James Barbour received Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Actor in a Musical for his critically acclaimed run in A Tale of Two Cities on Broadway, playing Sydney Carton. Here he will talk about other fields of arts he enjoys as well: acting, singing, producing, directing, photography and more.
You need to ask yourself that question.No matter what you do in life you are in fact selling something.
If you’re an actor, you're selling yourself, your abilities, if you’re a painter you’re selling your art, a real estate broker you’re selling homes or apartments or buildings, if you're a teacher you're selling your students on the passion to learn...you get the picture.
The reality, if YOU don’t believe in the product you’re selling neither will the person to whom you’re trying to sell it. You must have absolute certainty in your product and absolute belief that your product is THE BEST. No questions or doubts.
Make no mistake here…it takes THAT much certainty.
Actors, if you don’t think you’re the best in the room for a specific audition…don’t walk in that door. I know you hear all the time that you should audition for everything, every opportunity that presents itself you should go in, audition, be seen. That’s all well and good but if you’re not presenting the BEST in that audition then I feel it’s a waste of time.
The idea of "fake it ’til you make it", is to me a load of BS. People can see right through it and if they don’t see through it and you ‘make it’, you’re still living a life built on a foundation of BS. That foundation will never stand.
You’re showing people less than you’re best and if you don’t think you’re right for a role and go in with that attitude of "less than" you’re also wasting the time of the casting director, director, producers etc. They'll see that, feel that and know that. That’s not the impression you want to make and not how you want people to feel about you when you leave the room after the audition.
BUT…if you go into that room and raise the bar beyond what anyone else has brought that day, even if you’re not right for the role you’re auditioning for, you’ll leave a positive impression. That positive impression will stand you in good stead for the future. They’ll remember you, your preparation, your abilities and your sense pride in knowing who you are and what your product is.
So figure out what you’re selling. Learn about it, know it, believe in it and yourself and then live it.
The only limits we have are those we put on ourselves.