The Business of Acting: 4 Steps to Becoming Your Own Entrepreneur

Just like painting, sculpture, writing, or any other form of work that entails creating something where nothing existed before, acting is an art. It’s also a business. Which means that as an actor, you should view yourself as an entrepreneur who is working hard at operating your business, organizing and navigating its direction and success on a daily basis.

After all, they don’t call it show biz for nothing.

So take steps that are beyond the basics of just memorizing lines. Be an entrepreneur; take control and truly manage your business so you not only feel like you’re in the driver’s seat, you actually are.

1. Keep track of stats.
How many auditions did you have this month? How many callbacks did you get? How many jobs did you land? Are these numbers higher or lower than last month? What about this time last year?

Keeping track of numbers like this—the things that contribute to getting work—is incredibly useful information as you build and shape your career. Maybe you need to start submitting yourself more, or talk to your agent about what else you can provide them that will help get you out there more... READ MORE

5 On-Set Tips for Actors

As a producer, I’ve experienced two personalities with actors: the audition personality, and the on-set or after-booking-the-job personality. The first is a breeze to work with: friendly, approachable, polite, and professional. The second, not so much. This one, once stepping on set, somehow magically transforms into an entitled, disinterested, lazy, often rude individual who now considers it a burden to actually be there. All from the same actor. This is one of the main reasons an actor’s behavior in an audition room carries very little weight with me. So I thought I’d put together a few tips for appropriate on-set behavior for actors from the standpoint of not only a producer, but really the entire production team.

1. Be a team player. I’ve had actors arrive on set with their first question to me being, “What time do we wrap?” Not a horrible question, but when it’s the very first one, it can tend to set a tone. Next, a resistance to cooperate, like filling out basic paperwork or deflecting responsibly. This is understandable on a major contract, but for simple, standard releases, it can immediately put a damper on production. Another issue is showing up looking like they’ve just rolled out of bed, assuming there is a staff of 20 to take care of them. Sure, sometimes this is the case. But to assume so and not even put in an effort is just not professional or respectful to others. When you come to work prepared and with a good attitude, things go better for everyone. You’re on a team, and it’s just as much your responsibility as the director, producer or caterer, to help create a positive and cooperative environment... READ MORE

Who’s Who on Set? A Guide for Every Actor

One of an actor’s goals is to book the job and shoot it on set. Aside from knowing your character, memorizing your lines and being ready to act, it is helpful to have a real understanding of who the others on set are, as well as what they do. Who’s the guy sitting in a director’s chair taking notes all day? Who’s discussing the set’s visual design with the producer? Who’s tracking daily progress, arranging logistics, and overseeing the safety of the cast and crew? These people are not mere “crew members”; they are trained individuals who create the backbone of the production so that you, the actor, can do your work.

I’ve provided some examples below. By no means, however, should these be considered full descriptions of their jobs, which begin in pre-production, continue with production, and often don’t end until post is complete. But they will give you a basic idea of the titles and some of the essentials elements involved in their positions.

1. Script Supervisor
This valuable position is responsible for keeping track of all dialogue spoken by the actors as it compares to the script. When actors improvise, the Script Supervisor makes adjustments in the script to reflect the changes in dialogue, and then ensures the actors stick with them for each upcoming take. This is to maintain continuous verbal and visual integrity in the production. This goes beyond dialogue; it also includes wardrobe, hair, and props used by the actors. Essentially, the Script Supervisor’s job is to ensure that the final product does not contain distracting errors to the viewers... READ MORE

Sevier Crespo is an actor / producer currently living in Los Angeles, CA.