Actors Toolbox: The Basics

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What Every Actor Needs to do Today

Being a successful actor isn’t just about being able to act, it’s about being able to live. Yes, there are some examples of completely hopeless humans who are amazing actors, but they are exceptions! Here are my five basic tips on practically preparing yourself for success. A look at what every needs to do today.

Learn how to wake up

One of the most important skills an actor can possess is how to get out of bed. Some of us work hard at night, some of us play hard at night, neither of these are reasons to be half-asleep for your audition at 9:00am. Working actors regularly start their days at 5:00am, so if you can’t get yourself out of bed, you’re stuffed.

Exercise

“But I’m a comedian, it’s good to be fat!” No. Just, no. This isn’t about being ripped/pudgy, it’s about your mental health.

In my experience there are two ways of coping with the constant rejection of auditioning. Drinking alcohol, or exercising. Now, I’m not saying I’m a saint, but I know getting your blood pumping and endorphins circulating is a much healthier option than smashing ten beers. This industry is emotionally demanding, so keep your body healthy and give you mind a break.  

running

Get a financial buffer

The drought/flood nature of our industry means there will be times when your bank account is fat and other times when is in thin. Creating a financial buffer for yourself will help you avoid making professional choices based on your immediate income/out-going balance sheet. I try and keep $3000 in my account, and pretend like it’s not there. This is particularly important around pilot season where you may have to pay for coaching or extra help with a self test when you’re too busy to work.

Get your driver’s license

In the past three years I have filmed 3 advertising campaigns that required a valid driver’s license. If you don’t have yours you could be leaving serious amounts of money on the floor. I understand some people can’t afford a car or are scared of driving and that’s fine, but get your license just in case. You never know, that job might help you buy your own little Bat Mobile.

car

Get a valid Passport

A very talented actor friend of mine recently told me she didn’t have a current passport. And it blew me away. A trained actor, auditioning for international projects, in the busiest time of the year, WITHOUT A PASSPORT!? Studios don’t have time to wait for you to get a passport, so make sure your’s is up to date. Also, make sure your agent has a copy so that if you’re uncontactable they can get the ball rolling on your behalf.

About the Author

is trained as an actor at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He is now a professional actor based in Sydney, Australia. He recently finished working with Mel Gibson on his upcoming feature, Hacksaw Ridge.

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