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The Curse of the Smart Actor

Of the many things I have learned in casting, one of the most significant is that actors are smart...really smart. This might sound like a strange thing to hear but it’s true. Smart actors are more prevalent (ooh good word) than ever before because of the training, opportunities, and instant access to information. This is a blessing, but it can also be a curse. What’s the curse you might be asking? Well, I am here to share some insights about that very subject. We’re going to have fun talking about the curse of the smart actor on today’s podio of Casting Actors Cast, the podcast and video for actors from a casting director. Join us!



A) The blessing of the smart actor

1) The approach to the role (material/audition/preparation) is smart.

2) The training actors have had is really comprehensive overall.

3) The smart actor uses various resources and intellect to create interesting character choices.


B) The curse of being a smart actor

1) Lacking concrete decisions about what is best-leads to uninspired. interpretations.

2) Heightened awareness of what others might be thinking-Wasted energy.

3) Never satisfied with the final outcome-could have done something better?


C) The solution to being a smart actor

1) Stay focused on the thought behavior and not the outcome of the choices.

2) Turn down the critical voices (third eye) in your head and learn about the other character in the scene.

3) Remember to find spontaneous moments. Something unexpected is the goal.

4) Tell yourself that it is only a moment in time and move on!


Whether it is for an audition, preparing for a role, or getting ready to work on set or stage, listening to the critical voice in your head is not a sign of your smart ness but speaks to your insecurity. Trust your training and technique. Embrace spontaneity and connect to the moments that are interesting to you. Being a smart actor is awesome, but it can lead to unnecessary influence on your choices when you don’t really need it. Learning to ask the right questions as an actor and then let go of the actor and invest into the behavior will lead to amazing creative moments!

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