The Acting Corps Artistic Director Eugene Buica in Actors’ Ink Magazine: “Why Act?”

Eugene Buica, The Artistic Director of The Acting Corps, has published a series of motivational articles in Actors’ Ink Magazine. In “Why Act?,” Buica discusses the internal forces that drive an individual to a film or stage career.

The article begins with an overview of the acting school landscape of Los Angeles: every school claims that their particular method of acting forms the only true path to success. Buica then provides advice on choosing the right school for the student, and how to tell the real acting schools from the scams.

Essentially, Buica claims that the key to choosing the right approach depends on the individual and his or her motivations for wanting to act. He then enters into a philosophical discussion of why individuals act. There are many other meaningful and sometimes more practical ways to express oneself or contribute to society, so the answer to the question “why act?” varies from person to person. Buica explains how many individuals find their personal answers over time, sometimes choosing new career paths they might not have envisioned along the way.

Buica proposes a true test of whether or not acting is one’s true vocation: If you have nothing else in the world, is your work as an actor enough to keep you going? People that consistently respond affirmatively are true actors.

Drawing upon advice from Henry Miller, Buica then talks about the freedom that comes from this realization, the confident knowledge that one is an artist. Conversely, he also discusses the “trouble of creative responsibility,” which drives an artist to continue working, no matter what life brings. To read the complete article by Eugene Buica, as well as his other articles for Actor’s Ink Magazine, visit www.theactingcorps.com.

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An Overview of Cold Reading

By Eugene Buica, Artistic Director at The Acting Corps

The Acting Corps utilizes a myriad of techniques to help students improve their acting abilities. One of best-known and most basic strategies that The Acting Corps employs includes cold reading (sometimes called sight reading), which involves a performance or script reading without any previous rehearsal or practice. This technique is especially helpful to gauge the innate ability of an actor, as there has been no preparation or prior planning.

Many actors who practice cold reading methods find that basic acting techniques such as clear and slow speaking are just as vital to a cold reading as any other scenario. All too often, beginning actors fumble through this exercise, because the inability to prepare throws them off. However, it is rarely expected that a script be memorized for a cold reading, so reading from it is perfectly acceptable. First and foremost, actors must remember to take a few minutes beforehand to read the scene and analyze the character, to best represent him or her throughout the reading. There are other matters to consider, as well. If reading a scene with someone else, interacting with the second person is an integral component. Keeping track of lines with one’s thumb and holding the script at chest level enables an actor to make eye contact and move about while delivering lines. Pay attention to any introductions to the scene, as they may provide clues as to what the audition panel is expecting to see in this character. But more importantly—an actor should make decisions about the character and bring him or her to life.

FAQs about Acting with Eugene Buica, Founder of The Acting Corps (Part 2 of 2)

An accomplished actor, writer, and director, Eugene Buica shares his talents and his decades of experience working on stage and in film and television at The Acting Corps, a Los Angeles-based school he founded. Buica first began teaching actors in 1991, overseeing coaching workshops around the world in Los Angeles, New York, Bucharest, Beijing, and Munich. Specializing in the acting approaches first pioneered by Michael Chekhov, Sanford Meisner, and Jerzy Grotowski, Buica has developed programs at The Acting Corps that focus on the core concepts originated by each master coach and apply them to modern acting opportunities. We recently sat down with Eugene Buica to discuss how professional actors go about finding work in the business and his take on the future job outlook for actors.

Q: So how do trained actors, both new and experienced, find jobs?

A: Great question. The majority of professional actors maintain a talent agent or a manager who goes about setting up auditions, negotiating contracts, and generally overseeing the client’s career. In turn, the agent or manager receives a cut of the actor’s pay. Lots of new actors without agents find jobs through the Internet or trade resources, like magazines, and submit their information through those resources. Most actors also belong to one or more of the following trade unions, depending on what medium they perform in: the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), or the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

Q: What kind of salaries do new actors make?

A: That really varies, depending on their roles. However, I can tell you that actors with joint contracts through SAG and AFTRA receive a minimum daily paycheck of $759 for film and television roles with speaking parts. For a five-day workweek, they earn a minimum of $2,634.

Q: Any thoughts on employment growth for actors?

A: In 2006, actors worked in only about 70,000 acting jobs. According to the industry, by 2016, employment opportunities for actors are anticipated to grow roughly 12 percent. Job growth is largely expected to come from growing cable and satellite television programming and increasingly interactive media, including the Internet-released film market, as well as other factors.

FAQs about Acting with Eugene Buica, Founder of The Acting Corps (Part 1 of 2)

Before opening the doors to The Acting Corps and training renowned stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Eminem, Eugene Buica graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York City’s Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. During his impressive career, Buica studied under Sanford Meisner and Michael Howard, learning how to both act and teach acting from these two industry luminaries. To his credit, Buica has performed and appeared in dozens of plays, films, and television programs, including the feature-length movies Float and Deception and the primetime shows ER and Becker. During his career, Buica has trained hundreds of promising actors, many of whom have gone on to great success. We spoke briefly with Eugene Buica about finding work in the acting business.

Q: Could you discuss what steps potential actors have to take to get started in the entertainment business?

A: First off, a truly dedicated actor typically has some training before going out and looking for jobs. In almost every situation, casting directors and talent agents seek out and choose those with an acting background, whether that includes experience in the business or training in a formal program. With that said, actors really have a wide choice of programs out there. These include Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Theater or acting studies from accredited universities, as well as degrees or certifications from smaller, more intimate schools or conservatories. Many go for the latter types of programs, largely because they provide at least the same results in much less time.

Q: What should actors consider when choosing an acting program?

A: They really need to make a comprehensive evaluation of the school, its credibility, and what it teaches. Specifically, they should look into the length of the program, the cost, and what business skills it provides, so once they graduate, they are well prepared to find work. Also, consider the school’s alumni and its reputation within the industry. These are all things that potential students ask me about before applying to The Acting Corps.

A Brief Overview of Training Courses Offered at The Acting Corps

Located in Los Angeles, California, The Acting Corps gives its students the comprehension and practical tools to fulfill their dreams of landing acting roles in movies and television. In addition to its flagship program, The Actors’ Boot Camp, The Acting Corps also offers three other types of classes for students at different levels: the Advanced Program, the Professional Program, and the Daily Acting Workout Program.
1. The Acting Corps Advanced Program.
A six-month session, the advanced program is available either two times a week or three times a week, depending on the actor’s preference. Only auditioning actors are invited to attend the advanced program, which was designed to give working actors a deeper understanding of character and script analysis.
2. The Acting Corps Professional Program.
During this nine-month program, developed specifically for international actors, students will practice their acting skills for at least 22 hours every week. The Professional Program teaches the components of the Meisner and Chekhov acting techniques.
3. The Acting Corps Daily Acting Workout.
This program is a little different than the others. Designed for students who are enrolled in other programs at The Acting Corps, the daily acting workout takes up one hour out of every day to get the actor’s mind, body, and voice connected to whatever character he or she is trying to portray.