5 Skills That Separate Novice Actors From Professionals

5 Skills That Separate Novice Actors From Professionals

When you are trying to make it in the acting business, it is all about the audition. When you go in for a part, it is important that you look like a professional, even if you have never landed a part before. If you can blow the casting director away with a stellar performance and a professional demeanor, you are sure to get the part. Read on for five skills that separate novice actors from professionals.

Make Decisions

When you are reading for a part, you likely will not get the entire script. You will probably only get a small section. It may be difficult to know a lot about your character, so the best option is to make a choice and go with it. Glean what you can about the character, and fill in the blanks of what you don’t know. Casting directors will be more impressed if you play a well-developed character rather than trying to be too broad.

Choose a Scene That Lets You Be Active

You may be tempted to choose a monologue to really show off your acting chops, but you will be better served by a scene that shows some action. A character’s inner musings does not really give you a chance to show the casting director just what you can do. Choose a scene that allows you to move and shows your character in some sort of proactive position. This will allow you to show your range and prove that you are perfect for the part.

Don’t Forget to Act When You Are Not Speaking

One of the biggest factors that separates novice actors from professionals is what goes on between the actor’s lines of dialogue. If you only focus on what you are saying or what you are going to say next, casting directors will be reluctant to hire you. Remember that a big part of acting is reacting, and what you do when you are not speaking is just as important. Make sure to listen and react to other lines and situations.

Remember the Before and After

You may only be acting out a small scene, but you must remember that it is part of a larger work. Make sure to put your scene in the context of the rest of the work. When you start the scene, you should know where the character is mentally before the scene begins. The same goes for the ending. Even after you have spoken your last line, try to remain in character for a few moments more, signifying what your character would do next.

Be Confident

If you haven’t been on many auditions, you may be a bundle of nerves. If you let those nerves get to you, your audition is not going to go well. You must appear confident, even if you do not feel like it. However, you do not want to go too far and seem cocky. Casting directors want actors who are secure with themselves, but not those who seem like their egos will be an issue.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

The Top 10 Best Shark Movies of All Time

The Top 10 Best Shark Movies of All Time

Long before global warming menaced the public on the big screen, there were sharks. Big and bad with flesh-ripping teeth and huge appetites, they swim to the tune of ominous music and stoke the primal fears that make watching these ultimate monster movies so much fun. Grab some popcorn and have a seat — these are the top ten you have to see.


In the tradition of movies like Lake Placid that we love to watch just to hear Betty White swear, a couple of drinks and a freak storm dropping sharks on Los Angeles is undeniable fun.

Open Water

Based on a true story of a couple trying to rekindle their romance with a scuba adventure, this low budget thriller has nothing special to offer but gut-gripping, sleep-defying fear. Watch it in the morning.

The Shallows

Blake Lively stars in this campy woman versus shark tale that’s both funny and futile on a personal level. It doesn’t have much to offer, but you’ll feel better about your life after.

The Reef

With water, blood and preppies demonstrating why they shouldn’t be given the keys to a yacht, The Reef takes itself way too seriously, but is still worth the ride.

Deep Blue Sea

This is the cruel and usual scientist-makes-breeding-blunder story that just won’t go away. Check your brain at the door and just revel in the blood and guts.

47 Meters Down

Mandy Moore and Clair Holt try to avoid being lunch in this low-budget flick. The ideas are high octane, but the execution isn’t. Still, it’s a great excuse to mow through a bucket of popcorn.


It’s Sharknado meets Lost as a group of tsunami survivors become part of the meat counter at a flooded grocery store. It’s embarrassingly cliché and utterly devoid of terror, but it’s shamelessly funny and won’t keep you up at night.

Ghost Shark

If you harbor any high school angst and want to see the kids you hated get shredded like pulled pork for sandwiches, it’s your turn. The severed body parts layered between the sexual innuendos is the foundation for a parade of endless horror movie stereotypes that like a train wreck, can’t help but hold your attention.

Mega Shark VS. Giant Octopus

If you wondered what Debbie Gibson did after her 80’s hits stopped generating revenue, she changed her named to Deborah and made a film so bad that it’s sure to be a bonding moment with someone at the asylum.


This Spielberg-fueled nightmare is still the king of the hill after more than four decades. The cast was average and by today’s standards, so was the shark, but the simplicity of this man versus Great White story and directing second only to Hitchcock was enough to scare a whole generation out of the water. It’s the benchmark against which all other monster movies are measured.

Logan Sekulow is a producer and director who’s known for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.

The Top 10 Movies of the 1980’s

The Top 10 Movies of the 1980's

Back to the Future

The 1980’s were filled with incredible movies including Back to the Future. Michael J. Fox played Marty McFly and the movie encompasses his friendship with Doc played by Christopher Lloyd. Marty is accidently sent to the future in a time machine and changes the past. He must reunite his future parents or he will cease to exist.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

ET is both a salute to childhood and a science fiction adventure created by Steven Spielberg. This is the story of a homesick alien and a young boy named Elliott played by Henry Thomas. Elliot is trying to help ET get back home. He learns how to communicate with ET telepathically while learning how to be brave.


Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray as part of a team of paranormal investigators including Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis. They use electronic paraphernalia to eliminate ghosties and ghoulies from the Big Apple in a film filled with comedy and special effects.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

This is George Lucas’s second entry in the Star Wars Trilogy. Mark Hamill is back as Luke Skywalker and he is now a seasoned space warrior. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher return as Han Solo and Princess Leia to battle Darth Vader and the insidious Empire. The film goes from the Ice Plant Hoth to tropical Dagobah with consistent action and excitement.

Sixteen Candles

This is a teenage comedy starring Molly Ringwald as a suburban teenager. She is suffering angst during the night before her sisters wedding because her family forgot about her birthday. This is a compassionate movie with respect for the characters.

The Shining

This horror film was based on a Stephen King novel. Shelly Duval and Jack Nicholson are acting as caretakers for the Overlook Hotel along with their son. The hotel is inaccessible due to the snow in the mountains. Jack Nicholson slowly descends into madness in this ghastly haunted hotel.

Raging Bull

This is a Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro film about middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta. The film covers LaMotta’s troubled personal life and the jealousy, suspicion and rage towards his manager and wife. He is eventually left alone looking for redemption.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford portrays an extraordinary archeologist called Indiana Jones in this Steven Spielberg and George Lucas adventure. He is searching for the Ark of the Covenant which has long since been lost. This leads to non-stop action from snakes in the Well of Souls to finally unearthing the Ark.

Do the Right Thing

This Spike Lee film is a combination comedy and drama set in Brooklyn about a pizza parlor. The focus is on the Wall of Fame because it only contains famous Italian-American pictures and does not represent the blacks in the neighborhood. The result is tragedy and violence.

The Princess Bride

Rob Reiner directed this sensational fairy tale that is a play on the damsel in distress concept. This is the story of a gallant hero who rescues the beautiful princess.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

3 Social Media Tips For Aspiring Actors

3 Social Media Tips For Aspiring Actors

Social media comes with its own set of rules. Engage, don’t sell. Be present, but not too present. Interact, but don’t complain or get too political. This doesn’t scratch the surface of where to be present or when either. While this article discusses actors, keep in mind these tips can help anyone attempting to market themselves, reach fans, and maintain a positive social media presence.

The Famous 80/20 Rule

For actors, especially aspiring actors, social media is about fan connections and professional networking more than shouting the loudest about your new movie, role, audition, or show. The 80/20 rule puts emphasis on forming relationships, sharing interesting ideas, and actively communicating 80% of the time. This includes responding to others.

Why Only 20% Promotion?

Imagine your followers. Now imagine you’re one of them and following yourself. Would you want to see promotion all day? After a while, wouldn’t it become white noise amid all the other uproar? Would you unfollow or silence yourself?

Switch gears now. Instead of constantly promoting, ask your followers questions or share relative information that doesn’t scream “Buy me.” Do you notice a difference?

By keeping promotion limited, your posts will no longer seem like white noise or be lost in the folds of other promoters. You’ll also leave a better lasting impression on your fans so that when the time comes for you to promote they might be more receptive to purchasing, viewing, or celebrating your success.

Be Respectful, Always

Whether it is another celebrity or a fan, please remember your manners. You are a professional. While you should be yourself online, you should be your best self with your best manners. It’s easy these days to be swept up in debates, flame wars, and to call people out for XYZ. You are an actor. You are not a keyboard warrior, hiding behind a screen, hammering your device and saying things you would never say to a person’s face. The other person who is egging you on is still a human, even if their behavior is trolling you.

Keep Dirty Laundry Where it Belongs

You wouldn’t attend a dinner party and scream at the host or guests because they were too slow with your food. So your manners should extend to more than your career and social media. Respond to negativity with grace or silence, and if laws have been broken, take the information to the proper authorities. Don’t plaster it on your social media accounts. This applies to pictures and screenshots meant to hurt or disarm others too.

One final tip is to be reachable. The more you’re actively engaging fans about their lives and non-promotional topics, the more fans you will gather. Talk about your passions, hobbies, and the smallest details that will make followers want to speak with you. Respond to your fans when you can and make them a priority. Build relationships online, and when it comes time to promote, your campaigns can be more successful.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director known for relaunching the popular studio known as Laugh-O-Gram studios.

6 Ways to Improve Your On-Camera Acting

6 Ways to Improve Your On-Camera Acting

While acting for the stage and acting for a camera contain many similarities, major differences exist in the techniques that should be used for each respectively. Think about it: in the theater, actors have to convey the same story to people in the back row as the people in the front row, and so the story must be shared in a big, loud way. On camera, however, actors tend to have smaller spaces to convey similar stories, and so nuance can come into play. Here are six ways to improve your on-camera acting technique, particularly if you grew up as a theater kid.

Lean Into Nuance

As mentioned above, having a smaller space in which to tell a story lends itself to smaller gestures. A small smile or a look downward may not read at all on a stage from a distance of fifty feet, but the camera can zoom in nice and close to catch all those little quirks. These are things humans see in each other on a daily basis, and is not only limited to body language, but extends to voice and tone as well.

Keep it Real

Though acting tends to be closer to real-life behavior in film than in theater, the big screen can still depict a fair amount of drama that doesn’t usually exist in our day to day lives. Even in these instances, try to draw on real feelings and memories for your performance. As mentioned in the nuance section, the camera gets much closer and hones in on specific emotions needed for a scene. Reactions that are too false will then seem much worse when put under such scrutiny. Make sure the actions are coming from a place of truth, wherever that can be found.

Most Work is Off-screen

In the theater, the entire show must be rehearsed multiple times before performance. For film, single scenes can be shot hundreds of times, and only the best take is used in the final cut. In order to portray these scenes, film actors prepare for them individually, because there won’t be tons of rehearsal. They must be ready the moment action is called, and then perform.

Blocking is Still Relevant

Blocking (your rehearsed placement and movements) is essential in theater, and surprisingly just as important in film. Though camera angles can often obtain shots which would be impossible on stage, and can break the bounds of placement common in stage acting, it’s still important to not block other actors from the camera view, or relevant pieces of set. Even walking across a room must be carefully considered in case the actor accidentally walks completely out of view.

No Projection

Things are often smaller and quieter in film. With the many bits and pieces of expensive sound equipment, no sound tech wants the actors to be shouting into the microphones. Use clear and purposeful tones, but there is no need to “speak to the back row.”

Less is More

Trust the cameras and microphones to pick up what is happening. Trust the technicians to guide their equipment in the right direction. Unlearn the performative qualities of stage acting and remember that you’re not the only one who has to get your point across; a village of people are waiting to help your volume and lighting along. Tell your story naturally.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

5 Quintessential Summer Movies to Watch

5 Quintessential Summer Movies to Watch

What is summer without movies? And especially classic summer movies that refresh and rejuvenate us with memories? Not sure which ones to choose? Try these five summer favorites that are sure to help you recharge and relax while you reminisce!

American Graffiti (1973)

This is the perfect coming-of-age film about a seemingly normal group of teenagers growing up in Modesto, California in 1962. The comedy unwinds as stars like Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford and many others enjoy cruising and 60’s rock and roll. The stories of each of this group are told in brief vignettes throughout one average night giving a charming glimpse into teenage life during the 60’s.

Jaws (1975)

No 4th of July is complete without a summer thrill with the shark that started it all.
“Jaws” is the epitome of summer thrills and will definitely make you think twice about going in the water! Based on the novel by Peter Benchley and starring Richard Dreyfus, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw, Jaws keeps you mesmerized as a 25 foot giant man-eating shark terrorizes a small New England summer resort town called Amity Island.

Meatballs (1979)

This hilarious spoof stars Bill Murray in his first major movie role. A second rate summer camp is the setting where camp counselors play pranks on unsuspecting young visitors. Lots of camp competition, adventures on the lake and songs around the campfire making it a perfect movie for summer and as Bill Murray’s character says throughout, realizing that “It just doesn’t matter.”

National Lampoons summer Vacation (1983)

This classic road trip vacation movie starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo will have you laughing hysterically as you watch the Griswold family trek across the country to enjoy a vacation at “Wally World”. You’ll laugh at the ridiculous things that they encounter and probably a little at yourself when you realize that it could be any one of us on that trip!

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Fall in love with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in this “feel good” movie. Set in 1963 at a sultry summer resort in the mountains on a lake, the classic “good girl” falls for the “bad boy”. They discover a mutual love for dancing and ultimately find out much about each other that they didn’t know. You’ll have the “Time of Your Life” watching one of the best romantic comedy-dramas ever made.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director who’s responsible for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.

3 Steps to Having a Successful Acting Career

3 Steps to Having a Successful Acting Career

For many people, the idea of having a thriving acting career is just a dream. For others, the reality to chase after and go for their dreams is exciting and real. The acting world is large and highly competitive. It takes more than just schooling in drama or the arts. There are qualities that people must have in order for them to actually be successful in this line of work since the stakes can be so high.

Take the First Step on Your Path

This is the most important tidbit to remember for nearly everything in life. You must take the first step. The first step is always the scariest and the most unsure, but as you head on the right direction, the hardest part is already over with. There are countless people in life that regret not taking that first step or wish they had done it sooner. That path that you make your own can lead to the unimaginable or unthinkable; but you have to put the foot out and go first.

Be Patient and Work Hard

The best things in life usually take the longest. That means that even if you feel like you should be somewhere else more advanced or more superior in an area, it might take a little more time. Patience is a virtue because it is hard to attain. Master it. Work on yourself and know that no one is perfect and you can only get better in your craft. Take criticism and understand that it can only improve you if you allow it. The best people in their art are the people that worked hard and never quit. Everyone has days that they want to throw in the towel and think it will be easier by doing so. Do not allow that mindset to take hold. Keep pushing yourself and believe that you can achieve your dreams and desires that you want.

Be the Best and Sought After

Understand another important concept. Acting is a career or can be a full time career to those that go after it. If anyone wants to be the best in their field, industry or whatever their endeavor, than some sacrifices will have to be made. Realize that you will have to pay your dues and work the long hours or work part time gigs that are not that glamorous as well. In spite of all this, the work will pay off and once you become the best you can be one of the most sought after in the business. Study, learn and take advice from a mentor that can help you become the best.

Compiling all of this information, take the first step, work hard and be the best. Be yourself and do not let anyone or anything hold you back.

Logan Sekulow is a producer and director who’s known for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.

The Best Movies to Watch on a Plane

The Best Movies to Watch on a Plane

If you’re looking for a great way to pass the time on a long flight, you’ll certainly enjoy watching a movie. However, some movies are better than others to watch on a plane.

Tear Jerkers:

According to experts, being on a flight puts you in a somewhat vulnerable emotional state, and you’re more likely to cry while watching a tear jerker on a flight than you would be otherwise. So, you’ll want a tearjerker that has a relatively good ending, such as these:

Lady Bird


Not only will being on a flight make it more likely that you’ll cry watching a sad movie, but it will also make you more likely to laugh. While you’re on a plane, you probably won’t be interested in a comedy that is difficult to figure out. Here are some examples of comedies with an easy to follow plot:

The Girls Trip
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
The Big Sick
Step Brother

Action Movies:

While some laptops can be a bit small for watching an action movie, this won’t be an issue with some action films. It’s a good idea to choose an action movie that has an interesting plotline. Here are some great action films to watch during your flight:

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Jurrasic Park
Hot Fuzz
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Movies That You Can Watch In the “Background”:

If you’re on a long flight, you might want to get some work done before you reach your destination. Here are some examples of movies that won’t distract you from your work too much:

The Big Lebowski
Singin’ In the Rain
The Princess Bride

What Types of Movies Should You Avoid Watching While You’re On a Plane?

It’s important to be considerate of other passengers. Therefore, you should avoid watching films that are extremely violent or contain a lot of graphic scenes involving nudity. This is especially important if children are around. If you’re watching a film that has graphic scenes of nudity or violence, you should fast forward through these scenes, and wear headphones while watching a film that has any violence.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.