Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

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Coming up at The Actors' Enterprise...

Master Classes in Goal Setting, The Art of Networking, Monologues (and more!)

I'm excited to announce that I'm teaching a series of Master Classes with The Seeing Place Theater February 13-20, 2017! All w...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Master Classes in Goal Setting, The Art of Networking, Monologues (and more!)



I'm excited to announce that I'm teaching a series of Master Classes with The Seeing Place Theater February 13-20, 2017! All workshops are $39 are are designed to help and other artists learn valuable skills in the acting craft, the business of acting, and the art of theater-making!

Click here to learn more and to sign up.

You can also get 5 classes by signing up for the VIP Class Pass - it's just $149! Here are the classes you can choose from:



The week then culminates with our famous meet & greet event, the Actor/Industry Scramble, on February 20 for just $59. All proceeds go to benefit the ensemble of The Seeing Place Theater.

See all of the classes being taught, and SIGN UP here: https://squareup.com/store/TheSeeingPlace



Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Singers: Open Mics in New York City


One of the things that has been instrumental (pun intended!) in the growth of my career as a musical theater actor is the ability to perform for an audience whenever I get the whim. What makes this possible? Every day of the week there are one (or more) events where singers can bring sheet music and perform songs for a friendly crowd looking for entertainment. Opens mics are a great way to try out new material and build up confidence. And you’ll meet other singers and industry folks like composers, lyricists, directors and producers.

UPDATED 1/15/2017 - Here is a list of just a few open mics in NYC (some nights have open mics at multiple venues):


Daily Piano Bars
Brandy's Piano Bar
Don't Tell Mama
The Duplex
Marie's Crisis
Uncle Charlie's

Sundays
Mark Janas’ – The Salon
Open Mic at the Met (2nd Sunday of the month)
Rise Bar

Mondays
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party/Birdland
Opera Open Mic - Shanghai Mong
West End Lounge

Tuesdays
Parkside Lounge

Wednesdays
Parnells' Piano Sessions

Thursdays
Broadway Sessions (at the Laurie Beechman) - weekly variety show and open mic once a month

Fridays
Songs at the New World (last Friday of month)
Metropolitan Room: Piano Bar at the Underground

You can see a comprehensive list of cabaret open mics/piano bars in NYC at the Cabaret Hotline Online.

For those outside of NYC: For a list of open mics in your area, trying doing a Google search with one or more of these keywords: open mic, salon, showcase, cabaret, piano bar. You can also see a large list of open mics at OpenMics.org.


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Getting Into the "Yes" Pile


This article was published on Backstage in their "Backstage Experts" column!

I follow a number of marketing blogs, and one of the most fascinating topics I’ve been following is how “word of mouth” referrals work in marketing. Common sense tells us that the best referral is one that comes from the heart - when you are so certain about that referral’s value that you would stake your reputation on it. Common sense also shows that the higher price for the good or service, the more important the referral becomes.

Ponder this for a second - audition appointments are technically referrals. Casting directors are making a word-of-mouth referral of actors to producers and asking for them to choose. And these are high stakes referrals, because the casting director’s future job might depend on it.

So imagine how risky it is for a casting director to give an audition appointment to an actor they have never met. In order to preserve their reputation as a dependable casting director, they have to make darned sure that every actor they bring in passes muster. This is why it’s so vitally important for actors to develop meaningful relationships with industry folks on an ongoing basis - actors must develop trust within the industry.

I once assisted casting on a major production. I had met a dashing leading man at a friend’s birthday party and had an instinct that he would be right for the lead in the project. But I had never seen his work - I had only met him socially and read his resume – so I only had my gut feeling to tell me that he’d be exactly what the director needed. You’d better believe I was sweating bullets waiting for the actor to arrive for his audition. Questions raced through my mind: “Will he be late? Will he be gracious to our audition monitor, or will he be difficult when he enters the door? Will he be able to take direction?” Not to mention that I was also hoping he’d be trained, capable and ready. The tension mounted higher and higher as I waited for him to arrive.

Casting directors often avoid this risk by bringing in only those actors they know, or they spend time doing “pre-screens” where they audition actors privately before deciding who to bring in for producers.

So how do you, the actor, make sure you’re referral worthy?

1. Have integrity. Make sure you respond to all emails and calls in a timely manner, and show up on time to all appointments. Do NOT cancel last minute —a casting director has saved a highly coveted slot just for you, and it makes a big difference if you’re missing from their casting options.

2. Be prepared. Know who’s in the room, and know your material. This includes networking situations: When meeting new people, make sure you’re prepared with what types of questions you want to ask to get to know them better, and be prepared to say a little something about yourself that will make a difference for those you’re meeting.

3. Be yourself! Let’s face it, we know when someone is being fake or holding themselves back, no matter how hard they try to appear natural. It is so refreshing when someone can just be themselves. Don’t be afraid to share your quirks and passions. As long as you do this while following tips #1 and #2, you’ll be just fine.

To get a bigger jumpstart on how to do this, you can read my articles on How To Leave Them Wanting More, and 3 Ways to Build Your Fan Base.


Oh, and by the way - that actor I brought in? Lucky for me (and for him), he was fabulous and knocked the director’s socks off. And I lived to cast another day!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out www.theactorsenterprise.org.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How Auditioning is like Jury Duty


Ah, jury duty. A service all responsible American adults face and many fear. Sitting around a crowded room waiting for your name to be called, waiting to find out if the next few weeks of your life will be overtaken by a new role. Wait. This sounds vaguely familiar…

Recently I noticed a strange sensation when I sat in the jury lounge waiting to be called. I had flashbacks of being at EPAs with performers names being announced to stay for callbacks. I sat there thinking, "Call my name! Pick me!" which was odd, since most people would clearly prefer NOT to be picked for a jury.

Some people get called for jury duty but never end up seeing the inside a courtroom. But would you believe that I’ve been called three times and all three times I was chosen as a juror?

Now, I actually like jury duty. I’m one of those rare folks who are fascinated by the system and would love nothing better than to sit on a trial. I started to wonder- what is it about me that makes me an ideal pick? And then a question hit me so sharply that I was taken aback:

If we loved auditions instead of finding them grueling, would actors get callbacks more often?

My name was called to go to our courtroom and I, along with 49 others, were asked to sit in the gallery. By a random drawing my name was selected 8th and I was seated with 19 other jurors in the actual jury box. They then begin "voir dire" - the questioning process. We were questioned on a few things: our ability to be fair and impartial, about our backgrounds, our current jobs and hobbies, etc. (When I said I was an actor and a coach, the judge joked, "Do you have time for hobbies?" I answered, "I get to live my hobby!") By the end of voir dire 25 people had been excused for conflicts of interest or biases. At the end of it all only 5 people were selected out of our group of 50 to join the other 10 jurors who had been selected the previous day. Guess who got chosen? That's right, me.

So how can I relate this to my acting so that I can get similar results in the audition room? I have some theories:

Confidence: I’d been through the jury selection process twice before and knew what I was doing. I knew exactly what voir dire was and what results they wanted. I knew I'd be an excellent juror and they’d be lucky to have me, but I also knew I’d be perfectly fine if they didn’t select me. In other words- I had no vested interest in one outcome over another. Perhaps they were attracted to that natural confidence?

Likability: Because I was confident, I was able to really let my personality out. From the comment, "I get to live my hobby" to my willingness to smile and laugh through the questioning process, I imagine that I had an air of relaxed friendliness. When you are relaxed and friendly, it can encourage others to be relaxed and friendly. People like being around those who create ease in the room - what a difference that can make when so many people are afraid to be themselves. Maybe they thought I would bring an air of levity to the courtroom?

Honesty: I got asked some very tough questions and I answered them calmly and succinctly, which could have made me seem honest and trustworthy. Of all three attributes, I imagine this would be the most important.

I know what you’re thinking: What do Confidence, Likability and Honesty have to do with being a good actor? After going through this process I am starting to see that these are all part of the intangibles of human bonding: Will the person be reliable and fun to work with under duress? Will they contribute positively to the mood in the room, especially when working in difficult circumstances? And, let's face it, likable people are more likely to get ahead than unlikable folks.

So if we can find a way to do THAT in the audition room, wouldn't we be more likely to succeed?

I always tell my students, "When you audition, don't go in trying to prove you’re the only person for that role. That isn't in your control. Go in showing them that you would be an excellent choice for the role. Aim to get into the “yes pile” of headshots that the casting director deems, 'These actors were very good, and I would like to work with them…today or someday.' Remember that when you audition you’re not only auditioning for today’s role, but every other role that this casting office has on their radar. If you bring confidence, likability and honesty to your auditions you’ll see your callback ratio start to rise, and you’ll feel so much better in the process.


A portion of this article was published by Backstage. 


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.


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