Thoughts on acting:
– BELIEVE: One must believe in oneself in order to be in show business because despite what it seems; it’s not easy to break into or sustain longevity in. The truth of the matter is most actors career lifespans last for only five years. Yup, that’s it! Only a five year career. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a t.v. series or whether you’re in movies. Most R&B singers or rap artists have less than that. How many times have you witnessed an individual hit the charts and then you don’t hear from them anymore? They have a catch phrase for that it’s called a, “one-hit wonder.” It’s the same with actors except the catch phrase is… “Your only as good as your last job.” There are exceptions and knowing what the truth is and that it’s a real obstacle, will help a lot. Since you have this information now, you can do everything you can to prepare and fight against it. You can start by believing that you can and will be the OBJECTION TO THAT RULE.
– EMBRACE WHAT MOST DON’T: If you go into an audition saying how much you hate the audition process, you’ve already lost. I love auditions. It’s fun to me. I believe it’s a great opportunity to create another character. So don’t hate something that is part of the occupation you’ve chosen. I believe if a role is not meant for me…it’s not meant for me, but I go into every audition with one thing in mind…I want to win a fan in that room.
– DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL: It may not be ones artistry, or the lack there of, that hinders one from landing a job. The writer could have a certain, “type,” in his mind when he wrote it or the studio may have someone contracted to work with or the director has a “star” that he sees specifically for this role. There are a host of reasons a person may not get a particular role. You may not have the hair color or you may be too tall. Whatever the reason is, don’t look at it as a rejection. Look at it as if you’re getting closer and closer. At some point, Johnny Depp will be busy….will you be ready?
– IF YOU’RE NOT READY THEN GET READY: Yes, some people have a natural God-given talent but I have found that if one wants to procure, sustain, and progress in ones field of choice, this being acting, my suggestion is to get your butt in a class!!! Knowing all you need to know and mastering it can only give one an advantage. One may also learn the art of acting organically by way of the theatre. Growing up, I did a lot of theatre and was blessed enough to get into Arts High school in Newark, New Jersey and when I turned eighteen I found Howard Fine acting school. Yet, prior to that I couldn’t afford acting, singing, or dance classes. So I utilized every source I could find. I studied certain individuals I admired in the field. I used books, television, movies, etc. If you can’t afford it find other resources but eventually, study.
– REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE: My grandmother used to say, “You must be extraordinary in order to be considered average.” That meant I had to be better than “good” in all my ventures. It’s not enough to just mutter through your lines or give half a performance in rehearsals. Even when I’m alone studying for an audition or a role, I study hard for hours on end. I never wanted to just be considered average. I want to be BETTER than average. I want to be the best!
– BEING THE BEST: Know that you are a BEAST! When I go into an audition I am kind to my fellow thespians. Honestly, I am happy to see people when I get to auditions and I embrace them with so much love because, although the business is small, we all rarely get to see each other, because we are all on our on personal hustles. At the same time…I’m HEAD HUNTING. I’m trying to be the BEST period. I’ve come prepared and as ready as I can be so that when I get into the room with the director, producer, studio, Network and casting I will leave an impression. If they don’t want me for this role my philosophy is… “They will remember me for the next.” Additionally, when I’m hired to play a particular character. I work just as hard, constantly challenging myself. I try to be as on point and as professional as possible. I go as far as to hire a kid from an acting class to run lines with me on the set.
– BE PROFESSIONAL: Having good work ethic is an essential element to having good relationships and sustaining a job. Acting is not just mastering one’s lines; it’s also being on time, it’s being well practiced in rehearsals, it’s being proficient in front of the camera, and when the camera’s not on you, being just as professional for the other actors, it’s being competent with your props, it’s keeping your personal problems away from the workplace. Being professional makes the long hours you have to spend with the many people which consists of the cast and crew more bearable and a lot of fun.
– THE BUSINESS OF SHOW: It is a business! The advertisers have to make their money. The film industry has to make their money and YOU have to procure other income to allow you to do what you love.
– UNDERSTANDING THE GAME: A wise man once said, “LIFE IS A GAME,” just like football or chess. Playing ball is not easy to do. It comes with challenges, people are fighting you and pulling out all stops to keep you from winning. There are other factors and elements that are demading too yet as hard as it may be we love the game. It’s fun. Now, with that said, it’s necessary in any game to have a goal to win but it’s just as necessary to have opponents, obstacles and problems or there wouldn’t be a game. For example, your GOAL is to win a role. Some obstacles or problems you run into may be having other actors contending for the same role or you may be stereotyped, you may have no money to get to your audition or get back home, there may be an offer on the table for someone else and it’s up to you to change their minds. All of these are examples of the barriers one may have to grapple with when trying to reach your goal. Yet again it is absolutely necessary in order for us to play this game. Your viewpoint on the entire game is all about your perspective. You can look at it as if it’s difficult and arduous or you can look at the game as if it’s stimulating and enjoyable. The problems can either be brick walls that you couldn’t possible break through or mere barriers like an obstacle that you could jump over. Make it fun!
– NEVER GIVE UP!!! We are artists. Over thousands of years artists can change lives, change perspectives, help make change in general. It’s much bigger than just “being famous” or “Everybody knowing your name.”
You can make a difference. xoxoxo Tisha Campbell Martin