August 20, 2009

"Short Story" Film/Verizon Shoot

So, last Tuesday, I began filming a short film titled, "Short Story". I think that's just a working title so we'll see in the next few months. It was a very fun shoot. The film is essentially a re-enactment of a very unlucky night for a dwarf named Lupo. He comes to the US to collect an inheritance and while sitting in a bar one evening, meets a beautiful woman named Alexis, played by yours truly. They have a connection and spend a few minutes chatting and getting to know each other. What happens next for Lupo results in a very bad night.

We shot at an old dive bar in Brooklyn, and while the shoot lasted 4 days, I only shot for 2. The first day, we shot the main bar scene and did all of the master shots and two shots. On the second day, I came back and we shot the closeups. It was so hot outside and even hotter in the bar! The crew had to turn off the AC because of the noise so we were dying all day. Luckily, my costume was a strapless sun dress so I was a bit cooler than some of the other people on set. Lupo, the star (whose name is the same in real life), was very sweet and fun to work with. Pretty much the entire cast and crew was German and Lupo was flown in from Germany the week prior to the shoot.

The director, Klaus Pohl, was so sweet and very passionate. He spent a great deal of time yelling (not really in a mean way.....I think) at the crew in German which I thought was pretty funny. The only person that didn't get yelled at by him was me. :) He was very nice to me and made sure that I was always comfortable and had what I needed. On top of everything, I was paid a very nice day rate for the film. It was a great experience and I'm excited to see the film when it's finished.

Here are some photos from the shoot.

Me and Lupo.

Verizon Photo Shoot

Last Thursday I did a photo shoot for Verizon. It was very strange because the shoot was done over night in New Jersey. We shot at the the Verizon Evolution store in South Plainfield, NJ. The models and crew met in midtown around 9pm, and took SUVs to the location. There were two female models, including myself, and two male models. We got to the store almost an hour behind schedule because one the male models was late. He didn't really care about being late either. He was very nonchalant about it, as if he was doing us a favor by showing up. It made me instantly dislike him. Turns out, both of the male models knew each other and about halfway through the drive, I had to put on my iPod to drown out the sound of them pumping their own egos. Talking about girls that were "stalking" them etc etc. It was really annoying and I knew it was going to be a looooooong shoot.

On another note, I was very happy because Stefanie Syat was the makeup artist for the shoot. She's the same MUA that did my makeup for my headshots! Anyway, the shoot was very easy, despite lasting until 4am. We essentially played shoppers in the store looking at various items and holding one pose for each "scene".

Progress Report

1. On hold for Nokia shoot!
2. Auditioned for Trim Stix commercial a few days ago. Was put on hold this morning!
3. Booked a short film, "Ribbons".

August 12, 2009

My First Networking Event

Last Thursday was my very first networking event, so I am no expert by any means, but I think I know how to work a room. The name of the event was Industry Networking Party 2.0. I, unfortunately, missed the first event so I knew I needed to be at this one. The event was hosted by Prestige Management Group, one of my reps as you know, and an organization called Act Outside the Box which is headed by Lisa Gold. It was at a nice bar/lounge and free to attend, although by invite only. On top of that, drinks were half price for the first two hours and there was a stage where people could sing karaoke. I went with my fiance (a non-actor) and good friend Nosheen, who is a gorgeous model/actress/singer from the UK.

The event was also attended by some great industry people such as agents, casting assistants for some of the big soap operas, and producers. Basically, really great people to know....that you don't have to pay to meet. Upon arrival, we were given name tags to correspond with our "specialization". Actors had blue name tags, industry folks had red, and the organizers had gold. It was great because you knew right off the bat who was who, but it was also hilarious because it was so obvious the way people were sizing up others.

Minutes after arriving and being labeled as actors, my friend and I were approached by two agents and told how beautiful we were and that we had great looks. I told them that Nosheen is also a singer and she told them about her music. We chatted for a few minutes, talked about recent projects, exchanged business cards (I just got mine the day before and they are awesome!), and then we all moved on. Simple, quick, and painless.

Right after, I spotted an agent that was surrounded by about 5 enthusiastic actors. She works in the commercial department for CESD and is the kind of agent that a lot of actors would love to meet. Keep in mind, everyone was wearing name tags that also listed where they work. I wanted to introduce myself but waited until she was alone for a moment. I'm slightly weirded out by the thought of speaking to someone I don't know with a bunch of other people I don't know, watching and judging me. Call me crazy. So, Nosheen and I walked over to say hi. Well, before I said two words, and older actress, probably about 40, came over and interrupted me mid-sentence and started talking to her. I suppose she thought she was being assertive or aggressive or whatever you want to call it, but frankly, it was very rude. I looked at Nosheen and she gave me the eye as if to say, "Get in there!" I didn't want to come off that way, so I waited for her to finish, which took about 2-3 minutes. As the other actress said her goodbyes, I asked the agent a few questions about herself. We chatted for a minute, I gave her my card, and thanked her for her time.

I decided not to let the bad manners of others ruin my night. We all ended up having a great time. Nosheen did some karaoke and I also got to see one of my agents perform a song, it was quite hilarious. I met a bunch of other great actors and made sure to exchange contact info with them. I even met someone who reads my blog, hi Yolanda!! I met with a few other industry folk including an agent's assistant from The Gage Group, a casting assistant for "All My Children", and some producers of a web series. I felt like it was a fun, successful night. There is another event on the 20th and I'd like to attend that one as well.

Here are a couple of photos from the event.

Me with Lisa Gold of Act Outside the Box....not sure why I'm making that face. :P

From left to right: Jillian Hasset (my print agent at Prestige), my gorgeous friend Nosheen, my fiance Nodari (I'm cracking up at his expression), yours truly.

Progress Report

1. Booked the Verizon shoot. Shoots tomorrow night.
2. Wrapped up short film, "Short Story".
3. Had a print casting for Nokia today.
4. Casting for New York & Co. tomorrow morning.
5. No longer able to perform in the play "Sisters".


Here is what my business card looks like:

The Front

The Back

I love it!!

August 5, 2009

Having A Great Attitude and Working Hard

I've been so busy lately and I've been getting bored with just giving updates and I wouldn't be mad if everyone else was too. I want to write about things other than my auditions, but still related to my careers in acting and modeling. I was thinking about maybe just writing about whatever is on my mind and then adding a second section in each post to give quick highlights on my auditions and bookings, as well as classes and meetings with industry people.

Looking back over these past few months and how much fun I've been having, I wanted to figure out what has been most effective in my life. I'd have to say that hands down, having a great attitude and working my butt off have been instrumental in springing me forward. I know that this sounds like a no brainer, but it's easier said than done. After Gilla Roos closed down and I was trying to figure out how to bounce back from the setback, I was feeling so discouraged and low. I was letting the frustration get the best of me and there were a few times where I felt like giving up. I don't what caused it, but one day I realized that I just wasn't putting forth enough effort. I had been deluding myself into thinking that I was doing all that I was supposed to do, and that outside factors were preventing me from moving forward: the business is slow, I'm not getting sent out enough, I can't afford the necessary tools...blah blah blah.

The fact of the matter was: I had an awful headshot and was too cheap to get new ones, I wasn't on the major casting sites, I would read BackStage, but rarely submit, I was postponing meeting with a few agents because I was too nervous (lazy) to prepare material for them, and finally, I just wasn't making my career my top priority.

I guess my first big step was really taking the time to learn my type before getting my headshots done. By fully understanding which roles to gear myself toward, it made everything else so much simpler. From there, it was a snowball effect. I invested in the best headshots and the response has been overwhelming. So far, for every 5 projects that I submit to, I'm getting called in for 3. Of the projects that I've been called in for, I've gotten callbacks on most, booked, or got great feedback. The same can be said for the acting jobs that my agents have sent me on.

Once I started really taking charge of my career and staying focused, my attitude changed because I knew that whatever I was putting out into the universe would come back to me threefold. Now I know that this is only the beginning of a new chapter, and that we all have ups and downs, but I know that no matter what, as long as I stay positive and work hard, anything that I do is something that I can be proud of.

Progress Report
1. On hold for Verizon Print Ad
2. Had another audition for a different role on Gossip Girl. The CD told me that everyone loved me from my last audition, but the role ended up getting cut.
3. Shot a short film, "Low Brow", this past weekend.
4. Auditioned for two short films.
5. Doing a screen test for another short film this weekend, and possibly shooting next week.
6. Had a print casting for Sun Crystals, and Toys R Us.