Mandy May Cheetham is the Swiss Army Knife of the filmmaking biz! Mandy May is an actor, screenwriter, producer, rapper etc etc! In this episode Mandy May shares how she took the initiative in creating and starring in her own web series!
- The worst thing you can do!
- Writing about something else.
- Getting proper feedback.
- Speaking lines out loud.
- Taking a vacation from your problems.
I love acting. If I’m not acting I want to work with actors, hence directing. Auditions can get to feel like they’re a dime a dozen. Walk in, say your lines, walk out. No wonder actors get so easily depressed. Walk in, say lines, walk out. Walk in, say lines, walk out.
I was at an audition recently that changed things for me, not only as an actor but as a director. I walked in and first thing that impressed me was they knew my name without me saying it. Calling someone by name in any circumstance gives them a feeling of being appreciated. We then sat down and the director and I spent a good five minutes talking about the character and his thoughts on it. Then he asked me my thoughts and what I saw in the character. That was exciting to me! Too many directors put their foot down on what they want the character to be and aren’t open to other interpretations. It doesn’t matter if it’s used, but just knowing my opinion was valued meant a lot. We then spent another ten minutes go through the script. When I left there were others waiting to go in but what I had experienced was more than worth the hour drive.
My advice to filmmakers is to do the same.
1) Do your best to call the person by name. Actors are people, not a commodity. Treat them with respect and you’ll get the best from them. Promise!
2) Take your time with the actors. If you don’t have enough time, prioritize it. These people are doing their best to do work that can be difficult. They’re taking their time, often traveling a distance to have their opportunity with you. It’s easy to keep the focus on ourselves and what we’re doing. Put a little attention on them and help them shine!
3) Put some value in their opinion. They will love you for wanting to know their thoughts and they might even have ideas that make sense. This should actually be #1 in my opinion because of the overall effect on the people you work with.
In closing, I got the part because the filmmaker appreciated my insight on the character and the friendliness shared during our few minutes together. I’ll talk about friendliness in another post. In the end, this business is about relationships. Remember this and you’ll go far!