How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur Now Out In Print

•October 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEExciting news! My acting book, How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur, is now out in print. It has been selling well and has had some rave reviews. It is everything I have learned in over ten years in the acting industry. Here are some of the reviews:

“The daughter of a friend of mine is in her second year at drama school. She’s good: can sing, can dance, can act – particularly in comedy. So, she has it all? Trouble is, so do so many of the rest of her year group. And so do all of those other aspiring actors in all those drama schools across the country. She’s beginning to ask how she can show she’s different, that she deserves to be remembered from one audition to the next. How she can avoid annoying someone whose off hand influence can close as well as open doors for her?

I’m going to give her a copy of this book. It may be the single most useful thing I ever do for her. How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur by Catherine Balavage is one of those practical, down-to-earth guides which doesn’t try to hide the obstacles and difficulties of choosing an actor’s life but does give solid and sensible, practical, advice on making the best impression and avoiding the worst pitfalls. Equally valuably, Balavage makes suggestions for networking, for working with others to help each other through teamwork (e.g. helping film each other’s showreels), working for nothing except getting your name out there, remembering names, and never, never, never forgetting to say thank you – even when you don’t land the part. She is upfront about the chances of success in acting: ‘Only act if you cannot do anything else. It is the hardest and most competitive industry you can go into. Your chances of success at making a full-time living for the rest of your life are small.’ And then she offers clear and straightforward, practical advice about how to shift the odds just slightly in your favour.

This book seems, at first glance, rather plain, with no images and most chapters simply divided into paragraphs with explanatory headings, or questions followed by responses. I like this format. It’s no-frills and underlines the fact that this is a handbook. A ready reference tool which will be highlighted and annotated by anyone who uses it regularly. The pages of useful contacts and Top Tips are invaluable. I also liked the interviews with others in the profession: the replies to questions overlap with each other in ways which reinforce what Balavage has already said. This reinforces my conviction that this author really is writing from experience and passing on advice distilled from her own hard work. Which I really hope my young friend will take.” Penny Deacon.

“Balavage has written a well balanced exploration of how to succeed as an actor. I am an author, not an actor, but having read How to be a Successful Actor, I feel the two precessions are closely allied. Balavage clarifies the positives and negatives of the profession, and then proceeds to walk us through the ups and downs, giving anyone interested in becoming an actor the tools to maximise their chances.

The basic ingredients, it seems to me, are to utilise common sense and good manners. After all, you will be meeting the the same people on the way up, and then, when times are hard, to be nice out there..

But more than that, we are led by the hand through the nitty gritty of whether to train, or not to train, the virtues of hard work in the face of lack of progress, the need to be glad of any chance to gain experience, and exposure. She explains the need to acquire the necessary skills through classes, and the value of networking.

As I also advise my writing students, Balavage advises actors to watch and analyse their craft, on stage, radio and screen. She emphasises the need for actors to BE their characters, to acquire accents, to keep fit. She moves on to marketing, to the virtues of mobile phones and the internet for spreading the word about YOU,

There is humour: remember to avoid the stunt co-ordinator’s elbows, there are detailed tips: what to do if your mouth dries up (read the book and find out) , there are a forest of useful addresses.
No wonder it took Balavage 4 years to write this book, because she includes a plethora of interviews with experts in the field. What comes across is that Catherine Balavage considers an acting career to be a project, one that needs to have: a firm foundation, on-going development, marketing skills, research, realistic self-belief, and a hell of a lot of luck. This book needed to be written. It was Catherine Balavage with her clear sighted view of the profession who needed to write it. Bravo!” Margaret Graham.

“This really is an excellent guide book into the terribly difficult, but potentially rewarding life of an actor. Balavage tackles the often ignored questions that surround the inexperienced and/or young person who wonders what the best road to take is? She starts with the basics that encompass questions about whether to train at drama school (and thereby find the money to do so), or go another route by getting involved with fringe theatre and/or film school films. Throughout she weighs up the pros and cons in a highly informative and intelligent manner that are also highly credible as she is writing from first-hand experience. Her own entrepreneurship into film-making is included and offers fantastic tips and empowerment, to what is often a dis-empowering profession. She also demystifies the perceived ‘glamour’ of working as an actor and says it how it is. A good wake-up call for those out there that crave instant fame!

Her approach is wholly professional and fundamentally knowledgeable: she interviews working actors, alongside well-known casting directors who give an insider-view into what is required to get ‘ a foot in the door’. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in becoming an actor.” Clea Myers.

“I found this book to be an excellent companion to Bonnie Gillespie’s ‘Self-Management for Actors’, which I am also currently reading. The first half of Catherine’s book does a excellent job of distilling a seminar’s-worth of material into a manageable bit. The second half, the interviews, felt more conversational. What was clear, the recommendations made in the first half came, in part, from these interviews. This is an excellent technique, since it reinforces the validity of the recommendations as having come from entertainment professionals who have achieved a perceived level of success. (I like that the definition of “success” was open for discussion, since it can mean different things to different people.)

As an American reading this book, I did find some UK-centric resources and references. But, in this era of global Internet access, I found just as many that were valid for US readers. I was able to take this in stride and see this as a valuable tool in my self-management as a working actor.

Thanks, Catherine, for writing this excellent guide.” Tom Shafer.

You can buy it here. It is also available on Kindle and every other ebook format.

My Radio Interview With Orla Barry From The Green Room

•October 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEI was interviewed on The Green Room with Orla Barry. about my new book How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur. The interview is available via this link and has lots of great acting advice. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

Are you an actor? If you have any acting questions then comment below and I will answer them.

How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur is available in print, Kindle and in all other ebook formats on Smashwords.

 

 

How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur Now Available On Smashwords

•October 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

If you don’t have a Kindle then I have some good news, my book How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur is now available in all e-book formats on Smashwords. I am very excited and have already sold copies. It will also be available in print in the next few days in the UK and already is in America.

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

You can get a sample via Smashwords to see if you like it. It has already had a lot of great reviews. The first draft of my second book is already done and will hopefully be finished soon. This one is about wedding planning so very different. My online magazine, Frost Magazine, is also still going very well and Steve McAleavy and I have another film in pre-production. So it is all go.

American Actors Can Get How To Be a Successful Actor For $1.99 For a Limited Time

•August 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Cover by Steve McAleavy

Cover by Steve McAleavy

Fresh from a Kindle Countdown Deal for British actors which was very successful, now American actors can get my book for only $1.99 for a limited time only. How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur has been getting rave reviews in America and it has already been selling stateside.

This is what American actor Tom Shafer had to say about my book: “An excellent guide for the entertainment professional

I found this book to be an excellent companion to Bonnie Gillespie’s ‘Self-Management for Actors’, which I am also currently reading. The first half of Catherine’s book does a excellent job of distilling a seminar’s-worth of material into a manageable bit. The second half, the interviews, felt more conversational. What was clear, the recommendations made in the first half came, in part, from these interviews. This is an excellent technique, since it reinforces the validity of the recommendations as having come from entertainment professionals who have achieved a perceived level of success. (I like that the definition of “success” was open for discussion, since it can mean different things to different people.)

As an American reading this book, I did find some UK-centric resources and references. But, in this era of global Internet access, I found just as many that were valid for US readers. I was able to take this in stride and see this as a valuable tool in my self-management as a working actor.

Thanks, Catherine, for writing this excellent guide.”

What are you waiting for? Get your copy now

 

 

How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur Only £1.99 in Kindle Countdown Deal

•August 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Good news! For a very limited time my book How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur is only £1.99 as Amazon have included it in their Kindle Countdown Deal. I have had numerous good reviews for my book, including three 5-star reviews on Amazon and an excellent four star review from American actor Tom Shafer, who compared my book to acting bible Self Management for Actors. His full review is below.

 

“I found this book to be an excellent companion to Bonnie Gillespie’s ‘Self-Management for Actors’, which I am also currently reading. The first half of Catherine’s book does a excellent job of distilling a seminar’s-worth of material into a manageable bit. The second half, the interviews, felt more conversational. What was clear, the recommendations made in the first half came, in part, from these interviews. This is an excellent technique, since it reinforces the validity of the recommendations as having come from entertainment professionals who have achieved a perceived level of success. (I like that the definition of “success” was open for discussion, since it can mean different things to different people.)
As an American reading this book, I did find some UK-centric resources and references. But, in this era of global Internet access, I found just as many that were valid for US readers. I was able to take this in stride and see this as a valuable tool in my self-management as a working actor.

Thanks, Catherine, for writing this excellent guide.”

 

Thanks Tom!

 

Cover by Steve McAleavy

Cover by Steve McAleavy

I will be sharing the other reviews my book has gotten, but for the meantime, grab a bargain! Only until the 15th of August.

 

 

My Book ‘How To Be a Successful Actor’ Is Out Now

•June 25, 2014 • 1 Comment

This post is a very special one. After years of work my acting book, How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur, is finally out.

Cover by Steve McAleavy

Cover by Steve McAleavy

I am very proud of the book. It has already sold some copies, climbing to number 5 in the Kindle chart under Stage & Theatre. It has exclusive interviews with casting director and industry professionals. Including some really great advice from Spotlight’s Emma Dyson and casting director Amy Hubbard.

I have written down everything I have learned from over ten years in the industry and it is the book I would have wanted to read when I first started out, and even after acting for years. It covers everything from casting sites, auditions, self tape auditions, accents, drama school, acting anecdotes and words of wisdom from famous actors like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney.

I hope you will take a look. It is available here.

 

2013 In Review

•December 31, 2013 • Leave a Comment

2013 In Review: Another brilliant year. Here is what I got up to. Let me know how you got on. Happy New Year.

Passed driving test
Went to Paris on the Eurostar for the first time…
And got engaged.
Started planning a wedding
Got the lead role in horror film Divided Soul.
Took part in the Girls On Film talks at the Underwire Film Festival
Moved house.
Was honoured at the Pre-Cannes film festival and presented for my work as an actress.
Had an amazing press trip to Toulouse. A wonderful experience with great people, reviewing Toulouse and the restaurants and landmarks within it. Flew business class with BMI to Toulouse. Was completely spoiled.
Went to a lot of amazing events and London Fashion Week (twice, as I do every year)
Built my online magazine, Frost Magazine, up even more. It is now a thinker’s lifestyle magazine that has reached well over a million people.
Had fun at Glamour magazine’s Michael Kors event.
Went to the launch of The Socrates Project and had a great chat with the author, Daron Sheehan.
And the launch of Nicholas Lezard’s new book.
Went to the opening of The House of Peroni – a great night.
Damaged my back, leading to endless MRI’s and physiotherapy. ;-(
Lost over a stone in weight. (which I put on because of the back injury. Grr)
Saw The Book of Mormon. An amazing show that everyone must see.
Went to the Google offices in London to learn all about Google+
Had lots of fun at the Girl’s Night Out to raise awareness for cervical cancer
Had a chat with Giles Deacon at the launch of his new jewellery range for QVC at The Ivy
Went to a great non-fiction seminar, ‘How to Create A Non-Fiction Bestseller’, at RADA thanks to Handpicked Media. I learned a lot.
Got a preview of Superdry’s Timothy Everest collaboration at their headquarters. Lots of fun.
Was lucky enough to get a preview of the new Kobo. Kobo were also generous enough to give me one.
Added beautiful jewellery to my collection after going to the launch of Pandora’s new store on Oxford Street.
Learned a lot at the Innocent Inspires event.
Gave up sugar for a month with the Mentor Me Off Sugar programme.
Went to the Sure Improve Rooms with my friend Holly. Met inspirational people.
Went to the Fashion Fabulous book launch.
Got a preview of Jaeger’s new collection.
Saw Sleeping Arrangements. Enjoyable play.
Went to Birmingham for the first time.
Enjoyed total decadence, and 24k gold lips at the opening of Bar Chocolate.
Wanted to spend lots of money on the clothes at QVC’s fashion show in September.
Made an effort to take advantage of the amazing museums in London. Therefore leaving 2013 much more cultured than I went in.
Tried anti-gravity yoga and barrel ballet.
Had some very exciting meetings.
Saw the return of Spamalot. Warwick Davis was great.
Walked down the red carpet during the amazing and glamorous 21st Raindance Film Festival. Went casual in jeans and a T-Shirt.
Wrote a short film script and a feature-length script.
Wrote over 1000 articles.
Now have 32 credits on IMDB.
Got a preview of the brilliant film Easy Money at 20th Century Fox.

Some of the restaurant’s reviewed:

Charlotte’s Bistro
Claude’s Kitchen
The Anthologist
Big Easy
Wabi
Spice Market
Grill on the Market
Honky Tonk
Snog (paid)
Iberica
Bar Chocolate
Brewdog
Tibits
Diciannove
Le Secret Des Rotisseurs

 
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