Acting Coach Spence Maughon
We caught up with JRP New Orleans
Acting Coach Spence Maughon
on what was the most important step on becoming an actor.
“If there is anything else you love, do that, because this business is too hard for the faint of heart.” At the age of 19, those were some of the first words I heard from an acting teacher. Over the years, I’ve seen friends and colleagues move on to other careers and the minority of us stuck with the entertainment industry in some facet. The difference is, for the few, there wasn’t a choice. Performing isn’t just a hobby it is an obsession. Even if you fit into the obsessed category, remind yourself daily, it’s called Show BUSINESS, not just Show. Too many actors forget this part of the industry.
The first step in the business side of show is defining your goal. What is your goal?
Don’t limit your goal to, “I just want to work.” The problem with a goal of “I just want to work,” is that it’s uninspiring to you and future collaborators. And don’t confuse a “to do list” as goal achievement. A laundry list will not help you achieve success. So, how do you define your goal? When creating a goal, make sure it is specific and your own. Don’t get caught up in someone else’s vision of what you should do.
First, start with your ultimate career goal. After defining your long-term career goal, work backwards to achieve it. Who would you most like to collaborate? What movies or Television shows do you envision yourself working? Who casts these projects?.. Working backwards, give yourself a timeline and actionable steps. Create this timeline with yearly/monthly/weekly/daily steps. If you do not create an action plan, years from now you may find yourself with the same goal, but nowhere near accomplishing it. I know this may sound daunting or you’re not sure where to begin. One of my first steps before moving to New Orleans was research the local market. What kind of films and Television shows are being shot here? Do these projects fit my “type?” Who are the local casting directors? Which talent agency should I sign? Where do I meet these future collaborators? These are just a few of the questions I asked before moving from Los Angeles.
It should go without saying, write everything down and track your progress. Don’t just keep your goals locked in your head. No consistent tracking = no awareness = no behavioral change.
After you have established your goals, create a support group of like-minded entertainment professionals. Check-in with each other weekly and share your accomplishments, as well as your plan of action for the following week. Just like when preparing an audition, it’s not real until you say it out loud. Voice these goals to your support group in order to be held accountable. Accountability will make you more productive.
Some of best advice I was given at an early age was, “Keep it simple.” We are a consumerist society. We go out daily and spend money on things we do not need and are not important. If you’ve left the luxury of your parents’ home, don’t rent the nicest apartment in your ideal neighborhood and then fill it with all new furnishings. Don’t buy the brand new car. I’ve seen too many friends not pursue their careers because they were too busy just paying monthly bills. Keep it simple, so you can spend money and time doing what is important to advance your goals.
Lastly, identify what you’re good at – and work hard at making that your daily focus. Keep in mind that what you can’t do now, you are capable of improving. You are who you are and that’s what you’re selling. Article written By: JRP New Orleans Acting Coach Spence Maughon
Everywhere we turn life is becoming hyper social and digital. For those of you who have and maintain your social networks kudos! If you’re lagging behind on keeping your profile information up-to-date on your social media accounts here are some tips fromJRP New Orleans
Marketing Director on how to take advantage of social media to help you be open and connect with opportunities:
Facebook Fan Page
: If you’re an actor, I suggest building a fan page that is professional and separate from your personal profile. The benefit is it’s an interactive online press kit that anyone can view especially if you don’t have a website. Your fan page should focus mostly on news, images, videos, and updates on your current work.
Twitter & Instagram: Twitter and Instagram are two great resources to share your press, information, and work. With the #hashtag and @ feature you have direct access to other actors, celebrities, directors, casting directors, etc making your posted content searchable and accessible. If you’re trying to get your new acting or modeling projects some publicity, Twitter & Instagram are the most effective. Best of all when you post on one you can automatically upload to the other. MeetUp.com
: Don’t like being stuck behind a screen socializing? Meet up is an excellent site that gives people the opportunity to plan and execute gatherings in their neighborhood based on similar interest like acting, modeling, singing, etc. The best way for an actor to use this service is to search for production and studio related events. At meet ups, you can expect a much more laid back vibe (unless noted otherwise) with people who just want to meet other people. You never know who you’ll meet, and at the end of the day, enjoying the company of like-minded individuals is wonderful.
Stay connected with JRP New Orleans
Acting and Modeling check out our social handles! Most importantly share your happenings, success, and work with us so we can share about the great things happening in Louisiana Hollywood South!
Facebook Fan Page: John Robert Powers Louisiana
Madeline Before & After at her first Los Angeles Photoshoot.
Meet JRP New Orleans
Model Madeline Zerbe. Madeline attended our open model casting call back in October
2013. With no experience but a dream and passion for modeling Madeline won our grand prize modeling scholarship to IPOP
(a national talent showcase in Los Angeles where agents world wide scout for their next talent). Through 3 months of intensive model training at JRP New Orleans
she developed an elegant model walk, poise, and a stronger self confidence that led her to becoming IPOP's Adult Top Model of the year! Big congrats to embarking on her modeling career she is officially signed with Next Model Management
on of the top modeling agencies world wide and already living in Los Angeles. We caught up with Madeline after her move to Los Angeles. JRP: Wow, What a great last few months for you and major transformation. How has your life changed since training at JRP New Orleans and going to IPOP? Madeline:
Since JRP approached me about IPOP my life has changed in so many ways! I'm a different person in such a good way. They not only gave me the opportunity to become a model and helped me get there but, I am NOW, a model signed with Next Model Management
so the best part is I have the career of my dreams. JRP: How does it feel to be named model of the year at such a huge event? Madeline:
It felt so amazing! After that I felt like I could accomplish that I want to. I had excellent coaches and mentors to fully prepare me and as a team we killed! JRP: What did it take to prepare for IPOP? Madeline:
It was a lot of work. It wasn't easy there was a lot about me that needed to change before I could truly pursue this industry (before I started training I cold barely walk in 4 inch heels!). modeling classes at JRP New Orleans for IPOP were one of my favorite things to do, it was a lot of fun to learn all these new things that I now carry with me, and use every day. JRP: We are so excited about your move to Los Angeles so quick after after IPOP. How has it been in the other LA? Madeline:
Moving to Los Angeles has been so crazy! In a great way of course! I have already learned my way around the city, and I love it here. Best of all I'm looking forward to traveling internationally. JRP: What Advice can you give to aspiring models out there? Madeline:
If you want to become a model, then give it everything you have. Never give up no matter how many times you get turned away, just keep trying and be determined. Hard work always pays off. I am proof of that.
CLICK HERE to stay tuned in on Madeline's Success by checking out her modeling profile on Next Model Management Webpage !
CLICK HERE for more information for on upcoming modeling auditions in New Orleans and talent auditions!
For the longest time we have focused on the success of JRP New Orleans
students. You’ve seen them on our wall of fame, on our website and in our newsletter. From commercials and print to TV and Film JRP New Orleans
clients are booking booking booking. However, the amazing thing about being a success story doesn't have to mean we get to see your face on TV. Many clients have achieved so much success from training at JRP it all just depends on what you wanted to get out of this from the beginning. Clients have went from shy to senior class president, from training in film but now on stage. There are so many way to label success and for one client her success keeps on coming. Not on TV, not on stage but on the side of the industry we never talk about. Her journey started with JRP
and as of today she is the assistant to one of televisions biggest stars! Meet Ericka Bonilla
! Ericka began her journey in the business in 2002 and what a journey it has been. From the JRP
Student to the JRP
receptionist to an assistant for an LA talent agency to a Junior Agent to a production assistant to a casting assistant and now her current position as the assistant to Nina Dobrev
of Vampire Diaries
, Ericka has done it all and never regrets that the industry took her this route instead of in front of the camera. We sat down to chat with her about her journey and how a little bit of JRP New Orleans
has always been apart of it.
JRP: When were you a student of John Robert Powers? Why were you attending? EB:
It feels like it was AGES ago!! Well, because it really was! I started at JRP
in 2002 as a receptionist first and after a week there I knew I had to take some acting classes because they looked soo fun! After my first class I was hooked and took as many classes as I could. Everything from commercials, TV1/2, scene study, monologue even fashion & commercial print! It was the best thing I've ever done. JRP: Describe your journey since you were a student at JRP and how has JRP been apart of that? EB:
Honestly, I learned more then just acting at JRP.
It made me a more confident person. Which without confidence you cant go very far in this industry. The reason why I am where I am now (which currently is sitting on set on the new Fox comedy "Let's Be Cops
") is because of what I learned and the contacts I made at JRP. After being at JRP for 5 years I decided I wanted to work at a talent agency and move to LA and because of the contacts and the support I received from my JRP family I've come as far as I have. There is some truth when they say its all about who you know
JRP: You've had to amazing opportunity of being an assistant at a huge talent agency to a Junior agent to an assistant to a huge celebrity. Tell us what part of this business was more rewarding for you and why? EB:
I feel like I've done everything there is to do in this crazy industry we all love! I can't say that there was one specific job that I found the most rewarding because I've learned so much from everything I've done. But I can say the most rewarding part was working at the talent agency because you get to be apart of someone's growing career and seeing how hard work and determination pays off. JRP: Working for a Celebrity , how is that? EB:
It's the most fun and hardest job at the same time. I've gotten to learn the ins and out of the industry from the point of view of a working actor. If you think it's luxurious you've got it all wrong! (Well some of it is pretty fancy :) ) Working in representation I always knew that actors work hard but I didn't realize how hard they work until I started assisting one! If their not on set their coaching or auditioning for the next project or hoping on planes every weekend for work events. It's non stop! On my side it's all about making their life easier and assisting in whatever they need. Anywhere from communicating with their agents, managers, publicist to booking travel to picking up dry cleaning! No task is too big or small. At the end of day I know that I'm apart of something much bigger and look forward to where this journey will take me next!
JRP: If you could give advice to young actors what would it be? EB:
KEEP TRAINING! I've worked with many many actors and the first thing they all have in common is that they still train with an acting coach, whether it be on set, off set, even on Skype! Their always working on their craft. Also, and I'm sure you hear this ALL the time, don't get discouraged when you hear no after no after no. If this is truly what you are passionate about you need to let those No's motivate you even more to keep pushing through BC it will happen!
JRP: Do you hope to work on more projects together? Why? EB:
Yes, we both agree we would like to work on more projects together. We both love to act and hope to have many more bookings. We, of course, know each other well and have great chemistry and enjoy working together. We have had so much fun together on set. We are each others cheerleader and offer support to each other often.
JRP: If you could give advice to the aspiring young that would love to be apart of the industry in production, direction, assisting and any other aspect of this business? EB:
Network network network!! Get to know as many people as you can! The one thing about moving up in this industry is who you know. Bottom line! So, submit your information to all the productions going on in Louisiana, get in as an office PA or set PA thats where you will meet the people that can refer you to the next job and just keep hustling until you get to where you want to be. As Drake would say "Started from the bottom now were here!".
Keep up with + and her production success by CLICKING HERE and checking out her filmography on IMDB.
For more information on getting your prepared for a career in the film industry CLICK HERE
Casting directors organize and facilitate the casting of actors for all the roles in a film. This involves working closely with the Director and Producer to understand their requirements, and suggesting ideal artists for each role, as well as arranging and acts as a liaison between the Director, the actors and their agents. Casting Directors must have extensive knowledge of actors and their suitability for a particular role. On larger productions, Casting Directors may supervise Casting Assistants, who will support and assist them in this work.
is a full service casting company with over 15 years in casting in Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, and New Orleans. The founder Megan Lewis CSA, has experience with feature films, series television and commercial work.
Ryan Glorioso is a Louisiana based film, TV and commercial Casting Director, With over 90 film and TV credits to his credit, Ryan stands as one of Louisiana's leading casting directors, who prides himself on the work he has done to help develop the careers of many budding southern actors.
is a full service casting agency looking to provide you with all of your casting needs. Our casting facilities are located in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. We provide casting services for commercials, films, television, industrial and print. Both union and non union projects. Principals and extras.
Found this article useful? Visit JRP New Orleans
website and learn more about the in's and out's
of the Louisiana Entertainment industry and upcoming auditions!
Actress/Coach Nicole Barre
For those of you just starting out in show business, you may be puzzled, surprised, and possibly even overwhelmed by how much there is to learn. Deciding to be a performer- whether you are an actor, dancer, model, singer or stuntsperson requires countless hours of training, research, networking and studying. All successful working actors have trained somewhere—and for a long time. It takes years to develop your craft, but dedication to it will sharpen your skills so you are ready when your big opportunity arrives. And remember, training does not guarantee you an acting job. You must work for it! But commitment and training will more often than not lead you to an acting job because you will have the talent and tools to book your auditions.
There are several basic and mandatory steps to the process of becoming a professional performer. And remember the learning never stops. Here are a few key aspects to ponder as you continue your journey to being a working actor.
1. You Must Treat Class Like a Job:
Bring you’re A-game to every class. Work on your material at home and in class as if you were getting paid to perform it. Applying realistic conditions will prepare you for the real thing. Don’t miss your training classes—even if you’re not performing. Watching others and TAKING NOTES is an important part of training. In the classroom don’t play it safe—take risks, make bold choices and if you call flat on your face LEARN FROM IT.
2. Assess Your Ability Honestly and Carefully:
Often actors think they are more capable than they are or they spend all day giving themselves anxiety about how awful they are or how badly they did at the audition. Enjoy your successes in this business when they come and learn from your struggles. Don’t beat yourself up because you had one bad day and when you have a great audition, callback or booking—CELEBRATE!
3. Know The Terminology of the Business:
I cannot emphasize how important it is to TALK the TALK. In this industry there are words, phrases, and even abbreviations that are used on a daily basis. Here are a few terms to get you started:
: to try out for a role or to try out for an agent.
· The Breakdowns
: A summary prepared by the casting director listing speaking roles to be cast. These are ONLY provided to talent agents to assist them in their actor submissions.
· Casting Notice
: Similar in format to a breakdown, but not restricted to agents only.
· Cold Reading
: Unrehearsed reading of a scene which can occur in class or at an audition.
· Day Player
: A principal actor hired on a daily basis rather than on a longer term contract.
· Eighteen to Play Younger
: An actor legally 18 years old or older who can convincingly be cast as a younger age.
Represents talent, finds auditions for talent, acts on talents behalf, negotiates bookings and also defends, supports and promotes the interest of his/her clients. An agent gets a percentage of talents salary only when they book a job—usually 10-15%. Agents are very familiar with their clients’ abilities so they can properly submit them for appropriate jobs. There are
· Casting Director
: is the liaison between director, actors and their agents/managers and the studio/network to get the characters in the script cast. In the early stages of the casting process actors are videotaped at the casting director’s office, using memorized scripts (called sides) that are emailed to agents and then passed along to talent. THE CD then attaches resumes and headshots and shares the taped auditions with producers, directors and studio representatives. From there, actors are selected to come in for a callback.
: Second round of auditions in front of the director. Sometimes there are several rounds of auditions before the cast is in place.
· Callback for an Agent Audition
: this simply means that the agent is possibly interested in working with you and taking you on as a client.
: The fee paid to actors for re-broadcast of commercial, film or TV program.
Clearly there is much to learn… and this is merely the tip of the iceberg. I have been a professional actor since I was 15 years old and I can honestly attest to the fact that I am STILL learning everyday. The basics of the business will always remain the same for the most part, but there are trends that come and go and with the rapid advancement and mind-bogglement of technology, you must keep up. I took an acting class myself the other night with a nice gentleman from Los Angeles and as I looked around I recognized people that I’ve seen on television—working actors like myself, sitting in a chair, in a classroom, as you all do, soaking up as much knowledge as possible. I learned a lot that night and was inspired to be not only a better actor but also a better teacher. I just looked over the notes I took from that night. Here are three sentences I wrote in my notebook:
“Before you can be an actor, you must be a detective…”
“The camera sees you thinking, it sees what you know. So you better KNOW…”
“Take classes. “
Happy acting, auditioning, studying and booking!!
Written by: Actress/Coach Nicole Barre
: utilitarian anti-fashion that was nonetheless raw, angry, and intimidating. The rejection of the mainstream culture and social statements graphitied on ripped t-shirts and dusty cut up jeans. From the hair to the attitude “punk fashion” has inspired modern high-fashion over the decades allowing everyone to part take in his or her own rendition of rebellion. Designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gautlier, and Alexander McQueen commercialized the essence of the punk art form into their designs.
This year the NYC Metropolitian Museum
of Art 2013 spring costume exhibition “Punk: Choas to Couture”
, will examine the birth of the movement to its current visual influence. However, year after year the opening of the Met exhibit isn’t your ordinary art collection debut. The Met Gala is a couture-fashion production as the A-list Gals and Gents of Hollywood and the fashion realm command their presence on the red carpet. What makes this red carpet so divine is the celebs interpretation on theme of the Met grand exhibit. With this year’s theme paying a tribute to Punk and all its glory, celebs took a walk on the wild side with couture styles of nostalgic hard leather, tartan accents, sexy fishnets, grungy safety pins, and attitude spikes.
With vogue streaming
the red carpet extravaganza live you had the opportunity to be part of the crowd from the comfort of your screen. The biggest disappointed were the celebs that didn’t embrace the creative theme in their attire and simply went the traditional Hollywood red carpet glam. Of course there were the handful of eye-sores but, with a theme like “punk” is there such a thing as overdoing it?
Check out the pics below of the top 5 celebs who rocked out and nailed the theme with class, the top 5 that just screamed chaos, and top 5 men who did more (or less) than show up in a black tux.
Written by blog contributor: Alysha E. Jean
Your modeling portfolio is a resume of pictures that sells you when you are looking for modeling gigs. Here are something’s to consider when getting ready to build your model portfolio.
#1. Finding the Right Photographer: When shopping for photographers do your research! Ask them about their rates, what type of photos they specialize in, how many photos will you receive, how long do you have to wait for your digital file, ask for references etc. Investigate until you find a photographer you feel comfortable to work with.
#2. Determine the Types of Photos You Will Need: The objective is to sell yourself as a well-rounded model. Determine what types of modeling you are best suited for, for example: commercial print, high fashion, promotional. Express your intentions to your photographer and come up with a vision for your photo-shoot.
#3. Hair & Makeup: While not required it’s highly recommended to seek the assistance of a hair & makeup artist they day of your shoot to ensure you are presenting yourself at your best. Like your photographer research and ask questions to make sure your getting your dollars worth. Most importantly ask to see their portfolio.
#4. Prep for Your Photo-shoot: Prior to your shoot make sure to select the outfits you want to wear. Ideally you should select 3 outfits demonstrating variety in your look as a model. Practice your poses in these outfits so you’re comfortable and know what angles make you look the best. Pack your model bag with your essentials and confirm shoot location and time with photographer, hair, & makeup artists.
#5. Selecting Your Images: Variety is key! You don’t want too many photos with you in the same poses, just smiling, in one outfit, or the same background. Make sure to select a combination of full-length shots and headshots. Ask for judging advice from your friends, family, and your photographer when making your selections.
Remember once you have selected your photos presentation is key! It’s best to have a printed book of high quality 8x10 prints and a digital version of your portfolio. Every detail counts so don’t cut corners.
Written By: Alysha E. Jean
Here are our top five favorite Red Carpet looks for last nights 2013 Oscars Academy Awards. This was a tough choice but based on overall elegance, fan favorites, and attention to details we think you'll agree who made their mark on the Oscars Red Carpet. Who wins number one on our list? Share your reviews!
Based off of the book series, “Caster Chronicles” By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this supernatural teen romance shot in New Orleans is competing for the spotlight to be the next big “Twilight” phenomenon. “Beautiful Creatures” starring Emmy Rossum, Alden Ehrenreich, and Alice Englert tells the tale of two witty supernatural teens uncovering the mysteries of their respective families and town. Making its big debut in theaters this weekend you’ll notice a lot of familiar Nola landmarks, southern cooking, and of course the famous oak trees. We don’t want to spoil the plot so share your reviews below to tell us your thoughts about the movie especially its controversial similarities to “Twilight”.