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!

My Career Is Stagnant At The Moment…

(Taken late last month.)

There’s not much I can do about it. What I can do is take stock of where I’m at now:

•SAG eligible

•A decent theatre resume

•A film credit

•Nominated for a regional award

That’s what I have for the time being, though I managed to get this done at a rapid pace of 3 years (SAG alone takes some people a decade.)

Right now, the only thing I have going on is my YouTube channel until I work another film in 2019. I’ll try to keep this page updated on any industry related things that may come up in the meantime.

Second Chance

(Source: Sailor Moon, Toei Animation. Creator Naoko Takeuchi.)

Remember two weeks ago when I submitted my information to a high level mover and shaker in the industry? That gig they advertised has come and gone with me not working on it, but they advertised another casting call scheduled for this week.

As always, I strike while the iron is hot with this strike leading to some success! I got a call back for a live audition.

This gig may also not be for me, however, I will definitely be on their radar for any future project.

The other rumor about this individual…they may be able to represent talent. Ultimately that is my goal: to get representation, bigger parts, and more work. Wish me luck!

Wonder Woman 1984

(My jammies from the 1980’s when I was little. It has a cape attached too.)

Production for Wonder Woman 1984 is in full swing. Although I’m trying to work on bigger parts than just background, this is a film I can’t afford to ignore. Obviously because I used to watch the Lynda Carter reruns when I was a kid. I had the jammies as featured above. I later dressed up as Wonder Woman for a pole dancing recital which was so much fun!

But a little known fact about this film in particular:

I was born in Washington D.C. in ’83. In 1984, I would have been still residing in D.C. with my mom as a 1 year old riding around in a stroller. How fun would it be to perform in a film that’s shooting in my birthplace and taking place during a time period that I would have been alive?

If they let me push a baby girl around in a stroller, I could play the role of my mom and the baby girl could play the role of me. Now that would both be funny and historically accurate!

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.

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.

James Bond Needs to Die

(Source: Facebook.)

Let me clarify, first, by saying I’m a big fan of the Bond movies…but I’m tired of them. All of this speculation going around the internet about who the next Bond should be is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve gone on record on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook crying out that Bond needs to die. I will go further in detail here.

Spectre:

The most recent film in the franchise is the one that did it in for me. Besides the fact that they pulled the storyline from the 3rd Austin Powers installment, they wrote a terrible Bond Girl:

Bond’s main squeeze is a classic example of telling you that a female character is strong/intelligent/empowered but having her get beaten down/captured at almost every opportunity. Lea Seydoux’s Dr. Madeleine Swann is the most useless “tag-along girl” that James Bond has had in decades.

(Source: Forbes.com contributor Scott Mendelson.)

The biggest issue I have with the franchise is that 50% of the films are actually any good. With that being said, why to we want to put a black man or woman in the starrer role that could potentially flop? Why do we need to reboot at all? There are so many options and stories to tell in the Spy genre, that we really don’t need another Bond.

(Source: IMDb.com Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale.)

If anything, the production company should make a Felix Leiter film. Felix is the U.S. equivalent of James Bond and is a C.I.A. agent. The name Felix is unisex so the character can be a he or a she. With that in mind, and with a little bit of bias, I would like the character to continue to be portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. I say with bias because he and my uncle attended school together as kids and he has always been kind, even years later (when my uncle told us that he bumped into him in L.A.)

But I digress. It’s not my decision to make how they go forward with the films. Though my attendance to the newest film is questionable at best.

Flexibility Training

(Source: Facebook. This is me 50 years from now.)

Last night my pole studio had an open house. Since I’m staying stateside, I kept my job here and I set some new goals for how I want to teach the class. My main focus this month will be flexibility training. It is much needed for both myself and my students.

The big goal that I have for myself is to get my splits back (regular and Russian on both legs.) I’m also going to do back bends again (people will say it doesn’t really stretch anything; that is until they have to do something that requires a back bend…so they can just shut the hell up.)

I have some moves in mind that I want to do that will keep me motivated:

(Source: Studio Veena and Pinterest.)

(Source: Pinterest.)

(Source: Pinterest.)

Don’t let the bare feet fool you on the first and last photos. Those moves can also be done in heels (which is my intention.)

The pole room is free just before my class begins so I will be doing solo work as well as work with the class. I hope to document my progress.

A Background Shoot and An Audition

(Source: Facebook)

It’s been a productive couple of days after the unsuccessful attempt to work at my old company again. I booked another background shoot in Philly on Monday, and an audition in Philly two weeks from now. I don’t want to talk about what project I’m working on this week. Not because they are preventing me or anything (nor would I ever give away any details); but because of the last shoot I did over a month ago, the casting agency dinged me for mentioning that I’m working on the show (I’m taking no chances this time.) What I will say is: this is a very important shoot for me. Once I officially step on set and complete my job, I will talk more on the subject.

The audition, however, I can talk about liberally. It’s Shakepeare in Clark Park, located in West Philly. The audition is in December, but the first rehearsal isn’t until June 19th, 2018. If I get it, I will have plenty of time to truly learn the text and get off book by June. The production is ‘Twelfth Night’ with a bit of a rock n’ roll twist. The info about the audition was forwarded to me by my Stage Combat instructor, who coordinated the fights for Coriolanus this past Summer. They were looking for actor combatants and it piqued my interest. From now until then I will be preparing a monologue and a 30 second rock ballad to perform. I hope to convince the casting team that I’m a better fighter than a singer and to pick me on that alone. Fingers Crossed.

Re-working My Upper Body

(Source: Pinterest.)

I had a back to back run of pole class and stage combat; now my arms are dead. I’m happy to get super active again, though I’m a little frustrated that I lost so much of my physical strength from the car accident. I used to be able to lift humans, now I can barely lift a shield.

(Source: Facebook, anime Unknown.)

Now it’s going to be a process of reconnecting with my body again, while not inflicting any damage to the previously injured area. It’s doable, I just have to move slowly…Who the hell am I kidding?! I’m going to do what I always do and work my body to total wreckage. Thankfully I’ll have a couple days of rest.

(Source: Pinterest.)