Now that Don’t Dress for Dinner has wrapped, I’m back to networking while I hunt up another acting job. New York acting coach John Pallotta was in town Tuesday night to present a class at the Source Theater with local actor and entrepreneur Sean Pratt. Pratt was touting his new book, To Be or Wanna Be, that examines some of the things actors do to emotionally sabotage their own efforts. Pallotta was demonstrating his transformational approach to developing a character.
|NY Acting Coach John Pallotta|
Pallotta’s classes have been creating a lot of buzz locally and no doubt eating into the profits of area drama teachers. What appeals to me about his approach is that it's more practical and straightforward, more like the British approach. The British consistently turn out terrific actors.
I liked Pratt’s talk too and actually bought his book to learn more about networking. Being a shy person by nature – and many actors are shy people – it’s hard for me to walk into a room full of strangers and make contact. What do I say?
Pratt advised developing a two-sentence introduction that summarizes what you do, where you work, and what your goals are, and then after that exercise the 80/20 rule. You let the other person talk 80 percent of the time and you talk 20 percent of the time. Ask questions based on their responses. Summarize their thoughts – “so what you’re saying is….” As one actress demonstrated, when they ask you about yourself, you can respond and then add “and how about yourself?” In other words, become a good listener, which is what Dale Carnegie said decades ago in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, which is still in print. I plan to read Pratt’s book this weekend.
|To Be or Not to Be|
Pallotta will have his own book out later this year called "Acting is a State of Mind." Really looking forward to it. He only has another month of local appearances before he’s off to coach other actors and to perform in a new film.
Schmoozing kept me up late, but I still managed to get out the next afternoon to meet with a group of area actresses who are sharing information and mutual support at monthly meetings at a local restaurant. There was a wealth of information shared about local productions and regional casting agencies, and we plan to talk more about personal marketing at the next get-together. These kinds of meetings always leave me inspired and energized.
Came back from the meeting to find an email from an actress and NYU drama professor that I contacted last year after seeing her wow performance in a short film. We are now Facebook friends and hope to meet for coffee next time I'm in New York. Another of her FB friends is Jennifer Lawrence. The professor networks better than I do. Hah!