Starting Your Career as an Actor

Overview

This practical and entertaining guide readies the uninitiated actor to navigate the ridiculous, impossible, and often heartbreaking world of the acting industry. This book will expose actors to the ins and outs of the world's (second) oldest profession. Topics include how to be "discovered," what to expect from training programs, the grunt work of starting a career, how to persevere in the face of rejection, the new digital world for actors, and much more.

 Experienced actor and screenwriter Jason Pugatch ...

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Starting Your Career as an Actor

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Overview

This practical and entertaining guide readies the uninitiated actor to navigate the ridiculous, impossible, and often heartbreaking world of the acting industry. This book will expose actors to the ins and outs of the world's (second) oldest profession. Topics include how to be "discovered," what to expect from training programs, the grunt work of starting a career, how to persevere in the face of rejection, the new digital world for actors, and much more.

 Experienced actor and screenwriter Jason Pugatch offers a fresh, hip, and invaluable industry perspective, with sidebar quotations, charts, and timelines, and a quick-reference appendix of the acting trade. Packed with myth-shattering anecdotes and told in a personal tone, Starting Your Career as an Actor is the backstage guide that every aspiring actor must read.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581159110
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,365,096
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Acting Is a Job xv

Chapter 1 A Brief History of the Actor: (or How to Respond to the Statement, "I'm Doing a Restoration Comedy, Mom") 1

The Greeks: Fathers of It All 3

Romans and Christians: A Very Brief History 6

The Italians, the French (Women Start Reading Here) 7

The Brits: Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration 8

The Nineteenth Century: From Melodrama to Modern Drama 10

From Stanislavski to Brando 12

The Russian Manifesto 12

And the Beat Goes On 14

Brando and the Chicken 16

The Film Age 17

Chapter 2 The Lay of the Land, Part One: The Neon Lights May Need Replacing: About the Theater Industry 19

Broadway 21

Off-Broadway 23

AEA Off-Broadway Agreement 24

Off-Off-Broadway 26

The Regional Theatre 27

Lort Salary Scale 27

Major Regional Theaters You Should Know and be Happy to Work At 28

The Touring Landscape 29

The Unions 30

Union Yes! 33

The Balancing Act: Plays, Musicals, and Celebrities 34

Chapter 3 The Lay of the Land, Part Two: Hurry Up and Wait: The Film and Television Business for the New York Actor 37

The Barren Television Landscape in New York 39

Soaps (Yes, They Still Exist) 42

AFTRA TV Pay Rates 43

Sketch, Late Night, and Cable 45

Film 46

Low Budget 47

The Windfalls: Commercials and Pilots 49

Residuals 49

Pilot Season 50

Chapter 4 To Train or Not to Train 55

Graduate School 58

The Mark of a Trained Actor 59

Training for the Business of Acting 60

The Regional Theater/Graduate School Partnership 62

Civilians Make Good 64

The Top Graduate Programs in the Country 64

The Showcase 66

Other Options 69

Chapter 5 Beauty or Beast: Typecasting 71

First Impressions 75

Looks versus Type 76

Skin Deep 77

Some Type Categories and Buzzwords 78

Your Fighting Weight 79

The Ponytail 81

The Best Version of Me 83

Chapter 6 One in a Million: Starting Out 85

Tools of the Trade: Pictures and Résumés 88

Reproductions 90

Let's Get Digital 92

Promotion 93

Making Connections 95

Readings 96

Being a Reader 97

Finding a Money Job 98

Some Money Jobs for Actors 99

Get Validated 100

An Actor with Drive 101

Chapter 7 These Are the People in My Neighborhood: Agents and Other Necessities 107

Commercial Agents 111

Negotiation? 113

Legit Agents 115

Size Matters 116

The Agent Meeting 120

Be Wary 122

Managers 123

Do You Need a Manager? 124

Actors Agents and Managers: Notes from the Underground 128

Why Nobody Knows Me 128

Marin's Meetings 129

Signing versus Freelancing 132

Too Big for Your Agent 133

Chapter 8 The Casting Game 135

Casting for a Day 140

Sample Breakdown 141

Pistol-Packing Actor 149

Setting into the Neighborhood 150

Chapter 9 Job Hunting: A Day in the Life of an Actor 153

Job Hunting: A Day in the Life of an Actor

Gruntwork 155

Subscribers 155

The Represented Actor 160

The Commercial Audition 161

Crank It Up 165

Television and Film Auditions 165

The Theater Audition 170

Audition Timetable 171

Theater Auditions 172

A Fun-Filled Acting Day 173

Chapter 10 On Set, On Stage: On the Job 179

Working in Episodic Television and Film 181

On Hold 182

Working in Commercials 187

Working in Daytime 189

Working in the Theater 194

Understudying 195

Regional Theater 196

The Rehearsal Process 197

What Does a Producer Do, Anyway? 197

Chapter 11 Los Angeles 203

A Matter of Taste 207

Ira Glass on Storytelling 207

Hollywood High 208

L.A. Stories 210

Jon 211

Kat and Me 214

Chapter 12 Turkey Dogs and the Economic Realities of Acting 217

Taking a Loss 220

Income: What You'll Make Working in Theater 222

Off-Broadway Minimum Weekly Salary Schedule 225

Earnings 226

Income: What You'll Make Working in Television and Film 228

2010 SAG TV Pay Rates 229

Payment 231

Income: What You'll Make Working in Commercials 233

W-4s 236

Unemployment Benefits 237

Health Insurance 238

A Financial Year in the Life 240

Chapter 13 Don't Call Us: Dealing with Rejection 245

The Human Toll 251

Coping 254

One Line Does Count 255

You Can Get Arrested in This Town 256

Chapter 14 The Rewards: Charting Your Success 259

Overnight Success 261

Advice 266

Appendix A A Few Online Resources 271

Appendix B The Actor's Dictionary 273

Index 281

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