"You have to be prepared for when the luck comes your way."
- Ted Welch, Actor
Ted Welch got a lucky break when he scored a part in The Help. This is something he openly admits because he truly believes that's the way the film industry works: that everyone who makes it, gets a lucky break somewhere along the way. He also believes that luck is only one part of the equation. As he says, "You have to be prepared for when the luck comes your way."
As a filmmaker, preparation comes in many different forms. Let's take a moment to expand on a few that Ted shared with us:
Get in a Class
Continuous learning is a cornerstone of preparation and there is an abundance of training opportunities out there. Classroom training is based on structure and guided learning that can help you focus on key best practices through education, repetition, and personalized instructional feedback. No matter your role on set or behind the scenes, it's important to keep up your formal education. After all, if you're not getting better, you're falling behind.
Work the Muscle
Classroom training can provide opportunities for practical application in a controlled setting, but filmmaking (especially indie filmmaking) isn't always so neat and tidy. Preparation comes with real world application, so get out there and make something. As Ted recommends, scrape a few dollars together, call some good friends, and spend a weekend creating. The act of creating gives you opportunities to succeed and to fail; either way, it gives you opportunities to learn. Just like going to the gym, the best way to work the muscle is to put it under stress, with measured repetition, using the guidance you receive from your trainer. Get in the reps and the growth is sure to come.
Prep for Auditions
Many actors refer to their "lucky break" as being cast for a specific part at some point in their careers. So, as an actor, "luck" can simply come in the form of being prepared for that one specific audition. But, since you don't know which audition that could be, you have to be prepared for all of them. One key thing to consider when preparing for an audition is that you are not there to impress anyone; instead, you are there to be the character. If you focus on being the character, the desire to impress and the fear of failure begins to fade away. This will allow you to focus your energy on your preparation. To "be" the character means understanding the character and embodying who they are in the context of the script. To do this, you need to 1) read the script (not just your lines); 2) understand your character's relationship to others in the story; and 3) look the part. If you come prepared as the character, and not simply an actor playing a part, luck just may find you.
We're always grateful for the insights from our filmmaking friends and the advice from Ted Welch is no exception. In addition to just being an all around great guy, Ted was the co-writer and leading man in our film Adult Interference which now available on Amazon Prime and many other streaming services. Ted truly embodies the character of Bo Treadwell in his ode to 90s culture and the buddy comedies of the day. We highly recommend that you give it a watch as we're sure you won't be disappointed.
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.