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How a Singer Can Get into A Hollywood Movie

Beth Trollan took her chances and decided to show up.

Vocal coach and songwriter Beth Trollan heard about an audition for a movie through a friend, took her chances and decided to show up.

Now she’s got a supporting role in Grand Piano starring John Cusack and Elijah Wood.

We asked her to share the secret of her success…

1. Shake it Off and Show Up.
“Half the job is showing up” – a great piece of advice from my songwriting mentor Bob Cuttarella, a Grammy Award winning Music Producer. I’d heard about the auditions for the movie from a friend. I fit the profile so I went to the audition. At that point, I had experience acting, but admittedly it was intimidating waiting with all of the more experienced actors. Shaking off self doubt and showing up is underrated. It takes courage so you’ve got to get out there and take chance.

2. Mark it with an X on your Map.
It was hot and sticky outside and I felt I was melting into the summer atmosphere myself. I was out of town at the time and could have ditched the audition – but I didn’t. I’d committed myself to it. Will, determination, and persistence are all assets worth developing. Eventually these traits will open a door for you. Of course one good audition is better than fifty bad ones! Finding a look that works well for you and some good training is always suggested. Batten down the hatches and sail out to your ultimate goal.

3. Expect the Universe to be Chaotic.
They wanted improv dialog when I entered the audition room but the message I’d received with the casting specifics was totally different! The genre of the film was Thriller. From that clue and the synopsis of the film I’d read online, I pieced together what I thought was a good read. I didn’t get to deliver what I’d prepared for the audition. Instead, I had to react in the moment. One cannot predict the audition circumstances even with fair warning, so expect anything – and go with the flow. You’ll land the job you’re meant to have.

4. Ready Your Armour
I got a callback to be a voice over the telephone in what I understood to be as part of the post production of the film. I thought:

A. “Great they liked my voice, a solid job in the film, and
B. Ouch, I’d crashed and burned at the audition!”

About 1 week later I got a call from my agent asking if I were free some specific dates. I was to replace someone else because of scheduling. I then remembered a talk I’d been to in NYC which was given by Jerry Stiller. He was there to speak about Len Lesser (Uncle Leo) and also spoke about his own experience on Seinfeld. He said in all honesty that he’d gotten the part of George’s Father because the person in the role was replaced. I took faith in this. Keeping your armor of faith around you and remaining humble will keep good things coming your way.

5. Know the Unknown Lies Beneath.
Casting decisions are based on so many factors beyond your control so just do your best. Recently, I found myself backstage at a Mumford and Sons concert by invite from a colleague of this film. (What a great performance by M&S !) While there, I learned that one of the horn players who backs the band taught music to one of the 4 original M&S band members years ago. Now they’re on tour together. How inspiring, no? You never know what the future holds, so dig into all your endeavors with gusto. They may remember you and call you back for something else as they did for me in this film. Life is a crazy ride!

-Beth Trollan

Beth Trollan is a Brooklyn born singer/actress from New York. She is a published songstress and collaborative lyricist. One can see her hit the big screen this year in Grand Piano in the supporting role of Emma’s Publicist, a thriller that finds itself where the worlds of Hitchcock and and Speed collide. It stars… Read More About Beth Trollan