Update on Possible Representation

i-guess-you-could-say-things-are-getting-pretty-serious

(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!

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! 🤞🏽

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!

It’s Too Cold To Do Anything and Updates

(Source: Pinterest.)

As I sit here huddled under a thousand blankets, I wanted to update you on some of the things going on in my life.

1) The internship with the industry insider is going well. Since I deal with sensitive information, I can’t say what work I’m doing, but I do like it. It may be an alternative career path if/or when I get tired of acting.

2) I’m heading back to Dublin soon on a wing and a prayer. I have two leads for a place to stay. Hopefully one of them works out. If not, I’ll either stay in a hostel or if money is way too tight, then I’ll come back home. If that does happen, then I will defer the semester and come back in September with hopefully more money saved in the bank.

3) I managed to figure out some of the software on my laptop via a crap-ton of tutorials on YouTube. Yay, I don’t feel as computer illiterate anymore!

4) I have production assistant training coming soon. That will be in Los Angeles early spring. I needed to have an industry related career that was freelance and could also put cash in my pocket between gigs. I’m really excited to get to work on that.

That’s all for now. Pray that I don’t freeze into a popsicle in the meantime.

Tech Struggle

(Source: imgflip.com)

Good news, I’m now working with the industry insider that I wanted to work with. Because she is such an insider, I’m bound by an NDA so I won’t be able to post about my job. What I can talk about is one struggle associated with my job:

Word processing software.

Not necessarily the software in general, but the version that is downloaded on my laptop…it’s giving me serious hell! It took me nearly 2 hours to get one document done due to tabs being missing on this version without an option to download. I’m super pissy about it because I want to do well and not look like a total idiot.

When I go home tonight, I’m going to play around with it a bit more to see if I can correct the problems before Monday.

The Semester is Nearly Over 😱

(Source: Student Problems Facebook.)

One. More. Class.

Then I fly out on Tuesday morning back to the United States, and not a moment too soon. To say this semester kicked my ass is an understatement. Yes, it did improve, and so did I. However, the steps it took to get here were super treacherous. This trip back home will be a bit of a reprieve.

There are some updates I wanted to include in this post that I talked about in recent days:

• I’m no longer in the professor’s course that disrespected me in front of the entire class. I had to take the case up with the head of my major’s department and the academic dean to move me out of his class. I was moved to a different professor’s course where I’m ACTUALLY LEARNING my craft and it’s not being treated like a contestant for the teacher’s favorite student. The original professor still infuriates me. Not only in how he treated me, but the rumblings I’m hearing from how he is treating the other students. It also doesn’t help that he’s industry (working actor) too. If I ever have to work with him in a professional setting and he is disrespectful to me again, I hope I will be in a position of power by that point in time to call him out on his bullying instead of taking myself out of the situation like I did in class; which made me feel powerless. I suspect that is what he wanted all along. To make me feel powerless. He is a bully after all.

• The classmate finally came around and contributed the bare minimum to the group project and no need to “correct” my paper. Between my friend who also worked on the project calling them out their lack of effort and my email, it seems that kicked them in the pants enough to do some work. I hope to never have to work on another project with them ever again.

• The short film I worked on is coming together fast! We only shot it this past Wednesday and there is already a rough cut that was sent to the directors and the producer/writer of the production. Soon I hope to use some of the footage for my own show reel. Finally a friggin reel. It’s all coming together.

Aside from the updates, I managed to book another fit modeling gig back home and apply for some mini gigs. I’m also teaching at the dance studio this month starting next Thursday. My reprieve will be a bit busy, a bit profitable, and most of all it will be at home. I can’t wait!

Workshops

(Source: Facebook)

I use this meme because it’s a process of appointments to get approval to work here. Especially with so many educational offerings from other theatre schools that my school does not offer in the slightest. Like:

•Casting and Auditions

•Stage Combat (primarily Rapier and Dagger work)

•Showreel Preparation

The Casting and Audition course is particularly interesting to me because that last audition I had back in December, I bombed completely. While my professors talk about auditions, they are not really touching on how difficult the process actually is. In fact many working actors in the thick of the industry say that auditioning is a skill of its own. Once you get a booking, doing the job is super easy.

The next beast to tame is the showreel. As I mentioned on a previous post, the hardest part of booking work has been a lack of a reel to present to potential casting agencies. Mainly due to not being cast in low budget or student films who are not paying me, but will compensate me with reel footage, but in order to be considered for a part, I must have a reel first…..

(Source: Twitter. Same, cute little dog, same.)

The workshop that is offering this is also teaching advanced techniques in working in film along with production of reel footage for me to use.

Of course, to cap it all off, there is another Stage Combat workshop that I want to take. Clearly I can’t get enough of this art, especially since I would be training in a brand new weapons category.

Two of the three courses are being paid for from my previous modeling jobs. The third I will need to find a job to pay for that course. Wish me luck!

10/10 Update

(Source: Facebook)

Let me start with the positives before venting:

•I managed to find a room for rent and my roommate is a really nice lady.

•Out of the 10 classes I’m taking, the 3 main acting ones are quite informative. I’m getting some education out of them.

•The director of a film that reached out to me over the summer, messaged me this morning and wants me to audition for the main supporting role. I will perform a video audition in a couple of weeks.

•I do have a friend here at school and get along better with my classmates.

Now for the not-so-good parts:

•I also found out this morning that working on acting gigs while in school is frowned upon and may actually get me dismissed from school. While I understand that the school wants you to focus on your training and not on work yet, it really doesn’t hurt to have some real world experience. My perspective is probably a little different since I’m in my mid thirties, I came to school as an already working (paid) actress, I’ve never been to drama school before (my previous degree was in Interactive Media Design and my school did not prevent me from taking a job in my related field), the acting classes I have taken previously had working actors in regular attendance. As long as it doesn’t disrupt my attendance, hinder my learning, or prevent me from turning in my coursework on time then it really should not be a problem. Plus my career is important to me. If an opportunity falls in my lap while I’m in school that I couldn’t possibly turn down, sorry not sorry, I’m taking it.

•Apparently I was registered for the class that I thought I had missed out on and could fail since the beginning of the semester. Of course no one in the school’s office told me, even though we had a meeting to make sure we were on the same page about my schedule. Missing those weeks have put me into a serious bind as this is one of those classes that builds upon itself each week and I should have been there on day one to understand what the hell is going on. My semi-saving grace is that it is based on reading sheet music and I used to play the Alto and Baritone Saxophone. The downside is, that was over twenty years ago so my memory is incredibly fuzzy. Some things I remember, some things I don’t. Plus the course is taught in the European style of reading sheet music which is miles away from how I learned as an American. The descriptions of all of the symbols (aside from the ones written in Italian, which are universal) are completely different. So I still might fail the course which will be seriously upsetting since I did absolutely nothing wrong. But I’m just going to study really hard and hope for the best.

•Speaking of music: this particular school places higher priority on its music theatre program than they do their basic theatre program; which is what I’m in. A large portion of my classes are more devoted to music theatre which is not what I signed up for. The original course outline offered more business classes than music classes since being an actress is me running my own business. I have to market myself, manage my money, be able manage events relating to my industry, all in addition to acting. This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t learn some music (it would make me more well rounded) but it’s not my passion. Yes, I do perform in musicals, yes I will perform in them in the future, but singing isn’t my strong suit. My voice is built to fill a theatre with spoken word (hence why I was a cheerleader).