Viewing entries in
Judy Kain

5 Comments

Judy Kain's Advice Column

"Hi Judy,

I'm wondering if I could ask your advice on a weird callback I had today.

I signed in and we all waited for a while. They had been going in groups of 4 but by the time they got to me they had no one left. They did ask one girl to stay and go again with me, but the scene was supposed to be with two other guys as well. There were two parts to the commercial - we did the first take and the director cut us off before the second part. He then quickly went into the next take and I felt rushed right into it, so the second take was probably really jumbled and again he never let us get to the second part. When the girl and I got outside she said that that was nothing like it was the first time she went in. 

I've been rushed through auditions and callbacks before and rarely feel good about how it went after. 

What would you have done in this situation?"

-Feeling Rushed

I understand your frustration.

It doesn't sound like an ideal callback situation. And I think you handled it as best you could. It is possible they were going according to appointment time and not according to the sign in list.

If you ever feel rushed. You can always say, "Let me do that again" or "Can I have another pass at that?" When all is said and done, you have to let it go and move on to the next opportunity. You did nothing wrong.

We have to adopt that attitude of divine nonchalance, in which we do our best but there is little to no need for the job. Always happy to be of service to the spot as you are a unique and fantastic talent, should they choose you.

All the best,

Judy Kain

Have a question? Ask an expert. Submit your question anonymously via email or in the comments below to have it answered in a future advice column.

Picture

 

Judy Kain has been a professional actress now for 37 years, showcasing her skills and talents in over 350 commercials and in over 80 roles for film and television.  

Some of her more well-known credits include a Television Series Regular on The Jackie Thomas Show and a Recurring role on the Emmy-winning show Mad Men, a role which won her a SAG Award.  Her other favorite recurring credits include Married with Children, For Your Love, Grosse Pointe, and Manhattan, AZ with Chad Everett.  She has done numerous guest appearances on the hit shows Modern Family, The Middle, Bones, Castle, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives, ER, Seinfeld, The District, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, Friends, and The Drew Carey Show just to name a few.   Her teaching career has also lead to immense success, being voted BACKSTAGE WEST'S FAVORITE ON-CAMERA COMMERCIAL TEACHER IN LA in 2010 and 2011.  Her other acting classes have won BACKSTAGE WEST'S FAVORITE IN LA as well, and continue to produce amazing results for her students. She teaches Advanced Callback, Commercial A to Z and Commercial Wednesday Workouts.

 

5 Comments

17 Comments

Stacy Edwards' Insights on Acting

Judy Kain interviews Stacy Edwards

Stacy Edwards in SANTA BARBARA

Stacy Edwards in SANTA BARBARA

Over the course of her career, Stacy Edwards has brought to life some beautiful & inspiring characters. From her early films, like “In the Company of Men”, to her time opposite Mark Harmon on “Chicago Hope”, she always brings such depth to her characters.

But Stacy’s talent does not end there, as she’s also an amazing teacher. Every week at KIRA, she teaches an Advanced Scene Study class with a selected group of students, where she’s able to delve into scenes and push their limits. Our studio is fortunate to have her heading up our theatrical department.

I sat down with her last Thursday, where she shared some of her insights on acting, exclusively for our blog.

Stacy Edwards in HOUDINI

Stacy Edwards in HOUDINI

Judy: 

How do you prepare for a role? How do you prepare for an audition? What are the differences?

Stacy:

Actually, I prepare for both the same way. I approach my auditions as if I were reporting to set. First off, it’s important to know what it is that you are saying. For me, this does not necessarily mean memorizing the lines, but rather understanding the intentions of my character - what isn’t being said, but needs to be. I always have to know what I am saying before I make choices. Once I know what I am saying, I make decisions about my history. And know what it is that I want from the other actor. The more specifics you make, the richer the scene is and the richer the encounter with your actor will be. And once you report to set or go to your audition, you simply trust your homework. I think some actors make the mistake that they think the audition doesn’t need the same focus as the prep for arriving to set. But it does, especially in this day and age.

Aaron Eckhart & Stacy Edwards in IN THE COMPANY OF MEN

Aaron Eckhart & Stacy Edwards in IN THE COMPANY OF MEN

Judy: 

What was your favorite project/role? Why?

Stacy:

A couple pop into my mind that I really enjoyed working on and have a special place in my heart for different reasons.

The first is “Vietnam War Stories – The Promise.” It was such a collaborative experience. All of us actors were very young, it was our director’s first film, our producer was a vet from that era, and the story itself was just so powerful. So, we really immersed ourselves and created a world for ourselves out in the high desert. It was a true acting experience – like our first high! (Laughs) It stands out for me more for the experience, and not necessarily my work.

When I did “In the Company of Men,” I had the pleasure of working with two, at the time, unknown actors. It was very small, shot in about ten days and we really relied on each other. It surprised even us when our small little movie did so well! We threw ourselves in 110 percent and it showed. It was such a wonderful creative chance to work as an actor.

I do have the good fortune of getting acting gigs and I don’t take those for granted; but I will say, the creative acting experience is kind of rare. It’s great to have those jobs, don’t get me wrong, but its rare that they feel so rewarding! And when one does come along its incredible... It’s why we do it!

Stacy Edwards with Mark Harmon in CHICAGO HOPE

Stacy Edwards with Mark Harmon in CHICAGO HOPE

Judy: 

What keeps you inspired?

Stacy:

You know, a lot of things inspire me and I don’t know if this is going to come off sounding pretentious, but I am inspired daily. I am inspired by my students. Their unwavering commitment, enthusiasm, longing and desire to be and experience, truly is inspiring. But I’m also inspired by daily beauty; music, gorgeous LA weather & my son. Those are things that make me feel deeply and those feelings make me want to act. So at the risk of sounding completely pretentious, (Chuckles) that is my answer.

Stacy Edwards in LAW & ORDER

Stacy Edwards in LAW & ORDER

Judy:

What was your most challenging role and why?

Stacy:

Honestly, for me, I find every role challenging. I’ll have my actor insecurities frequently pop up. Once I calm myself down and start doing my homework then I can start building on the character. It almost doesn’t matter what the character, I approach them all the same way and find each one a challenge.

Stacy Edwards in SUPERBAD

Stacy Edwards in SUPERBAD

Judy:

Do you still train and take classes? Why do you think training is important to even the working actor?

Stacy:

I do still train. I wish I could train more often and there are tons of wonderful workshops and classes I would love to take. We are humans and not robots, which means we’re constantly changing. I’m not the actor I was at 21, just moved out here. I keep evolving.

It is a muscle to listen, to trust fully and to remember the right questions to ask yourself. You can only keep all of this fine tuned, if you keep honing it and continuing to do it. Class is a great way to do this. I currently meet with other actors to keep on top of our game. Reading plays and scripts is also a way to educate yourself. Any opportunity you have to allow yourself to go into that imaginary world, and train yourself to know how you would embrace the imaginary circumstances, is crucial to keeping your mind fresh. I can’t say enough how important it is to get into classes. I know it can be a financial burden but it is a definite need and a must for one’s career.

Picture

Stacy Edwards has been a working actor for 28 years.  In television she was a series regular on Chicago Hope, has appeared in the TNT movie, Houdini, and was on HBO's Vietnam War Stories.  She has guest starred on numerous series, including CSI, CSI: New York, NCIS and Grey's Anatomy to name a few.  In film she was nominated for an INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD for her role in In The Company Of Men.  You can also see her in Primary Colors, Super Bad, and The Bling Ring. At Keep it Real Acting, she teaches Advanced Scene Study and Theatrical Thursdays - a cold reading drop in class.

17 Comments

10 Comments

How to deal with that Summer Slump

Recently. I had a surge of work fall in my lap. Well perhaps there was some skill and perseverance involved in landing them. But since then I have hit a dry spell in the booking arena. And what I find for myself and the actors who come to work with me is, while in a slump, self doubt creeps in, along with a desperate attempt to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

My advice is to reflect on the feeling you had right after booking a job: the sense of accomplishment, the joy of success, the walk with head held slightly higher, the bounce in your step, etc. Remember that, and only that, when you approach the room of your next audition. Some good, positive, self talk as if you just got off the phone with your agent and hearing the news of a booking can be very helpful and
change your frame of mind. It can totally alter your mental state... and nothing looks better on an actor than a recent booking!

Take a nice breath, even in the room, to connect to your success and then start the scene. Then start the work that you love to do.... Acting! Remember it is fun! Auditions, when you give 100%, can be tremendously satisfying. When we are not looking at the final result and just doing the work, we open ourselves up to our creativity and, ultimately, surprise ourselves!

This is why you got into acting to begin with, because you have a gift, a passion for the craft. So make that more important.

I also suggest getting another perspective from a coach or teacher when in a slump. Get a private coaching for an hour and see if there
are some old habits you have slipped back into. Or, discover another way to approach the copy that you had not thought of. It is always helpful to keep sides you have auditioned for, and use those when coaching to help pinpoint areas to work on.

Many times all that is needed is a boost of confidence, reassurance that you are making good choices and committing to them. Rarely, do we get any feedback from auditions and acting in a vacuum, in your own head, can bring on a big dose of self doubt.

Workout groups are great as well. Anywhere you can have the chance to get up and do copy and practice your craft is worth it. So when your agent does call, you are ready as rain to show up. ​Keep it Real Acting offers ​workouts every week, both Commercially and Theatrically.

Finally, take advantage of a get away this summer! A sure way to book a job is always to plan a trip; or if you can't get away, make a fun lunch date with a friend, or get that treat you've been denying yourself for a month.

Acting is a longevity game, and a slump can be put to good use if you use it wisely; reassess, get into that class, make a little time for fun, and then move forward. Remember, be kind to yourself and acknowledge your victories, because it's a surefire way to coast you to the next one.

Picture

Judy Kain has been a professional actress now for 37 years, (350+ commercials, 80+ Film/TV roles). She founded Keep it Real Acting, a studio dedicated to helping actors succeed in the business.

Read Her full bio here. She recently starred in a 26 commercial Campaign for STARZ, where she played a Superhero Hotline Operator.

She teaches Commercial A to Z, Advanced Callback and Wednesday Workouts at Keep it Real Acting.

10 Comments

16 Comments

Judy Kain and Amy Lyndon discuss the secrets of Commercial Booking

Happy June Everyone!

I recently sat down with my good friend Amy Lyndon, where we talked about everything from from our recent work to the secrets we've found that help us book those jobs.

I've uploaded the entire conversation below so that you too can learn the secrets of commercial booking!

Enjoy,

Judy Kain

Picture

Amy Lyndon is a Multi-Award winning Actress, Director, Producer, Writer, International Booking Coach and CEO of the Lyndon Technique. Lyndon has 40+ films to her credit including; “And They’re Off” opposite Sean Astin, "The House That Jack Built” opposite Joe Mantegna, and "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" for MGM. On TV, she Guest Starred in over 30+ TV shows: “Adopting Terror” for Lifetime, “Law and Order: LA,” “Eagleheart” w/ Chris Elliot, “NCIS,” "Ugly Betty," "Entourage," "NYPD Blue," "JAG," Recurring in “Days Of Our Lives,” “The Bold and the Beautiful," "General Hospital," & "Young and The Restless." She Teaches Cold Reading & Booking Classes at The Lyndon Technique.

Picture

Judy Kain has been a professional actress now for 37 years, (350+ commercials, 80+ Film/TV roles). She founded Keep it Real Acting, a studio dedicated to helping actors succeed in the business. Read Her full bio here. She recently starred in a 26 commercial Campaign for STARZ, where she played a Superhero Hotline Operator.

She teaches Commercial A to Z, Advanced Callback and Wednesday Workouts at Keep it Real Acting.

16 Comments

40 Comments

Q&A with Commercial Agent of the Year, Hugh Leon

Picture

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Hugh Leon from Coast to Coast Talent. Hugh has been the Talent Manager's Association's Commercial Agent of the Year for the past 2 years, and has been nominated for the past 9 years. He was gracious enough to take the time to give us some insight from a commercial agent's perspective.

Judy:  What do you look for in an Actor that comes in for representation? What do you tell actors after you sign them? 
Hugh:  There are four things that I typically look for when considering taking on a client:
  1. Do you have a commercial look? I know this is subjective, but the first thing I need to evaluate is whether or not you are something I can sell.
  2. Do you fill a need for us?
  3. Can you handle copy and How do you handle direction?
  4. Personality! Do I feel that you are going to be high maintenance? Are you somebody that I know I can send out there and  be confident in your ability to do well, be professional, charming and personable? Finally, will we get along?


We conduct a thorough orientation after signing. Both sides should know what we expect from them and what they expect from us. Make sure that they have the right photos, are enrolled in a good class, like yours, even if they already have training. I only recommend 3 places, and Keep it Real Acting is one of them. After you feel that you are at the top of your game, then do showcases. Also, Improv training- and not just 101, but one of the big stages like UCB, iO West or Second City.

Judy: What's the best way for an actor to bolster their relationship with an agent?
Hugh: The best way to foster a good agent relationship is to comply with what we ask from them. Make sure they have the right materials, stay on top of their game and don't fall into the woodworks. We don't always have time for drop-bys. Instead shoot us emails to catch up! Its important to keep in touch without being over burdening or obnoxious. Always remember: We are 10% and you are 90%… What are you doing for your 90%?

Judy: What tips would you give to an Actor who is in a slump (not booking)? 
Hugh: They have to understand that when they are going through a slump and it starts to trigger their psyche; maybe they are down about personal stuff, and it really starts to mess with their confidence. A lot of actors' inner feelings can't be hidden. Their confidence is not the same. 

Find a way to reach within, to concentrate on the positives, even if there aren't many. You may even have to go back and tell yourself "I'm talented," "I have my house," "I have my friends." Find something on the inside that really shines through to make the confidence and inner light shine again. The People that are booking are the people out there that are just happy. They found peace and happiness and they just shine! 

Get into a class and you'll find breakthroughs! You'll be able to watch yourself on tape. The class itself has other actors in it going through similar career swings. It'll give you the opportunity to get out of your head and have someone point things out and notice the little things that are there. To me, the buttons at the end really make a difference. They'll separate you from the pack, when other actors are saying the same lines.

Judy: What is the most rewarding thing for you as an agent? What part of being an agent is most fulfilling?
Hugh: Booking is my favorite thing… Helping them fulfill their dreams. When an actor gets really excited, and they scream and yell, that makes me happy! Show a little excitement. It makes me want to have you book again. One of the most fulfilling experiences is when someone is in a slump, we have a little pep talk, and then they go out to book!

Judy: What advice would you give to actors who are without representation?
Hugh: There are a lot of actors that aren't represented, so make sure you stand out. Many actors put the cart before the horse. Set yourself up for an agent before you get one. Actors should get decent pictures with the right background. Actors should also have commercial training- not just theatrical training. Have your ducks in a row, know your business and get your feet wet before you even approach representation. Do your research.Get to know who you are approaching and how you are coming across. You can't just show up on a baseball field and say "Ok, I want to be a Philly!" Why should an agent represent you? Give them a reason for it.



Picture
Hugh Leon is a partner and head of the adult commercial and celebrity departments at Coast to Coast Talent Group, one of the leading talent agencies in Los Angeles since 1987. Coast to Coast represents youth and adult actors for commercials, print, voice over and film/tv. Hugh has been an active participant in the entertainment industry for over 4 decades. He began his show business career as a child actor in Philadelphia before moving to New York City, and later to Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA, he worked at a couple of agencies before joining Coast to Coast in 1996. Hugh's lifelong experience in show business has contributed to his unparalleled success in representing commercial & celebrity talent. He has been nominated by the TMA 9 years in a row and winner of 3 'Commercial Agent of the Year' Seymour Heller awards (2007, 2012, & 2013). Hugh has also been featured in numerous television program interviews, and is quoted in countless national industry publications.

40 Comments

13 Comments

Confident, not Cocky, is the Key

When you walk in to an audition with confidence, it is always appealing.  When you walk in cocky, it is almost always off putting.

The question is how do we FEEL confident? (Especially if we have not booked a job yet or in a while!)

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Find One thing about yourself that you are sure of and use that as your mantra before you go in. Ex: "I know I have great hair" or "I know I have the gift of good comedic timing." Walk in with that... and don't expect anything from them. If you focus on your strengths, your entire audition will project an air of confidence.
  • Be of service to them! Understand that they want someone to walk in and nail the audition so that they can go home. Keep that in mind. They want you to succeed! Go into the audition as if you're stopping by to help them out. Ex: You have the perfect looks, hair for the role. You are there to help them solve their problem- which is to find the actors to make the commercial work. Let them know by your CONFIDENCE that you can help them solve their problem.
  • Leave the audition knowing you offered them a solution for fun and for freeSay a polite, "Take care!" "Nice to see ya!"  "Have a great day!"


Try it on your next audition and let us know how it works for you... And see if the ride home is more pleasant!

-Judy Kain

13 Comments

12 Comments

2 Ways to Jumpstart your career in 2014!

The New Year always brings up an internal resurgence, a renewal to increase, and a drive improve ourselves and our careers. Many actors set great goals for themselves, but get discouraged when it comes to starting.

Many of you have already set your goals for 2014, but may not know where to begin. Whether you're a veteran performer or are just getting started, here are two tangible ways to jumpstart your career in 2014:

Step 1: Complete an honest self appraisal of your assetts and handicaps.
  • Is your look working? 
  • Are your pictures an honest reflection of that look?


If not, get some new head shots that show a spark of your personality.

It is okay if you are not beautiful; in fact, it is almost better to have a natural look, an approachable every man look. This is the trend for commercials these days.

There are classes and coaches available to help you be honest about marketing yourself... You are a product, a viable commodity!
For more information on branding and image consultation, view our Image Management Tab.

Step 2: Send that new head shot out to casting and the industry at large.  Post on FB, tweet, create a postcard that highlights your new look and send it out. It is important to stay in the minds of those who can help us get jobs. They have a lot on their minds and timing is everything...

Accept the challenge of not only setting goals for the New Year, but accomplishing them. Let's make 2014 the year to jumpstart your career!

Happy New Year!
Judy Kain
Owner - Keep it Real Acting Studios
keepitreal@keepitrealacting.com

12 Comments