Wednesday, 27 of August of 2014

Tag » gwyn gillis

What’s your Window??

First of all, What is a WINDOW?           

A Window is usually defined as –

the time frame for an actor to achieve a respectable body of work

to establish them as a viable product in the entertainment industry”.

A time frame could be 5-7 years or up to 10 years.

Windows are larger for guys. An actor may have a window between 20-35 especially if they might be a “character” guy in the making- think Gene Hackman or Robert Duval who didn’t really start to have major careers until well into their 40’s. But for girls/gals the window is mercilessly smaller from ages between 18 – 25 or 26. 29 or 30 is definitely a cut off. That doesn’t mean your chronological age but your physical appearance age. I have clients who are 34 and look 16 and some who are 22 and look 30.

Whew! A lot of actors think they have a lot of time- a long career- years to “bounce up” and become a “star”- starring on Broadway (THEATER), starring on their own Prime Time Series,(TV) or starring in a movIe (FILM). They don’t. It’s over all too soon. You can still work but it’s a struggle to – get an agent and get anything other than bit parts, smaller supporting parts and a lot of hassle to make a living.

Although at an early stage in an acting career performing in non- professional work (that means non-paying)- showcases, student films and low budget Indie films- is an absolute necessity (you have to start somewhere) You HAVE TO MOVE ON…QUICKLY

!Whether this is discussed with you or not ALL TOP Agents and major players-Film Producers, VP’s of programming, Network Exec’s judge an actor not so much on their talent but on their “credibility”. A multi-million dollar TV series or film can not hinge on an unknown without credits. They simply won’t do it. If they hired you, they would lose their job or their “shirt”. So they won’t cast YOU if you lack major credits. There’s always a dozen finalists for any role. Networks or producers might screentest 6 or more actors –maybe just 3. It’s always narrowed down to those actors who are:

Exceptional, beautiful or very attractive, amazingly talented and EXPERIENCED.

Perfect Example? Sarah Shahi who “really DID blow them away..in her screen test for “FAIRLY LEGAL” (USA EMMY Nominated series)…she did the absolute OPPOSITE of every other actress and WON!

Those who are offered the starring role HAVE to have had at least one guest starring role, several featured or co-starring roles or even a contract role (regular) on a previous series under their belt. That’s how the biz works.

So the concept of-

1- I just need an agent to submit me

2- Once in the door, I’ll blow them away with my great talent and audition

3- I’ll book a major role…

Just doesn’t work- IT’S A DELUSION.  So, how DOES IT WORK?

As an actor you need to get those first few major credits BEFORE

your window closes and BEFORE you can get a top agent.

Soaps- Daytime Dramas used to provide credibility and be great springboards for a lot of young actors especially if they had contract roles but soaps slowly died a quiet death- there are none left in NY and only a handful in LA.

Most Indie films DO NOT provide credibility- everyone knows they are low/no budget, too artsy for the REAL industry, often don’t show an actor’s true talent or marketability and let’s face it- there are too many at too many festivals at a very low level. Most are in genres that don’t exist in prime time…too many sci fi, horror, “heavy drama” and unattractive milieus- violent, ghetto, slum, depressing. The directors are trying too hard to be taken seriously. But, the exception? Those films that are clever, witty or comedic and well done ALWAYS bounce up and win –or are nominated for Academy Awards.(Little Miss Sunshine for example).

Commercials provide credibility- if an actor books a major market or network spot the income is staggering- $50,000 or more, there is great “visibility” and both agents and producers take note. If you’re booking and making money, you’re credible.

Doing quality work on Broadway in a new play -in the day- the old days- would provide credibility …but with increasing costs for production all those “used to be newbie roles” now go to TV/movie stars-the demands of Box Office Appeal. No potential audience member will pay $165+ ( that’s a discount price) for an orchestra seat of a Broadway show (add parking, dinner, babysitter) for someone they don’t recognize from their favorite TV show or in blockbuster films. It’s just economics. And Star power.

So HOW do you bounce up? HOW do you get credits

before your “window” shuts?

1- TV credits- Develop Casting Directors and stalk (not really but the intention is there) all writers, producers, exec’s and creators of series so they will think of you, ask for you and book you on their pet project or even write you in.

2- Film credits – Don’t keep accepting junky roles on sci-fi, student, horror or badly produced indie films…research and aim for at least a tiny part in an A list film. Find out the “below the line” crew- from Assistant Director, writer, associate producer…network…find out who works on specific projects and connect at organizations like the  Director’s or Writer’s Guild. Track down the writer from a previous film you LOVED and write to him/her… there are more ways than auditions to get jobs. People always hire those they know, like and trust…build your network of people who like you.

3. Your own project- this could be :

Standup Comedy

Sketch Comedy

Web-i-sode series

Your own film- even a “short”. Make it really excellent and get it to Film Festivals Promote, promote, promote!

Four of my current clients did just that- write their own film. Three of them NOW have top agents sending them out and the 4th was recently in France after attending  the Cannes Film Festival…she’s meeting the crème de la crème of the American (Hollywood) and European Film Industries.  She’s already got film offers for the next year!!!

Although we all train in theater- cut our chops on it- it rarely provides the vehicle or the springboard. So ADJUST.

Study and develop your technique in theater so you’re really accomplished and then use marketing /networking tactics to make it happen. I call it the “Backdoor Strategy”- working TV and Film in order to get major roles in theater on Broadway.

4- Hire a coach. Create a project. Have your coach call a TOP Agent. Do the NY or LA Marathon  - (3 of my top A list working actor-clients got their Agents and TV/Film roles there.)

Tooting my own horn? Yep I am. It works for my clients…and anyone who wants to get there!

Be Brilliant!


What is your Trigger? What Makes you Irresistable?

David Ogilvy, a Marketing genius (and my hero) said something very enlightening about marketing and it relates to your marketing as an actor-

It’s not the product (YOU)

It’s not the quality of the product (your Talent)

It’s not even how the product is developed (your Training)

It’s triggering the potential buyer into thinking they can not live without the product, YOU!

Ogilvy is personified in the characters on the Retro 60’s Prime Time series, Madmen- bright, cunning, ambitious and manipulative advertising men. He thought, breathed, tasted and LIVED Marketing.

“When I write an advertisement I don’t want you to tell me you find it “creative”.

I want you to find it so interesting you BUY the product!”

And that’s your GOAL as an actor- to be so interesting that they (the Industry) BUYS the product- YOU!

He was successful in part because he had a 3 point system:

1. He Built BRANDS (American Express, Barbie, IBM, Ford)

 YOU NEED TO BE A BRAND

2. He Used ICONIC Campaigns (The Hathaway Shirt Man with the eye patch, Commander Whitehead for Schwepps, the Red can of Coke)

YOU NEED TO BE AN ICON- Arrogant Doctor, Steely Lawyer, Sexy Spy, Feisty Undercover Cop – how you would play those roles- that’s your ICON- your uniqueness!

3. He Used KNOWLEDGE from research to manipulate the emotions of the buyer to sell his product. He was big on research. If you know a lot about your buyer- you can sell   them anything!

YOU NEED TO DO THE SAME- Research your market- the shows on which you want to appear, the tastes of the producer/writer/network. Find a match to YOUR style, range of roles and “look”. If you’re a Gossip Girl or Sex And The City Fashionista you shouldn’t be targeting Breaking Bad, Chicago Fire or Unnecessary Roughness.

He learned the 3 MAJOR “triggers” that would make anyone buy ANYTHING …

usually based on FEAR.

1-    Fear of not being COOL, not being LIKED– Volkswagen is cool, Dodge is not. Paying cash is nerdy, American Express is in- “Don’t leave home without it!

2-    Fear of not being WANTED in the TRIBE -being left out –Why were thousands of people across America in a frenzy, standing in line for 4 hours to buy an expensive tech-toy? Because it was an i-phone or ipad and you’re welcome in the tribe if you have one.

3-     Fear of NOT being socially ACCEPTABLE-  It’s not acceptable to have bad breath,  dandruff and smelly cooking odors in your kitchen. So you NEED toothpaste, dandruff shampoo and room freshener. Did ANYONE use these products before Ogilvy and 1948?

Not really.

He proved that millions of people buy products to fulfill a need to be LIKED, WANTED and ACCEPTED not because they needed the products.

All this because of a TRIGGER. So What’s YOUR Trigger?

What is it about YOU as an actor that motivates a Director or Producer to hire you or a Casting Director to call you in? It’s not just your audition.

It’s really simple if you think about your BRAND, put that BRAND into your Marketing TOOLS and then drive home a CLEAR message to Casting Directors, Producers, Network Executives-   who like you, want you, can’t live without you for their project. That’s Winning!

Example:

  1. CLIENT-  Claire, A red-haired, fun, intelligent, headstrong Woman

OBSTACLE – NO agent, NO auditions, not being seen for major Prime Time Roles

So,  first CREATE a TRIGGER; Sexy Redhead Who takes control…

Then, following David Ogilvy’s 3 step Marketing System we FIND A winning solution.

I. BUILD A BRAND

FIX-STAGE 1- Define the 3 roles she can play NOW- Comedic Head Nurse, Feisty Corporate Lawyer, FBI Bureau Chief

FIX-STAGE 2- Get Marketing Tools – Shoot both Lifestyle photos and a Sizzle scene showing her playing a Feisty Lawyer a Comedic Nurse , and a Bureaucrat

 II. USE ICONIC Campaigns

Send a ONE PAGE Casting Sheet to targeted CD’s- Claire is a perfect: Wise Ass

                  Nurse (Nurse Jackie), FBI Bureau Chief (White Collar or Covert Affairs), Corporate Lawyer(Good Wife),

LINK to her website with 3 scenes showing the ICONS above

Follow up email s with reviews about her brilliant performances as the 3 ICONIC ROLES.

III. USE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE CONSUMER to create excitement and desire to hire her

RESEARCH the Prime Time Shows for the style that is congruent to hers

TARGET Network Executives, Screenwriters, TV Casting Directors

SEND LINKS to all TARGETED Industry Pro’s- “She is so perfect for your show because she plays- 1,2,3 (the specific roles)…..”

RESULT:

Over time- 2-3 months to a year, Top Casting Directors will remember her specific message-

If the BRAND is clear and the work is first rate, they will call her and audition her and call her again and again. Along the way she can develop the relationships that will lead to her being cast frequently. Work begets work. Then more Industry request her. It’s an upward spiral.

Having a system and creating a TRIGGER that compels the Industry to respond to what they need and want will create a thriving acting career. Adding an aggressive marketing campaign and a Mentor to help speeds the process.

Be Brilliant!


4 Thing you Need to Know about a Personal Manager

Almost weekly Coaching clients ask me, “Do I need a Personal Manger?” What does a manager do? What’s the difference between an agent and a manager? How do they work? Is it worth the extra % to hire one? How do you find a really good Personal Manager?

There’s a lot of confusion about Agents and Personal Managers-

What does each do? And when as an actor should you seek

the services of each? So I asked several agents and managers to answer

these questions. My first interview was with Paul Caplan-Bennett from  PB Management, a past president of Talent Managers Association, a really wonderful person and successful manager who is currently working with a number of my  clients in the LA TV/Film Market.

1. What’s the difference between agents and managers? Agents are more about today and managers are more interested in tomorrow. By that I mean Managers care about making plans to figure out the road for the future. A manager looks for and plans for a long career while an agent plans for the immediate. Decisions made today are with an eye for tomorrow. Also, an agent’s primary responsibility is to procure employment and negotiate a contract, a manager is involved in everything else while keeping an eye on creating job opportunities today as well.

2.What do Personal Managers do specifically? I think all managers work differently and do different things. However, within that, managers oversee all that is going on with a client. Guidance is always a code word for managers but that guidance has to come with specifics. For example, pictures. Maybe the most important item for a new actor. A manager needs to be totally involved in this process, from deciding on looks, types and actually making choices as to what photo will be used. Same for reels. If the client has material a manager can shape the look of the reel and help create a a persona for a young actor. When a career starts to take off a manager helps with PR people, entertainment attorneys, suggesting projects  and anything else that will help a client continue move their career ahead.

3.What do they NOT do for actors/clients. Anything illegal or immoral is off the table. Also, your personal life should not interfere with your working relationship. They should not give legal advice, unless they have a law degree, should not manage a client’s finances or give financial advice. 

4.How does the actor obtain the services of a manager? There are many ways and each manager has preferences. In this day and age there is so much information available that an actor should research managers and try to see who is a good fit for them. For me personally, the best way is through a reference. Maybe an agent, a casting director or one of my clients knows an actor and makes me aware of them always makes me want to at least take a meeting. An actor can also email a manager with their information but I highly suggest that it be made personal. Do not send “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Manager.” Pretty much any avenue is okay to explore, just be careful about crossing a line that becomes rude, obnoxious or stalker like.


Are You Shipping?

 When developing the Mac, Steve Jobs was reported to have said

to a recalcitrant engineer who wouldn’t release codes on schedule,           

  “Real artists ship!”

The quote is significant because it applies to any artist. It applies to YOU as an actor. An artist or any creative person creates. And then you sell your creation. It doesn’t sit in the warehouse or your imagination…it’s out in the world as are you. On time. So what’s the point? Simple.

CLARIFY YOUR VISION – “I want wonderful starring roles in TV series and films! I want to appear as a featured singer/dancer in a Broadway musical. I want to play great classical roles in theater.”

TURN IT INTO A MATERIAL THING – “Here is my creativity/my product: my brilliant demo reel, my headshot, my V.O. reel, my website, my LIVE audition. Create a webisode,write and film a short, get enthusiastic actors together and form a small theater company – produce a play. Activate! There is JOY in the creation!

SHIP ITpost the reels on your website and the Internet, advertise your talent, “persona” and “brand” in email or mail campaigns, promote your product on social media- Twitter and  Facebook,Instagram, Link’d In,  market your type through interviews, auditions and networking events. Meet everybody- writers, directors, playwrights, filmmakers, network exec’s- Get you into the marketplace. No one can hire you if they don’t know you!

Do all the above to sell your product. And while we’re at it, let’s do a quality control analysis. What is the quality of your product? Amateur, messy, untogether, student-ish ? Or excellent, professional, brilliant? Would Bill Gates or Steve Jobs have released something student-ish? NO.

So you don’t ship early with a handful of mistakes.You don’t not ship. And you don’t ship late – months, years after you’re actually ready to go. WHY? You’ll miss your market, your shot, your “break”. Yes, there are such things and it’s called “timing”. For most actors the sooner you enter the market the sooner you work. Film and TV is a photogenic market- the younger you are the better you look on camera and the more roles there are. By example, 40 + TEEN series are casting dozens of roles in LA prime time TV and a slew of current films are casting not only teens but early twenties. Movie stars are made in their 20′s these days. As a singer/dancer for Broadway musicals- the younger you are, the more energy you have so the sooner you’re cast and can build credits. Choreographers don’t cast actors who’ve been around for a decade waiting to be “ready”. They cast the youngest, most attractive, most eager, most energized- you get the picture. It’s all about ENERGY and PASSION and those who ship on time! Talent is a given. 

DID VAN GOGH OR PICASSO WAIT UNTIL THEY WERE 30 TO PAINT?  

Or until they could afford a new canvas? Some new paint? The perfect studio? By staying in classes, workshops and seminars because you are waiting to be “ready” you are delaying any possibility of success. Character actors are the exception- they have to grow into their type- a middle aged, comedic guy or an elegant upscale matron. But that’s the exception. You need to get your product out the door and in the Marketplace. You need to create, promote and ship!

So, why don’t actors ship?  

FEAR. DOUBT. LACK OF SELF-CONFIDENCE, LIZARD BRAIN, the older part of our brains that constantly puts us in a state of paralyzing fear and won’t let us try anything that would threaten the status quo. The newer brain is the one that creates, is full of: fun, joy, love. The older brain is just there for survival-food, water, shelter, my day job. The Lizard brain is stronger. It’s been around longer. You have to overcome it or fear dominates you. And it sounds like this- all excuses for facing possible success:

I don’t have the money for a headshot.

I don’t have the time to create a marketing campaign.

I’m not paying for a demo reel when I can get a FREE one from a student filmmaker.

My friends have a camera- I’ll get a free head shot from them.

I need more training. I’m not ready!

My parents want me to go back to school to get a Masters. 

I have to pay off student loans first!

It’s endless. It’s pathetic. It’s a LIZARD. Step on it! What’s the true hallmark of an artist? The art comes first. The rest is the  mundane stuff of life. Non-creative types live for the mundane: the house, the condo, the new car, designer clothes, luxury items, the bank account, exotic vacations, statusy toys- material goods. That’s all OK- it actually comes to you as a side product of being successful, but-

ARTISTS LIVE FOR THE JOY OF CREATING…ART!

So, if you are an artist, no matter what your parents, spouse, friends say or suggest you do, no matter what you hear from your acting teacher, what you’re told by strangers, what myths about acting you pick up, what gossip from internet sites you read, you prevail. You conquer the fear, you shut the Lizard Brain off and - 

YOU SHIP!


Are you Camera-Ready for PILOT SEASON? Four Tips to Look your Best and BOOK more On-Camera Work!

You control your audition- don't let your appearance get in the way of your performance...or lose you the job!

If you’re cast in a Prime time series, film or even a major market commercial, there are usually professional teams of people to make you look good. But if you’re on the set of a low budget indie, a non-union industrial or a web series or AUDITIONING for a PILOT- there may not be anyone to give you a professional “camera ready” appearance.  Getting cast isn’t always about your “work” or your talent- it’s about HOW YOU LOOK on camera. The difference between booking the role  and being told- “You’re so good but we’re going with some one else”..is a few simple things you should learn how to do yourself. No matter what project you’re appearing in or auditioning for you need to look great.

Being camera ready for AUDITIONS, INTERVIEWS  and WORKSHOPS is essential especially if there’s the least possibility that you’ll be meeting Top Industry Professionals.

We recently had a Marketing Intensive Workshop with a slew of A list Agents, Network Exec’s and TV Producers on a panel. When asked who in the room of 25 actors they would call in, represent, audition or hire for their Emmy Award series, they looked around the room, conferred with each other and said, “None”

The attendees were in shock. Why wouldn’t they be considered for a contract role? The high powered guests hadn’t even seen their work since this was a no-audition workshop. Obviously, it wasn’t just about the audition or talent.

The answer? No one was dressed appropriately, looked fabulous or gave the impression they were ready for a major role-no one appeared to be a star in the making. Since it was a weekend workshop most actors chose to come casual- even though they knew they would be meeting some pretty heavyweights in the Biz.  Wearing jeans, sweats, t-shirts, no make-up for some of the girls, hair wacked back in a clip…the general impression was that they were students in a class not networking with A List movers and shakers. First impressions count! Most Pro’s decide in the first 4-7 seconds if they want to audition or hire you. Oops!

Here are some tips so you can always be camera ready.

1. MAKE-UP -Bring your own make-up- guys included. Either cream or liquid foundation to match your natural skin tone and powder! Everyone looks shiny, greasy or sweaty on camera! Unless you’re playing a long distance runner or are doing a re-make of Broadcast News (remember Albert Brooks who was so nervous he had “flop sweat” when reporting the evening news?). You don’t want to let them see you sweat.

Solution: Use pressed powder in a compact. It has a flat round soft cotton pad that smoothes the powder on your skin- especially on your nose, forehead and chin- where actors appear to be the “shiniest”. Or use natural mineral products with a large brush to get rid of the “shine”.

LIPS: Unless it’s a vampire movie, ladies, please avoid the red, wine, crimson, fuchsia, purple, or cabernet lipstick. (if your skin tone is very dark you are the exception and some of these shades might work). But most broadcast quality cameras are highly sensitive and will actually exaggerate the color-it will appear darker – you might look like you have bloody lips or just look strange. EYES: Less is more in a close-up. What looks lovely on the street- black liner, frosted shadow looks like a raccoon on camera.

Solution: Go for a more fashionable natural or warm color of lipstick with a small amount of gloss. Simple mascara and soft shadow- no glitz or frost.

3. HAIR DESIGN- Bring hairspray, gel or mousse. Unless you’re running into the wind in every take your hair will inevitably get into your face, your mouth, your eyes. Girls with WAMP hair usually suffer the most. What is WAMP? That long, straight, hanging hair that never stays in place when you start talking. Nothing wrong with long hair. You just don’t want to be pushing it constantly behind your ears or flopping it back-it’s annoying to your audience.You won’t book!

Solution: Just cut layers, curl it, wave it or straighten it with an electric straightening iron so it has body and is “disciplined” into staying in place, not hanging limply. For guys, if you have a buzz or military cut, no worries. You’re exempt. Everybody else, spray it. You don’t want hair to get in the way of your performance.

4. WARDROBE - Avoid red, white or black (depending on your character and the situation). If given a choice, choose more vibrant colors. On a lower budget set, the lighting may not be too refined so red may glare, turn orange, icky pink or appear to be a large blood stain-not attractive. Black just looks dull and absorbs all the energy unless you are portraying an FBI agent, or a high powered Attorney in a power suit. Even then you can always wear a shirt with a warm shade of blue, peach, yellow or green. White may “ghost” – that’s a thin green line that appears around you so you look ghostly. These things all depend on the experience level of the director or lighting designer. Dark wine, navy, dark green or gray-all these just make you appear to be a conservative, dull or depressed character.

Solution: If the costume designer gives you clothing in dull or dark shades, counter the effect by bringing a bright scarf, or accessory- handbag, shawl, tie, vest, hat…think around the dreary outfit you may have to wear. Solid colors always make you look thinner and more refined.  Unless your character is a dowdy person bring your own vibrancy and colors! You’ll stand out and might garnish more kudos for your performance!

Successful Auditioning – Happy PILOT SEASON!

 


The Olympic Mindset

 

I always like to look at role models- people who have achieved their goals with great success. There are few things more thrilling than watching great performances. It’s inspiring! That’s why I love watching the Olympics. There’s something to be learned by evaluating the qualities that make up Olympic Winners.

There are few careers more demanding than being an Olympic athlete- being an actor (or any creative professional- designer, writer, director, singer, stylist) who suceeds over incredible odds to star/work in major films and TV series might be one of them.

How do YOU compare to an Olympic Gold Medal Winner? Do you have a Winning Mindset?

What qualities do these athletes have that make them Winners?

What IS the OLYMPIC MINDSET?

1. They LOVE what they do. You can see the joy in every moment they are competing.

They didn’t enter the race for the sake of the medal…they entered because they love to compete and do the best they can with their unique talent. They’re having FUN!

2.They have a strong BELIEF in themselves.

Confident that they could get to the podium, they talk about their skill and desire to win very naturally, “I am going to do this- it’ll work out!”

3. They have FOCUS and the ABILITY to follow through.

Even if it takes years of practice, set-backs, and injuries they never lose sight of their goal.It may take years with one set-back but they’re back 4 years later!

4. They see a CLEAR VISION. Most Olympians talk about how they visualized themselves being EXACTLY where they are and those visualizations started when they were very young. They KNEW exactly what they wanted to do and could see it clearly.

5. They have incredible DISCIPLINE and WILLPOWER.

No matter what the weather,the season or their physical condition they persist in a strict and consistent schedule of training both physically and mentally. No excuses!

6. They are CREATIVE and UNIQUE. They have the courage to do things their way.They break records because they are in tune with their own bodies and spirit, “This is how I do this…and it works for me!”

7. They have HUMILITY and embrace SIMPLICITY.

They are not complicated as people.Life is about achieving their goal and not allowing anything no matter how trivial- to get in their way; habits, diet, finances, relationships..everything is put in perspective for the higher goal. You don’t frequently see “ego trips” or “trauma dramas” because there simply isn’t time in their life for such things.

So, do you have an Olympic Mindset?


Knowing How to Play the Game- Learning how to WIN!

Gwyn's Marketing Strategies Help Actors Get to the NEXT Level and have a successful Career!
OK, QUICK QUIZ:
Which is the better option? Going around the board and collecting $200 as you pass GO? or Owning BOARDWALK?

(with little red hotels on it)? As kids you might have played MONOPOLY as we did. Since I was the youngest I thought the point of the game was to shake the dice and move my little shoe around the board.I was thrilled to be given $200 even though the paper money was useless.

Pass GO

What did I know?  I was a 5 year old. My older siblings and cousins however, were cut-throat game players and knew the real strategy for the game of Monopoly. And what was the strategy? Buy all the property, put hotels on everything and squeeze everybody

out of all their cash. (If you go to the official site for MONOPOLY they even tell you the object of the game is: to “bankrupt all your opponents”). You trade your mortgage cards until you get a set-3 green or 3 yellow or the 2 ultra luxury  blue- Boardwalk and Park Place. Then, you take ALL YOUR CASH, buy hotels or dozens of little green houses. You sit and WAIT …like  a cat for a mouse or a spider for a fly. When someone lands on your site- KACHINK!!! $$$$ Money $$$ MONEY $$$ MONEY $$$!!! Talk about passive income! Success is yours. You have a SYSTEM for WINNING!

If only it were that EASY…to be a successful ACTOR in NYC or LA. It CAN be …IF you have a SYSTEM. 

OK, years later… After having a successful acting career (TV, Films, Broadway, American Repertory Theater, Commercials…)  and now that I’m a successful Marketing Mentor, I look at actor’s marketing strategies -  I see a parallel. Some actors remind me of the way I used to play Monopoly- rolling the dice and moving my shoe around the board:

*Answering casting ads in trade papers (showcases, student films, extra work)
*Submitting themselves on-line (non-paying showcases, student films, extra work)
*Sending out postcards or hundreds of resumes monthly (1-2 % response rate)
*Paying to meet casting directors and agents one-on-one- foreverrrrr!
*Writing cover letters stating the obvious, ”I’m an actor seeking representation…”

These things may have worked in the 80′s or 90′s but in the 2000′s they don’t seem to be as effective. Very few actors tell me that they’ve gotten quality work or agent representation by using any of the above techniques. They’re just going around the board wearing out their “shoe”. Very frustrating! So, how do you cut to the chase and do something that will get you Boardwalk, i.e., An Agent? Major auditions? A Successful Acting Career?

Time for a NEW strategy. A SYSTEM for WINNING.

Why not find a Marketing Coach? A Mentor? Someone who’s been there, done that and knows a lot of major industry people, a successful actor who’s made a $6 figure income from decades of ACTING credits in all medias?  There are a lot of “coaches” out there- businessmen/women, ex-”managers”, acting teachers, casting directors, even psychologists. It’s great that they can help you in some way but they may not be YOUR best choice to guide you to a successful ACTING CAREER. They haven’t been there- done that!

There are a lot of Life Coaches out there. They’re terrific at inspiring you and even assisting you to get your life organized – the lists, the charts, the organizational structure- the Workbooks and daily tasks!!! But, they may not be YOUR best choice to guide you to a successful acting career.

Acting isn’t about checking off lists or paperwork- it’s active. Life Coaches  have never been on stage-they’re not necessarily good communicators and they definitely haven’t been there or done that!  They can help with the preliminaries but in the final stretch, they just don’t get it. They don’t have the knowledge to help you succeed. Ask them at the 11th hour how to ace a screen test for your “breakthrough role”- not gonna happen. (they would probably send you to an acting coach- still not gonna happen. You need a Strategy not just technique).

So, where do you find the perfect Mentor for YOU? Well, If you’re an ice skater and you want to WIN A GOLD MEDAL at the  OLYMPICS, who do you hire?
A businessperson? A psychologist? A spectator? Another Skater? A Life Coach?

OR…

The toughest, most disciplined ex-Olympic ice-skater you can find who is now a COACH? Someone who won the GOLD or at least was a finalist garnering the SILVER or the BRONZE in years past? It’s a no-brainer!  Give me the guy with experience any day. They know the ropes, the in’s and out’s, the specific path, the downfalls, the best technique,the best rinks for practice, the best partners, the tricks, the strategy. They even know all the top people in the arena because they were there! So by hiring a master you’re not only getting the best training, the best information,the best connections but by association it might be assumed that as their protégé, YOU will be the next GOLD MEDAL WINNER!

So, this is a SYSTEM that works…for OLYMPIC ice skaters. Does it work for YOU as an actor? Of course it does. You can apply a SYSTEM to any career. That’s why medical students compete to get residencies at major hospitals specializing in their area of expertise and why law students clerk with Supreme Court Judges and prestigious law firms. Work with the best and you become the best. Simple. So, to review. What is the SYSTEM? Understanding how the game is played and working with a WINNING PLAYER- a Coach who’s already achieved what you want to achieve.

If you have a Marketing Coach you can develop a marketing strategy, get the best marketing tools, make connections to the highest level of the industry and get an amazing agent who will then get you amazing auditions from which you’ll get amazing jobs! You can’t do that by sending out postcards every month or dropping off flyers. Sure, you’ll get a job or two- but that’s NOT A CAREER.

“The experience of a Mentor who was a working, successful actor is  invaluable…something that ordinary coaches can’t help you with,  something other out- of -work actors can’t help you with. 

Now it’s time to make a decision. Do you want to keep going around the board wearing out your shoe? Or do you want to OWN Boardwalk? What you envision, you create.


Video – How to Get an Agent in 30 Days or Less

Gwyn teaches over 300 actors at

THE SHOWBIZ EXPO How to Get an AGENT…in 30 Days or Less!

Those who followed up and worked with Gwyn really jumpstarted  their Career.


Video- “How to make a $ix Figure Income in Commercials!”

Gwyn’s Commercial Crash Course in New York!

WE had soooo much FUN and everybody  VIDEOTAPED about  a DOZEN commercial scripts and saw the playbacks…met a top agent, Noah Suchoff from Atlas Talent and learned HOW TO BOOK those high paying MAJOR MARKET COMMERCIALS… YAY Everybody!


Trailer from Gwyn’s “How to Get a $ix Figure Income in Commercials” Crash Course

Get amazing tips from Gwyn Gilliss about WINNING at your  next commercial audition!

and take the NEXT Crash Course!  find out more…