ACTORS PREPARE BEFORE KNOCKING ON PRODUCER DOOR
HELLO AMERICA! Since being responsible for wearing so many pre-production activities for our Pre-Broadway play with music I FEEL SIN COMIN’ ON, I have been forced to see that so many people, with aspirations of becoming an active part of the theater or films, have very little idea as to how to prepare. Thousands of these innocent hopefuls crowd the casting offices, believing all they have to do is show up being handsome or pretty or even displaying their physical assets i.e., breasts, tight trousers or flash a sexy smile and the doors will open wide for them. And this is true in some cases but will they ever really get an opportunity to prove who they are before a camera. Oh, that’s the rub!
I could not believe it when one actress showed up in my office wearing a beautiful fur coat and when opening it to sit down, she was wearing absolutely nothing under it! The woman was naked! Oh, Golly, Miss Molly, it was unbelievable! Unfortunately, she honestly believed this was a move to convince me that she could play one of the key, sexy characters in our show. I quickly but politely insisted she returns home and put some clothes on. However, the so-called actress did admit it was something she had seen in a film at one time and she thought she might try it. Well, it didn’t work.
When I’m asked to lecture or speak at a drama class in one of our colleges or even high schools, I make it very clear concerning the realities of so-called “making it” in our business or even getting noticed in a serious way for any acting opportunity in film or the theater, .accepting the fact how important it is to take drama history classes, speech, improvisation, music, especially if interested in that specific area of performance, plunge into the exciting, challenging langue of such playwrights as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Shakespeare, Inge and so many other fine exciting writers of note..
The reason the world became disciples of actors such as Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, Meryl Streep, Judith Anderson, Kate Hepburn, Jack Lemon, James Dean to name a few because they were prepared for the challenge opened to them. When I first saw Bette Davis light on the silver screen in the film The Corn is Green, I was a young 12-year-old kid, deeply affected how the story was told by this great star. It affected my dreams, desire to accomplish something on that artistic level at every turn through my artistic life. When I finally met the actress in Hollywood, I mentioned how she affected my life and dreams and she embraced me with tears rolling down her cheeks. It was quite a moment.
The bottom line is that if one expects to survive in such a competitive industry as an actor, musician, dancer etc., one has to prepare quite seriously and not rely on what you look like or any of the other tricks one has been prone to believe based on films or novels which are really just fantasy. Success basically involes hard work and a stark understanding of REALITY.
Michael St. John