Go to acting school, go on an audition, get a gig. It's that simple, right? Take it from someone who's been in the entertainment business since she was 10: It really isn't. Celebrity booking coach Amy Lyndon knows better. An actress, filmmaker and director in her own right, Lyndon now helps Hollywood hopefuls make their dreams a reality.
Lyndon, who received her BFA from Syracuse University, came to Los Angeles after college to work as an actor. Through years of auditioning experience, she developed a series of 15 guidelines called The Lyndon Technique, which instructs actors to break down a script and understand what the writer intended the character to be. It also teaches actors to insulate themselves and not pick up the energy in the room to have a stronger, more focused approach to their auditions. This method of expert reading comprehension and concentration has earned Lyndon more than 80 film and television credits to date.
"I created this technique for myself," Lyndon said. "I had all this training but didn't know how to get a job."
After her technique helped a friend's daughter land a starring role in a movie, Lyndon began working with other hopeful actors in addition to being a personal manager and a working actress herself. After nine years in management, she realized that coaching was a much more worthwhile career choice. Lyndon wanted to be more than the reason her clients got an audition; she wanted to be the reason they got the job.
"As a manager, so much is out of your hands," she said. "There's more joy in helping people succeed on a more personal level. To teach an actor a technique that's 99 percent proof positive is a lot more rewarding."
In her time as a booking coach, Lyndon has helped notable actors like Adam Brody ("The OC") and Nadine Velasquez ("Flight") earn major roles on the big and small screen. This past year alone, 13 students of The Lyndon Technique have become television series regulars, and many more have used Lyndon's lessons to continue their prosperous entertainment careers. While all of these actors are undoubtedly talented, Lyndon believes that the real secret to their success is knowing how to market themselves.
As a supplement to her coaching services, Lyndon created TLTAccess.com, also known as "the business site for actors." This members-only site provides dozens of articles, videos and audio lectures geared toward giving actors insight into the industry and helping them put together a marketing package that will get them noticed.
"Artists need to understand business," Lyndon said. "We've lost a lot of great actors along the way because they didn't know what they were doing. All they needed to do was learn business and marketing."
Lyndon has never used traditional advertising for her business. Her clients find her through talent agents and other students who have seen results from her technique. She currently works with about 85 actors per week in group classes, private training, and Skype sessions for out-of-state and international students.
The most common piece of feedback she receives from her clients is that they wish they had come to her sooner. Lyndon has seen many new actors stubbornly try to make it in the entertainment industry on their education alone.
"People don't realize how much they need to learn," Lyndon said. "This is the Olympics for actors, and every single Olympic hopeful has a coach."
Although The Lyndon Technique is meant to be used by auditioning actors, there are lessons to be learned for individuals in all careers. Job interviews are like auditions: making a good impression and understanding exactly what the director (hiring manager) is looking for are crucial to securing a position. Most importantly, in any industry, workers should never think that learning and developing ends with formal education.
"Take on a mentor and fill yourself up with advice from people who have been there," Lyndon recommends. "Join networking groups, shadow experts. You need to humble yourself, and a lot of people don't do that."