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ARTICLES

I've had the pleasure of writing for Backstage.com, a trusted place for musicians, actors and performers to find jobs and career advice, answering peoples questions and sharing what I've learned.

By Brittney Grabill | Posted October 26, 2018, 7 a.m.

Low or none paying projects has always been a great way for me to work with people on a smaller scale before I pitch and vouch for them on a bigger project. So never downplay free or low-paying jobs; if you do them well, the team you worked with is a goldmine of future opportunities.

One more fat tip that most people don’t do: follow up. Check in with your contacts every so often. It’s always nice to hear when you’ve crossed someone’s mind and I always enjoy a personalized update compared to what’s on your Facebook feed. Pay them a compliment on the last film they worked on, go see it, support the work, and keep in contact with the people you’ve worked with.

By Brittney Grabill | Posted March 14, 2018, 10 a.m.

By Brittney Grabill | Posted March 14, 2018, 10 a.m.

It was only once I made a change, decided to put myself first, and trust that I could actually achieve and was worthy of my goals, money started working itself out. I was focused on my goals and my mood immediately changed. 

If you also feel like you’ve gotten off track with your acting goals or are only saying yes to things for the money—and not because you love the project or it’s truly something you want to do—here are the questions I ask myself before saying yes to anything: 

Is this in line with my goals?
What will be sacrificed in my life by taking on this project?
Will this better my life in the short term?
Will this better my life in the long term?
How does talking about this make me feel?

...

By Brittney Grabill | Posted Aug. 7, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Q: How can I approach an audition that requires skills I may not have yet? Is it better to embellish and then learn on my own, or be honest and hope my acting is strong enough?  —Ben W., New Jersey

Lead with the impression that you can act extremely well, because even if you don’t know the skill the character may call for, the casting director might pitch you for another role. Go into the audition hoping to gain a new fan. Honesty and humility can help make that happen.

What not to do would be to come in unprepared with the material, since the scene is what we ask to see first from you. Your acting is your first impression.

If you are going to attempt to perform a new skill, keep in mind that in the eyes of casting, the producers, the writers, etc., the character has been practicing that skill for a very long time and they’re probably very natural while doing it. If you’re going to try a new skill, ensure you choose something you’re confident doing...

By Brittney Grabill | Posted June 22, 2017, noon

If you’re called in for an audition that requires playing an instrument alongside acting, don’t freak out! Focus on your strengths. The most important thing is your acting ability: don’t let performing a musical skill take away from being absolutely prepared for your scene.

In my recent experiences casting projects that require characters who play instruments, we always started with the scene and then 30-60 seconds of playing. Like I said, acting comes first.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you see musical performances on TV and film, it’s most likely a day's worth of shots edited together to make it look like a seamless two-minute performance. The vocalist is usually lip singing to a previously recorded track, and that goes for the instrumentalists as well.

If you have an audition coming up that requires a musical instrument, here are a few tips to rock your it confidently...