Amy Answers ALL Your Questions in ONE!

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Each week Amy answers your questions here! Do you need acting technique tips or career advice? Send them here: AskAmyLyndon@gmail.com.

Amy Lyndon is a Celebrity Booking Coach, CEO and Author of “The Lyndon Technique: The 15 Guideline Map To Booking.” She has 40+ Series Regulars, an Emmy Winner, an Imagen Award Winner and 1000’s of Working Actors around the globe all using her Technique. She’s also an Award Winning Actress, Director and Writer currently with 91 IMDB credits and was the CEO – Personal Manager of Gold-Levin Talent for 9 years.

Hello Amy,
I am an aspiring actress living in Chicago. I have taken acting classes, studying under the Meisner technique and done one play (cast in a lead role). I have a few questions and I am looking for great advice from you. I actually kept your name in my phone for a year and finally found your email address. I read about films on IMDB consistently and happened to see your name as an acting coach for a few of the actors in the movies I was reading about.
I recently went on an audition for a play and was informed that I had gotten a part. The production company is up and coming and didn’t list some things in their ad. They did not have a location for their play(to start in October), and in order to be paid, I would have to sell at least 3 tickets each night of the play (3 nights total). They sent me a notice saying I would be cast as a group member. I sent them an email asking what “group member” meant but they never replied back. I made the decision to email them drop from being in the play.
I had spoken with a few other actors who have done more work and they informed me that any play that requires the cast to sell tickets, and had no location, isn’t a good production to be apart of.
So, here is where my questions come in. How do I find the right films/plays to audition for? I have my headshot and resume. My resume lists the one play I did (at my church) and one extra job I did on Chicago PD (was upgraded to a stand in also). The website Backstage requires payment in order to sign up, and that’s difficult to do when you don’t have extra money for monthly fees. I want to be an actress more than anything else and I feel that not having proper funds may be holding me back. I would like to do independent films as well as big budget. I also want to do plays that are on Broadway. As you can see, I don’t want to be just an actress in Chicago.
My next question is, what do you do when you don’t know where to look? I’ve read how new actors find out about an audition and get a great part. Getting the part I understand; it’s finding those type of auditions that I haven’t mastered. Each site I look at is holding casting calls for extra work. I didn’t take classes for a year to be an extra. I did appreciate seeing how a set is done as well as each take but, I’d like to actually be apart of the bigger picture.
I also am working on my cover letter to send to agencies with my headshot and demo reel (my scenes from the play). I read that a person needs to know what type of actor they are. I personally am someone that could be a girl next door, a villain, fun loving or someone in between. How do I translate this in a cover letter?
My next question is in regards to being a SAG/AFTRA actress. I’ve researched and seen that there are fees in order to become a member. I also read how new actors get cast in a film and then become SAG actors. Can you please enlighten me on how this is done?
I know this is a lot, but I’d rather get as much information as I can from someone who knows rather than a little from someone who isn’t as experienced. Acting is what really makes me happy in regards to my life career. I continue to study and hope to get better and better with the right guidance. I hope to hear back from you and I thank you in advance.
Sincerely,
Donielle
Hi Donielle. Thank you for writing in to Ask Amy! First I have to say that you are a business and you do need to spend money to make money in a business. I do realize how many people are out there trying to make money for their business off of any actor they can find so it can be tricky finding the right fit for you. Regarding the play, if it was a Company Production with dues then I would understand their wanting you to sell their tickets, but since it’s an independent production, it’s not your responsibility to fill the seats. Your payment is your work in their production. Certainly you would try to get people there, but that would be because you want people to see and enjoy your work. If a production of any kind feels like it’s not clear in any way, then it’s a great indication of how it’s going to go throughout the shoot – even way down to not having any craft service.
 
Castittalent.comBackstage.comActorsaccess.comLAcasting.comnowcasting.com require dues because they provide a service. You need to submit yourself and pay towards your career in order to build your business. Careers are made in so many different ways. Many are made on the Festival Circuit from the “free” casting roles. If you’re not seen, then you’re not going to be known.
 
About your cover letter, you’re speaking to business people, so let them know how many projects you’ve been booking and lead them to a link where they can see your clips, demo, photos and resume. Let them see how many ways they can make money from your talent.
 
If you don’t want to be an extra, then you need to start to create a bigger, better package for the industry to take you seriously. It’s best to not be union until you have a ton of credits and/or demo clips from films and television spots you have booked. Sometimes getting your SAG-AFTRA card can come too prematurely. Right now you can get bigger better roles as a Non-Union actor then as a Union actor. The bigger roles as a Union actor goes to name talent. Actors have a tendency to think that being Union is the biggest thing ever, then they become Union and start to think that they’re not getting any Union opportunities and now can’t do anything else since they’re Union.  And yes, there are fees to becoming Union as well. Everyone has a business. Including you. Are you getting the picture? A business costs money know matter how you slice it. If you truly want it, you will figure out a way to get it. I actually have this business site that has been offering a month free and actors don’t take advantage of it because they think that everything should come to them for free, so I do understand the actor’s psychology. I believe that you need to train your mind to understand the concept of business and talent together and then you will see how it all fits together. You need to educate yourself about the value of “paying to play” until they pay you what you are truly worth.
Special Gift: To everyone on http://Castittalent.com make sure you let me know that you came from this site when you receive your welcome letter and I will add on 3 more weeks to your free week, which gives you a free month on my business site http://tltaccess.com for actors.

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Amy Lyndon

CEO – The Lyndon Technique

Phone: 818.760.8501

Website: http://thelyndontechnique.com (Order Amy’s Book here: “The Lyndon Technique: The 15 Guideline Map To Booking Technique”)

Amy’s Actor Business Site: http://TLTaccess.com (Learn How To Match Your Package With Your Talent – Get A Free Week)

Testimonials: http://www.coldreadingclasses.com/testimonials.html

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Amy Lyndon Amy Lyndon is an International Celebrity Booking Coach, CEO and Author of “The Lyndon Technique: The 15 Guideline Map To Booking.” She has 40+ Series Regulars, an Emmy Winner, an Imagen Award Winner and 1000’s of Working Actors around the globe all using her Technique. She’s also an Award Winning Actress, Director and Writer currently with 100+ IMDB credits and was the CEO and Personal Manager of Gold-Levin Talent for 9 years. Check out her technique here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thelyndontechnique

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