February 15, 2012

Recently...

These past few weeks have been pretty interesting and a couple of last minute things have been popping up, taking me by surprise.

I've only had two pilot auditions so far, and one of them I actually passed on (gasp!!) because I didn't like the character/script. The first audition was for a really cool CBS pilot and the character was a lot of fun to play. I know with episodic casting, the process is very fast, but I don't really know how it works with pilots. I know that the process can be fast, or take weeks. The other pilot really isn't worth mentioning.

Last week, I shot a commercial/print ad for Speedstick deodorant. I didn't even have to audition! This situation is another lesson in why building great relationships and doing good work on set can bring forth other opportunities. Some of you may remember that in the spring of last year, I filmed a guest spot on a web series called "Stay At Home Dad". Here is the link to my episode here.

So, the same production company that produces this series was commissioned to shoot several spots for this product. They knew that they wanted me for one of the spots because they loved what I did on SAHD, but when they went to the clients, the clients still wanted me to come in and audition with all of the other actors. However, when they showed the clients the web series episode, they decided to give me the part then and there.

When I was on set for the commercial shoot last week, I was talking to one the producers, Brandon Williams, who also stars in the web series, and he told me that the success of the web series has opened more doors for them. They have been taking meetings with various networks who are interested in turning the web series into a half hour sitcom. Brandon told me that if the show gets picked up, he wants me to appear in one of the episodes! And that, my friends, is how you cultivate lasting professional relationships in this business. You do a great job on set, keep a fun and positive attitude, and make people fall in love with you and your work.

Also, as I type this, I'm on hold for another commercial that shoots in a couple of days. I'll get to spend the whole day eating strawberries and apples if I book it.

In other news, I started a new acting class and I'm very happy with it so far. I'm taking an advanced technique/scene study class with Terry Schreiber, the owner/founder of T. Schreiber Studio. I feel as though I'm being challenged in this class and I've already learned so much by being there. It's a hard class though. It's 5 hours long and that can be pretty brutal, especially when I'm hungry.

And finally, I'm still working on my "Pseudo-Casting Director" series, but it's A LOT to put on "paper"! I hope to start rolling those out in a couple of weeks. We are moving into the callback phase of the casting and we are very excited to bring back some of these actors and see what else they can bring to these amazing characters. I will keep everyone posted as things progress.

ETA: After posting this, I found out that I booked the commercial and the role in the pilot has been cast.

February 4, 2012

Actors Are....Strange

Okay, not all actors, but a great number of them! Let me explain....

I'm currently in the middle of casting a SAG project with my bff and it's amazing to me how many actors throw opportunity right out of the window by making a myriad of mistakes. Because of my experiences so far, I've been inspired to write a series of posts called, "Confessions of a Pseudo-Casting Director". I'm really just going to break down what the process has been like from the start (releasing the breakdown on Breakdown Services) all the way to choosing our cast.

Now, I respect the privacy of every single person out there so I will NEVER name names or give away anything regarding specific physical characteristics, etc. I also respect the sanctity of the audition room. It's where we expose all of our vulnerabilities to a complete stranger and hope that they see us as the perfect choice to play the character that we are auditioning for. This series is not about judgement. The purpose of these posts is to help other actors identify things that they may be doing that are detrimental to them either getting called in, getting called back, or getting the part. While there are a few anecdotes, I will mostly be speaking in generalities because we saw some of the same things happen over and over again.

Personally, I have learned a great deal just from sitting in a room and watching actor after actor come in and either tremble with fear (So unnecessary because, um...who the hell are we? Plus, we are SO nice!), or just throw caution to the wind and go balls out in their performance, or completely miss the mark due to lack of preparation. We have had people blow us away, completely surprise us, completely piss us off, and/or leave us feeling disappointed.

As I was saying before, this experience has been tremendously helpful for me and I hope that other people learn from it as well! I urge anyone out there to please go sit in on a casting session if you can. Ask your agent to pawn you off on one of their casting director friends, post a notice at the different film schools volunteering your reader services free of charge, or if you're really ballsy, ask the CD at your next audition if they need any free help running the camera or being a reader. Being able to watch what other actors do in the room is invaluable.

My first post in this series is coming soon. I'm not sure how many posts there will be, but I anticipate at least 3-4. I want to be thorough so please be patient. Stay tuned!