Actor Spotlight: Camille L on Acting with Confidence & Joy

September 24, 2013

Camille is an agent’s dream actor. She is almost always available to audition, and she’s perfected the art of booking. In this Q & A, Camille discusses how she captivates directors and lands roles.

AT:  Camille, you get a callback every time you audition. Please tell us what makes you so successful during a casting session?

CL:  I attribute successful auditions to a variety of strategies. The basics always hold true. Arriving early so I can get grounded is important, as well as being positive and flexible. Knowing I’m well prepared helps my confidence. It pays off to invest in myself. Everything I bring to an audition, from headshots to my camera-ready appearance, is the best it could possibly be. I feel successful when I leave an audition say, “That was fun! I feel good about it.” Then, I let it go. A successful audition means that I showed the best of who I am and what I can do, and even if I don’t book, hopefully I’ll be remembered for the next opportunity.

AT:  You signed with Agence many years ago and prove my point that actors who stick with one agent are often the best bookers. Do you have any thoughts on the agent/talent relationship?

CL:  It is true – giving the agent/talent relationship time to develop is the way to go. If an actor commits to doing her best to be professional and available, and continually improves her skills, she’s doing her part. If she feels that her agent is doing her part, too – taking initiative and sending her out as much as possible, then a mutual respect develops. I feel good about my place at Agence Talent because I feel like my agent knows and understands me:  I feel valued. Also, I keep in mind how much work my agent puts into getting me opportunities and I have lots of gratitude.

AT:  Availability is so crucial in this industry and you always make time for auditions even though you work full-time. What advice can you give other actors on creating a schedule that works for you, your agent, and your employer?

CL:  This was a challenge for me for many years. I wanted to be available for all auditions, and when I wasn’t, I felt like I was missing out and it was stressful. Ultimately, I had to get clear on what my priorities were for the long term, and get creative about implementing a new daily routine that could accommodate them. Last year, I stepped away from a full-time position and created my own children’s performing arts group. I recommend giving yourself permission to “think outside the box” when considering how to create the most joyous life experience possible.

AT:  How do you keep your acting skills honed between gigs?

CL:  Three things:  I act in plays and musicals. I get coaching and attend workshops. I coach children and teens in acting.

AT:  We’ve all seen changes to the local industry in the past few years. Does anything stand out to you as different from the past and how have you adjusted?

CL:  I feel like I’m getting more work. It seems like there are many more opportunities here in Austin. Also, I see more people driving here from San Antonio and Dallas. There are busy times and there are slow times just like it has always been. One thing that helps the slower times pass quickly is to stay inspired. Whatever juices you, I’d say keep it going! Martial arts, dance, theater are great for me. Keeping up the joy factor in life serves me well. Then, when auditions pick back up, I am happy, healthy, and ready to rock!

AT:  Your demographic has a lot of local competition. What do you think sets you apart from the rest?

CL:  I have been steadily working on my acting and auditioning skills for more than ten years. I am finally at a place where I feel confident and more relaxed when I audition. I still work at it all the time, but I feel focused and natural. Also, here’s a trick I learned that helps keep my bright and bubbly energy up while my performance is smaller and sincere for the camera:  I picture my mom on the other side of the camera and it makes me smile naturally. I deliver most of my lines to her, so I love the person I’m talking to.

AT:  Describe one of your favorite bookings since you started acting and why?

CL:  I really enjoyed the Drive Clean Across Texas “Baby Shower” spot.

I had a blast laughing and shrieking as I opened gifts during the audition, and everyone in the room was laughing with me. Later, when we shot the commercial, I found that the cast and crew were awesome. I felt like the director valued my work and my time. It was all really fulfilling.

AT:  What path would you like your acting career to take into the future?

CL:  I’d like to enjoy more and more success with commercial acting, as well as landing some supporting roles in television and feature films. Ideally, I would stay in Austin, as I love my hometown.

AT:  If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

CL:  Instant peace of mind – anytime, all the time! I tend to worry about things beyond my control, but when I stay relaxed, I know I can access my best self with more ease.

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