How to Book Roles That Don’t Yet Exist

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Ben and David are extremely, extremely successful actors who also give free acting advice. If you listen to them you will most likely become famous. If you don’t, things probably won’t pan out for you.

When auditioning for a role, a lot of acting teachers will tell you to “do your research,” but what they don’t tell you is that if you really want to be a future star you have to research the roles that don’t exist yet. As we have publicly stated before, we believe that the Internet is going to become huge. Things are changing. The world is speeding up. That means that we as actors need to be ahead of the curve. It’s not enough anymore to just look at Backstage.com for auditions. You need to be prepared—before you even have anything to prepare for.

“But Ben and David,” you might ask, “how do I prepare for a part that I don’t know anything about?” Great question, but let us ask you something: “What is the strongest tool in the actor’s toolbox?” If you said sensitivity, imagination, or memory, you better start saving up those unemployment checks because you are wrong.

An actor’s greatest tool is and always has been...suffering. Woodworkers cut wood, carpenters lay carpets, and actors win awards with suffering. So just choose a movie that hasn’t been thought of yet, pick a character who might be in that movie, and begin suffering. If you’re preparing for the role of someone who’s sick, try getting the flu and see what it’s like. If you’re preparing for a war movie, pick a fight with someone who looks different than you and pay attention to how it feels. And if all else fails, practice extreme emotions in the mirror to see how your face looks.

This isn’t magic people. We aren’t wizards. We’re just a little ahead of the game. So don’t be left out in the cold (unless the character you're imagining has frostbite, in which case being left out in the cold would be a GREAT idea). Start thinking about projects that don’t exist yet and begin preparing!

For more satirical advice and humor, visit benanddavid.com.

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