Diagnosis and Treatment: I Want To Be An Actor!

Actors in Acting
You’ve got the jitters and your head is spinning, yet you’re not sick. You know there’s something going on but you can’t explain it. You feel helpless because whatever it is, it’s driving you crazy.
And then you go to a Broadway / Off-Broadway show or see a really amazing movie. It’s at that moment you realize your calling… to be an actor!
As a person who wants to perform, there are a lot of hurdles to jump over, including getting the help of your parents or guardians if you’re a young performer. Once you’ve convinced them to let you try show business, even if just for a year, then the real hard work begins.
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For those of you who want to be an actor as their next career, you may think you have a handle on business and hard work, but there’s nothing quite like show business, so you too, will have the same learning curve as young performers.
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There is a diagnosis and a treatment for your new found love of wanting to become an actor.
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Also, below is an interview with Mindy Treitel, the Youth Print & Commercial agent at Mavrick Artists Agency whose clients include Rebecca Hochman-Fisher and Blake Bergman. The agency also represents adult actors Lynda Carter, Shelley Long and Michael Paré, to name a few.
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DIAGNOSIS
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* To be an actor, you must eat, drink, breathe acting 24/7
* To want to work 18+ hours a day.
* To want to spill your guts to strangers.
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TREATMENT
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To be an actor isn’t as simple as you may think. Sure, it sounds fun, and it is, but to be a great actor and succeed enough to do it as a full-time career takes a certain type of dedication.
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If you’re unable to think about anything other than an acting career, then you should consider going into the field.
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To want to work 18+ hours a day is not something you hear people say on an every day basis. If acting is the passion your want to pursue, then it might not feel like working, but you must be prepared to put in crazy hours. You may have a call time of 5am, in which case you’d have to wake up at 3:30am just to get to set. Or you may have a call time of 11pm and work through the night. There are laws about young performers and working hours. These laws may vary from state to state. For New York, click HERE.
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To want to spill your guts to strangers can actually be thought of as a form of self-therapy. There are things that you may not feel comfortable telling your closest buddies, but if it’s told through a character, somehow it’s okay because your friends won’t know it’s what you’re really feeling — they’ll think it’s the character.
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You may have read interviews with actors who say there’s a little piece of themselves in each character they play. We can take it as far as what an actor thinks about when they have to perform a crying scene. It’s easier to cry if you think of something personal that’s happened, or could happen, to YOU.
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That’s just a small piece of the pie on your learning journey of becoming an actor.
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Mindy Treitel, the Youth Print & Commercial agent at Mavrick Artists Agency, gives us an inside view of what’s expected of someone who wants to do acting as a career:
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How and why did you get started in the agent business?
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I was working as an Art Buyer in the advertising business in New York, booking models and photographers for print ads. And I saw I liked the talent side better. Dealing with the models was a lot more creative for me. Because of my background it was a smooth transition into the agency side.
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How do you choose your client? 
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Every season is different. We base it off of the current needs of the industry, the trends within the market. We take casting directors’ needs into account. We also review our current client list and see if we are needing to fill any areas. And of course there’s a saying in the industry: “We know it when we see it” — when you just get a strong sense when you meet potential talent if they will succeed.
 
For a young performer who goes to see a show for the first time and something lights up within them, and viola! They want to become an actor, what would their first step be?
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Get involved in an acting workshop or a  local production and see if this is something you truly enjoy.
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How can someone differentiate a legitimate manager / agent from a phony?
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The biggest giveaway to a ‘scam’ is if they charge you upfront fees. Agents work off of commission. Only if the actor is making money, does the agency make money.
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With so much competition in New York and LA, how does a newbie NOT get discouraged?
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They have to love the process from beginning to middle to end. They have to come out of the audition loving every minute . They need to love studying, learning a new script, and auditioning in front of a room of clients. They need to persevere and not get discouraged if they don’t work right away.
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When starting as an actor, a person may have a super amount of excitement and energy, thinking they are going to make it and “have the life.” What words of wisdom do you have for them? 
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Have realistic expectations. This business is very competitive especially in the two major markets we are discussing.
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Anything else you can think of that will really help someone start in the business.
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They have to understand that this is business. Always be prepared, be professional, be courteous, be on time. Every audition is a job interview. You are also representing the agency you are signed with. Your behavior reflects on them.

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