The Lincoln Lawyer is an adaptation of Michael Connelly’s novel of the same name, starring Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe. In the film, Mickey Haller (McConaughey) is a criminal defense attorney with his own firm in Los Angeles and drives around town in his Lincoln Town Car nicknamed the Lincoln lawyer because it has law books instead of CDs or cassettes in the CD player. As he drives around, he uses his car as an office where he talks on the phone with his clients. Jazz Raycole as Izzy Letts in The Lincoln Lawyer

Why it was exciting to play the character of Izzy

I play a character named Izzy, who is Mickey Haller’s (Matthew McConaughey) client. This is an awesome script that was based on a bestselling novel. It has great direction and I’m thrilled to be involved. There was even more excitement with having a good director at helm of such brilliant filmography – Brad Furman directed The Take, which is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s book The Switch. What was most exciting to me about shooting was working with some amazing people: Matthew McConaughey (Mickey Haller), Marisa Tomei (Maggie McPherson), Ryan Phillippe (Manion). Plus there are so many great actors!

On being an actor

How do you feel about fame? People are always trying to catch up with actors. How is that? I had an idea of what it might be like when I was a kid, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon. It’s not as bad now, because people aren’t staring at me on buses and asking for autographs everywhere. But fame has changed my life a lot—it affects what jobs I get and where I go, and other stuff too. At school most of my friends still don’t know who I am or that my dad is famous. Do you have any advice for kids your age who want to get into acting?

Jazz Raycole as Izzy Letts in The Lincoln Lawyer
Jazz Raycole as Izzy Letts in The Lincoln Lawyer

On playing important characters

For any actor, one of the most important roles they’ll ever play is themselves. This is doubly true for people like Anthony Hopkins and Robert De Niro who, by a quirk of fate, end up playing historically significant characters. For some actors it’s great to get that role but then you also have to worry about whether or not you have a career after it comes out. So it might seem crazy that some actors would be willing to play small roles in big movies – but not if there are personal reasons for wanting to do so.

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On being a driver

Being a driver is much more than just driving a car. A driver needs to be willing to go out of their way to help people and anticipate their needs before they ask. For example, if you’re at dinner with clients and one says they forgot something, your job is to think about what that something might be—the file, some papers, something from their hotel room—and get it for them so they can focus on dinner without any distractions. In order to best serve your clients, you have to be able to read them like an open book and provide exactly what they need when they need it. And all of that is before we even get into talking about things like managing schedules or answering phones or having phone etiquette or typing skills!

On being a jazz musician

Jazz musician and actor Jazz Raycole, best known for his roles on TV shows such as Private Practice and ER and on films such as License to Wed, is making a name for himself with his upcoming starring role in The Lincoln Lawyer. Playing lead character Mickey Haller’s driver, Izzy Icky Letts, Raycole is sure to leave viewers stunned by his gritty, colorful performance. Having spent years touring clubs around Los Angeles with his group—one of them being Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco at The World Trade Center—Raycole knows all about working hard for what you want. As he told In Contention: Perseverance overcomes everything.

Jazz Raycole as Izzy Letts in The Lincoln Lawyer
Jazz Raycole as Izzy Letts in The Lincoln Lawyer

A good role can turn your career around

By playing a series of bit parts and small roles, most of them on TV, Jazz Raycole gained acclaim. At some point he made a deal with his agent that if he could land a single good role, he would not take any other parts until it was wrapped up. Sure enough, soon after he landed one such role and turned down everything else offered to him. Jazz’s new job is that of Izzy Letts in The Lincoln Lawyer .

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Why you should be active on social media

I think, with every role I’ve played, it’s all about staying true to who you are. So when I’m on Twitter, I try to keep it somewhat consistent to who I am and what my beliefs are. If people have a problem with that – hey, then they can unfollow me. But at least everyone will know who’s behind Jazz Raycole and what she stands for, so if you love me for that or hate me for that, at least we’ll both be clear on where we stand. Right? 🙂

How to get noticed by casting directors

So you’ve been working on your craft. You have a headshot, resume and maybe even a reel that you can post online. But what’s next? How do you get noticed by casting directors? We sat down with former Project Runway contestant Jazz Raycole to ask him about getting started in Hollywood and he shared his 3 top tips for breaking into acting

Search online casting sites

If you want to audition for a film, television or theater role, don’t think it will be easy. You may get an audition because you have a certain look or resemblance to someone else who has already been cast (that happens all of the time) or because you are a friend of someone on set. But, if you want to be considered seriously for parts and your ultimate goal is to book one of those jobs, then you have to take auditions seriously and treat them like any other job interview that would result in something worth having. This means being prepared. Being ready is imperative. Making sure you know your lines is not only a sign of professionalism but also respect for those around you who helped bring your character’s life to life through their own performances.

Study others’ auditions

Simply sitting down and watching an actor’s audition tape can be a big help. Not only does it give you a window into what casting directors are looking for, but it also gives you a clear idea of how your character should look and speak. A great example is Stacy Keach’s audition tape for The Lincoln Lawyer (above). It shows that he not only has impeccable timing and excellent diction, but also brings his character to life by creating unique expressions with his face–all vital to playing Mickey Haller. How you choose to study other actors’ auditions is up to you. While we recommend taking notes on each take, another great way to learn about specific techniques is by re-watching certain takes until you notice something new or helpful that sticks out.

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What To Avoid In An Audition (hint: it’s hard work!)

The hard work and preparation before and during an audition are what it takes to actually book a role. Too often, actors assume that once they walk through a casting director’s door, all of their work is done. That assumption could not be further from reality! There are many things that can land you an audition and even more things that could get you cast in a particular role, but there is only one surefire way to guarantee landing roles: Hone your craft by committing to becoming better at your craft every single day! So here are just a few tips on how to avoid falling victim to these common mistakes…

What you need to know if you’re an extra

This week, Frank Darabont’s new legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer hit theaters. There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of Mick Haller, an overworked attorney who operates out of his chauffeured Lincoln Town Car. Critics have praised McConaughey for his performance and ability to transcend genre convention—it wasn’t too long ago that he appeared shirtless and barefoot in front of a bunch of cavemen. Some argue that playing yet another guy from Texas is getting old. However, we couldn’t help but notice Jazz Raycole on screen as one of Mick Haller’s clients named Izzy Letts.

How to Make the Most of Work-for-Hire Roles

Work-for-hire gigs often provide an introduction to a larger project or organization. As such, these roles are perfect for actors who want to gain experience on a big movie or TV show, but not willing to be tied down by a multi-year contract with only one job offer. Being cast in a work-for-hire role means you’ll receive just that: pay for doing work without ownership of your character. But while it’s less fun than landing your own gig, work-for-hire roles can still be good opportunities—especially if you already have representation and a reputation as someone worth calling when jobs are available.

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