July 27, 2011

Quick Update

A few days after my last post, I flew to Texas with my husband for 4 days to visit my mom and sisters. My niece and nephews were an absolute JOY to be around and we all had so much fun! I also ate like a pig....an indulgence that I'm still recovering from. I practically lived off of Reese's blizzards from Diary Queen, Jamoca milkshakes from Arby's, and AUTHENTIC southern sweet tea. These are three of my favorite things and none of them are available in NYC so of course I made up for lost time while there.

I'd had a couple of auditions the week before I left, but nothing came to fruition. Because the past month has been so slow, I expected to come home to a quiet week. But, as soon as I got to Texas, I started getting calls and emails for upcoming castings/auditions. When we made it back to NYC on the 17th, my whole week had already been booked up!

I auditioned for 2 feature films, two print jobs, and two commercials. I booked one of the feature films, I'm on hold for one of the print jobs (HTC), I have a callback today for one of the commercials (Home Goods). I'm also auditioning for another feature film and have a print casting.

I'm just happy that things are getting back into full swing and episodic season is right around the corner!

July 10, 2011

CBS Diversity Workshop & Headshot Advice

So, a few weeks ago, I attended a workshop for actors of color with the VP of CBS casting, Fern Orenstein. It was a free workshop that I found out about through my SAG email alerts. It was through submissions only, so the day I found out about it, I dropped my headshot off at the SAG offices here in NYC.

I got a call a few days later saying that I'd been selected to attend. Basically, Fern would be discussing what it takes to get cast in TV and she also helped each actor determine their "type". On top of that, she'd be critiquing our headshots.

I arrived about 15 minutes late because I took too long getting ready, lol. She had already started and I walked in on her telling an actor that he "Looks crazy as hell" in is headshot. Ha! This lady was ON FIRE. She was brutally honest when talking about how casting works and how casting directors have no imagination. She dropped many F bombs and was absolutely hilarious. She said that they have very specific ideas about what a "type" looks like when casting a role and if you don't fit the description, you don't get called in.

She had a copy of every actor's headshot and went one by one, showing it off to the entire room and asking the others to weigh in on what kinds of characters we thought the person could play. She also asked each actor to tell her what they thought their type was. Nine times out of ten, the actor's thoughts did NOT align with her perception of the actor's headshot. I was shocked at how terrible most of the headshots were. She was not shy about telling actors exactly what was wrong either!

Here are some of my favorite pieces of advice that she gave:

  • Think of it as "I just got hired to play...." when dressing for headshots. How would you be dressed on set? (Don't take this literally when thinking of a nurse/doctor role, but your outfit needs to have the essence of it, such as a v-neck shirt) Think of the photoshoot as a performance. All of the elements need to contribute to the performance.
  • You need to have separate shots for each 'character'. Don't try to marry multiple characters into one shot.
  • Pay careful attention to the background! Make sure it matches the character. (Many actors had headshots that were done against brick walls, giving the shot a grittier feel when the actor's type may have been 'girl next door' or 'sensitive artist'.)
Out of all of the actors (around 30), she only said that she liked about 5 photos. When she got to me, she said that she really liked my headshot (yay!) but that it reads a bit girlish/young compared to how I looked in person. I was dressed in a tight tank top, skinny jeans, and platform heels. I also had a full face of makeup. This was in prep for Geoff Soffer's class that I was taking afterward. Plus, I wanted to look hot. :)

I told her that I'd be re-shooting in a month and she said she wants me to get photos that show me as more sophisticated and womanly. She wants more attitude and a 'take charge' personality. I think she pegged me pretty well considering she'd never met me before. Also, when I look at the acting gigs that I've booked in recent months, she's DEFINITELY spot on because I've been playing women with attitude and a take no prisoners approach. She also said to make sure I get photos done with my hair straight.

All in all, it was a great works shop and I'm glad that I read that email from SAG. Fern was such a nice woman and she gave all of the actors her email address so that we can keep in touch with her and ask for advice on new headshots.

July 6, 2011

My First Webisode

This episode is from a web series titled "Stay At Home Dad". I blogged about booking this back in March. The episode has been live for a few weeks now, and it's pretty funny. Please ignore the racist idiots in the comments section.

Progress Report

So far the summer has been DREADFULLY slow. I booked one photo shoot last month and have only had ONE audition since early June. That's it!!

On the bright side, I just celebrated my one year anniversary with my husband on the 26th of June. I'd meant to post wedding photos on the day of our anniversary but you all know I'm not the best at regularly updating my blog. I may post the photos in a day or two.

Since things have been so slow, I've been taking the time to keep on top of my "actor tools". I started a new scene study class at Larry Singer Studios. I also took Geoff Soffer's TV auditioning class again, to see if I've improved at all. I felt very good about the class and Geoff says that I've definitely gotten better since the last time I took his class.

I'm also getting new headshots!! I'm no longer happy with my current ones and I've lost a few more pounds. I'm going to go back to Laura Rose since the photos I got the last time I shot with her were so amazing. I'm shooting with her on the 21st of this month and I could not be more excited. I'm going to be mixing things up and doing a set with curly hair and a set with straight hair.