Have a question? Let’s hear it.
Is it hard to learn your lines?
I try not to memorize my lines too early. For me it’s better to internalize them first. Actually hiding my character’s lines and saying what I think she’d say or want to say and not dare to say. This helps me discover subtext. And, by the end I usually end up knowing the lines. If I have to be exact on the text, as a last step, I’ll sometimes write down my lines from memory and then check it against the text.
How do you get a job as an actor?
I feel like I can answer this question two different ways so here are my two answers.
a. Show up relaxed and bring yourself to the role. No one can do it like you so don’t try to please them or be what you think they want, just make this your role. If it’s not what they’re looking for, that’s okay. They will remember you. They’ll bring you back. Uta Hagen said “Instead of losing yourself in the part, find yourself in the part”. Work on yourself in between auditions, in between roles. Your body is your instrument, learn how to work with it. Learn how to relax, breathe, move… Learn how to work with your mind, how to relax your mind, meditate, work on your confidence, your self-talk, if you need to. Treat the down period like an athlete treats the off-season- Training Camp. EXPLORE. LEARN. GROW.
b. Most of the time I have to audition and since I don’t live in LA, that means I tape myself at home. The +’s are, I can do it as many times as I want to. The -’s are, there is no casting director to give me notes, direct me. I don’t get to go in the “room” and meet people so there’s no energy, connection and I have to focus on technical things like lighting, framing the shot, picking the take, downloading it to vimeo, etc...
A coach I had said this to me once- “If the job is for you, there is very little you can do to mess it up. If the job isn’t for you, there’s very little you can do to get it.” That freed me!
What’s the best advice you got for auditions?
“Every audition is your opportunity to do what you love. Let it cost you something and don’t have any regrets when you leave the room.”
How much can people make as an actor?
This can vary from $0 to some obscene number. What I will say is money is NOT the reason to do this job. You gotta love Acting. For me, I needed to do this, acting was how I felt alive, how I felt free to express all that was inside. If you can imagine yourself doing anything else, then maybe acting isn’t the thing. My first teacher said “an actor works”. If you get the job, you do it. Paid or not (unless there’s nudity and that’s against what you want to do). Every job is a job where you can learn something, you can meet people, you can meet your next director, your next producer. I got connected to my manager from doing an unpaid short movie. I worked in an office for a long time to earn money in between jobs. Tons of people need to get jobs to help their income. There is no shame in that and on top of the money, another job is a new experience, a life experience. All experiences can ultimately help us in our work. For me, being an artist is not about money. It is about the craft and the community, finding our tribe, our support group, the ones we can learn from and the ones we can help grow. I love the world of acting. There are actors but there are also a lot of other people who work in our field. Costumers, grips, makeup artists. It is a community and all together we get to create something… hopefully something beautiful. That in itself is priceless.
Do you have to go to school to be an actor?
I don’t think you have to go to school but talent alone can only get us so far. There are many ways to learn the craft. School, acting classes, learning on the job and the INTERNET. Read as much as you can about the craft, listen to podcasts with actors, youtube is an incredible resource. You can look up videos from legends like Michael Cain, have access to relaxation techniques from the National Theatre, vocal exercises. There is so much out there and it’s free! And work! Rehearse. Create your own work. It does not need to be produced or anything anyone will see. Have readings of plays with your friends, work on a monologue, write something. The point is, to learn and to work.
How do you work on your accent?
I’ve worked with dialect coaches for years. Learning how to say sounds differently, long “eeee’s”, always push the word “NOT”, add a bit of air after the “t’s”, practicing with a cork in my mouth to help me not move my mouth as much when I talk and also, finding my “American side”. There’s the technique but there’s also the personality. Giving myself permission to take my time with words, sounds, be “hoggier” helps lose the staccato and the “frenchness”.