Fulfill Your Acting Dreams with the Internet

October 20, 2013

saroo-brierley-google-maps.jpgImagine falling asleep on the train with your family at five years old and waking up thousands of miles away in an empty train car having no idea where you were or how you got there. A harrowing experience is putting it mildly; in fact, it sounds like the plot of a particularly onerous horror movie. But the plot line is all too real to Saroo Brierley, a native of India who spent twenty-six years trying to get back to his biological family and to the town of his birth. Saroo was adopted and grew up in Australia where he spent hours a day staring at a map of India bent on solving the puzzle of his disappearance. Saroo never gave up on his impossible dream even though folks told him, “You’re trying to find a needle in a haystack, and you’ll never find it.” Saroo had vivid memories of the area where he was born, and he used Google Earth and Google Maps to match flashes of the locales and landmarks in his mind with tangible locations on the Internet. Zooming in on Google Earth, Saroo found a train station he recognized from his memories; so he got on the train and followed his instincts, which quite literally shepherded him to his childhood home, and to his birth mother’s awaiting arms. His mom immediately phoned Saroo’s sister and brother and told them, “Your brother has just appeared like a ghost.” One of the insights Saroo gleaned from his twenty-six year odyssey is that everything we need to pursue our dreams is literally at the tap of a button on the Internet; but he emphasizes, “You’ve got to have the will and determination to wanting it.”

Now, comparing your journey as an actor to Saroo’s harrowing expedition may seem absurd, but make no mistake, people’s dreams are sacred. Our aspirations are critically important to our psychological health as well as our emotional well being. And, similarly, much of what you need to succeed as an actor is right at your fingertips–just as it was for Saroo Brierley. The headshots and resume on your online profile literally connect you with awaiting casting directors and teams of professionals who are responsible for creating the commercials we all see on TV and the Internet. Your text messaging and mobile apps enable you to network effectively. The Public Submissions board empowers you to track down auditions. Now, of course, you need to have your health and abilities in ship shape. But if you have tended to these essentials, the rest of what you need to succeed is just the tap of a button away; that is, if you see it that way. It’s quite compelling to hear Saroo describe how he found his way home; for the most part, he followed his instincts, ignored the naysayers, and used the resources at his disposal.

You, noble thespian, need to get on the train to a successful career in the field of acting. And don’t ever underestimate the importance of what you do, because it brings people joy, and it enlivens the spirit. Start today, and don’t look back. It’s safe to say that your challenges in the acting game are not as daunting as Saroo’s, but just as he was up to the task; so are you, noble thespian; so are you.

The Number One Way to Land Commercial Auditions

July 12, 2012

Occam’s razor asserts that all other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best one. This itself may be an oversimplification, but the inductive inference is important. For instance, if there was one thing you could do that would definitely enhance your acting career, would you do it? Don’t speak too quickly as many aspiring actors miss this very simple, but essential element of the game. And that is to heed Occam’s logic and get your headshots up to date! Headshots are the number one way an actor procures career opportunities. Period. And yet many actors are content to roll their dice on the table of fate. Maybe you’ve already got shots that seem good enough, and you can always apologize if casting professionals notice these pics don’t accurately reflect your current look. This is not wise. You don’t want to start off your audition apologizing—now you have two strikes against you, and you haven’t even had your first take yet. Also, Casting Directors work from an online database of actor photos. They peruse literally thousands of pictures a day in search of ripe talent. Digital headshots are like keys to a car. They have the power to get you rolling. Let’s face it, we are working in a visual medium, and the powers that be need to see your image and trust what they’re seeing is what they’re getting. According to Occam’s razor, it’s really that simple.


So, before updating your headshots, have fun with it! Allow yourself some freedom to reinvent your image. If you’ve been meaning to dye your hair, go for a new coif, grow a mustache, or drop a size, that’s the time. This simple step can reinvigorate your career.