December 8, 2010

Only Pretty People Book Jobs

I get a lot of spam so I moderate all of my comments. I only get a few per post, if any at all, but I post them all. I was reading a few of my comments today and one was so...intriguing, that I had to write a post about it right away. It was written is response to my November 22nd post, "Finding Your Own Path".

This is from "Becca":

"But see thats sooo easy for you to say. because you're not struggling. You got it going on. so its easy to sit up there and say this. You wouldnt book half of the jobs if it wasnt your looks. You're a pretty girl. Not everyone is pretty"

I don't think anyone has ever said something so complimentary, yet simultaneously insulting to me. While I appreciate her compliments on my looks and perceived success, I take slight offense to her assertion that I'm only booking jobs because I'm pretty. I also feel that her statement is the embodiment of what I was warning against in the post that prompted her to write this.

She's right, not everyone is "pretty". I put "pretty" in quotes because what constitutes beauty is completely subjective...that's another story. Anyway, you don't have to be pretty to be successful, the same way being pretty doesn't mean you will be successful. I don't just book jobs because I'm pretty. I'm also hard working, I consistently do well in castings and photoshoots, casting directors and clients know that I will be professional on set, and I'm a generally pleasant person to be around. All of those factors apply to what makes a person bookable.

Now let's take a look at the industry as a whole. Yes, movie stars and TV stars are, for the most part, attractive or very attractive. But "stars" only make up a small part of the industry. There are tens of thousands of regular working actors who book consistently (sometimes more than stars) and range from gorgeous to downright funny looking. Most commercial actors are average looking or attractive, meaning the average viewer isn't intimidated by them. Their looks are "accessible" to the masses and they make up the majority of actors in commercials. Example: Every other commercial depicts a pretty wife, with an average looking husband that fucks something up, forcing the wife to save the day by utilizing whatever product is being peddled in said commercial.

Everyone has heard the phrase "In New York (or Los Angeles) beautiful girls are a dime a dozen". It's the truth. At every casting, there are going to be 100 pretty girls, and a handful will book the job. For every pretty girl that books regularly enough to support herself, there are 10 pretty girls that are still waiting tables full time. Some of these girls are really talented, some suck. But they are proof that beauty is only a small component in what it takes to make a career out of modeling and acting.

So, you may not be the prettiest girl or guy, but everyone has something special and unique that they bring to the table. Maybe you're really funny, or you're a great character actor, or your talent rivals Meryl Streep's. Take what makes you special and use it to your advantage. That's what all successful actors and models do. And once again, stop worrying about the person next to you. While you're busy comparing yourself to them, they're out there finding success.

December 7, 2010

My First Role On TV!

Hey everyone, I recently posted that I booked an under five on an episode of Law & Order: SVU. The episode aired on December 1st and I truly regret not posting a blog entry to let everyone know. I'd just moved into a new apartment and that whole week was insane! I'm so sorry for that.

But, I've come across a clip of the teaser (opening of the show) in which I appear. It's on Hulu so if you have an account you can see the entire episode. If not, the clip is the first 1:20 seconds of the episode. This is the only part that I appear in so, either way, you'll get to see my performance. The show opens with a big party scene. If for some reason the link doesn't work, please let me know. I really hope you enjoy!!

November 22, 2010

Finding Your Own Path

When I meet new people, especially actors/models who are just starting out, I'm frequently asked what steps I've taken in order to have done what I've accomplished so far. When you're doing research and trying to figure things out, it's really temping to try to mimic the choices that others have made in their careers. I think it's way too easy to get caught up in what others have done. Go on any message board centered around acting, and you will find countless posts where actors post some story about what some famous actor did to become a star.

Just because it worked for Al Pacino, or Julia Roberts, or Halle Berry does NOT mean it will work for you. We can all be headed to the same destination, but every single one of us is on a different path to get there. Many of us won't even make it there. Some actors/models read my blog and see me post about something that I did to get an agent or manager and they think that they can do the same thing. It may work, it may not.

There are many little things that factor into a situation working out in your favor. Perhaps when you and a friend each emailed that agent, they didn't call you in because they already had a girl just like you, but your friend with red hair and freckles got signed because the agent didn't have anyone of her type on their talent list. Or maybe your headshot sucked. Or maybe you remind them of their ex-husband. Or maybe they will see you in a commercial next year, call you back, and sign you. You both made the same effort in the same way, but got different results because you both aren't on the same path. It happens all the time.

Such is life.

Actors/models spend way too much time focusing on the person next to them. We spend too much time measuring our own successes/failures against what the person next to us is doing. Forget about them! Focus on you!

November 9, 2010

Amazing News!!

I booked the under five (less than 5 lines) on Law & Order: SVU!! I auditioned for the role on October 29th and had a callback November 2nd. I was booked the same day. I could NOT be more excited or more happy about this opportunity. I had my fitting on Monday and I'm due on set today at 4pm. My character's name is "Rebecca" and my name will appear somewhere in the credits at the end of the episode! I have exactly ONE line and I'm going to make sure that I rock it out!!

I'm not allowed to give any more details and I don't know when it's airing, but I will let everyone know as soon as I know.

November 1, 2010

October Progress Report

I think from now on I'm going to post one monthly progress report with posts centered on advice/issues in between. I already have 4 posts written up so they will be ready to post in regular intervals.

So anyway, here was my past month in "The Business":

October 4th
  • Shot a Promo for TV One.
October 5th
  • Callback for "Hardluck" short film. Booked it! I think the name will be changed to something else.
October 6th
  • Callback for Plan B casting from September 30th.
October 7th
  • Orientation for One On One.
October 10th
  • Booked short film titled "Father's Day" that I auditioned for on the 8th.
October 11th
  • Auditioned for an AT&T voice over.
October 15th
  • Casting for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Had to leave before being seen because I'd been kept waiting too long and had other places to be.
October 17th
  • Short film audition.
October 19th
  • Photo shoot for test prep material book.
October 21st
  • Print casting for Clairol shoot, given a callback and placed on hold.
  • Audition for a Mag Swing industrial.
October 23rd
  • Auditioned for a promo for OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).
  • Auditioned for a Search Engine non-union commercial, given callback.
October 26th
  • Clairol callback.
  • Auditioned for birth control industrial.
  • Search Engine commercial callback.
October 27th
  • Had my second meeting with Judy Boals Inc. I performed a monologue...still waiting to hear decision on representation from my manager.
  • Had an audition for a recurring role on "One Life to Live". It was rescheduled for November 2nd.
October 28th
  • Print casting for Saphris.
October 29th
  • Auditioned for an under five role on "Law and Order: SVU", was given a callback the same day. I meet the producers November 2nd.

It was a pretty great month and I get to start November with some gigantic auditions!

October 1, 2010

September Was Very Good To Me

So here is a breakdown of my September....

September 1st
  • Auditioned for a non-union commercial for the SyFy channel
  • Had a photoshoot for Glamour Magazine
  • Had a print casting for Huggies, booked it.
September 7th
  • Had a print casting for Belkin, booked it.
  • Auditioned for a SAG Axe commercial.
September 8th
  • Auditioned for a promo for TV One, booked it and I shoot it October 4th.
  • Auditioned for a non-union Burlington Coat Factory commercial.
September 14th
  • Auditioned for a Comedy Central Promo
  • Auditioned for a non-union Boston Market Commercial
September 15th
  • Took Geoff Soffer's "Auditioning for TV Intensive" for the second time.
September 16th
  • Auditioned for a SAG short film called "Hard Luck", got a callback.
September 21st
  • Did photoshoot for Belkin.
  • Began a new scene study class at The Barrow Group Theatre.
September 22nd
  • Did photoshoot for Huggies.
September 23rd
September 24th
  • Photoshoot for It's A Wig.
September 28th
  • Auditioned for ARMS commercial.
  • Had a callback for "Hard Luck" short film.
September 29th
  • Auditioned form a web series, was a top pick but did not book it.
September 30th
  • Met with two agents at Judy Boals for theatrical representation. I have a second meeting/performance assessment on October 27th.
  • Auditioned for a web commercial for Plan B.
  • Auditioned for a role in the play, "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

September was a really great month for me and I got a lot accomplished. I also got new headshots which got me called in for several of the projects that I auditioned for and booked this past month. Check them out!

Legit Shot

Commercial Shot

August 28, 2010

Staying On The Ball

The past two weeks have been somewhat eventful. August is usually a slow month for castings in the modeling/acting world. Summer is coming to a close and many agents/casting directors/clients are taking vacations or spending more time with friends and family before the fall season arrives. September should pick up significantly.

I'm taking advantage of this slower time to set up some more goals and take care of things that I've been putting off. I told you guys in my last post that I'd taken an auditioning for TV class with Geoffrey Soffer. That class was really eye opening for me and I immediately signed up for his next class so that I could take what I learned and put it to the test. I was supposed to take that class this past Wednesday, the 25th, but I ended up booking a tv promo for MTV and had to cancel. I signed up for his next class on the 15th of September.

The promo for MTV was a lot of fun and I'll post a link as soon as it's finished.

My biggest goal right now is finding a legit (tv/film) agent. I mean, seriously, who isn't looking for one? I was able to freelance with a good agency for this year's pilot season. I'm hoping to find someone to sign with in the next couple of months. Casting for co-stars, guest stars, one liners etc. for the upcoming episodic tv shows will be starting any day now so I'm hoping to get a chance to audition for some of those, but I definitely want to have an agent before pilot season starts. If I don't find one, I can probably kiss pilot season 2011 goodbye.

When I start meeting agents, I want to make sure all of my ducks are in a row. I just shot new headshots (will post my choices when I get the proofs back) and I've signed up for a new acting class. I've also signed up to audition for One on One, a networking program where members have access to classes and seminars with casting directors and agents. I'm not a fan of paid seminars and I've never done one, but I'm happy to pay to take a class with someone I can learn from.....and get opportunities from. I've heard great things about One On One so I hope they accept me.

While I'm sad that summer is ending, I'm very excited to go shopping for the fall. I'm taking this as an opportunity to change up my style a bit!

Progress Report

1. Shot a tv promo for MTV

2. Next week, I have a photoshoot with Glamour magazine.

August 3, 2010

Mid Summer Update

Finally updating!! Please forgive the poor lighting.

EDIT 3.16.2014: Both videos have been removed from YouTube. Sorry!

May 3, 2010

Long Time No See...

Once again, I'm a terrible blogger. I'm sorry.

On a brighter note, I'm still very busy! This week alone I'm shooting a promo for Spike TV, an industrial for Yaz, and I'm on hold for a big 3 day photoshoot for Yaz that would eliminate the rest of my student loans.

Here's the main reason why I've been so busy. On top of my busy schedule (still working part time as a hostess though....) I'm in the final stages of planning my wedding! I'm getting married on June 26th so when I'm not running around going to castings/auditions, I'm looking at color palettes, reading bridal magazines, setting up meetings with different wedding vendors, and helping coordinate travel arrangements for my out of town guests. My wedding really has been my priority these past few months and the fact that I'm getting busier and busier with my work has only been making it more difficult to juggle my responsibilities.

But don't think I'm complaining. I'm not. In fact, I'm having the time of my life and I'm trying to enjoy every single moment. This past Saturday, I had my menu tasting and it was almost surreal. I sat down with my fiancè, wedding coordinator and my maid of honor. We ate so much food, drank champagne, and stuffed ourselves with incredible desserts. And in a flash, it was over. That one moment that I will never experience again was over so quickly, but I made sure to take in every single detail.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes life gets crazy and I'm being pulled in different directions. But, you have to maintain perspective. I like to stop what I'm doing and take a moment to appreciate and focus on those important moments truly mean something to me. There will always be another casting or audition but there won't always be another wedding.

So there you have it. I hope it doesn't take so long to update next time. :)

March 23, 2010

I Hate To Leave Y'all Hangin...

But I've been sooooo busy!! *does a booty dance*

I signed with Buchwald (Don Buchwald and Associates or DBA) for commercial representation. I was offered representation by Innovative, and Buchwald, Paradigm wanted to freelance. It took me a few days to choose, but ultimately, I felt that Buchwald was a better fit. The contract was huge! It took me forever to read the entire thing and I had to sign several copies of each document, it was pretty cool. I've already gone out for two big commercial auditions, one for Starbucks (got a callback) and the other is for CoverGirl, but it's too soon to know anything about this one, it shoots next week.

Talent House has been blowing my mind with the tv/film auditions that I've been getting. I had two pilot auditions (lead roles) for the CW (they ended up casting "name actors".....go figure, and one of them was cast before I even got to audition, lol) and an audition for a new HBO show called Treme. On Thursday, I have an audition for a scene in a feature film starring Michael C. Hall and Lucy Liu, and for a new character (series regular) on Days of Our Lives. Yowza!! I'm super excited about both of them and I hope that I do well.

I'm going to try to update my blog more often, even if it's just to write a few sentences. :)

Progress Report

1. Shot a promo for a Comedy Central show called Important Things with Demetri Martin. It was my first union job (AFTRA) and was a lot of fun. It's already airing on tv although I haven't seen it. I play a pissed off girlfriend who throws a drink in her boyfriend's face.

2. Shot for Babies R Us for the 5th time.

3. Did a really fun shoot for Gerber. (I've been getting a lot of young mom stuff lately)

4. Shot an industrial for Polo Ralph Lauren. It was a two day shoot in NJ and we were put up in a very nice hotel for two nights. Had a blast, despite the 4am call time each morning!!

5. As soon as I got back, I had to speed off to a SAG short film audition. I was so exhausted that I REALLY bombed this one. The CD had called me in a million times before and told me that she specifically thought of me for this role. I'm pretty sure she regretted that after this audition. LOL??

February 27, 2010

Major Updates Y'all

Hello everyone, these past few weeks have been very busy and I've been keeping quiet because I didn't want to discuss things until I was sure they were taking place. Didn't want to jinx anything. Since my last post, I've met with commercial agents at 3 great agencies: Innovative, Paradigm, and Buchwald. All three meetings went very well and I know that at least one wants to sign me.....because I had a second meeting with them and they told me. :) I'm meeting with my manager on Monday to discuss my options and decide where we want to go from here. I don't know what the other two agencies think of me because I haven't spoken to my manager about it yet, but I'll know for sure on Monday. In the next week or two, I'll be signed to a commercial agency and I'll tell you which one I sign with.

On Tuesday, I'm shooting a promo for a TV show on Comedy Central. It's an AFTRA job and my very first union gig so I'm super excited!!

In other big news...okay HUGE NEWS, I have an audition next week for a pilot! I won't discuss the specifics, but this pilot is for a major network and will be appealing mostly to the teen crowd. No, it's not Disney. :P

This is my first audition through Talent House and my agent over there called me yesterday about it. I was afraid that they had forgotten about me but he told me that they were waiting for the right match for me. The character is listed as a series regular meaning she will appear in every (or almost every) episode. I have my sides and read the entire script for the pilot and I'm super excited about this opportunity and I hope that I get great feedback if nothing else. The script is really cool and very different from anything I've ever imagined myself doing, so it will be fun if I get the chance to play this character. Please everyone, send me positive energy!

Progress Report

1. I was placed on hold for another SAG commercial but was released. Same thing happened for a photoshoot for Shell Gasoline. Progress nonetheless!!

February 2, 2010

Behind the Scenes of My First Commercial

So, my meeting with David McDermott at JGD went really well and he now represents me on a freelance basis. The day after we met, I was sent out on an audition for Bank of America. I was given a callback and went on to book the commercial!! This is my very first real commercial and I was super excited, I still am!

So, the BoA commercial that I shot was shot POV style and I had to wear a special camera helmet to capture the proper visual effect. Two days before the shoot, I had to go to the studio for a rehearsal with the helmet. When I was on set, the crew was still putting the final touches on the camera and I knew it was going to be very heavy. Luckily, I had brought my big beanie hat with me and wearing that under the helmet gave me a great deal of cushion. The director had me walk around the set a bit and gave me specific directions. The camera on the helmet was connected to several monitors that allowed the producers and crew to see exactly what was being captured.

The day of the shoot, I arrived at about 10:30am and went straight to craft services! There was SO.MUCH.FOOD. I sat in the holding room and met some of the other actors that would be in a few of the scenes with me. I didn't realize until the day of shooting that I was the "star" of my spot. There were four spots being shot over the course of two days and I was the last one. The others involved a mom and her two children, a young business man traveling for work, and a hip artist living with his two dogs. My character was Kaye, a young college grad hanging with friends and celebrating her birthday.

Because the equipment that I had to wear was so heavy and restrictive, I was really doted on. The director, AD and DP (assistant director and director of photography) constantly asked how I was, brought me water and tea when I wanted, and gave me pillows to make me comfortable. Here's a video of me, Chef the AD (who liked to call himself chocolate thunder), and in the background wearing the striped shirt is Pat, the DP.

Once we began shooting around 1pm, it went pretty quickly, only taking about 5-6 hours. My first scene was in full makeup and dress, the only scene where you will actually see my face. Then we shot the other three POV scenes: hanging with my friends at a burger joint, at home in my apartment alone, and at dinner celebrating my birthday. The equipment was pretty heavy and the shooting style was very technical and somewhat difficult. The were certain shots where I had to look down or move sideways, but because the camera was so heavy, Pat had to stand behind me and literally guide my head wherever I needed to point the camera. It was very meticulous.
Everyone was so cool and laid back, and I had the best time ever. The day really flew by and I was a bit sad to leave. I felt really special when the director have me a big hug after the shoot. He told me that he only chooses the best and he knew when he saw me at the casting that I would be great. All of the producers told me how wonderful I was and that my next commercial needs to be for toothpaste! :)
Being silly.

My "friends" in the commercial. This shot is exactly the way it will look on film from my POV. Pretty cool huh?

I was in this thing for hours! Ok, a few breaks in between.

Progress Report
1. Booked a photoshoot for Baked Lays/Sun Ships but had to turn it down because it shot the same day as the BoA commercial. :(
2. My manager set me up with Michele Bianculli, the head of the new commercial department at Stewart Talent. I met with her yesterday and the meeting went very well. She told me she would get the rest of my info from my manager and we would move from there.
3. On Thursday, my manager got me a meeting with a commercial agent at Innovative Artists and I'm crazy excited about that. Most actors/models know that Innovative is one of the THE biggest agencies out there, both East and West coast, so this is a great opportunity. I hope I'm able to impress them.
4. I have an audition tomorrow for a Macy's SAG industrial.

January 13, 2010

Babies R Us...Again

I have the worst cold ever! Sunday I woke up and could barely move my body. My throat was sore and I couldn't breathe through my nose. I called in sick and literally stayed on the couch all day drinking apple juice. I had to send my honey to the corner store twice. I needed to feel better because I knew the next day was going to be a long one. I was shooting for Babies R Us again and had to be on set at 12:30 which isn't that early, but the shoots are in New Jersey. I fucking hate going to New Jersey.

I got to the set and for this particular shoot there weren't going to be any children, it was a baby shower theme. The other two models were my age, and we thought it was funny that they always cast really young women to play the moms. Apparently, according to one of the other models, when BRU does consumer polls, the majority of the women have the most positive reaction to ads with very young moms. Who knew?

So anyway, the shoot only took about 3 hours and we spent most of the time sitting around and talking. I was surprised by the length of the shoot because the other two times I shot with them, I was only there for about half an hour or so. I felt horrible for one of the other girls, she had an audition for one of the big soap operas at 3pm and totally didn't make it. We didn't get out until 3:15. I wonder if she still got to audition?

These particular ads are supposed to run in all of the parenting magazines so I'll keep an eye out for the next few months. Those would be some great tear sheets for my book.

Progress Report

Tomorrow is a pretty big day!

1. I have an audition for short film that pays per day. I love those.

2. My manager, Chris, set me up with a meeting with a commercial agent tomorrow morning. His name is David McDermott and he's with Jordan, Gill & Dornbaum or JGD. I've heard great things about this agency, although I didn't know they worked with adults, so that's really cool. Chris told me that David is a great guy and very well respected. I'm super excited I really hope that he likes me. It's like Chris read my mind or something because I've been searching around for a commercial agent to submit to.

January 10, 2010

Hey Y'all

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Okay, now that I got that out of the way I just want to apologize for being so MIA these past few weeks. December was one of the most stressful, roller coaster months I've ever had. Lots of highs, but a few lows to go with them. If I explain every single thing that went down this post would never end. So instead of that, I'm just going to make a list for you to quickly catch up on.

1. I booked Soft and Beautiful. I was then replaced two days before shooting because a.) they wanted to texturize my hair AND cut it after I'd already told them no and b.) the hairstylist burned the entire front section of my hair off with a curling iron during a hair prep session. Yes, you read that correctly, he burned my hair off. After I became upset (sobbing) and had to call my agency (CESD) I left the salon after having been there for nearly 7 hours. I had to threaten legal action in order to be paid for my time. I was devastated by this turn of events and cried for several days. Not only did I (through no fault of my own) lose out on a huge opportunity and paycheck, I had to cut out three sections of hair.

2. My Prestige agency is now known as PMG Models, but on the acting side, it is still Prestige Management Group.

3. I signed with a manager at Prestige. WOO HOO!!! Christopher Silveri, my manager (still getting used to saying that!) had set up a showcase the day after my Soft and Beautiful fiasco with Jed Abrams, an acting agent at Talent House. I went in a performed sides and a monologue for Chris, Jed, and two others. Chris called me in the next day and told me that he loved me, thinks I can be a star and that he wants to sign me. He also said that Jed loved me and wanted to me to come to his agency and meet his partner, Pete. I signed with Chris a few days later.

4. I met with Jed and Pete, read for them, and sent in a taped audition. They want to do an exclusive freelance with me for pilot season and if I get good feedback, they may sign me.

5. I've shot for Babies R Us...twice, and I'm shooting with them again tomorrow. I guess this means they like me??

Other than this, I've been slowly getting back into the swing of things, I'm still kind of tired from the roller coaster ride that December took me on, but I'm excited about the next several weeks and what's to come. I've narrowed down my acting school choices to a handful of prospects and I'm excited to get back into class, it's been too much time. I will not be making a list of goals right now because I'm not really sure what they are at the moment, I'm just kind of going with the wind right now until I'm able to refocus.