Friday, November 23, 2007

Realism: The Contrast between Acting on Movies versus Acting on Stage

On sober reflection, people readily admit that films are like buildings, books, and symphonies or artifacts made by humans for human purposes. Yet, as part of an audience watching an enthralling movie, people may find it difficult to remember that what they are seeing is not a natural object, like a flower or an asteroid. Unlike theater, cinema is so captivating that people tend to forget that movies are make believe.

An understanding of the differences between acting on movies versus acting on stage or theater depends initially on the recognition that film is produced by both machines and human labor, while theater is more of a reflection of real life.

Understand the Differences between Movies and Stage

In order to understand the differences between portraying a role in a movie and a theater, it is important that you know the difference between a movie and a play.

Watching a film differs from viewing a stage performance. A film presents its audience with images in an illusory motion. For cinema to exist, a series of images must be displayed to a viewer by means of a mechanism, which presents each image for a very short period and inserts between successive images an interval of blackness.

If a series of slightly different images of the same object are displayed under these conditions, physiological and psychological processes in the viewer will create the illusion of seeing a moving image. Like most human artifacts, a film depends on particular technological factors.

This goes to show that the quality of acting in movies may not be as intense as those delivered the theater. In theaters, naturalism and realism take the stage. That is why some critics say that most people often go to the theater to use their brains, not just to be entertained.

Acting in movies depends so much on the script, hence the term scripted whenever somebody wants to refer to things that are too good to be true.

In theaters, acting sometimes depends on the wits of the actors. They also have scripts but there are times that the lines of the actors on stage should be sharp and witty so that the audience will be entertained.

Boiled down, the main discrepancy between acting in movies versus acting on stage is realism. Acting in theater faces life as it really is. With movies, you can have as many takes as you need to come up with the emotion the director wants to convey.

Acting Monologue: How to Come Up With a Good One

Monologue is the art of producing a dramatic sketch of exemplary acting performance by an actor. It can be a long speech, a soliloquy, or a skit designed for only one actors performance. Most people consider monologues a form of soliloquy, the act of talking to oneself. When used in a play, it is more identified as a monologue, where the actor is directly speaking to his audience.

If you want to start your acting career, you can start with monologues. Most actors prefer to commence on this kind of acting job because this is where their talents are best reflected. So if you want to start acting monologues, here are some tips to follow:

1. Know what you want

Don’t be the typical jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. Before you start acting monologues, it is best that you know what kind of monologue you want to pursue.

There are many kinds of monologues available for you. You can try Shakespearean if you are more poetic, comedy if you have a good sense of humor, or dramatic if you can project intense emotions with ease. However, some actors try to perform all kinds of monologues just to show how versatile they can be as an actor.

2. Practice

To acquire skill in speaking in front of an audience, you should practice before a mirror. Try to practice skits from a previous play and see how well you can deliver the lines using your emotions and superb acting performance.

Keep in mind that you will be able to give a very satisfactory performance with your monologue if you put your heart into it.

3. Choose your skit

Choosing a skit or a speech that you will use in your monolog is, of course, your first problem. You may want to write your own monologue, using an original plot. Or perhaps, you would like to dramatize a favorite story or poem. Just be sure to ask the publishers permission to use it if you will be using a published speech or skit.

Be sure that the speech or skit you use is right for your age and skill. Remember that talky, sophisticated speeches are a poor choice for young performers. Moreover, if you aren’t into comedy, then avoid using speeches like that.

Indeed, acting monologues can be pretty difficult for first-time or amateur actors. However, these can be great stepping-stones to success because directors or producers will definitely see you as a great actor.

What You Need to Know About Acting Headshot Basics

As you prepare for your acting career, don’t forget to create an effective acting headshot. Acting headshots can make your future in acting life a lot easier and more possible, but not without putting it to the test.

1. Be professional

Like the usual job hunter, you must also be professional with your acting headshots. Even if you have to prepare your acting resume as well, it is still important to come up with an effective acting headshot. One that will tell about you, professionalism is one of the greatest factors to consider.

So how can you do about this? Always come up with an 8 x 10 copy. This size will show a definitive representation of your face. After all, the facade counts most in acting, notwithstanding the talent.

Color is also important. A professional look is always represented by black and white, so stick to that.

2. Get a good photographer

Keep in mind that this isn’t your usual identification picture. Acting headshots tell so much about you; hence, it is important that you get a good photographer to capture that real you.

A good photographer will know how to take a good shot of your head and shoulders. They know just the right angles.

Picture perfect images aren’t always innate. Sometimes, it depends on the photographer, quality of material used in developing, and the kind of camera used to capture the images. So if you want the best, go for the best.

3. Be simple

Before your photo shoot, make sure that you aren’t wearing fancy clothes or accessories. Keep in mind that you want your acting headshot focused more on yourself and not on other things. Make it a point that you stand out with no distractions.

In addition, you don’t want to convey a personality that is different from who you are. Of course, it would be best to look like the next superstar with glamour but you are on your way there. What is important is to land an interview. After all, you aren’t trying to get a modeling job.

Boiled down, keep your acting headshots simple yet valuable. Avoid any distractions that will divert the observers attention away from your face. It is your one-way ticket to stardom, so make sure you represent yourself well.

Acting Games You Can Teach Your Students

Learning the art of acting can be both difficult and enjoyable. If you are an acting instructor, you need to teach people how to find something within themselves that can drive every single emotion and motivation available. You need to teach people how to discipline themselves so that they express the right emotions for a particular scene, nothing more, and nothing less. You need to teach people how to act, not overact or under-act.

All the same, acting can be enjoyable. As an actor, you can meet new friends in acting workshops, learn a lot of new things every time you learn new scenes, and discover things about yourself that you didn’t know you could do. Acting can be even more fun to learn if you are engaged in acting games; so if you are planning to hold an acting workshop, take a look at these possible games for your students to learn how to act.

- Charades can be a great way to allow your students to know how difficult acting is. The best acting is done without words, so if you can discipline your body and make precise, recognizable movements, then you are on your first step to acting well. Play charades with your students using different themes: you can do statesmen or famous celebrities, so that your students can learn about characters and their habits; or you can do actions or jobs so that students know about details of movement.

- Play guess the emotions and use only your eyes. Because many great actors can act up a storm using only their eyes, you can train your students to not only use their eyes in acting, but to recognize emotions by examining peoples eyes. Pair up your students, and give one of the pair a card containing an emotion, such as anger, amusement, indifference, and the like.

The first to guess the other persons emotions wins the game. A variation on this is played using only your lips, which can be even more difficult. Try it on your students, and you all might end up laughing!

- Have you ever tried gazing into another persons eyes for a long time, without laughing? Teach your students how to control their emotions and gain focus by pairing up your students, and letting them look into each others eyes or stare at each other. The pair that can look at each other for the longest time without making any reaction wins the game.

- Have your students sing a happy song without breaking into a smile. The one who controls his or her emotions the longest also wins the game.

Tips if Your Kid Wants to try Acting

Acting is considered to be one of the most prestigious careers, it brings fame and fortune to those who are hailed at the top of the industry. Because of this, acting appeals to many people of different ages including kids. Perhaps your own child wants to be an actor and if this is what the child really wants what you can do as a parent to give your support. But acting as a child may not be as simple as it is with adults. Here are some helpful hints if your child wants to go into acting:

1. Make sure your child really wants to go acting because you don’t want to waste your time or money. Some parents may impose their own dreams on their children because they had hang-ups. Be sure that it is your child who wants to join the school play or the movies and not you just seeing yourself in your little one.

2. Help your child prepare to act. You are the adult and you understand things better than your child. Help your child to know what the role is about. Explain to him or her who the character is, what they do, and where they are going. Add bits and pieces of information that can help your child internalize the role well.

3. Notice signs your child is becoming tired or restless. Children are less able to manage stress than most adults and you should be able to notice if the acting is taking a toll of your child. If your child is tired then rest is needed and you should give him or her time to rest.

4. Be present as much as you can. It is important to show your support. You are the source of your child’s security and inspiration and your presence is crucial to make you child feel safe and confident. Being there reassures your child that everything is okay and that you are there when he or she needs you.

Acting for kids can be more difficult than acting for adults. But with the right preparations and support from parents, acting can be quite fun and exciting for kids. Just remember that your child is still more of a child than an actor. A healthy childhood still matters very much.

Acting for Dummies: Tips to Bring out the Star in You

Acting is among the oldest and most popular forms of the performing arts. Nowadays, acting can make people rich and famous. Some people shy away from acting because they think it is a complicated manner. However, acting is really simple because we do act in many occasions in our daily lives. Acting is not only for the professionals but for dummies as well.

If you are new to acting here are acting tips that even dummies can learn:

1. Read the script or the play freely at first to get the feel of the script and let it flow through your head. Don’t get into acting immediately but just read the text to learn the material and familiarize yourself with it.

2. Research the script or play because it pays to know beyond the words what you are going to act. Check out who the author is and how his other plays have been. Read about the setting of the play or movie. Check out what kind of characters it has especially the one you are going to act. Know all you can about it.

3. Read the script another time and this time you can focus on the character you are playing. Based on your research, how do you think the character should behave? Keep this in mind as you read through the text and imagine the character come to life.

4. Know the who, what, and where before you act, ask yourself who your character is, what it wants, and where it’s set. This will help you place yourself in the shoes of the character. Imagine what you will do in such a situation. Think of everything from your gestures to the way you will speak.

5. Read the script aloud with the character in mind. This will help you say your lines more comfortably. Play along and try out different ways of speaking based on how you think the character would say the text. Repeat as much as you can so that you can truly master everything.

6. Practice in front of the mirror once you have mastered the text you can practice your act. Do this in front of the mirror so that you can see how you look and you will soon not to be too conscious about yourself.

Acting can be simple and fun if you put your mind to it. Try out these tips and see how soon you become a good actor.

How to Gauge if You’re Getting a Reasonable Acting Fee

Yes! Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts are the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, and their accountants and lawyers might be the ones managing their money for them. But as a simple starting actor/actress, you should be the one to know if you are getting a fair acting fee. Acting fees can be your sole source of income and you don’t want to suffer from unfair agents. What composed acting fees? Here are some reminders:

1. If you have plans of having an agent, you can have background and principal agents. The background agents are working for those who perform extras in shows or movies. 15% commission on the gross earning is charged.

Principal agents on the other hand are the ones working for actors with speaking roles. He will charge 10% for stage plays and 15% for television or movie appearances. He may also ask you to shoulder smaller expenses such as courier fees and other registration fees. Look for agents who are charging a reasonable percent on your acting fee.

2. If you will be booked for a show, you can collect certain fees; these fees are charged yearly or hourly. If there is a need for overtime, it will be applicable before 9 am and after 6 pm on bookings over 8 hours. Special rates should be negotiated for night work.

3. If your photographs and clips are to be reproduced and used by certain companies in certain purposes such as for tickets, posters, packs, show cards, etc., you can charge additional fees. The terms of usage and its extension can be negotiated and can be used for a required location and span of time.

4. If you decide to run your own acting school, there are also certain fees to follow. The Screen Actors Workshop as an example, charges professional acting fees amounting to $185 for teen-agers (ages 13-17 years old) for a ten week term class and $300 for adults. The fees vary depending on the individuals age and acting capability.

All the above acting fees are negotiable. Agents, actors/ actresses and companies hiring them can arrive at reasonable acting fees. The acting fee can also vary from one country to another.

Acting corresponds to money. Many good actors and actresses nowadays are exposing themselves on stage, television and wide screens to earn money. Though beginners aren’t assured of bringing home large sums of money, he or she must be aware of the acting fees he/she can collect.

Acting Exercises for Acting Growth

Acting is a hard task but is always enjoyable and fun. An acting class will help you learn how to portray characters and how to memorize your dialogue. Your voice, body and emotions will serve as the acting tools to perform your scenes. Firstly, you need to have your acting warm ups to help you stay focused with what you are going to do.

First, the beginning exercise should be the eyes closed leader exercise. In this activity, half of the class will go and stand on one side of the room with fingers pointed out, eyes closed. The rest of the class will come across the room and will touch the tip of the fingers of their classmates and they will be the ones to lead them around the room. The leader must be careful not to walk too fast to prevent them from being separated; they should always keep their fingers together.

The second stage of the exercise is playing the casting procedure. The leader will divide the class into 4. One group will be the casting directors and the other group will be doing different leading roles in a film, such as a horror, gangster or a drama film. They will change roles, after the first casting activity.

The third stage will be the emotions game exercise. The students will now be given hand-outs, all about emotions. They should understand all the insights discussed in the hand-out. One student will pick one emotion, and he will act it out and the class will guess what emotion he portrays. This activity will end after all the students have tried this.

The fourth exercise will be the acting analysis. Show the students a short acting or an extract from a professional film. Always tell your students to pay attention when it comes to acting, then hand them a script and have them play the same roles. The leader will be the one to distribute the different roles. Ask a person to shoot the acting roles of the class, so that the class can watch it afterwards.

The next exercise is just the same as the previous one, just do it all over again, the only difference here is that they will try to watch the effect and the original performance will be compared to the professional film.

After these exercises, the class teacher will tell the students to read on the scripts and find locations for the scenes. Then if the location is ok, tell the students to visit them, and always check the applicability of the location.

Acting Exercises for Acting Growth

Acting is a hard task but is always enjoyable and fun. An acting class will help you learn how to portray characters and how to memorize your dialogue. Your voice, body and emotions will serve as the acting tools to perform your scenes. Firstly, you need to have your acting warm ups to help you stay focused with what you are going to do.

First, the beginning exercise should be the eyes closed leader exercise. In this activity, half of the class will go and stand on one side of the room with fingers pointed out, eyes closed. The rest of the class will come across the room and will touch the tip of the fingers of their classmates and they will be the ones to lead them around the room. The leader must be careful not to walk too fast to prevent them from being separated; they should always keep their fingers together.

The second stage of the exercise is playing the casting procedure. The leader will divide the class into 4. One group will be the casting directors and the other group will be doing different leading roles in a film, such as a horror, gangster or a drama film. They will change roles, after the first casting activity.

The third stage will be the emotions game exercise. The students will now be given hand-outs, all about emotions. They should understand all the insights discussed in the hand-out. One student will pick one emotion, and he will act it out and the class will guess what emotion he portrays. This activity will end after all the students have tried this.

The fourth exercise will be the acting analysis. Show the students a short acting or an extract from a professional film. Always tell your students to pay attention when it comes to acting, then hand them a script and have them play the same roles. The leader will be the one to distribute the different roles. Ask a person to shoot the acting roles of the class, so that the class can watch it afterwards.

The next exercise is just the same as the previous one, just do it all over again, the only difference here is that they will try to watch the effect and the original performance will be compared to the professional film.

After these exercises, the class teacher will tell the students to read on the scripts and find locations for the scenes. Then if the location is ok, tell the students to visit them, and always check the applicability of the location.

Numerous Tips on Acting Costumes

If you’re an actor or actress, you will be spending money on your costumes. It seems easy to choose a costume, put it on and comfortably act in it. This isn’t the case all the time, there will be times that you might be wearing some big or tight fitting costumes and you may not be comfortable. These unhappy situations can be avoided. Below are some tips about acting costumes:

1. If you are skinny, and you have multiple roles with multiple costumes, (i.e. Egyptian dancer) you can wear full circle skirts, you can tuck in extra veils around your belt to appear fatter. You can also put sparkles and coins in your bra to make it seem fuller. Don’t shove a bunch of gym socks or shoulder pads since these won’t give the right shape.

2. If you have scars, stretch marks, or any visible markings that contrast your skin color, this won’t look good on screen. Disguising them and artfully covering them is a good idea. Body stockings and make-up isn’t the only way to lessen the scars; wearing the appropriate costumes can also work. Wearing tunic tops at hip length with a belt may be a solution. Temporary tattoos can also be good additions to your costumes and can also hide your scars.

3. Color coordination is given a great deal of thought to when preparing acting costumes. Some books refer to the colors of stage, make-up, interior design, etc when designing costumes but the main tip is to choose colors that will flatter your complexion. As a general rule, 1 or 2 colors and an accent of silver or gold will be good. Avoid gaudy colors like lime green, screaming pink or neon orange.

Using one color for skirt, belt and bra makes you look taller. Black versus other bright colors can add drama. White against other bright colors creates a lightening effect.

4. Another thing comprising your costumes is jewelry. Costume jewelry can be made from certain metals or tins and should be larger to make it more apparent to the audience. Inexpensive pieces of jewelry are advisable since you don’t have extra time to look for it and secure it on stage.

From Russian, Slavic and Classic, costumes vary in colors and designs. Costumes are a big part of actors and actresses lives. Their acting is enhanced and projected with the costumes that they wear. You too might need one in the future and the tips above can help you.

Seven Surefire Tips in Getting the Best Acting Contract

If you are an aspiring actor, it would be good to know about acting contracts. Acting isn’t an easy job but you shouldn’t be shortchanged. Talent agencies are around to help you sell your talent for the best price.

1. If you contact an agency, make sure that the one you are dealing with meets all the requirements of their unions. Specific requirements are stated in contracts that protect talents such as yourself from abuse from these agencies. As a member, you have the right to get ahold of a copy of this agreement from the union.

2. Your agent should be able to guide you in your career development. He should keep your resume updated and even your physical appearance should be of his concern. He should always be around to give you sound advice to jumpstart your career. All these things should be stated in the contract that you sign with the agency.

3. The contract that you have with the agency should also state that it is the agents duty to do all that he can to get you work by sending your profile to all companies needing your specific talent, look or skills.

4. When you do get a job, it is your agency’s duty to negotiate the contracts for you. The agency should be the one to settle disputes with your employer if there is a need.

5. The contract that you have will also state that you, in turn, shall do your duty by having the professionalism and commitment required of you. In most cases, 10% commission goes to your agency as payment for their services.

6. In terms of contracts that you sigh with producers, it would help to know that there are different types of contracts, especially in theater acting. Make sure that you sign the right contract, may it be main stage, touring or performance internship contracts.

7. Since contracts are binding, make sure that you are signing a contract for the duration of time that is most suited to your needs. If you have plans of moving, it would be good to let your agent know so that arrangements can be made to shorten your contract. Most of the time, they will be open to such kinds of negotiations. If you encounter problems with this, then it’s time to find another agent, or producer for that matter.

9 Things You Should Know About Acting Companies

9 Things You Should Know About Acting Companies

There are many companies that offer acting experiences for students and would-be actors and actresses. Acting companies are specialized organizations that provide performing and producing skills to complement learning in the classroom and hands-on experience. Here are some of the things you should know if you want to be an actor.

1. Acting companies cater to all ages, from children to adults, undergraduate and graduate school students. There is an acting company that will suit you, no matter what skills you have or your age.

2. A lot of the famous actors originated from companies like the Acting Company. This company is one of the most famous and personalities like Kevin Kline, Frances Conroy of Six Feet Under, Harriet Harris of Desperate Housewives and Jeffrey Wright of Angels in America performed. Theater performance is the specialty of this award-wining company.

3. Acting can be a profession. Acting enthusiasts have benefited well from acting companies. Many have made it big and have toured places around the world to perform in different play performances. These students have also acted as mentors to university acting guilds because of the skills they possess.

4. London history shows that acting companies took advantage of winter and spring months to perform in London. When the plague struck in the summer, the performers traveled to other places, giving rise to traveling troops.

5. Even in the 1500s and the 1600s, children were actively participating in play performances as part of acting companies. They performed at courthouses where the scripts showed moral themes. These companies were highly preferred by Queen Elizabeth and were extremely popular at the time.

6. Modern times have allowed acting companies to evolve into many different mixtures. Although the original concept was there, music and dancing were incorporated. Different genres are mixed to create interest among viewers. Many aspects of life has been explored to create original masterpieces.

7. Nearly all countries have developed their own styles in different acting companies. Each one has an originality that depicts its culture and traditions.

8. Many of the present performances have been derived from past works like those of Shakespeare. However, to add more interesting viewpoints, acting companies of today have given more credit to directors who standardized performances and ensured greater performances.

9. Joining an acting company will ensure that even without innate acting talent, you will learn skills that you thought you never could. So if you think you really want to try out acting, join an acting company today. Your area surely has a company that will bring out the actor in you.

Credible Acting Colleges

If you feel that a university won’t provide you with all the information and experience you need to pursue acting full time, then you can enroll in an acting college instead.

Acting colleges are in demand because let’s face it, there are many aspiring actors and actresses out there. They are willing to take a chance on this nitty-gritty business to make their dreams come true.

Acting colleges are aware that their students have some experience portraying dramatic characters from high school. They know the basics and fundamentals of acting. It is the job of acting colleges to provide the students with the steps on how they can make themselves become better actors and actresses by focusing on their moods, thoughts and feelings when in character.

There is more concentration on movement as well as improvisation. Course curriculums in acting colleges cover the approaches of Meisner, Strasberg and Morris. There are acting coaches serving as teachers and professors, most of which have a sling of acting experience on TV and in movies.

An actor, as a student, must also be open to discussing literary works. It isn’t enough to show the story to an audience, an actor must know the story he is performing like the back of his hand.

As a student at an acting college, you are expected to meticulously study the script and to devote as much time as possible to perfect the production. If it means you have to stay all night long in the theater, then so be it.

Now, before enrolling in an acting college, you have to do a background check on the institution. Check whether the school or college is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theater. Try to spend an understandable amount of time on researching the programs they offer, as well as the professors, teachers and acting coaches on their staff.

Check whether you have to audition before you can enroll. That is a sign of a credible acting college. Take for example Juilliard. Before the school year begins, they conduct auditions. Aspiring actors and actresses and serious thespians from all over the world attend this audition. Juilliard only takes the cream of the crop.

The problem with acting colleges in cities such as Los Angeles and New York is that there are so many aspirants, some colleges aren’t there to provide the students with better knowledge on acting. They’re just there to earn money.

Therefore, as a paying customer, you have to make sure that you invest your money in the right acting college.

What an Acting Coach Teaches

So, you’ve had the acting bug for as long as you can remember. You’ve been performing since you were a child and now that you are an adult, you want to take a stab at it and see how far you can go. You know it is a cutthroat business but you’re willing to take your chances.

Remember that making it might take years of sacrifice and perseverance amidst rejections. But as long as you love acting and you can take all the blows because that is how willing you are to live your dream, then you must earn your keep as an actor.

You must attend workshops in order to learn more about the craft. Enrolling in classes taught by credible acting coaches will help you learn more about the craft, as well as the industry.

Acting coaches know that a surefire way in testing the acting chops of an aspiring actor is through workshops. Acting coaches provide meaty acting courses which include stage work, improvisation, voice-over, acting on-camera, movement and so much more. They make sure that their students learn the basics as well as the fundamentals of acting.

A great acting coach has tons of acting experience as well as passion and enthusiasm for teaching acting. They must be there during the intense phases as well as the simple tune-ups.

Acting coaches will work on what you already know. Show them what you’ve got and follow their suggestions and directions. Be open to what they ask you to do. It may be new or unconventional but as an actor, you have to be open-minded to any situation.

Now, here’s where the tricky part comes in. You have to get an acting coach that you will learn a lot from. You have to be very wary of hoaxes too. Take for example, in the movie Ellie Parker, Naomi Watts was disappointed after she saw her acting coach sniffing cocaine. She didn’t have to say it because her face gave it away. She felt cheated.

There are actors who’ve learned from the best. Take for example, Marilyn Monroe was trained by Lee Strasberg and Selma Hayek was taught by Stella Adler. Now Strasberg and Adler are two teachers most actors respect because of their approach in acting which they have shared with the world. Strasberg and Adler influenced actors the world over.

So invest in your craft. It’s worth it.

Why Take Acting Classes

Lee Strassberg taught Marilyn Monroe. Salma Hayek was trained by Stella Adler. Acting is a craft and it has to be learned. If you want to be the best, then you have to sign up for acting classes.

It may look fun but it has to be taken seriously. Acting means you have to take on characters. There are different approaches in doing this. There’s Meisner, Strasberg and Morris to name a few. Now if you aren’t familiar with those names and you want to be an actor, you have to grab some acting books right now and read up in order to catch up to your fellow aspirants.

Acting shouldn’t be merely regarded as a hobby. It is a profession for most aspiring actors and actresses. If you have problems speaking in public, are shy and introverted, then you may want to consider another career.

For those people who want to make it big in Hollywood, they know that acting classes must be taken under authentic acting coaches. If you’ve seen Ellie Parker, theirs is a part where she catches her acting teacher sniffing cocaine. She didn’t have to say anything; you could see in her expression that she was disappointed. Obviously, the acting class she enrolled in was a hoax.

Look at acting classes as a workshop. You must choose a schedule that is convenient for you. When you go to class, you have to be completely focused. Leave your other concerns behind and just let go. For most professional thespians, they feel rejuvenated after acting classes because it might not be on camera or onstage but the exercises they did during the session were still acting.

When searching for an acting class, do some background research on its credibility. There are classes claiming to have the likes of popular actors under their belt. Double check this information. It may just be a hoax to entice you and other aspirants to enroll.

You should also be careful of acting classes that require you to have your headshots taken by them. Clearly this is a collaboration between the owner of the acting class and the photographer to make some money at your expense.

The tricky part about acting in cities such as Los Angeles and New York is that most people know that there are tons of actors and actresses trying to make it. If the offer seems too good to be true, it might just be.

Kick Off Your Acting Career

They say it’s impossible but it was possible for Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Once upon a time, the biggest stars of today were aspirants just like you. They settled for small roles on TV or commercials that hardly showed their face just to make ends meet. But look at where them now.

If you want to kick off your acting career, you need to have the following: Motivation, Confidence and Passion. These three will serve as your driving force to handle rejection after rejection. We’re telling you right here right now, there are a lot of those in Tinsel town, and even on Broadway.

If you want to live your dream, you can start it off by:

1. Find an agent. There are tons of agencies in Los Angeles and New York. Somehow, these two cities are the focal points of entertainment. If you make this your home base, then you will have an easier time getting an agency. Although, agencies are picky. If you aren’t what they are looking for (physically and experience-wise), don’t expect to get any calls from them. Just be patient and keep on trying till you find the agency that signs you on as a talent.

2. Get started. Now that you have an agency, you will be informed of the auditions. You will have to be there and expect a competition. A casting call means there are hundreds of hopefuls trying out for a single role. You need to understand this as well as have the patience to sit through the entire casting procedure. You have to wait your turn which may take an eternity.

3. When it’s your time to shine, shine and don’t choke. Think of a time when you waited for something. Once they let you in and you are face-to-face with the casting directors (better yet, the writers, producers or directors), show them what you’ve got. Try to not impress them too much because they know when you’re showing off. Everything in moderation and most importantly, you should be in character. You are, after all, an actor.

4. Have a good supply of headshots. First impressions last in this industry. Most of the time, these first impressions come in the form of your headshots. Casting directors judge on what they see in your headshots. Have them professionally taken. They may be expensive but it is something you have to invest in if you want to turn your dream into a reality.

A Fun Acting Camp for the Summer

Summer is just around the corner. Surely you wouldn’t want to spend your time letting the hours fly by and do nothing. This lifestyle makes an artist dull. As an actor, you have to be constantly up and running, constantly learning and constantly getting experience. You can use all of these in your craft.

Therefore, we suggest that you look for an acting camp this summer. Surely, there are tons offered in your state. There are a lot of aspiring actors and actresses out there. The thing you have to be concerned with when making a sound decision is choosing the acting camp you will invest your talents in. Remember, you will be there for the whole summer.

A dreamer such as yourself can have a one-of-a-kind experience at an acting camp. If you’ve seen Lindsay Lohan in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, there were times she seemed like she was a loner because she was so different. Well at summer camp, you will be spending your days with those who share your interests as well as your dreams of making it big in Hollywood.

Choose a summer camp that will teach you about the film and television industry. Most of these camps can be found in Los Angeles because it is closer to Hollywood but there are other states that offer these nonetheless. If theaters more of your thing, choose a summer camp that focuses on onstage performances.

There are some summer camps that let their students make a real feature length film as their final production. Then there are those that celebrate the end of summer by staging a whole production for the students parents to see. These culminating nights showcase what the students have learned during those hot, yet fun summer days.

Choose a summer camp that will help kick off your acting career. Check out the core classes they offer. Examples are on-camera acting, commercial workshops, sitcom workshops and audition workshops. There’s also a special class for the business side of acting.

You see, acting isn’t just about fun. If you are aspiring to make a career out of performing then it should be taken seriously. The more you learn about the craft, the more you’ll become a better actor or actress.

So choose your camp wisely. Make sure it offers what you need, it’s close to your home and it’s within your budget.

Ready for Your Close Up? Preparing for Acting Auditions

Auditioning for a part in a television show, stage play, or movie can be a nerve-wracking experience. You need to get all your glamour shots ready, so you need to dress your best and be in good makeup and going into the audition in character. You need to get your resume in order, your documents in order, perhaps even your SAG card in order!

With the right preparation, however, your acting audition can be a walk in the park. All you need to do is follow these tips, and you might get that role you’ve been dreaming about for a long time.

- Some producers will allow you to apply beforehand for the audition, and they will give you specific lines that you should say, or scenes that you should act out. If you are working on a well-known story or play, read as much as you can on the character that you will be acting out. Ask yourself what the characters past is, and how it affects his or her present. What motivates the character? What does the character look like? All of these should help you deliver your lines better.

- If you have no lines or scenes to base your audition on, you still have to go to an audition prepared to act up a storm. Get sample scenes from the Internet, or buy a book with acting scenes that will require you to use a wide variety of emotions.

What time will the audition be? Schedule a certain time of each day to match the audition time, plus and minus an hour before. For instance, if your audition is on a Thursday afternoon at five, do your own auditions every day starting Thursday the week before, from four to six in the afternoon. Soon, auditioning and acting will feel like a simple routine.

- Some producers will require you to send them an audition tape. All the former rules apply: practice as much as you can, and perform your scenes perfectly. Dress up as the character, act as though you were already shooting your film, and get all the aspects of the audition tape down pat, from images to sound. Show how professional you are as an actor, and the producers will treat you like a professional.

- Relax! You are the character, and your nerves aren’t playing a part in the movie, show, or stage play. As long as you know your stuff, then you can be the best actor that you can be.

A Glorious Backseat: Acting as an Extra

Whenever you see the posters of old epic movies, you might notice an often-repeated phrase: featuring a cast of thousands In the good old days of movie making, producers had all the money to pay thousands of people to show up as gladiators, raucous crowds, or protesters. To act as an extra in a movie was akin to rubbing elbows with the stars, and people who acted as extras were more than happy to lend a hand in making a movie.

Today, movie studios rely heavily on special effects wizards to create artificial crowds. For instance, entire battle scenes can be filmed with only ten to a hundred people standing in as soldiers, with the rest of the people designed into the scene. Nevertheless, acting as an extra has not lost its appeal, and there are still many ways to land a role as an extra. You can walk through a scene, raise a shield for a scene, or simply be someone in the background.

If you are interested in acting as an extra and yes, getting paid for your services; here are a few tips that you might want to follow.

- Join an acting workshop. Most workshops will either be headed by people who have worked in the industry, or organized by people who regularly cast for major studios. In order to land a role as an extra, you need to have connections, so start making them.

- Look for an acting agency that specializes in landing extras. Do a lot of Internet research on this one: you can find acting agencies that regularly look for extras, and who like to keep pools of people to act as extras. Get your resume ready and have some good photos of you taken.

- Join online groups or forums that are frequented by people who work in the movie industry. In order to land a role or get a job, you need more than abilities and skills: you need to have connections, and you need to know people. Activate your social network: if you have close friends, you can ask about working as an extra. Who knows? Simple questions and friendships can sometimes make for big breaks in a career.

- Watch out for calls for extras in your local newspaper or on your favorite Internet movie site. Be especially vigilant if a movie is shooting in your town or nearby, as the producers will certainly post openings for extras. When the call for extras comes, get everything ready as though you’re already posing for your shot!

Taking on Acting as a Hobby to Enjoy

Acting can be a great hobby for you to enjoy in your spare time, and there are many places that offer classes that can help you hone your acting skills, even if you already have experience in attending and participating in acting workshops; or that can help you learn the basics of acting, if you are going into acting for the first time. Some workshops are even offered to cater to the needs of office workers and amateurs.

Why should you spend time and money to learn acting? And why should you even consider it as a great hobby aside from spending time learning how to sew, write, knit, or draw? Here are a few advantages to acting and taking it up as a hobby.

- It can help you control your emotions. Contrary to what you might have seen on reality television shows, real acting isn’t all about letting all your emotions out, running across the stage naked, or flailing your hands up and down and screaming all your thoughts to the heavens. Real acting is about knowing which emotions to use for which lines, and how to control your facial expressions so that you are conveying the right emotions.
In other words, acting is more than an art or a craft: it is discipline, and if you can learn the ropes and discipline yourself through acting, then you might also learn how to control and discipline your emotions in real life.

- Acting can help you gain focus. In order to act out a specific scene and convey emotions, actors need to be especially focused: they need to stay in character and know the character through and through. This can be an especially difficult task if there are many distractions.

The acting techniques that get actors focused can also help you get focused on many aspects of your life, including your job, school, or anything that you are working on or getting paid for.

- Acting can help you let go of tension. Many of the acting exercises that you will be learn can be enjoyable, and even make you laugh. Other exercises will help you understand why you react in certain ways to certain stimuli. As you discover more about yourself, you can control yourself better and perhaps be more at peace with yourself as well as enjoy yourself in the process.

- Attending acting workshops will help you make more friends. That means a wider network, more parties to go to, and more fun!

A New Way to Have Fun: Acting and Stage Play Activities

If you go to the theater frequently, you might suddenly find yourself thinking what it would be like to be a theater actor. You might think of it as glamorous, to be standing in the spotlight, holding a bouquet and bowing to an appreciative audience. However, you might also think, how difficult a stage actors life is: you might not always have a job, you have to practice for days with no guarantee of the plays success, and you have to perform the same play night after night.

Acting and stage play activities, however, don’t have to take you to the theater as a professional actor. In fact, engaging in acting and stage play activities can be a hobby, and it can help you make good use of your free time. Here are a few ways that you can make these activities a part of your everyday life.

- Look for books on simple acting exercises that you can carry out. Contrary to popular belief, acting exercises aren’t meant to help you lie better. Acting isn’t only an art, it is also a discipline, and it entails placing a great deal of discipline in how you express your emotions, how you change and control your facial and body muscles, and how you can find something within yourself from which to draw your emotions.

Why is this so important? If you can learn the discipline of acting, then you can learn how to recognize your emotions, and even control your anger better. The discipline of acting can help you discipline yourself.

- Contrary to popular belief, the best actors aren’t the most melodramatic or poetic. The best actors are down-to-earth people who are true to themselves and are able to separate work and family life. Look for books that chronicle the lives of such great actors. You can get great insight into how to live your life better from people who have learned to live many different lives, and yet who have never lost a sense of themselves.

- Many good actors are made, not born. However, acting schools can be expensive, so instead of formal education, go to your local community theater or arts center and attend workshops.

- Take a friend along for the ride. Look for friends who are as enthusiastic about the theater as you. You might be able to attend workshops together, read monologues and critique each other, and check each others progress. By enjoying acting with someone else, you will see that the art will make your life more enjoyable as a whole.

Getting to the Stage: Looking for Acting Agencies

Whether you are acting on stage, for television, or for the big screen, you can’t just walk into the studio and audition for a role. You will need to get a reputable acting agent who will help you get to the audition and get the role that you want. Gone are the days that open auditions were easy to get: production companies now have a pool of agents to whom they constantly go for advice on who to best get to audition for a particular role.

There are many determinants that will help you get the best acting agency to fit your needs. Whether you are going for Shakespeare, CBS, or Spielberg, here are a few tips that you might want to try out as you get that all important agent to represent you.

- Before scouting for agents, prepare your acting resume. Have you had any previous roles on stage, on screen, or in a movie? Do you have any education in acting? Have you attended acting workshops? Who organized the acting workshop, and who conducted it? The resume is highly important not only for the acting agency, but for the production company as well. It can be their only basis for assessing you before you step into the audition.

However, because different acting agencies follow different resume writing styles, put all these points in a list. You only need to get them ready so you can see the breadth and scope of your experience.

- Agencies will pick up talents who are in line with their missions, visions, and goals, so do some research on the agency before applying to it. Better yet, make a list of agencies, and go through each agency on the list so that you can narrow your list down.

There are signs that you should watch out for. Since you already have your acting experience summarized in your itemized resume, you need to see what your particular expertise is, and use this as the basis for selecting which agency you’ll apply to. Is your acting style similar to another actors? Then look for that actors agency and apply to it.

Another sign you should watch out for is the pool of talents in the agency. Does the agency support stage talents, television talents, film talents, or all kinds of talents? Make sure that you know the agency well enough before making any applications.

- Don’t go through the casting couch, and get a reputable agency. You can get a job faster with one.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Unique wedding gift ideas

Attending a wedding soon and you still don’t know what to give the couple-t be? Tired of the usually home appliances or home d├ęcor? Please, not another blender, vacuum cleaner or oven toaster. Money of course will be very much appreciated but it would deem to impersonal.
Giving gifts to the couple is part of the traditions on wedding. Your gift symbolizes your good will towards the couple. It represents your wish for them to have a happy life together.

Of course, your first consideration when buying wedding gift is durability. You would want to give a gift that would last a long time. But of course you would also want a gift that is individual and would reflect your personality. A gift that the couple will remember is from you because of its uniqueness. This means the wedding gift you should give should make a lasting impression about you.

Below are several unique gift ideas that will surely make you unforgettable with the couple.
JewelryJewelry is a very “safe” yet unique wedding gift especially for the bride. We all know that most women love jewelry and the bride would simply be happy upon seeing your gift of jewelry. The bride will be definitely be surprised and fascinated when she open your gift. Choose simple yet very elegant pieces like brooch pins, hairpins, earrings, pendants, chains, necklaces and bracelets. If you have the money and if the bride really matters to you (a sister, best friend, etc.) then of course you could give her diamonds. You could also include a\n elegant jewelry box along with your jewelry gift.

BagsAgain, this will be another hit with the bride. Next to jewelry, shoe and bags delight women You can give her a beautiful and exquisite evening bag or hand bag. If your want something smaller then give her a clutch bag. You could also put a small make up kit inside.

Gift ideas for the groomOf course you shouldn’t forget the groom. They say that it is easier to give gifts to men because and it could be true. Some ideal gifts for grooms include writ and pocket watches, ties and tiepins, gold, silver or diamond studded cufflinks. You could also give the groom formal suits and shirts. You could also consider his hobby. Give him a musical instrument like a guitar or drums if he is into music or a set of golf clubs, basketball or baseball set if he is into sports.

Naughty itemsNaughty items found in most novelty shops like naughty t-shirts, hast, caps, wedding night kits, underwear are always a hit with couples. However, be sure hat you know the bride and groom very well before considering buying such items for them. Naughty items may seem impolite and offensive to some individuals.

ArtworkPaintings and sculptures are very ideal as wedding gifts. They are also very practical since the couple can use them to beautify their future home. Just be sure that you know the preference of the couple when it comes to art or else your gift would simply lie around in the garage of attic.

Personalized itemsYou could give the couple personal items like photo albums, pillows and pillow cases, photo frames, wedding plates, etc. There are many companies specializing in personalizing different things so for sure you wouldn’t have a hard time looking.

Five Reasons to Get Married in Las Vegas

The first recorded wedding in Vegas was in 1900s when California banned gin from being part of the ceremony, young lovers who were drunk and in love were able to get hitched in Las Vegas. Their unity certificate took only hours to get stamped and outside the chapel was a city of lights for their marriage celebration. Clark Gable was said to have been the first celebrity to get married in Vegas, and from then on it became the top wedding destination for celebrities and commoners alike. Here are five reasons why you should consider getting hitched in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

1. Last Days of Singleton

Days before THE big day, arrive at Las Vegas and plan to spend the last hours of your singleton in the Sin City! Experience life and the company of friends on a night out on the strip.
Want girl-bonding time? You can do that, too! Try a day at the spa for relaxing massage and body pampering while indulging in interesting girl talk on the man you are about to marry.

2. Marry, Quick and Easy

Ready to get married? A valid ID, your social security number and $55 is all you need to get married in Vegas, oh and yes … Love! It is that easy to get hitched: no wedding planner, no in-laws, and no wedding singer. Just you and your loved one and, of course, the one to marry the two of you: Elvis, a priest or the Commissioner, it’s entirely to your liking. Just don’t forget to get a marriage license before hand for a smooth flow of the ceremonies.

3. Marry in Your Own Style

Wedding for a party of 2 or a party of 200? Vegas has the place and style for you. Most wedding chapels offer an assortment of packages, from very simple to very grandiose. Rings, flowers, witnesses, everyone and everything are readily available. And don’t worry about your guest of 200… they have a whole city to entertain themselves, so you can forget about them concentrate on your first night of marital bliss.

4. Stroll To Your Honeymoon

Some marriages break up before they start their honeymoon. A long plane ride can be a very tough test for newlyweds. But that is not a worry in a Las Vegas wedding. As soon as you step out the chapel (or the garden, or the Commissioner’s office), the honeymoon begins. Stroll along the strip and be amazed with lights and water fountains that are brighter and larger than life. Or stay at any of the luxurious hotels to make your wedding night truly memorable!

5. Settle in Las Vegas

Close to 2,000,000 Americans can’t be wrong: living in Las Vegas is a serious consideration for any couple starting their life. The city has made very good infrastructure to combat extreme weather conditions. As the Entertainment Capital, it has 24x7 availability for basic need: food!
Tired of the blinking lights? There’s more nature to see at Las Vegas: try Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead are among the few that will surely take your breath away.
Ready to raise a family? Nevada is home to some of the finest schools in the US, take Clark County’s Green Valley High school, one of the top 10 high schools in the US.
Don’t just get married in Las Vegas, start your new life. After all, once you set foot in Vegas, you’ll never want to leave ever again. Viva, Las Vegas!

Modify free wedding vows

A well-versed and well rehearsed wedding vow, especially when it comes from the heart, sends a certain chill to everyone who hears it. Vows have been a long time tradition in wedding ceremonies. The promise of a lifetime commitment to each other despite of difficulties and differences guarantee that true love really exists. Isn’t that a nice thought?

Both the groom and bride exchange wedding vows. Commonly, the vows would include a pledge of unselfishness, faithfulness, and unconditional love. If you are in the dark on what to write in your wedding vows, don’t be! You can find one of a kind wedding vow just by a click of your mouse. Surfing the internet for wedding vows proved to be a good source of ideas and tips that you can readily use on your wedding day. You may need to pay for the service on some sites, but you can scout one for free too.

Free wedding vows do away with the traditional and scripted promise one hears over and over again in common wedding ceremonies. The good thing about free wedding vows on the net, aside from the fact that they are free, they give you the freedom and flexibility to write what you want to say from your heart. You can modify the free sample vows or if you find the writing incredibly heart-warming, you can go ahead and use it without revisions.

There are different vows you can choose from. Like everything, vows can be customized according to the circumstances that you are in. There can be vows specially written for second marriage couples, couples with children, religious variations or wedding anniversaries. Using poetry as part of a vow is a common practice too. Those of Gibran, Keats and Browning are popular choices. You can browse on some internet sites that can even offer a free worksheet format and questionnaires that you need to fill out for you to easily modify your chosen wedding vow. These will serve as your guideline so that you can re-evaluate what you want to say.
Before that big day, preparing your wedding vows is very crucial. Writing your vows together is a very special activity that is highly recommended.

When writing a wedding vow together, set a specific time and place where the two of you can have some privacy. You can jot down your promises on a separate sheet of paper and agree to compare what you’ve written after an hour or so. First, write a letter professing your love for your partner. Do not hesitate to elaborate what you are feeling. Be creative and be sure to take note of your favorite and memorable times together, either good or bad. Some suggestions are the first time that you met, the moment when finally said ‘yes’ or when a trying situation happened but still your love for each others endure. Grab sweet lines from songs, books or scriptures that translate your love for your partner. After writing down your letter, get back together and read each other’s writings. Reading the letters can be truly heart-warming. Prepare to share a laugh or even occasional crying. Share your thoughts on the best part of the letter and from there start your outline for your vows.

The secret of a good wedding vow is making it a personal commitment to your other half and make sure that the message you convey are made clear and simple. Nothing beats anything that genuinely comes from the heart.

Free Wedding Speeches, helpful or dreadful?

You’re sitting in your couch watching TV on a Saturday night, minding your own business and then your Best friend calls you up, tells you he’s getting hitched and wants you to be his best man. You sweat, but can’t decline, so you end up agreeing on a toast at the wedding. After you hang up the phone, you go straight to the net and search for Free Wedding speeches.

Get the picture? Statistics have shown that more people are afraid of public speaking then they are of more common fears, and it is indeed a very fearful act, speaking in public, anything you say cannot be taken back, and if you say something bad, you’ll get foot “in” mouth disease.
But does looking for free speeches on the net really help? Most of the time you’ll find some cheap tips on how to make the perfect, speech or how to say it. Or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find one that is already made, and you’ll just have to print it. But these speeches tend to be rather, impersonal and very general, and if you’re the best man, you’ll probably just end up boring your friends and family.

When making speeches, the simpler the better, you won’t have to depend on free wedding speeches off the net if you have memories of your friends.

What you are asked to do on a wedding toast is to tell the people something about your friends, the ones getting married, how they were meant for each other and how you wish them happiness for the rest of their lives. You don’t need a factory made, winding speech, all you need is memories, and your genuine care for your loved ones.

If you’re still having the jiggly stomach about giving your speech you can follow these free wedding speech tips, they may not be ready made but they’ll surely help.
- Forget the preaching go on with the memories

Most people give winding speeches because they tend to give “unasked advice” leave that to the marriage counselor or the pastor, just give ‘em memories. Most couples appreciate the nostalgia of a few well chosen memories. Find a funny or a touching memory you have of the couple and share it with the room, plus a few well wishes and you’re done.
- go for short but effective, rather than long and winding

Many of us know that a long speech is very boring; you don’t want to dull the night with your talks of your childhood, and your games, with your friend. A biography is for a book, one or two memories are for a wedding.

- Write a Poem

You may say that poems are for sissies but that depends on every person point of view. But a Wedding Is a very emotional moment and it’s sure that everyone is in the mood for a little emotion and tears and what more to provoke those dams to flow than a few well said lines in the form of a poem?

- Don’t forget to introduce yourself

A simple “Jade has been my friend since high school and I’ve never seen her gaga over any guy other than Andrew” Make a basis for what you’re saying, especially if you’re talking about moments in the newlywed’s life. If it was a trial, you’re the witness, and you’ll need credibility. Just imagine would people “feel” your speech if they’re don’t know who the heck you are?

Tips in selecting discount wedding invitations

Choosing a wedding invitation is very important because it will give your guests a first impression or glimpse of what your actual wedding will be like. A wedding invitation must, first and foremost, reflect your wedding theme and motif. Wedding invitations also often serves the purpose of being delightful keepsakes.

However, the right wedding invitation need not cost an arm and a leg. It is not wise to spend a fortune that can be used somewhere else. The range of kinds and styles of discount wedding invitation is vast. Choosing a particular one can be very confusing. There are discount wedding invitations and if you follow the guidelines below you will definitely never go wrong in choosing one. The key is to be prudent and not letting yourself get carried away. You can even save more money if you follow these guidelines.

Choose wedding invitation style well. As mentioned earlier, your primary consideration in choosing a wedding invitation style is the theme and motif of your wedding. Is your wedding grad or simple? Will your wedding be light or formal? Other than that, it all depends on personal taste and budget. But whatever your taste or budget range is, you will definitely be able to find a good wedding invitation. If you want, you can even buy some cards and design your own invitation by buying a printing kit which is offered by some wedding service providers.

Determine the kind of wedding you’ll have. Your type of wedding invitation will largely depend on whether you will have a traditional or modern wedding. Traditional weddings would require a more formal invitation. On the other hand, a modern wedding will call for a more modern kind of wedding invitation. Traditional wedding invitations would only contain texts. It wouldn’t contain any graphics. Traditional wedding invitations are usually upright and folded with the words engraved on the right side. Cards used in traditional wedding invitations are usually white or cream and the letterings are in silver and black. If you are having a themes wedding then choose a wedding invitation that is appropriate for your chosen theme. For example, you can have a sixteenth century scrolled parchment wedding invitation if the theme of your wedding is Tudor.

Choosing a supplier. Wedding invitations can be obtained by mail order, printer, stationers and stationery designers or you can buy online. Choose a supplier hat provides value added services and features so you will get real value for your money. Some suppliers will help you right the wording in your wedding invitation. Some will even help you with wedding etiquette rules and would help you if you are confused about all the etiquette rules involved in sending out wedding invitations. It would also be nice if the supplier has trained and experienced wedding etiquette and social correctness experts. Choose a supplier that offers personalized service so you can be sure that you are not getting run of the mill wedding invitation.

A good discount wedding invitation supplier will also respond to your inquiries and requests promptly either through email or by phone. But your privacy must always be requested so make sure that any personal information you provide to them is used for the sole purpose of processing your order. Your order must be transmitted across a secure server, so your billing information is kept private.

American Wedding Practices

Living in the US makes one feel free - free to do anything, free to live, free to love, free from traditions. While this is true, there are still many practices done during wedding that renders this memorable event with a distinct American touch. Here are some:

Starting from the engagement, Americans can think of unique ways to personalize their wedding. As there really isn't any engagement tradition, the more unique the marriage proposal is done, the better.

For most wedding preparations, the engaged couple visits their parents to inform them of their recent engagement.

At times, the engaged couple hosts an engagement party. The engagement party costs less than a wedding reception since most of the time, the menu will only include cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Therefore, if the couple is on a tight budget, they can just invite more guests to the engagement party if they plan to limit the number of guests during the wedding.
Most wedding preparations have a bridal shower given by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. The groom may also have a bachelor party the night before the wedding but he has to be careful not to drink too much.

Wedding invitations should include response cards to quickly inform the couple whether the person has accepted or declined the invitation. The wedding invitations should also be sent within four to six weeks before the event.

Usually, there is a rehearsal dinner in which the wedding party and guests came from far places to be present at the wedding attend. It was practiced that the groom's parents pay for this dinner.

A bridal luncheon may be hosted for the bride's attendants during the wedding day. However, time constraints may not permit this to be part of the schedule for the wedding day. Likewise, the groom may also host a groom's dinner for his groomsmen.

Interestingly, even if the couple is not very religious, they still prefer a religious ceremony. However, this may pose a problem since in America people of different faiths and religious backgrounds get married.

Even if there are few people who believe in bad luck, some couples still make sure that the groom does not see his bride until she starts waking on the aisle.

It is still practiced that the groom and his groomsmen enter the church through a side door. The bride will then walk down the aisle with her father. In some cases when both her father and stepfather brought up the bride, she may ask them both to escort her.

During a formal reception, there is usually a bridal table where the couple and the attendants sit. Also, food and drinks should be served as the guests appear at the reception.

Before, gift giving used to depend on what the guest will feel useful for the couple. Now, it is better to register for gifts so the guests will know what to bring that the couple will need.
Upon receiving an engagement or wedding gift, it is better to send a thank you note apart from saying "thank you" to the giver. This should be sent within two weeks upon receipt of the gift. Make a personalized thank you note, instead of using an impersonal generic thank you note.
These are just some American practices during weddings. Whether one chooses to this or prefers to have a very different wedding, what's more important is that American's still believe in the wedding vow, "For better or worse, 'til death do us part."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Planning Your Memorable Wedding


You have finally said, "Yes." This is the start of your life as a couple. And prior to that much-awaited big day, you, both the bride and groom have so many decisions to make and wedding-related tasks to complete.


Preparing for your wedding day need not be stressful. On the other had, it should be fun and memorable. And to do this, start off by putting together a wedding timetable.
A short list of wedding-related tasks as well as a rough estimate of when the activities should be done follows. It presents tips and guidelines to keep you organized and help you think of all the matters that you must take into consideration in the course of planning for your big day. Of course, these are mere suggestions. All activities and schedule are still up to the couple to decide on depending on their priorities.


At the Time of the Engagement- You must tell your parents the happy news as soon as possible that is if they don't already know. If you were having an engagement party, it would be good to keep your close friends and relatives in the know, too.
- An organizer would be best to have in handy. This will help you keep track of all the appointments, payments and other wedding-related activities that you must attend to.- Have your engagement photo taken. This would be nice to have as a keepsake of this wonderful occasion.
6 to 12 Months In Advance Before the Big Day


- The couple should have already picked and decided on the wedding date. Do the reservation for the venue where the ceremony and reception is to be held.- Set an appointment with the wedding officiant.- Establish a budget for the wedding, and try as much as possible to stick to it.- Prepare a wedding guest list. You wouldn't want to leave somebody uninvited


unintentionally.
- Look around for a photographer, florists, musicians, and a caterer. Obtain estimates for these services.
- Register at the bridal gift registry.- Pick a wedding dress and accessories to go with it. If you are having a seamstress make you one, this is the time to have it arranged. Several fittings may be required for this.- For the bride, select your bridesmaids. Set a date for ordering dresses for them.


4 to 6 Months In Advance Before the Big Day- Have the invitations, stationeries, and thank you notes ordered.- The photographer, florist, musician, and caterer should have already been chosen. Go over details with each of these services to make sure that everything is as agreed upon.- For the groom, select attire.- Honeymoon reservations should be made already at this point.- Confirm the delivery of the bridal gown.


2 Months In Advance Before the Big Day- Plan your rehearsal dinner.- If you are having out-of-town attendants, arrange for their lodging.- Make an appointment with your chosen photographer for the shooting of the bridal portrait.
- Order the wedding cake.


1 Month In Advance Before the Big Day- The couple should decide on a wedding band set.- Mail the invitations.- Check the apparel for the wedding party.- The couple attends showers.


2 Weeks Before the Wedding.- It is time to apply for marriage license and attend to other legal matters, especially for the bride - name and address changes on bank accounts and other official documents.- Plan a wedding hairstyle and make-up with your stylist.- Check with the caterer and the reception venue for last minute changes.


1 Week Before the Wedding- Do your honeymoon packing.- Wrap gifts for the groom and attendants.- Schedule the wedding rehearsal.- Remind the wedding party of the exact time and place for the occasion.


On Wedding Day- Take breakfast! Fainting on the aisle wouldn't be cool.- Have your hair and make-up done.- Shake off all your wedding details worries and enjoy your day.