Manhattan Monologue Slam

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

I got a last minute invite to the Manhattan Monologue Slam. Believe it or not, I have never heard of this showcase until a couple of weeks ago. One of the background actresses I met on the set of Creed 2 was inviting a group of us to be a part of the Philadelphia branch of this project. They weren’t able to pull off the May start date like they wanted, so instead we were invited to the original in NYC.

They only give us 30 seconds of time to perform a monologue. If they like us, we can move on to a bigger event where we would perform a 1-2 minute monologue. Either way it is a good event to attend as there are agents, celebrities, casting directors, and a slew of creatives in the audience watching you. The event itself is great for networking.

My biggest hope is to perform the monologue all the way through. I chose a brief part from the play ‘Carmilla’ that I was in as that would be most comfortable for me. The last time I attempted to perform one, I bombed it and had a panic attack during my audition for ‘Twelfth Night.’……………………………………………………………Please Jesus, see me through this.

Borg vs. McEnroe

(Source: Teaser Trailer.com and Pinterest.)

This film just completed its run at my job and I wanted to unpack my thoughts about it. Not the quality of the film, which in fact was very good, but the process that went into making it.

The reason is, there are so many locations used, crowd scenes, costuming, historical accuracy respected, camera angles, stunt doubles, and shoot days.

Let’s start with locations. According to Wikipedia, this film was shot over at least 5 locations: Gothenburg, Sweden; Södertälje, Sweden; Prague, Czech Republic; London, United Kingdom; and the country of Monaco. The stadium used to mimic the Centre Court arena was in Prague and not the actual arena in Wimbledon* if you can believe that.

Crowd scenes. Oh boy do I know about quite a bit about this. Working crowd scenes, seems to be what I do mostly on my background shoots. Whether I’m at a party or a courtroom, chances are I, and a number of other background actors are being herded to set by Production Assistants. For this type of crowd scene though, they needed hundreds. With enough costuming to cheat the shot and make it look like thousands were in attendance. I could only imagine the casting notice for a shoot like this:

Seeking Men and Women, ages 18-99 for early 1980s Upscale Spectators in an outdoor sporting event. Must have multiple Summer looks to choose from and period appropriate hairstyles.

I didn’t include a pay rate because I don’t know how much they paid their actors, but that would usually be a part of the casting call too.

Costuming for the late 1970s, early 80s would be a pain. Not only does the background have to be in time appropriate clothes, but the principals as well. Many of the actors, I could tell, grew out their hair to match the look of the era. Though some of them had wigs on that looked mighty questionable.**

The costuming wasn’t the only thing that had to be respected historically, but much of the play too! The stunt doubles that actually played tennis match are great at what they do, because it definitely looked like they matched key moments of play.

The camera work and later editing, is what made this film. I’m sure this was multiple shoot days as it usually takes about a 12 hour day to film 5 minutes worth of footage at different angles. Plus the days had to be sunny. This doesn’t include the hard work the lighting crew has to put in to assist with making the lighting look consistent throughout the entire tennis match.

By far one of the more impressive films I have seen composed on the independent circuit.

*I kept wanting to spell Wilmington, which is where I live lol.

**I have a different word other than “questionable”, but I’m trying to be polite.

Creed 2….FINALLY!

(Source: Quickmeme.com and of course Rocky 2.)

Your girl finally got picked to work Creed 2! It also appears that I won’t have to play Sister-Cousin to Tessa Thompson (Hooray!)

Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

However…knowing how production companies have picked me for roles so far, I’m probably reprising my role as a rich socialite.

*Sigh* I wish my bank account reflected how I look.

Anyway, I’m working on Monday. I can’t wait!

Tribeca Day 1

(Circa yesterday on my break.)

Last night was my first shift of the festival and it was different for sure. The job of being an Orange Hat isn’t difficult, but there is so much excitement going on that trying to help our VIPs can be overwhelming. That being said, we have a mixed bag of VIPs to assist and that includes celebrities. When that happens, it’s essential to keep your game face on, and not get star struck.

Speaking of celebrities: I have also witnessed my first red carpet in real time. The flash from the cameras were blinding (I don’t know how they can stand it.) One thing I did notice was how quickly they do a red carpet event. It was all of 10 minutes max that I saw Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace (both appearing for their film ‘Stockholm’), fly through the entire thing with interviews included. Then the Tribeca crew had to replace the name tags of the previous paparazzi with different paparazzi, change the background, and set up new barricades for a new set of celebrities to walk past. Absolutely nuts!

Speaking of paparazzi: I made friends with one! I spoke to him on my break. He noticed I had Crew credentials on and asked me how I liked the festival so far. I told him it was cool and I had never seen anything like this before. Even though I have worked at comic cons, this was a new level of chaos. I also told him how I’m utilizing this opportunity for my career since I’m an actress too. We chatted for a while longer, he broke down the process of a successful red carpet experience for both the celebrity and the photographer. The process of selling photos, and showed me some of his work. He also does professional headshots, so I may reach out to him in the future.

Speaking of making friends (this post has the most convenient segues): the Orange Hat Crew is very cool. Since we are all mixed in the chaos together, we are also bonding. So far, I have met a woman who travels to work the big film festivals on crew (I wish I had the cash flow to do that.) I also met a woman who works both the HR division (my old gig) and is also helping out on crew. Another person I met is the one who was courteous enough to buy me the coffee you see in the photo, even though I didn’t ask him. He works on a production crew and is aspiring to be a screenwriter. When the festival wraps up there will be an after party in early May. I think I’m going to attend.

I think that’s everything I want to post about so far. Today is day two and it may be much of the same, but I will keep you posted on any new developments.

Kind of a Bum

(Photo taken today. Filter courtesy of Instagram.)

I have things going on, and yet I don’t have things going on. On the positive side:

• I got booked to work Tribeca Film Festival this year.

• I got a mentor to help me with my voiceover portfolio.

• I have two jobs at the pole studio and the movie theatre.

On the downside though:

• I haven’t been doing much performing.

Much of my depression, I believe, comes from the fact that I don’t feel like I’m doing enough; even though I’m doing plenty.

There are a couple of things coming up that I’m going to try to dip my toes into. First and foremost: Saturday Night Live has this Saturday and next where they will air an episode. I applied for this weekend, but if they don’t take me this weekend, I’ll definitely apply next weekend since I’m already going to be in NYC for Tribeca’s orientation. Also the community theatre in NJ (that I had the amazing ‘As You Like It’ audition, even though I didn’t get picked) is holding auditions for ‘Twelfth Night’. Which is funny, because I bombed the last ‘TN’ audition with Shakespeare in Clark Park, Philadelphia. Maybe I’m just supposed to try again with a different group. It would be earlier in the Summer, which is good, and in a very hip little town in Jersey. The only conflict is transportation, but I will figure something out.

Ultimately, I need to get out of this rut. Especially since it appears that most of my friends are working on various projects and shows (like Creed 2, which surprise, surprise…I didn’t get picked again 😏.) I don’t want to get into that jealous phase where I’m judging myself by another person’s highlight reel; so I really need to do something of my own soon. Even if the part is tiny, I don’t care. I want to be productive.

Aww Man!

(Source: Facebook.)

I wish I was more into cosplay. There is a background job coming up on Tuesday who needed Comic Con types with non-licensed cosplay. It’s times like these when I wish I had a spare Lolita costume floating in my closet.

I’m bummed, but I hope more castings come up soon. My aunt is finally back from vacation, so I can resume going to NYC for work. I need it too, money is super tight right now.

There hasn’t been much going in on in Philly right now, though they did just open up the casting for Creed 2. I submitted for it, but much like before, I might not get booked because production may feel I look too similar to Tessa Thompson. Hopefully this time they have a scene with some of her “family” members, and maybe I get picked for that. Fingers crossed.

Side Work

(Source: Pinterest.)

Not the restaurant kind (though I’m familiar with that too.) The side work I’m talking about involves me writing résumés for fellow actors.

This all started about two weeks ago when a friend reached out to me to help them with their résumé. They didn’t know where to start and they wanted a streamlined process to continually update their file as their career progresses. That’s where I come in!

I did some research, to look how well an actor’s résumé is structured. Some are great. Some are pure garbage. I’m not a total expert, but here are some tips I have learned over time:

•Never put your Background work on a résumé. It is unfortunate that most casting directors don’t view it as real work, even though you are acting in a role no matter how small. However, those are the breaks for now, so don’t include it.

•Don’t put your personal information on there. My friend gave me their birthday, their address, their weight, everything BUT what I needed to construct their résumé. This is for your own protection. If the #MeToo movement has taught us anything, it’s that there are creepers still running amok in this industry. Don’t let them find you.

•With that said, if you have an agent, you put their point of contact info on there. That includes the agent, agency name, and agency phone number. If you have a work website like IMDB or a personally constructed one with your reels included; add that too.

•If you are super green to this industry, make a separate work phone number and email address. Google offers Voice and Gmail for free.

•Acting résumés are whole dimensions different from traditional résumés (believe me, I know.) Things you would think to include on an acting résumé, wouldn’t fly on a traditional résumé and vice versa. Keep this in mind when writing your own. Your proficiency in MS Office won’t help you here, but your ability to ride a unicycle would.

I hope I was able to provide you with some insight into how this process works. Feel free to reach out to me in the comments if you have any additional questions or if you would like this service for yourself.

Update to The Doomed Shoot

(Source: Metalocalypse.)

“Shit Happens.” I’m well aware; but having to cancel a booking sucks major donkey balls. My fear is (even though I have been super consistent with every booking I have ever done with this agency) they won’t trust me to take on anything else. Or maybe I’m just not meant to take on Non-Union work anymore. Either way, I need to continue to make money by any means necessary and I think I just murdered one of my sources by being a flake (even though it wasn’t my intention.) To say I’m upset is an understatement.

The Doomed Shoot

(Source: Facebook.)

Frustrated, but not surprised. I won’t have accommodation for tonight and tomorrow in NYC. I put one last word out to friends in the area that may be able to let me stay but it’s not looking likely. The very last thing I have in my corner is the pending call time.

If it’s later in the morning, I can still go as there are plenty of early morning buses that can take me up there.

If it’s too early in the morning (like 5 or 6am) it’s a no go. There are no Greyhounds available, and I have to be in the city by then to take their subways to get to the shoot.

Its times like these when I really miss having a car.

Pause

(Source: Facebook. When you finally think you’re getting momentum but God has other plans for your life.)

My life has been on one big pause in the past couple of weeks. It’s not just looking after my dad that is causing mass delays either. I haven’t been picking up too many bookings either. That is until today.

I won’t name the program, but it’s new. I’m slated to work on Tuesday when my mom has a day off to hang with my dad. I let my aunt in NYC know that I will be there and now I might not be able to stay. Not by her doing of course. She is going on vacation and they may not let anyone into her apartment while she’s away…damn.

I can’t drive there because the car broke down and it’s too expensive to repair. I’m still looking for regular work in the meantime and it’s been slow going. Needless to say, I’m getting a little frustrated.

There’s an old saying: “No test, no testimony.” I think I might have shared it on here before, but it feels like one of those tests of my patience right now. I’m not sure what will happen from here but at the moment, things look a little bleak. Too many obstacles in my path.