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)'