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!

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.

HOME

(Taken last night when I walked into the house.)

I made it! It feels so good to be home too. Yes, things are finally calming down with school, but I still felt scattered and out of sorts. Landing on American soil not only rejuvenated my spirit, but calmed some of the anxiety I was feeling.

A couple of good things came out of my move to Ireland. 1) I’m down 20 lbs with 40 more to go. As long as I continue to work out while I’m home I should be able to shave off another 15 while I’m here. 2) I have a deeper appreciation for what I had back home. Things look less bleak and I’m ready to work my butt off as well.

I hope to post more now that I have a bit more time to work on my own projects. In the meantime, I’m going to rest.

Group Project 🙄

(Source: Student Problems Facebook.)

It’s the last week of the semester, and, like always, there is fuckery afoot. There are a couple of projects that involve groups that I’m a part of, that are due this week. One of the projects in particular is close to bringing out “HR/Corporate Shamma.”

Why? Well, one individual in particular who has:

•Not consistently attended class.

•Not answer questions when asked on the group chat.

•Only wants to participate in the project according to their own terms and not the requirements of our professor. (Meaning they want to delegate all of the tasks to everyone else and do nothing themselves.)

Now has the absolute gall to send me an email requesting to forward all of my work to them, in order to make “corrections.”

Um, no.

They already showed their ass from the start when when they tried to accuse another student in the class of being flaky; when in fact the accuser is flaky as hell! Second of all…corrections? For what? They weren’t in class when all of the notes were taken and the professor knows I’m writing the paper. He has a keen idea on who’s been putting in work and who has not, so any “corrections” this person has to make is a desperate attempt to look like they did something.

Another point I want to add, is the background of this individual. Like me, they came from a previous profession (not corporate) before diving into Drama School. Which means they are also carrying a massive ego by thinking they are better than the other students here. But here’s the rub: the class we have this project for, is more suited to my previous industry than theirs. It’s the reason why I’m writing the report in the first place. Also, while my previous profession has been pivotal in how I navigate this industry, I’m not shitting on the other students for not having those skills. Instead I’m offering them up to be used to get us the best grade possible.

These skills are going to be dusted off, again, for the most scathing corporate email I can possibly write to this classmate. Including a corporate jargon way of conveying they are not getting my notes and go to hell.

A Scam that Built a Community

(Source: Image Orca Pinterest.)

Is it possible for a scam to bring people together? In my case and many others, yes it did.

A “recruiter” messaged me a few weeks ago to tell of a a beauty campaign featuring diverse faces and body types for a campaign. I was wary of it at first, but I was also wary of a strange email sent to me about a film (MUDA) that turned out to be very real. So I asked for more information and they sent me an email regarding what the campaign is and what the contract looks like.

Before I agree to anything, I typically do research to find out more about the companies involved as well as the campaign. Shockingly these scammers did an incredible job at crossing their “T’s” and dotting their “I’s”. They provided real companies, real discount codes for their products, a genuine conference call with everyone that would be working on the shoot, as well as a real location as to where we would be staying. Unfortunately, but fortunately, the veil lifted for everyone soon after and it was revealed to be a scam.

The silver lining in all of it was that everyone scammed was on a group email and we all corresponded with each other after the big reveal to figure out how we can fight the scam and stay in touch. Now we are a community that follows each other on Instagram with the hopes that we will collaborate on projects in the future. It’s definitely possible: many of us are models, actors, recording artists, bloggers, and brand ambassadors. Movers and shakers in this industry that are making big things happen.

I’ve been fortunate enough to not be pulled into an elaborate scam that affects my safety or my finances. Those people are out there and it’s concerning that they would go to such lengths. Take this as a warning: do all of your research, ask questions, ask others that are involved, and if something doesn’t feel right in your gut, walk away.

Work Falling Away

(Source: Facebook.)

Well…two of my three jobs went from certain to uncertain.

Tomorrow, I have a staff meeting at my theatre gig because of a massive management overhaul. While I can’t disclose everything that happened, just know the events leading up to this meeting have not been good. The meeting itself doesn’t feel promising either.

My restaurant job has welcomed back the woman who trained me. I’m happy for her because I didn’t want her to go, but it does mean I may be losing out on that extra income now. Right when I have a month left before leaving for Ireland. IF that even happens.

I have a theory and it’s been a theory since my financial aid was rescinded last year….I don’t think I’m meant for this school. My family doesn’t want to hear that and they keep pressing to make it a thing; though I am still woefully unprepared to live there financially. Not to mention the fact that some things career wise are now falling into place for me right as I’m supposed to be leaving. I mean, if I was in Ireland last year, I wouldn’t have been able to earn eligibility into SAG, because I would have been over the Atlantic and in school.

Education is important however. Not having a degree has hindered me from taking financially secure jobs over the years that are not retail, restaurant, or even human resources; which I was lucky to land the position I did without the degree. Mainly because I worked my way up that company and my friend was in a position to hire me.

This is one of those times when I have to exercise faith in the Universe over where it wants me to go. My biggest prayers are to let go of the things, situations, and people who no longer serve my highest good. For my family to truly support my career and to stop letting fear get in the way which, I feel was causing a lot of blockages in my career (among other things.) Finally, to be put in a position where I can excel at my career (may be simple as a workshop that helps me be a better actor compared to 4 years in school.)

I shall see what happens in the next few days.

TrapStock

(Source: Patientce Foster and The Cream Agency Instagram.)

This Sunday, I’m attending a new music festival event that I am not working (what a shocker!) I’m going to listen to trap music and relax in my lawn chair with a book.

(Source: Facebook.)

I’ve been working pretty much every day this summer without reprieve. My gears are grinding down to a halt and I’m in need of some semblance of self-care.

(Taken at the end of June.)

I’m also trying to support this lovely lady featured above. For those who don’t know, her name is Patientce (this is the correct spelling for her name) and this is her first major music festival that she’s putting on in her hometown…which also happens to be my hometown. She is also the industry insider that I have auditioned for before.

Now before you think this is my way of jumping in favor of her, the answer is no. Yes, she works with high powered people, but meeting her was truly enough for me. Besides I’m not going to be here in Delaware for much longer so working with her is now an impossibility. At this point I’m supporting building something good in this city that is not gentrified. I’ll post pictures on Instagram so be sure to follow me: @shammacasson.

How It Always Works Out

(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice, Mitsurou Kubo.)

This morning I received an invite to audition for a role on an indie film that would be shooting next month. The timing comes right after I complain about my career going stagnant, which now renders that post null and void.

There’s no guarantee that I will get the part, however, the fact that the director reached out to me is important.

So what is the film?

It’s about a young woman who has major relationship failures with except for a meaningful relationship with another woman in her early twenties. I was offered to play one of the supporting roles in this film. The best part is, it’s a paying role too.

YES. This is the dream. To play a speaking part in a film or television show and actually getting compensated for it.

The only issue is that the schedule may roll into when I’m supposed to leave the country. Who knows what will happen, but it’s an opportunity I feel I couldn’t turn down. Prayers and fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.