Category Archives: How To Succeed In Hollywood

Success In Hollywood

Success in any endeavor, including Hollywood, entails 4 things.

1, Knowing what you want

2, Knowing why you want it

3, Knowing how to get it, and

4, Knowing where you are now

This seems simple enough, but remarkably, most people don’t follow this simple formula or know it. Having seen over ten thousand models and actors in-person, and spoken with over fifty thousand by phone over the years, we have learned some things about artists goals. Most artists say they want to be an actor or model or band, singer, producer, writer, etc., but don’t know the steps involved.

Let’s break them down one by one.

1, Knowing what you want includes knowing what you do not want. What could you know you do not want? You may want to be an actor or actress. OK, what is wrong with that? The first problem is WANTING it. When you want something, you keep it far away from you. Don’t want to be something you are not. Just BE it. In other words, stop saying that you want to be a director, just direct. Shoot something—anything—even on your phone, and then start CALLING yourself a director. Be what you want to be. In present time. When you refer to yourself as that which you want to be, then you are no longer searching in future tense. You now ARE, in the present. And when you treat yourself as you want to be, then others will start to as well. And, we generally behave ourselves in the manner in which others treat us.

Now that we have the covered, what KIND of actor, director, artist, or person do you want to be? A poor one? One who no one knows outside of your close friends and family? Or a world famous one? Do you want to be famous and then die broke and poor and miserable? Winning no awards, and everyone forgets your name? Do you want to be famous for anything? Even robbing a bank? Or do you want to a top, respected, award winning star, respected and admired widely around the world, forever?

The problem with most people, including artists when it comes to reaching their goals, is that they don’t have clearly defined goals.

You MUST clearly define your goal.

And by realizing what you do NOT want, you will better focus on what you DO want. So, write out your goal. Do it NOW. What do you want? Write down your goals and review them daily, before bed, and when you wake up and throughout the day.

2, WHY do you want it?

Do you want to be a famous singer because you want to be rich? That’s the wrong reason if that is the ONLY reason. Why, is because there are far easier ways to get rich than being an entertainer. Do you want to a famous director because you love a film that changed your life and you think it looks easy and fun? This also may not be the right reason. Find the reason WHY you want what you want, and make sure that it is stronger than anything you can imagine doing. You must be hugely passionate about it.

3, Now, how do you get it?

One simple method to get what you want, is to observe the paths of others in your chosen field, and see how they got what it is YOU want. Certainly, not all people are the same and thus not all paths are the same, but you may find some similarities—some clues of direction that you too can workably follow. This means—study the successful, and also get a mentor. Get someone that will teach and guide you, and hold you accountable to your goals. It has never been easier to get free or low cost education, training, or mentorship from the biggest, richest, most famous, and most talent people in entertainment than now.

If you are seeking to prosper in any area of the arts to a higher position than you are now, and you have not signed up for Master Class, what are you waiting for? You would be kind of crazy not to in my opinion. Natalie Portman teaching acting?! Martin Scorsese, Jody Foster, and Spike Lee teaching filmmaking?! Alicia Keys and St. Vincent teaching music?! Seriously?! Master Class is a GOLD MINE of information from the top of the top. And it’s inexpensive. And no, they are NOT paying me!

4, Know where you are now.

This is important to note, because most people aspiring to be great in Hollywood do not know where they are now. They are either stuck in the past, as in past mistakes and hang ups, or they are stuck in the future, as in—they think they are a star NOW, when they are nothing of the sort. They may be good at dreaming and playing make-believe of what they want and where they want to be, but they get confused and start believing that they really ARE as great as they want to be. And then when Hollywood—meaning the agents, managers, casting directors, or others don’t agree that they are not yet ready to be a star, or not talented enough—they go ballistic and become verbally abusive, or start slandering or libeling those in the industry that don’t share their opinion of their greatness. Or they have meltdown and crawl back to wherever it is they came from, forever scarred and dejected. I’ve seen this all play out, again and again. Don’t let this be you.

Know WHERE you are now. Be brutally honest with yourself. But then—forgive yourself for whatever it is you think you did wrong. And move on to make yourself better and better day by day.

A good idea is to at times, operate just a few minutes in the future.

In other words, instead of being in your head stuck in the past or stuck in your future idea of yourself a year from now, operate with your mindset just a few minutes ahead, so that you are envisioning what you want minutes from now, just ahead of present time. In this manner, you will be generally in the here and now when it comes to your goals, but will be operating slightly ahead of the curve, so that your vision helps to manifest your present reality. With intention, and without delusion.

For example, lets say you are calling up a top manager whose phone number you just discovered, and you want to ask them to represent yourself. You have read all about them, got the name of the CEO written down, researched him or her, and are now reading to call. Instead of worrying about whether or not they will take your call or reject you, you are instead “predicting” seconds into each moment of the future, exactly what will happen. Your thoughts therefore should be something like this, “They are going to answer and take my call now. They are going to put me right through to the CEO. They are taking my call. They like me. We are getting along so well. I made them laugh. They are interested in me. They are going to look at my reel and meet me. They are signing me!” Your talk to your self should be like this ALL the time. Words and thoughts are the precursor to actions, and therefore they are POWERFUL. Use your words and your thoughts wisely! Bless yourself, don’t curse yourself! PREDICT the future you want to create, and speak of it happening in the present tense. What we think and expect is often what we create into existence.

Remember, you are your greatest enemy in Hollywood, and the greatest enemy to your success—or—your best friend and your best helper.

Are you going to be your best friend, or your best enemy? You know what you need to choose. So do it now.

I’m not talking about sports games, or only one position that is open and only decided by one person. But generally speaking, in terms of the overall goals for yourself, no one has the power to make you win or lose, to succeed or fail. Only YOU do. There are enough people on planet Earth to help you reach the highest goals you have envisioned for yourself. You do not need a million people to help you. You do not even need a thousand, or a hundred people to help you. You only need one. It’s not a matter of CAN you succeed, it is a matter of WHEN. And that when is up to you. When YOU are ready, then you will.

I hope this has helped you.

For answers to specific questions you may have, contact us here at the front of this site, or below, and your question may be answered and published here in our next or future issue, for the world to see.

Note: The offices of Bruce Edwin and his affiliated companies do NOT accept unsolicited queries for screenplays or stories.

The Office of Bruce Edwin: Tel: 310-226-7176

This content is ©2021, Bruce Edwin Productions, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

 

 

 

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 on in to the first quarter of 2021, 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 their name or 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, but be sincere.

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 our 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.   And everyone appreciates a kind gesture. 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. Linked In is also a good avenue for communication.

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.

8, If you get rejected, the worst thing to do is to get mad. When we used to sign aspiring new actors or models, we would often test how they handled rejection, before we signed them. Sadly some that we really wanted to sign, blew up, getting insanely angry and abusive. Needless to say, those people failed the test. Be kind and cordial, and keep your cool under all circumstances.

9, The second worst thing to do aside from getting angry over rejection, is to be cold, indifferent, and ignore the person rejecting you afterwards. The correct thing to do, is to thank them, follow up with them, thank them again, and actually re-pitch them again, asking what it would take to make them say YES.  Ands then do so.

10, When using a video platform or in person to pitch, get creative. Stand up if it gives you more energy. Move around, show people things if it can serve your presentation. Get creative.  Test your audio, camera, and sound and picture quality with a friend before your video call.

11, Practice your presentation and pitch on friends or family, or a trusted co-worker, and ask for their constructive criticism. Always be improving, refining, and perfecting your pitch.

12, Never take no for an answer. Never give up, and always be closing!

Wishing you the best,

–Bruce Edwin

© 2020, www.BruceEdwin.com 

Tel: 310-226-7176

 

 

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