December 30, 2013

Finally, A REAL Blog Address!

After almost 4 years, I've finally added a real blog address for my blog and I could not be more excited!

Welcome to www.theactressmodel.com!

Please keep in mind that I have not re-routed the naked domain name just yet so if you try to type in my blog address without the 'www', you will get an error page.

I'm still working on the layout right now (This ugly crap that you're seeing is not the final product!) and I'm currently working on several posts simultaneously, including one that gets you guys up to date on what's been going on with me since this past summer when I fell off of the face of the Earth.

Thanks for checking back in with me and I will see you all again in the New Year!

P.S. I can't believe it's essentially been a year since I moved to Los Angeles. Time is going by too fast!

December 27, 2013

I'm Back!!

Well, I will be back in a few weeks.

These past six months have honestly been a series of tragedy, heartbreak, highs, lows, and everything in between. I haven't been in the best emotional space and while blogging about it could have been therapeutic, I just didn't want to blog for a little while.

BUT!

I have finally reached the top of the emotional hill that I've been climbing this entire past year and I'm seeing myself and my life with a new set of eyes. I have so much that I want to tell you guys and I'm sorry that I disappeared. I have missed blogging and I will be coming back with a vengeance in the next couple of weeks.

I've purchased the domain name for the title of my blog so very soon, this blog address will be theactressmodel.com. How cool is that? I'm also in the process of purchasing a new custom layout that will be simple and sophisticated because right now, I despise my blog layout. On top of that, I'm planning to expand my content to more lifestyle based entries because I don't like being limited to just talking about my career. My life is so much more than this business and that's one of the things that it took me this year to realize. Yes, I am an actress. Yes, I am a model. But I'm also a wife, a sister, a friend, a beauty enthusiast, a pretty damn good cook, someone who cries (a lot), and so much more. Oh, and I'm a mom!

A cat mom, that is. Gotcha! :)

Anyway, don't fret! I will still be mostly dishing about the highs and lows of navigating this crazy industry. I will still be answering questions to the best of my abilities and taking you all along with me on this journey. If you have any ideas or input on what you'd like to see from The Actress/Model this year, leave a comment for me!

Thank you all for reading and I hope the holiday season is bringing you lots of joy.

July 29, 2013

My Recurring Guest Star Role

These past few months have been so crazy and busy, and this post will be very quick.

I'm just here to share that my first episode of Rizzoli & Isles airs tomorrow night at 9PM on TNT, Pacific Time. Unfortunately, I don't know the air times for the other time zones, so please check your tv guides if you want to watch!

This is the recurring guest star role that I told you guys about back on May 1st when I first blogged about it. I just recently shot my third episode and I'm hoping that there will be more to come. I hope you watch and I will be back to blogging semi-regularly in the next couple of weeks. 

Take care!


May 29, 2013

Dealing With Downtime

Here is a comment/question that was recently posted on my last blog entry:

"Written by: Daye

How do you deal with blank time, meaning there is no work coming in for days, it drives me nuts."

Every year, around this time and the holidays, things slow down drastically for me and probably many others in the business. Right now, we're in between pilot season and episodic season and my legit auditions have almost come to a standstill. I'm getting a couple of commercial auditions a week and the occasional print casting.

While I'm sometimes driven crazy during these times, the best thing to do when you're having an audition slump is to keep yourself busy with other things. Simple, right? Well....yes. It is pretty simple.

Of course, there are acting related activities and tasks that can keep you busy: classes, blogging, seeing films and plays, or even just reading the memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies of your favorite performers. If you're strapped for cash, now's a great time to pick up some additional shifts at work to make a bit of extra cash. No pesky auditions to get in the way.

In addition to those things, you can take the extra time to step up your fitness, read books, spend time with friends and family, or just relax. You know? Normal people things? Reading is one of my favorite past times and in the past month, I've finished 7 novels and I'm half way through my 8th. Side Note: You must read World War Z. It was positively brilliant. And scary. So make sure you have a snuggle buddy or a squeezable stuffed animal because I had nightmares each of the three nights it took me to read the book. 
If you live in a major city, you should have no shortage of interesting activities to take advantage of. I'm planning to go zip-lining in the next couple of weeks. So try something that you've never done before.

It's easy to get sucked into spending your every waking moment thinking about auditions and acting and meeting casting directors. But, we also need to make sure that we have identities and interests outside of "THE BUSINESS". There are always going to be slow periods and those are the perfect times to rediscover the other things that you love. Yesterday was Memorial Day which means SUMMER IS HERE!! Take advantage!

What's really great about remaining engaged by other things is that when the phone rings the next time you have an audition, you'll have even more life experiences to draw from. That's an advantage that any actor can use.

Now get off your computer and go do something!



May 1, 2013

The Power Of Saying 'No'

So, I've been pretty vocal about the fact that I'm trying to break out of the co-star level and move up to shooting guest stars. I've been auditioning at the guest star level pretty consistently for the last several months, which is great. I've discussed no longer accepting co-star auditions but every now and then, I'll go in for a co-star as long as I have something to gain from it, whether it be great footage because the scene is decent, or using it as an opportunity to meet a new casting director that I've never been seen by. Being new to LA, taking the occasional co-star audition has been especially helpful as evidenced by my previous post.

What is more difficult, is learning when it's time to say no. Even though I'd resolved not to go in for co-stars anymore, I've just explained a number of situations where I went back on my word. A couple of weeks ago, I learned a great lesson about finally saying 'no'.

One of my first auditions when I got to LA was for a guest star role on a hit cable show. I got a callback and didn't get the part. I didn't see that CD again until a few weeks ago. He brought me straight to producers for a recurring guest star role. I went in and nailed my audition. The next day, my manager called to tell me that they decided to book someone else for the part but because the producers loved me, they offered me another part. A co-star role that didn't even have a name. It was one of those characters that was called WAITRESS/HOSTESS/CASHIER/etc., you know what I'm saying. One scene, about 5 lines if I remember correctly.

I was disappointed. Once again, I was being told that I was great and that the producers loved me, but once again, I was NOT being booked for the part that I needed to get to that next level. I had just dealt with a similar situation that I discussed in my last post, and even though I had gained a bit from that situation, I still felt that I had to compromise myself for it. I didn't want to do that again.

So, I politely declined the role.

My manager supported my decision 100% and told me that he felt I was doing the right thing. I was never going to move up if I kept doing co-stars.

And then...something miraculous happened.

My manager called me back about an hour later and told me that the producers were disappointed that I'd turned down the role and really wanted to work with me. As a result, they added more lines to the scene, gave the character a name, and bumped the credit up to a guest-star! They were also interested in using my character in a slight story arc for one of the leads so there was a possibility that the role would be recurring.

So, my agents and manager negotiated my guest star quote and I accepted the role. MY FIRST GUEST STAR!!! I was so happy that I cried.

The week after shooting my guest star role, I was booked for another episode and I now have a recurring guest star credit. Just like that! I can't name the show right now, but I will let you guys know when the episodes air later this summer. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that the producers bring me back for more work.

The lesson that anyone can take away from my story is that, at some point, you have to make the choice to no longer accept things that aren't moving you forward.

Have you done 10 student films or indie films for free and you're ready to start getting paid for your work? Say no to that next audition for a no-pay project. Start reserving your audition time for work that pays. Yes, things may slow down for you for a bit, but that's the only way you'll move forward.

It's scary to say no to an opportunity, but not every opportunity will benefit you. You have to learn to make that distinction.

April 15, 2013

Sometimes, It's Okay To Say 'Yes'

About six weeks ago, I went in for a co-star role on a popular show and got a producer's callback. I didn't even want to audition for the part because I'm trying to get away from co-star roles, but it was a great opportunity to meet and audition for a pretty great casting director. I didn't book the part, but I did get the obligatory "They loved you...but decided to go in a different direction..." explanation. Okay, fine. I've heard that plenty of times before and it almost doesn't suck anymore. Almost.

Anyway, the producers needed to fill two principal roles in the same scene that have no lines. They decided to book a couple of girls that had auditioned for the other part, but weren't right for the role. Guess who they called? Me!

I'm going to be very honest, I was frustrated by this. Doing a part with no lines is of no help to me right now. I need great credits or if it's a small credit, I need the footage to be great. I also felt as though I would feel like an extra being on set and not getting to provide even the slightest vocal performance. To many people, no lines = background. You guys know how I feel about background work and I'm not ashamed of it. Obviously, background is important to any production and I'm not trying to diminish their role, but I've done background before and I just don't like it. It made me feel insignificant. So, I initially said no to my manager when he called with the offer.

I was being prideful. It felt like a step backward and anyone who is in this business knows that you have to slowly climb your way up the ladder toward success. Every little victory takes So. Much. Effort. I'm still so far away from where I want to be, but I never want to feel like I'm regressing. That's what this felt like.

I then called my husband and close friend to weigh the pros and cons. I knew what they were going to say and I was not disappointed. Both of them told me to swallow my pride. For one, I WAS being booked as a principal and would still have all of the little perks of being a principal. I mean, as many perks as you get at the co-star level, haha. BUT, things that I feel that I've earned at this point. I was also being offered my day quote, which, up to this point, I had been unable to secure. My last TV job before this, 'Made In Jersey', turned down my quote due to them being a new show. So this means I get to earn more than scale for doing what's essentially a pretty easy job. Not to mention, moving across the country does a number on your finances. The paycheck would help a great deal.

My manager also stressed to me that I would be doing both the casting office and producers a favor because otherwise, they would have to hold a new casting session to fill the role. They wanted professional actors for the part because we would be working closely with the stars of the show.

So, I accepted the offer on the condition that it would not negatively impact my ability to audition for guest star roles on the show. In case some of you don't know this, when you book a role on a show, even the smallest co-star, it's unlikely that you will work on that show again unless your character is expanded, or enough time has passed that you wouldn't be recognized in a new role. The producers agreed to book me with no screen credit and my team and I decided not to list the credit on my resume.

It turns out that all of the "negotiating" and trying to remain under the radar was pointless because the show is airing VERY soon and I'm HIGHLY visible in the promo. Oh, and I ended up being credited for the episode anyway.

What this whole thing taught me is that you have to look at all of the angles in a situation and figure out of you can work it in your favor. My main reason for taking the job was for the money and I'm SO glad that I did because my original shoot date had to be rescheduled and because of my contract, I had to be paid for that day, even though I didn't work. So, I got double pay for one days work. I also had a great time on set and met some wonderful people.

I also learned that I've begun to care more about what other people think than I had initially thought. I needed to squash that feeling because the opinions of others, especially strangers, CANNOT be even the smallest driving force in my decision making.

So, you may have guessed at this point that I'm not going to name the show. To be honest, I'm not even sure if I should be posting all of this information. But, if you reeeaaaallly want to know what it is, it's not that hard to find out, just please don't comment on it or email me about it.

More good news is that I've already been brought back for a guest star audition for the show. Only time will tell if I can actually book something else on it.

UPDATE: I was able to have the credit removed from my IMDB page. I don't remember if my name was credited in the episode.

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Thanks for reading! My next post will be about the power in saying 'No'.

March 24, 2013

New Life In Los Angeles: Career Moves & Auditioning (Part 2 of 2)

Career Moves

As far as representation goes, I was pretty much set. I've been with CTG for more than 2 years now and it was a given that I'd be signing with the LA office. As a formality, I had a meeting with my new agents the day after I arrived. The purpose of the meeting was to make sure that we were all still on the same page and discuss moving forward in LA.

We agreed that I need new photos and they also warned me that things could be slow for me in the beginning because none of the CDs out here are familiar with me and my work just yet.

Commercially, I was very sad to leave Buchwald behind but they don't have a commercial division out in LA which was news to me. David, my commercial agent at Buchwald was kind enough to refer me to the agents at AKA. I met with one of them about 2 weeks after arriving and they offered me a contract.

I also just signed to CESD for print. While I was aware that models can't work with multiple agents out here in LA, I had NO idea that you had to sign for print. I understand completely why that is, but it was still a shock.

Auditioning

So um, yeah. I've been auditioning. A lot. And it's been great.

It took about two weeks after signing with AKA before my first commercial auditions came in. I've gone out for about 10 so far and I've gotten callbacks for all but 2 of them. Ain't booked none of em! Insert sad face --> here <--. I actually had to leave a callback a couple of days ago because it was cutting into a big legit audition I had.

Sidebar: It takes FOREVER to get from audition to audition! Sometimes you get lucky and they are pretty close together, but most of the time, I'm cutting it close between auditions. I also find that my wait times are much longer for my commercial auditions. For many of them, I'm waiting as long as an hour to be seen, even when I show up early. It's ridiculous. End sidebar.

My legit auditions have been wonderful. I'm going out very often, at least a couple of times a week, and I'm getting producer's callbacks for much of what I'm auditioning for. I'd say my callback percentage is at about 60% right now. I'm also being seen for big parts. My agents/manager and I have all agreed that it's time to move away from co-stars, which is why my agents warned me that it may be slow in the beginning. Getting seen right out the gate for guest stars and recurring roles was somewhat unrealistic.

Well, it was more realistic than we thought because I'm getting in for great projects. There's one major casting office that brought me in for a co-star role and I took the audition because I didn't want to miss the chance to meet this CD. Well, they gave the part to someone else, but brought me straight to producers for a guest star role.

Last week, I had another audition for a huge CD who's office is at Paramount Studios and they told me flat out in the middle of my audition that they were giving me a producer's callback for the next day! I've NEVER had that happen before. This was for a recurring guest star role on a pilot. My callback went well, but I didn't get the part. However, I got excellent feedback and I'm sure that CD will bring me back in the next time the right role comes along.

One of my first auditions when I got here was for another big CD who works on a couple of great shows, I earned a callback for a guest starring role and didn't book it. They brought me straight to producers for a recurring guest star a couple of days ago and I didn't get that either, haha. However, there is something in the works regarding that, but I can't really discuss it at the moment. As soon as I can, I'll write a blog post about it because it's pretty cool!

March 22, 2013

New Life In Los Angeles: The Logistics (Part 1 of 2)



Hi Everyone!!

I appreciate everyone hanging in there and allowing me the time to settle in to my new city and new life.

First of all, I absolutely LOVE Los Angeles! Don't get me wrong, I miss NYC like crazy, but the change of scenery, pace, and people is exactly what I needed. I'd been feeling restless for so long and I'm happy that I finally made the move. My husband loves it here too. NYC was never his taste and he feels so much more at home on the West Coast.

Today is my two month anniversary of living here and I thought it would be the perfect time to get everyone caught up to speed on what's been happening. But.....it's going to be long and I need to break this post up into a couple of parts.

So here's part one:

The Logistics

My husband and I had been talking about making the move for the past year or two, but it became a more tangible concept this past fall. Originally, I was just going to come out to LA for a couple months for pilot season 2013 and then come back to NYC to prepare for the official move later in the year. After much thought, it just didn't make sense.

For one, why would I waste three months in LA trying to build new relationships, just to break those ties and be unavailable for an extended amount of time? Plus, there was no guarantee that I would be auditioning much during pilot season since none of the CD's out here knew of me. It would have been a huge waste. Instead, this seemed like a great time to come out, start auditioning when I could and building relationships with CD's so that I would have some strong relationships come episodic season.

Our lease was going to be ending at the end of January so it just made sense to make the move a permanent one. Once we'd decided to leave NYC, we needed to get everything in order. I started a serving job so that we could save even more money and for the last few months of the year, I was working 7 days a week on top of auditioning. That's why I had what, two (?) posts between October and January? We set my move date for January 22nd and my husbands was for some undecided time between mid and late February. We needed him to stay back and tie up loose ends in NYC, while I took care of things in LA.

When January rolled around, we started looking at neighborhoods. We knew that we wanted to live in Studio City or Sherman Oaks. We looked at maybe 5 apartments on craigslist before seeing one that seemed nice. I called and inquired about availability and the next thing I knew, we were sending an application via email and getting important documents notarized for faxing. We were approved and set a February 1st move in date. I just needed a place to stay for that first 10 days that I'd be in LA and one of my good friends that lives here was kind enough to offer me room and board for that time. Awesome!

Next up was finding a car. I had originally thought about taking out a bank loan and was going to buy a used car with the money. I had my heart set on a Volkswagen Jetta and called a dealership that was close to where our new apartment was. The dealer suggested I lease a new car because, apparently, EVERYONE leases in LA, haha. I hadn't even considered that option but I'm so happy I did! I was approved for a lease with low payments in about 10 minutes and I picked out my brand new car over the phone. The dealer was nice enough to text me photos of different cars so that I could see what the exact colors looked like!

It was perfect. We already had our apartment, I had my car, and I still had more than a week left before the move! I scheduled my car pick up for the day I landed and went straight from the airport to the dealership, and from there, to the apartment to sign the lease.

Packing was hard and I had to let go of a lot of things that were dear to my heart. We just couldn't afford to bring everything we wanted. The stuff that we did ship cost hundreds of dollars and was beginning to eat into our savings.

When I got to LA on the 22nd, I was really overwhelmed. When I left NYC that morning, it was about 18° and when I landed in LA, it was 81° and GORGEOUS. I could have cried. Picking up my car was an ordeal because I was terrified of driving. I hadn't driven a car in nearly 5 years and I sat in the parking lot of the dealership for about 15 minutes before I was brave enough to drive off the lot.

I was finally in LA and had all of the big things taken care of. Now it was time to take care of business.

Stay tuned for 'New Life In Los Angeles: Career Moves (Part 2 of 3)'

February 18, 2013

Hi. :)

I'm in LA.

I love it!

I'll be back to posting soon. Hang in there and thanks for the comments and emails!