Friday, March 15, 2013

Right Brain Left Brain

Like most actors, I was born with the creative gene.  I have loved art and music and performance since I was a little mini-Anony.  Most of the credit goes to my incredibly talented mother who was always guiding us kids through the magical land of self-expression through arts and crafts.  Painting, sewing, ceramics, leather work, dreamcatchers... we did it all.  Yes, we made dreamcatchers.  In fact, I could still make you a dreamcatcher.  Oh yes, that is a skill I still possess.

Creative genes, sure.  But what makes me really lucky is somehow, I was also blessed with the mind of a business person.  Somewhere in my family bloodline, there was a gene for looking at the world through the eyes of an entrepreneur and it was passed down to me.  I almost went into a more traditional corporate line of work before I made the business decision to combine my favorite hobby with my future profession.  I figured I'd be successful in any career I chose, so why not capitalize on the passion I have for getting in front of a camera and use that as the fuel I'd need to get to the top.  I simply wouldn't have had as much internal drive to become a superstar accountant because I don't exactly get giddy with delight when I stare at a balance sheet.  (Quite the opposite, in fact.)

Where am I going with this, you may wonder?  Like most actors, I'm absolutely ecstatic about the role I just booked.  Can you hear me, way in the back??


I have dates booked on hold for a huge studio in town because one of the biggest shows on television felt that of the thousands of women who submitted, I was the one for the job.  Casting has called my agents for my "quote" -- which is the industry lingo for what I demand to be paid -- FYI, since this is basically my first co-star, my quote is scale-plus-10... which is industry lingo for the minimum wage.  (Salary negotiating power comes later.)  I have wardrobe selection, special effects makeup, and of course the actual filming to look forward to.  I have an incredibly fun role opposite the star of the show and I am Pumped.  Yes, that's Pumped with a capital P.  That's my artistic side getting fired up.

My business side?  While many actors will sit back and enjoy the wonderful position that is having an upcoming role and shoot dates on the books, my business half is not one for sitting back.  The other half of my brain tells my artist side, "Yeah yeah, good for you.  But how can we parlay this role into another co-star?  How can we use the momentum to hustle after the next big step in my career?"  One co-star does not a career make.  A single role by itself means nothing and is wasted unless you can use it to book the next one.  That's my business side talking.

So yesterday, when I heard about a guest star on a different show that was very similar to the role I just booked, my business brain saw an opportunity.  The casting director for this show had seen me at a workshop and called me in before.  I know a guest star is still a little bit of a stretch for a girl with only one co-star credit, but I figured it was worth a shot, especially since the roles were so similar and casting already liked my work.  I had my agents pitch me for the role pretty hard using my recent booking as leverage.  No news yet on whether they're bringing me in, but at the very least,  it's a reminder of my face and name and that I'm still out there... and that I'm booking. 

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