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Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan

As things are settled in this holiday season, and the new year is around the corner, I thought I would share this with all of you because its been of great value to me.

My year-end review.

At the end of every year it’s my a tradition to take some time to sit down and review the year that’s past and plan for the year to come. I think a lot of people use this time of year to make “New Years Resolutions” that don’t really stick and don’t have a specific long term impact on things. Especially when it comes to their work.

I focus on the actor’s company and career. I think its a great guide to help actors acknowledge and celebrate their strengths and to discover what areas of their business may be lacking focus. It’s been a hugely helpful tool for me so I look forward to passing it along and hope it’s a help to those who train hard at JBA and are always looking for ways to take things to the next level.

You can read the planner below or download/share it from this link . Here’s to your success!

Actors-Year-End-Review-2016-Planner1

Cheers and Happy Holidays

QUALITY ADVISORY_

Quality Advisory: The Misconception of ‘Taking’ Class

I want to talk about QUALITY OF TRAINING.

“What makes for a quality training program? It’s not the talent or experience of the trainer, it’s not the comprehensiveness of the training, nor even the innate talent of the people participating in the training. The key to having a quality training program of any kind is the desire within everyone concerned that the training be a success.” – Some smart guy

When an actor comes to class dressed like a schlep and not knowing their lines or their eye lines or if their sides are from a comedy or a drama and then look at me and say “Oh, I’d never do this in an audition”. I want to light that person on fire.

Literally.

Young actors, you have a challenging career path. You toil away at your “regular” job that you don’t always love to make money to get headshots and TRAIN. I don’t know why you spend all that hard earned money on class and then choose that time to become lazy, phone it in and waste the great opportunity you have made for yourself to learn, grow and do what you love.

It’s called QUALITY OF TRAINING.

Just because you’re IN a class doesn’t mean you are getting really good quality training OUT of it. The teacher can do his best to help you but it all depends on what you bring in.

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN.

THERE IS NO PRIZE FOR JUST SHOWING UP.

The student that comes in and treats class like a real audition – dressed for the role, off book and with some interested choices made is getting the most out of class they can. They could get a great scene they can show their agent. They can explore different character choices, play with props, LEARN.

The student that comes in unprepared is missing out on all those things because they are just trying to get up to speed before their time is up. You do it to yourselves! You take away an opportunity to work hard at the thing you love and push yourself and make something cool for the time YOU PAID FOR WITH YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!

THEN you tell me you’re not getting out that much!?! Well if laziness is what I see you bring into class how can I assume you bring anything other then that into your audition process? I can’t really help you. You are tying my hands and yours and doing everyone a disservice by not working hard. AND YOU PAID FOR IT.

So don’t get comfortable in class! That is a trap. Once you get comfortable you think you can get away with cutting corners and that no one will hold you accountable for being lazy. Why does everyone want to be in a safe comfortable space to play? COMFORT IS THE ENEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT. You think Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron like to be comfy?

I guarantee if you treat every audition technique class like you are auditioning for a JJ Abrams movie and you push yourself and challenge yourself – you will learn more, you will create a strong standard for quality of training for yourself that will affect everything else you do in this industry and people will take notice. You will build confidence and learn who you are as an actor.  And most of all you will get the most value out of the class you are paying for with your own hard earned money.

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Matthew Kevin Anderson
Full Bio
twitter: @handsomanderson

Matthew Kevin Anderson - Vancouver Acting Schools, Classes & Workshops

double down-3

Double Down

Double Down

Intransitive verb

1: to double the original bid in blackjack in exchange for only one more card

2: to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking.

As I’ve said many times – This job is hard work.

The other day, I had a student tell me that sometimes she doesn’t believe she can make acting into a full time career.

This upset me because I feel like I keep telling my students tips on how to get on the path to becoming a working actor in this market and they either aren’t being heard, or applied or worse yet believed.

So today I want to talk about THE DOUBLE DOWN.

I had a moment once when I was younger where I almost left the film industry and went into media sales. I had a great in at this big company and the job was tailor made for me.

INTERVIEWER: Can you sell yourself?

ME: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Can you handle a lot of rejection?

ME: Yes.

I was in the second interview and the interviewer said “Listen, if you do this job I’m gonna push you hard, make you take courses and really learn this trade. We don’t do things half-ass here.”

Boom. A light went on. I realized I wasn’t doing that with my own acting career.

I walked out of that interview and decided to take that approach with acting. I was going to really push myself. I looked at what I was currently putting into my career and decided to double down. As a result of this new level of commitment things began to happen.

It’s a lesson I held onto and now anytime I waiver or come up against a challenging obstacle instead for backing off – I double down. If something isn’t going the way I want it to in my career I find a way to push myself and work harder to get past it.

If you doubt yourself, you’re challenging yourself. It’s a test of how bad you really want it. If you want it… you will dig deep and double down every time.

You want your auditions to improve? Double down. Create a peer group and run auditions 3 nights a week. Your agent isn’t getting you auditions? Double down. Find ways to be specific about what you want from them and give them all the tools you can to achieve your goals. You don’t have an agent? Double down. Get new headshots, make a demo tape, produce a short film and create a package an agent will be excited about. That is how you will see gains. When in doubt… Double Down.

This is not an easy business. I don’t understand why people think they don’t need to work their asses off to succeed. It’s simple. You get out what you put in. Period.

Everyone can do this job. You just have to believe you can do it and then put that belief into action.

Look at what you are putting into your acting career today – right this minute… and if you really really want it – find a way to Double Down.

I guarantee you will see forward movement and change.


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HOURS

by Matthew Kevin Anderson

 

I once heard someone say act more then you aren’t acting…

Someone also said it takes 10,000 hours to master your craft. (Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers)

How many hours are you acting every year? Every month? Every Week?

There are 8760 hours per year.

Let’s say you sleep 8 hours a day that leaves a total of 5840 hours a year where you are awake and functioning.

How are you spending your time?

When I first started keeping track I was floored by how little of my time I was actually spending on acting.

The real kicker was when I added up how many hours of watching TV I was watching.  I cancelled my cable pretty quick after that and began focusing on getting my hours up.

With this newfound awareness over the years the amount of time I spend acting has grown a great deal and I have squirrel away a nice pile towards my 10,000 hours.

Where do you stand? Honestly, how much acting do you really do?

If you break it down you have roughly 487 useable hours a month.

Start adding up your hours:

Running auditions – in class – on set – rehearing for a play – acting on stage.

These days we probably spend more time scrolling through FB Twitter and Instagram then we do pursuing our dreams. That’s crazy!

It has been established that the average world-class athlete trains approximately 23 hours a week. Interestingly, the average athlete in America trains approximately 12 hours a week.

That’s between 45-95 hours per month.

Are you training that hard? If not how can you expect to go pro?

It may be a challenge to find the time, money and motivation to train that hard but just being aware of it and striving to get you hours of quality training and on the job experience up are things that will get you booking more and more work guaranteed.

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Matthew Kevin Anderson - Vancouver Acting Schools, Classes & Workshops

 

 

 

Twitter: @handsomeanderson