3 Key Factors In Getting A Part
Lets start with the first key factor, #1 Talent. We all know that it takes talent to be successful as an actor in this industry. Some people are born with a lot of talent and others must develop their talent into something that is much more substantial than what they were born with. In either case, you must acquire the skills needed to express your talent in a way that creates your work in a very exciting way.
Steve Martin said something about this very subject, and it’s really brilliant. It’s very simple, but very brilliant. “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.”
What he is saying is forget the secret backdoors, the gimmicks and tricks, the frustration of feeling that you’re missing some mystical element, and focus on just one thing, become really damn good. Become extraordinary. Take the talent that you have and become so skillful they can’t forget you.
So, I thought, here you are, all dedicated actors in this acting class working hard at honing your craft. And then somebody comes up to you and says, “Oh, guess what? I just tried this new thing and it’s a really cool trick and it’s so fabulous!” And it’s some cheap, old shortcut that doesn’t really do it, but everybody is sort of electrified by it. It’s the new thing. What Steve Martin is saying is to forget about tricks. That’s not it. You’ve got to work hard at it and be so good that they can’t ignore you. And, be extraordinary.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying that you’re not as talented as other actors, but it’s time wasted because it’s not about that. It’s about investing in yourself by working hard and not giving up. That is where our next key factor, #2 Skill, comes in. If you take acting classes and acting workshops to really hone your skills, you don’t need to resort to gimmicks and shortcuts. You don’t need to worry about having enough talent. Get the skills to find your voice as an actor and keep the focus on that. You’ll be distinct and original and they can’t ignore you.
Steve Martin started out as “the wild and crazy guy” and he was outrageous. He was so good, you couldn’t ignore him. He was so fresh, and so funny, and so unique. Who could ignore that? You laughed so hard you couldn’t stand it. He really was amazing. It was the combination of his talent and developing his skills as an actor/comedian that made him extraordinary.
Now on to #3 Attitude. Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” When I give seminars, one of the things that comes up is the actors’ training. Many actors know the value of being in scene study classes and audition classes to be sure they are always growing and on top of their game. Others feel taking a free workshop from time to time is enough. That’s an attitude problem as it shows a certain unwillingness and lack of interest in becoming the best actor they can be. Those are usually the people who complain when they aren’t booking work. The time, energy, and effort to succeed aren’t there and that’s an attitude problem.
Sometimes it takes a lot of work and the intention to succeed to make it happen. Maintaining that attitude isn’t always easy but it’s so necessary! So you can never, never, never give up.
I’ll leave you with this thought. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
By Lynette McNeill
Acting Coach & Director
Blog: 3 Key Factors In Getting A Part
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