Ask Gwyn

The Foremost Marketing Mentor for Actors

Acting Studio to TV Studio- Becoming a Professional

0314-IP(V3)Every Summer thousands of young drama students graduate from their college, university or conservatory programs only to face the biggest hurdle of their lives. How do you get started in your professional acting career? Even if you’re enthusiastic and well trained, you need help with practical questions: Where to go- NY or LA? Or should you stay in your home market- Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Chicago?

Which media  should you  pursue – Theater, TV or Film? How do you get an agent? And when? What marketing tools do you need? Where do you get them? What other classes or training do you need?  What jobs can you get NOW?

Everyone tells you it’s going to be difficult but you don’t realize how difficult or how long it may take to get work.Often adjusting to a new location- just finding an  apartment and a “bread and butter job”- can be as much of a challenge as finding an acting job. Here are six guidelines that will help take the mystery out of Launching Your Career:

1. Choose your strongest talent/interestand match that to the market that would provide the best opportunity. Here are some options:

AAre you a singer? dancer? actor? If you are a triple threat and love doing musicals then head for the Broadway musical theater market-NYC. You might book a tour of a hit musical providing you with some steady employment and credits.

BIf you love performing on stage and want to develop your resume doing classics- Shakespeare, Moliere, Chekov or American classics- Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller- aim for the Resident/Repertory Theater market. There are good companies all over the US- Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Atlanta. Check out L.O.R.T.  (League of Resident Theaters) and submit your resume/head shot directly to the member theaters. These are great places to get cast in major productions playing the roles that aren’t always available to beginners in LA or NY. You can also meet new, young directors who might be directing on Broadway in a few years. Mostly, you can build credits, the first thing that all agents look for!

CIf you want to appear in new plays off and off-off Broadway head for The Big Apple- New York City. The cost of Broadway productions requires a “star” or celebrity in order to recoup the expense so beginners rarely get considered for the major roles in either Broadway or off-Broadway productions (musicals are the exception). If you first book a major role on prime time series or in feature film- become known and established- Broadway welcomes you! In recent years Zach Quinto (from Star Trek), Julia Roberts, Ed Harris, Jeremy Pivens, Scarlett Johannsen and others booked shows on Broadway because they were recognized names in Film/TV.

DIf you love films and TV series and the camera loves you– head to Los Angeles. It’s the biggest market for both. NY may have 40+ series  (and new studios being built currently) but LA has over 150+ series and dozens of features casting monthly so there’s more opportunity. Daytime series in LA cast a lot of “youth” characters and there are dozens of teen series in Prime time…  all casting new, young faces.

EIf you live in or want to move to a smaller market– New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington- all have TV and Film production-but there may not be enough work to support yourself full time. Starring roles are often cast in NY or LA with “local hires” for the supporting and smaller roles.(Might be a good way to get your first small “role/credit” in Prime time!).

2. INVEST in yourselfthe best photos, resume, demo, website.

Get advice on your type and castability before shooting. Know the roles you can play- show that in your photos. Pay for a company to produce a great sizzle – demo reel- don’t wait months for a student director to give you a clip that may not sell you. Get a professional to do your website- that’s the first stop when a Casting Director is looking to see your work.

3. Take classes first in the areas in which you haven’t yet trained and are the most practical-  

Cold Copy Audition technique– essential when auditioning for prime time roles.

Improvisation-– very important if you audition for commercials, TV and film which requires spontaneity.

Voice/Speech (dialects)- If you’ve only worked on acting technique or scene study, be open  to the many Voice Over jobs, animated features as well as foreign/character roles in period films and series. If you have a great range and ability in using your voice- you’ll work more. If you have a Regional accent- Midwestern,Southern, “urban”- Afro-American, Latino- you’ll be more limited in your ability to be cast. With training you can be cast in many more roles not just your ethnic or regional background. Aim for the non-regional, Mid-Atlantic speech that is taught at all the major University Drama programs and “league” schools.

4. Seek a mentor to guide you.

This could be a Marketing Mentor, Career coach, a professional with knowledge of marketing. It can be very frustrating spending all your resources on classes or workshops that aren’t really helping you get work or on marketing tools that don’t represent you as well as they could. Get advice first.

5. Make a marketing plan.

Get a copy of CALL SHEET– it’s a mini booklet with a list of all agents, casting directors, and current Prime Time, Daytime shows and Films in production. Set goals and create a timeline- a date for finishing your marketing tools, researching the market in which you want to work, targeting agents and meeting casting directors for the shows you’re right for. Try to put in a few hours a day/week on your marketing and build a large network of industry professionals who know and like you.

6 Meet the industry when you’re ready.

It’s best to wait until your marketing tools are up-to-speed and then get a referral to an agent. If you’ve  worked with a director or know a casting director ask for their help. If you’re working with a coach or mentor they can “open doors” and make that personal referral. (I do for all my Priority coaching clients).

Starting a career can be exciting but also overwhelming. Take it one step at time and always ask for advice. There are many industry professionals who will be there for you.

P.S.  Want help going forward? Let’s chat…just REQUEST a complimentary 15 minute Career Consult with me here


5 Steps to a Successful Self Taped Audition

 The 5 Do’s and Don’t’s

You just got a phone call from your agent or a favorite casting director (who knows you don’t have an agent to submit you for this) who wants to include you in a casting for a major role on a new pilot or film…Yay! That’s great news until you think for a moment and realize they requested a self- taped audition….ASAP!

No worries- you’re secure in your talent and ability to ace this.

But, this is where things get crazy.

What should you wear?

Do you memorize or hold the script?

Have a reader or another actor perform opposite you?

Use a smartphone, rent a studio or hire a video service and spend the bucks to get great lighting and a higher level camera?

Shoot in a long shot, medium or close-up? Or all 3?

Go all out with a dramatic read or keep it subtle- the camera technique your new acting teacher advised you on?

A thousand questions swirl around your brain and suddenly you’re in anguish. You need to make major decisions and there’s little time to do this- they want to see your video tomorrow! What do you do? Don’t sweat it…follow these simple DO’S and DON’T’S.


1. Memorize the script. Although it is standard procedure to hold a script when auditioning in person (you can always drop it after a few lines) it’s paramount that you give a performance not a “read” on video. The downside of a videotape is that it’s locked in place- no changes- so the first impression stays with whomever is viewing it. And you don’t know who that might be- its floating around out there forever. So be prepared and know the material so well you can give a winning performance.

2. Ask the best actor you know to play opposite you- you don’t want them on screen but you want someone you can really “play” with /respond to even if they’re just reading lines. Keep your focus on them and look directly into the the lens…the more they see your face in the strongest position the better. ¾ angles and profiles are weaker and don’t sell you.

3. You can opt for a smartphone- do a “selfie”- but just have a tripod or stable position for the small camera. If you or hire a service that shoots videos definitely ask the camera person to frame the shot as a medium close up- no one needs to see your shoes or your wrinkled jeans. You want to duplicate the angles and shots that a real prime time show would use. If you look like you belong on the show they’ll be more disposed to get you on the show.

4. Stay within the frame of the shot to create the character- it’s OK to move your head and use your hands and body (slightly so you aren’t out of the frame)- but you need to size the performance for the media – no running around the space-off camera. But don’t stand stiffly…be natural.

5. Suggest or dress the part- a lawyer wears a suit, an undercover cop, a leather jacket, a Washington socialite, a sexy cocktail dress. For ladies, wear TV make-up (no red or dark brown lipstick, heavy eyeliner- keep it natural), and definitely style your hair. Wear a striking solid color- choose a dress, blouse, sweater. It’s more memorable to be in sapphire blue, fuschia pink, yellow or emerald green as opposed to dull gray, beige or black. Definitely avoid plaid, polka dots, patterns or stripes which can make the camera go out of focus- very distracting! Guys can wear dark suits or jackets but add color in the shirt, tie or sweater. A video audition says you look the part, are photogenic and are a fantastic actor while looking attractive. It’s not just about your talent.


1. Hold the script and “read”- you will eventually look down or away, losing focus while you check a line. They’ll assume that you’re a beginner and/or aren’t prepared.

 2. Misconstrue what a well-intentioned acting teacher might have told you- to “tone it down” lower your volume for the microphone and stand still, the classic mistake actors make thinking that that is TV “technique”. Don’t be afraid to move or use your body while staying within the frame of the shot. Casting Directors, Producers, writers and directors all want to be excited and inspired by your creative choices and energy

3. Wear your most comfortable old jeans and sloppy sneakers. ( Unless you are absolutely sure that’s what the character would wear or that the camera person will NOT include that view in the frame).

4. Forget to powder- even guys. A shiny nose or forehead might project nervousness or “flop sweat” not just that you have oily skin.

5. Don’t announce your name, agent, your height, weight or dress size and then start “acting”- very unbelievable. Try to be “in character” when the camera starts rolling- not caught in a static, stunned or stiff position. If you must announce your name, take a moment to shift gears and get into character before starting the scene.

P.S. Need help going forward? Let’s chat- just request a complimentary Career Consult with me here.


Random Choices Equal a Random Career

0314-IP(V3)Ever wonder why your career isn’t working? As Marketing Expert I see this syndrome over and over…

“I need new head shots…oh, I’m waiting for that student clip for my demo reel…oooh- it’s so bad I can’t show it to an agent!…I guess I’ll take YET another class to meet that casting director…maybe they’ll hire me…or not… I should cut my hair…OK, I’ll pay to meet with a top agent…gee, that didn’t work out…why didn’t they call? They really LIKED ME. So why can’t I get in the door to audition for that TV series? I know I could do the role better than _____…I’ll take another workshop…no, I’ll get new head shots…”

This list of random choices goes on and on… “quick fixes” for a career that is going nowhere, at least for the present.Why? Because you lack a PLAN , FOCUS and the guidance of a MENTOR to make your career more successful. Nobody can do this on their own with or without a road map. Here is a new strategy.


STOP using pictures that don’t sell you, a demo reel that’s half finished or full of roles written by students and very “artistic” indie directors- (not in the mainstream of the REAL Prime Time or Film markets).

STOP taking classes hoping to meet that perfect industry Pro who will hire you. (exception: If they’re a good teacher and you NEED what they are teaching, great!)

STOP paying to meet Agents in a 3-5 minute meeting- NO ONE in their right mind will offer to sign you and represent you after knowing you for a few minutes. That’s like a blind date offering to marry you 5 minutes after meeting you at a bar! Eek! Run! Would you really marry someone from speed-dating? How do’ ya think it’ll work out? Well, the TV, Film and theater BIZ is similar and your relationship with an agent is actually very personal. They need to know you and you need to get to know them. So instead of random choices hoping for  the best-

1. Get advice from a Marketing expert and Make a plan

This isn’t difficult or just means focusing and writing down what you want and THEN making tangible steps to get it. But here’s the trick. If you have an Expert in the room when you make your list and you ask a few questions, guess what happens? You revise your list and the steps to get there because you will have NEW information that you didn’t know before- Like how it really works.

An Expert can cut through the delusion of how you think the business works versus what’s really going to get you to the next level.

I love top Marketing guru’s like T. Harv Eker and attending seminars with super bright people like him. He asks tough questions like,“Ever climb Everest? Ever do it alone?”

Laughter. The entire room of intelligent people just laugh. Even with guides it’s tough and only a tiny percentage of climbers in the best of weather get to Camp 4 ,The Death Zone let alone the summit … So, why do you think you can climb the craggy peaks of the Hollywood Film industry or the NY Theater industry alone?  Better question, Why waste 3-5 years  just getting to the base camp when this can be done in 3-5 months with  a coach?

2. Get A Marketing Package Catered To You…not stuff that doesn’t work.
Are you sure that your picture is getting you tons of auditions? What are you missing ? Is your website really selling you? Is your demo reel to die for? (and less than 1.5 minutes?) With a marketing package you get all the tools you need ASAP…like in a flash with a huge discount and a payment plan.Bet you that no photographer, webmaster or videographer/editor will give you 3-6 months to pay while you , right? Get the goods NOW, right? uh-huh, we do!

3. Get Personally Introduced To The Industry
Other coaches –life coaches, casting director- turned -coaches, managers-turned coaches may offer marketing “biz of the biz” group classes or even one-on-ones to teach you how to get in the door to a top agent. If you have a coach who is ONLY teaching you how to write cover letters (eek…that’s so 1980 right there), you’re in trouble. Most Agencies and Casting Directors these days have computers and the internet..the paper trail is almost faded away. Not that many industry pro’s open paper mail-who has time?

So, Bottom line? Stop unnecessary spending- going and doing ..if it doesn’t work, SCRAP IT! Focus, know your goals and write them out but do so with a Marketing expert in the room to advise you. Result? You’ll get to the summit!

P.S. Need help going forward and just wanna chat? REQUEST a complimentary 15 minute Career Consult with me HERE.

10 Concepts That Will Transform Your Career

0314-IP(V3)1. Think Like A Business, Not Like A “Starving Artist”. Create systems and consistent marketing campaigns to sell your “brand”.

2. Make No Assumptions. Don’t assume you need a top agent before one appears. Don’t assume that you booked that job because your audition was good. Don’t assume that what works for a fellow actor will work for you. Don’t assume that a movie star will be a good actor or vice versa. Just don’t assume. Stay alert and observe.

3. Hire The Best Coach/Mentor You Can Find To “Open Doors.” No one ever got there alone. Why would YOU be the exception? A Coach can personally refer you to an agent. Why waste 3 years sending out pictures/resumes? Duh!

4. Don’t Follow The Herd. Know what you want, what you’re selling and never give up. Don’t hang out with those who are unfocused, draining or negative. Go your own way.

5. Look For Opportunity Everywhere. Create your own work by finding top professionals- writers, producers, directors – and hire them to develop your projects. Everything is negotiable.

6. “Live The Part” of a successful actor (and Dress it)! You’ll get more roles. You become what you think and project.

7. Waste No Time. Know what you want and go for it. There’s no reason to cling to one area of the industry, one city, one agent. Stay in the moment, stay focused but keep moving forward.

8. Play Out YOUR Agenda, not someone else’s – director, producer, agent, manager or parents. It’s YOUR life not theirs.

9. If It Doesn’t Work, Scrap It. Or do it over- head shot, hairstyle, wardrobe, agent relationship, manager. Don’t hang on because “something is better than nothing”. Nothing is better because it clears the air and opens the door for what IS going to work.

10. STOP All Unnecessary Activity And Expenses So You Can Focus On What You Want Now. Find employment that will give you enough free time and cash flow to develop your career. And never accept a role that doesn’t give you growth, development, opportunity and/or MONEY. Those are ALL good reasons not “because someone wanted you to play the part.”

P.S. Need help going forward and just wanna chat? REQUEST a complimentary 15 minute Career Consult with me here

The Olympic Mindset

0314-IP(V3)I always like to look at role models- people who have achieved their goals with great success. There are few things more thrilling than watching great performances. It’s inspiring! That’s why I love watching the Olympics. There’s something to be learned by evaluating the qualities that make up Olympic Winners.

There are few careers more demanding than being an Olympic athlete- being an actor (or any creative professional- designer, writer, director, singer, stylist) who succeeds over incredible odds to star/work in major films and TV series might be one of them. How do YOU compare to an Olympic Gold Medal Winner? Do you have a Winning Mindset? What qualities do these athletes have that make them Winners? What is the OLYMPIC MINDSET?

1. They LOVE what they do.

You can see the joy in every moment they are competing. They didn’t enter the race for the sake of the medal…they entered because they love to compete and do the best they can with their unique talent. They’re having FUN!

2.They have a strong BELIEF in themselves.

Confident that they could get to the podium, they talk about their skill and desire to win very naturally, “I am going to do this- it’ll work out!”

3. They have FOCUS and the ABILITY to follow through.

Even if it takes years of practice, set-backs, and injuries they never lose sight of their goal.It may take years with one set-back but they’re back 4 years later!

4. They see a CLEAR VISION.

Most Olympians talk about how they visualized themselves being exactly where they are and those visualizations started when they were very young. They knew exactly what they wanted to do and could see it clearly.

5. They have incredible DISCIPLINE and WILLPOWER.

No matter what the weather,the season or their physical condition they persist in a strict and consistent schedule of training both physically and mentally. No excuses!

6. They are CREATIVE and UNIQUE.

They have the courage to do things their way.They break records because they are in tune with their own bodies and spirit, “This is how I do this…and it works for me!”

7. They have HUMILITY and embrace SIMPLICITY.

They are not complicated as people.Life is about achieving their goal and not allowing anything no matter how trivial- to get in their way; habits, diet, finances, relationships..everything is put in perspective for the higher goal. You don’t frequently see “ego trips” or “trauma dramas” because there simply isn’t time in their life for such things.

So, do you have an Olympic Mindset?

P.S. Need help going forward? Let’s chat- just request a complimentary Career Consult with me here.


Creating your Network- Doubling your income

0314-IP(V3)First of all what is a network? How does that relate to being an actor?

“A network is a large group of people who communicate, are interconnected and work together as a system.”

If you create a network you double, triple, exponentially multiply your work opportunities a gazillion times. The more people who know you, like you, want to work with you, the more work you will get. Then, the process of submissions, auditions and trying to get work is reduced to zero. Offers come out of nowhere from people who know you, have been referred to you, have seen your work. It’s like virus marketing or the internet which is a humongous network. Career-wise you can then focus on just doing the work-a film, a play, a new prime time series.

You become a working actor, not an actor trying to get work.

So how do you build a network? How do you get a team of people on your side to represent you? Submit you for roles? Hire you? Create projects for you? Develop your career until you are at the top?

Here is a roadmap:

1. Create a database of people you know-

Maybe that’s only 10 at the moment: other actors, playwrights, directors, a few casting directors, agents you met through a “pay-to meet”, a personal manager, an acting teacher. Enter their names in a database with email capacity. There are many database email programs out there. We use Constant Contact. There’s also Icontact, eweber, infusionsoft, Mad Mimi, Mail Chimp -numerous companies and software but CC is easy to learn, has 5 minute tutorials and is free for the first 2 months – while you try it out. Then, if you sign up, it’s affordable.

2. Grow your list weekly by meeting more agents, casting directors, writers, directors.

Join organizations where you can network-NY Theater Meet-ups, AFI, Shooting People, Director’s Guild, AFTRA, SAG, AEA, NY Women in Film and TV, LA Women in Film & TV, New Dramatists Guild, theater groups, acting companies…anything that will allow you to meet more people in the industry. If you know 5 people you will probably NEVER get an acting job. If you know 50 you might get a call, an audition, a job once a year. If you know 500, you’ll get a job once a week!

3. Enter all the names of your contacts and check out the graphics, templates and usage of the program.

It allows you to send out everything from press releases to holiday cards, download a photo into your personal messages (create your own stationary), design flyers, etc. Even if you are challenged on the computer-this is easy. It’s all done for you with a few clicks. Not too difficult.

4. Start by sending out a few – “Hi! How are you doing’? Just wanted to say hello and tell you what I’m up to…” messages.

As it becomes easier, send out an announcement when you are in a show, when you book a commercial, get a callback for a film, are appearing in an under 5 on a Soap, to wish them a Happy Birthday, Happy Labor Day, Happy Thanksgiving…there are templates for every reason, season and you can design more to relate to your career progress.

5. When you have a new demo reel or a new website, send a link in an email so they can see your most recent accomplishment and work .

This seems like a lot of fuss but it’s not any different than sending messages on Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace, only you are accomplishing a whole lot more. You are building not only your network of people who like you. You are building your career. Just like in the Tipping Point (a book you should read by Malcolm Gladwell) you suddenly have reached a critical mass- a list of 100 or 250 or more. Friends and Agents will forward your info on to other interested parties- Casting Directors who were looking for your type or tuned in to see you or Googled you when they were casting something. It all comes together. And you start working.

How long does this process take? Depends on how actively you apply the concept and follow up with the system. Months, a year or two. Isn’t that better than staying in the same spot sending your resumes and post cards out and paying to meet one Industry contact at a time or having one audition at a time? Give it a shot!

Be Brilliant!

gwyn signature- mid blue



P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Audio Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here…

Your Most Important Marketing Tool- Your Website

0314-IP(V3)Your website is probably the most important overall marketing tool you can have. Why? It encompasses all of your marketing tools under one umbrella- Your Website is your store, your home front. Even when you are out of town and an Agent calls, they can see your work and forward it on to someone who is interested in casting and hiring you!! Your Website works for  you while you sleep!!! And it is living, ever-changing as you grow and  develop. You can add new clips from movies and TV series. You can add new photos from vacations and interesting events which you attend, world travel, new voice-overs and singing CD’s, a weekly blog so we learn a little bit about your interests, political or social viewpoints, personal and writing style.

Here’s the breakdown-
1. WELCOME PAGE. Use a head shot that most accurately shows your personality and include a greeting- “Welcome to my site!” or something appropriate to your brand and personality. Use your favorite colors, favorite outfit or include something personal- your  “everyday” hat, designer jeans, your motorcycle or your pet-the professional stuff comes next.

2. LIFESTYLE or HEAD SHOT(S). Try to put 2-3 or more photos here. Use a smiling shot showing teeth which works
for commercials, a dramatic or “edgy” shot which is good for Prime time drama or theater and a playful one-either full length
3/4 shot or head shot for Sitcoms,pilots, web-i-sodes, romantic comedy films. Go for it!  Best bet? Get Lifestyle photos showing all 4 of your marketable roles!  Just be consistent with your TYPE – You in different moods, roles and wardrobe.

3. RESUME. Your musical theater resume could be on one page. Your “straight” acting resume on another and even a
mini-commercial resume-if you have a tons of stuff running-on another. How cool is that? You can’t pass out 3 resumes to
an Agent but you can show a real “range” of talent and credits on your website. And if you are already working with an agent,
they have a choice of which resume to download and forward on to a Casting Director. The easier you make their job, the more
jobs you’ll get! Update frequently!

4. BIO. This should be 4 short paragraphs with the highlights of your career including quotes from major industry people you
worked with or review quotes from plays and theater productions, readings or workshops you did, things not found on your resume- even photos from productions you did on stage or stills from a movie shoot.

5. SIZZLE REELS. A short, fun, fast-paced “trailer” of many of your clips from series, films, pilots. The longer versions can stand alone on your website- 1-2 minutes of each particular clip with a title and mini-summary. But the “sizzle” will be the first thing that an Agent or CD will look at. Why? It’s short-1 minute, fast-paced, easy to watch and will show your range without their having to sit through a whole scene. Find a good editor and make a sizzle- everyone loves sizzles. Make your career experience look like a hot trailer from a  hit movie!! And it will sell you!

6. BLOG. This is a great opportunity to show our own style, really demonstrate through anecdotes WHO you are. Remember an agent will want to know more about you than how you audition and if you get a callback. You can talk about your interests, your personal views and show a sense of humor. The more they KNOW YOU, LIKE YOU, TRUST YOU…the more people will hire you.

7. PERSONAL PHOTOS. These are from your professional and
personal life. Just like Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media
sites, your own website is a base where others can read about
you as well as get your basic professional info. The more events you attend or play readings, workshops, showcases you are involved in, the more photos you can post.

Yes, there will be
 Google links and listings. If an agent can find you all over the internet performing on stage, meeting top film
producers at charity events with celebrities, lunching with film directors, shooting “Indie” projects-they will be more impressed
than just the little listing on IMDB (which isn’t always accurate).

Show that you’re pro-active in both your acting career and life! Show us that you are a daring mountain climber, a sailor, can ride a Harley, look great in a bikini, can roller blade and be really cool while lounging in a Paris cafe or on the beach in Maui….all that will enhance your marketability as a actor. Film directors will actually see you in their projects from those photos. And last, hugging your dog or cat makes you very lovable!

What Not To Put On Your Website:
1. Intimate photos that shouldn’t be shared on the internet-of course, nothing nude or sexually explicit.

2. Photos or info about your children, personal residence, address or anything that might (1 in a million, but still) provoke
a stalker or nut case to follow or harass you. Protect your family.

3. Mention or photos of your spouse unless you work together in a band, as part of a comedy team, a dance duet, etc. Sometimes mentioning a spouse or children can lose you a job if they think you might not want to leave home for a long period of time to shoot a film thousands of miles away from them. Or you might give the impression that you won’t be available if it is an action adventure, dangerous project in which you wouldn’t want to become involved. Deal with the specific when it arises but keep the field clear for offers.
Be Brilliant!

gwyn signature- mid blue



P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Audio Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here…

Are you Wile E. Coyote or The Road Runner?

0314-IP(V3)A lot of actors run around chasing an elusive agent or the career they only dream about much like Wile E. Coyote – you know from those outrageous Looney Tunes?  Let me give you an example:

  *Self submitting on actor’s access a good thing for getting your first few non-paying or non-union jobs but it won’t bring  you the higher level roles that are out there. It’s a  good starting strategy. It’s for beginners and non-union actors. Getting paid for a project – LESS than 1-2% of actors are paid.

  *Doing Indie films, student films, non-union commercials...some of these may be good but most are mediocre because those guys- students, beginners- are also starting out- creating their first film and still figuring things out- not quite professional level work. Getting Paid or getting viable clips – 3-5%.

* LIVE showcases There are exceptions like a great theater troupe with talented writers and actors in NYC) but generally they run the gamut from actors producing their own scene night or just paying to  meet Agents and CD’s and showing your work with a monologue. Many CD’s will  see your work, comment, rave, compliment but not hire. Unless your timing is amazing and they are casting EXACTLY your type that day, that week,they have no reason to call you in. And within a week they’ve seen hundreds more actors and forgotten you. So paying to meet or having industry see you in a “scene night” isn’t the best idea or the most efficient way to get cast. Most self-produced showcases are Not attended by industry Professionals- all that work,rehearsal, expense! Response Rate 1-2%.

(Paying to meet Casting Directors TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP and BUILD A NETWORK  of Professionals who know you, like you and trust you is a good idea.) 

*Casting Director Workshops and Seminars – These can be good opportunities to get some training on camera-doing scenes or just the experience of cold copy “readings” with CD’s. But getting work from these seminars? You don’t develop a career from constantly taking classes. Response Rate 1-2%.

*Webisodes…some are very funny, entertaining and some get “picked up” but most,sadly, are amateur or mediocre. The market is glutted with actors producing their own series- it was a great idea in 2008. Response rate: less than 1%.

*Sending a paper submission– head shot, resume and postcards...very traditional and can work for some- however, many Agents and CD’s don’t want paper clutter and want a Green office- would prefer an email. Unless you are “to- die- for- gorgeous” or under 16 or over 85- someone extremely unusual or highly rare AND marketable- they already have a dozen of you. Response rate: 1-2%

*Social Media-Facebooking or tweeting...some agents request this but many are annoyed if you crash their wall or facebook page. Do your research carefully. Don’t SPAM. Response rate stats. 0%

Of course, as an actor you have to publicize and promote yourself. But instead of wasting a lot of time like Wile E.- blowing up things with defective dynamite from the Acme company, paying for “tools” that don’t work or jumping off cliffs,  why not cut to the chase, literally? Figure out the best way to get your career jump started and follow that path. How to do that?

Be a Road Runner. He knows where he’s going so he can go faster. He has a sense of humor and enjoys what he is doing- look at the innocent and amused expression on his face- nothing bothers him. He’s just doing what he loves and has mastered it.  

Wile E. is angry, frustrated, and just inept at what he does. Plus he’s not paying  attention. Half the time he runs so fast without looking where he’s going that he’s responsible for running off the cliff. He has created his own bad luck and bad timing.  Nothing works. Sound familiar?

So here are some of the lessons and strategies from LOONEY TUNES:
1- Know your Road so you can go at top speed.  Translation– know your market, study the show(s) you’re right for- TV, FILM, THEATER and target  your niche- what  roles you can play and who you resemble, your TYPE. Seriously. This is the key to playing that role which will recur in many different series. Prime time and films USE FORMULAS and TEMPLATES.

2- Know How to Run…FAST.   Translation: Be up to sof your game with amazing marketing tools – are your head shots or demo reel from Acme? (Watch Looney Tunes to find out more about Acme). Know how to present yourself. When you meet a Casting  Director are you walking into the room as a TOP VIABLE PRODUCT -i.e. “STAR”  and giving a brilliant audition or are you just showing up as  an average actor giving a good audition? Good isn’t good enough. Everyone’s good.  To book you have to be TEN TIMES BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3- Love the Process of Running.Translation: When you meet an Agent are you a “Hoot” to talk to? (Midwestern slang: Are you fun, likeable, someone who loves being an actor, a real asset to their roster?) Most top agents I know sign actors who they LIKE. They have to work with them daily and promote them and “go to bat” for them. Who would do that for even a talented actor who’s also: BORING, DULL, SELF-CENTERED, ANGRY, TENSE, EGOTISTICAL OR SHY? EEK!  No one!

4- Honk your Horn with JOY. Beep-Beep! Translation: Do you promote yourself or reluctantly shy away from announcing who and what you are- what you have to offer? Your presentation whether it’s on paper, on video or in person should  reflect your happiness at BEING YOU!

5- Be clever and spontaneous. When there’s an obstacle in your path do you figure out how to get around it or complain, suffer, try to blow it up, give up? The Road Runner just jumps over, goes through, laughs and Beep Beeps! No translation needed.

Ok, So besides the “Lessons and strategies ” from a silly cartoon, the other option you have is to seek out a Master – a Marketing Mentor who can work with you ONE-on-ONE,  create a marketing program specifically for you and call an AGENT or two!  Response rate: Getting Representation 95%   

CUT TO THE CHASE! Keep running-FAST! (slow isn’t FUN!)

That’s all Folks!

Be Brilliant!

gwyn signature- mid blue




P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Winning Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here..

What a Marketing Coach Can Do For You

0314-IP(V3)When you work with a Marketing Coach, you are in touch weekly to accomplish all the things that will make you confident, prepared and professional. Just having a head shot and resume is not enough- a first step, maybe, but to be really up-to-speed you need both marketing tools and marketing tactics. And for that you need a coach.

A Coach breaks down the larger projects to achieving your goals into smaller, easier “to do” steps that are fun and creative. For example, if you need new marketing tools (head shot, resume re-designed, sizzle scene, website), a coach will help you find the best photographer, a great graphic artist who captures your style and personality so your credits “pop” off the page, a video-grapher and editor to shoot and edit your sizzle reel and a brilliant web designer all at the best possible price. So, first your coach helps you find the best Pro’s you need, gets the best deal and then helps you follow through to get the best tools.

Your Coach is a project manager seeing that the job gets done on schedule- this month head shots, next month, a sizzle reel, next week, working on a new monologue, the following week, going over your audition wardrobe or updating your resume. When you add up all the little steps there’s real progress. You could do all this on your own but somehow it might take you longer and you may not make the best choices. With an expert, a Master Coach, the decisions are easy. And correct. A coach knows what works and what doesn’t.

When all your tools are first rate and complete, a coach helps you to make a marketing campaign so you can introduce yourself to the top Agents and CD’s. Your Coach can guide you on: how to communicate with the Industry, what to say, how to promote you, when and how often to send emails, postcards, invitations and links to your website.

Your Coach is there for you when a major audition or opportunity arises: a Broadway audition for which you’ve prepped or a screen test for a feature film. No worries! You coach can advise on :what to wear, what to say, how to follow through, how best to handle the experience. A 24/7 policy on phone calls or emails to your coach is an absolute necessity so you can obtain valuable advice when you need it and are always prepared.

A Coach helps you set up a SYSTEM so your career is almost on autopilot- you are prepared. In summary, you work with your coach weekly, create excellent marketing tools, plan marketing campaigns, target agents & casting directors and then you are introduced to the Industry by a personal referral from your Coach. In short, you’ve set up your system for success!

And remember, a coach keeps you inspired and enthusiastic as well as making all the work FUN!

Be Brilliant!

gwyn signature- mid blue



P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Winning Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here..

What Makes a Good Monologue?

0314-IP(V3)   1. One that entertains us. No one in the industry wants to watch an actor working really hard to impress them with their “acting” when the piece is boring to begin with. Choose a monologue you LOVE doing so WE WILL LOVE WATCHING YOU.

2. One that “fits you like a glove” so we believe you.Know your type and range as far as being cast-age appropriate and physically accurate. It’s agonizing to watch a 25 year old try to be 45 or vice versa, a guy from Minnesota try to be an Italian Mafioso from Brooklyn or a plain Jane try to pull off being a femme fatale. A monologue is the time to SHOW WHO YOU ARE not add layers of dialects, character traits, a limp or something outrageous to impress. Avoid props UNLESS it is so essential to the scene that it won’t work without one. If they can’t tell you are “acting”, THAT IS GOOD ACTING.

3. One that is serio-comedic – not just comedic or tragic.Show us some change in emotion but keep us laughing. Serio-comedic monologues are my favorite choices. Start with a piece that is funny, quirky and gets people to laugh and then “turn the screw”. Hit them with something that’s heartbreaking or touching. They’re already in your corner and you’ve won them over! Be compelling to get them involved in LIKING YOU, LOVING YOU, HIRING YOU!

4.One that has an “arc” or story line-it  “goes somewhere”. Avoid the JOHNNY ONE-NOTE monologues that show one emotion throughout. Boring. Tedious. Nothing worse than watching someone rant and rave angrily at the audience for 4 minutes. EEEk! Tell a story, we all love to hear stories with twists and turns. BRING US ALONG WITH YOU.

5. Keep it short 1-2 minutes is better than 4-5. Every agent I ever met made up their minds about an actor in less than 10 seconds. After 2 minutes they change their mind and it goes the other way. STAY WITHIN THEIR ATTENTION SPAN OR TIME ALLOWANCE AND YOU’LL HAVE MORE SUCCESS.

6. One that has an element of “surprise”. If the audience is 3 steps ahead of your “acting” they get bored very fast. Shift gears suddenly and change your mood or voice. Find a way to keep us on the edge of our seats, wondering what will happen next? EVERYONE LOVES TO BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED.

7. One that shows YOU are a winner.When you leave the room, what will they think of you? What was your lasting impression? Will they cast you? Call you back or shrug? Most importantly don’t choose a loser, someone who whines, complains or is a victim. Everyone loves to watch feisty characters. They don’t like to watch losers. LEAVE THEM THINKING YOU ARE AMAZINGLY COURAGEOUS- A PIRATE, A REBEL, A SURVIVOR!

8. One that is NOT full of foul language, swearing, rude sexual innuendos unless it is so essential to the character (who in spite of the language is funny as well as in some quirky way a winner). But be careful. Well written monologues like that are few and far between and most actors aren’t clever enough to pull them off. You run the risk of alienating everyone within earshot and then looking like a mediocre actor on top of it. CHOOSE GOOD WRITING OVER SOMETHING FLASHY TO IMPRESS.

9. Don’t use a recognizable piece that a movie star did really well. You’ll be compared to that star and you won’t WIN. (Examples: Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting or Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted). Those monologues are done badly with actors who simply lacked the personality -YES, personality, NOT talent-to pull it off. Don’t go there. You are not Matt Damon or Angelina Jolie. Find a likeable character and do the monologue your way. Then you will be a winner!

Be Brilliant!

gwyn signature- mid blue



P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Winning Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here..