How Do You Talk About Yourself?
Do you pay attention to how you talk about yourself? If you don’t- then start. Here is some advice on how to talk about yourself an actor.
Firstly, to directors and casting directors:
When talking to potential employers you should speak super positively. Now is not the time to be modest or self-deprecating as it will translate as lack of confidence and, even worse, lack of ability. Be ready to answer the question “what have you been up to recently?” The rule of three works brilliantly here, tell them about something you’ve done before, anything you have coming up and maybe a bit of something about you personally. There is no expiry date on the phrase “recently” so it doesn’t matter if your last acting project was a while ago, tell them about it and speak positively. Don’t lie or exaggerate but do be in control of the information you share and make sure it paints you in the best light. Avoid saying things like “it was just a student film”, “we only went to small venues” or “it was unpaid”. Instead say things like “I was in a short film recently, it was a comedy and the script was hilarious; we had so much fun on set!” Speak flatteringly about everything you’ve done and never complain about a fellow creative – you never know who knows who!
Secondly, to other actors:
Sometimes life as an actor feels like a rollercoaster. As well as the soaring highs, we all have periods of unemployment and moments of insecurity, so a fellow actor is often the best person to confide in. Although we have a rose-tinted version of ourselves, which we present to potential employers, I think actors should share with each other warts and all. Share your worries and your embarrassing audition stories; share your moments of triumph and celebrate when your peers succeed. On the subject of sharing, I firmly believe that actors should be generous to one another. Pass it on if you find a monologue or spot a casting that would suit another actor more than you. With shared information, we all stand to gain and as the old saying goes: you reap what you sow.
Thirdly, to family and friends:
Especially when catching up over the festive period, you might feel that your decision to pursue acting is being challenged. When people quiz you on your progress, it can like a criticism but try not to be defensive. Not everyone has inside knowledge of our industry, so questions usually come from a place of curiosity. Some people may struggle to understand your decision to be an actor and that is okay; you might not want to do the job that they do. Undoubtably, there are negatives to a career in acting but that is true of every industry. Have confidence in your own life choices, explain them if you feel like it or just change the subject if you don’t!
Written by Northern Star Acting Coach, Kate Dobson.