The REAL job of an actor

Actor Monica Flanagan and I had a discussion about how different it is to be auditioning as an actor v. being the person making the calls. No kidding right? But the reason why that's important to remember is that actors for sure will learn valuable and practical things about their job after spending time on the other side. Now, you can do that by being an intern in a casting agency, working as a stage manager or maybe an assistant manager, etc, but not everyone can find the opportunities to do that, or has the time and energy to do so. And that's what I'm here. To tell you what Monica learned from being on the other side. Here it is.

You are judged by your physique. Sure, you knew that, but it's even more than being a type. It's about the angles of your face, about the energy that gets through your headshot, about the actual color hair you have (no wig on tv), and definitely your weight (tv will make you look fatter for sure). It's about being cool and in style, and understanding how the clothes you wear can be in style and match the character you're auditioning for all at once, while standing out (it seems obvious, but in practice it's almost contradictory).

So, Monica's conclusion is that if average actors get parts because they look the parts, and that good actors don't always get the part because they don't quite look the part, her job as an actor is not only to act great but as importantly, to:
  • Be in style: as in this month's style, not last month's. Make sure to wear clothes that fit your body, no matter how much not-average your body is (I'm short and I have to sew each pair of pants I ever buy).
  • Be in shape: not only for tv,  but also for tours and Broadway. Even if you know that you're overall fine and that you could get hired for a job that requires you to get even more fit, do it before they give the gig to somebody who already has the abs. 
  • Take care of yourself: clean, legs or face shaved, make up on, etc.
    Let's face it, we would all love for our art to be the only thing we have to be responsible for, but if the only to get to do that is to put up with some other more annoying things, well it's up to us to make that call.


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