Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/directing


and finally may i ask you  are graphic novels as they are visual help improve film directing aswell as watching and analysing film   what are your own thoughts on that?  val

Hi Val,

Well, the thing that sets creative people apart is vision. When you read a book before you see it in a film version, have you ever felt like "NO! That's not how the lead character should be!"

That's because you created a vision in your mind as to how they looked, sounded and carried themselves. I personally identify with the most recent Batman films, even though I am from the generation of the 80's and 90's Batman movies. Granted, I am not a comi8c book "fanboy", AND I was part of the original 60's Batman TV show generation.

I have taken classes in screenwriting and one of the FIRST lessons is to NOT include any direction in the screenplay. Very few have done that and succeeded. It is generally considered an insult to include more than a brief description of the setting in your script.

Directors HATE lazy actors who "lean" on them and ask what they want them to do! It's ok for a directoir to correct an actor to what his or her vision is, but they also want the actor to surprise them with something they hadn't thought of. As an actor I have gone into an audition and did a great job, only to have the director ask me to do it in a different way: comedy, drunken, sarcastic, angry, etc. Usually they have me do it the way I felt it, they just want to see that we have the ability to think on our feet and give them something new if needed.
Expecting the book to feed you what to do is a handicap. Don't rely on it. No one will respect you for not taking chances.

Forget about shortcuts in directing, realize you will have to devote much of your life, to the detriment of other things, like relationships, sleep, etc. to realize your dream.

There is a famous quote: A man sees a performance by a master violinist at Carnegie Hall. After the performance, the man happens to see the violinist outside leaving. He rushes up to the musician and gasps: "I'd give my life to play like you!" The violinist responds: "I did."

Best of luck to you,


Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Taylor Sheppard


I can answer questions: on starting a career in acting, mistakes in acting, etiquette when dealing with industry contacts, finer points on how to act, and things to avoid in the field.


I have been a professional actor 21 years, with appearances in TV, Film and commercials. I have made good decisions and potentially damaging mistakes. I believe anyone who has a dream deserves to explore it, and I take their aspirations seriously. That being said, I do not pull punches. I try to be tactful, but I will not lie to someone, honesty is more effective. My last film role was in "Teeth" which was picked for Sundance in January 2007. It was sold to Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. for somewhere over 2.5 million. The role was "Mr. Griffith", a sex-ed teacher.

Ciao Agency-Austin/Georgetown, Texas. (Formerly known as Donna Adams Agency. Matthew McConaughey was a good friend and fellow member. I also have belonged to agencies in three other Texas cities, but they have since closed.) TXMPA -Texas Motion Picture Alliance. Various other internet networking web rings as well as Actors Access. I was instrumental in advising actress Krista Allen on getting her career in acting started in Austin,Texas (we worked at the same Health Club in the early '90's).

Previously wrote on a now defunct website such as this one. I enjoyed helping new actors.

I have acted for 21 years. I studied under James Nelson Harrell as well as other talented actors at Southwest Texas State University. After college, I have taken classes with Julliard graduate Mona Lee, Bill Johnson, Van Brookes, Marco Perella and others in Austin Texas. I am constantly attending classes to maintain my edge and explore new directions. In addition to attending strictly acting classes, I have also taken business workshops with respected casting directors, such as Shari Rhodes ("Jaws","Close Encounters", "Raggedy Man".) Barbara Brinkley, Jo Edna Bolden and Donise Hardy, (Castingworks LA).

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