JANUARY 2024 FMS NEWSLETTER
"Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"...Boldness has magic, power and genius in it".
These are not just pretty words. These are words that Megan and I live by and start businesses and adventures by. This quote literally hung on the wall to our office when we just were getting started, and we found it was absolutely true.
When we started out, the world did not need another casting director (let alone two), nor the world did not need another actor, or filmmaker. We wanted to do these things, and just did them without permission or approval from anyone but ourselves. We find if you do, with all your heart, and your mind we see opportunities open up. Gil Cates once told me “Good things happen”. He was right. So this is a newsletter about re-calibrating your course and go passionately in that direction.
Dream. Learn. Plan. Do. Repeat.
Megan and I have started business, theatre companies, made movies with five steps. If this helps keep you on your path, great!
Dream and dream big. Let your self dream very specific dreams that excite you so much you can't keep still. Write them down someplace you can see them every day. Yes, we find vision boards help a lot.
Research the goals voraciously. Learn obsessively. Have fun doing this. As you learn a subject, your fear of it diminishes. Plus, you are also expending energy validating your dreams and goals.
Make an action list of what to do and what you feel is in your way, Be honest. Take responsibility for everything. With great responsibility comes great power (see what I did there?).
Do the action list. Chip away at it. Make 1 percent gains and improvement every day. You don't have to climb the mountain in a single day, one step forward at a time.
Commitment and appreciation. Access your progress and repeat the process. Appreciate your progress and appreciate your life.
KILLING HOPE is well, "killing it"! This month, it won BEST SHORT in the Melbourne Live Indie Film Festival, and BEST NARRATIVE SHORT and BEST ACTOR in the Venice International Film and Script Festival. We are also proud to announce that WINO will have its first European screening in the heart of Paris! WINO is now an official selection of Le Freduff , the French Duck Film Festival, (sounds better in French, doesn't I?) We'll let you know how it all goes. In the meantime, make the movie you can make.
SO, WHAT’S COMING UP?
I must apologize for getting this newsletter out so late. I was out of commission with Covid for the last couple of weeks, and Megan was under the weather as well, so here it is...as promised... finally. But all this did push back the Line Learning Lab. We'll let you know when we set a new date for it.
HOW TO TRASH YOUR CAREER is getting great reviews. If you have someone you think might benefit from the knowledge of how not to ruin things, let them know about it.
" What a WONDEROUS book! Brilliant! I laughed, I cried." CT
"For a good laugh. start reading! Then realize, Wow! this is really good advice. Not just for actors, Chuck Marra's life lessons cross career fields and give us all inspiration to be our best selves and do our best work"_ LT
This month, practice the ‘Why” of the five W’s Why is this character doing what he is doing.. Go as deep as you can. Don’t be comfortable with the superficial why. Go deep. It’s always something connected to basic human needs, wants and fears. Take any role from any play and figure out why that character is doing what it does. Then take another, and then another. You have an entire month to practice this. You will be so surprised how good you will get at doing this of making these choices. This will allow you to make better, stronger choices in you acting - yes that includes auditioning.
THE "WHY"... for you
In December we said that we’d address New Years goals and staying with them.
So many people make fun of the New Years resolution. Forget about them. Those kind of people will also help you break your resolutions. Sticking to your resolutions is as simple as finding people who also have the same goals and are successful in them. Going to the gym and making friends is better than going it alone in a your own cocoon at the gym. We call it “Finding your Tribe” these days. Most people expect to change while keeping their old habits in tact. People will say ‘you’ve changed”. Yeah. That’s a good thing. If you want to quit drinking, stay out of the bar. If you want to quit gambling, stay out of the casinos. If you want to get in better shape, hang out with athletes. So if you want to become a sucessful actor, spend more time with successful actors, and less time around complaining actors. I know, ouch.
ONCE AGAIN, YOUR GIFT OF TIME: STAYING ON TRACK
Last month we talked about giving yourself the gift of time. Time may be an intellectual construct, but such as it is, we only have so much of it.
You don’t have to eliminate people and events and things from your daily schedule, as much as you need to add people and events and things to your daily schedule. Keep track of your time and how you spend it. This is going to lead you to The Why for you. What are you doing? Why are you doing it. What can you add to your life? Why are you adding it?
For us, the most consistently motivational thing is THE WHY. Why are we doing what we are doing? For me it was a life changer. It applies to everything. Why am I doing dishes and laundry to why am I a teacher, why am I a casting director. Why I am an actor? Why do I write? Why am I a filmmaker. Tapping into that, reminding myself of that helps me get motivated even in the darkest moments. When I lose that, I usually lose my way. For better or for worse, we live in an economy based on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, for the older readers). We used to call it ‘Keeping up with the Jones’s’. But keeping up with the Jones’s all comes from not keeping in touch with your own Why.
Our advice to actors is to learn and prepare as if you were going to get an audition tomorrow. Don’t wait until you have an audition to start training and practicing. Read and train and do! Don’t rely on your tricks and some tips you’ve heard along the way. This goes back to finding your tribe and working consistently. Get on stage and in front of a camera as much as you can, and do the best work you possibly can each time.
Looking for your tribe?Join ours:
We have some room on Thursday’s classes. 10-1 PST .
Private Coaching is also available.
Email us if you are interested. We like to keep the classes small.