Mar 10, 2012

Ten things I wish I'd known about acting





Gaeilge are lean
1. Your talent is personal.
At the beginning I was waiting for someone to "find me" -a big hand in the sky perhaps. I had an idea that if I was truly good enough people would seek me out. I was so fixed on this opinion that I very nearly gave up acting as a result, even though, at that stage, not one single casting director or agent had seen me or indeed been invited to anything I was in. I am now of the opinion that talent is personal (or it is more helpful to think of it like that). It is your design. In terms of prospective employers etc., your job is to market that design to them.




2. Office work.
Agents, casting agents and even directors to a certain extent, work from offices, or at the very least they do office work. Whatever the general trend is for how office work is being done at a given time is most likely the way they are doing it. There is nothing shameful about learning how the system works, it is not a form of manipulation or slyness, it is in fact part of the job of an actor. When I started out I wasn't very interested in the Internet and I didn't think it was of much importance to me; I didn't have very much experience sending e-mails. I probably didn't even know what a casting agent or agent was. I just wanted to act, and to be the very best actor I could be; this however, may matter little when it comes to finding work. Forgetting about the big hand in the sky -a casting agent or agent can't know you exist unless you approach them. Commitment, passion and perhaps even talent will most probably be judged initially by how a person presents themselves and not by their acting.  Being an actor is also about being a business person.





3. Competition.

Because of the highly competitive nature of the business, information and advice sources can be very closely guarded. To find something as basic as the name of a good photographer, actors may need to be networking with other actors. Acting is not like school or a college or a university course where you are given book lists and sources of necessary information and where the basic job is to learn to use these. The first step when learning about the business side of acting is finding out what you need to know, you do not even know what you need to know. Most acting courses teach very little outside of the practicalities of acting.

Pacific Coast News

4. Self-belief.
Have a little faith in yourself and go after what you want. Don't take it too seriously. The entertainment industry can be like the wild west -beware the cowboys. If you believe in yourself it is the best protection. Navigate towards those you admire not those that are most critical or difficult. Develop a filter.



5. The steps.
Most things worth doing take time, as the saying goes. Don't delay taking the right steps because you want a quicker option. At first, I didn't want to go back to study acting for two years. I strongly desired to be started on my career already. But I got an agent (in Ireland) from the final showcase and began mixing with others in the industry.


Wiki How/How to be a Free Spirit

6. Obsession.
On the other hand, don't waste time or your other options by sitting looking at the door you want to "make" open. If you do the work, I think the next step is to have a  certain amount of faith that things are unfolding as they should and use your other time productively.
                                                                 
7. Money is nice too.
If nothing else there are certain creative restrictions involved in working on zero budget productions. People tend to be in pissy moods for one! (Understandable when people are struggling with basic challenges like how to pay for transport and food). If you are debating working without payment I would humbly advise to consider carefully what can be achieved from it. I believe that basic survival such as paying bills must come first. Don't wield it as an excuse but be aware of what your doing on a personal level. Juggle. Commitment doesn't mean you are a fool. Don't let anyone manipulate you with this word, any other words or interpretations of them.


8. Support.  

Find people who support you and what you are doing. For all intents and purposes most people outside of the industry seem only to deem an actor successful if they are an instant commercial success, well known, permanently employed and their talents internationally recognised and celebrated. It should not be necessary to constantly defend and explain your life choices and career to anyone no matter how well-meaning their concerns. If life were a game where you picked the best players to help you achieve your objectives these people would be of no use to you.

9. The State of Play.
Film and television are quite visual mediums. There are a lot of good-looking people on TV and in Film. It is good to be aware of this fact, how you use the information is up to you. 
                                   
10. Most importantly.
Be brave: As I heard a twinkly-eyed elderly actress advise members at an Equity meeting.


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Gaeilge
1. 'Sé do ghnó féin é do chumas.
Ar dtús bhí mé ag faire ar duine le "teacht orm" -lámh mór ó na flaitheas, b'fhéidir. Shíl mé más ea go raibh mé maith go leor go dtiocfadh duine do mo chuardú. Bhí mé an-tógtha leis an dtuairim seo agus is beag nár chaith mé uaim an aisteoireacht dá bharr, cé nach raibh gníomhaire nó stiúrthóir páirteanna (casting director) amháin 'théis mé a fheiceáil faoin am seo, nó aon cuireadh faighte acu chuig léiriúchán fiú. Is é mo bharúil anois é gur rud pearsanta é do chumas (nó gur fearr a bheith ag smaoineamh air ar an gcaoi sin). Is agatsa an dearadh. Agus is fusa a bheith ag smaoineamh gur gnó í an aisteoireacht. I dtaobh postóirí féideartha srl, 'sé an idirgníomhú atá i gceist leo ná margaíocht a dhéanamh ar an ndearadh sin.                                                                                                     
2.Obair oifige.
Bíonn gníomhairí, gníomhairí páirteanna agus fiú stiúrthóirí, i bpáirt, ag obair ón oifig. Nó ar a laghad bíonn obair oifige á dhéanamh acu. Pé claonadh atá ann i dtaobh modh oibre ofige go ginearálta tá cosúlacht mór ann go bhfuileadar á leanúint. Níl aon náire ag baint le heolas a chur ar córas an tionscadail, níl aon mí-ionramháil, nó mí-ionrachas i gceist leis; i bhfírinne is gné d'obair an aisteora é. I dtús báire ní raibh móran suim agam san idirlíon, nó níor thuig mé go raibh mórán tábhacht aige dom, is beag taithí a bhí agam ar r-phoist a sheoladh fiú. Theastaigh uaim a bheith i mbun aisteoireachta agus a bheith chomh maith agus is féidir liom aige. Ar an ndrochuair n'fheadar an bhfuil móran de thábacht le sin ar cur ar bith agus duine ag iarraidh teacht ar obair. Agus an lámh mór sna bhflaitheas curtha ar leathaobh nóiméad -is deacair go mbeadh eolas ag stúirthóir páirteanna ort mura gcuireadh tú tú féin faoin a mbráid.  Tá seans maith ann go mbeidh daoine ag déanamh meas ar cé chomh tiomnaithe atá aisteoir agus an bua agus spreagadh iontu ón gcaoi go gcuireann siad iad fhéin i láthair agus ní ón aisteoireacht. Caithfidh aisteoir a bheith ina bhean agus fhear gnó freisin.

3. Iomaíocht
De bharr an iomaíocht fhíochmhar sa tionscadal is minic go mbíonn sé deacair teacht ar eolas agus comhairle. Le teacht ar eolas simplí ar nós ainm ghriangrafadóra maith uaireanta caithfear líonrú a dhéanamh le haisteoirí eile. Ní ar nós an scoil nó an coláiste í an aisteoireacht áit a bhfaigheann duine liosta leabhair agus na foinsí eolais. I dtaobh gnó na haisteoireachta is í an chéad chéim ná tuiscint a fháil ar an eolas agus na foinsí eolais riachtanacha. Caithfear eolas a chur ar an eolas atá uait! Is beag múineadh atá sna coláistí maidir leis an aisteoireacht mar ghnó                                                                                      
4. Féin-mhuinín
 muiníneach agus téir sa bhealach ceart duit féin. Bí geall leis. Is feidir leis an tioscadal a bheith ar nós an Wild West -seachain na buachaillí bó. Bí diongbháilte ionat féin, is maith an cosaint é. Seol i treo an té go bhfuil meas agat orthu, ní iad siúd is mó cáineadh nó daoine anróiteacha. Déan scagadh.
                                                                        
5. Na céimeanna cearta.
Bíonn infheistiú ama ag baint le rudaí gur fiú a dhéanamh. Ná bí drogallach na céimeanna cearta a thógáil. Ar dtus báire níor theastaigh uaim filleadh ar an staidéar. Shíl mé go raibh dá bhliain iomarcach. Theastaigh uaim a bheith i mbun mo shlí bheatha láithreach. Ach tháinig mé ar gníomhaire agus d'éirigh mé cáirdiúil le daoine sa tioscadal dá bharr.

6. An ró-shuim.
Ar an lámh eile, ná caith uait am nó féadarthachtaí eile ag iarraidh doras a oscailt trí bheith ag stáineadh air. Más ea go gcuireann tú an obair isteach, is dócha gur fiú bheith dóchasach go bhfuil rudaí ag tárlú mar ba cheart, agus toradh a bhaint as gnéithe eile dod' shaol.

7. Nach deas an t-airgead.
Seachas rud ar bith eile tá srian ar cruthaíochta le buiséadaí chomh beag nach fiú a lua. Is minic do dhaoine a bheith ag casaoid (Rud nach deacair tuscint agus iad ag dul i ngleic le constaicí fíor bhunúsacha ar nós costas taistil agus bia srl.) Más ea go bhfuil tú ag socrú ar obair a dhéanamh gan pá, táim faoin dtuairim go gcaithfear dianmhachnamh a dhéanamh faoi céard gur féidir baint as. Táim freisin faoin dtuairim go gcaithfear cinntiú ar dtús gur féidir leat féin teacht slán agus rudaí cosúil le biollaí a íoc. Ná bíodh sé ina leithscéal, ach bí soiléir ar bonn phearsanta faoi na híobairtí atá á dhéanamh. Bí ag freastal ar dá thrá. Tá difir idir óinseach nó amadán agus duine tiomnaithe chuig a (h)obair. Ná lig le duine tú a chur faoi chluain leis an bhfocal sin, focal ar bith eile nó an spin atá acu orthu. 

8. Tacaíocht.
Aimsigh daoine a dtacaíonn leis an rud atá ar súil agat. De réir an phobail i gcoitine níl fiúntas le duine mar aisteoir mura bhfuil cáill bainte amach agus mura bhfuil siad de shíor ag obair agus ag gnóthú roinnt mhaith airgead as. Níor cóir go mbeadh ort cosaint agus míniú a thabhairt do dhuine ar bith eile i dtaobh do roghanna saoil agus slí bheatha, is cuma más ea go bhfuil dea-rún lena n-easpa muíníne sa bhfís agat. Lig ort gur cluiche é an saol áit a roghnaíonn tú na himreoirí is fearr leis na spriocanna a bhaint amach -ní bheadh aon mhaitheas sna daoine ar bheag muiníne ionat.

9. An cluiche mar atá.

Is meán craolta a bhaineann leis an amharc iad teilifís agus scannáin. De ghnáth bíonn smais maith ar daoine sna scannáin agus ar an dteilifís. Is maith a bheith ar an eolas faoi sin cibé rud a dhéanann tú leis an eolas. 

10. Níos tábhachtaí.

Bí cróga: Mar a mhol ban-aisteoir críonna dúinn ag cuinniú Equity.