Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Can't Make This Up

Real casting notice I saw this week:

Seeking people who can flatulate on demand. Professional or not, someone who can pass gas on cue. MUST be the real deal."

This "role" pays $94.40 for eight hours.  That might just allow for you to break even when you factor in all the refried beans you would have to eat the night before in order to sustain that amount of on-demand flatulating.  This brings an entirely new meaning to the actor's proccess of preparation.  I pity whomever is this actor's roommate.

Know anyone who would be interested? 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good to Know, But Still a Little TMI

This business has radically changed in the last few years.  I know, big shocker, right?  Right along with the rest of society.  There are the major ways, like faster casting and more comprehensive tools for being a competitive actor.  Gone are the days when a professional actor needed only a few copies of a black and white 8X10 to get their career going.  Welcome to the era in which you need multiple color shots (not only printed, but also digitally uploaded and available on subscription-only accounts on a trio of major electronic casting sites), demo reel (also available hard copy and online),, post cards, email, iPhone and enough cash in the bank to pay for driving all over Los Angeles on gasoline that's $4.00 per gallon (which is actually lower than it has been... yay!!).

No, those hard copy black & white days are over.  But that's okay; every generation has it's own challenges.  There are things we don't lose an ounce of sleep over that plagued the veterans we now look up to when they first started.  Every business is likely to evolve over time, and Hollywood is no different.  Even Hollywood isn't immune to the effects of the social media generation.  I think I'd even be safe in venturing to say that Hollywood has embraced the beast that is social media.  It is, after all, just another form of entertainment, and can be a very useful marketing tool.  I've got my "fan" page...  as does every film.

Or at least the ones in the ultra-indie tier, which is the level I am currently hustling.  It's good in some ways... I am able to follow the posts by the project and have a better handle on the casting process.  It used to be after an audition, you would just wait in silence, wondering if they will call, what was going on.  Often, the wait was indefinite.  They don't call you to tell you the other girl got it.  But now, I can just check in on Facebook to see if the movie page has posted the any casting updates.  One of the films I had a callback for in the last couple of weeks updated their status: 

"Most of our larger roles are cast (not all but most)..."

Meh, I figured that already since I hadn't heard from them.  But still, it is nice to see it in print, it gives some closure.  The ever-present, eternally optimistic little dreamer inside me can let go of hanging on to, "There's still a chance!"  It gives my overactive subconscious a definitive chance to move on with my life career.  There most certainly is peace in that.    

Still, there are some ways the transparency in the casting process can have a little sting that wasn't there before.  I happen to look up the page for another film for which I had worked really hard to prepare an audition.  It was one I felt I could play very strongly and actually excited me artistically... a luxury I'm not often afforded at my level.  They recently finished shooting and posted pictures from the set.   I saw the girl who was cast in my role.  I'm sure she did a great job, but I am human, and I still wish it would have been me.  When the movie is released theatrically, I will have to go see it.  I can already tell you I will regret it, but it's just something I have to do.

But that wasn't the first time I watched someone else play "my" role, and I bet all my future earnings -- doubled down -- that it won't be the last.  It's okay, there will be plenty of times when other girls will watch me portraying roles they would have loved to do.  It's just part of the business.  Learning how to cope with it is the difference between staying on the straight and narrow and out of the downward spiral into self-doubt and burn-out.

And that, my friends, is the difference between failure and success... and the latter is where I'm headed. 

Let's go.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paid for By AAAA

Not only is he one of the most incredible actors alive... he's f*$%@#ing hilarious.

(P.S. Athletes, please stay out of our movies.  You're "acting" is the on screen equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not Quite a Star, But Getting There

Okay, so it's really not a big deal, but it came at time when I needed something... anything.  Any signal that I am at least moving in the right direction.

Yesterday I was shocked to have the lowest star meter I've ever had on IMDB.  It really isn't something we should spent too much time following, and it doesn't mean much... but generally speaking, the lower star meter ranking you have, the more exposure you're getting.  You're not going to see a complete unknown ranked under the top 100 unless they were just cast in a major blockbuster feature.  You're not going to see a super A-list celebrity above 150,000.  So I like to keep an eye on it and make note of major milestones and consistency over time.  Like when I started and was at about 2,000,000.  Then when I was averaging around 500,000, then later bouncing between 120,000 and 200,000.  More recently, I've been hanging around 100,000... occasionally below, often just above. 

I have a small post-it note on my computer screen with the date of my lowest ranking ever.  It was 7/12/2011 and I was right around 59,000.  Granted, that was when a lot of non-union gigs were searching me and driving it that low.  Once I joined the union and my auditions dropped, I kicked back up into the 120,000 range.  But this week... and I'm baffled as to why... I rocketed past that previous record by more than 20,000.  It's low enough that my page pops up as a suggestion when you start typing my name in the homepage search (an honor reserved for all us unknowns only in the pro version).  This week marks the closest I've ever been to being ranked number 1.  Right now, I'm well within the top 50,000 entertainers in the history of entertainment.  Even though the ol' starmeter doesn't actually mean much, and it will likely shoot back up again soon... I will enjoy it as a little victory.  A little progress in the direction I want to go.

So sue me.  This business is so devoid of positive feedback and reinforcement, we end up hanging on to everything, even the teeny tiny insignificant victories.  You have to find fuel for that fire somehow.  So for the next seven days, I'm going to secretly enjoy my little star ranking and think... of all the billions of people in the world, I'm in the company of the 30,000 most famous names.

Someday I will be number 1.  (Can't wait to link back to this post when it happens.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding the Right Bait

As you know, I signed with a new commercial agent in February.  We have been busting our butts to get me out for commercial auditions.  In our initial meeting, we discussed how it would be an uphill battle because the market is trending away from my type at the moment.  My little brand of “Anony” is more wholesome and girl-next-door than it is edgy and Zooey Deschanel... which is what everyone wants to sell their products right now.  We tried my original headshots, but not many bites.  I went back to my photographer to see if we could pick up one that was a little more edgy… my agents laughed that the new shots were so adorable… but unsure if I could actually pull off “edgy”.  Grumbling, I went back and tried for shots with my hair straighter in case curls were the culprit.  I could do something radical (like change my hair color), but then I would need new shots AGAIN and my hair color and wholesome look get me out more theatrically (meaning TV and film) than anything else, so I can't exactly change that.  

Three bites in four months?  Needless to say, my agents and I are a tad frustrated.

We're uploading some new shots to start using this week.  I just spent the last couple of hours retouching and color correcting two new photos.  If you ever want to humble yourself, view a high definition image of your face at 500% magnification so you can really get in there.  This is Hollywood.  Can't have a single enlarged pore or stray hair when it comes to setting the bait. 

Because that's really what we're doing.  That perfect headshot is like trying to find the right lure so all the industry sea bass, I mean casting directors, start biting my line when they scan the thousands of thumbnails submitted for each role.

Here fishy fishy fishy...

Friday, June 15, 2012

No News is Good News?

Whoever coined that phrase has obviously never been waiting to hear back after two feature film callbacks. 

Forget Guantanamo Bay, this is true torture.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hell F-ing Yeah!!

I've been working on a big post for the last couple of days.  Starting in my head and then on paper (or the electronic equivalent) yesterday.  I was poised to spend time tonight finishing it up for you.  Because I know you've missed me just as much as I've missed you.

But before I finished it, I needed to get 3 miles in.  I was literally on my way out the door for a quick run at 8:45 pm... and my agent called.  I have a callback tomorrow. 

I guess I can play a demon.  :)  (Is there an emoticon for a devil?  I'm not that advanced of a blogger yet.)

I'll get that big post out to you tomorrow.  Right now I have to go get buried in a script.  Nighty.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Food For Thought Fridays, Part 2

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." 
~Abraham Lincoln

Don't ever let anyone decide you can't make it.  That's your choice, not theirs.


I'm playing tour guide this week for family who is visiting.  Gotta show them my city.  Plans include beaches, museums, walking the red carpet for an indie movie premiere (my friend's, not mine), after parties, Cirque de Soleil and lots of brunching and dining in between.

Though I'm away from my blog for a moment, I'll be back with lots to share about movie roles that were (almost) mine, new headshots, new dates, wedding festivities and an email from my agent that made me think, "By golly, we ain't in Kansas anymore... we're in the big leagues." 

Yep, all that has happened in the last week.  Want more?  Me too.  I'll meet you right back here soon.