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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Lesly Kahn Intensive

Lesly Kahn Intensive

I just completed Lesly Kahn’s December Intensive and it was…intense-ive.

For those of you that don’t know Lesly’s method, it’s “a simplified…way of breaking your scene down by focusing mostly on identifying subtext or what Lesly calls ‘thoughts’ behind what you’re saying based on what is going on in the scene, the relationship, and what is said before your lines (or if you have the first line creating a thought behind it).” Thanks Truthteller59 for the recap.

Here’s the catch with the method – you can respond with your subtext, which might be 100 percent honest and true, but it may not be what the script is actually asking the character to communicate. Unless you do the script analysis and specifically understand what the script requires you to do, you’re going to be off base.

That was the big takeaway for me. Sitcoms are extremely technical. You have to know where the script is leading you because 99 percent of the work is setting up the joke so you can surprise the audience. The other big takeaway was you have to raise the stakes. Big time stakes. Everything is important.

The best sitcoms feature actors that execute technically and the actors are organic – they listen and respond like human beings. That’s why Cheers, Scrubs, Seinfeld, Arrested Development, etc. were so good. It’s extremely well written AND the characters are operating moment to moment.

Some other key learnings:

  • You have to know the words verbatim.
  • You have to hit your cues.
  • You have to get rid of the air (more often than not).
  • You have to get ahead of the audience. As soon as they’re ahead of you, game over.
  • Improv and sitcom comedy use the same tools (duh) – threes, breaking patterns, reversals, etc.
  • Honor the punctuation. Like Shakespeare, the writers included commas, question marks, dashes, etc. for a reason. Follow the map.

If you’re end goal is to appear on sitcoms, I’d recommend Lesly’s Intensive. I learned a ton in a short amount of time.