supermodels. New seasons of the shows mentioned above will be starting. Check all of them out. Every year there is always something new. Always stay on the lookout for upcoming shows.
The last point I want to bring to your attention is game shows. That may seem odd, but there are various models used on these shows. Even if you don’t try for one of those positions, take a shot at being a contestant, just to get a little exposure. You never know who will be watching.
Check out the current castings for these shows by downloading the Castivate app.