Build your skills
“In today’s contracting domestic labor market there is a vast difference
between skilled and unskilled labor.”
What’s going on in our business today? There seems to be more product
filling the airwaves and yet there’s less work available. The explanation is
Pressure is being applied from the “top” down. As movie stars command higher
salaries productions are under pressure to contain costs so “second tier”
movie stars are asked to take a paycut. In order to avoid taking the cut in
salary second tier movie stars are moving to television, commanding larger
salaries there. Established series regular television actors are then forced
to take guest starring roles. Guest stars become day players. All these
actors mentioned are highly skilled labor. In spite of market forces they
will continue to work albeit for less money because as “top down” economic
pressures push downward on the labor market competition becomes much more
intense for the remaining jobs.
Pressure is also being applied from the “bottom” up. The advent of reality
shows has created a very large pool of unskilled labor. The contestants are
enormously underpaid (if at all) but are happy just to be on television.
They develop no equity in their work and so they are replaced by new minimum
wage laborers as soon as the season ends. They have no union, receive no
benefits so the cost to producers is minimal. This dynamic allows the
networks to maximize profits with a largely inferior product. It also drives
down the cost of skilled labor (actors on television shows) because their
unskilled competition for the entertainment dollar is busily establishing
new lows for the cost of entertainment labor.
Market forces are simultaneously pushing down from the top and up from the
bottom. In short, the actor is being squeezed. Competiton is at an all time
high. The world’s toughest business just got tougher.
What can you do about it? You can complain to your agent. Good luck. They’re
feeling the pinch just like you. You can try to latch on to a reality show.
Lot’s of longevity there. Hey, Survivor has been a top rated reality show
for years! What’s the cast of season two doing now? Do you even remember
their faces let alone their names?
The answer to your dillemna: Build your skills! To compete in this ultra
competitive market you have to be at your best in every audition. Your skill
level has to be high enough to break thru the market forces trying to
smother your career.
So what are the minimum basic skills you need to compete in this
marketplace? At John Marshall Jones presents Mastering the Audition we teach
that there are four basic minimum skills in acting:
Reading – you must be able to find all the hidden information that is buried
between the lines of the text.
Listening – you must be able to hear and be physically affected by the other
Vocalization – you must be able to use tone, pitch and diction to defind
Thinking – you must develop ability to stay focused on your dream despite
the negative influences that will surround you as you work diligently to
We live and work in an information society. At John Marshall Jones presents
Mastering the Audition we are committed to providing you with superior
information to help you to achieve superior results. So start building those
skills and make your next audition your best one!
John Marshall Jones