New Year Resolutions for Actors – from Agent Craig Holzberg

2011 is the… Year of Perseverance! says agent Craig Holzberg, founder of Avalon Artists Group.

Everyday is a new opportunity and it is about seizing the moment – not worrying about what happened in the past or being freaked out as to what can happen in the future, but being focused on what is happening right now.

Right now… every actor can help themselves achieve even greater results in 2011 with these 10 resolutions offered by Craig Holzberg – who started out as an actor/model, has over 25 years of industry experience and still, whole heartedly, believes in the actor’s dream – as a reality.

In my heart, shares Craig Holzberg, I believe that if you stick with this long enough, and are committed to it, sooner or later you are going to be successful. However, success is not defined by winning awards, it means being able to do what you love for your entire career and make a living at it.

To make the most out of life, as an actor, this year… here are Craig Holzberg’s 10 resolutions that you can put into action, pronto…

1. When meeting agents/casting directors:

Be yourself at all times.

When you take a meeting for the first time, whether you are meeting a casting director or an agent, the most important thing is that actors need to be themselves, says Craig Holzberg. A lot of actors think they know, or can guess, what we are looking for and try to be that person. However, because they can’t possibly know exactly what we are looking for at the time, by coming in as someone other than they truly are, they run the risk of being passed over.

2. Regarding monologue / scene / song choices:

Use material from roles (from TV, plays or movies) that you could believably portray.

I see actors come in and audition with material that isn’t appropriate for their type and age range, shares Craig Holzberg. It is really important that an actor knows who they are, what roles they could be believable in and make their choices accordingly.

As agents, we have obviously seen the more popular audition scenes, monologues or songs because many actors are of the same type and age range – but if the material suits the actor and showcases the actor in the best light, there is nothing wrong with choosing something we may have seen several times before.

3. About Training:

Exercise your muscles every day!

Training is paramount for any performer, says Craig. Acting, singing, and dancing are all like muscles. Just as you go to the gym to keep your body in good shape, you have to work out your performance muscles every day. School is a great foundation, but an actor has to continually train their muscles to keep them strong and to keep building them throughout their career.

4. On your hunt for an agent:

Focus on finding the RIGHT fit.

A lot of actors are concerned with the fact that if they don’t have an agent they can’t get work on their own – this is clearly not the case. There are so many outlets today for actors to get work on their own until they find the right agent.

It is like dating, says Craig. It is important to shop around and meet as many people as possible in the industry. If you have more than one agent who is interested in meeting you, take all the meetings. It is all about finding the right culture and personalities in an agency that meshes with your personality. Make sure to find the right agent who is passionate about you, passionate about your career, and passionate about championing your career to get you where you want to be.

5. About following up:

Don’t drop the ball.

Follow-up is the most important thing. If you have had the privilege to meet with a casting director or an agent, first and foremost an actor should follow up with a hand-written thank you note. Then, keep in touch with what is going on in your career, shares Craig Holzberg. After meeting an agent/casting director let them know if you book something, star in a project or something exciting is happening in your career. That is the time to follow up, because things change daily and it may then be the right time for us to re-evaluate if you are someone who might fit into our agency.

6. When it comes to self marketing:

Create the perfect reel!

Any tools that you can use to self market, whether you are represented or not, are key, says Craig. As agents, we use reels all the time when submitting actors to casting directors. Any material that we can provide to casting to showcase an actor’s work, can increase the actor’s chances of being seen because the casting director can actually see what the actor looks like on camera.

7. Regarding helping your agent(s) best represent you:

Be ready for when that door opens.

It all comes down to hard work and dedication, shares Craig Holzberg. As agents, we work very hard to open doors for our actors and it is really important that an actor has all the materials they need and that they continually train. When an opportunity presents itself and the door is opened, the actor must be ready to go in there and knock it out of the ballpark.

8. About making forward momentum career choices:

Define your goals and take action to pursue them.

If an actor wants to be on Broadway and is a great singer and actor but not a great dancer, they have to get their dance skills up to the same level. If an actor wants to do film and television and they primarily have a background in theatre, then they need to get their Film and TV skills up to the same level.  This can be achieved by getting into a great on-camera class. There are different mediums that require exercising muscles in different ways. It is about honing the craft, or honing the skills, that are specific to the area of the business that you want to succeed in.

9. When it comes to making the most out of every audition:

Book the room.

I tell my actors that booking the job is the icing on the cake, shares Craig Holzberg. Of course you want to book the job and your agent wants you to book the job as well, but at the end of the day, only one actor can book each role. The true victory is when an actor books the room. Every time an actor walks into a room, they want to leave having left a lasting impression and have the people sitting behind the table say, they are fantastically talented. We want to give that actor a job.’ An actor isn’t always going to be a perfect fit for every role they audition for, but if the actor books the room; casting will bring them back for other projects they are working on.

10. Regarding believing in yourself:

Focus on the marathon, not the sprint.

You can never stop believing in yourself, you can’t give up, shares Craig Holzberg. You have to focus on the big picture and be committed for the long haul. The average career, I have seen over the course of my career, takes anywhere from 3-5 years to get off the ground. And, by getting off the ground I mean, getting to the point in your career where casting directors are very familiar with you and your work.

So much is out of the actor’s control. It is very important to stay focused on the prize – which is working in the business for as long as you enjoy it and being able to earn a living at it. You have to stick with it because… in a business that is based on rejection, where an actor hears no’ more times than yes’, it’s that one yes’ – that can be the catalyst to your career taking off.

It is about being patient and staying positive while waiting for that yes’ to come.

YES… indeed these are solid resolutions for 2001 – the Year of Perseverance.  Thank you to Craig Holzberg for these productive inspirations.

At Avalon Artists Group, Craig Holzberg prides himself in being directly involved in all aspects of his clients’ careers. I wake up every morning excited about what I do, shares Craig. I love working hard on behalf of my actors because nothing is more rewarding than seeing all that hard work pay off.

Avalon Artists Group is a full service talent agency representing actors of all ages, shapes and sizes for FILM, TV, THEATER, COMMERCIALS, VOICE-OVER, and PRINT.
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