Sometimes while working in your local film industry, serious auditions (and moreover successful bookings) might be few and far between. But, as a passionate actor, you want to stay sharp and active through every season. Here are some ways to fill the gaps in between gigs to stay relevant.
1) Further Your Education
If you are one to hone your skills in the classroom, there is a plethora of workshops or mentors in town: you just have to find them (read The Great Big Beginners Guide To Pittsburgh Acting if you are part of the Pittsburgh scene). Try an “Acting for the Camera” workshop or sign up for an improv course to sharpen your on-the-spot performance.
If you are not one to thrive in open-floor workshops, take to the internet. Courses on YouTube exist, but also consider finding interviews of your favorite actors explaining their process.
Finally, if you absorb information the traditional way, pick up a recommended acting guide to dive deeper into nuances of the craft. Further education is a point of preference. Some don’t find refinement in the classroom or in books. For those who perfect their craft through self-discipline…
2) Sharpen Your Personal Craft
Take this in-between time to practice an old or new monologue as exercise for your memorization, character development, or varied delivery. Like in the previous point, take to the net to learn new accents, dance skills, or impressions.
If you’re not booking gigs, use this time to book showcases. These might be rare, but nailing down a chance to read in front of agents or casting directors is good practice for the audition process. You are also putting your face and talent in front of local professionals who have a hand in signing or casting you later.
3) Post New Materials
Consider taking that monologue or impression you were nailing down in #2 and capturing it on video so that your can broadcast your talents on Facebook or YouTube. Take this time to update your headshot or have your reel edited together. Post individual clips to your Vimeo account to showcase your previous work and remind those in your film community that you are still there.
4) Produce Something Yourself
Take the videos and clips a step further and produce YouTube videos and simple, short films. With the ease of exposure through YouTube and the availability of professional equipment, you can produce simple monologues, scenes, vlogs, and videos in your own home. In this competitive field, producing your own content can become crucial to staying relevant and practiced, as simply speaking in front of camera can take you to a higher comfort level for when your next screen test or film role comes along.
5) Make New Connections
Amongst all the extra practice and producing, take this lay time to make or keep filmmaker connections in town. Attend meet-ups or have lunch or coffee with some of your industry friends you haven’t talked to in a while. These kinds of interactions can open you up to what’s happening next in your local industry or lead you to the next audition.
Remember that even when cameras aren’t rolling or directors aren’t calling you back, you are still an actor. Never stop.