Announcing New Musical Theatre Class Led By Michael Donovan

If you’ve caught the musical theatre bug at your favorite Broadway show – or even from binge-watching hit shows and movies like “Glee” and “Pitch Perfect” – you’ll be excited to learn that master talent teacher Carolyne Barry is offering a new musical theatre class.  This comprehensive eight-week workshop is led by none other than Michael Donovan, a casting director for film, theatre, television, and commercials and six-time winner of the Casting Society of America’s Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.

This workshop is designed to provide actors and actresses with the elements they need to stand out during auditions.  With the guidance of Donovan’s years of experience, students will identify their ideal audition material, appropriate roles, “looks”, packaging, and marketing strategies.  This ensures that students will be memorable on stage, catching the attention of casting directors of major musical theatre shows.

In addition to refining audition techniques, Donovan will also work with students on rehearsed pieces, as well as cold readings.  In two of the workshops, students will have their auditions recorded, so they can get a better idea of how they sound and look during the auditioning process.  In the last workshop session, Donovan will bring in a theatre agent to give feedback on presentation and skills.

Sessions will be held according to the following schedule:

1st Session: Each Student will be recorded on-camera doing a song (with our accompanist) and short monologue. Feedback and instruction will be given.

2nd Session: This night will be dedicated to the specific roles and songs best suited to each participant.  Resume’s, pictures, hairstyles and wardrobe choices will as be evaluated as well as the best theatres to target will as be suggested..

3rd  and 4th  Sessions: Students will be performance coached (with our accompanist) on their audition songs.

5th Session: Rehearsed audition monologues will be worked on.

6th Session: Rehearsed Audition scenes will be worked on.

7th Session: Cold Readings of monologues and/or scenes will be recorded on-camera and evaluated.

8th Session: Industry night.  Each student will perform a song and do a reading for a theatre agent and a theatre director and then get their feedback.

The musical theatre class is set to begin on October 6th 2014; the workshop will run for 8 weeks, with classes starting at 7:30 and lasting until 11:00 pm.  The workshop space is limited, as only 18 students can sign up.  The workshop costs $595; payment plans are available. You can check out the music theatre class details here and our full class calendar here.

To learn more or to sign up please call (323) 654-2212 or leave us your information here.

The 4 Factors of Booking Commercials

You get a commercial callback, and 10-25 actors are up for the same role as you. You either do a great job and don’t get booked, or you do a “so-so” job and you get the commercial. Rather confusing, right? You have to ask yourself what is going on in the minds of those making the decisions. How are they judging the actors and their auditions? Who gets booked—is it luck? Wonder what the factors are that lead to that casting choice?

Based on all my experience as an actor, casting director, and teacher, I do believe there is a casting formula utilized when booking actors for commercials. It is only my educated opinion, but I really believe that this is the formula and value percentages.

It’s 30 percent what you look like. Since there is some agreement between the ad execs and the director on the aspirational and/or inspirational looks of those being called back, your physicality is still important, but now since it is still subjective, it is about 30 percent. What’s also relevant in the looks area—especially at the callback—is when it is necessary to match actors with spouses, friends, colleagues, or family—do you look like you belong together. And often in commercials featuring several actors, it is important to have a variety of physical and ethnic types, as well as different ages of people.

Then, 40 percent is talent and creativity. What you do in your audition, how you take direction, your creativity, and talent now become the prominent factor.

About 20 percent is your attitude, personality, and essence. Those behind the table at callbacks are watching everything you do from when you walk in the room until you walk out. How you take direction, what questions you might ask, and how you relate to the director and others actors you might be auditioning with. Those decision makers are checking to see if your personality and essence is right for the role, and if there are any reasons why you would be difficult to work with.

The last 10 percent is wildcard factors. These could be anything from your wardrobe (which one of the decision-makers really likes for the spot) to any of the execs or director having subjective preferences or dislikes. I’ve heard so many wildcard reasons, i.e. one of the clients, not choosing an actress that everyone else wanted because she reminded him of his ex-wife. It could be the smallest thing like shaking hands with the director whose hands are sweaty which makes the director uncomfortable. There are too many subjective wildcard factors to cover here, but I am sure you can imagine others.

These considerations are just parts of the casting equation and are all considered. Know that if you are a great physical type for a particular spot and do a great audition, but come off arrogant or too silly then you probably won’t get the job. Also, if you have a really great personality and essence and are the perfect type, but don’t do a good job with the material or scenario then again, you probably will not get booked.

This information should help you to not take it personally or think you did a bad job when you don’t get a booking, and it should help you have the insight you need to put the odds in your favor for booking commercials. And by the way a lot of this is also applicable for booking smaller roles in film and television.

How to be an Actor: MTT: Free Online Acting Classes

Along with ten top Los Angeles talent teachers, I am proud to, say I spearheaded the creation of mastertalentteachers.com

I strongly encourage you to go to this fabulous site and watch the FREE comprehensive training videos for actors, singers, dancers, hosts and comics. My MTT partners and I are passionate about this venture and are working hard to make a difference in your artistic pursuits. I promise you that our videos are beneficial to your craft and career. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter and “like” us to facebook so you won’t miss any of the new videos which are posted every Tuesday and Saturday.

Trust me, you will be glad you checked out www.mastertalentteachers.com

New Year’s Thoughts

Be sure to look back on this year and acknowledge yourself for your accomplishments. So often during this time, most people mainly look at what they didn’t do or get. I am sure there were lots of great things you did for your craft and/or career but they don’t seem to be as memorable as what wasn’t done. Yes, we can always do better and more but don’t negate what you have accomplished – it messes with your confidence.