Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Quick Update

Hello Everyone!

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  I've had a lot of work shifts, which is good because rent is due tomorrow and baby needs some cashy. Even better, residuals for my TV episode have started coming in... woot woot!!  I love getting unexpected checks in the mail.  It may be one of the greatest things about this career.  It's like Christmas or your birthday when you get cards with unexpected checks from your relatives.  But let's be honest... my great grandmother's cousin never sent me a check like this one, baby!

It may seem quiet, but there is all sorts of stuff to share...including reworking my entire team of reps, didn't book a movie (womp womp), but booked another movie (huzzah!), interning at a big casting office, writing, working out and all the other insane nonsense that comes with building this crazy empire.

I'll tell you all the down and dirty details of it all soon, but right now I have to hit my yoga mat before I head to work.  (Man, I cannot WAIT for the day when I don't have to maintain a side job to support this dream.  It really is a pain in the ass.  Just sayin' Universe.  Wanna take care of that??  Like soon??)

Until then, keep on dreamin' on folks!!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Anonymous Publicist

So far this publicity thing is going well, I guess.  Much like watching the breakdowns, it's watching a constant stream of event press releases for ones that fit a certain criteria.  My basic requirements at the moment are events that: 
  • A) I can get into, 
  • B) have media attention so someone will actually see me and, 
  • C) I can get into.
My first impression?  There's a hell of a lot of stuff going on in Los Angeles.  Every day.  I'm talking 3-6 events a night to choose from.  Granted, not all of them fit the above criteria (namely A and C), but we're certainly not lacking in opportunity.

Still, I'm trying.  I'm getting my sea legs in this whole process since I am not working with a publicist.  Normally they would be doing this pitching business and just tell me what they got me into.  It feels a little wannabe to be asking for myself.  (And god knows I'm not getting myself any free clothes at this point.)

"Hi, my name is Anony and I'm an up-and-coming actress"..... blah blah blah, blatant self-promotion... add a little wit... include a picture so they can see I'm actually professional (and not half bad looking)... close with some sort of a well-crafted reason why I would "just love" to attend the event -- carefully omitting that I want to go to toot my own horn -- and viola!  There's my pitch email.  

So far I've gotten a few good responses from publicists I thought would totally ignore me.  I have one charity event confirmed and I'm wait-listed for another small premiere.  I don't know if "wait-listed" is just a standard euphemism for "no", but I guess we shall find out.  Much like auditioning and every other part of this business, it feels awkward at first but I'm sure it will become less so as we go along.  I've already recruited a friend to pretend to be my publicist down the road if it becomes necessary, but or now, I'll see where this gets me.  

Never a dull moment in this career path, that's for sure!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Smoke and Mirrors

"Anony, Anony! Look over here!"

"Anony, one more shot please."

"What will we see you in next, Anony?"

"Anony, do you have any charities that you're currently supporting?"

I am surrounded by chaos.  Cameras flash in my eyes and microphones are shoved up to my mouth.  I am praying to every god that has ever been invented that I don't look, sound or even smell like the terrified amateur that I am.  Ah man, do you think they've picked up on my lip quivering from too much uneasy smiling??  Oh shit, can they sense how totally awkward my hands feel??  Where do I stand next?  What the hell am I supposed to say???

Okay.  Rewind.  Backstory...

My agent and I have decided I need to play the Hollywood game a little more.  Or to be more precise, that I need to start playing the Hollywood game.  Up to this point, I've just been hustling the Hollywood business... the auditions, the mailings, the workshops... you know, the typical stuff.  Now it's time for me to start playing the game, bending the rules, fudging the details, adding a little smoke and mirrors to get a little (totally fabricated) heat on me. 

Yes.  Publicity. I'm hitting the publicity circuit and getting seen.   The details don't really matter, I just have to get out there and act like I'm the next hot thing in town.  All your favorite celebs do it, and all the people you've seen here and there (but have no idea what their actual names are) are out there doing the same thing.  (Only a lot of them are doing it with publicists. A luxury with a three-thousand-dollar-a-month price tag I don't yet have.)  Still, I was blessed with an ability to work any room and bullshit my way in (and out of) most anything.

So I found myself on the red carpet last week for a premiere for a shitty little indie film.  I've been on carpets before, but never quite like this.  Mostly I just walk by, have a friend snap a shot and move on without anyone really noticing I'm there.  This time I was announced.  I had ten or so photographers taking pictures of me (awkwardly) posing on the carpet.  I had multiple people interview me, which is weird because I was not in any way connected to the film.  Why am I here? Why am I seeing this film?  Uhhh... because I'm trying to get you people to notice me?!?  

I was a liiiiittle more suave than that.  After I got the first few awkward jitters out of me and saw the mechanics of how the whole process worked, I instantly relaxed into what comes incredibly naturally to me... being positive, witty and charming in the spotlight.  Fortunately, I am pretty quick on my feet and know how to put a decent sound bite together.  (I am a writer, as you know.)  I walked away at the end of the night filled with this incredible sense of energy.  I was a natural.  I wanted more.  I was born to do this shit!! (How cheesy am I?!?)  However, I certainly learned a few things:  

Publicity lesson #1: Always research everything you possibly can about the movie you're attending and the context in which it was filmed... oh, and formulate some sort of a positive opinion on the film and its message.  Good to have that in your back pocket going in because someone will ask you and "because my publicist sent me" is not a good answer.

You've heard it before, perception is everything in this business.  Once people start noticing you consistently around town, they start to feel like they should know who you are.  That's the game.  If I can fake my way into being someone worth noticing, people will start to notice.  But you know what I realized?  I AM someone worth noticing, so I'm not really faking anything.  I'm just nudging them into picking up on something they would have realized themselves eventually anyway. 

The truth? I have no idea if this will actually work.  It definitely feels early to me and incredibly phony.  I don't totally understand how it translates into more auditions, but my agent is convinced it will help, and I'm game for trying most anything to get this career off the ground.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm just adding a new element to my hustle.  

The most entertaining thing?  In faking my way on the carpet, I ended up hanging with a group of actors who do this regularly. We were chatting together  before the film started, away from the news people and rolling cameras.  Two of them also had no connection to the film but were just there to "support it"... translation: "my publicist sent me."  Two others openly admitted they knew the movie sucked and had no idea what it's shitty message was, but they faked their way through the interviews as well.  After that, I didn't feel like such a phony.  It's a game.  And I'm finally in it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bad Scripts and Botox

I have my sides for an audition and I've been putting it off for a couple days.  I don't like the script.  It's a badly written, stereotypical B-movie with D-list stars and a lame premise.  My character is stupid and the dialog is just terrible.

Aaaand my character is mid thirties.  Mid-thirties?!?  Hey, I know I get older each year, and there are definitely some things I've aged out of... but I'm pretty certain my twenties is not one of them.  I told my agent that I pouted for a half day about being called in as a mid-thirties woman.  He said, "When breakdowns are slow, you have to stretch.  Remember, you're an actor.  Better than a one-line 25 year old."


True.  And who am I kidding?  I'm still scrambling up this mountain of a career.  I shouldn't be snubbing my nose at a film with a cool $1-2 mill budget and guaranteed theatrical release.  Even if the script is a pile of shit.  (And it really is.)

Okaaay.  I guess I'll go learn my lines.  I can't wait for the day when I will be allowed to laugh when garbage like this gets sent to me.  I look forward to the day when I can politely say, "hell no!!"

Until then, we'll take what comes our way.  My agent later said, "Plus, 40 year olds still play 20s. Attitude is everything.  Well... Botox for some."

Thankfully, neither of us think I am remotely close to thinking about Botox.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Show Must Go On

Somewhere a camera starts rolling.  Somewhere a stage awaits.  Somewhere a mark is just waiting to be hit.  Lines are itching to be learned.  The show must and always will go on.  So must my career. 

You may have noticed, I took a breather.  A little vacation.  I always think I should let you know when I'm about to do that because you keep coming back here even when I'm not writing.  But some of the fun is not knowing, right?  Right?? 

I wish I were the type of girl who's so together that I could know exactly when I'm about to hit burnout mode and politely tell all my friends/family/readers that I am about to go off the grid for a stretch.  I wish I were so together that I could look at my calendar and think, "Okay, here's where I'm going to need to take a month to just clear the Hollywood fog out of my brain," and schedule it in like a boss.  I bet Gweneth Paltrow is that together.

Sadly, I'm not that together girl.  Sometimes I don't know I'm headed for a mental vacation until I'm three days into a carb and netflix binge that ends with me getting in my car and driving up the PCH until the sun goes down.  I blame it on my creative nature.  I blame it on my obsessive nature.  I blame it on my ambition that sometimes drives me into the ground. I blame it on the brutality of this business.  It's okay though, all that actually makes me stronger and drives me forward.  Also, I know you'll be okay.  Because you know I'll always come back.  I'll always find my way back to these keys to keep telling you about this crazy ride into a career on the big screen.

Fair warning for next year: this time of year is sort of check-out time anyway.  Episodic season wraps in May.  Summer features are often cast by then too.  Most of the overworked, underpaid, under-appreciated people in this industry are fed up with each other and check out during the early summer months.  I'm no different.  After having nearly landed my first pilot, after having gotten close-but-no-cigar on half a dozen shows and movies, after abruptly losing my closest agent, I just needed a Break-with-a-capital-B.  

So I took one.  I hiked.  I traveled.  I painted.  I drew.  I sang.  I wrote.  I read.  I sewed.  I yoga-ed.  I wine-ed.  I dined.  I needed to create a bunch of art for the sake of creating art and without needing permission from a CD or a producer to do it.  I needed to play just to play.  I needed to live just to live, laugh just to laugh and love just to love.   I took a royal leave from this unending, often unrewarding grind.  I clearly needed it, and should have done it way sooner.  It took me a little longer than it should have re-ignite my motivation, but we got 'er restarted.  We're back in business baby.  And we're poised for one helluva ride this year.  

Stay tuned... much to share...