Update on Possible Representation

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(Source: memegenerator.net)

 

Not long after my previous post about meeting the talent manager at the large casting event in Poughkeepsie, I submitted all of my materials (headshot, resume, and current reel) for his consideration. He responded back to me that he is looking for more clips of other work I have done, namely commercials but any other work on bigger projects would do.

 

At first, I was a little crushed due to the fact that I have the hardest time booking those types of roles as the production companies won’t look my way without representation. It’s the reason why I had to attend such a large audition to begin with. That open call was the only way (at this point in time) for me to have a chance at a speaking part in a major feature film or television production.

 

However, I’m going to find a way to get into something. Even though I’m not signed with this particular manager, he did add me into the email chain dedicated to clients. So I may have a shot yet. I am being proactive about my search too. I updated my account with Backstage.com to remove any and all background work, removed live theatre work, student films, and promotional modeling. It is now hyperfocused on anything related to film, television, commercials, and industrial shoots (as they are speaking parts). This will probably work since I’m more specific about which roles I’ll take.

 

While it’s still not a guarantee that he will sign me even after all is said and done, the worst that could happen is the addition of credentials on my resume for someone who really wants to sign me. That being said, I have a good feeling that he will be my manager. Wish me luck!

What Do I Write About?!

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(Source: Google Image Search)

Good grief this was a week for news, huh?!

 

I’m having a hard time focusing on a topic. Do I write my thoughts about the College Cheating Scandal? Bryan Singer’s long overdue firing from directing ‘Red Sonja’? How about the latest scandal involving Brett Ratner, the CEO of Warner Bros. and the actress Charlotte Kirk?

 

And that was only a small handful of what happened this week.

 

I can’t blame this Mercury Retrograde because I don’t believe in it. Truthfully I think this planet and everyone on it has been caught up in a vortex of bizarre behavior since 2015. With it being 2019 I think we are experiencing the worst of the vortex and soon we will be out of it (if we all survive that is.)

 

Until then, I’m just going to keep my nose to the grindstone and mind my business. This is too much.

 

Letting Go of Entitlement

(Source: Facebook)

I was on Twitter today where I saw actor Laura Benanti respond to an incredibly rude tweet. The person who authored the original tweet complained that they paid good money to see Laura perform in a show, but she wasn’t in attendance that day. So as a result she, and I quote, “doesn’t want to see her again.” Laura responded by telling the complainer that she had to take her kid to the hospital that day and she “hopes that she never has to see her again either.”

Seriously? I swear some people really take the cake.

Shows have understudies for a reason. If a performer gets sick or has an emergency, the show is covered an can go on. While I’m sure it can be a real bummer when your favorite actor can’t perform that evening, you also have to remember that they have lives outside of their performances too.

Let me put this into perspective for you:

You work in customer service. You have people who appreciate the service you provide for them and begin telling other people that they should go to your store and ask for you because you are the best.

Now stick with me.

You get terribly ill one day and you have to call out of your job to go to the doctor; so a fellow coworker is called in to cover your shift while you figure out why you are so ill. On the same shift a customer comes in based upon a referral and asks for you. The coworker proceeds to them you are are out for the day because you are unwell. Now the customer is enraged and posts a bad yelp review because they spent money to see you, and you had the AUDACITY to be sick…

See how ridiculous that sounds?

Keep in mind that even though entertaining is a public job, that it’s still a job. Entertainers are going to have off days when they just want to keep to themselves and not be bothered by fans. It doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate you, but it does mean that you need to respect their space. They don’t owe you anything for the job they do. Much like you don’t owe anything to the customer who’s chasing after you with a million questions when you’ve already clocked out for your lunch break. It’s nice, but you deserve to take a break too.

I hope this helps to keep things in perspective.

Business Trip

(Source: Facebook)

I had to fly back home over the weekend for an impromptu business trip. The purpose of this trip was to collect work assignments and credentials from my job with the insider and an audition.

I want to talk more about the audition.

I traveled to Poughkeepsie, NY for an open call audition. It’s for a new HBO series starring Mark Ruffalo. They needed a few actors for small speaking parts. I fit the specs they were looking for, so I registered and flew out to attend. There were over 3,000 people waiting to be seen. The beauty of this open call is that if there wasn’t a speaking part available, then there is still background work; but I’m aiming for nothing less than a speaking part this year.

When it was my time to audition, the people coordinating the event moved me into one of the lines to meet with a casting director. The man I met with looked over my headshot and résumé for some time. He asked me questions, we did some improv, he looked over the casting sheet, took some time to think where to place me, and then he said he will pitch me for a callback.

Now here is where it gets interesting.

The man is not a casting director at all. He is a talent manager who is great friends with the head casting director and helped out with this massive open call. Even better than that, when he was looking over my résumé, he then gave me his contact information to send over the materials to him and see if maybe we could discuss further about possible representation.

Cool!

Now I know with talent managers it tends to be a tricky situation. They are not talent agents (there is a difference between an agent and a manager). There is not a guarantee that they can get me work. Also I’m sure his purpose besides helping the casting director, was to also head hunt new talent as well.

I have a good feeling about it though. I’ll explain why:

I overheard his conversation with the person standing in front of me. He was pleasant to them, but very honest. He didn’t think their résumé was strong enough for a callback even though they had talent and drive. He recommended to them to get more productions under their belt first and from there, try again. He didn’t tear them down. He didn’t try to peddle off services to them. He simply gave them the advice they needed to succeed.

Another thing about the situation that made it feel right was that I just told myself on the train ride to Poughkeepsie, that if I want more opportunities like this to shoot for bigger roles…I’m going to need representation. Lo and behold I end up in the line with the talent manager.

I’m satisfied with the way things went for this trip. My sincerest hope would be for me to land both the part and have a manager. But if I had to choose between the two I would probably pick the manager simply because they can help place me in front of the people I need to see, in order to get more chances at a speaking role.

Fingers Crossed! 🤞🏽

“Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark”

(Source: Facebook)

Some information was just revealed to me not that long ago. Another case of student harassment by a different professor. While I was not affected by this person (they are one of my professors, but I’m not a target of their harassment) several of my classmates were, making it a much bigger problem than what I previously experienced with my case last year.

This complaint is still ongoing so I don’t want to lay out details just in case someone from the school may be following, but a person involved asked me advice on how to report and navigate the situation. I was happy to help because what is currently happening is NOT OK.

I think what infuriates me the most is the fact that although this is a different professor, it’s the same department. There are also rumblings about another separate professor who is also known for bullying which makes me wonder what the hell is going on in this school?! Another thing: the students are well aware that they are going to deal with this personality type (if you could call it that) in the field. So why do they have to encounter it in an educational institution? The one place where they are, and are supposed to be the most vulnerable?

Is it to discourage them from this business?

Is it to offer “tough love”?

Or is it that the leadership here feels emboldened to be the abusers they truly are?

The reason why I used the select meme above was for a good reason; I’m sick and tired of the dusty ass trope telling actors to develop thicker skin in order to survive this business. Trust me when I say this: we have thick skin. We are also well trained in discernment. We know when we are given constructive criticism or when it’s just plain disrespect. So the assumption that we are thin skinned is insulting. You know who’s thin skinned? Abusers.

The Curious Case of Jussie Smollett

(Source: Facebook.)

For those of you unaware of the case or who Jussie Smollett is; let me break it down for you as it was previously reported:

Jussie is a star on the hit show ‘Empire’ starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard. About three weeks ago, he was the victim of a hate crime. Two unknown men (described as white and dressed in MAGA hats) jumped Jussie in the middle of the night, on a Chicago street (same city where ‘Empire’ is filmed) wrapping a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. They called him the N-word and said “this is MAGA country.” He then reported the crime to Chicago police.

When the report was first released, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy and support as it was not uncommon for someone like Jussie who is Black and LGBTQ to be violently attacked. He was the most prolific, so of course it sparked a conversation for the non-marginalized to understand why this happens. Good. It should have done that. However, as time and reporting went on, more people are discrediting the story. The common denominator being that this was a staged publicity stunt.

Now here is something I can sink my teeth into.

For a little background about myself: I’m an actor, who is working an internship with an industry insider who’s job is dedicated to publicity. I benefit from this gig not only for college credit but also for a better understanding of how to promote and manage myself in this industry. I have previously wrote about the publicity stunt orchestrated by Conor MacGregor (which I still hold firm due to my time in Dublin and all of the rumblings I have heard about him); and another possible chance of two celebrities “dating” to make their exes jealous (though I did delete that post because no one could possibly be that stupid.)

Now you know where my head is at, let’s talk about how this could either make a good publicity stunt or a bad one.

As far as a good publicity stunt goes…like I said, sparking the conversation people need to have about violence towards Black LGBTQ communities benefited from this. It also sheds a much needed light on the fact that there are people emboldened by hate due to our current “leadership.”

Bad publicity would mean that he staged this for sympathy and attention devoted solely to him and not the community as a whole. Ultimately wasting time and resources by law enforcement and labeled a liar for the rest of his life.

Regardless of whether the publicity is good or bad, it does make people talk which would be a win for Jussie; but there’s no real gain beyond that. He doesn’t stand to make more money from this. There are no additional acting jobs being thrown at him. He’s not getting written off ‘Empire’. There’s absolutely nothing.

Some suspect that maybe the details of the case were fudged to cover up a sexual encounter gone wrong with, possibly, the two suspected male assailants in the case. But why? Smollett is openly gay, so making up this story to cover up a sexual relationship with another man in the year 2019 would be pointless.

There’s also the theory that he was purchasing drugs and was assaulted. In order to hide from the shame he made up a story about a hate crime. Once again pointless. Celebrities are notorious for dipping into illegal substances. He could be charged with a crime, yes, but he’s not going to completely have the book thrown at him as opposed to someone like me who is common and poor. If anything he would just issue a bullshit public statement about his drug use and then spend a couple of weeks in rehab.

The big theory amongst the social media rabble is that the creator of ‘Empire’, Lee Daniels, set Jussie up in an attack for reasons unknown to them…

This took the cake for me.

I have heard that Lee Daniels is not the most pleasant person to work with, but he is running a business, so harming someone who keeps his business running would not make sense either.

With all of this said: I believe he was attacked.

Now could Jussie have embellished the details of his attack in order to point fingers at a group he doesn’t like? It’s possible. Maybe it was a simple mugging and he used the opportunity to say racists did it, I don’t know. What I do know is that the reporting of this case from start to finish is a hot mess. I hope for a resolution and the truth to come out soon.

Best Laid Plans

(Source: Facebook)

All fell to pieces. It looks like my planned trip to train as a production assistant is a no go. The flight I needed to be there on time is overbooked. Not only that, it looks like flights even heading back home to the Philadelphia airport are overbooked.

Which means I’m stuck here…

I’m hurt, because I did put a deposit down for this that’s non-refundable. I also scheduled it in such a way so that I could go back to the office back home and gather my work assignments and new credentials.

This would have been less of a problem if didn’t have to spend most of my money on my survival here. If I was back home, I would have had the extra cash I needed to maybe splurge on a guaranteed booking instead of a standby flight ticket.

With the way things look, I’m probably going to have to quit my gig with the insider since I’m now hindered from completing my duties with them too. This is a shitty situation in more ways than one.

Excuse me while I go scream.

Fundraiser and Other News

(Source: Facebook.)

Somehow my Event Management class got roped into putting on a fundraiser for the school and I have to be present for it now in order to pass. 😒

The Musical Theatre students will put on a show while the rest of us, including myself, will be serving drinks and food to the guests. I’m already a little put off by the whole thing for good reason: they want all of the servers to dress in costume which we have to provide ourselves, with no reimbursement. The event is already Black Tie. No biggie since I do keep gowns for special occasions. However, dressing up as a character from a musical theatre production that I will never wear again, chaps my ass. I think everyone working would have been better served to adhere to the dress code of the guests present.

Another thing that bothers me is that the person who’s property we are using is famous. He has been featured in the tabloids on numerous occasions for all of his philanthropy and this event is no exception. So now in addition to being dressed as a goofy character, I’m now going to have to avoid the paparazzi like the plague while trying to work so they can get good pictures of our host and his guests.

It was easy to not get in the way at Tribeca since I was not authorized to stand on the red carpets or in the way of the celebrities being photographed. This time…not so much. Pray that my rear end doesn’t block anyone’s shot.

(Source: Chappelle Show, Comedy Central)

As it turns out, work with the industry insider hasn’t been slowing down at all. For some reason the other members of my team aren’t sharing the workload with me. I think it’s mainly due to me being “out of sight, out of mind.” Since I have to make a quick trip back to the States this weekend for Production Assistant training anyway, I may see if there is time in my schedule to pop in and open the lines of communication between me and the other team members. But I still have the gig which is good. I’m hoping to learn more as I go along and plug in the hours I need for internship credits.

(Source: L.A. Magazine and Pinterest.)

So onto the happier stuff. My training is this weekend and I couldn’t be more stoked! The place that is training me doesn’t offer too many of these workshops since it’s mostly genuine production crew members that train us. They are far too busy. My sincerest hope is to make more connections on the West Coast. The opportunity for me to travel out there has opened up this year, now making me Bi-Coastal like I dreamed; and with that I want to take on as much work as possible whether it’s in front of the camera or behind. I know full well that PA work is grueling and thankless, but it is work. It is relevant to my industry, and it puts next to the people I will hope to be working with regularly. Wish me luck!

I Feel Lost

(Source: Memegenerator.net)

I feel like I’m caught in a giant pause right now and it doesn’t feel good at all. Work with the insider has slowed down. School is still a mess. I’m still searching for gigs.

Everything just feels so…blah.

The other part to this issue is that I feel like I’m on the cusp of something major. The problem is, I don’t feel prepared for it at all. Do I pray for clarity? Do I twiddle my thumbs in the meantime? Do I try to distract myself with something else? I need to feel productive or else I just feel useless.

People Have Poor Taste

(Source: Facebook.)

So I’m watching the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and I’m paying attention to people describing how handsome he was on social media and I have a simple question:

How is he handsome?

Rhetorical question: he’s not handsome and he aged like milk.

Not only that, he was a rapist and serial killer. That in itself should be a major turn off. I have low faith in humanity and I know there is a deep sickness in the world that is incurable; so trying to apply common sense and logic to this situation is next to impossible.

Also: Ted Bundy looks like the bully professor I wanted to fight. Cementing my loathing for both men.