Free Support and Outreach for Colorado's Filmmaking Community
Let's talk about this Film Incentive and what it means for actors if it passes. (Crew, we'll let you discuss this amongst yourselves).
First, let me lay this out there;
What I am saying here is my opinion based on my 35+ years of experience as an actor who has lived and worked here in Denver for most of that time and in Los Angeles for 10 years, as an acting coach who has had several discussions with (and hosted workshops for) casting directors from other major markets, and as a local casting director who has seen what actors can and cannot do in Denver auditions.
I don't know how long it will take for us to see the effects of the incentives once they pass and are signed into law, but when major projects come, it will not be what many actors think.
IT DOES NOT MEAN...
Actors will suddenly be living in the land of "milk and honey", where everyone will be getting a ton of professional work.
I am not trying to be a pessimist, I am looking at things realistically. This is what I have seen and heard of in other states where incentives where new. This is also what have experienced back in the 80's and 90's when our market was stronger. LA productions will cast the majority of their roles out of LA. I still remember the actor's cry from those days; "What, all the roles went to LA actors?"
Like when New Mexico Casting Directors were getting to know Denver actors, those who come from LA (or other major markets) will audition local Colorado actors for their projects to see what they can do. They will likely have you read for major roles only to see how you stand-up against the experienced pro. However, they will likely cast most roles from Los Angeles, and leave the one liners and "background" work to the locals. Call it nepotism, call it politics, or whatever, that's the reality. And don't be surprised if you wake up one day and see your new next door neighbor is an actor who just moved here from LA or some other larger market because they have the sheepskin to snatch some decent roles.
This is a general statement of what I have heard 'outside' Casting Directors and Producers say about Colorado actors; They are a very talented pool of amateurs. To no fault of their own, they just don't have the professional experience it takes to audition well.
This goes on in every state with or without incentives. Most major studio "shakers and movers" believe and will always believe, that actors who work in LA, NY (maybe Chicago) are the best actors in the world. Is that true? Doesn't matter, that's the perception ...unless YOU can change their mind.
THE STATE OF THE STATE OF OUR ACTORS:
Again, this is my opinion based on what have seen over the years within Colorado. YES, we have some amazing talent in this market, but it all comes down to an individual's attitude, professionalism, level of preparedness, and TV/FILM AUDITION SKILLS. All of which has to be raised and maintained significantly if anyone is truly interested in competing for the roles that are suited for them. Still, to this day, only a small percentage of rep'd actors are consistently training. I find that discouraging.
STUDENT OR LOW-BUDGET INDIES - It's always good to get experience in front of a camera in any project, good or bad, but don't think for a minute that these projects hold any water to an LA agent, CD, or Director. They couldn't really give a crap about those projects on your resume (unless it's produced or directed by a name that's known in LA)). And don't think that just because you did 20 local indie films in the last year, you're going to stand in front of an LA Casting director and deliver up to their standards (you may have done 20 really bad films and not even know it).
THEATER- I love theater. If you're a theater actor who wishes to get film work, then get back to the camera as often as you can. I was a stage actor for 20 years, but stage work is not a substitute for on-camera training. If you want to take the fullest advantage of this incentive, get into an on-camera class!
START GETTING PREPARED NOW!
Last time I posted a lengthy blog regarding the subject of actors studying, I said, "I don't care who you study with, just study".
Well, this time I'm singing a different tune. I really believe DS StudioWorks has the best real-life training for actors who wish to work professionally. Why? Because we are tough on our acting students, so when they audition, they are ready for anything. Our programs are to the actor what combat training is to the soldier. We throw you into the fire. We don't just teach, we train you. So here's the shameless pitch and link to our website.
Okay, talk amongst yourselves....