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Both Sides of the Table

Vol. 1 – “An Introduction”

 

 

So, you’re an actor… or at least you want to be one? Me too, on both counts, but how do I turn this passion for acting into a vocation for living? Do I need training? (To which the answer is always, “Yes.”) Should I make the leap to a larger market? What does that actually look like… in the real world? Those, my dear fellows, are entirely different questions; ones which I intend to explore with you in this column via my past, present, and future experiences as a professional actor, producer, writer, coach and photographer.

 

However, in order to proceed, and hopefully earn your trust as a reliable source of useful insights, I must first dispel any perceived delusions that I assume to actually know anything about this craft and industry, with certainty. I have not arrived, and I see no plateau in sight. “The hustle,” as I will often refer to it, has evolved and will continue to, requiring us to adapt to it or be swallowed up by it. What I do know is what I’ve been through personally, and how I approach both the show and the business of being an actor. I’m a bit of a maverick, so some things you’ll find here will challenge the standards, or other tips you’ve picked up elsewhere; you can take them or leave them. I try my best to avoid the audacious ascription of words like “better” or “worse,” and instead, I look for “different” methods and “alternative” routes to get from A to Z. I simply refuse to be taken advantage of, or put into anyone’s box. I’m also a tad mystical about the crafts of acting, storytelling, networking and collaborating, but not too “woo woo” to the point of losing any of you… hopefully. I vow to always keep it real for anyone willing to devote portions of their conscious time to reading my dribble.

 

So, what does “Both Sides of the Table” refer to? As a working actor-producer-writer-coach-photographer, I feel marginally qualified to offer perspectives from both sides of the development table, both sides of the auditioning table, both sides of the casting table, both sides of the training table, both sides of the creative table during rehearsals, all the way through post-production, and finally both sides of the press/promotions/sales and distribution table. It is my goal to be the most well rounded hyphenated artist and businessperson that I possibly can be, and if the torch I carry across those peaks, valleys, pitch rooms and back alleys in any way illuminates your path, I welcome you to stay close by.

 

I’ll close this introduction with one of my favorite quotes, by Henry J. Kaiser, who said, “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” I’ll do my best, Henry… I’ll do my best.

 

As always,

 

-mjd