We had the good fortune of connecting with Toon de Melker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Toon, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Simply put, in the acting world your business is you. Everything that a ‘normal’ business includes you are in charge of. in my opinion 90% of the work is how you turn yourself into a marketable business and only 10% is the actual acting work. Of course, acting is what makes up your business but how you present your business is equally important. Having a carefully designed website showcasing your work is important, your socials like instagram and Facebook is an important aspect to how the industry might find you valuable. Because the entertainment business is so personal, the way the casting directors see your presence online ( a shift that we have seen in recent years) is a vital part of the acting world. in terms of practicality, less and less are auditions in person, due to the covid age most auditions are done through zoom meetings and self tapes. So investing in a decent setup to best present yourself is a crucial part of the work.
Id like to quote Tom Hanks, in an interview he did with the Hollywood reporter during the Actors round table segment he talks about how, falling in love with auditioning is what makes you a good actor and being on set is the bonus you get.
Prepping for an audition, learning your lines, setting up your studio, making your website, organizing your social media presence is all part of the work.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Acting to me is about people. It is the people you meet along your artistic journey that really make up your work. Although, some might find that acting is an individual experience. I say it is a collective of people that uplift your work. You quite simply cannot do it alone. It is a love affair between you and the craft. You must love everything about it, even when you think your craft fails you. Collaboration is where my craft lies, it is the combined efforts of those around you that make you who you are in an individual way.
This craft gives me that kind of joy. The joy I have for this world.

Throughout my training at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Film and Theatre, I have come into contact with the American Method Lee set up. It is this kind of work that serves me as an actor, the technique that Lee taught is what most resonates with me. I believe the method has acquired a negative lens in recent media. The method is not what most might think when they hear the method.
It is based on you, it bridges the gap between you and the character. You don’t all of a sudden start living as the character, you learn to access parts of yourself that are relevant within each character.

The ultimate goal is living, being and breathing

I am grateful for the training I have received by Robert Ellerman, Tim Crouse and Allen J Suddeth. Who have shown me how to work this method, and love it unconditionally.

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.
MUD coffee is usually where you can find me. I find that it is a prime location for artists and creatives. All of my business meetings happen in MUD. And plus, their coffee is incredible. A place I will always recommend. In terms of theatre, I really encourage looking at shows that are being put on in the downtown area, there is where you find the most artistic, beautiful, incredible work being put on, at a reasonable price.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Matt Liang, a film maker from Canada. Matt has an incredible eye for the world of film. I have had the pleasure to work on a couple of his sets. He works professionally with care towards his actors and crew. He is an incredible director and DP, his knowledge of the camera will surpass anyone you ever speak to. He knows what he is doing to bring. a story from the script to the screen. He always delivers.. All of that saying he is an incredible creative. I am glad to call him my friend and collaborator.

William Xie, a great friend and fellow actor. Will and I have been in training together since the start of my Undergrad journey at Tisch School of the Arts. We are on the same wave length when it comes to the business and attitude towards the craft. He too, works with love and care towards the people he works with and the characters he is asked to portray. He is passionate about the work and continues to show me new perspective towards characters and scripts. We have written and starred in a couple of short films in the past couple of years.

Website: toondemelker.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toondemelker/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toon-de-melker-ba3156263/

Image Credits
Anna Henderson

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