New England Actors

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Hey everyone,

               Recently I was going through my resume' and I noticed that I've been doing a lot of background work,not that I''m not thankful,I mean the fact the I've been working so much has me ecstatic! I'm just trying to figure out how to get more auditions for supporting or principle roles.I've read to do this one needs to stop doing all background work and only take the bigger roles.The problem is,I don't get offered those roles so I have to do the background work.I know it's possible to be non union and have a very successful career and I just feel that I'm ready to be more challenged in my roles,and take on a wider array of characters.Would doing student films be the way to go to accomplish this?Anyone else going through something similar?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Joanie,

A topic many an actor has in his or her mind IMHO.

Like any other work in an industry or field; preparation, training and networking are all part of landing a principle (principal?) role. Oh yeah and who one knows and a bit of luck or God's timing.

My suggestion:

First impressions are huge in life and this industry, thus:

+ get a professional head-shot.

+ take acting classes at Boston Casting and/or CP Casting

+ get together with other actors and make your own dramatic or comedic acting clips

+ get involved with student films -New England is a wonderful place for these opportunities.

+ get involved with theater

+ train, hone, train, hone, train

Thanks Bradley,

                 I have started signing up for more workshops,they do look educational and fun!

Bradley J. Van Dussen said:

Hi Joanie,

A topic many an actor has in his or her mind IMHO.

Like any other work in an industry or field; preparation, training and networking are all part of landing a principle (principal?) role. Oh yeah and who one knows and a bit of luck or God's timing.

My suggestion:

First impressions are huge in life and this industry, thus:

+ get a professional head-shot.

+ take acting classes at Boston Casting and/or CP Casting

+ get together with other actors and make your own dramatic or comedic acting clips

+ get involved with student films -New England is a wonderful place for these opportunities.

+ get involved with theater

+ train, hone, train, hone, train

Good evening Joanie,
After hitting say my 5th background work after entering into the film industry in 2011 I was feeling the same exact way as you were. What I've learned from the people I've done background work with and just by networking as well is that starting with student films and working your way up is the best route to go. But don't just do the student films, audition for the roles in the independents films as well. Thus, giving yourself a broader spectrum of chances of possibly scoring roles on a student film or an independent film. Start out with the smaller roles first and then work your way to the top at your pace.Also take acting workshops, get a good headshot, and pretty much practice your craft in delivery lines.  One key advice that I tell most people network, network. That includes if working as a background on a major motion picture film or independent film network with your fellow background. Also, what my buddy Bradley Van Dussen says is also true. Strong patience is one of the key qualities in this business as well.

Hi Van,

      Thanks for the reply.I do lots of feature films as well as independent and student films,music videos,etc.I almost never turn down a job unless it's too far (if it's a volunteer gig) or I'm already booked.I know that I should try to network more on set but I always think don't bother the director,asst dir.,anyone that doesn't talk to you first rule  because I don't want to get fired,lol.I mostly try to get to know the pa's because they're the ones that I see the most and they're generally friendly and open to conversing.

Van Brockmann said:

Good evening Joanie,
After hitting say my 5th background work after entering into the film industry in 2011 I was feeling the same exact way as you were. What I've learned from the people I've done background work with and just by networking as well is that starting with student films and working your way up is the best route to go. But don't just do the student films, audition for the roles in the independents films as well. Thus, giving yourself a broader spectrum of chances of possibly scoring roles on a student film or an independent film. Start out with the smaller roles first and then work your way to the top at your pace.Also take acting workshops, get a good headshot, and pretty much practice your craft in delivery lines.  One key advice that I tell most people network, network. That includes if working as a background on a major motion picture film or independent film network with your fellow background. Also, what my buddy Bradley Van Dussen says is also true. Strong patience is one of the key qualities in this business as well.

I mean network with the other people that you are doing background work with. On major motion films you can't even get close to networking with the directors, producers, and or certain PA just because they are all on a timely based schedule and that you risk getting kicked off the set. Independent films different set of rules usually.

Joanie Catalano said:

Hi Van,

      Thanks for the reply.I do lots of feature films as well as independent and student films,music videos,etc.I almost never turn down a job unless it's too far (if it's a volunteer gig) or I'm already booked.I know that I should try to network more on set but I always think don't bother the director,asst dir.,anyone that doesn't talk to you first rule  because I don't want to get fired,lol.I mostly try to get to know the pa's because they're the ones that I see the most and they're generally friendly and open to conversing.

Van Brockmann said:

Good evening Joanie,
After hitting say my 5th background work after entering into the film industry in 2011 I was feeling the same exact way as you were. What I've learned from the people I've done background work with and just by networking as well is that starting with student films and working your way up is the best route to go. But don't just do the student films, audition for the roles in the independents films as well. Thus, giving yourself a broader spectrum of chances of possibly scoring roles on a student film or an independent film. Start out with the smaller roles first and then work your way to the top at your pace.Also take acting workshops, get a good headshot, and pretty much practice your craft in delivery lines.  One key advice that I tell most people network, network. That includes if working as a background on a major motion picture film or independent film network with your fellow background. Also, what my buddy Bradley Van Dussen says is also true. Strong patience is one of the key qualities in this business as well.

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