Mel Mack, Casting Director and Founder of Mel Mack Acting Studio in New York City has a free resource for you called Self-Tapes That Don’t Suck. In this episode, Mel answers the questions about what casting directors look for in self-tape auditions, and what Yul Brynner has to do with why she became an actor.
Casting Director & Acting Coach Mel Mack on Self-Tapes That Don’t Suck
Hello and welcome to episode 58 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!
How is everyone doing with the ending of 2020? For me I’m trying to work on my mindset for the changes I want to make in 2021 and all that I want to accomplish. I’m always go, go, go. Looking ahead, looking ahead, but I will take some time to review the last year and celebrate what I’ve accomplished this year.
I’ve hit a point in my life that I’m not letting anything stop me from achieving my goals. And by anything I mean myself.
We stop ourselves in so many ways, don’t we? We don’t always acknowledge it as such though. Often the things that we procrastinate on, dismiss as not important or avoid all together are the very things we should be facing head on.
This year I have pushed my comfort zone and focused on doing the work that my coaches lay out for me to succeed. I started to think that I only had one major block left holding me back to tackle. I need to get camera confident so that I can create videos, courses and go live on social media.
I’ve been procrastinating on that forever! So I started looking into Facebook Live Challenges and camera confident coaches to potentially hire. I’m working on it and you will see me on video throughout 2021.
Then in a virtual retreat my guest from episode 55 Katy Chen Mazarra came on to talk financial freedom for creatives. I initially started to tune it out which is what we do when we are faced with one of those things that we avoid. She started to talk about the money blocks we have that hold us back from achieving financial freedom and I began to feel my entire body shut down. It was intense. I was crying. While I watched her coach someone that I felt similar to I knew that I had to work with Katy. So I will be tackling my money issues throughout 2021 too.
Then while on a session with a presentation coach we went through a similar 10 year visioning exercise that I coach my clients through, he had a great follow up exercise. He asked What things do I need to become now to make the future vision a reality? And maybe it was just the way he said it, because I think I do the same thing with my clients is like, OK, what can you do now to put you on the way to achieving the future vision?
I sat on that for a while. I’m all set to tackle some of the business things, the camera confidence and the money blocks, but another thing that I avoid is health and fitness. I am healthy and fit in my future vision but I was procrastinating on making it a priority.
Another thing like I’m so go, go, go about my business career and helping people that. I kind of don’t make my own health a priority, which is horrible, I know, but. I did I wasn’t thinking that it was preventing me from achieving, and so there we go now. I will make it a priority and I have that new motivation because I have to be healthy to accomplish all that I want to accomplish and to enjoy the life that I’m working towards.
So health and fitness added to my list of priorities. It’s a long list, so there you have it. I just shared all my issues with you. OK, not all, but it’s more than enough to tackle for now, so I have to again also tackle organizing and scheduling and and all that.
I’m just a sponge. I just want to learn it all.
I hope my sharing has inspired you to think about what things are you procrastinating on, dismissing or avoiding all together?
If you would like to do a 10-year vision exercise, listen to episode 36 of this podcast.
Then ask yourself what things can you start to work on now to put you on track to achieving your future vision?
If you are an actor, maybe setting yourself up to self-tape auditions is something you are procrastinating on.
I was excited to interview Mel Mack, Casting Director and Founder of Mel Mack Acting Studio in New York City… WOW we had such a great conversation on how the Acting Industry has evolved this year. We talked about coaching and we get a little fangirl at the end. At the heart of it, we are fans. We are fans of you performers, and that’s why we do what we do.
So back to self taping. You may have had to submit your audition as a self-tape occasionally in the past, but now lit’rally ALL your auditions AND callbacks are being handled remotely via self-tape. Even if you’re not an Actor, I betcha a basket of cute kittens that you’re spending a lot more time on camera, eh?
Having a killer self-tape that looks and sounds professional reflects right back on your personal professionalism, and boy has Mel seen more than her fair share of disappointing self-tape submissions from Actors who she *knows* are so much better than their self-tape would suggest.
📥 Mel has created a guide for you, and it’s soooo juicy, I am so thrilled to share it with you! Mel’s 6-Pillars to Self-Tapes that Don’t Suck Ebook is now available f’free baby! 📥
If you’ve been wondering how to…
💭 Step up your game on camera
💭 Know *exactly* what you need to invest in
💭 Stop wasting time and energy on materials that don’t reflect your best, profesh you
Grab the guide by clicking the link in the show notes to get it in your inbox immediately.
Ok without further ado, here is my conversation with Mel.
, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually said that here is my conversation with Mel. Hello, welcome to the show.
[00:09:32.490] – Mel Mack
Hi, Diane, thanks for having me.
[00:09:34.830] – Diane Foy
I’ve been wanting to have a casting director on the show. I’ve had some acting coaches, which you are as well. But casting director, it’s that secret that all the actors want to know. They want to know everything about you and what you look for and how can they get on your radar. What kind of shows and projects are you working on now to cast?
[00:10:04.310] – Mel Mack
So for me, I’ve always worked in the commercial casting. Area and, you know, as an actor, because I was an actor back in the day out in Los Angeles, a working actor, I always pooh poohed commercials. I was like, I don’t care about commercials. I just want to be on a television show.
[00:10:26.140] – Mel Mack
And it’s amazing. Over the twenty five years that I’ve been in the industry on both sides of the camera, how many famous actors have come out of commercial spots? Yeah, I really have changed my tune on that. And it’s a job, it’s a job that can pay some bills. It’s a job that can not only pay some bills, but it also gets you seen. Yeah. And, you know, in the commercial world, what I love and what I didn’t know when I first got into being a casting director for commercials was so many television and film directors do commercials in their downtime.
Yeah, in between projects, they get to work in a different medium, a different format, a different maybe style of shooting, you know, and it’s a quick turnaround time for them. Yeah. So that’s great to be able to work with. There’s one comedy director that I’m thinking about, and it’s so awesome to work with him in the room because he really knows comedy, because those are the kind of movies that he shoots. Right. So working he usually will.
He has a certain type and you can tell from his movies what his type is in the commercial room. And it’s really fun to work with directors that are working in different mediums. And I always tell actors that, like, you never know who you’re going to meet in the commercial room during your callback or when you book that job on set. And guess what? It’s a it’s a small industry. So people remember you, right? People remember not only good acting, but also good attitude.
So what I what I say, yeah.
[00:12:09.830] – Diane Foy
It’s all about relationships and who you know, and if you make a good impression, just because you’re cool to work with goes a long way.
[00:12:18.580] – Mel Mack
And I mean, can you imagine hanging out on set for a week with somebody that you just can’t stand?
[00:12:23.600] – Diane Foy
Yeah, I can. I can’t. So if an actor wanted to get into commercials, what would be their steps, how do they do that?
[00:12:38.180] – Mel Mack
That’s a great question. You know, I was just teaching a workshop last night and there were quite a few actors in that workshop who don’t have an agent, and I don’t think you have to have an agent to book work. I certainly didn’t back in the day. And somebody had asked me yesterday, gosh, I really want to start working on commercials.
What do I do? And I said, you know, this was a casting director. Workshops were available to me as an actor way back when. And now they’re becoming standard to build a relationship to actually get in front of casting so that they can see your work. Right. It’s better than a headshot and resume, I say, and it’s an investment. So getting in front of a casting director, the casting director Zoom workshop now, I think is the best investment that you can make for yourself, because you also get to build a relationship with that casting director.
[00:13:35.280] – Diane Foy
Yeah, it’s not just learning, it’s making relationships, too. I’ve been doing that a lot to taking part in online virtual conferences. And even if it’s, you know, the topics, I already know everything because I’m industry. I’m not the artist. And but it’s been great just to meet more artists that I could work with and just, you know, connect with people that way.
Absolutely, it should I always forget our life should be our journey should be fun. Right, and meeting new people, I think, is such an opportunity to expand our our community. Yeah. And so how would someone get on your radar or just any casting directors like besides the if they don’t necessarily offer, like workshops, what are some other ways? Like, do you like it or hate it when people reach out to you on social media? I don’t mind when people reach out to me, I think I work at house casting in New York City and we’re really open to meeting new actors.
[00:14:52.400] – Mel Mack
If somebody finds out about the whole deal is is you have to figure out our email, right? Yeah, our email address. I don’t mind people reaching out. It’s it’s all about how you reach out. A lot of times as creatives, we have to meld our creative brain with our business brain. So thinking how would I reach out to a business if I wanted a job? So for me, a lot of times actors will it’s amazing.
Some of the emails I get where people don’t put a lot of thought into it, they forget to sign their name there, is it like, Hi, how are you? Or I get this huge, long, lengthy email that I just don’t have time to read. And I’m the type of person where I get back to everybody. Maybe not right away, but I feel like that’s my job. But an actor who can reach out to me in a professional way that attaches their headshot and resume if they have a clip or a real of any kind and open to to watching that, I won’t give feedback and critique and all of those things.
But if it’s somebody that I feel like has a good commercial, look, I definitely put them in my folder.
[00:16:07.040] – Diane Foy
Yeah, it’s just being professional and doing your research. Yeah, you know, if you’re going to reach out to someone, I try to coach artists to not do the cold email. Like, really learn about who you’re going to reach out to, you know, do a little Internet stalking, like find out what are they casting these days. What else do they do? What are can you build relationships with them on social media? Are they active on Instagram or wherever? And that way when you do do the more pitch email, maybe they’ll recognize your name, right?
[00:16:45.590] – Mel Mack
Yeah, right. And, you know, for me, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I would much rather see someones performance. I’d much rather see them right now. Obviously, we’re in zoom rooms. I’d much rather see them in a zoom audition workshop. You know, then then just cold reaching out to me, it gives me a better sense of who the person is, I get a better energy of of who they are.
[00:17:10.340] – Diane Foy
Yeah, there’s no fast track. You can’t skip the line. You’ve got to do your work.
[00:17:16.540] – Mel Mack
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and I think well, I think, you know, sometimes you can skip the line and that comes down to like the relationships that you’re not only building but that you’re keeping. Yeah, right. And it’s because it is a small business. I think that it’s even more important to really stay in touch with casting directors that you do meet. And if you have a good community of actors, hey, you know what?
I went in for a job over at house casting. Maybe you should just reach out to them and see if they’re open for you to send them their stuff. Why not, yeah, be supportive of your fellow actors. And again, it depends on the casting office. Yeah, everybody has different tastes. And so I think that’s also something to pay attention to.
[00:18:04.060] – Diane Foy
Cool, and then you also have like an acting coaching studio.
[00:18:11.320] – Mel Mack
I have a television and film acting studio, even though I work in commercials, just because I have experience from the television world as an actor. I learned some really great techniques over the past two decades. And one of the things that I felt I could give actors when I first moved to New York from L.A. was what I had learned on set in what I have learned from multiple teachers over the years to really be able to work in television time, which is to be able to take direction quickly on set.
So the technique that I teach allows actors to be able to get, you know, get to where the director needs them to be in a short amount of time. And how long have you had your acting studio? Wow, you started off on a whim. Oh, it’s been eight years later. Yeah, and it’s it’s been really exciting for me, Diane, to watch actors that have come to me with no agents and maybe just starting out or just getting out of a theater program.
And really it takes about a year or two for them to really. Keep their nose to the grindstone and do the work and end up with not only maybe one agent, but multiple agents or an agent and a manager or I’m thinking about one after I had who started with me, we didn’t have anything. And then he’s been with me about, oh, six years. And this Fehlberg film looked at a bunch of network television. I mean, that’s mostly the case for a lot of actors that come to my studio. So that’s great. I love that. I love watching that process with everybody.
[00:19:55.640] – Diane Foy
And you can see that there you’re actually making a difference.
[00:19:59.620] – Mel Mack
Yeah, it’s really cool.
[00:20:03.820] – Diane Foy
And how did you get into all this, was that something that you always wanted to do since you were a child to get to get into acting?
[00:20:12.370] – Mel Mack
No, no, no. I wanted to be a veterinarian.
[00:20:15.940] – Diane Foy
[00:20:20.500] – Mel Mack
You know, I was I was living in Florida and I was working at Hooters, believe it or not. And like, if people were like, you know, you should really get into commercials, you’re really funny. I was like, OK, let me try that. And so I just looked for a theater class to get into and Davie, Florida. And then I found a workshop place. They were just starting out. And I did a lot of workshops there. And, you know, after about three years, I knew I want to be on a multicamera sitcom.
I want to be in Los Angeles. And I had found a manager, found an agent after a while and booked a lot of really good stuff. When I look back on it and then I took a workshop with Mark Hirschfeld over at NBC and he was head of casting at the time. He cast Seinfeld and he said, you know, I really think you do great out in Los Angeles for pilot season. I was like, OK, I don’t know what that is, but let’s do it.
So I packed my bags and I flew out to L.A. and got set up with an agent and they ended up signing me and I just hit the ground running for pilots. And it was crazy. I had no training in zero training or is just instinct. Yeah. Yeah.
So, so many different journeys. You know, some people study their whole lives and then other people just like you just get into it and things happen and things.
Yeah. And things happen. And then after a while I booked, I booked a bunch of stuff and I booked Will and Grace, 90210, the original, NCIS Criminal Minds, a film or two, some national commercials, and I was working at the acting studio where I was taking class and somebody I was so broke, I was so sick of being so broke and I was working so many jobs. And somebody my class was like, hey, my wife works at this casting place.
They need some help passing out flyers for this Pampers commercial. I was like, OK, what’s the rate? And I about fell over when they told me it was like more than I made in a week at my home.
Really. I was like, I don’t feel like I’m totally in. And then I wound up working for Liz Palsson, who is now vice president of Fox Casting. But she has her own commercial casting as well. She works with this woman named Mel. And she was like, you know what? I’m going to teach you how to run camera because you have an acting background. And I think that will really meld well together in the room. And I said, OK, great.
And my first job was she flew us to they flew us to Aruba because we had the Aruba campaign. And it was awesome. And I just really liked being in the room with actors. I understood how actors felt. I understood what it felt from their point of view being in the audition room. And I want to learn how to be really supportive, but also able to direct them in a way to get what the client needed. Which is great. So I worked there for seven years, I worked for a bunch of different casting in Los Angeles, but mainly for four lives.
And then I moved with house casting in L.A. when they opened there. And then when I moved to New York, I’ve been with them for 11 years now. Wow.
[00:23:51.820] – Diane Foy
And was it a conscious decision to not act anymore or is it just you couldn’t make a living at it?
[00:24:01.040] – Mel Mack
Now, you know, that’s such a good question, because I never I can’t think of a moment when I was like, OK, I’m done with this. I was always really bored on set, I’m like, oh, God, all this sitting around, yeah, I mean, I just think I wanted to try something different and. I’ll still I’ll still go out for things if I feel like I’m right for it now that I’m older and I don’t have the same, you know, we change, right?
Our needs change, so. I don’t know, I don’t I think it’ll always be in my bones, I just did a commercial in August, so I don’t know. That also keeps me kind of with my finger on the pulse for not only my acting studio, but also for casting. Yeah, yeah, you got to still be be in it yourself. Absolutely, absolutely, I think that’s true and I just got in an acting class over the summer, I was like, you know, other people do this for their business, right?
Yeah. Other people, like, have people teach them. So that’s been really fun for me to get back into that. It’s made me a better teacher and a better coach for sure.
Yeah, I think no matter what you do, you have to kind of keep you’re continuously learning new things and hearing maybe someone else that does what you do. But you look they come at it from a different place. You know, it’s really interesting to see how someone else does it as well. Yeah, yeah, how you can I’m sure we’ve all had this happen where. You’ve studied with somebody for a while or you’re in their coaching group for a while, and then you move on to somebody else and they’re both speaking the same language. But for some reason, you finally hear it, right? Yeah. From that other person.
[00:25:57.800] – Diane Foy
Yeah, I think when you’re looking for a coach that’s important to you, that you vibe with them, that somehow they speak your language.
[00:26:06.620] – Mel Mack
Yeah, and I think that I think I think from an acting point of view, I really my dream clients are people that want to do the work that you are good. And that I can tell that are just good humans, you know, and that they’re in it to win it. And they understand that it’s a journey. The biggest thing for me is that showing up for yourself.
[00:26:32.670] – Diane Foy
So you also have a book, one on one audition tips. When did that come out?
[00:26:40.650] – Mel Mack
that that came out over the summer. One of my actors. Gosh, now it must be three years ago. Four years ago, he’d slip this beautiful note under the door of my studio and he’d said, I don’t know if you know this about me. I’m also a ghostwriter. I’ve learned so much in your class the past two years. I would really like to go write a book with you. I was like, Really?
And so we worked on that for about a year and a half. And when covid hit. We said, you know what we got we have to add in these self taped tips because I was just learning at rapid speed, like self taping has been around for a while, but now it really is in demand. So we just added a little addendum there for people that need self take tips. And the whole idea was it was supposed to be a little bit smaller so that people could put it in their back pocket and actually take it to their audition.
Right. Because we know. Oh, I know how to do this. Oh, I know how to do that. But it really is a compilation of tips that I wanted to give actors like, hey, before you go in the room, remember this, it’s basic, but remember to like use the audition waiting room. Now it’s the zoom waiting room to prepare yourself.
You know, hey, remember that for a Pepsi commercial, maybe you want to dress the colors of the product, hey, remember that you need to be off book and know the story. Just basic things, you know? Yeah.
Sometimes you forget. You forget a little quick refresher. You don’t have time. So each each page is a tip. You know, it’s not it’s something that you can just kind of pick up and flick through and turn to a page and you get a nice, beautiful tip to take into your audition.
[00:28:32.490] – Diane Foy
Oh, cool. Yeah. And so with self taping, it’s such a huge thing now, so. You were saying that it’s been around for a while now, it’s kind of the norm because it has to be, but where did it come in before? Why would someone self taped before?
[00:28:58.090] – Mel Mack
Well, you itself tape if you were on set and you couldn’t get to the audition, you would sell tape if you were in L.A. and we were in New York. Right. Or you were in Canada or you were in London. And we needed to see a tape if the director’s on set and they don’t for whatever reason, your schedule’s not matching up and your request, people would send us a tape. Right.
[00:29:25.980] – Diane Foy
And so now that it’s the norm, what are some tips of how you know, I, I, I know a lot of actors that didn’t have, like, a setup before, but then covid hit and then all of a sudden everyone’s buying ring lights and setting up a little studio. So how can someone start to set up something in their place about to self type?
[00:29:56.940] – Mel Mack
This is great for anybody that wants to email or email our office info at Melmac Acting Studio dot com. We have a really good freebie that’s coming out next. Well, when this when this podcast comes out, when this episode comes out, that puts together these really great tips for people. Because what I found is the biggest thing, because I also teach a course that I started right at the beginning of covid because people just didn’t have a clue or they’d been trying to piece together things that they had found on YouTube.
So this five week course, I mean, people put to work right after the course just because they gained this confidence, know, they didn’t have this confidence and the ability to set up their equipment or how to light themselves or how do you choose out of the bazilian self takes right that you’ve shot, which one should you send to casting? And I feel a lot of people were lacking like the right way to do things. I hate saying the right way, but it’s true.
So for me, the biggest tips that I could give today are what I look for in a self tape. Sounds pretty basic, but it makes a big difference. I mean, just two days ago I looked at one hundred and sixty self tapes. So imagine if I’m working three to four days a week. I’m looking at five hundred self tapes a week. So I really get to see a consistent thing with people is they don’t know how to frame themselves correctly.
And again, it sounds so basic, but being in the middle of a frame for commercial casting specifically and delivering directly to camera for commercials is the biggest mistake I see actors make. Right, so. That’s that’s just that’s the number one thing that’s sticking out in my head right now, lighting is huge. If we can’t see your eyes, you don’t have the right set up. You have to invest. You know, if I just think if I’m seeing five hundred my coworkers looking at five hundred because we’re doing, let’s say, five jobs, we’re all looking at a ton of tapes in a week.
We’re probably looking at like twenty five hundred to three thousand tapes a week if each of us is working on a job in my office. So, you know, for actors that are thinking like, oh, this self tape thing is going to go away, I don’t think it is at all. So not investing in the right equipment is is. I think it’s just. You’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot.
[00:32:37.330] – Diane Foy
Yeah, I think that’s a reminder for a lot of artists is that you do have to invest, you know, it’s in any other career you invest so much time in in. Education and equipment, whatever it is that you do for a living, so the same goes with an artist, you need to invest in order to succeed in the future. You have to do the get the right light instead of getting a light that’s going to break down in six months. Get right now. They’re not even that expensive. One hundred fifty bucks yet.
[00:33:14.170] – Mel Mack
They’re not. And I always what I tell people in my in this five week class is I’m like, look, guys, it’s up to you what kind of career you want to have. Right. I’m just your guide in this course. So, you know, investing in the right equipment is the first step. I’m also very budget conscious because I was an actor because I used to have three jobs. I don’t think that you have to break the bank to get really good equipment, professional looking equipment.
[00:33:42.940] – Mel Mack
I think the goal should be to look like an lister, right, when you’re sending in your self. Yeah. And I think that’s easy to do. I think it’s easy to get a professional tape. What I find is a lot of people who come to my course, I have I have an evergreen course. It’s a go at your own pace that people can take on their own. Right. But this five week course is where I’m actually there and coaching people and they get sides each week and each week.
I notice not only does are acting, do they become more confident in their acting, they become way more confident in their set up. I have a lighting specialist come in and we talk about lighting on each person’s individual set up, and I can just really see them start to bloom by week five. We’re all feeling awesome. Now we’re connecting in the Facebook community. People are posting questions and they’re, hey, I need help with this. And that’s another thing that I find, Diane, is that especially during covid, we really need to be building our communities.
Right, our artist communities.
Yeah, yeah, and support each other, yeah, absolutely, yeah, so it just takes time to invest in yourself and invest in a coach that will show you how to do it to you know, we can all spend forever trying to figure out things on your own, but sometimes it’s just worth it to, you know, enroll in a course like yours or hire a coach to walk you through it. It just gets you where you want to go faster.
Yeah, it really does. And, you know, I find like I’m in a I’m in a coaching group that well, that’s how we met. We’re in the same coaching corps.
And I found that this this kind of go at your own pace course that our coaches created. It’s been so helpful for me today. I was watching a video for the third time, and I love having access to that because it just keeps me fresh. And it reminds me and and I think now that we’re all kind of homebound for a little bit, I think having these online courses kind of right at your fingertips is just awesome.
Yeah. And you can do it when you have the time or when no matter what time of day it is, or you don’t have to actually leave your house and go to a class.
[00:36:02.830] – Diane Foy
Right. Right. Yeah. So some weeks maybe you have more time and you really dive in other weeks. You just gotta, you know, watch some things when you have a chance.
[00:36:14.790] – Mel Mack
Yeah. And I think going back to what you said, like it’s been instrumental for me to also be investing and in in this coach that I get to see three times a month, you know, because I’m the kind of person where I’m like, am I really going to do it unless somebody is holding me accountable, you know?
Yeah. Oh, I think I think you’re right. Investing in a good coach that can that can take you through the steps so that you can knock it out of the park.
[00:36:42.950] – Diane Foy
Yeah, and sometimes you have to, you know, learn from doing and I’ve spent way too many years trying to figure it all out myself and, you know, and but you get what you can from that. And then at some point, it’s time to invest in a coach or program. And then once you do, then you keep adding more coaches, or at least I do.
Yeah, I know.
[00:37:11.780] – Diane Foy
I don’t know how many coaches I have right now, but I’m going to join Katy’s program as well and deal with my money issues.
[00:37:22.550] – Mel Mack
I know I’m in that too. I can. Oh gosh. I was like, yep, I need this now.
[00:37:29.360] – Diane Foy
And yeah. And then you get the support too. Right? Because I’ve met so many amazing people through our coaching program. I’ve had all the actors on the show, or at least there’s still a few more I got to reach out to. But because she used to coach actors, there’s a lot of actors in the group.
[00:37:49.460] – Mel Mack
Oh, right. Right.
[00:37:50.590] – Diane Foy
Yeah. Sometimes I’m like, oh, I got to Google this person’s name. Oh yeah, come on my show.
[00:37:59.240] – Diane Foy
I love that. Yeah. It’s a great community. So yeah, that’s in addition to, you know, what you learn from these courses that you can find online, like the community where as well as like your fellow students were helping each other out.
[00:38:16.490] – Mel Mack
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, and I think just having being able to have continual access to to a group is is essential, especially right now, not just for the artist part, but also for. Our mental or mental health. Yeah, yeah, keeps you accountable and then you can have someone to connect with and to ask your questions and to work through some things if you’re struggling with something. Mhm.
[00:38:45.490] – Diane Foy
Yeah. Well you have so many wonderful resources for actors. I will include links to all of it in the show notes and what is your why why do you do what you do?
[00:39:03.240] – Mel Mack
My why. I do what I do because. I love actors. I appreciate the work that it takes to go into building a career. I. Love inspiring actors, I love watching them succeed on their journey and really obtaining the goals that they set for themselves. I just think it’s I just love it. I love I love what they bring to the work.
I love what they bring to class. I just I don’t know. I just I just really, really feel lucky, you know, to be around such creative people on a daily basis. Yeah.
[00:39:54.670] – Diane Foy
I think that that’s very similar to my why, too. It’s like, you know, it’s exciting and it’s you know, I’ve just loved performers so much that, yes, they look to us to teach them things and guide them and help them out and inspire them. But they also inspire us.
[00:40:17.030] – Mel Mack
Oh, a thousand. I mean, I kind of blame my mom for this because when I was a kid, she really you know, I grew up in Buffalo and we would go to Shows there. And I remember we must have seen the king and I like fifty thousand times with Yul Brynner. And as a kid, I’m like, I don’t know what that is. And she she made us wait in the alleyway until he came out and then she kind of stalked him into this restaurant that was next door.
And so we all ended my dad and my mom and I, we all ended up eating at this restaurant that he was at. And I wanted to say that somebody was playing something on the piano. My mom’s like, you’re going to go sing to Yul Brynner. I’m like, Lou, I was like, all right? And I’m not even a singer, but I get up there. And he just thought it was the best thing and gave me his autograph, which, of course, made my mom, like, famous.
But from that moment on, when we went to go see him again in the show, it was such a it had made such an impact meeting him like just on a personal level and then seeing him on the stage. It was like, wow. Oh, yeah, he does. It was just so cool,
[00:41:30.370] – Diane Foy
I think that’s usually the cause that we’re fans. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve worked with a lot of amazing performers and I’m still a fan, so I’m still, like, giddy that I can’t believe I’m in this room. I can’t believe I’m standing backstage with this band and everyone else would kill to be where I am. And it’s like it’s exciting.
[00:41:57.140] – Mel Mack
It’s in the casting room. It happens all the time. You know, we’ll get stars that will come in for voice overs or mainly voice overs. And Judith Light came into work one day and my boss was like, hey, Mel, you’re going to you’re going to put Judith Light on. She’s coming in. I’m like, oh, no, I’m not I’m not letting her know. Hey, I’m not doing that. What do you mean? I’m like, right now I cannot put Judith Light who I love.
[00:42:24.880] – Mel Mack
I can’t I’m going to be able direct her, what are you talking about. And so, of course, she comes there and my boss totally outs me to her and she’s like, Mel, give me a hug. I’m like, wait, what? Right now she’s like, I can’t wait for you to direct me, you know? And she’s like, You want to get a photo?
I was like, Really? And it just feels like I’m being such a weird fan right now. But yeah, sure. Yeah. And, you know, she just made me realize, like, you know, she really appreciated that. I think also because I was just so honest about it. Yeah.
[00:42:59.960] – Diane Foy
Yeah. So amazing.
[00:43:02.410] – Mel Mack
Fandom is real. Diane still got to pinch ourselves. Sometimes it’s it’s why we do it. But then it’s also like it’s cool. Yeah.
It’s all good. Yeah.
[00:43:15.010] – Diane Foy
I’d like to go back to my teenage self and tell some of my stories. She was like, what. Yeah. You’re actually friends with that person. Right.
[00:43:26.890] – Mel Mack
Right. The crazy. Yeah. I love it. Yeah, I guess because at the end of the day, you also just realize, hey, this is just a person one step in that viniar. Yeah, fades away, you’re like, all right, now we can just talk like normal,
[00:43:44.950] – Diane Foy
now we’re cool. Yeah. And then you see them perform again. You’re like, holy crap,
[00:43:49.640] – Mel Mack
I got to go through it again. It’s like, oh, right.
[00:43:53.950] – Diane Foy
I forgot he was that talented already. Right. Yeah. Cool that. It’s been wonderful chatting with you and you gave so many great, you know, tips and resources. Any thing else you would like to share.
[00:44:13.760] – Mel Mack
Wish I you know. I. I’d like to just say to actors, you know. Stay hopeful because the business really is yes, it is changing, but there’s work out there and, you know, I feel like if you can really change. With what if you can make the changes that are necessary to be able to thrive in this kind of whole new world that we’re working in, I really just think. It benefits you and we definitely see it on the casting side, actors that are that are really kind of grasping this whole new concept and having fun with it.
Yeah, you have to embrace change. That’s another thing you really do. And so I think we’re all we’re all doing our best to do that and also to support one another through the processes of our process. Is that a word processor?
US says, thank you. We’ll go with it. Cool.
Well, thank you so much for joining us here. Thank you. Yeah, this is great.
[00:45:25.910] – Diane Foy
Yes, we are fan girls at the heart of it, just so passionate about performing arts.
And that’s why we do what we do. And I hope you enjoyed this episode. The podcast will be on a bit of a break for a couple of weeks for the holidays. But come join me in the unstoppable musicians and actors Facebook group. That’s where I will be going live throughout 2021 and beyond. And we’ll be doing it. You will see me. Come early to see me flub it all up in the first little while. And remember to download Mals six pillars to self tapes that don’t suck for links and a transcript visit, sing, dance, act, thrive.