Acting Advice from Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston

audition advice from Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston by Gage Skidmore_550
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via cc
“Acting takes total dedication”
The actor Bryan Cranston who has won many awards playing Walter White in ‘Breaking Bad’ is famous for his work rate. You only have to glimpse at his page on IMDB to see just how busy this actor is.
He has been a working actor since the 1970’s and has a diverse history of work. He has a career which switches from comedy: Seinfeld, Malcolm In The Middle, to drama: Breaking Bad, Argo, and animation: The Cleveland Show, Kung Fu Panda 3!
When asked to speak at colleges and universities to students of acting, he emphasises the striggle of acting and will try to discourage, as much as he encourages, the students to pursue a career as a performer.
“Acting takes total dedication”

”If you can be happy doing something else, anything else, go do that because in order to be an actor you need to totally commit, absolutely. You can’t put your big toe in.”

”When I was 22 years old, I said, ‘This is what I’m going to do. If it means that when I’m 40 or 50 or 60, I’m sharing an apartment with someone, sleeping on a couch, that’s what I’m going to do.’

”So it was all in, I had no back-up plan, in a way it makes you hungrier and more aggressive to find those projects, and to keep your eye on the prize.”
I recently tweeted a video which was filmed at a reception for new members of the Academy Awards.
The video got shared and retweeted a lot and the feedback has been that this is hugely inspiring and powerful.
I have transcribed the video for you. His philosphy on auditioning is one which I share, it is powerful yet simple and I have found it both empowering and freeing and seen my work rate increase when I have started adopting it. I hope you can too.
Bryan was asked to give advice to aspiring actors and this is what he had to say:
“The best advice for fellow actors is this, know what your job is.

About 18 years ago I had this cognition that I realised I was going into auditions trying to get a job.

And that simply wasn’t what I was doing, it wasn’t what I’m supposed to be doing. An actor is supposed to create an interesting compelling character that serves the text and present it in the environment where your audition happens and then you walk away.

And that’s it.

Everything else is out of your control, so don’t even think of it, don’t focus on that. You’re not going there to get a job, you’re going there to present what you do … You Act.

And there it is – and walk away.

and there is power in that, and confidence in that. And its also saying ‘I can only do so much’ and then the decision of who might get a job is so out of your control … really when you analyse it makes no sense to hold on to that.

That for me was a breakthrough and once I adopted that philosophy I never looked back and Ive never been busier in my life once I grabbed onto that.

That’s it.”
Bryan Cranston offers advice to young & aspiring actors
At the 2012 Academy Awards new member reception, Bryan Cranston shared his advice to aspiring actors
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