Monday, May 14, 2007

Go forth actor and work!

My friend Basil Hoffman (a versatile and important American character actor and acting coach) has written an important and revealing book for actors at all stages of their careers. In Acting and How to Be Good at It, Basil writes about a perspective on the business that can only be gleaned from having spent a massive amount of one’s life actually working as an actor.

So no one accuses me of not disclosing all that there is to disclose here, it is the publishing company I own (Ingenuity Press USA – that has recently published Basil’s new book (his second in the “How to Be Good at It” series). However, my praise for this book is not royalty – or even loyalty-based. This is just a great book for actors who are looking for clues and for some critical perspective in how to be better at their craft.

You can learn more about Basil and his book at By the way, Basil will be discussing and signing his new book at Barnes & Noble, in Encino, California, on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 7:30PM.

So much for the sort-of-self-serving promo.

My rant this time is about what I feel is at the core at Basil’s philosophy – and my own, that actors must always be training and working and learning how to be better at what they do. For you, this means another step up the empowerment ladder that is part of the climb – or ascent of a career journey.

It is always a balance between skills and talent that will breed and nurture your inner self-confidence for the duration of your career.

It’s not just required that you be both skilled and talented, though. You also have to be good at your craft – not just good “enough,” but better than everyone else.

You may know my Business of Acting mantra: it’s not the best actor who gets the job; it’s the right actor who gets the job. In the perfect situation, the best actor is the right actor. That’s why good “enough” isn’t acceptable.

Learn, train and work. “Work” can mean student films, Equity-waiver productions, non-union jobs (if you’re a non-union actor or have claimed financial core status with your union). Maybe it’s a commercial; or maybe it’s the prized (temporary) possession, an actual SAG, AFTRA or AEA job.

Anyway you slice it, work leads to more work. Work also is addictive – and empowering. My advice: go forth actor and seek any appropriate opportunity to feed your soul, nurture your spirit and grow your career.

Next time, I will answer several of the questions many of you have sent in. Got one of your own? Post your question here or e-mail me at