My 5 Best Tips to Get Cast Again & Again
by the Same Director (1 Will Save Your Life)
from coast-to-coast working movie actor Paul Cram
1. Know Your Lines, No More Faking
This seems obvious, but about 30% of actors I’ve worked with didn’t know their stuff before they arrived on-set. Memorize ‘em and you’ll not only come off as a pro, but also have the benefit of taking out all the fakey dramatic pauses that actors do when trying remember their cues.
2. Save the Drama for the Movie
No one likes working with divas. (Male or female.) “But I am not a drama queen,” you say. Of course you aren’t... Does it seem that if other people would just do their job better, then you could finally do yours? If you do, then it’s time to revise your attititude. Actively seek solutions instead of pointing blame. Reccommended reading: “Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier” by Robert Emmonds
3. Practice the Golden Rule
If you find yourself in on-set purgatory with a toxic drama queen, refrain from your instinctive desire to pull their hair out. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that many creatively brilliant individuals weren’t hugged enough as children. Choose not to take everything to heart while practicing the Golden Rule. Which doesn’t mean you should become their personal Dr. Phil or bend over backwards to get them to like you. Rather, do your job, learn as much as you can, and take it all in stride. It’s a business after all, and treating everyone with respect and dignity will be noted by the director. An added bonus with obnoxious people is they make for good veteran actor stories later on. Recommended reading: “Boundaries (When to say yes, when to say no to take control of your life)” by Henry Townsend
4. Require That Someone Show You How To Perform a Stunt Before You Do It
If a director or stunt coordinator won’t perform a stunt for you to see how it’s done, don’t do it. You’ll avoid breaking bones, scarring your face, or worse yet... dead from a stunt gone wrong. I’ve handed a baseball bat sized candle stick back to a director and said “Before I hit the other actor with this, you show me how to do it” Once he realized he might break the other actor’s spine, he said “We need to change the shot.” I gained his respect saying “no.” Recommended resource: StuntPlayers.org. Get a Stunt Coordinator to show you how to do a stunt.
5. Boil Directions Down to A Physical Action and an Emotional Need
For example, a director says “In this scene your character is fleeing childhood failures through seeking another level of physical height.” How do you act that? Look to the script’s stage directions for your physical action Run up the stairway, slam the door and attach an emotional need to escape bad memories. Put together Run up the stairs while remembering bad things that have happened to you. It seems simple, that’s the point! It’s something you can physically and emotionally actively do in the moment. Quickly taking directions and translating them into stunning performances always gets positive attention from the director. Recommended reading “The Intent to Live” by Larry Moss
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