Saturday, July 31, 2010

High Speed

Spent the afternoon getting high speed hooked up. That's right, we've been on dial-up. Hopefully I will be able effectively utilize all the time saved. Instead of spending the evening loading one acting site, I can do several plus other stuff. For those of you who do not remember what dial-up is, think of dial-up as a riding lawn mower and high speed as a sports car.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I attend a bi-month drop in improv group when opportunity permits. Opportunity meaning I am not involved with a higher priority acting event such as being on set. Oh, I also participate. Yes, there are those that regularly come and never participate. Granted, two or three might just be providing rides, but...

Not really a format to get noticed, so why do I do it? It is an opportunity to keep my acting skills honed. And, let's face facts, CD's and the other powers that be like seeing "improv" on the ol' resume. Most importantly, I enjoy it.

Has it helped me. I think so. How? Putting in that performance time has helped me to relax and be in the moment. Booked as a result? Possibly, but it is impossible to know. Definitely would have moved me up the consideration list assuming no non-acting issues.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Casting Notice to Wrap

This month I booked a photoshoot which paid very well. How did I manage to get choosen over all the other actors/models that attended the go-see? Probably a lot of factors I will never be know about, but I did take steps to make myself more castable.

After getting the notice from my agent, I carefully read through the character breakdowns. Normally, I am clean shaven. However, in reading through the script, I felt that the characters would not have shaved. So, I let my facial hair grow. Notice did not call for facial hair, it was a personal choice. Since I got a call from the MUA few days before asking me not to shave, I figure it was a good choice.

When I went to the go-see, I dressed to suggest the overall feel of the general characters - don't remember exact wording, but basically unkempt, down on luck... Wore a plain T-shirt and old jeans. Also, did not comb my hair. Those at the go-see when I went were dressed a bit nicer with combed and styled hair.

During my go-see pictures, I relaxed and had fun with it. Yes, it is possible to do still photos without looking like you're standing at attention.

At the shoot, I showed up at my appointed time, a few hours before my shoot time. Typical shoot schedule. They where also shooting other characters that day. My point is to bring a book or something - which won't disturb those around you - to keep yourself entertained. When it was time for my shoot, there was a bit of tech stuff. Making sure the lighting was right, arranging/rearranging the setting, making sure they got plenty of usable shots to choose from.

Lessons learned/reconfirmed:
1. Know the character breakdown and do not be afraid to take risks. My facial hair could have lost me the role.
2. Dress to suggest, but don't go overboard. Had I rolled around in the dirt for the go-see, that would have been going overboard.
3. It is important to be able to relax and have confidence in yourself. Nervous looking stiffs have a low booking percentage.
4. With all projects, be prepared for "hurry up and wait."
5. There are lots of tech issues to consider. Do not let these things throw you.
6. Be able to follow direction and make adjustments.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

GoSees, Bookings and Auditions

This past week I went to a Go See. While facial hair wasn't specifically mentioned, in reading the character breakdowns, I thought this guy probably wouldn't shave. At least not at this particular point in his life. So I decided to let my whiskers grow. I shoot next Tuesday. Would I have gotten the part if I had been clean shaved (& all other factors constant.)? It might have been the winning point between me and whoever came in second. Or facial hair might have been the biggest factor in considering going the other way. Facial hair or not, most at the Go See when I went were not dressed to suggest character.

This afternoon, I had an audition for a character who is more likely to be clean shaved. (My headshot is a clean shaved version.) Did I shave for the role figuring I would just grow my whiskers back for Tuesday's shoot? Considered it, but decided there would not be enough time - would have a couple days less growth then I had at the Go See. Was concerned about going in to audition not looking like my headshot. Decided I would audition anyway and just tell them the facial hair is for a shoot on Tuesday. They were understanding. But what production doesn't want to hear that those auditioning are working? Their main concern was verifying that I was flexible.

Open Cattle Calls

Couple weeks ago there was an open casting call for all types for a TV pilot. Debated on going because it was no pay. But I figured maybe it is an "if it gets picked up..." which I would be fine with. After a significant wait, I heard they are casting five very specific parts. They were running behind so started dismissing those that were obviously the wrong type. So glad I ended up not reading. What an amateurish operation! A cattle call for five specific roles? No excuse for it. Last one I attend. Wouldn't mind the wait (that's to be expected, like getting sand on yourself at the beach) but what they did is inexcusably lazy.

This afternoon, I auditioned for another TV pilot. This one offered pay. They put out a casting notice with character breakdown. This one worked like this: Actor submits, Production responds w/role(s) - if any - they want to consider Actor for, Actor confirms interest and audition time is scheduled. They could have easily gone the open casting route as well. (Would have needed a larger venue, but that's not relevant.) This group put forth the effort to bring in just those who would be right for the roles being cast.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Communicative Marketing

A few days ago I noticed a sign that had written on it "eyebrow wax $7". It was one of those cardboard signs on thin wire people stick in the ground. The sign caught my attention because the concept of an eyebrow wax is somewhat of an oddity to me. Then I realized; where would I go if I wanted one? There was no business name, contact info or address. Just the above mentioned offer. It was not even in front of a business which offers such services. I assume $7 is a good price for an eyebrow wax and the person performing the service would be adequately skilled. It is possible that I will pull out the phone book or do an online search but why make it more difficult for me to find you? Why risk losing the job because I don't know who you are or how to contact you? This marketing effort is a failure.

While extra effort might be made by CDs or others to contact you in order to offer you a role, the effort will be less for auditions or callbacks. No matter how much I want the $7 eyebrow wax, I can only contact so many businesses before it is more practical to make other arrangements. Same with the powers that be trying to book you. At some point they will either give up on you or because of production schedule be forced to move to the next choice. While it is recommended that you don't obsess about hearing back after auditioning, becoming Incommunicado Actor is going too far the other way. Unfortunately, from what I've read, I suspect a high percentage of CDs, agents, etc have had personal dealings with this actor.