Category Archives: Actor Stuff

Why Would You Ever Give Up?

I’ve always had the dream to being a working actor.  This is actually quite impossible living in the Midwest.  There just isn’t enough opportunities.  I’ll be honest, 2017 was one of my best acting years in 17 years, I booked about six gigs, and still, I only made about 10 grand.  Then subtract all the gas I spent driving to Minneapolis, and the hotel rooms, and the food, and I’m left with a fun hobby that I make a little bit of money off of.

I recently went out to LA, and I had dinner with an old friend of mine that has had a modicum of success in the acting world.  I toyed with the idea of trying to get an agent out in LA, but he assured me that it was no small feat.  Basically, when you meet with an agent, their first question is, how many Instagram followers do you have?  And if you don’t say 100,000 plus, they point to the door.

(I have 0 followers, FYI, so, shit outta luck).

And yet still, I can’t quite give up.  I don’t know why.  Well, I know why.  It’s because, when I’m on set, there’s no other place I’d rather be.  I truly love the whole process.  I even love auditioning.  I see it not as an opportunity to get a job, but as an opportunity to act.  Acting gives an actor the opportunity to pull a part of themselves out in the open, and if they’re lucky, make some money out of it.  There is no bigger thrill than doing something you absolutely positively love, and in the end, get paid for it.  I’m way passed now acting for free, because it’s usually a lot of work.  Acting ain’t easy.  Memorizing lines is usually a pain in the ass.  Nobody likes doing that.  But when that’s all done, and you’ve figured out how you’re going to play the part, being on set can be a blast.

Recently, I had a string of parts I didn’t get.  I was feeling a little down about things.  Right at that moment where I thought, you know, I had a good run, maybe it’s time I hung up the hat, took a bow, and said adios, and got a “real job”, I got an audition for a commercial shooting in Omaha.  When I first saw the email from my agent, I thought, uhhhh, I’m not going to get it.  And then, right after that moment, I thought, what in THE HELL am I talking about?  This is a LOSER MENTALITY.  I’m not only going to audition for the part, but I’m going to put my heart and soul into the audition, and work my ass off to do whatever I can to get the part.  You want me to drive to Omaha for the audition?  Hell yeah.  Let’s go.  I’m going ALL IN.

It didn’t matter that I ended up getting the part.  You know, you lose most, and get maybe a few.  But what was important for me is that I didn’t give up.  I didn’t let that insecure thought get the better of me.  I fought hard against it.  And I’ll admit, sometimes you have to fake being strong.  God knows I’ve felt like shit before after the 30th received rejection.  As a matter of fact, I have literally auditioned over 100 times in the last year for voice-over gigs, and I have not gotten a one.  But do you think when I get another audition, I’m going to think, oh I’m not going to get it?  Oh hell no.  I feel blessed that I’m given the opportunity to audition for it.

We all have to deal with rejection in this life.  Some maybe more than others.  But here’s a tip:  the moment you feel like giving up, know that in that same moment, many others decide to quit as well, and do.  Push through that moment, and double-down even harder.  You might not get that opportunity you’re going for, but you can at least be proud of yourself for not giving up.

-Clint

IMG_7506 2

Advertisements

Tips For The Voice-Over Actor

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about the art of listening.  It’s something every actor needs to master.  Without listening, we are bad actors.  Just memorizing lines, and saying them how we’d say them to ourself in the mirror.  When you listen, things becomes active, and in the moment.  Your fellow actor says a line, and how they say the line will affect how you say your line.

Let’s take things a bit further now.  Every actor needs to find their voice, and that’s extremely complicated.  Once you put a microphone or a camera in front of a person’s face, their performance will inevitably change.  Why does it?  Insecurity plays a part.  We feel as humans that we’re just not good enough.  Therefore, when a camera gets in our face, we feel the need to “put some ketchup on it.”

We are always listening, and we don’t necessarily know that we’re doing it.  When someone is talking, we give off the appearance of listening.  Start listening, see what happens.  Don’t formulate the next thing you’re going to say halfway thru their monologue.  That’s not listening.  Here’s the question…  Are you listening when you’re talking?  Yes, we are, when done well.  You don’t know when the person is going to talk next, so when you’re talking, and want to have a good conversation, you should be listening as well, because you never know when they might interject with something, to add to the conversation.

After a year of auditioning for voice-over gigs, I’ve learned a couple things.  My recent discovery is you should be attuned to the possibility of someone saying something back to you while doing the audition.  Ok, that doesn’t make sense, Clint.  Well if you want to give the impression that your audition is conversational, you should be “on your toes” if something perhaps magical happens, and your computer starts talking to you, so you can realistically respond to that.  I know that’s probably not going to happen, but you should be in that mode of thinking.

Another discovery I’ve made is maybe we’re not trying to find our voice, but we’re trying to find our breath.  In a voice-over audition, you should not take a huge breath before you start speaking, and rush thru the lines.  That’s not realistic.  After doing it a couple times, you need to find the places where you breathe.  I think this is a breakthrough idea.  Perhaps it’s not the words we say that is important.  But it’s where we find the moments to NATURALLY breathe that is most important.

Besides smokers, I think people are inherently afraid to take a deep breath, as if God mights say, hey, man.  You’re taking up too much air!  Don’t be greedy.  To find your voice, a big part of it will be to find your breath.

Then you’ll start booking some voice-over gigs, like I hope to do.  God knows I have auditioned over 100 times, and nothing yet.

-Clint

Sexual Harassment Training Trailer

Here’s something we all need to see on a Wednesday afternoon.  I recently acted in this training video, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun.  But on a serious note…um…ok, there’s no serious note.  Check out the trailer, and if you’re looking to purchase sexual harassment training for your business, contact Sollah for your very own copy.

 

Cenex Super Bowl Commercial

If you didn’t catch my commercial on the Super Bowl, here it is.  My “friend” Tommy brought it to my attention that there seemed to be some extra warmth around my mid-section.  I informed him that I gained 30 pounds for the part.  To get that authentic, good guy from the Midwest who has perhaps consumed a bit too much Busch Light at the local bar.

It’s great what you can get away with in practicing “The Method.”

Cheers!

-Clint

Clint Curtis Actor Demo Reel

I’m behind the bar, mid-shift, my manager comes up to me, stands there, surveys the room. You know, I really like this guy. He’s super-reserved, somewhat quiet, but has a dry sense of humor I appreciate.

Hey, man. I’ve got a question for you.

He says, shoot.

I say, have you ever worked on something, like a project, maybe a song. Let’s say for over 20 YEARS. Finally you’re done with it. You’re so excited about it. You send it to your friend, maybe your MANAGER, and then NOTHING. No comment. Not ONE WORD. Like “good job” or a “nice”. NOTHING.

He smiles that smile, says casually, conservatively, oh, your reel? Yeah…good. Had a lot of variance.

On a side note, for the musicians out there, have you ever written a song, recorded it, then your buddy says, let’s hear it. You’re excited, you push play, then 1/3 of the way through, THEY START TALKING. It’s like, shut the fuck up, dude. LISTEN TO THE SONG. I don’t want you to even BREATHE while it’s playing. Not your blah, blah, blah all the way thru the song.

For my followers who receive my stories, please go to fromthebar.me to watch my new actor’s reel. And a hearty thank you in advance goes to my mom for the one comment.

-CC