I recently did a series of short interviews with a great website called Wannabe Pride, which provides support for anyone following a dream (with a focus on those in the arts.) I had a lot of fun answering questions about acting and what it is like when you’re getting started in this crazy industry. Here are a few of my answers:
WP: WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ALONG THE WAY THAT YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU IN THE BEGINNING?
HD: Most importantly, that you have to have a life outside of your “dream.” Friends, family, relationships will be there for you when things go wrong, and will provide stability in a very unstable lifestyle… your career won’t.
WP: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW ACTOR ON HIS/HER FIRST AUDITION?
LH: For a first audition, I would just say “get through it.” That’s the most important thing, that you’re there and you’re seeing how it goes. Many people never even take that step. Also, be overly prepared. Know your lines, what you’re planning to do with them, and how you might react in specific situations. I spent a little time working in casting (which is something I highly recommend for actors) and the biggest thing I learned from that experience is that the only thing you can really do “wrong” in an audition is let the casting directors feel like you are uncomfortable or don’t want to be there. If you’re going to be an actor, make sure you enjoy acting–auditioning is part of acting.
WP: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ACTOR?
HD: I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was about 4 years old. It is a little funny thinking that all of the time, money, and frustration I’ve gone through for this career has been based on the decision of a 4 year old! I was very, very shy as a child. My school put on a play each year, and they put everyone in the class in the play. When I was on stage, I didn’t feel shy–I felt connected to everyone in the audience in a way I couldn’t explain. I fell in love with that feeling and never lost it.
WP: WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ACTOR?
HD: Learning. Actors are in a constant state of education, whether or not they are in school. For instance, I had an audition a few weeks ago that required a Ukrainian accent. I had barely any time to prepare, as I got the call for the audition only two or three hours before I had to actually be there and perform. It was for a very good role in a television show, and I wanted to do well… but I’ve never done a Ukrainian accent! So, I spent the next hour and a half drilling the lines and learning the accent from various websites and YouTube videos that I found. The first thing that the casting director said to me when I finished my audition was that my accent was great. I never would have had a reason to learn such a thing if I wasn’t an actor.