Holiday Gift Guide for the Actors in Your Life

by: Natalie Lipka

I love giving gifts.  My favorite part is finding the perfect present for someone.  That hilarious t-shirt at Target, the witty coffee mug at Bed Bath & Beyond or the Groupon that literally says, “This would be perfect for so-and-so!”  But unfortunately this doesn’t always happen for everyone on our lists around the holidays.  Sometimes you may want to find the perfect present for someone, but you don’t have any ideas.  Wayne and I are two actors “talking our way to the top,” so we have a pretty clear sense of what your actor friends might want. Since they might be too modest to make a list for you, we have decided to help out.  

1.  Acting Workouts
Help your favorite actor friend brush up on his/her skills by gifting them classes.  Going to acting class is like going to the gym.  An actor needs to continuously workout and classes can be expensive, but we will pay the money to work with the teachers that are right for us.  Now, I’m not saying to spend $250-$500 on classes for your friends (Hey if you can, awesome), but instead find some reasonable drop-in classes that they can check out.  For instance, Keep It Real Acting has commercial workouts on Wednesday and theatrical ones on Thursday nights with some amazing teachers for just $35.  I know I would think it was super thoughtful if someone gifted me a class (hint, hint ☺).

2.  Fitness Classes
Just as acting class is like going to the gym, so is going to the actual gym.  I talked about in “Caring for Your Acting Instrument” how important it is for an actor to take proper care of his or her body and mind.  One of the best ways to do this is through exercise. What better way to show your actor friends that you care than by helping them take care of themselves? There are many individual fitness classes you can purchase out there and there are also many studios that offer two weeks or so of unlimited classes for a flat rate.  For example, from Black Dog Yoga, you can buy two weeks of unlimited yoga for just $30! This would allow your gift recipients the opportunity to try out different kinds of yoga to see which style fits best for their body.  

3.  Movie Passes
This may seem like a cliché gift, but on the contrary, it’s not only thoughtful especially for actors, but is extremely generous. In the age of Netflix, there is still nothing like seeing a movie on the BIG screen and it is important for actors to study their craft from other performers.  Two movie passes go a long way.  If this idea still feels too common and you want to get fancy, iPic Theatre could really do the trick.  They have something they call “Premium Plus Seating,” which includes fully reclining plush leather chairs with a pillow and blanket, popcorn and in-cinema food and beverage service.  What?! Sounds like a perfect present to me.

4.  A Groupon
I’m sure you’ve heard your friend or relative say at one point or another that they would love to learn how to stand up paddle board, play guitar, try indoor rock climbing or salsa.  Well you can easily make this happen.  Thankfully there are online sites like Groupon or Living Social that really make this accessible and affordable.  This is also the gift that keeps on giving because it has the potential to lead to the actor eventually adding a new skill to his or her resume.  Or, at the very least, could lead to them being able to check the “novice button” next to the skill on LA Casting.  

5.  Headshot Reprints
As we’ve talked about on Hollywood Close-Up, headshots are vital for actors.  Once you get them taken, they need to be printed.  In “Are You Tired of Being an Overspent Actor?” we discussed how headshots can get really expensive. Between hiring a photographer and make-up artist and getting your pictures printed, it all adds up.  What better way to tell your actor friends you love them (and support what they are doing) than to give the gift of headshot reprints?  Our go-to place is The Actor’s Photo Lab because not only do they have the best prices in town, but they also provide something very important: personalized customer service.   Your actor friend will be truly happy that you introduced them to this place.  This is also another gift that keeps on giving.  Imagine it: the headshot you helped get printed ends up being the one the actor uses to book a leading role.  What a gift you would have given!  

So, don’t worry, we will totally keep this blog between us.  This way your gift recipients will be completely surprised at how thoughtful you are and just how much you are supporting their career.  Happy Shopping!  

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