Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Great Podcasts for Actors and others in the Performing Arts


I’ve taken months curating some of the best podcasts in our industry and beyond. Take a look, and if you have suggestions about things to add, please put them in the comments section below!

Note: Some of these podcasts are no longer producing shows, but Player FM has all of their episodes archived. 


Interviews

The Actor CEO - The Actor CEO Podcast airs interviews with actors and industry pros to help actors feel more in control of their career by learning how to manage it like a business. Be the boss. Be an Actor CEO.

The Actor’s Diet - In each episode of The Actor’s Diet Podcast, I chat with people in my community – artists and foodies – about their history with eating, body image, and current culinary obsessions.

ATW’s Downstage Center - The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.

The Connect Podcast - This is the moment where a meaningful connection is made. In today’s world of digital overload and human disconnect, we need these simple yet rare moments more than ever. It’s Aaron Calafato’s podcast mission to create these connections with diverse guests through a wide-range of entertaining conversation.

BroadwayCon - BroadwayCon The Podcast brings you through the stage door to be part of the excitement that happens onstage and behind-the-scenes.

Broken Legs - Broken Legs is an evolving project that strives to promote innovative artists and their work while exploring what it means to live a full life. Created by Austin Mitchell.

The Dramatist Guild’s In The Room - The Dramatists Guild of America invites you In the Room with some of the most celebrated playwrights, composers and lyricists in the American theatre discussing craft while sharing their influences and experiences when creating their most celebrated work.

The Ensemblist - The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond.

Headset - Headset is the podcast for people who work backstage, where different guests discuss all aspects of technical theatre and share some of their stories.

The Honest Actors - Created and hosted by Jonathan Harden, The podcast launched in September 2015 and after quickly gaining the support of Equity, is now the UK’s #1 acting podcast, recommended to students at RADA, LAMDA and as far afield as New York University.

Inside Acting - Inside Acting is a weekly show dedicated to demystifying the inner and outer game of success in the entertainment industry – for actors, and by actors.

Masters of the Stage - A podcast by the Theater Development Fund and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation, with interviews of directors and choreographers

Maxamoo - A roundtable podcast about theater and performance in New York City

Nothing Shines Like Dirt - Elise Sievert & Lesley Shannon invite you to be a fly on the wall while they jump head first into unpredictable dialogue about creating your own work with guest artists in the entertainment industry. They will slide into conversations about work, creativity, and the art of storytelling. And don’t worry, they promise it will be full of playful insights into the little and not so little idiosyncrasy of ​day to day life. Let’s get started empowering and connecting our fellow artists!

Off and On: A NY Theater Podcast - With Playwright Bernardo Cubria - this podcast was named the top Theatre Podcast by American Theatre Magazine.

Off Script - Offscript is the official podcast of American Theatre, containing conversations with critics, playwrights and the editors of AT.

TheaterCast - Run by Nick Cusamano (@edtech4theatre on Twitter), this is a podcast where theatre teachers and professionals share their passion for theatre.

Theater People - Interviews with Tony Winners, Broadway Legends, and Today's Hottest Theater Stars. Brought to you biweekly by Patrick Hinds and Mike Jensen.



Podcasts outside of New York

KCRW’s Opening The Curtain - Musings on what theatre is - and can be - in Los Angeles.

National Theater, UK - These podcasts provide the latest round-up of events at the National Theatre, featuring interviews with actors, directors and creatives.

Off Stage and On The Air - Off Stage and On The Air focuses on Theatre around the country. We are a lively and funny bunch who love theatre and love to talk about it. We also feature guest from and around the Austin, TX theatre scene (yes, there is LOTS of theatre in Austin).

Stage Talk - A weekly conversation about stage events in the Anchorage metro area with a calendar of events. Hosted by Mark Muro and Kristina Church and broadcast each Friday on KSKA FM 91.1 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Talk Theater Chicago - A weekly podcast about Chicago's Theatre scene on Chicago's Premier Theatre Podcast Network - Talk Theatre in Chicago



Reviews, Performances, and Features from Theaters & Production Companies

Broadway Radio - with James Marino and Peter Filichia

Go See A Show - The Off Off Broadway Podcast

Let Me Ascertain You - Let Me Ascertain You is a podcast that investigates vital questions of the present. The show draws from live performances at the premiere nightclub Joe's Pub, where the Civilians' artists perform the real words of various ordinary and extraordinary people, proving that truth is indeed stranger and more wonderful than fiction. The show also features original songs, also taken verbatim from interviews, and created by some of the leading musical theater and downtown cabaret talent in New York

Listen with Patty and Emily - Comedy and Opinions from Two Broadway Fans!

NPR - This is a master list of any program tagged with “Theater” in NPR, but there’s also information from the film, comedy and opera worlds.

Off Off Podcast - A podcast celebrating the indie spirit.

Reduced Shakespeare Company - Backstage drama. Touring trauma. Famous Guests. Infamous quests. Literary analysis. No urinalysis. All this and less – on the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast.

The Set List - A comprehensive collection of the best cabaret performances in New York City, including the works of Musical Theater composers, classical favorites, and new musical readings.The Set List features live recordings of Off Broadway concerts as well as behind the scenes interviews and conversations with select artists.

Something New - Join award-winning musical theatre writer Joel B. New as he interviews the savviest singers he knows! Each guest brings multiple talents to the theatre industry, from photography to teaching to massage therapy, and their careers as performers have only been enriched by them.

Steppenwolf Theater - STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY is a Chicago-based international performing arts institution committed to ensemble collaboration and artistic risk through its work with its permanent ensemble, guest artists, partner institutions and the community.


Business/Producing Skills

2AMT - From the people behind 2amtheatre.com comes the 2amt podcast. Sometimes an interview, sometimes a roundtable, 2amt’s first podcast talks about ideas for theater companies at every level, from the tiniest storefront theater to the largest regional theater. Thinking outside the black box.

Access to Anyone - Access to Anyone is the podcast that explores how you can get to know anyone you want to in business and in life using everything from the latest technology to the most time tested principles. Hosts Michael Schein and Michael Roderick cover topics such as the Art of the Ask, how to use online content to make power players clamor to meet you, and the technique of “leveling up”.

Duct Tape Marketing - Interviews with authors, experts and thought leaders sharing business marketing tips, tactics and resources hosted by one America's leading small business marketing experts. With John Jantsch.

National Arts Marketing Project Radio - NAMPRadio, the official podcast of the National Arts Marketing Project is a monthly 45-minute show covering marketing and technology trends of interest to the field. Each episode also features a special guest artist who is connected to the topic. The shows have featured in-depth discussion on relevant topics such as online ticketing/CRM, CMS websites, Working with the Press, Arts Administration Degrees, and a variety of other topics.

The Producer’s Perspective - Ken Davenport’s popular blog, TheProducersPerspective.com, is now a podcast! On each episode, Tony Award Winning Broadway Producer Ken Davenport interviews a Broadway industry professional to get their perspective on The Great White Way.

Social Media Marketing Happy Hour - The Social Media Marketing Happy Hour Podcast hosted by Dawn Marrs Ortiz & Traci Reuter is designed for the network marketer, small business owner, entrepreneur, mlm professional, mompreneur, wahm, wahd, who is tired of the grind and ready to learn to leverage social media marketing sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more to get a bigger list, more leads and recruit and sell more products. Each episode is 15 minutes long, 5 days per week, jam packed with success tips & nuggets to help you succeed in your entrepreneurial journey.

Theatre Geeks - Theatre Geeks is a podcast and website focused on community theatre, featuring episodes and articles on acting, directing, technical and business issues, as well as other news and feature topics. Whether you call it community theatre, amateur theatre, or amdram, we've got it covered.

Unmarketing’s Unpodcast - Experts are constantly telling us what we need to be doing to improve our businesses. “TheUnPodcast” tells you what not to do first, so we can discuss what you really need to do to succeed in the new world of business marketing. Easy to digest, easy to avoid. Includes real-life examples along with tips and guidance on experts, human resources, marketing/branding, networking (in person and online), public relations, and customer service.



Inspiration, Culture & Comedy

Coaches Corner - On Coaches' Corner, Coach Andrew has a conversation with leaders from the worlds of business and personal coaching, transformation and personal development who touch, move and inspire people to action in their lives. Listeners who participate during the live show will have an opportunity to ask 1questions of his guests.

Freakonomics Radio - Host Stephen Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER, and she wants you to be happier too. The #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast. Gretchen’s cohost and guinea pig is her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in Los Angeles, who (lovingly) refers to Gretchen as her happiness bully.

Here’s the Thing - Here’s The Thing is a series of intimate and honest conversations hosted by Alec Baldwin. Alec talks with artists, policy makers and performers – to hear their stories, what inspires their creations, what decisions changed their careers, and what relationships influenced their work. Produced by WNYC Studios.

The Jillian Michaels Show - Jillian Michaels, America's Health and Wellness guru, brings you the Jillian Michaels Show. An entertaining, inspirational, informative show that gives you tools to find health and happiness in all areas of your life.

Louder Than Words - Louder Than Words delivers the creative inspiration you need to be a more successful entrepreneur, writer, designer, or creator in general. Every week I sit down with a special guest to provide a glimpse into the lives and creative process of the most remarkable people you know.

Ronna and Beverly - A comedy series about fictitious authors Ronna Glickman & Beverly Ginsberg who write books like “You’ll Do A Little Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Re-marriage for Jewish Singles” (“It says Jewish in the name — but it’s for everyone!”). These outspoken fiftysomethings from Boston, who can be seen regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA, dispense their unique brand of relationship advice while interviewing/interrogating celebrity guests.

Slate Culture Gab Fest - Listen to Slate's critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner, plus their guests, discuss what's happening in movies, books, TV, and more.

Ted Talks (Audio) - Here is a complete list of audio Ted Talks, in every subject imaginable

This American Life - This American Life is a weekly public radio show, with a different theme to each episode and a variety of stories on that theme. From their website: “Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay. There's lots more to the show, but it's sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, though we do have longer guides to our radio show and our TV show. If you want to dive into the hundreds of episodes we've done over the years, there's an archive of all our old radio shows and listings for all our TV episodes, too.”

Two Dope Queens - Join the 2 Dope Queens, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, along with their favorite comedians, for stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel. Plus a whole bunch of other s**t. Produced by WNYC Studios.

WTF - Marc Maron is tackling the most complex philosophical question of our day - WTF? He'll get to the bottom of it with help from comedian friends, celebrity guests and the voices in his own head.


Get my brand new online course, Mastering the Art of Relationships, and others at courses.theactorenterprise.org


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. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A New DIY Course - Just For You!



I’m excited to announce that I’ve created an affordable DIY Course to help demystify the entire process of networking: my new program MASTERING THE ART OF RELATIONSHIPS. In the course I go over the three major segments of building a great relationship: Planning, Sharing, and Tracking.

The course will be offered starting September 9 on my website: courses.theactorsenterprise.org. To be notified when it will be launched, make sure you’ve joined my newsletter. You’ll receive a special announcement when it is uploaded, and you'll also be eligible to get the Bonus - a 45 Day Networking Challenge that comes with free coaching via Facebook Live. I hope to see you'll take advantage of this amazing course, put together for you with love.

I'm launching this course in tandem with the NY Actor's Pro Expo, which is happening this weekend!



I’ll be giving free mini-coaching sessions at the Expo on Saturday, September 8 - from 10am-4pm this amazing trade show for actors will be packed with people to network with, which is a wonderful kick off to my course. One lucky person who leaves their business card will receive the DIY course free of charge (a $293 value.) So make sure you come on my and drop your business card in the bowl for your chance to win!

Here are more details about the event:

Actors Pro Expo will return to New York in September 2018! FREE ENTRY tickets are limited so grab yours by clicking here now!
Actors Pro Expo is a trade show to help creatives DEVELOP and SUSTAIN their career and to CREATE new opportunities for themselves. Attendees get to meet exhibitors from a wide range of services.
Actors Pro Expo also offers exciting workshops and information-packed seminars led by a range of top industry professionals. Plus there are a limited number of expert 1-2-1 career building sessions to book on the day.
But wait, there’s more! In addition to all these great offerings there will also be not one but TWO exclusive OPEN CASTING CALLS for a range of roles in film and theater!
BUT HERE’S THE BEST BIT………
General admission is FREE, the open casting call is FREE (audition slots offered on a first-come-first-served basis), even our Seminars with leading industry-professionals AND expert 1-2-1 career building sessions will also be FREE! For those wanting to get to the next-level in their careers, our Workshops with leading industry experts will be available for $30 each and can be booked online in advance here along with your FREE ENTRY tickets, which are limited, so make sure you GRAB YOUR TICKET BY CLICKING HERE NOW!


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. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Writing the Perfect Follow-Up



You’ve done your preparing and targeted the perfect industry folks for the kind of career you wanted. You managed to get an audition or signed up for one of their classes, during which you charmed them with your ease and talent. And now that you have their contact information, you’re wondering just exactly what you should do with it. You’ve been told that postcards are the way to go, but what is the best way to write those follow-ups with the same ease and talent you shared in the room? How do you make sure the postcards get read? And how can you do so in a way that doesn’t waste a lot of your time?

There are three kinds of communications you can make via postcard after you’ve met someone in the industry:

  • Thank you (to establish the line of communication). This is sent after seeing/meeting industry in-person and the postcard will now be your "proxy."
  • Update (to keep them posted about what’s going on in your career). This is sent on a regular basis, every 1, 2 or 3 months - your choice. 
  • Invitation (sending them information about a project where they can be your guest). This is sent on an occasional basis, as screenings/shows pop up. 

A few things about creating content:

When sending written communications it’s very important that the purpose include only one of the above - by choosing one intention, it makes it easier for the reader to easily get your message without becoming overwhelmed. Example: If it’s an update, don’t also include an invitation. If it’s a thank you, don’t also include an update. Each one should be separate and succinct.

Always start your communication with how you’re acquainted, so that the industry person can more easily remember who you are. And then tell them what the communication is about. Think of it like a phone call - when you call someone you don’t just say, “Hi, I’d really like to work with you.” That's a little intense and off-putting. You would ease into it with an introduction, “Hi, we met at the audition for the film 'Crazy For You.' I’m sending you an update on what’s been happening with my career.”

You then move on to the main portion of the communication, which is the meat of what you want to say. Think of this section as “solving their problem” - what do they need when reading your communication, and how can you provide that? For a thank you, you’ll want to tell them what resonated with you about your interaction. For an update you’ll want to give them relevant information that they need to know about your career. And for an invitation, you would include the vital information about your project (including how long it is and who else it involved - very important!)

The final section is the sign-off, or what I like to call, “Ask for what you want.” Let them know what you want them to do when they put the postcard down - do you want them to call you for a meeting? Keep you in mind for future projects? Invite you to become a reader for them? Really think about what it is you’re asking for, and then sign off with your contact information so that they can easily reach out to you.

It bears mentioning that it may not be obvious that postcards are “working”, but rest assured that they are! Think of them like commercials - when you see a commercial you don’t automatically get up and buy the product on the screen. But when you are ready to buy something, those commercials will come front of mind and be a part of your buying decision. This is what happens when you help industry folks keep YOU front of mind with your consistent updates.

Finally - you probably notice that the same thing can be said for sending thank you’s / updates / invitations via email. If email is the only contact information you have and you cannot find an address, then email is fine! (The main concern about email is that it can easily get lost in the shuffle of day to day life of the industry member.) But all of my advice holds true for email - the only thing to add is making sure you attach a small version of your headshot to the email so that they can remember what you look like.


Did you like this advice? Great news! I’ve debuted my brand new DIY Course “Mastering the Art of Relationships” which includes video and worksheets designed to help you dive deeply into your communications to make networking easy, painless, and fun. Sign up for the course here: courses.theactorsenterprise.org

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. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Importance of Following Up



Imagine that you go on a solo vacation and while on your travels you meet an interesting person with whom you share an afternoon exploring. You have a fantastic time and want to stay in contact so that future travels might be possible. You exchange contact information and your fellow adventurer implores you to keep in touch. But after the trip you start to worry that maybe they didn’t mean it. Maybe they meet lots of people on their travels, so your time wasn’t that special. Before you know it you’ve talked yourself out of keeping in touch. A year passes and it’s time for travel again, and your mind falls back to your traveler friend who you met a year ago. Is it appropriate to reach out to see if they’d like to travel again? Will they even remember you? Will they be upset that you didn’t reach out sooner? And now you’re kicking yourself, because had you kept in touch to begin with you might be able to skip all of this anxiety and have another fun filled adventure. But instead, your relationship stopped short of developing and now you’re left to start all over. 

I’m sure you can see how this relates to our work as actors. We all know that consistent follow up with industry is key, but we somehow talk ourselves out of it for a myriad of reasons. I took some time to examine the concerns most frequently raised by my students and came up with the top 4 reasons actors avoid the follow-up.


“They probably get updates from hundreds of actors”

Surprisingly, this is not true. Most actors send an initial follow up after meeting someone and then avoid sending follow ups thereafter. Even if industry people did get hundreds of updates, a well written update is always appreciated when your recipient knows you and your work. Note that I said “knows you and your work” - I firmly advocate against sending updates to industry professionals who do not know your work. Updates are too personal if they have no context, so I’d focus on getting in the room with them first, then sending updates after that.


“When they say ‘follow up’ they don’t really mean it”

This is a really common fear, but we really do mean it. I run a theater company, and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to say no to an actor purely because of circumstances out of their control. I request for these people to keep in touch, because there is a good chance I will be able to cast them next time around. But actors often have their eyes on the short game - they get frustrated and avoid following up - instead of playing the long game and using the initial audition as the introductory part of a longer relationship.


“I heard follow ups just go into the trash”

This might be true for some people. But more often than not, a well-written, authentic follow up is deeply appreciated by industry folks. And you’ll certainly never build the relationship beyond the first meeting if you don’t take that extra step to keep in touch. I call that effort “the cost of doing business.” You’ll get enough of a benefit even if efforts are wasted on some people.


“I never get anything from it”

Think of follow ups like commercials. When we see/hear commercials, we almost never get up from what we’re doing and go out to buy that product. Instead, we file the information away for when we need it. So you’ll never know for certain how it’s working, but you have to have the confidence that it is. The hope is that when the industry person is in the market for someone like you, your follow ups help you be front of mind. I have a friend who just got called into a major casting office a few days after randomly passing a casting director in the hallway at an event. Just that little reminder was all it took - no conversation even took place! Your follow-up can be like that casual sighting in a hallway.


In a future post I will go over what a “well written” follow up will look like. In the meantime, if there are other reasons you don’t follow up with people you’ve met, leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll help you work through your concerns!


Did you like this advice? Great news! I’ve debuted my brand new DIY Course “Mastering the Art of Relationships” which includes video and worksheets designed to help you dive deeply into your communications to make networking easy, painless, and fun. Sign up for the course here: courses.theactorsenterprise.org

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. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

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