The One Quality Every Actor Needs To Become Success!

June 16th, 2014

The One Quality Every Actor Needs To Become Success!

Yes, there are a few essential qualities that an actor needs to become a star and today we’re going to focus on…. well, let’s just say it’s something permeates every aspect of our culture. It’s everywhere – on billboards, in print, on the streets, in the office, in the home, and of course on TV and film…. did you guess yet?

Yes, it’s sex!  It’s not just that sex sells but as my longtime acting teacher and mentor Ivana Chubbuck taught me, a “star” actor can always find the SEX and the HUMOR in their work.  We’re not talking about looks here, because there are many beautiful people who just aren’t that sexy. If it were just about looks, then every good -looking actor would make it, but they don’t because it’s about much more than that!  Regardless of what you look like as an actor, to be successful you need to be comfortable with your sexuality and comfortable being playful and yes…seductive. I’m not talking about being sleazy or crass or dirty but learning to enjoy and be comfortable flirting and getting someone else to feel sexy and/or getting someone else to find you sexy. Is Jack Nicholson a handsome model type?, but he’s played romantic scenes with so many beautiful women. Why? Because he is able to be playfully seductive in a genuine organic way.  Seduction is fun but it needs to be playful otherwise it’s a turn off to the other actor and the audience.

It’s called being able to generate SEXUAL CHEMISTRY or heat in a scene with another actor. Now of course there are many stars who may not be great at seduction, but they have other key qualities necessary to inspire us such as authenticity, depth, humor, passion and likeability. But without understanding how to enjoy your sexual energy it is a lot harder to become a star….or just be able to make all of your money from acting.

I recently came across this video in which John Cusack is being interviewed by a very hot Israeli model for Israeli TV.  Watch this video and then continue reading

Do you notice how freely he flirts with her? Ladies, do you find it sleazy or kind of charming.  Most of the youtube comments indicated the latter. Also notice that CLASSIC GUY move….I remember this one from high school. You know which one? Yup, the one where he asks to get a closer look at the chain she’s wearing around her neck so he can get close to her.  It’s so much fun to watch because they both seem to be having fun being playfully seductive with each other.

Now of course the challenge for an actor is generate that kind of attraction with whoever your co-star is..even if they’re not your type. For the purposes of the play, movie or TV, you need to learn how to make them your type. That’s what I teach the students who study with me and I explain it on my Master Your Audition video. So if you’ve bought the video and have questions, write to me and I’ll try to explain. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

One of the specific ways to generate heat with someone is to start to sexually fantasize about them. Even if they’re not your usual type, imagine that they are really good at doing something that you like or that they’re willing to do something you’ve fantasized about and never done.  Though you can use a substitution in a scene for an emotional connection, you need to use the person right in front of you, i.e. the other actor, for the seduction part , to generate sexual energy.

Another tip is  to take a simple line that seems innocent enough like “I think we should close up shop”. Now in your mind think of a really juicy sexual image for what “closing up shop” is. Just think the thought and then say the line and see how it reads. Be specific. Think of something  sexually exciting that you’d like someone to do to you or something you’d love to do to/with someone else. Then say the line and see how it feels.

So have some fun this week!  Watch yourself or other people at a bar or in public and watch the physical signals we give each other when we’re attracted to one another. It’s often subconscious body language, but as actors we need to program that subconscious behavior in our work.

So have some fun this week and be little bit of a flirt..even if it’s just in front of the  mirror or …..the cat!?

written by Benson Simmonds

How To Feel Confident And Give Great Auditions

June 1st, 2014


Hello fellow actors!

I’m thrilled to be able to share my years of experience as an on-set and stage actor and over 15 years of teaching and coaching actors. Some of the topics I’d like to cover include; how to have sexual chemistry at auditions and on set, the secret to playing bad guys, cops, lawyers, FBI, judges and prostitutes; how to break down audition scripts; how to get more depth and vulnerability as an actor and much, much more!Benson-Simmonds

For my first column I’d like to address:

How to feel confident and have a great time at your auditions.
The incredible technique I’m going to share with you is based on the work of Jerry and Esther Hicks, who introduced the secrets of the law of attraction years before the huge success of the video and book, The Secret.

According to Esther and Jerry Hicks we are always either focusing on what we want or what we don’t want. When you’re unhappy, nervous, angry, etc it’s usually because you are focusing on what you don’t want. “I don’t want to be lonely, I don’t want to have so few auditions, I don’t want to be poor”, etc. The secret to shifting your mood in general and specifically when you audition is to focus on what you do want and how you DO want to FEEL at your auditions and on set.

So here’s a simple process for preparing for an audition:

First, imagine yourself on the way to an audition for a part you really want. try to focus on how you are feeling.

Usually if you’re honest, you’ll say, for example…I feel nervous, I feel excited. I feel anxious. I feel like I’m not even right for this role. I feel unprepared, etc.

This is what we’re usually focusing on subconsciously and completely unaware of.
For example, most actors are thinking…

I don’t want to screw up my audition,

I don’t want to forget my lines,

I don’t want them to think I suck,

I don’t want to embarrass myself,

I don’t want to be nervous.

I don’t want to be intimidated by other actors or the casting director.

According to the law of attraction, the universe does not differentiate between what you want and what you don’t want. The universe does not hear the yes or no in your statements or focus. It just hears what you are focusing on. So if you walk into an audition thinking, “I don’t want to forget my lines”, you end up attracting “I don’t want to forget my lines”, and you know what? You’ll probably forget some of your lines. So what should you consciously focus on? In this case you’d say to yourself “I want to FEEL like my lines just flow easily. I want to feel confident that I’ve got my lines down”

So what’s the key to having a great audition using this system?

Start focus on what you DO WANT YOU HAPPEN and HOW YOU DO WANT TO FEEL

I want to have a great audition.
I want them to love me and think I’m amazing.
I want to nail this character and be open and vulnerable and confident.

I want to have my best audition ever.

Now on to the MOST IMPORTANT step – Focusing on how you want to FEEL at your audition. Here are some suggestions.

I want to FEEL confident and inspired.

I want to FEEL like I’ve got the part before I ever walk into the audition room.

I want to feel like God himself/herself is walking in with me into the audition room and telling them to hire me.

I want to FEEL like the casting director and director are going to fight over who gets to compliment me first

I want to FEEL like the casting director is going to take one look at me and say, “you’re amazing. Let me go out there and tell the other actors to leave because YOU’VE GOT THE PART”

I want to FEEL playful and open and vulnerable and have a GREAT time

I want to FEEL like a million bucks.

I want to FEEL like I look incredible, handsome, beautiful sexy.

I want to FEEL like the casting director and director will need to wear sunglasses because my talent will shine so bright

I want to FEEL like I don’t give a shit what people think about me in and outside the audition room

I want to feel free to express myself and take risks.

I want to feel focused, and in the moment.

I want to feel like I am the character I’m auditioning for when I’m in the audition room.

These are some of my suggestions but feel free to make up lots of your own.

The idea is to have as much FUN as possible when you are saying OUT LOUD how you want to feel at your auditions and on set. You need to say them for at least a minute to begin to shift your mood. If you can get into the habit of doing these “I want to FEEL’ statements every day for 5 minutes, then you’ll see how incredibly effective they will be at your next audition. Even if you haven’t had auditions lately, you’ll start attracting auditions just by consistently focusing on how you want your auditions to go and how you want to FEEL at your auditions.

Try these tools and let me know how they work for you. Remember to have fun and do them consistently.

Go forth with confidence and have FUN!

Also, remember to let the audition go once you’ve left the room. You have no control over whether or not you will be hired, but you do have control over how you FEEL when you audition!

Here’s one last important tip. If you are always waiting an external circumstance like an audition or booking a part to make you happy, you will never be happy.

Focus instead on your internal state. Focus on being happy and then you will attract the things that make you happy.

Benson Simmonds is an award-winning actor, acting teacher, coach and short filmmaker. His YouTube mini lectures series on acting continues to receive thousands of hits and inspires actors all over the world. Benson is currently working as an actor in LA and also teaches acting classes and coaches one on one.

To view Benson’s YouTube lectures on acting, click below:

To view some of Benson’s award-winning acting work (including his short , Applaud or Die) click here.