Sunday, May 11, 2014

That's My Two Cents: Actor Toni Deaver

Actress Toni Deaver
I am excited to introduce to you actress, Toni Deaver. Toni has been away from TV and Film for awhile raising a family, but she has never been idle. During those years she went to film school and started a theater group. Now she is back with a vengeance. That is the main thing I admire most about Toni, her determination to give it all. 

Recently, I asked her to share with my readers a little advice and encouragement she has picked up along her journey. She was happy to comply. I love what she offered and I hope you will reap a little wisdom from her.

Toni:  Just to give you a little background, I  took classes in high school, college, and at professional studios to hone my craft.  I was repeatedly encouraged by teachers and even other actors to get to know and build relationships with casting directors and directors.  As I became a director myself I could see wisdom in that advice. When offered directing opportunities, I certainly looked at and considered material, knowing the actors I knew I might cast.  It's much harder to cold cast a large group of strangers. You never know who might be unreliable and/or even sabotaging. Learn from my experience those people are everywhere.

Only one person, a marketing guru named, Rock Riddle, ever suggested anything different, but what a difference it has made! He helped me realize that it is the producer of a television show or film project that is the most invested in it not the casting director or director.  This was not news,  it just was different light he put on it.  The producer of course, does all the work to get a project going.  Eventually, he/she hires the people to head up the various departments, including casting.  The producer reserves the right to refuse hiring of any individual or group.  And once the film is "in the can," it's the producer who does all the clean up.  Making sure the director and editor are communicating to get a marketable "cut," and securing the distribution channel(s) so investors can re-coop their money. Of course this is important because without their money no one gets paid.  And if they don't make their money back with a profit, they are much less likely to invest again.  That means less opportunity for work for everyone.

The sad truth is, over my many years in the industry I've known many actors who feel like and, have often even demanded that a casting director, producer, or director owes them an opportunity or a job. The real truth is, no one owes you or me anything.  No one asked either one of us to be an actor.  No one can force you to come to town looking for acting work.  They are not responsible for your preparedness or lack there of to hold a job so you can pay your rent and eat. Talent alone, especially in film and television will seldom get you working and even less frequently will keep you working.  If you want to be a working actor, be reliable.  Be a real and likable person with interests that you can communicate well to others.  Break a leg out there-You're a star!

To learn more about Toni, please visit:
Toni's Reel
Toni's IMDB Page
Follow Toni on Twitter



  1. Thanks for your tips and opinion.. i also think it will working ....!!

    Acting Classes Houston

  2. Thanks for sharing, Toni. As a producer, I can give you a big amen on the importance of an actor or crew member being reliable.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I always thought the producer was just the one who found the money. Nice to know they are more hands on than I realized.

  4. As this is my first of many film I want to produce I feel exactly what your saying. Ran into a couple situations myself. Have have my co director who has been awesome. I've been homeless and hitchhiking to sets to get myself started. I casted him as a character and while on my journeys he held casting calls and really helped out alot.

  5. Love each one of your comments...thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Bry, what a wonderful resource you have here. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am now hooked on your blog. How do you choose people to write for you? Love the blog! -DeAnna Cali

  7. "If you want to be a working actor, be reliable. Be a real and likable person with interests that you can communicate well to others." No truer words have ever been written. When your kid comes to you & tells you they MUST be on stage doing standup comedy at 9 years old, or in front of the camera on TV or film, you help them with their hobby. When it becomes a NEED and more than just a hobby the parents need to follow these same rules. Show their child the difference between becoming a professional and having a hobby. Treat everyone with respect from the makeup artist to the boom guy and your reputation flourishes. People know who they enjoy working with as much as they remember who they hated working with. I love the blog & have become wiser since reading it!

  8. Loved your words of truth and wisdom. I'm just now coming back to the industry after many years. Took a lot of classes a long the way to hone my craft while raising my children. Now, I'm back for good and NEED/WANT to do this as my life long passion. Any words of wisdom for us middle aged folks re-entering the industry! THANKS. Marianne Geyer.