13 Oct Catching Up With Clair Sinnett
She has been hailed by some as the ultimate acting coach, and a top casting director by others. Throughout her career Clair Sinnett has set the standard for professionalism in the actors’ realm. She has also cast a widely diverse roster of new talent, as well as stars like Keanu Reeves, James Earl Jones, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The combination of Clair’s experience and her eye for talent have made her an industry treasure. Though she is an extremely private person, we caught up to Clair for a one-on-one interview, and it was very revealing.
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and was the only child of two doting parents. I have a son that is now producing, directing, and casting commercials. I currently live in the Los Angeles area which we relocated to after my son graduated high school. I’ve authored my own book, Actors Working: The Actors Guide to Marketing Success, which is now used as a text book at several major universities and available in book stores nationally.
How did you get started acting?
I remember I acted in my first school play at age 15 over that next year I became more immersed in acting. School plays and theatre really helped me dive into acting because up until then I was pretty much set on becoming a veterinarian. My decision to become a full time actor didn’t come until I was in college and even then my father wanted me to finish college before starting acting school. My father recognized my passion and allowed me to finish college at the NY American Academy of the Performing Arts. AAPA
Who was your favorite actor to work with and what were they like?
My favorite had to be Leonardo DiCaprio who we cast on a new Lassie series in his younger years. He was an intense, professional, old soul; that made him a pleasure to work with. I knew then he was destined for stardom.
What is some important advice you would like to give actors just getting started in the business?
Train, train, and train. Learn a technique that works for you and make use of events like acting workshops and camps. I still attend workshops myself. Also, expect constant change. Even the way directors cast now has changed and they will continue to change as the acting industry is a continually evolving entity. New actors need to recognize the importance of having good headshots and a good agent/manager.
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working or traveling around the country I’m usually at home in LA playing with my wonderful standard poodle Max. Unfortunately, I was injured in an accident so I haven’t been able to golf and horseback ride which are two of my favorite non-work related activities. I also frequently attend movie screenings I’m invited to in Los Angeles.
That’s really awesome. Do you have a recent screening that you were fond of?
I especially enjoyed Black Mass. Johnny Depp completely got lost in the role.
Do you have anything in particular you would like to tell our audience?
Take advantage of my upcoming seminar discussing the acting business and the workshop in which we go in depth to acting techniques and much more. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t get your feelings hurt if you’re critiqued. The most fun part is the audition. Take a risk and have fun.
TWO DAY WEEKEND INTENSIVE
Clair Sinnett’s workshops have been called the best, the brightest, and most effective in the business, and she’s known as one of the country’s top teachers of audition and professional acting techniques. Clair has been a faculty member of Ball State University, the University of California/Irvine, and has been an Actor, SAG Agent, and Casting Director, as well as a faculty member of several other prestigious universities & performing arts schools. She holds her acclaimed Audition & Acting Workshops throughout the US, Canada, & Europe.