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The 10 Commandments of Being a Good Actor

By Secret Agent Man | Posted March 4, 2013, 12:17 p.m.

Photo Source: Steve Weigl

Last week, my doctor ordered me to lose 20 pounds. I offered to drop 10 and not a pound more. He smirked and told me to bend over.

What can I say? This kid loves Christmas and all the sugar that comes with it. But as we all know, there’s a price to pay when we indulge our addictions. So the time has come for me to address all the extra fat that’s hanging over my belt.

I started yesterday by hiking up to the Hollywood sign. A steep climb at a steady pace is a great way to burn calories. It sure beats running on a treadmill like a hamster in a cage. But a funny thing happened on my way up the mountain.

I had a religious experience.

As I was approaching the sign, the sun vanished behind unexpected clouds. I suddenly found myself surrounded by rain and lightning. And then the ground started to shake. I fell to my knees. I prayed. And that’s when I heard the Voice.

If you search online, you’ll find cell phone footage of me taken by

other hikers. The clips show yours truly coming down from Mount Lee, my hair a frosty white, holding two stone tablets.

I believe the Gods of Hollywood chose me to deliver their lesson because of my weekly pulpit right here in Backstage. They knew I had the power to reach thousands of actors. So to honor their wishes, I now present you with the Ten Commandments of Being a Good Actor:

I. Thou Shalt Not Settle

Too many actors settle for being good when they have the potential to be great.

II. Thou Shalt Not Lose Track of the Big Picture

Actors tend to fixate on short-term details, like finding a good agent and getting the perfect headshot. That’s fine, but the career path you choose will be determined by your long-term goals.

III. Thou Shalt Learn How to Network

Knowing how to meet and interact with industry professionals is an essential skill.

IV. Thou Shalt Be Realistic

When you’re just starting out and you don’t have many credits, don’t ask your agent to get you an audition for the lead in a network pilot. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but you can’t lose yourself in the clouds.

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