Melanie Briggs is a freelance casting director and acting teacher in Philadelphia, PA. Her company casts everything from short films to industrials, musicals, commercials and feature films, union and non-union. She has developed a program in Philly to teach children and adults the art of auditioning and is here to share some noteworthy tips on how to break into the business. Check out Melanie’s website for more information.
“We All Need A Little Inspiration”
Every performer I know gets to a point in their careers where they feel a little lost, where they lose sight of why they are still riding this crazy ride. It’s a tough business and no doubt it will cause people to doubt themselves and their talents. Here are my suggestions to remind yourself of why you are doing this and how much you love it.
First, find some inspiration! What was it that first inspired you to perform? Was it a movie you saw, a Broadway show, a song, your favorite performer or the first time you received a standing ovation? Think hard about this question because it will really put things in perspective for you. When was the first moment you knew you wanted to perform? Could you recreate that feeling; that drive just by living in that moment? If you can, you will find the inspiration you were looking for. We all sometimes need a little motivation, a little reminder to put this crazy lifestyle into perspective. So try to relive that feeling and excitement of wanting something. At one point in your life you thought it would be possible otherwise you wouldn’t be where you are today.
Next, do not wait for someone to give it to you! No one will. It can be a lonely business to work in at times. And while we would all hope that a magical wizard would swoop down and make our dreams come true, the ones who make it are the ones who make their dreams come true for themselves. But how? Market, Market, Market!! You need to become an expert on the business. Know the names of casting directors, agents and producers. Attend seminars, take classes and show your face as often as you can. If you are “waiting” for it to happen, you will be “waiting” a very long time.
Lastly, keep positive! Surround yourself with positive influences. Always take time to enjoy the things and people you love. That will hopefully make the hard times not seem so bad. Make a day for yourself each week (or even every other week!) filled with things you love that will inspire you to stay positive. And when things seem unbearable and you are ready to give up, relive that innocence of when you first fell in love with being a performer. It might just be the jump-start that you need ❤