• Category Archives On-Camera Actors
  • Perceiving your journey

    November 3, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    It’s not how far you still need to go in achieving your dream that should matter – it’s how far you have already come. I think often about how those of us aspiring to become a producer or on-camera actor look at the journey ahead of us – it’s like staring up from where we are to the top of the mountain – and we get discouraged by how far we still have to go. I would like to suggest you change that perspective and look back at how far you’ve already come.

    It’s easy to get discouraged by the journey ahead of us when we are striving to make a goal. However in every journey worth taking each step brings us not only closer to where we want to be but just as important it takes us farther away from where we have come. In my life when I opened the microphone on my first on-air radio show the journey was far from over but – and for me this was a huge but – it was a lifetime away from that shy, introverted kid who was scared to speak up in class or even attempt a conversation with someone I had just met. Even though the actual steps from where I had been to where I stood at that moment were relatively few, when I looked back at where I had been it seemed like I had already crossed an ocean. I had the right to be overjoyed at my success and I was.

    So as you take this journey to achieving your dream remember that you don’t have to think of the steps you still have to take as the only perspective that counts, the steps you have already taken are just as important if not even more so. Remember, when you walked across the stage at your graduation the journey to where you were going had just begun AND at the same time the distance you had come from your first hesitant steps as a baby was a lifetime ago. Those first steps were just as important to your journey as your future steps will be.

    If you have any questions contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com. Please share this post. Thank you.

  • You are a success – really

    October 31, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    As we head into the weekend led by one of my favorite nights (Halloween) I want to give you a few words of encouragement and congratulations on your decision to pursue your dreams and goals – especially if you have people around you who maybe are not as supportive as you would like.

    I remember with more than a little dismay the looks of some of my friends and family members when they found out I wanted to go into broadcasting. I started in radio and I was shy, introverted and had a speech difficulty that kept me from talking much at all around others. Why in the world would someone like me ever want to go into a profession where I made my living off of talking to others? I can understand the doubts of others; however they may never know how much those doubts hurt me as I started the pursuit of my dream.

    You may not face that same type of doubt from others as you aspire to be an on-camera actor or a producer, but if you have, let me tell you how important your decision to pursue your dream is. That’s who you are and that’s the passion God has given you. Your skills and abilities are your gifts from God – what you do with them are your gift to God. Pursue your dream with a passion. Let nothing stand in your way. If this is what you truly want to do and be – give it all you have to succeed. If this is where you are, then remember that I believe in you. I know that you can make it. You’ll stumble, and sometimes fall hard, but if you get back up and keep moving forward with your pursuit then you will succeed. Make this next year your best year ever in your pursuit. You are a success if you want to be.

    Take that first step in your pursuit and then keep walking forward. Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com with any questions. Then remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • Where do your knowledge and skill levels fall?

    October 29, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    How objective are you about who you really are in regards to pursuing your dreams and goals? Can you give me an honest answer about you – the dreamer? Tell me which of these categories you fit in:

    1. Willing to do whatever it takes to learn more knowledge and gain skills in pursuit of your dreams
    2. Willing to learn more but are quite hesitant about from who and where you will learn
    3. Know you still need to learn more but are afraid of what others might think if you turn to them for help
    4. Already know most of what you need to be successful in your dreams but can still become more skilled
    5. Already have the knowledge and the skills for success and you just need the opportunities

    I ask this question because I’m constantly amazed at how many people I interact with in this region who might answer that they fit in one of the first three categories but live like they’re a perfect fit for number five. For me if you’re a number five then you should retire now… If you really have a self-belief that you already know all that you need and your skills are the best they will ever be then there is nowhere to go but down, so you best just retire. Let’s be honest, if you really were that good you wouldn’t be here waiting for your chance to succeed, you’d be somewhere else already succeeding.

    It’s the other categories I want to work with because they are just like me – they are working at getting better and even when they may be too shy to ask for help they at least know that they could use some help and their skills can still get better. I love working with other producers and actors because I find that I’m always learning something from them that will make me better. And I want to continue to grow and get better at what I do.

    Let’s all work together as a team in improving who we are and what we do. Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com. Then remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • That first step!!!

    October 27, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    You’re a dreamer with aspirations to make it as a screen actor or maybe a producer. You have your plan in place and found a good mentor to work with and sometimes lean on. Everything’s in order and you take your first step …then what?

    That’s probably the scariest moment any of us encounter in our lives, and if you’re like me you’ve encountered that moment many times as you continue to chase more dreams and goals. If you’re finding yourself at this moment currently, you know what that fear feels like. It does really bring you to a pause and sometimes even a moment of self-doubt and hesitation. Don’t feel bad that you feel this way – scared and doubtful, anxious and hesitant – everyone who has ever succeeded in their dreams and goals has found themselves at that exact moment. In the end they all agree if you aren’t scared at that moment then you really don’t care about your dream, your goal. If you really want it with a passion you will be anxious and scared. However you still need to take that step…

    All right – you took that step and maybe you did just fine and are ready for the next step – but you might have stumbled with that first step and maybe you really have some doubts now. That’s cool – really it’s all right. If you don’t ever stumble and find yourself ready to quit because of how hard it can be and how frustrating it is to stumble then maybe that’s because what you are striving for is not that far away from where you are now. Don’t aim low, step out on that bright stage or jump into the deep end of the pool. Take chances, takes risks, face possibly failing – that’s when you‘re really alive. That’s when you’re showing your passion. Life is truly best when you step up to the edge and then leap… I don’t remember what philosopher first said it but it’s a line I find so true – you’ll never reach the other shore if you don’t first leave the shore you’re on.

    Take that step? Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com with any questions. Plus remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • Where are you at with your dream?

    October 24, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    One of the most awesome things I get to do as I work with others in the pursuit of their dreams is watching as they work so hard towards that aspiration and achievement. I get to know how humbling that chase can be and how hard the struggle is and how great the effort they have to put forward is. I am honored to be watching and sharing their journey.

    As you pursue your aspirations I know that you understand how hard it can be. I think of Steve who has been aspiring to achieve success as a stand-up comedian. Eight years of effort, working in front of small crowds in sometimes horrendous locations, and beginning to see the efforts pay off as now when people see his name on the flyers and on the marquee they know what kind of entertaining and funny show they will get to see. I have watched young and old alike work towards their opportunities to be in front of the camera, sometimes only in a non-speaking roles and sometimes delivering the lines, always nervous and hoping they hit their marks and deliver the performances in ways that help get them to the next level.

    I have great conversations with actors and producers who talk about seeing the progress they have made over where they were last year and looking forward to where they will be next year. I think often of a young actor that I have worked with in the past who is only currently in middle school. He has worked hard with his mom finding opportunities to submit his video auditions on national projects and this fall being accepted for one of those roles and cherishing that moment when he hears the ‘yes’. How about you? Where are you at in this process of reaching for the stars? Are you finding yourself where Kevin is? He goes on stage tonight for his first shot as a stand-up comedian in a professional show. He has ten minutes to leave his mark and begin making a name for himself. His dream’s journey is only just beginning.

    Have questions? Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com. Please remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • Do you consider it an opportunity?

    October 23, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    If you found a way to work in the industry around your passion but not in exactly ‘the’ dream job you were aiming for would you do it? Would you look at this situation as an opportunity to get your ‘foot in the door’ and get closer to your dream job? Or would you consider this an affront to your dream and passion?

    Let’s say you’re aspiring to be a filmmaker and find yourself with the opportunity to work in the production office or maybe on set as a PA or Grip – would you take that opportunity? How about if the production company offered you the chance to work in the Art Department or with transportation or locations? What if your dream was to be a screen actor and a film production came to the area and you had the chance to work as a PA or a non-paid extra – would you do it? Are you willing to make the connections and get some experience while growing your resume in pursuit of your ‘dream job’?

    These are questions we all need to consider as we work towards achieving our dreams. While we go through the process we need to understand that the world is not just waiting for us to knock on their door. And as we work our way towards our dream job we may even find that we love another part of the industry that we had never considered. I often think of my friend Mike who works in Hollywood on both movies and TV shows. He’s been a Prop Master and Grip and loves the business even though these are two areas he wasn’t dreaming about when he began his pursuit of the ‘dream’. I also think about Tracy who was a commercial producer for years and has now found his passion in being a Grip and a Gaffer and he runs his own independent grip and electric company. He’s so happy doing what he is now doing even though neither of these positions were what he dreamed of. I guess the lesson is to never shut the door to the possibilities.

    Have questions? Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com. Please remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • We’re stronger when we’re creating with others

    October 22, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    One of the overriding lessons I have had the ‘pleasure’ (not really) to learn through my years in the world of creative arts is how hard it is for many of us to work cooperatively. It’s not that we are not nice people and don’t get along with others because we do, but when it comes to being creative with others many of us want to be the leader and have ownership of our creative ideas and we don’t want to share. It almost feels like I’m being overly critical here but I’m not trying to be, I’m just trying to identify a weakness many of us have as we work in the creative arts.

    What I am NOT talking about here is just creating something and giving it away – what I AM talking about is openly being a part of the creative process and sharing in the process. The really cool thing about creative people like us is that we can come up with some really awesome ideas. Unfortunately many times we tend to think our ideas are best and then we distance ourselves from others who may want to make changes to our ideas. Richard Marx had a great song about this a few decades ago called ‘Don’t Mean Nothing’. It does mean something when our ideas are changed and altered – we take it personally.

    So one of the things I would like you to learn in this business is how to work cooperatively with others in the creative process and production. I know through my many years in the business that we are stronger together than we are apart, and even though I have done this type of work longer than many of you often times it’s the young artist who has the best idea or just the right changes to my ideas. Together we’re stronger – always will be. And if I didn’t believe this lesson before, Improv has taught me that any scene is stronger when we work together. Yes even this old dog can learn new tricks…

    Let’s get better at be creative together. Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com. Please remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • Who is your mentor?

    October 21, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    Who helps you keep focus on your goals, dreams and aspirations? I hope you actually have a person who helps you in these areas because that focus is so vital to your success and the ability to maintain this focus can falter over time – sometimes in such small increments you don’t even notice until you have done some damage to your momentum.

    Now you can recover from this loss of focus but it is so much better to simply have someone help you maintain your focus. The person you choose to help needs to be someone who you trust to be honest with you and won’t just let you slide because you have a good excuse for losing your focus. For some of us the choice of a parent to fill this role is good except that we tend to argue with our parents and consider them too controlling. So maybe that person you choose needs to be someone who you have a trusting relationship with and is someone you respect. Maybe that person could be a mentor?

    Have you ever thought about developing a relationship with a mentor, someone who you respect and is successful in ways that you would like to emulate? I can’t seriously think of a better way to help ensure your own success than to have a good mentor. I know that living in the Black Hills can have an impact on this as there are fewer people in our choice of professions to serve in this capacity, but that should never be a reason to not have a mentor. Maybe you can look beyond the obvious and as an aspiring producer you could choose a person who is a successful business person. Maybe as an aspiring screen actor you can choose from one of the many great stage actors we have in the area. There are many options available, and for me the only one you should stay clear of is not having a mentor.

    Let me know how I can help you find a mentor for you. Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com. Please remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • Getting your rest IS important

    October 20, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    Here it is Monday evening and I am very tired and amazingly I find it harder to sit here and write coherently while I’m this tired than it is for me to muscle ahead and drag trees down a hill after clearing them from last year’s blizzard or loading equipment on and off a grip truck after an 18 hour day. I’m trying to write a blog post – come on – is it really this hard?

    Unfortunately it really is that hard to concentrate on being creative and reach deep for the words to tell a story (fiction or otherwise) to your target audience. It’s the same reason that an actor who is not well rested can fail miserably on-stage, or a DP can miss ‘the’ shot or even not light properly in setting a shot when they are that tired. In the professions that most of us are dreaming about succeeding in, being tired can be crushing to our chances of success. So while I am not willing to take a nap before allowing my fingers to hunt and peck on this keyboard tonight, if I was advising you right now on achieving the dream you aspire to I would definitely tell you that you need to be getting proper rest before continuing on your efforts.

    Is rest really that important? Yes it is. It helps you maintain the optimum level of creativity and accurate thought process as you delve into your creative endeavors. Listen, I’ve stepped out on stage for Improv rehearsal and performances after spending at least 12 hours on location or on set for production and I can honestly say that my efforts suffered and my creativity was greatly affected – and creativity is the lifeblood of Improv. So listen as you get ready to take the opportunity for an audition, or a performance, or you’re getting ready to produce a project be sure and plan ample time to get the rest you need to be on top of your creativity and skills. Trust me you won’t regret it.

    If you have any questions contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com – after my nap :-). Then please remember to share this post. Thank you.

  • How to identify the ‘right’ choice …for you

    October 16, 2014 | by Jack Sitch

    One of the easiest things for me, and for other people who care about you, to do is tell you what is right – for you. Let’s be honest, everyone has an opinion and we all want what is best for you so we show our caring by telling you what is right for you. Now the question you should keep asking yourself is “…but is this right for me?”

    That is the ultimate question that only you can answer. Now I’m not trying to cut my own throat as a person who works with and trains screen actors and producers and help them identify what they should consider as their dreams. I just have to be upfront with you and reinforce the truth that you are the only one who will know if something is right for you. So how do you know? How do you identify the ‘right’ choice for you?

    I would say it’s what you have a passion about – that one thing that makes you happy and feel fulfilled in your life. So that’s what I will tell you – however you still have so much more to consider in your decision. Let’s say that your passion is to move to Hollywood and become a screen actor – a cool dream and aspiration. But let’s also say you have a young family, or maybe you’re a single parent – with those facts in mind would this choice be right for you? Let’s say you aspire to be a film producer and have earned your four-year degree at a decent college – but you are afraid of moving to New Mexico or Atlanta, maybe even New Orleans by yourself and you can’t get noticed producing in South Dakota. So is this the right choice for you? I know that there’s a lot more that goes into these types if decisions and if achieving your dreams was easy we would all have done that by now. It still comes down to you, as you are the only person who can know what is right for you.

    Contact me at the Black Hills Institute of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts or email me at sitch.jack@gmail.com with any questions you might have. Then please remember to share this post. Thank you.