Friday, January 30, 2015

A Career is the Accumulation of Strategic Moves

I've been a little absent, but I haven't been away.  I've been busy.  For starters, I went to Sundance Film Festival for the first time and it was amazing. 24 hours a day. It's like adult summer camp for movie lovers in the middle of winter. 

At some point, I'll tell you about it all: about the panels and the parties and the gifting suites.  I'll tell you about how stupidly difficult it was to get into screenings, about the extra bag I needed  in order to carry all my swag, and most importantly, about the stack of business cards walked away with on the way home.  

I'll tell you about all of it, but there's something bigger going on right now. 

I think I've mentioned to you before, I hustle people and projects connected to my home state ruthlessly.  I think you have to utilize whatever network you are given, and the hometown crowd is one of my biggest supporters. In Los Angeles, I'm still clawing my way out of obscurity, but back home, I'm a respectably big fish in a small pond.

In the last couple years, I've worked on a few projects connected to various members in this network.  Most of them are pretty small, but it has meant that I've worked with basically everyone who is anyone in the industry in my home state.  None have really done a ton for me yet, but right now, there is serious potential for all that groundwork to pay off.

A very prestigious indie just got the green light to shoot back home. It's an art house kind of film, and I doubt the average person will even know when it's released.  The director is not a household name, nor are their projects ultra famous.  But on the festival circuit?  They are big time. Their past films are festival darlings with A-list names attached.  In fact, this one already has two Oscar-nominated stars on board. It also just so happens that the film has a supporting character who is perfect for Anony. 

For the past two years, I have been positioning myself as a star in my home state, and though I don't live there, I can as a work local hire. (Meaning, I can save the production beaucoup dollars.)  Most of those in the industry who so live there permanently have worked with me before and would vouch for me -- professionally, personally and socially.  Even the film commissioner is committed to pitching me to the producers.  

I've been building these relationships for years waiting for an opportunity like this to come along. It's huuuuuge. It's a big deal to be seen and would be a big deal to land this role.  Obviously  nothing is certain, I haven't even been able to audition yet.  But that's my goal.  It's what consumes me this week. 

It's a big move and if success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity... 
this. is. it.

It's not the end-all, be-all... but it's one helluva strategy if it can pay off. Cross your fingers for me!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Keep Shooting

Feeling that mid-day Tuesday slump too?   This may help. (For the record, it's not about giving up coffee!!)

26 Inspirational Quotes That Will Get You Motivated Better Than Coffee

This one really got me going today: 

23. “Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.” - Christopher Morley

Here's to you and me and all the other little shots out there.

Let's keep shooting. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Season's Greetings

There are two seasons kicking off right now. Pilot season and awards season. Okay, maybe there are three... I forgot about Winter. I guess that's happening too for most of the real world. But here in LA, pilot season and awards season are the only ones that matter. 

I've dabbled in pilot season, remember last year I got pinned for a role?!? That was pretty cool. But this is a whole new year and I'm still trying to squeeze my way in the door, and *surprise* it's a battle. I left my agency last fall (more on that later) so I'm heading into the next couple of months with only a manager. It's scary, but he's working like a dog to get me meetings. I have one scheduled for the end of the month. Fingers crossed.

Awards season however, still feels a long way off.  I have attended the Emmy's just by having good connections, but I haven't ever been personally invited by any Academies, and I definitely haven't been nominated yet.

I did however, manage to get into a gifting suite for the first time last week.  I wasn't actually invited to that either, but I was there for other reasons and got to watch the action. It wasn't as fancy as you'd think.  Maybe I was at a lower end one, but I hardly recognized some of the "stars" who were there. The whole thing was just kind of weird. Everyone had tables full of product displays and the guests were shuttled around to talk and take pictures with the product reps.  Then they got gift bags stuffed to the gills with free crap. Okay, I'll admit, that part was pretty cool. 

Eventually, one of the vendors turned to me and excitedly described how he got to meet "the guy" (he didn't know his name) "who played James Brown on that tv movie."

"No. He played Little Richie," his partner interjected.

"Oh, it was Little Richie? I thought it was James Brown."

I just looked at them. You don't even know who these people are!!! I so badly wanted to tell them that they'd seen me on TV too and I'm in an big movie coming up, so why the heck weren't they wanting to take a picture with me?! But then I realized I was thinking like a brat and and a bit of a bitter actor.  I just took a deep breath and said:

"Oh wow. That's cool."

I didn't really think it was that cool, but I am fired up.  Let's make some big things happen this year.  Not for the stupid gifting suites. (Little ol' me did end up walking out of there with a bunch of free crap and I didn't even have to take a picture for it.) 

No. Not for the gifts but for me. And for you. For the love and blood, sweat and tears we've put into this career. Because there are no reasons why we can't do it. Because we deserve a steady income, a fulfilling career and we are greater than the stack of invitations we have (or don't have) sitting in our mailbox.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Letting Go of Baggage

Despite some travel hiccups, I finally made it back to Los Angeles. It was touch and go there for a while, airports were nutty. Like Home Alone, racing from Gate A12 to Gate D94, style. There was bad weather all over the US, my perfectly confirmed boarding pass was even rejected once, and check engine lights appeared at the most inconvenient of times. One of those times, I sat at the airport for about for hours, waiting for my flight to get approval to leave. 

As hour four came around the corner, the gate agent basically said, "Yeah. See that plane leaving from the gate next to us? It's going where you're going. You should try to get on it."

So we all ran there as if iPhones were on sale for 99 cents and desperately begged for a seat. Shocker, that gate agent became a little annoyed. She asked, "This plane leaves in three minutes. Are you willing to separate from your bag?"

Oh man... This seems like ideal circumstances for lost luggage. Suddenly I was worried if I had anything I'd like to see again in my checked bag. I did, but it didn't matter.  I had to get my body back in Los Angeles. I had an audition the next day.  And if I didn't get on that plane... I likely wasn't going to make it at all.

So I took a deep breath and nodded, knowing I may never see my favorite pair of yoga pants again. But for the lead in a film that shoots for a month on the East coast... it was a worthy sacrifice. I settled into my seat and started running my lines (probably creeping out the person sitting next to me).

Good news: I made my audition. 

My bag even made it to Los Angeles too. I have no idea how they did it, but I still have my favorite yoga pants.

Here we are in the year two thousand fifteen.  It's only a few days old and we're already off to a great start.