Monday, August 4, 2014

THE LIST (my episodic season bible)

Welcome back to episodic season!!  Most of the offices are coming back from summer hiatus and television production is picking up.  When television production picks up, so does the need for actors!! (Funny how that works, huh?) 

 I've just spent the last, oohhhh... seven hours updating my LIST.  What "LIST", you ask?  The one that is my bible when courting hunting the ever elusive CD who should be calling me into his/her office.  I've been looking up the status of all the shows I have my eye on, keeping track of what's been renewed for another season and what got the boot.  This is also the time of year the brand-spanking new pilots sink or swim, so I'm researching what's been ordered to series and what each show is about, reading the scripts when necessary.  (I kind of also play a little game with myself to see if I can guess which shows will be canceled first.  Oh god, I'm such a nerd.)

Why do all this?  Because there are hundreds of casting directors in this town and it's impossible to keep up with them all.  I neither have the time, the money nor the emotional stamina to go for everyone all at once.  Instead, I select a smaller, more manageable amount based on a few criteria.  (I like giving you criteria lists, apparently.)  These are:
  • They are casting a TV show that is likely to bring in a lot of guest stars and co stars from episode to episode.
  • These new roles are likely to be my type. (Do determine this, I have to do a little Sherlock work:  Where is the show set?  What's it's premise?  Will they only need hunchback men who speak Pig-Latin?  Then hustling that show is probably not an efficient use of my time.)
  • Bonus points if the casting director casts a bunch of different shows... I may or may not be right for every one of them, but sheer volume adds to their LIST value.
  • The show needs to be cast primarily out of Los Angeles.  There are some shows I love and would like to hustle, but they're pretty much cast out of New York or Atlanta. These shows are an uphill battle on all levels if you're forced to put your out-of-town self-tapes up against in-the-room local hires.
  • I often watch upfront promos in order to get a feel for the new shows that haven't aired yet.  To be included on my LIST, a show should have the right tone and style for me and my strengths.  This is more ambiguous criteria and somewhat of a gut feeling.  Also, sometimes I just deny a show the privilege of being on my LIST if it just sounds stupid.  (Hey, there are hundreds of shows currently in production.  I make cuts however I can.)
I also look at my current list from the last quarter and decide which CDs stay and which seem to be a waste of my time.  If I'm getting no movement from that office over a long period of time and I'm losing interest in chasing them... NEXT!  (It's kind of like dating.  If I've called your sweet ass multiple times and you've never even winked back at me... I'm on to the next one, baby!!)

So anyway, I got my "more manageable" list... 53 CDs, 30 offices.  I have been working on this tirelessly for a couple days, but now I'm finished!!  It's a lot of work upfront, but it saves me tons of time and money (and sanity) throughout the year. Now I'm ready to hit this episodic season like a chubby kid doing a belly flop at the local pool...

Imma make a biiiiiig splash!!

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