Can all those celebrity interviews and advice ever move your acting career to the next level?
Ummmm, no, not really.
You can definitely invest your time better when you’re in business-building, audition-getting mode. I just don’t believe you can expect really great, career-changing advice from A-List actors and celebrities. The evidence doesn’t support that.
Aside from the odd tip for your acting craft, you’re not going to get much info about how to truly get more auditions and book more jobs.
You won’t hear much about relationship building either.
Take Your Business of Acting beyond Acting 101
Today, I’m throwing back a few years to a Hollywood Reporter Roundtable discussion with true A-list movie celebrities. Matt Damon and Denzel Washington were among them.
This time, it was all male actors, so you’re getting their perspective.
I’m a huge fan of THR’s Roundtable series. It certainly helps you understand bits and pieces of the Industry better if you have limited experience.
But it tends to stop there. It’s not designed to be in-depth or comprehensive. It’s entertainment.
Aside from the odd nugget of business building insight, the roundtables with actors tend to be anecdotal.
And when they do talk business, they tend to focus primarily on craft.
Here’s the rub: Being good at your craft is Acting 101.
We want to take you to 201, 301 and Business of Acting grad school.
Would you like to get advanced and have an edge over your peers? Not a bad idea, right? If you are attempting to work professionally as an actor, and you need to be reminded that you need to sharpen your craft skills, then you’re already in trouble. You’re career might be dying already.
The acting craft basics need to become a given for you.
Once you internalize this, you can move on to the 201 level: Business of Acting for career and financial success.
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating. As much as I respect being in acting class – because it will keep your craft skills sharp – that is not enough to get you auditions and work as an actor.
Stop Confusing Entertainment with Education
Back in the 1990s, we found a level of intimacy with actors around their craft thanks to Inside the Actors Studio.
In actuality, that series was mostly about dishing about certain roles and working with other celebrities. We learned personal details about the stars that we otherwise would not get from tabloids.
It was the on-screen People magazine, upgraded-version of Entertainment Weekly. I enjoyed it for the stories as much as any other film and TV lover.
My most vivid memories are of Glenn Close admitting she’d hate to work in a toll both, and that she believes she ‘changes the energy’ between herself an an audience.
I cannot tell you how she built industry relationships and got more auditions though… She never said.
The show was entertainment. It was also academically about craft. The sponsoring producer of the show was an educational institution focusing on craft, not business, or understanding how you move forward within the Industry.
Today, we have Variety’s pleasant Actors on Actors series.
It’s shiny, it’s clean, and it’s insanely short. This new show pairs award-winning celebrities to ask each other questions about their craft and on-set experiences over 15 minutes.
That’s it, a snappy quarter of an hour. That’s all it’s worth hearing Cate Blanchett interview Ian McKellan apparently. Not surprising, it’s fairly superficial. That’s okay, though.
It’s entertainment, not business-related education.
If you want to see Jennifer Lopez take selfies with Felicity Huffman, and Tom Hiddleston be supremely awkward with Aaron Paul, then you’ll get a chuckle. I certainly do.
Apply Actual Education into Action Quick as You Can
I don’t pretend that I’m not interested in quality actors and the roles they play. Hey, I love the craft of acting as much as you do.
Sure, I want to know all about Johnny’s shoot on the last Pirates film. I adore that franchise, even despite the convoluted, lackluster 4th installment. And I wait with bated breath for the next one.
But I know that it’s not going to build much on my knowledge of how to master getting work within the Industry.
My mission is for you to start educating yourself on the business of acting, and getting personal experience of how the business of acting achieves your goals.
Want more auditions, and to book more jobs? Good, let’s talk strategy.
Want to have long-term relationships with casting directors who call you in directly for a role when there’s no time to put out a full casting call? Great, we can focus on building those friendships too.
So let’s look at your current time investment.
Tell me this: How much time are you investing in listening to celebrity interviews that are more personal or revelatory versus business-building?
I get it. It’s fun to hear about these people we feel so connected to. It’s actually vital, because it’s the same feeling you want to build with your audience and fanbase. Learn from it as though you’re in a free publicity class!
I don’t think you need to stop listening to celebrity interviews. Let it inform your craft, by all means.
But I think you must absolutely balance that out with solid business building skills and tools like the strategies you find here at Build Acting. Check out this article about taking greater control over your career.
Make it all about your career.
If you cannot apply the info to your career, then it’s just a story.
Check out the Roundtables over at The Hollywood Reporter here:
And here is my local link to watch the fun Variety series (watchable within the US):
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