By Bruce Edwin

Sexy model Jennifer Avelon, repped by, not only has the looks and talent to succeed, she also has the self discipline and intelligence. She states, 'If I tell some one I am going to do something, I do it, and I do it immediately.'

Actors must have headshots, resumes attached, a reel, and solid training. A repertoire is strongly advised. Models should strive to do acting as well, and also must have zed cards, and a portfolio book that is updated regularly, with a great wardrobe. Bands should have rehearsal space, a backline, passports, and be ready to rock and hit the road. All bands will need a great entertainment attorney to get a label or distribution deal, as well as a great manager who knows the music industry inside and out, who may have their own legal for you, such as ours does.

ACTORS – MONOLOGUES: Even though some casting directors these days don’t even know good acting if it hit them on the face, and don’t generally require monologues, since standards for acting have declined, its always better to have monologues ready to read than to not. You can never be too good. You can be too bad, except for reality TV of course. In a repertoire, your body of monologues, you should have at least 2 from the classical era, and 2 from the modern era. One comedy, and one drama from each era is advised. Classical era can include Shakespeare, which is always good to know.

Do not scream or yell, or use major profanity in a read unless it is in your sides (lines) and called for, or unless you ask the CD, agent, manager, or producer or director you are reading for first if it is OK. I can’t tell you how many actors I have had to shout over to tell them to stop screaming and swearing some lousy monologue. Don’t look at the person you are reading for. I’ve had countless talents read love scenes or scenes that they are killing some one or such, and stare at me straight in the eyes. No, don’t do that, that is creepy. Ask them where they want you to look and focus. They may have a spot on the wall. Over their shoulder is usually the norm. If they want a different angle, they will move or tell you. When you are done with your monologue, say SCENE. I’ve had too many actors smile and such at me, only in painful seconds later to find out they are finally done when it wasn’t obvious due to bad monologues.

Don’t pick monologues to play some one famous who you are not better than. For example, if you are not as good as Marilyn Monroe or James Dean, don’t try to read their lines from their films. Pick obscure material unless you can hugely carry. I’ve had countless actors see me fresh out of acting school who don’t even know their slate. If that is the case, get your money back.

THE REEL: Any actor not yet a star should have a reel, which is a copy of your best work on tape. When we say tape, we mean transferred from film to dvd, and also online, digital. Your reel should be about 3 to 5 minutes long, depending on how good you are and how much work you have done. Black and white pieces are fine, and even silent, but do include some talkie and color. The rule for monologues should here too be followed. Show some comedy, show some dramatic action. Show some action or drama scene, show some comedy, horror, love scene, kick boxing, or whatever you do. Always include your name and reps contact information at the beginning and end of the tape, and make sure it actually stays on long enough for us to write it down. Flashy editing and fx is not going to impress us, so don’t bother if you can’t afford it. We are looking for the soul, for the craft in your work.

COMMISSIONS: All talent, bands, and models should be willing to give up to 15 percent for modeling, and 20 percent for talent bookings, for music and or actoral work. Great managers or agents will get their percent added to the top for you if they can, and you won’t even feel their cut. If you would not have the job to begin with, without them, and you still complain about their commission, then you should try consider being your own agent or manager, which I would equate to doing brain surgery on your self.

BITING THE HANDS THAT YOU WANT TO FEED YOU: Don’t bad mouth or gossip about others in this business. I know agents who plant spies on set, who report back to them if any of their clients bad mouth them making them look bad. The spy reports back, and not only is that client dropped, but they are dropped from the show, and often blacklisted from the studio. Agents and managers, along with the producers and lawyers, run this town. If you have an issue with your representation or whoever, address it with them personally, and try to resolve it.

Most haters you may hear that attack those high up in the industry in positions of power, are those who have been axed by those same players, and are all washed up, trying to tear down those in an industry they will never succeed in. If you libel or slander an agent, manager, producer, or director in this business, expect your career to be over fast, if it ever even gets off the ground. Most will not waste their time trying to sue you if you are broke, but you can generally be sure, that if you screw over your representation enough, you will live to regret it.

DON’T CALL US, WE’LL CALL YOU: I hope this is of help to many of you. If any of you have questions, you are seriously invited to call my office. Yes, I mean that. I am offering FREE ADVICE to all of you who call. I will spend 1 hour of my time, not for each person mind you, but total, per week helping all of you who call, for free, answering your questions, or pointing you in the right direction you need to go, from now until July 1st. I especially invite those of you have any complaints or criticisms of me to call, and I will do my best to help you. Our telephone number is 310-226-7176 Don’t miss more free advice back here in 2 weeks.

© The Hollywood Sentinel ®, 2009.