Acting 101--First steps on how to get into the biz, so you can quit bugging me!



       
           As thousands of people employed by the burgeoning movie industry in Michigan. We are all praying that our Governor Elect, Dick, I mean, Rick Snyder doesn’t pull the plug on Michigan’s hopes and dreams. Just as the infrastructure is coming together, this would be a travesty. You can still get in on the action. Of course, I would do this before the movie industry leaves and follows the highest bidder.  Since most first timers looking to the movie industry to put food on their table wouldn’t know how to achieve this, I decided to interview acting coach Matt Lockwood (Michigan Actors Studio) for some pointers.

Matt on left, courtesy of Oakland Press...
                 Matt ‘s roots in theatre as Co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of Theatre of Mass Destruction in NYC. While performing locally with The Magenta Giraffe Theatre Co. and teaching at The Michigan Actors Studio, he has recently co-starred in “War Flowers” with Christina Ricci and Tom Berenger (filmed here at Unity Studio), “Answer This!” with local heavy hitters Frank Zeiger  (Alleged) and Cindy Chu (Red Dawn) and “American Virgin” directed by Clare Kilner (The Wedding Date with Debra Messing).


            His advice: Obvious first step—sign up for any of the numerous acting classes offered locally.  Next, get on a film set either by being an extra or “volunteering” to be in a student or independent film. Even if the indie is horrible, you will learn how to work with bad directors as well as good ones and there is something to be said for being able to make a bad part great.


Frank Zeiger right, photo from Alleged website
               Being a extra a few times will get you set experience. The days are long but you will learn things like the difference between a P.A. and an A.D.  A P.A. is the Production Assistant and the A.D. is the Assistant Director--wait until you try to figure out what the Second Second does, they are really the third A.D. but they are called the Second Second for some strange reason.  Who knows why they do the things they do in Hollywood. You can contact Real Style, they are the premiere extras casting agency in the area and can be reached at www.realstyleonline.com.


photopgraph from cindys portfolio
                  There are a few acting schools in the Metro Detroit area, The Michigan Actors Studio, The Actors Loft, The Dramatic Arts Studio, and a few more.  Make sure you check them out and, if you can, sit in on a class before you sign up. Most long time actors will continue training through classes, workshops, and private coaching. The first thing casting directors look at is experience, then they look at what training you have.


Till next time...

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