Anyone who makes you career promises, teaches a homegrown method without an illustrious career and an exceptional body of work to back it up, uses the word “Hollywood” in their studio name and isn’t physically located in Hollywood, is more than likely a fraud.
If you’re giving these people your money not only are you getting ripped off but they’re pushing you further from your goals by helping you develop bad habits and entrenching your ignorance. Understandably these studios cater to the simpleminded looking for a shortcut to fame and fortune, but I can’t help but wonder what these people would do if they could “nail an audition” or “got noticed”? Acting is a hell of a lot more than just memorizing lines and regurgitating the words.
Anyone can memorize and regurgitate lines from a paper. My 5 year old nephew is a pro at it. No one is getting booked and paid lots of money to memorize and recite dialogue. Do you think Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Glenda Jackson, Lupita Nyong’o, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cate Blanchett all won their Oscars and are worth millions of dollars because they all have a good memory?
Being a great actor is not about getting to Hollywood. News Flash: You can move to Hollywood right this second if you want to. No legitimate acting studio would make promises of Hollywood dreams and connections or even hint at something like that in their advertising because it’s impossible to know if a student will even be/become great; especially having never worked with them before. That’s a sales tactic that offers a “reward” to the customer at the beginning of the sale instead of a valuable product worth money.
Being a great actor is not about nailing auditions. You can be a brilliant actor and have a bad audition.
You can be a great actor and not be right for the part.
You can be a great actor and be too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too small, too bald, too, too, too, too, too, etc, etc, etc, etc, for that role. Yes, this is a business about looks, too. It doesn’t mean you need to go change your look or gain weight or wear heels or dye your hair. It means you weren’t right for that part. A 42-year-old isn’t going to be cast as a high-schooler. You aren’t getting that part no matter how great you are because a 42-year-old doesn’t look like they’d be in high school AND vise versa; a high school-aged actor isn’t booking the high school dean role. It wouldn’t make sense. Film and TV are in compressed time. There’s no time to cast someone who doesn’t fit what the role calls for. You cannot be something you’re not. It’s impossible. There are roles for everyone. You don’t need to change your look. You need to get great at acting and be bookable because you’re great and can prove it consistently.
You can be a great actor and not be what they had envisioned.
You can be a great actor and your voice or accent or lack thereof isn’t what they’re looking for. Do you have a southern accent? GREAT! There are roles for you! You don’t? No problem! Do you have a Russian accent? Cool! I always see casting notices for accents! Roles for everyone, people!
You can be “fill in the blank” reason and still not get booked.
Being great IS about doing GREAT work. Even if NO ONE sees it. Ever. Being great is not about getting to Hollywood or nailing auditions or being cast in some film so your star meter on IMDB goes up to the 800,692nd position.
Being great is about portraying characters truthfully, being specific and raw and honest and vulnerable.
Being great is about being alive in the moment. Being present.
Being great means you will go to Hollywood if YOU want to go there and are ready to move to the largest market on the planet and compete among truly great actors.
Being great means you will nail your auditions a lot of the time because you will have put in all that work in the beginning of your journey and you continue to do great work because you want to be the best you can be and stay competitive.
Being great means you’re more concerned about being consistently good and constantly challenging yourself even when it’s scary. You don’t care about IMDB pages or star meters because you are here to show them what good acting looks like and that’s it. You don’t care about slashes or titles.
Being great means you can move ANYWHERE and still have a shot. You can book more than local, non-paying films.
Being great means you already stopped doing background work. Background actors are important. Vital to a production, in fact. And there was a time and place when YOU did that. But you put in all this hard work to be great at your craft and you have moved on to meatier roles. You no longer need to be a blurred out person in a film with no credit.
Being great means YOU will book the roles that you are right for because you have proved you can do the work.
No studio can make anyone great.
No studio can fulfill anyone’s Hollywood dreams.
No studio can guarantee you’ll get a reputable agent.
No studio can promise you’ll get into the film industry.
No studio can promise that you will nail or book an audition.
The only thing a studio can do is teach you what they know, everything else is up to you and chance.