Seven Signs You Have A Professional Acting Career

November 4, 2016

 

I’ll never forget the eye-opening moment when I was asked by an agent whether or not I wanted to be an actor. I was crushed. After all, this was years in to my ‘career’ (or what I thought was my career). As difficult as it was to have that question asked, it changed my perspective. It made me realize that there is an industry standard and that – maybe – I wasn’t playing my cards right.

Now, I look at things differently. I learned to judge my work from the viewpoint of someone who would want to hire me.

Becoming a professional actor is all about a series of step-by-step accomplishments, much like in a college program. It will take hundreds or thousands of hours of studying, preparation, application, and practice to get to a professional level. The actor hobbyist and the professional are vastly different. Curious which category you fall under? In this blog post, I’m going to provide some qualities that all professionals share in order to move themselves forward and ultimately… to make money.

  1. Getting paid for your work

I would say that the first time you get booked for a paid project through an agent is a pretty good indication that you are on your way to being, or already are, a professional actor! Having said that, don’t’ skip out on your acting training just because you are booking work. Continuing your education feeds your momentum. If you’ve been working but haven’t taken a class in a while, consider taking something that is new to you or something that will strengthen a big weakness of yours.

  1. You have a professional headshot

A portrait session with a reputable photographer (recommended by your agent or manager, most likely) that produces at least one theatrical headshot and one commercial headshot is essential. A simple black border with your name at the bottom (legibly- i.e. not in cursive!) will suffice. A snap shot or Instagram photo will instantly make you less of a professional. It could be seriously damaging your getting a booking.

  1. You have an Agent and/or ‘Team’

A top requirement to become a professional working actor, right after your training, is having a quality agent. Although the majority of your work should come through them, you may also find

work yourself, and most actors are constantly looking. Try a range of agents until you meet one that really jives with you and understands your goals. Not all agents are created equal! One agent may not be enough, however and you may require a manager, publicist, lawyer, PR agent or more in order to be adequately represented. You may also choose to have different agents representing you in different areas (one for voice, one for theatrical, one for commercial, one for print, one for stunts, etc). The more helping hands you have, the greater the chance for success.

  1. You invest in yourself

Acting is an investment. Headshots, acting web sites (such as CastingFrontier.com or IMDB.com), classes, etc. all take a significant chunk of change to maintain. However, those who take their careers seriously do not skimp on ways to further their careers. Of course some things you can do on your own, such as social media updates, and maybe even writing and producing your own productions (Ben Affleck or Matt Damon often do this). Use your own voice to create what you want to see in the industry.

  1. You put acting first

This comes off as a simple one, however it is far from it. Auditions happen fast, with little notice and often with high expectations. An actor who is constantly missing auditions, requesting a change of time slots or is available with limitations such as: only on weekends, only on nights or only during the day, may not be cut out for a position in the film industry. Give yourself the best shot possible, and that means putting acting first.

  1. You’ve found your ‘sweet spot’

Many people struggle for years with good acting talent, or having a ‘look’ that is not in demand. You may find that your hair color or length is not catching the attention of professionals. For example, commercial spots love a good hair cut, shoulder length and above. If you are not getting in the door, something may be off with your look or may not be on trend. Actors do not always get the perk of looking exactly how they want, and I’ll never forget hearing Jennifer Garner mention how she just wanted to gain some weight without the scrutiny of everyone in the world. Professionals learn to find their best ‘looks’ and stick to it.

  1. You know how to fake it ’til you make it

That’s your golden ticket and your secret weapon. When you walk into the audition room, every casting director expects a professional regardless of experience level. A professional actor knows the rules of the casting room, is courteous and polite. He or she keeps their nerves in check, studies the scene before arriving and is familiar with the script. If you’re a pro, you know how to slate well and have possibly seen the director’s previous work. These little things will make big impacts on the individuals you need to impress.

Whether or not you are a professional, aspiring, or acting as a hobby – remember to keep pushing forward, keep studying and keep showing up. Work on your positivity, support your industry peers, embrace your competition… and always, always be fearless!

 


 

taylortunesTaylor Tunes (too-ness) is an actor located in Portland, Oregon. Look for her in an upcoming Netflix original film (still to be titled), starring Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey.

Relationships and your acting career (part two)

July 11, 2016

 

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Relationships are familiar

As easy as it would be to put the blame on your significant other for distracting you from your career, you can’t. Just like with family, it comes down to you and your personal choice.

Whether it’s blatant or more subtle, your relationship can only be a distraction if you choose to let it be. After all, you have the power to work on your relationship and to change the relationship. You have the power to set boundaries, find balance and have a healthy relationship.

However, many actors choose to let an unhealthy relationship become a distraction to their career…and the main reason why, as always, is fear.

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Working toward a relationship, even an unhealthy, unstable one, is often more familiar and more comfortable than entering into the unknown territory of an acting career.

Many of us play a similar role in our relationships as we do in our family. If you’re the point person in your family, chances are you’re the point person in your relationship. If you’re more dependent on your family, you probably expect the same from your partner. If you felt abandoned by your family or if you were left on your own, you might either be very independent or very insecure in your relationship. We can identify with these particular roles and responsibilities and we seek solace in their predictability.

When we take on these roles in relationships, they can become very comforting and familiar. Having a relationship can provide a wonderful escape from your acting career. Whether it’s going out to dinner, cuddling on the couch, making love, talking and yes, even working on your relationship, it’s a welcome reprieve from your career. It feels better for the moment and it’s easy to get wrapped up in that feeling.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but you can’t do it all the time. If acting is important to you, then your acting career must be your first priority. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a relationship as well. You simply need to find a balance.

Finding balance

Okay, after reading all of this, many of you are probably terrified of having a relationship while you pursue an acting career. Don’t be as it can be done. Here are a few simple tips to help you maintain balance in your relationship and to ensure that your relationship doesn’t become a distraction to your career.

Be upfront about your want

Know what your priorities are and share them with your partner. Tell them how focused, determined and passionate you are about being an actor. You also need to acknowledge, respect and embrace your partner’s goals, dreams and ambitions as well.

Talk about your life as an actor

Communicate to your partner about the time, commitment and sacrifices that an acting career requires so they know what to expect. Also, learn to be a good listener. To be a good actor, you need to be a good listener. The same is true in a healthy relationship.

Be with someone who’s supportive 

It’s important that you have a relationship with someone compatible who “gets” you and what you’re doing. Make sure you’re with someone who is loving, compassionate, understanding and for God’s sake, not someone who is needy! Your acting career is needy enough. Remember though, that support is a two-way street. If you want your partner to encourage you in your pursuit, then you must encourage them in their pursuit.

Set boundaries

As I said, it’s easy for you to get lost in the comfort of your relationship. Be aware of it. Make sure that while you make time for your partner, you also make time for your career work. Sit down with your partner and discuss each other’s career needs.

You need to let them know that you will need time and space — physical and emotional — to put toward your career. You have to also respect that they will need time and space for their own career as well. Make rules and try to stick by them.

As with most things, relationships come down to communication and commitment. I truly believe that when two people love each other, they want to help fulfill each other’s destiny. Find the person that brings out the best in you, not the worst in you. Find someone who loves you for who you really are. Always be open and honest in your relationship and help each other grow as individuals, free of distractions.

 


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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.

You’ve Won The Lotto (Part 3)

April 18, 2016

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From a financial perspective, a single day of work on a commercial can be more lucrative than two weeks of work on a major motion picture with a star-studded cast. SAG-AFTRA scale on a commercial is $627.75 for an eight-hour day, and use fees are paid according to how the commercial runs. If it plays on the internet, as most spots do these days, the move-over rate is $2,511.00 for one year of use. When a commercial airs on TV, the principal actors earn residuals, which are based on many things, such as whether it is running on a network or cable and in what markets it will air. For this reason, it is impossible to calculate how much an actor will make without knowing the exact media buy, and even then, it’s a complicated task better left to professional trackers and agency accounting departments. To keep things simple for our comparison, let’s say an actor shoots a commercial ($627.75), which runs only once in a single cable market (a whopping $10.55) and then moves over to run on the internet for a year ($2,511.00). For a single day of work on a commercial that hardly aired broadcast, an actor could make $3,149.30. Remember this number. The caveat to this paradigm is that an actor only receives the use fees when the commercial is used. This means that all an actor is ever guaranteed on a commercial is the initial session fee of $627.75, because a client could decide to pull the plug on a spot before it ever airs, eliminating any chance of future use fees.

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Getting back to Griffin’s situation, a spot like a Louisiana Lotto commercial is quite possibly non-union, meaning it would not adhere to the above scale rates. (IMDB doesn’t list whether Griffin is a SAG-AFTRA member.) We recently cast a non-union commercial for a state lottery, so it would be fair to surmise that the rates on Griffin’s Louisiana Lotto commercial were similar to the spot we cast. Inclusive of a 20% agent’s fee, the session fee was $600, and the use fee was $3,000, totaling $3,600 for a single day of work and one year of use on regional broadcast TV and internet.

Now let’s look at what Griffin made for his work on The Big Short. The current SAG-AFTRA Theatrical scale, as of 7/1/15, is $3,145 per week for actors hired on a weekly rate. (If he shot before July, he would’ve made a little less, but we’ll go with the current rate.) Griffin says in the article, “It went from a day to a week to two weeks.” Scale for a single day of work is $906, and there are no additional use fees on top of that rate. If Griffin had been hired for a single day on the movie, and if the Lotto commercial was non-union, he would have made roughly $2,694 less on the movie than the amount he would have made for a single day on the Lotto commercial. Because he was ultimately hired for two weeks, however, the non-union rates outlined above indicate that Griffin’s gamble paid off, as his two-week total would have been $6,290.00. But if the Lotto commercial was a SAG-AFTRA job, he probably would have made at least $3149.30 (see above), and would stand to make much more in residuals over the course of the spot’s life on TV.

Whether or not Griffin’s decision to back out of a commercial booking was the best one for his career as an actor remains to be seen. According to imdbpro.com, Griffin has worked on 16 commercials and 10 industrials, so maybe he had a close enough relationship with the casting director and producer that his good fortune and opportunity didn’t earn him a permanent note in their databases. Maybe it all ended amicably, and the casting director of the Louisiana Lotto commercial wished him well on his future feature film pursuits. He’s in a major motion picture with a star-studded cast, and he got to work closely with Ryan Gosling and director Adam McKay. Hopefully he forged strong relationships with each of them, as well as others he met on set, to help further his career and book bigger roles in future projects. Whether or not he has truly “won the Lotto” by taking this role, only time will tell. I’ll be looking out for Griffin in the movies. I’ll also be looking out for him in submissions on commercial projects. The article doesn’t say whether Griffin will be moving to LA, but I’m sure he’d do well in commercials while he’s striving for those bigger theatrical roles. If he’s ever faced with a similar situation, I hope he considers his decision carefully.


Justin Radley

Justin Radley is a partner ASG Casting where he contributes his familiarity with both the SAG-AFTRA and non-union talent pools to find the best talent for commercials, television, and web-based content. His understanding of the SAG Commercials Contract and the CoEd (Industrial) Contract allows him to provide clients with sound advice on both bidding and talent negotiations.  Camera Left / Stage Right — a part of ASG Casting — offers a number of acting classes throughout the year.

Actor: You’ve Just Won The Lotto (part one)

February 11, 2016

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A recent Variety article by Jenelle Riley details the fortuitous path fledgling actor Jeffry Griffin took to land on screen with Ryan Gosling in a number of scenes of the hit movie The Big Short. I love hearing success stories like this. It proves that if an actor positions himself in the right place at the right time, that ethereal dream of booking a role in a major motion picture with a star-studded cast is attainable – as long as the actor is prepared. According to the article, a PA on the film plucked Griffin “at random” from a pool of about a hundred background actors to play Gosling’s assistant. Although I’m skeptical the decision was as random as it may have appeared to Griffin at the time — actors rarely realize how much thought goes into casting — Griffin proved he could rise to the challenge and went on to have a great experience shooting a scene with Gosling.

While congratulations are certainly in order for Griffin, there was one part of Griffin’s success story that bugged me. It was this:

…he got a call two weeks later from Charlotte Gale in the casting department. She asked what he was doing the next day and he replied he was shooting a Louisiana Lotto commercial… “She said, ‘Cancel it. You’ve just won the Lotto.’”

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The article then goes on to explain that Gosling wanted Griffin back to play his assistant in additional scenes, and that a single day of work turned into two weeks of… Wait a second? Griffin was booked on a Lotto commercial and backed out of the booking the day before the shoot? I’d be interested to hear more about this little detail of the story that was glossed over as though backing out of a commercial booking is an acceptable practice. I certainly understand why Griffin made the decision he did. What actor in his right mind wouldn’t rather be in additional scenes of The Big Short with Ryan Gosling instead of hawking lottery tickets to the bayou? In Griffin’s case, his decision seems to have paid off. He ended up getting two weeks of work and, more importantly, gained notable screen time that might lead to future theatrical opportunities. Although it may have been a good move for Griffin, it could have backfired just as easily, and the ramifications of Griffin’s choice still aren’t fully realized. If he was booked as a principal on the Louisiana Lotto commercial, I can assure you he was not plucked at random by a PA, because that’s simply not how the casting process works in commercials. How difficult was it for the producer of the Louisiana Lotto commercial to replace Griffin less than a day before the shoot? Did they have a suitable backup for him? Did they have to spend thousands of dollars pulling together a last minute casting session to recast the role? Did they have to spend tens of thousands to push the shoot because they lost their lead actor in the spot?

It’s something that happens on occasion, and as someone who casts a lot of commercials, I’ve come to accept it as a reality of the business. It’s happened in our office several times over the course of my career, and I always have to explain to the justifiably livid producers that I’ve never met an actor who moved to Hollywood to star in commercials. (In Griffin’s case, he was in Louisiana, not LA… But I’ve never met an actor who moved to Louisiana to star in commercials either.)


Justin Radley

Justin Radley is a partner ASG Casting where he contributes his familiarity with both the SAG-AFTRA and non-union talent pools to find the best talent for commercials, television, and web-based content. His understanding of the SAG Commercials Contract and the CoEd (Industrial) Contract allows him to provide clients with sound advice on both bidding and talent negotiations.  Camera Left / Stage Right — a part of ASG Casting — offers a number of acting classes throughout the year.

 

 

 

Searching for the Playful Child: Advice for Child and Teen Actors

January 13, 2016

 

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The holidays are over – Christmas vacation and families have come together – relationships have strengthened and the gifts of love and presents have been exchanged. It is a time to value family.

I remember years back when a parent came with her 7-year-old son who was auditioning for Les Miserables. When I said hello, he stood up straight, walked toward me like a soldier, reached out his small stiff hand and said, “It is a pleasure meeting you Ms. Haber.” It felt like a well-scripted puppet giving me the proper words of etiquette, but totally removed of any sense of childhood. I pulled the child towards me, threw him on my lap and began tickling him. He laughed and started tickling me back and I thought, thank goodness, there is still a playful child left in him!

For years I was troubled with the concept of children being prepped for this business – by parents, acting teachers and agents/managers. I wanted them to have a childhood filled with playful memories – skate boarding, basketball, painting, and even hop scotch (though that might be outdated!). I realized, however, through teaching there were ways I could help children keep their childhood. My studio supports the kids and teens to prioritize creating a life though their endless imagination. Though we specialize in auditioning – by teaching them to enjoy each opportunity to live a life – they don’t focus on getting the job and instead enjoy the process. The agents and managers are happy because the result will be booking more jobs even though our goal is for the kids/teens to live many lives! Even kids as young as 7 years old can learn to stop pretending through creating with sensory images. We have very small on-camera classes to give each child what they need. If parents want to send their kids to just have fun, that is great but have them go to a theater game or have fun doing school plays. If they want them to create living a life, send them to me.

Madalyn Horcher

I want to share a story about Madalyn Horcher, who was one of the winners of “Big Break Hollywood,” an event I arranged in Atlanta in 2008. We brought Madalyn out to Hollywood and during that time, she studied in classes at my studio and I coached her privately. It was such a life-changing journey for her that she ended up never going home! Though she loved acting, Madalyn missed her two younger sisters and older brother terribly. Additionally, she was home-schooled and felt pretty isolated. It was not an easy road. She gave up her childhood for a dream and felt the guilt that goes along with it: breaking up the family, investing a lot of money and uprooting everyone’s lives. The whole family was living in a strange and expensive environment for one child’s dream. I was so happy when Madalyn ended up going to a regular high school so she could have a real social life.

Parents often ask me, “how do I help my child not get upset if they are doing an ‘emotional scene.’” I can remember coaching Madalyn where she was living the life of a fourteen year old that meets a child predator online and ends up getting raped by him. It was violent and horrific. Madalyn was so affected by this that at the end of the scene, with tears pouring down her face, she threw the papers on the floor crying, “I don’t like feeling these emotions.” I told her when the scenes are finished she needs to “turn off that channel” and put on one that makes her smile. She always remembered that she could “change the lens” whenever she needed. It is hard to believe that Madalyn is 19 now. I am proud of her for enjoying every life she lives. She was a series regular on “Gracepoint” living the life of someone whose brother was murdered. Madalyn remembered my advice to change the lens whenever she is finished with the “slice” (or scene) and come up with positive thoughts. Madalyn just finished her new movie, Jack Reacher: Never go Back with Tom Cruise. She loved it!

Owen

This year, I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinarily talented 16-year-old boy, Owen Teague. He came from Texas to study in my Teen Summer Camp. Once in a while, someone walks into my studio with so many layers to his own life that he could live anyone’s life if he is willing to tap into his own. And he certainly is! Owen describes his first meeting with me:

“My first experience with Margie’s technique was in her Teen Intensive Week, where she introduced me to a new, eye-opening way of approaching acting. She helped me create not just characters, but real people, and she is one of the most helpful, wise, and kind coaches I’ve ever worked with.”

Owen auditioned for a new series and booked it! He lives the life as a troubled boy (series regular) on “Bloodline” starring my unbelievably talented former student, Kyle Chandler. The first week Owen and I face-timed (yes I am hip!) three huge slices to live. Because he had studied with me, Owen knew my language so my job was only to help him explore his imagination. They didn’t give him any “back story” of his drug-addicted mother who had abandoned him yet she was an important part of his life. We enjoyed creating it and allowing all of these sensory images to feed him. As Owen put it

”I have been working with Margie on my series “Bloodline.” It’s been great “creating the life” and learning to use my imagination fully. It has also been fantastic working with her former student, Kyle Chandler.  Margie has touched so many lives and I am grateful she has touched mine!”

As your child takes this journey called acting, remember that the positive side of this adventure is the opportunity to explore their imagination and live someone else’s life for an hour, a day, a week, or a month.  But in the meantime, let’s let children enjoy that short window of opportunity we call childhood.  Once it is gone, you can’t get it back. Madalyn and Owen have found the balance of both lives.  I hope you (and/or your children) will as well.


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With 40 years of experience, Margie Haber is known as Hollywood’s top audition coach. What is it that Margie teaches? The answer to that question is within title of her book:  How to Get the Part Without Falling Apart. Margie takes away the “three p’s”- Pain, Panic, and Performance Anxiety- from the cold-reading & audition process and gives back the “Big P” – POWER- to the actor.  She teaches actors her philosophy, “Stop Acting and Start Living the Life”, using her unique 10-step approach to breakdown the slice of life physically and emotionally, rather than intellectually.  Her revolutionary Haber Phrase Technique has helped thousands of actors use to use the page without losing the life, while supporting relationship and purpose. If you are interested in studying at the Margie Haber Studio, please check her website margiehaber.com or call (310) 854-0870.   The 3-month on camera program begins in January.)

Doing Whatever It Takes

August 4, 2013

Being it’s a mano-a-mano contest, tennis is one of the most competitive endeavors out there: there is no one to pass the ball to, no one to substitute, and no one to blame save the person who is competing. And professional tennis–given the tremendous level of competition nowadays–is nothing short of gladiatorial engagement. From a field of all-time greats like Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal, and up and comers like current Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, one skinny kid from war-torn Serbia has emerged as the world’s best player. In his new book “Serve To Win” Novak Djokovic credits much of his recent success to diet and mental outlook. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Djokovic employs numerous empowering practices in his determination to be the world’s top men’s tennis player. Here is just a tiny sample of his routine:

 “Start by drinking loads of warm water all day long, as well as shakes made with pea protein concentrate. Avoid dairy and stay away from alcohol during tournaments. Eat lots of avocados, cashew butter and very little sugar. Banish caffeine, other than the occasional energy gel bar before matches. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, meditate, do plenty of yoga and tai chi, take melatonin supplements, hook yourself up to a biofeedback machine that measures your stress level and, when you have a free moment or two, keep a diary. Feel free to unwind with a cup of warm licorice tea.”

Wow! No wonder Novak’s opening up a can of whoop ass on the world’s greatest players.

So, what does this mean to you, a humble actor trying to land as many callbacks as possible? Some of you who follow this blog recognize a reoccurring theme, which is: Are you really doing everything you can to accomplish your goals as an actor? If your instinctual answer is a resounding “Yes!” then great! Raise a glass because you are definitely on your way. But, if you’re unsure, if there’s even the slightest hesitation in your answer, then it’s time to get out a notebook and list everything you must do to accomplish your dreams. Do it now as time waits on no man–or woman! The wonderful thing is that you know better than anyone what exactly you’ve been neglecting, and you know what to do; it’s really a matter of filing through all that stuff sitting on the shelves of your brain. Now, it could be argued that the world’s number one player has all the money and resources anyone would need to overhaul his or her lifestyle. And that may be true. But if you really think about it, adopting a healthy diet, perfecting the craft, updating your online profile, exercising, submitting on auditions, taking classes, networking, etc. is not extraordinarily expensive. But it does require a lot of commitment. Come on, you’re a capable person, you can do this!

Hey, Novak Djokovic was languishing at number three in the world for many years until he took control of his life. He made a conscious decision to address whatever was holding him back, and to make the changes necessary to be number one. What makes you any different?

That’s not a rhetorical question; Casting Frontier wants to know!

Going for the Thespian Gold

August 5, 2012

“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.” — Bill Cosby

Do you wake up every morning and do something significant to further your career? Do you push yourself beyond reasonable limits to improve your performance as an actor? Do you forego many of life’s pleasures to ensure success? There is not one Olympic athlete competing in London who did not adhere to this kind of Spartan ethic to achieve his or her goals. Not one of these competitors got to the 2012 Games on mere potential or natural ability. Rather, they strove and worked and fought and pushed themselves mercilessly every single day–for years, and sometimes even decades–to stand on the podium.

Are you dedicating yourself to acting the way Michael Phelps has dedicated his life to the sport of swimming? If you have, you are now successful. To what degree, I have no idea; but, there is no way to work and focus to such an extent and not see benefits. Not possible. Now, will you win the gold and stand before the world with Oscar cradled in your loving hands? In truth, no one can say. But one thing is for sure: you will grow, you will improve, you will learn to push through significant obstacles, and you’ll feel a great sense of pride in your work. And I’m confident to say, you will procure more casting calls and more bookings.

This can be a time in your life to take a good, sober look at your journey as an actor, and decide if you’re really exhibiting a champion’s spirit. Only you know if you’re giving it your all. Only you know if you’ve assured the likelihood of success through your actions. Call it turning over a new leaf; call it rededicating yourself; call it going for the gold! Call it what you want, but you can do it today–and you can get started right away.

Olympic Games Inspire Actor Dreams

July 26, 2012

Micheal Phelps

The 2012 Olympic Games, London are about to begin! For most Olympic competitors training 6 – 8 hours a day is not uncommon. These elite athletes eat, sleep, and breathe their sport. And whether it’s swimming, track and field, or gymnastics, it takes an incomprehensible amount of focus and dedication and belief to medal at the Olympic Games. Take Michael Phelps; he’s vying to become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history this summer. His grueling workout regime actually requires he consume 12,000 calories a day–and, by doing so, he maintains 7% body fat.

Click here to see (if not believe) Phelps’ outrageous daily food regime.

Kobe Bryant

Already in incredible shape, Kobe Bryant purportedly lost sixteen pounds training for this year’s Olympics to optimize his well-established insane athletic skills…as if they weren’t enough on their own!

Despite all the rigors of training, platform diver Brittany Viola has had to battle injuries as well as the demon of bulimia for her chance to compete in the Olympics. “I was finally able to realize that I am beautiful just the way I am and that nothing needs to change,” said Viola.

Olympians understand the competition is fierce, and rising to the top requires absolute commitment. Each person struggles with their own basket of challenges and set backs as they strive for the gold. Track star and London hopeful, Lolo Jones has, stated that remaining celibate has been the hardest thing she’s ever done in her life—even harder than training. In other words, she’s had to forgo sex as she’s training for her Olympic dream. Click here to hear Jones explain why she’s celibate. 

Brittany Viola: "The world will see a different side of me in 2012. I'm fulfilling that dream."

The Olympics are sure to inspire all people to commit to their dreams. So actors, take note! Whatever your challenges are, realize they are obstacles—obstacles that can be overcome and can make you stronger. Let the 2012 Olympics be your Olympics. Let inspiration instill the belief in your heart that you can achieve your goals and passions regardless of the challenges ahead of you.

Lolo Jones