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By Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Oct 12 2015 05:52PM

I monitored a crazy crowded audition this past week. And I was absolutely completely and utterly shocked, did I say shocked? by how many unprepared actors there are. Well over 50% of those wanting to be seriously considered for this project were eliminated from the running by just being unprepared with the easiest things that an actor has control over.



What were those things you may ask? Well, inappropriate headshots (blown up selfie?) , resumes (on loose leaf paper?!) , and then so many turning in ones not stapled together or cut to size.


Folks, if you are seriously pursuing theatre, in any market,  take the time to get your actor essential business stuff together, because, if you don’t, you will almost always be eliminated, despite your waiting to seen for hours on end at open calls and/or your emailing/mailing materials when you see that you are perfect for a role, due to your  unprofessional headshot/resume and/or lack there of. If you can’t take the time to take care of your business essentials why would any professional be interested in working with you?! Their impression possibly being, if they can’t get their professional self together, how are they going to be able to learn my show and conduct themselves and present the show/role in a professional manner.


Let's get down to business in these basic actor essentials right now:


EVERY audition you go to, unless other requested, you MUST have a professional formatted headshot AND resume and they MUST be STAPLED together and cut to size.


Do’s and Don’ts of HEADSHOTS:


1) A headshot is NOT:


-A blown up Selfie;

-A photo of you from 10 years ago;

-A glammed up photo that looks nothing like you;

-A blown up yearbook photo;

-A photo that is any other size than 8 by 10;

-Never in black and white (sorry that's a thing of the past);

-A “Glamour Shot” photo;

-A photo taken by your mom in your backyard;

-A photo where you cropped out and/or photoshopped out your friends, your fabulous pet etc. and just left you!


2) A headshot IS:


In its simpliest form…


An 8 x 10 COLOR headshot of you taken by a professional and/or aspiring photographer understanding the basics of what a professional headshot should look like. A headshot can be just shoulders and head or a 3/4 body shot. But, with that being said, there is a reason it's called a headshot because its main focus is on your face.


The headshot should look like the best version of you (that you can create yourself) on a daily basis before you head to an audition. Here is a great link to check out tons of headshots for examples of what they should look like and headshot photographers (in New York) who can help you achieve your top notch shot. If you live anywhere outside of New York just do a google search of appropriate photographers in your area.


http://www.reproductions.com/NYC/banner/banner.php


Do’s and Don’ts of RESUMES:


1) A resume is NOT:


-Your credits hand written on a loose leaf paper;

-On paper larger then 8 x 10 (yes that means sized and cut to match your headshot);

-A list of roles you hope to play and/or are studying to play;

-Not more then one page;

-Anything that is none other then the TRUTH!!**


Another note: Your resume does not need your home address.



2) A resume IS:


In its simpliest form…


A one page columnized typed listing of your stage credits, education, training and special skills. PLUS your name, contact info (telephone number, website, email) and stats (height, dress size or weight, voice type/range and union status if applicable).


Your resume should be clear, concise, readable, professionally formated and, again, cut to 8 x 10 and STAPLED on back of your headshot at each corner. So that when you turn you headshot over you see your resume nicely laid out.


Here are a few examples of stellar resumes to follow:


Kristen Gehling:


http://media.wix.com/ugd/f987a4_df21508946e84949964740d24d3684a4.pdf


Paul Thomas Ryan


http://paulthomasryan.com/resume.html



FINAL WORDS about your headshot/resume:


Again, they must be stapled together back to back!!!! Why do you do this? Because, papers get misplaced and separated and because some headshots don't have a name on them. Imagine a casting person misplacing your resume because it wasn't stapled and the photo has no name…well, Into the trash they go. So much for your waiting in line for 5 hours at an open call!!!


I realize that for many of you all this is common knowledge but considering that over 50% of the people attending this NY open call either didn't know the above or thought the above was unimportant to them I thought this particular subject matter well worth the discussion.


Want to be taken seriously as a proactive actor. Get on it! Until next time.


By Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Sep 29 2015 11:21PM

My “Building Blocks of Success Blog” was very popular. So…i’m offering more to add the mix!!


Building Blocks Part Two!


1) Have your hands in as many pots as possible. Why? I like to use a garden analogy: plant many seeds so at least one will grow. Things in this business NEVER go as planned. The more you do and are involved with, the more likely one of those seeds will grow. One of those projects will plant the seed for another more lucrative project in the future.


2) Never say no to opportunities. Enough people will do that for you! Of course, with that I say stay true to your 'moral' code. Enough said.


3) Auditions are crazy and very unrealistic as to what we are actually hired to do. Just look at them as "snippets" of our best work/talents on display. Thus, instead of letting them get to your nerves, try to look at them as your time to shine, perform, and do what makes you different then everyone else. You only have, at most, a few minutes (if you are lucky) so make them count to let the world know who YOU are!


4) Although there are auditions all year long, there are traditionally two big audition seasons in New York: fall and winter. Those are the best times to be here for someone who is looking be seen by a lot of people in a short period of time. September and October are when regional theatres come to audition for all the big holiday shows; February and March, when theatres are casting all the summer shows (this is also known as Summer Stock season). Many national tours going on the road, audition at this time as well as they want to secure the talent who probably will also get booked for summer stock work.


5) Receiving callbacks for jobs are the best sign that you are on the right path. As several of my teachers have said to me, a callback is basically the theatre saying we love you, but now we have to look at other factors, i.e. height, weight, hair, who you're working with, do we need another alto? etc. Always congratulate yourself on a callback and keep doing what you are doing. As my teachers have also said, it takes at least ten callbacks to actually get a job! Speaking from experience, that is true; so trust you are moving in the right direction.


6) If you are not getting callbacks, meet with a respected coach/teacher in the business. Make sure they are being honest with you and not just telling you how great you are. You want to know what you can do to improve or make yourself more marketable, so that an audition will get you a callback or a job. Be willing to hear criticism because it is the only way you can get better. Trust your gut as you will know when that criticism is coming from a place of truth and helping to make you better, or coming from someone just putting their fears and own personal issues onto you. If that is the case, run! Far, far away!


7) Know that no other's route is the same as yours. Your friend may make it in a Broadway show once he moves to New York, and you may not make it for years. That's ok!!! Everyone's journey is different. Broadway is not the end-all-be-all of a career.


8) Everything works out for the best and one must make the most out of every opportunity. Disappointment and rejection are around every corner in this business. Take what comes for what it is, and know a better job is just around the corner. When that job does turn up, make the most of it. Working is the time when everything comes together. Again, make that garden grow.


9) Find a "day" job within the theatre. It makes your network grow and keeps you almost doing what you love. Other opportunities you didn't even imagine can spawn from working in the theatre. For example, along with performing, I am a wardrobe dresser on Broadway. I have dressed over 12 Broadway shows and have worked with a lot of people who now know me. It has helped me a lot in my performing career, to say the least.


10) Find what makes you unique and create new projects of your own. Don't be one of many; be one of a few. This is a hard one, especially in today's theatre where many of the shows require people of similar voice types and looks. You have to remember that YOU are unique and you will stand out of the chorus and become someone to remember. Find those qualities in yourself that make that person behind the table remember you amongst the other 300 faces at the audition. Sooner or later that job will come along when your skill set is needed and YOU will be the ONLY one they remember.


By Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Jun 28 2015 10:30PM


“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Before we delve into the nitty gritty I'm going to give you what I consider the first big/main tool of being a working actor to start the ball rolling. It will be what everything else in this blog is based upon and won't come as a surprise, just look at the title of this blog, it is the ability to be "PROACTIVE". Based on its defition, courtesy of GOOGLE, a person (or actor in this case)is creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen.



For an actor who is new to this business: here is some honesty….In this business you need to make things happen and show the arts community (and more importantly the people who can hire you) that you exist, because unless you are the lucky one in a million person who gets discovered on the street, no one in this business is going to know you are around unless you take proactive action, and, via the many ways we will discuss in future posts, make it so!


For an actor who has been around the block for a while: here is some honesty….A friend I know, who works with well known actors and screenwriters, with whom will remain nameless in this blog, said to me that actors are some of the laziest people he knows and, unfortunately, he is not the only one i've heard echo this sentiment, and, sadly, I have seen it with my own eyes as well. Am I talking to you? Are you one of those performers who just sits back and waits for the phone to ring? Perhaps from your college showcase months ago? Are you waiting to hear from the agent/manager with whom your expectations are that they are doing all the work for you? Perhaps your waiting for the friend to call who said they were going to cast you in their next big project that never seems to materilize? Are you keeping yourself free and not auditioning after that one callback for that potential opportunity for the chance they will call?


Listen, I'm not saying any of the above are a bad thing or waiting to be that one in a million who is discovered on the street either, but, I will say that you are very much limiting youself to opportunity and for truly cultivating and being in charge of your career by waiting for something to happen and/or counting on someone else to do all the work for you. And, most importantly, pertaining to this particular blog post, you are in no circumstances being "PROACTIVE" by doing nothing/waiting.


So time is a wasting. Let's get going. Let's turn the spotlight on YOU and only YOU can start the ball rolling.


So..first and foremost….


The quintessential way, in my opinion, to be a PROACTIVE ACTOR??


Brace yourself…


Start by doing…


5 THINGS A DAY FOLKS! I challenge you to do 5 actions a day that pertain to your CAREER as a performing artist. Hopefully those actions will be specific to your goals versus generalized actions, but we will get into more specific goals later. Meanwhile 5 actions a day will suffice to get you started.


Now your screaming at this page. How in the world is doing only 5 things a day going to get me anywhere. Well, think again! Five things a day adds up fast folks! There are seven days in a week. Figuratively speaking its like the power of compound interest. Your actions, like money earning interest, start to add up! If you are doing 5 actions a day that's 35 actions to your goal! At the end of the month, if you at least do 5 actions, 6 days a week (With a day to rest of course) you will have done at least 120 "proactive" actions to achieve your career goals.


And, like Newton's Third Law, every action (although you may not know it at the time) will create an equal or opposite reaction…


Let's look at an example…


YOUR ACTION:


You send an email to a theatre company for consideration for their spring show when you see the press announcement of the upcoming season and know there is a role that is right for you…


POSSIBLE "REACTIONS" from your action to the above:


a) Garners you a video submission/consideration;


b) A job offer if they know you already or are in a pinch or you just knocked it out of the park with a video submission;


c) A referral to someone else the theatre company knows for a different project;


d) Consideration for another project they are working on (perhaps you just answered their prayer of needing someone);


e) Sparked an introduction/connection with the person/theatre you reached out to so that you can reach out to them for other opporunties in the future. (This one even holds true if you hear no response becuase you can refer back to that submission in a new letter in the future if you see another project roll around or mention your initial letter if/when you ever meet them in person for whatever reason etc.)


f) And, who knows what else, the possiblities are endless!



So, now the next big question you are clammering to ask, But there is so much I want to do and accomplish? I have so many big dreams or career goals so how do I know what to do and where to start?


Well as Goethe states so eloquently, “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”


The optimum words in this quote take "Action" and "Begin" it!

Literally pick something and start!!! No one gets anything done by debating what should be done for days upon end. For now, pick something you have wanted to achieve in your performing career and start taking actions to achieve it. You may surprise yourself. It may come faster and not be as hard to acheive as you thought.


C'mon, the world is your oyster! So Proactive Performer seize your power! The curtain is rising! Take your actions! And, just BEGIN!!!

By Kimberly Faye Greenberg, May 22 2015 04:25PM


I will admit that I have always been proactive, but, I will also freely admit that I am a work-a-holic, and, learned early on in school and with some very honest teachers/coaches that this career is about:


1) Acceptance of who you are;

2) Being in it for the long haul no matter what might be thrown my way;

3) Not being afraid to say "yes" (well, without sarificing your morals);

4) Finding your people;

4) Building your "blocks" and "box";

5) Keeping positive; and,

6) Knowing that the mentality of being humble but being in it to win it is everything!.


Now because of my type


ie. looking young, sounding older and playing character roles or leading women with a character edge


I was taught and told by many teachers/coaches whom I respected that it would take me 10 or more years before "big" things..whatever that means...started to happen to me in the New York performing world. So that meant this early 20 year old had until I was at least 30 years old to wait. Insert moans and groans from my twenty year old self. ha ha ha.


Anyhow, my journey began in NYC a few years after college, having had been lucky to get regional touring work right out of school. Boy, I was ready to be in the thick of it regardless of my teachers 10 year waiting plan in order to try to achieve my defintion of success:


SUCCESS (in my definition) = WORKING AND MAKING A LIVING AS AN ACTOR!


Hence the proactive actor in me began. I moved to NYC with that quintessential story of a few hundred bucks in my pocket, a suitcase and an apartment I took sight unseen from an alumni of my school. I was determined that come hell or high water things would happen, but, in already being honest about myself with success probably not coming for me overnight and the bright lights of Broadway probably having to wait, I would need to be smart and use those 10 years to develop relationships, hone my craft and try to find opporunties to use my talents where people of importance could get to know me so that when my 30th birthday came along I had built the blocks that could allow "big" things to happen.


And, lets be honest..I didn't truly expect the phone to ring on my 30th birthday either without me having put in 10 years of legwork to make it so... And to put it plainly I was willing to put in 10 years of building blocks to my success becuase what is 10 years when I could then have a lifetime doing what I love.


So via experiment, business forethought, being on my game, very very honest teachers/coaches and the courage to say "yes" in some very scary scituations, things have come together. I am now, *whelp* 3*** (something)... and I would say i haven't done so bad for myself. I have found what I had defined at the beginning stages of my early 20's of success. ie. I make my living, for the most part, as an actor (and even backstage as well!). I get paid consistenetly to do what I love to do. And, you know what?! Funny enough, my teachers were right...it did take 10 years for my building blocks to come together and the "bigger" things that have helped to really define me as a performer in the New York market.


Now, I admit with my hard earned 10 years in the making of success..(nope no overnight sensation for me that is for sure) and my 40's approaching more quickly then I would like to admit, that my defintion of success and what I want is changing. My career is growing/morphing and my proactive actions are shifting, but, the proactive ideas to acheive my new goals remain the same.


Hence comes this blog. I have had many reach out to me to find out what it is that keeps my career moving forward, what it is that makes the performing opportutunies continue to come in to my life and what has contributed to my individual decisions on many business levels that makes me different from the 1000's of actors out there that tends to single me out for available opportunites and continues to keep my phone ringing and my email inbox full.


So here is where i share them with you.


THE ACTOR'S PLAYBOOK: The Busines Of Acting And Being A Pro-Active Actor! Here is to your success!






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Kimberly Faye Greenberg

 

KimberlyFayeGreenberg

Executive Producer/Creator of Broadwayblogspot.com

 

In addition to being a professional performer, Kimberly is also a Performing Arts Consultant, Braodway backstage swing wardrobe dresser, speaker, educator, and has been a featured in numerous publications/oncamera as an expert on the NY theatre scene.

 

Please visit Kimberly's Bio on the "About Us" page for more information.

 

You may reach out to Kimberly with comments, questions or subjects you would like covered on this blog as it pertains to Broadway/theatre community and/or pursuing the business at kimberly@Kimberlyfayegreenberg.com

 

www.kimberlyfayegreenberg.com

 

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