How To Avoid The Cutting Room Floor - Editor's Advice For On-Camera Actors

Paul Cram holding book for acting

Written by Emmy-winning editor Jordan Goldman, A.C.E. (editor on such shows as The Shield & Homeland) who takes you inside the cutting room and pulls back the curtain on how and why directors, showrunners, and editors decide whether your performance makes it on screen. 

A good friend of mine in Hollywood mentioned she had been reading this book and that I should give it a look over.

The book is a fast read, a total of 135 pages. (I read through it in 2 sittings.) The chapters are small chunks, easy to digest and understand.

I found myself nodding-in-agreement while reading. Some of Jordan's wise-insights I've picked up along the way of working on film sets, and he did provide insight into some editing concepts that relate to telling the audience about a character- such as eye blinking, that was insightful to me as an actor who strives to be aware of my body language while performing a role.

Jordan's laid out some great items, breaking up chapters into "things you can control" and also listing things that you, the actor, have zero control over. It's freeing.

His bit of advice in chapter 7 is spot on:
"When you book a role on a TV series, you're walking into an environment that has been humming along just fine without you. The crew has been working together season after season. The director is likely to have helmed previous episodes of the show. The cast regulars know their parts inside and out. You are a guest in this family. You need to act like one. Be respectful."

So good.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking to get into acting on camera, or making the transition from doing theater to doing on-screen work.