Casting director Manuel Puro has been on the casting scene for over two decades now, and recently he’s gone one step further to create something truly outstanding (and one of a kind) for actors globally – an international online self tape course. Actress and writer for Casting Networks, Angela Peters, recently took part in Casting Director Manuel Puro’s new online course, The Acting Habit, and had an incredible experience working on self tapes daily with actors from all around the globe. Self tapes are the way forward, and here Angela talks to Manuel to find out more about why he created this course, the importance of getting a self tape right, and more about his casting career.
UK director Alex Taylor didn’t always know he was going to make magic films. Starting in the music world as a saxophonist, he quickly took the film world by storm when he came second at SXSW with his debut short film Kids Might Fly. The rest is history. Here Casting Networks got up close and personal with Alex to talk about about spaceships, zany auditions, casting real people and what he’s got coming up next.
‘Are you feeling a bit shaken? Maybe fearful and doubtful and completely, utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.’
– Victoria Erickson
A couple of weeks ago I was having coffee with my friend who is also an actor. Discussing life, I asked him, ‘what would you do if you weren’t an actor?’
He replied, ‘I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it.’
Time stood still. The world stopped turning. I forgot to breathe. I’m sorry what? Say that again. You have never thought about it?
What kind of magical utopia must my friend be living in, to have never, EVER, even considered the possibility that he may, at some point need a job other than acting. To have never even contemplated a world in which he could not financially support himself through acting. I was stunned.
Suddenly I began to wonder, am I the only person, specifically actor that regularly doubts acting as a career choice? Am I meant to be brimming with certainty?
I mean, just that very morning, first thing upon opening my eyes, I had found myself mentally listing all the careers I could pursue if I never worked as an actor ever again.
Was I the only person walking around with these thoughts?
Actors are born hustlers with their determination reflected in every waking moment. Thankfully, contemporary society has opened up revolutionary avenues for the ambitious actor to reach career objectives at the very fingertips of the aspiring talent.
Technology is a blessing and when utilised correctly can propel ones career to infinite heights. As actors we put much of our faith in online communities like Casting Networks International (CNI) to deliver their own performance as the go-to site for information about the industry including castings, blogs and seminars. At the press of a button actors and agents can submit interactive profiles complete with resumes, media and photos suitable for each respective job. Blogs and free seminars provide members with essential knowledge and networking opportunities.
Tension is the enemy of the actor! The tight jaw, rock hard neck and shoulders, restricted breath, locked knees. Ugh! It makes me feel awful just thinking about it. We are all prone to it though, consciously or subconsciously, and it can seriously diminish our work, slowing us down, restricting our impulses and just feeling plain awful! As actors we must have the body as free as possible, we are a conduit and the thunderous roar of our creativity and art has to be able to flow freely and wholeheartedly.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the c-word. Oh, ya know, comparison. Even when we achieve impressively high goals, we don’t stay in that feeling of accomplishment as long as we should. It takes one measly scroll through Facebook to instill feelings of inadequacy and maybe even anger. Or is that just me? Lol. Then we wonder, “Does he/she ever feel this crappy emotion too? Maybe they’ve just got it all figured out?” Unfortunately, since we are all human, these emotions come and go. But, it’s about letting them go fast and minimizing how often they come.
I don’t know who the heck originally said this phrase, but they are spot on. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Makes total sense, right? You book a guest star on your favorite comedy and could not be happier. That is, until you read the #blessed #actorlife post of your fellow classmate who snagged the lead in a short film. This comparison literally robs the joy from our own life and radiates negative energy out. This can be applied to all areas of life, not just entertainment. Why do we think the grass is greener when we’ve all got weeds the neighbors can’t see? Believe me, I suffer from this thinking too! The forward movement comes from focusing on our own growth, accomplishments, the small things that make us really happy and practicing gratitude. These healthy habits shift our vibe and mindset.
At the age of two, Karis Scarlette had begun ballet classes. By six, she was handpicked to be taught by The Royal Ballet Company at The Royal Opera House’s Chance to Dance Program. At age seven, Karis was a Royal Ballet Junior Associate, quickly progressing to The Royal Ballet School. In her first major performance, The Royal Ballet Company’s Tales of Beatrix Potter choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, she danced the role of a baby mouse at the age of just 9.
You might be familiar with the idea of “being impeccable with your word”. It comes from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements. Or perhaps Robert De Niro’s character in Meet the Parents and the “circle of trust” talk with his future son-in-law played by Ben Stiller may be more familiar to you. Surely one, if not both rings a bell and strikes a chord. Trust, and your impeccable word plays a huge part in your reputation as a commercial actor. You gotta keep your word. Period.
Commercial actors should never break trust.
THE UNINVITED CRITIC THAT LIVES IN YOUR MIND!
The battle is never between you and your fellow actors
It’s between you and the uninvited critic that lives in your mind.
QUESTIONS: Every time I leave an audition, I tend to criticize my performance and my fellow actors all the way home! I am not this mean to my worse enemy! How can I make auditioning not such a battle?
ACTORS: I don’t know of any actor that has left an audition room and not driven home with the uninvited critic buckled into their passenger seat!
I could have done better, I cried at home, why couldn’t I cry in that room? I knew I would forget that line! I can’t believe I asked if I could start over and over and over the critic in your mind torments your driving record all the way home!