The 5 Actors People Say I Resemble

Who do you resemble? Who do you remind people of? If you’ve taken any of the myriad of marketing workshops for actors, you’ve inevitably tried to answer the previous questions. The goal is to narrow down who you resemble in a snapshot so you can communicate it to agents, managers and, ultimately, casting directors, producers and directors, to give them an idea of your character type and a hint of your personality. Small businesses do this all the time using already established brands – the Tiffany of candies, the AirBNB for dogs, the Uber for X. Here are the five actors people say I resemble/remind them of:

5. Justin Timberlake

Columbia Pictures With The Cinema Society Host A special Screening Of "The Social Network" celeb arrivals in NYC. Pictured: Justin Timberlake and Ref: SPL214762 290910 Picture by: Richie Buxo / Splash News Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 870-934-2666 photodesk@splashnews.com

I was crossing Chicago’s Michigan Ave. to grab a bite for lunch back in 2002 or 2003 when a middle aged gentleman stopped me in the crosswalk and said, “You look just like Justin Timberlake.” I was flattered. A compliment for sure. I’ve always been a fan of JT’s music, even when he was with NSYNC. In fact, I used to take hip hop classes at the Lou Conte Dance Studio and I still recall a routine to JT’s, “Like I Love You.” As an actor, I really enjoyed his performance in Black Snake Moan.

4. Andy Buckley

david_wallace_the_office

Casting Director Chris Game said I reminded him of Andy Buckley, who played David Wallace in the US version of The Office. If I had to guess, it’s because I often play the straight man in an absurdist world. Incidentally, having worked in corporate America for more than a decade, the clip below of The Interview rings oh so true.

3. Richard Kind

harvey_corman

One of the takeaways from the Lesly Kahn Comedy Intensive is a logline to help casting directors understand the type of character you typically play. Mine is a young Jack Lemmon meets Richard Kind as Chandler. I loved Richard’s guest spots on Scrubs. I have a slight resemblance to Richard, but after watching some video, I think my vocal tone and mannerisms are what cause people to see the resemblance. Interestingly enough, my father and Richard’s father were both in the jewelry business.

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2. Matthew Perry

PARK CITY , UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Matthew Perry from the film "Birds of America" poses for a portrait at the Miners Club during the 2008 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2008 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

When I was in college, my cross country friends told me I needed to watch “Friends” because “You’re Chandler!” During my summer job at the Osco Distribution Center in Elk Grove Village, Pete, a long time veteran who spent most of his day trying to complete the New York Times crossword, said, “I’m going to call you Chandler.” I was at the Network + Interop tradeshow in Atlanta working my client’s booth as a publicist and, after the second day, a gentleman from two booths over came over and said, “I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this, but you remind me of Chandler.” I’ve reminded people of Chandler Bing For a long time. Early on, it was because of my sarcasm, dry sense of humor and, dare I say it, a bit of anger. I’ve always appreciated the resemblance. If Matthew Perry ever needs a younger brother to fill a role, I’m jumping at the opportunity.

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1. Jack Lemmon

jack-lemmon

Special thanks to Rob Adler and the studio for coming to the conclusion I resemble Jack Lemmon. As a kid, I remember watching Some Like it Hot and absolutely loving it. The last scene, in particular, is Lemmon gold. I love watching his facial expressions as he moves from one tactic to the next to explain why they can’t get married. I love him in Grumpy Old Men. His comedic timing is delicious and, again, his facial expressions speak volumes. In Glengarry Glen Ross, his character is so dynamic – sad, desperate, angry, hopeless. It’s a beautiful performance.

If you watch Alec Baldwin’s second Inside the Actor’s Studio interview (8:22 mark), he talks about working with Lemmon and describing him as “the great reactor.” He said Lemmon would let you affect him. Walter Mathau, in AFI’s Jack Lemmon salute, said, “He allows us to see the tragedy and the comedy of the world through the eyes of someone we know, someone, he hints we may even be, because, in the words of the poet and philosopher Billy Wilder, ‘Most actors can show you one of two things and theye’ve emptied their shelves. Jack Lemmon is Macy’s, and Tiffany’s, and Sears Roebuck, catalogue and all.'”

My name is Rob Lynch. I’m a young Jack Lemmon meets Richard Kind as Chandler.

 

 

 

 

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Auditions: Be so good they can’t ignore you

Auditions: Be so good they can’t ignore you

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Steve Martin

I recently had an opportunity to operate a camera for a television show audition. It was an eye opening experience to work on the other side of the lens. Highly recommend if you get the opportunity. Things I learned:

Show up on time. If you’re late for an audition, the casting director is already skeptical you’ll show up to set on time. Traffic is not an excuse. And don’t show up late, then ask for two minutes to review your lines and then shuffle papers while trying to find the correct scene in the room.

Listen and respond. Casting director Chris Game says the best audition scenes are the ones where you’re listening. Rob Adler often says reacting in the scene gives the editor so much to play with in post. I saw a lot of actors waiting to deliver their next line instead of being in the scene.

Move if it’s motivated. Standing up and sitting down can derail the scene, especially if the movement is for the sake of moving vs. moving with intention. I also saw shifting and twisting, which can show up as nerves instead of motivated action.

Don’t call cut on yourself. In Rob Adler‘s on camera scene study class, he often says to keep acting through “cut.” Some of the best moments happen at the end of scenes. I didn’t cut right at the end of the last line of the scene. I gave it a second to breathe. I could see when actors were still in the scene and those that were already out.

Elevate the writing. Some scripts suck. You have an opportunity to shine if you can elevate the writing.

Consistency of character. The audition involved three short scenes. The first two were related. The third scene was a time jump. In some of the auditions, I saw the same character in the first two scenes and a completely different character in the third scene. Show a fully formed character using different motivations in each scene.

Do the work. Be so good they can’t ignore you. Some actors weren’t off book and it prevented them from being present in the scene. Two thoughts. First, many of us just want an opportunity to audition, and when we get it, we have the opportunity to blow the room away. So do it. Blow the room away. Know your lines. Be present. Listen and respond. Live moment to moment. Second, casting directors really do want you to succeed. Provide a solution to their problem. Most casting directors want to avoid adding another casting day because they haven’t found the right person. It’s a time suck and stressor for them.

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

1 Year in LA: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

1 Year in LA: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.”

-Dorothy

A year ago, I packed the last few items in my 2003 ruby red Corolla, said goodbye to my mom and Michael and hit the yellow lined highway to LA.

I made a “strategic” decision to drive through Kansas vs. Nebraska because I thought driving through Nebraska would be boring. Can’t speak for driving through Nebraska, but driving through Kansas was…boring. And the last place I had a freshly brewed cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. I need to get out to Santa Monica.

While zipping across highway 70, I saw a sign for the Oz Museum. I decided to take the 15 mile detour to check it out.

Oz Museum

The Wizard of Oz terrified me as a kid. The flying monkeys tearing apart the Scarecrow. The marching guards. And the Wicked Witch, “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too.” As an adult, I have a deeper appreciation.

They’re touching on the key lesson of childhood, which is that someday the child will not be a child, that home will no longer exist, that adults will be no help because now the child is an adult and must face the challenges of life alone. But that you can ask friends to help you. And that even the Wizard of Oz is only human, and has problems of his own.

-Roger Ebert

Leaving Chicago wasn’t easy. I grew up there. The only other place I called home was Dubuque, IA, for college and Mt. Rainier, Md., as an 11-year old. Pursuing an acting career after spending years in corporate America wasn’t easy either. The salary, 401k and benefits sure were nice. But sometimes there’s something calling you so hard, you have to listen.

Tin Man

Here’s what I learned in my first year:

Everyone’s road to Oz is different. I spent the first year focused on breaking into commercials because I figured it was the path of least resistance. I know others that have gone the movie/tv route or wrote their own show.

Separately, I look forward to uncorking this $28 bottle of wine from the Oz Winery after my first national commercial.

Oz Wine

Focus less on Oz and more on the yellow brick road. Set goals. Aim high. And remember the only thing you can really control is your performance, so focus on constantly improving and giving your best performance every time and the rest will take care of itself.

Your timeline to Oz and the universe’s timeline may differ. It’s going to take time. Even if you write, shoot and sell your own show, it’s going to take time. See above.

You can’t make it on your own.¬†Special thanks to my Scarecrow, Rob Adler, for helping me get out of my head and focusing my brain, for my Tin Man, Chris Game, for giving my commercials life (and heart), for my Lion, Killian McHugh, for giving me the courage, and for my Toto, Calliope Porter, who helped me get through an early meltdown when I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information regarding agents and casting directors.

Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Follow your yellow brick road. And fly where the bluebirds fly.

 Oz Balloon

 

 

 

Chris Game’s 12 Week Scene Study Class

Chris Game’s 12 Week Scene Study Class

After completing Chris Game’s six week commercial class, I took his 12 week scene study class. It builds on the commercial class and let’s you dig in a bit deeper. Chris lays out an entire toolbox of things actors can use to accelerate getting into character and making an impact on camera, even in the freeze frame thumbnail casting directors scroll through while selecting potential callbacks.

We started with commercial script that provided the opportunity to play and improvise. We concluded with a scene from HBO’s show, “The Newsroom.” It’s written by Aaron Sorkin, so the writing is tight, the pace is quick and the characters are strong. We did a straight to camera like an audition, a more theatrical take and we ended with a walk and talk complete with additional stimuli designed to test one’s focus.

Fun class. Highly recommend.

For more on Chris and his approach, check out this video:

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