We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Stiglitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Oh man. This is so hard. I wish I were more of a risk taker, but I didn’t discover my bravery and ability to believe in myself until AFTER I left acting. The self-promotion involved in acting (networking, auditioning, putting myself out there) was too much for me. So, I summoned my courage, took that risk, and left the job I’d always dreamed of. I bet on myself and found a successful career in casting. Then, I took an even greater risk and left my steady job to dedicate myself to my passion: helping actors as an acting and audition coach. Giving up a stable career was scary, but I made the choice to do what I love. I started with no clients and had to fight an uphill battle to find my way in an oversaturated market. I worked my ass off to prove I was worthy of an actor’s trust. Over time, my business grew, and now I have a wonderful, diverse client list. I love what I do and am thankful that I took a chance on myself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an acting and audition coach who started out wanting to be an actor. I studied at a conservatory and then moved to LA to……..sit on my couch and cry. I quickly learned that as much as I wanted to be an actor, I just wasn’t good at self-promotion. I needed a job that fed my creative side and also provided structure. Casting was the answer. I worked my way from the ground up, starting as an intern, working long days for free and waiting tables at night. I made a deal with myself: If I ever looked at an actor with jealousy, missing that side of things, I would return to acting. However, I found the opposite to be true. I looked at the actors with amazement, thrilled that I could witness their incredible talent and be part of the process. I spent the next few years clawing my way up, working at almost every casting office in town, finally landing a job at a large television casting office. Through hard work, I was promoted to casting director, casting such shows as “Burn Notice,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and others. I loved working with actors but did not love the non-creative aspects of the job. So, I decided to try my hand at coaching and fell in love. THIS was where I belonged, and, luckily, people trusted me enough to send me their clients. My business grew, and now I’m happy to say that I’m one of the go-to coaches in the industry.
I believe the reason why my business has succeeded is because I genuinely care about my clients. Even when I’m having a bad day, I zero in on them and try my very hardest to solve their acting problems. I also don’t think linearly. I advise my clients on all aspects of being an actor, and each session is completely different and tailored to the individual. Because I don’t use a one size fits all approach, everyone ultimately finds their way, and more importantly, they feel confident in themselves.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This question is hard for me because I’m a homebody….in a pandemic. Honestly, I’d ask them to come over, have a pajama party, and watch all the franchises of the housewives with me while harshly judging the cast. However, in non-pandemic times, you’d most likely find me (if I left my house) at the theatre. Musicals are life.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All the actors, managers, agents, producers, and more, who gave me a chance and trusted me with their talent.
Other: Tiktok: @auditionprola