Comedy is A Serious Craft! (Part One)

July 31, 2015

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Are you funny? Can you be funny? Can you be cast on a sitcom?

Do you have acting training, comedic instincts and what it takes to create a character, follow the sitcom formula and make casting directors, producers, directors and audiences laugh and love you? Not everybody can. Why? Because this thing called comedy is a lot harder than it looks.

Sitcom acting—being funny—is, well, a serious craft. The world of sitcoms comes with its own set of rules, its own rhythm, its own pace. Guess whose job it is to grasp this very specific format. That’s right. Yours!

This comedic formula has been passed down from generation to generation, and it’s up to the actor, to not only be able to recognize this formula, but also to embrace it and follow it…to the LETTER. Then, you have to make it funny! Sitcom acting requires you to follow a very specific technique. It requires you to be energetic, articulate and to commit to the character, the dialogue, the jokes and the interaction with other characters.

Are you scared yet? Don’t worry. If you are disciplined and if you practice, practice, practice, you can work in this incredibly rewarding industry.

The first step to becoming a successful sitcom actor is having an innate ability to act and the training to develop that talent. As an acting coach, I cannot teach someone to act if they are not born with the talent to act. No acting coach can. I call this innate ability the Acting Gene. And, yes, I know it’s not “technically” a gene (but I’m sure they’ll discover it soon). Rather, it’s your inborn, intuitive ability to act or to pretend. A good acting coach can help you tap into this gene, discover (and uncover) your gift and teach you techniques that will help you access your emotions and your imagination.

The second step to becoming a successful sitcom actor is having an innate ability to be funny. Do you have a sense of humor about yourself? Do you have a sense of humor about others? Can you find the funny in the trials and tribulations of your everyday life?

To the left of the Acting Gene is the Funny Gene (yeah, another made-up word).  If you have the Funny Gene, no matter how developed it is, I can teach you to be a sitcom actor. It’s like any other skill. You need to have a physical gift to play basketball, a good ear to play the violin, a keen mind to be a mathematician, or a green thumb to be a gardener. Like any craft, it won’t be easy. But once you learn rules of comedy, and get a character that suits you best, you’ll have fun and get many well-deserved laughs in reruns!


Whether you’re auditioning for a co-star or a series regular on a half hour comedy, sitcom guru and acting coach Scott Sedita will teach you The Sedita Method of sitcom acting, which comes with it’s own terminology, coined phrases and unique glossary.

Scott’s internationally best-selling book, “The Eight Characters of Comedy. A Guide to Sitcom Acting & Writing, 2nd Edition” has sold over 100,000 copies and has become a “bible” to Hollywood comedy writers, directors, producers, and actors; and is used as a textbook in over 100 colleges and universities. Find Scott and his staff of professional actors, teachers and coaches at ScottSeditaActing.com.

Scot_Sedita_logo© Ron Rinaldi Photography www.ronrinaldi.com


Networking Power

May 7, 2012

Link up with Casting Professionals with your Casting Frontier profile!

Actors are always seeking ways to get into that proverbial inner circle of agents, casting directors, producers, and directors. It can seem as impossible as hiking Mount Everest—that is, until you realize the power of networking.

The definition of a network is a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes. The degree to which you broaden your networking horizons correlates to increased opportunities. That is, having 50 people in your network is significantly better than having 5; but, 500 connections can make all the difference in acting gigs coming your way. Maybe your acting class friend will alert you to an open role in a play she’s in; maybe your camera operator friend will make sure you get brought in for a commercial audition. Whatever if is, you will have increased chances to build your career.

Part of networking is building upon the people you know (family, friends, those you meet on the job, in classes or at various social or work events, casting directors that have called you in for auditions–the list is endless). The key is to consistently be building relationships—the higher the quality the relationship, the better. While not everyone in your network will achieve the ranks of a near and dear friend, all those on your network should be aiming for mutually beneficial relationships. And make sure these people have generally positive experiences with you. If you show up late on a regular basis to the gigs they invite you to, or if you consistently end up with a lampshade over your head at industry parties, they will be less likely to want to be connected to you, or refer you to others.

That’s good news for you though. Your career benefits from your genuine, professional vigor! Bring a positive attitude wherever you go and people will want to work with you–and this opens doors for more networking and ultimately more auditions. Keep in mind, you may not get the results you want if you only try targeting those at the top of the Hollywood food chain. Rather, build relationships on many levels simultaneously. If you’re zeroing in on that agent at the catering table, be sure to likewise get to know that new aspiring actor you’re sitting by. Remember the wisdom of Hanson when they sing, “Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose…Keep planting to find out which one grows, It’s a secret no one knows.”

When you focus on your social connections, offers can come seemingly from left field. The power of networking has been present since the cave men; but now with the Internet, this power has multiplied exponentially. So take advantage! Get your website cooking. And know that Casting Frontier is a serious networking tool. Every time you’re called in for an audition, the casting director, the commercial executives, the directors, and producers all have access to your headshots, resume, voice over samples, reels, and a link to your personal website. Talk about getting your foot in the door of that inner circle!