‘Advice from the Experts’ Series – MJB Talent Agency’s owner, Myreon Arslan
The business of acting can be overwhelming and intimidating. It usually begins with a desire and a passion to perform as a storyteller but can quickly turn into an unforgiving abyss of bad advice and talent over-saturation. How do you navigate the constantly shifting world of acting while standing out amongst your colleagues?
We chatted with Los Angeles Talent Agent veteran, Myreon Arslan, owner of MJB Talent Agency, to reveal some of his best advice for new talent entering into the industry, as well as for those actors who are looking to improve their resumes and relationships with casting directors.
Myreon, what is one golden piece of advice that you would give to an actor starting out today?
“Actors better have unique aspects to their training. They need to be technically ready to showcase their talent [and] they need to know how to put dominate self-tapes uploaded to Casting [websites] to have a chance these days.”
We know that self-tapes have become the new normal for casting websites, especially in this current Covid-cautious world, but what makes a self-tape stand out? According to Myreon, it’s about carefully reading the directions and understanding the tech side of self-taping.
What are the essential practices you can do to help your performance shine?
“Follow the Directions to a Tee! [Have] excellent tech SOUND and PICTURE [and] make sure that you speak your dialogue clearly.”
There are many self-taping businesses in Los Angeles that can help you create a professional looking self-tape, but they can be expensive. However, there are several ways to create your own in-house studio. Remember that you are investing in yourself as your own career commodity. It is often optimal to purchase a backdrop and lighting for filming your auditions. If these costs are currently too high to purchase on your own, opt to gather a few actor friends to share in the costs. This way you can help each other with your self-tapes, as well as practice with free material to improve the outcome of your performances.
When it comes to the audition itself, crafting a memorable performance starts with building a unique character. Separating your work from the whole is how Casting takes notice and may keep you in mind for future projects as well. According to Myreon, the process starts when the actor learns how to develop character by going within.
What advice would you give new actors on how to create a unique character?
“Actors need to create unique characters from the inside out, which means, as well as the emotional aspect of the characters, they need to bring physicality, posture, and vocals, unique from their own selves, that create that unique nature,” says Myreon.
Looking at working actors today, there are many to learn from who showcase this type of education and experience. Actors that leave an impact on casting directors are those who are able to craft a performance that is authentic and true to the material.
Who are some of your favorite actors working today?
“Oh Man! Very many depending on style and programming, but some of my favorites are [for men]: Eugene Levy, Sasha Baron Cohen, Joaquin Phoenix, Ben Kingsley, Robert Downey Jr. and Jason Bateman. And [for women]: Reese Witherspoon, Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot, Hailee Steinfeld, Kiera Knightley and Julia Garner.”
As you improve your self-taping skills, you should continue to improve the appeal of your resume as well. The most obvious is to make sure your contact is current and your spelling is correct. You would be surprised how important this simple step is. Developing a stand-out resume, according to Myreon, begins with quality education and recognizable credits.
Beyond the esthetics, what are some invaluable elements of your resume?
“Keywords for your resume are: Unique [and] Extraordinary special skills; like languages and performances skills that not many others bring to the table.”
While you hone your resume and self-taping skills, make sure to use the vast amount of resources available to you to educate yourself on these skills. These actor resources can be found on actor websites like Direct Submit, imdbpro.com, and similar services that help actors develop their CV. Always keep your resume up to date and practice your craft!