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BE BACK SOON

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Took a little blog breather…but i will definitely be back soon. Follow me on twitter for your @dajuanjohnson fix!

 

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!

Who are these acting teachers/coaches telling students: “hold your sides in your audition so that the casting director or director don’t think it’s your final performance.” Are you F-ing kidding me? #1. You should be off book. Hold your sides because you may need them. You may go up on a line 5H5A0491because something throws you. You get nervous. Whatever. You have your sides there JIC. #2. You may not get a second chance to show said Casting Director or Director your “best take” – so make the  first one  YOUR FREAKING BEST. These people don’t have time to read you several times until you GET IT. Unless, you’re an A+ actor and then well…that’s a different story. But, otherwise stop letting these folks tell you don’t show people your best work. I truly feel like that’s an antiquated piece of information. They know you can take adjustments. You’re an actor for heavens sake. REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE are two different things! #thinkbigger

@dajuanjohnson

2014 – The New Year

Excited about a new year in the business. Sometimes I just sit back and think of how fortunate I am to still be pursing this dream of mine. Am I where I want to be yet? No.  But, I do still have mad faith that it’s going to happen. I5H5A0318 missed blogging over the past year. I had to take some time off to take care of some personal life issues. Many of you that know me personally know what’s up. Don’t worry – it’s all GOOD stuff. Here’s to a successfully 2014. Where dreams do come true.

How Hard Are You Working?

I was recently given this article to read about how hard we think we’re working in our lives. I found it to be a VERY interesting read and it Smilepicmade me think a lot, of course, of my life and pursuit of this dream I have. ( I would relate it to acting, huh?) If you know me or at the minimum have read my blogs — you know I work pretty darn hard. Well, at least I thought I did. I feel like every day of the week I’m “grinding.” Heck, it’s sometimes extremely hard to nail me down for a friendly drink or movie with friends. My friend Beth always jokes that I’m one of the hardest working guys in Hollywood. A title that I use to wear proudly. But, am I working as hard as I could? Or is it a lot of busy work that makes it look like I am?  This article made me take a BIG step back and ask some serious questions. Some honest questions. What more can I be REALLY doing to get ahead in my career? What changes do I need to make to make this all a reality? Just a few of the questions I’ve started asking myself.

You know what? Give the article a read and let me know what you think? The World Class Operates From Objective Reality

I should add that when the article speaks on middle class and world class, etc — he is NOT referring to money directly. More of a state of being or mindset.

Final working thought…I think I could be working A LOT harder.

Food For Thought

Got the chance to hear a well known actor speak at a workshop this past week. It’s always great to hear about the journey other actors have had and how they made it through the Hollywood madness. I find it especially interesting when the actor that’s made it has NO real ties to this town. Like their father is Tom Hanks or Mom is a big agent at a top agency — nope just made it on a dream and a prayer. He shared a lot of great stores with us, but two things really stuck out to me.

The First: Know your lines. Hit your mark. And don’t “F” it up. Why does knowing your lines KEEP coming up? Are there really still acting teachers out there telling their students, “you don’t need to know your lines. They’re just a suggestion.” I seriously hope not. The business is too hard right now for anyone to shoot themselves in the foot like that. And sometimes a lot of the direction we get on set, if any, is technical; Go stand over there and then exit.

Big ChairSo, yes, while it’s our job to HIT OUR MARKS — it’s also our job to keep it organic. Or as they use to say in the old days, “what’s your motivation?”  I thought Don’t “F” it up was a great way to sum it all up. You know as actors sometimes we get in our own way. We WAAAY over think every little thing and sometimes you just have to jump. You’ve done the homework, you know your lines, now it’s time to just have fun…and don’t F it up.

The second thing he said was, It’s not a romantic business we’re in. And to remember that NO ONE is going to push harder for your career than YOU. Funny to think about really. I mean we surround ourselves with what we think will be the perfect agent who has all the connections. The perfect manager or lawyer or publicist — whoever — and yet, when it comes down to it we have to be our biggest champion. Something to always remember.

 

 

Cinema. My Pick Of The Year

This week I’m simply giving a shout out to my favorite movie of the holiday season. PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. I truly loved this film and feel like it got robbed a little during awards season. When this movie was over I sat back and thought to myself…THIS is the reason I’m in the entertainment industry. So, that I can make movies that touch people just like this one did. And not just with the great story, but the awesome acting as well. If you missed this while it was in the theaters — please rent it on DVD. It’s a must see in my book. Smilepic

Now, I didn’t want to leave SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK out. This one was a close second for me. At the start of the movie I thought, “really? Bradley Cooper from Hangover??? Ok, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.” Well, I was wrong. Bradly freaking Cooper was a bad mofo in this film. He was fantastic. Couldn’t take my eyes off the fantastic subtle things he kept doing. And Jennifer Lawerence — wow!

The geek in me would be remiss if I forgot to include the AVENGERS. I thought this was just about as good as it gets for superhero movies. Great dialogue. Didn’t take itself too serious, but still kicked butt. I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. Truly looking forward starring in the next one…I have big dreams. #thinkbigger

Well, that’s it for me. Oh…didn’t really get Life of Pi. I mean…I GOT IT. I just didn’t understand why that movie had to be made.  It was visually amazing. And I think Ang Lee did a great job. Acting was fantastic…but…I guess every movie can’t be for me. I kept thinking didn’t Tom Hanks do this same movie on an island with a ball? Guess I’m not that deep.

What were your favorite movies of the year? Did I forget anything?

 

 

2012 In Check and READY For 2013

Welcome 2013, so nice to see you! I’m happy to be back at my computer and putting some thoughts down. My time off was WAY too long. But, a new year for me usually brings the promise of renewed hope. New Goals. Amazing new opportunities. A reboot. Guess you can call it “DaJuan 2013.” (should I copyright, that!) All that said, I think it’s a great idea to take stock at how far you’ve come and where you want to go this next year. I’ve found that if you have no idea where you’re going — you don’t get very far. Same goes for not knowing where you’ve come from. Below are two tips I use to make sure I don’t think the previous year was a bust. And hey, if you’re reading this, you’re already winning because you’re alive and have a chance to make new moves!

If you are one of the ones thinking that 2012 was a bust because you didn’t get everything you wanted done or you didn’t complete/accomplish this IMG_4920goal or that goal — read on. I actually use to beat myself up over a lot of things goal related, (truthfully, still do a little) but, I learned two things:

ONE. I’m much farther along then I think I am. Which translates to, ” YOU are much farther along then you think YOU are.” I bet that if you look back to January 2012 you’ll see you are in a much different place than January 2013. Sure you may not be on the tv show you want to be on yet or you did not sign with that new agent you wanted to land — but, it’s COMING. You have to believe that. Take a few moments and think, “where was I 2012?” You can go back even further if you like. Where was I when I first moved to Los Angeles? And track forward.

TWO. “REMEMBER THE WINS.” Sometimes we just forget how awesome we are doing and need to be reminded. It helps to keep a list of your accomplishments somewhere visible. Yup, write them down. Call it your 2012 WIN LIST if you like. It could be something as simple as a callback that went amazing, finally getting in front of that new casting director and blowing it out of the water or booking your third national commercial. Anything goes here and hey, it’s your list nobody else has to see it. By doing this you will have a tangible visual to help remind you how far you’ve really come. I’ve said this before, sometimes in our business there aren’t a lot of tangible things to show our accomplishments. This helps calm my anxiety and I can say, oh yeah, I forgot — THAT HAPPEN.

And finally it also helps to remember that although you don’t see it sometimes you have just laid brilliant seeds for things to come. Which may not look like much, but down the road when everything comes together so wonderfully it will all make sense.

Happy New Year! #thinkbigger

 

 

TGIF

“Hard work beats talent when talent forgets to work hard.”

Do Just One Thing

Feeling a little uninspired lately? Totally normal. I got asked the question yesterday, “how do you stay motivated in your career?” (I added the career part because it was all part of a bigger conversation.) The truthful answer is you don’t. Stay motivated ALL the time. It’s extremely easy to stay motivated when you’ve got a lot going on. When this is premiering or that is airing — that’s easy! But, when you’re going through the “down time,” that’s another story. Sometimes you need a little mental and/or physical break. I’ve found that motivation and inspiration come and go. My trick is that I simply understand that this is a 60 year career – not just a 6 year one. I’m in it for the long haul. And although those moments when I am unmotivated seem like lifetimes when I’m in them — I do understand when I get to where I want to be in the future — this will all just be a bleep on the radar screen. An honestly, when you sign on to be an actor, it’s not just for the good times unfortunately. You also sign on for the lows as well.

All that being said, I do believe in the old advice that you should be doing something FOCUSED for your career everyday. You can’t just sit back and wait for inspiration or motivation to come find you — it won’t happen like that. So, even if your one something a day is, “today I’m going to check out so that I am come back refreshed,” that’s ok! But, then make a promise to yourself to get back on that horse. Even if you are going to go to a movie or watch tv as your one something — boom! that’s cool too. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration and motivation there to write your next pilot. Who knows? JUST DO SOMETHING. I’ve had the awesome pleasure to have been around many successful people in the entertainment industry. The one common thread I see is that they always have something going on. Whether it’s a personal project, a shared project, a play, a reading — whatever. They’re always moving. DO SOMETHING.

And for goodness sakes, know and understand that you are not out here alone. When you’re really unmotivated…go have a drink with some friends.

 

There’s something powerful about saying I’M AN ACTOR. You have to take all the hills & valley’s that come with it. Not just when your winning.

This Week On…BONES

Fall is finally here. Which means I can no longer use the excuse, “It’s Summer, I’m relaxing.” Ah, well, it was fun while it lasted. To kick off the new fall season I’m going to be Guest Starring on an episode of BONES. I’ll be playing DREW FRANKLIN. (Yup, I “borrowed” my name tag from the shoot) Spoiler Alert, I’m only in the first part of the episode. BOOOO. I only got the chance to work with a few of the cool cast members, but they were pretty awesome. If nothing gets cut, I think this scene will show how sometimes actors have to chew gum and walk…metaphorically speaking that is.

It’s a walk and talk scene. In the audition room, there’s NO WAY to do a true walk and talk of course. But, you still have to get the feel of it. I’ll tell you this, there’s absolutely NO WAY an actor can show up on set and NOT know their lines and do this well. To much to think about — memorizing your lines on set should not be one of them.

At any rate, please tune in and let me know what you think. I’ll be looking out for your comments. And here’s to a GREAT Fall Season.

Hit me up: dajuanjohnsontv@gmail.com