Acting tips

Advice Summary

About your portfolio/resume
Be honest about your information, skills and skill level. Padding your resume is a sure way NOT to get picked. Never misrepresent yourself.
Include anything and everything you could possibly be credited for including: student films, any theater including high school performances, places you have studied, awards you have won, ANYTHING that can give you credit.

Submitting to casting calls
Don't submit to casting calls that you don't fit their demographic.
If there's an option for you to leave a note, leave a note. Be very detailed oriented when responding. If you submit to a casting call and it's incomplete, you are wasting our time and yours. Show that you're really interested in the project.
Most people submit their picture and that's it. Casting Directors usually ask you questions in the casting call that need to be answered in order to place you. Follow instructions!
Casting Directors will notice someone if they follow all the instructions listed in the casting call.
Read the entire casting call and really listen to what the Casting Director is looking for including age range, ethnicity, body type, experience, and more.

About Auditions
Be prepared. Be on time. Dress the way they requested you to dress. Know the Sides or Copy the Casting Director makes available for you.
When auditing for a commercial, be familiar with the product. Casting for a part in a McDonalds commercial is far different than casting for Victoria Secrets.
If you do not get the part, it's not personal. Don't get discouraged. You're just not what the network is looking for on that project.
Acting is a life of rejection, don't take it personal. Keep auditioning.
When going on an audition, be sure to look like the character you're casting for.
If auditioning for a TV Show, record and watch several episodes of that show. Get familiar with the Style of acting for that show. Watch the actors.
Have confidence and just be yourself.
Go on a lot of auditions to get the experience of auditions.
Casting for commercials is more about your look as compared to casting for Feature Films is more about Acting.
Research. Before you go to an audition, look at the network and see what types of people are on shows that they are airing. Look at the hosts and contestants because that's going to tell you what you need to look like when coming to the audition. Dress the part.

About Reality TV
They are seeking big personalities
They want people who present the real them and who are not portraying anything besides exactly who they are. Casting Directors can see right through you when portraying yourself as someone different. Be yourself.
They want interesting people who they would want to watch on television, who they would be rooting for, or who would make them be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next week
They want people with a great story behind them
Reality TV is a great way to get started without experience
You get instant national exposure
Lots of opportunity in Reality TV

About Photos
Clean photo of who you really are
Head shot and body shot of what you really look like
Don't put anyone else in the picture
Don't have too much distraction in the background, keep it simple
Don't distract from what you look like: no hats, glasses, costumes, or glamor shots
Amature photos is fine as long as its a clear shot of your face and body and really represents who you are
When a photographer is taking your head shot, think of something. Get some life in your eyes. Casting directors look at the eyes. If it's not a clear shot of the eyes the CD will dismiss it
After you get your photos, throw different varieties of your head shots on the floor and line them up with 10-30 other head shots of people and see which ones stand out, and if your head shot stands out to you. Then ask your friends, then ask a professional.
Facial shot and body shot are all that are needed in most cases
Make sure your head shots are always with you (in the car) because you never know when someone will think your right for the part

Video Submissions
Including a video with your submission only helps
Be aware of what you are submitting to and decide which video goes along with that part. If a serious role, then a serious video. If reality TV see the guidelines below:
show who you really are
make the video fun, if you are laughing and entertained then they are laughing and entertained
make sure you are in every frame
remember most networks are clean, so make it fun but make it TV and family friendly
Prefer interaction over monologues so they can see you react and see how you act when your not talking

Union or Non-Union?
You do not have to be union to be an extra, but there are union extras
Make sure to research your show and your state, it all depends on your project
You do not have to be union for Reality TV. They are looking for real people
Check with your local SAG affiliates to find out what you can and cannot apply for

Advice for beginning actors:
The entertainment industry is a Business. Be professional.
Watch out for your own career
Study as much as possible. Get into acting classes, speech and voice classes
Be an extra as much as possible
Do student films, community theater.
Get in front of the camera as much as you can
Get credited in as much as you can
Get as much experience on a set as you can, it is much different then the theater or a class
Learn about your business, read Variety and Hollywood Reporter
Pay attention to what Casting Directors are asking and what they want and be prepared
Don't audition for things you are not right for
Network as much as possible
Tons of people want the same spot you do. You have to make it happen for yourself. Don't listen to what anybody else says.Go get what you want.
Lots of opportunity for commercial extras
Read acting books, read about acting history, watch films, watch the actors, why are the great actors good, watch their films. Research famous actors.
Training, know your craft. Know what you're doing. You can't just make it on your looks.