One of my favourite classes I ever had in acting school was the Business of Acting class. I had just about the coolest teacher you could ask for, from whom I’ve learned an entire Moleskin notebook’s worth of wisdom! I could probably base my entire blog around the various chapters of notes I took from his class! But the one I’ll focus on for now, is one that has been a big help to me lately, while I look for motivation and inspiration. He called it finding your “Leads of Success”. This meant taking a look at yourself as a person and an actor, what you look like and already present to the world, what you’d like to present to the world, and then finding the people with successful careers that seem comparable with any or all of those things! I love this practice! I love watching new movies and spending time going through magazines, finding women (and sometimes men) that I look up to and who’s careers I can try to shape mine after. I may get a little obsessive about it… but that’s ok. It’s all about branding and figuring out what helped these people create the careers they have now and how you can use those things for yourself. I have a pretty good list, which ranges widely…I definitely need to pull it back in a bit. But my current major actress obsession is Emma Stone. I have a huge girl crush on her…and her career!
So, I started watching her films again; Easy A, Crazy Stupid Love,
Zombieland, The Help. I focused on her acting style and the types of
roles she usually ends up in. I also started researching how her career
came to be the success it is now - where she started and what kinds of
steps she took to further herself.
What I love about her is that she’s managed to bring her quirky
personality and natural humour into all of her work. She also brings
that to all of her interviews as well. Did I mention that she is a
(part-time) ginger? Holla! I’m terribly jealous of the movies she’s
worked on and the roles she’s played! But jealousy is pretty useless,
because I happen to know that she worked really hard to get to where she
is. She made a power-point presentation to her parents when she was
younger, explaining her pro’s and cons list for them moving to LA so she
could pursue her acting career. She also figured out how to brand
herself, realizing that the types of characters that she was most suited
to play, didn’t match her natural blonde hair. She understood that
casting directors needed to see a “type”, and after dying her hair
brown, she started being sent out for the right roles and booking!
She is definitely somebody I admire and who’s career I’d like to
emulate. I’m not looking to copy any Hollywood actors for the sake of
stardom. It doesn’t work that way, and my goals don’t look like that.
I’m just looking for inspiration and solid examples of people who were
once “working actors”, and turned themselves into “really well-paid actors”.
Give it a try - find yourself some powerhouse examples and see what
parts of their journey resonate for you, and try applying those things
to your career!