Exercise Your Imagination and 4 Other Useful Tips

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Miss this great advice from our Backstage Experts? These five tips are sure to get you moving on the road to success.

CHOOSE SPONTANEITY.
“If we consciously choose the impulsive, instinctual side of our brains where spontaneity, surprise, and risk-taking are possible, that makes our work unpredictable, joyful, and exciting.” —KIMBERLY VAUGHN

ORGANIZE YOUR TIME.
“Divide the tasks in each area of your life and commit to only doing one thing on each task list daily. If it helps, you can make a table or Excel sheet with four columns, then list the different tasks you need to fulfill. The trick is to prioritize what’s really important and not to overdo it.” —GWYN GILLISS

EXERCISE YOUR IMAGINATION.
“It’s easy to get caught in the reality of day-to-day life and to see everything from the flat, one-dimensional lens of someone just trying to get to the end of the day. That is death to the artist. You can add excitement and fun to even the most boring day by using your imagination.” —CRAIG WALLACE

KNOW THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CABLE AND NETWORK PROGRAMMING.
“Characters on a network show need to be instantly recognizable. We know the character in a short time. In your cable audition you can make bolder decisions about your character. Warning: Be careful to not make your character bigger, but rather more obtuse, more perplexing. Find moments that give your character added dimension.” —GREG APPS

MAKE THE CAMERA FEEL COMPASSION FOR YOUR CHARACTER.
“When the camera feels compassion for the actor’s character, it wants to follow that character into the next scene and the next, all the way to the end of the story. It roots for that character, champions that character, fights for that character, and lives or dies by that character’s ultimate success or failure.” —JOHN SWANBECK

Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts!

Craig Wallace
Craig Wallace is the creator and award-winning teacher of the Wallace Audition Technique, an audition preparation system that he developed based on his years of experience as a studio executive, talent agent, and casting consultant.
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John Swanbeck
John Swanbeck is an author, columnist, speaker, creator, and publisher of CleverActorTips and Chief Creative Officer of BlueSwanFilms. He is a renowned director and teacher of actors, directed the existential comedy “The Big Kahuna” starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito, and has packaged his best original techniques into the much-acclaimed book, “How To Steal The Scene & End Up Playing The Lead,” available on Amazon & iTunes.
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Greg Apps
Greg Apps is one of Australia’s most respected casting directors. In a career spanning 30 years, he has cast over 65 feature films.
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Gwyn Gilliss
Having been selected by over 100 east and west coast agents, managers, and casting directors as the “foremost marketing coach for actors,” Gwyn has also had a successful acting career in all medias. She studied at Carnegie Mellon, and was an Emmy Award-nominated Daytime/Primetime TV actress with over a dozen contract and recurring roles. Favorites include: “All My Children” (ABC),“The Lucy Arnaz Show” (CBS), and “Woman of Valor” (NBC, Emmy Award).
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