Category Archives: How To Succeed In Hollywood

How to Contact an Agent, Manager or Producer

Hollywood and Music Industry veteran Bruce Edwin gives here his exclusive advice on how to contact agents, managers, and producers in our current times. He gives this advice free of charge. Those with specific questions on this or anything else can contact him below. If he replies, your question and his answer may be published here in our next issue, for the world to see.

How to Succeed In Hollywood 

Despite what some wrongly think, there are films and TV shows being made in Hollywood in 2020, and there actually are some agencies and management firms that are seeking talent. The smartest agencies and management companies are expanding, or diversifying into other areas during the so-called “pandemic.”

So, when you do send an email or text to a producer, or an agent or manager, HOW do you it? There are certain successful steps, and certain ways sure to fail.  These rules apply not only to the entertainment industry, but to any area of business as  well.

The best way to do marketing to and close anyone, is in person, with the second best way by video or phone.  We will cover those areas in a future issue. For now, we cover here email and text marketing, which are also vitally important.

The rules are as follows:

Hollywood Marketing 101 

1, Research the company you are contacting. Know about them, what they do, what their mission statement is if they have one, who their top clients are or top projects, and know who their CEO and staff are.

2, When contacting them, use the company name and the name of the CEO or person you are contacting at top. Do not except a reply back if you send a text or email not using their name, or if you misspell the name of their company.

3, Tell them something positive that you admire about them right away, in the first sentence. Maybe you like their last film, the fact that they just donated to your favorite charity, or that they give special consideration to minorities. Commend them right away.

4, Next, ASK them for whatever it is you want. A meeting, an appointment by phone, to send your headshot, resume and reel, to send your synopsis or script. ASK. Never order, and certainly never ever send anything without asking their OK FIRST.

When people contact us without getting our name right, not using my name, or even worse, doing none of this AND sending a script without our consent, it immediately stays unread, gets deleted, and the person gets BLOCKED forever. Don’t make that mistake!

5,  Tell them something that you can do for them. Don’t say you will make them rich with your great talent or great script. It has to be something unique and different. One guy recently told us he works at a certain museum and could get us free tickets. Never mind that the person may be rich and doesn’t care about museum admission or can maybe get in free anway. It’s a nice gesture. Everyone likes free things and to feel as if they are being treated special as a VIP.  Use your imagination. Maybe you do fitness coaching on the side and want to offer them a free class as a way of saying thank you. Create your favor, and use them.

6, Lastly, thank them. Use their name again. Close off with thanking them for their time, and be sure to include your website, your email, and your phone number WITH the area code. I can’t tell you how many actors foolishly have told us their phone number without telling us their area code. Generally no one that can help you is going to look up your area code. Include your social media addresses as well. Some people may be more comfortable on instagram or facebook or some other manner, than email or a phone call with you. Include everything.

7, Include your photo so they remember. One of my clients even is now making personalized videos in this manner for each person, using their name at the beginning. This is smart.

If you don’t hear back after about 4 or 5 days, send them another message, using the same steps above, but with a few slight changes. Acknowledge that you know how busy they must be, and that you wanted to contact them again just in case they had missed the first message. Repeat everything again.

You have to be polite, but aggressive in Hollywood–especially now more than EVER.

Be safe, and be a winner.

Wishing you the best,

Bruce Edwin

(c) 2020, www.BruceEdwin.com 

 

 

Corral Gayle: The Hollywood Powerhouse Remembered

March 15, 1942–January 27, 2020

Corral Gayle: Actor, Director, Teacher

One of Hollywood’s best acting teachers has passed on. Corral Gayle, aka Corral Rose was founding president and owner of The Screen Actor’s Academy which operated in Chicago, Illinois, and later San Diego, California, with special workshops for select talent in Los Angeles.

Teaching the foundation of acting; Stanislavski, Corral was unique in the field for her unwavering honesty and integrity; always telling it like it was–not as students or potential students wanted it to be. She was also widely unique for her extensive stage, camera, and voice-over experience, working directly alongside many of the industries biggest stars.  Additionally, Corral was known and respected for only working with the very best in the field of entertainment to round out her students training; from top Shakespeare instructors from the Royal Academy of London, to celebrity talent management.

Teaching not only the foundation of acting from Stanislavski’s three books, which she urged was a three year process, Corral Gayle also was one of the only acting instructors who also taught voice diction, as it was taught during the early studio-system days of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Corral also proudly taught “the business” of Hollywood, and discouraged students from moving to Hollywood prematurely, always working to keep them grounded in reality–not false hope.

I had the honor to meet Corral by phone nearly 20 years ago, and we struck up a friendship by phone that lasted throughout those years, talking at times daily about our respective clients, and the industry at large. Together, Corral and I attended A.C. Lyle’s Memorial Service at Paramount Pictures, where Corral was recognized by many, and bumped elbows with stars including Arnold Schwarzenegger among more.

Tough on her students, and never one to take any nonsense, Corral was also a kind, good-natured woman, with a brilliant wit and unending sense of humor.  Self-deprecating, yet supportive of so many others, she would regularly have me laughing in tears with her hilarious jokes, one-liners, and stories.

Having helped many actors from around the country, including many children, Corral was widely respected by her students, peers, and all of  those in Hollywood fortunate enough to know her.  A mother, grandmother, teacher, coach, and friend, Corral was loved by many and will be greatly missed.

–Bruce Edwin; CEO, Starpower Management

“I’m not an actor–thank God! But if I was, I would let Corral teach me. She’s the best.”–A.C. Lyles, former President of Paramount, publicist to Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

“She was one of a kind. There will never be another Corral Gayle.”              —-Moira Cue; Actress, Singer, Fine Artist

“So sad. She was a great lady!”  –Jocelyn Jolley; Actress, Model

“So sad to hear about Corral passing away so suddenly. May the LOVE and LIGHT of Great Spirit surround her forever as she rests in peace!”          –Gabriel Romero; Actor

“A very exceptional, rare, breath of fresh air, down to earth, real individual. A very caring and generous spirit. If we had more people as her in Hollywood and the entertainment industry our community and the world would be a completely different world than the current scene it currently is. Corral will be missed and I know that she is in a better place.” –Carl Urbin; Award Winning Producer

Image: (c) 2019, Bruce Edwin

How to Succeed in Hollywood

From Corral Gayle:

1, Never let em’ see you sweat!

2,  You should always have at least 4 monologues in your repertoire. Two from the classical era, and two from the modern era. Two comedic, and two dramatic.

3, Never choose a monologue by someone famous, unless you are better than them. Chances are, you’re NOT.

4, If a casting director asks if you can skydive, say yes. Then, go spend all weekend taking some skydiving lessons. And you better be sure to learn how to pull the chute!

5, Don’t be a prude. If you are a prude or too shy, you don’t belong in Hollywood, you belong in a monastery.

6, Don’t do anything trashy. Stick your morals.

7, I can skip a rock down Hollywood Boulevard and hit a dozen actors. Being an actor doesn’t make you special. To be special, you have to train and train hard, every day and become great. It’s hard work and it doesn’t come easy. There are no shortcuts. If you are looking for a shortcut, go home. There isn’t any.

8, Be nice. Be nice to everyone. The cab driver, the dishwasher, the busboy, and the waiter. They may be a waiter today, but tomorrow they may be the biggest director you’ve ever heard of. It’s a small town. And everybody knows everybody.

9, If you tick off the wrong agent or manager–a big one, you can be sure you won’t work in this town again.  Treat your agent and manager and team like gold. And don’t be cheap and try to cheat them. Everybody’s worried about getting cheated. They have to make a living just like you do.  You can’t do it on your own.

10, Too many actors and models are nuts. And they are spoiled and entitled. They think that Hollywood is just waiting for them with open arms, and candy and flowers at the airport to welcome them and ready to make them a big star! Guess what kiddo? You’ll be waiting at the airport a long time. There are no discoveries. Talent isn’t something you are born with, you have to make it. Everybody thinks they are all so great and oh so important.  The one’s that are the most full of themselves are the ones who usually have no talent. Some of the biggest and best stars out there are some of the most kind and humble people you could ever meet.

11, To make it in this town you have to be obsessed. It has to be in your blood. You have to feel like you would die if you don’t do this–if you don’t act. You have to want it as much as the air that you breathe. If you don’t want it that bad then don’t bother.  But then you have to have a job on the side, to make a living. Don’t expect to make a living as an actor–most don’t. We don’t act for the money. We act because we HAVE to. It’s who we are. It’s in our blood.

12, Break a leg! Just not where you need  a cast.

(c) 2020, Hollywood Sentinel

“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.”   –Bob Hope

 

How to Overcome Fear and Procrastination

Lana Del Rey, one of the most talented artists of our time, has overcomes ups and downs, by taking time to work on herself, focus on the good, and take massive action.  Lana appears October 10th at the Hollywood Bowl for a special performance of her new material. 

One of the biggest reasons I have seen actors, models, bands or singers FAIL to succeed in Hollywood, is because they are flaky. Conversely, a KEY to success, is to DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO, and DO IT QUICKLY.

We ignore, avoid, and put off things that we know we should do, largely because of one thing–fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of rejection, fear of not knowing, fear of competition, fear of getting our feelings hurt, fear of hurting in general, fear of being uncomfortable, fear of getting stressed, and countless other reasons that make us procrastinate.

All reasons for procrastination are based on laziness, apathy, or fear, and all such reasons; such EXCUSES, are self-sabotaging. When we put off what we know we should do, we trade long term happiness and success for the short term gratification of trying to feel comfortable.

Having seen over 10,000 aspiring actors, models, bands and singers in my offices over the years, I have learned that the majority of artists’ failures is due to this dreaded problem; procrastination, caused generally by FEAR.

There are two known cures to defeating fear;

1, Knowledge, and

2, Action.

The more you know about an area, the less fearful you will be in that area.  A trained singer who can hit every note and has trained in front of crowds is not as afraid to perform as the person who has not trained vocally, and has not trained in front of an audience.  The trained actor who has memorized their lines and preformed on stage will not be as nervous or fearful as the actor who has never had real training, and barely memorized their lines.

Training is competency, and competency beats fear which beats procrastination. The trained artist, knowledgeable in their craft, has no reason to be afraid, and therefore has no reason to put off doing what they know they should do to reach their next goal for their career.

The second way to defeat fear,  is simply to take ACTION.  Just do it anyway. There is a certain mountain I hike up at least once or twice a month, that is several thousand feet tall. At one point, when I first started hiking up it, there was a certain spot up around 500 feet that I found just terrifying, that I would panic and freeze when I got to, and would not go past. After working on some things with myself, I went back one day, and went right past that point, clear to the top. It was invigorating and thrilling. Since then, I hike it regularly, and at times jog down it. It still has my respect and takes caution, but now I have trust in myself, because I have done it over 100 times.

Break through your fear. Just take action. Don’t endanger your life, but face it–most of your fears are not over things that could kill you. An audition will not kill you. Calling an agent or manager ON TIME and FOLOWING UP with them FIRST will not kill you. Just DO IT.

Get out of your bubble and break out of your fear.  I dare you to FIND ONE THING EVERY WEEK THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PUTTING OFF DOING, OR ARE AFRAID TO DO, AND DO IT ANWAY.

Let ACTION be your guide. Get a friend and make a game of it. The more fears you conquer, the more successful you will become. And the more trained and educated you are, the more fearless you will be.

Get trained, get educated, become an expert in your field, break through your fear, take action NOW, and become KNOWN as the person whose word is your bond. Be known as someone who–when you say it, people will KNOW that it will get done and happen, and that it will happen immediately.

Trust me, when you get THAT reputation in town, as a TRAINED talent who DOES what they say, then Hollywood WILL be calling YOU–first.

Textual content, (c) 2019, Bruce Edwin. Music and video (c)2019, Universal Music, Universal Music UK, Polydor, Lana Del Ray, all rights reserved, used with kind courtesy of Universal.