(Source: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC.)
The Universe works in very mysterious ways. Not only was I offered an opportunity to audition for a film, now a videographer friend of mine wants to work on a project with me.
This time, it’s a horror scene that I would film with another person. No pay, BUT he’s giving me the footage for my reel!
I mentioned in a previous post about productions that can’t pay their actors, but have the audacity to not hire them without a reel, and the only compensation they offer is more reel footage. It made no sense. My friend, who offered me this project, is doing this the CORRECT way by making beneficial for both of us.
I will give credit where credit is due. He watched my Instagram stories where I talk and film all of the time and that was a form of a reel for him. Don’t be mistaken though, I would never be able to pull those stories together into a professional reel to send to casting directors. However, the industry is changing and more casting decisions are being made based upon how strong your social media following is.
I’m excited about this opportunity, and a little suspicious about why everything I’ve wanted to do since January, is only now forming a month before I’m supposed to leave.
(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.
(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:
•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.
If you were following my blog up to this point, you would know that I currently have three jobs. Pole Dance Instructor, Arthouse Movie Theatre Projectionist, and Host/Server at a popular restaurant.
Recently, at the restaurant, I managed to pick up more serving shifts and ultimately that means more money in my pocket. However, that came at a cost: the person to trained me on the restaurant’s system was removed from the schedule.
I don’t like it.
Let’s be clear that I’m in no way ungrateful for the extra income (I NEED it), but I was hoping to earn it on my own merits and not because someone was forcibly removed. If you’re wondering if there was a valid reason for their removal? Yes. I will not disclose why though.
The next question you may be wondering is, if there was a valid reason this person had to go, why do you feel guilty about it? Well, as I stated earlier, they trained me. It’s a really ugly situation when companies require employees to train their replacements when they’re being let go by said company. Even worse when you train someone, get let go, and then find out that person you trained filled your spot. It feels sneaky.
Personally, I prefer to cover shifts for people. When they can’t for reasons due to illness or conflict of schedule. Better yet if they are quitting their position and are training their replacement to do the job well. I like to call this “an approved exchange” where no one gets hurt.
I liked this person. I bore no ill will, though I had concerns. They were cool and easy to talk to. Plus, believe it or not, they did train me well and did their job well when they could. It also worries me that I may be blocking my own blessings from feeling immense guilt about it. In the grand scheme of things, this job is temporary. Hopefully this sick feeling I have subsides by the time I leave.
(Source: Mean Girls, Paramount Pictures.)
Everyone is up in arms about Scarlett Johansson playing a trans man in her newest film. This, coming after the backlash of whitewashing the role of Motoko Kusanagi from ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ I don’t dislike her, though there are some things about her association with Woody Allen to be problematic. I don’t think this role is right for her.
Before I go any further, let me admit that I have played roles that did not fit my cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, or age group. If an actor does their job well, then you should know them by the role they embody more than the person themselves. However, Scarlett Johansson has reached the point in several of her roles where she is “Scarlett” in a film, and not the character she is playing. Therefore, the character of Dante Gill will not be portrayed correctly.
Now if it were up to me to find an actual trans man, who looks like Gill, and can act, that would be my preference. It’s a challenge, however, since I would have an extremely small pool to work from. The closest I would be able cast is Lea DeLaria from ‘Orange is the New Black.’
The biggest issue I have with casting films in Hollywood is the cronyism associated with it. In this case Ms. Johansson is working with the same director from ‘GITS’, which is pissing people off further (myself included.) I get it: if you want to work consistently, it’s best to build a strong network and work with many of the same people. Roles like Gill need a little more thought and use of common sense before calling up your homie to take the part….
But I digress.
(Taken yesterday at the Kleinlife Center in Northern Philadelphia.)
Yesterday, one of my students performed in the local pole dancing competition. She had wanted to compete for some time now so she took a brave step and signed up.
She choreographed her own routine and did not ask us for any input. The result was a marvelous! She also placed 4th in her division. Not bad for a first-timer huh?!
More so than that, I was inspired. For years I was a competition cheerleader and loved the thrill of preparing for a competition whether we won or not. It’s the same thrill I get when preparing for a show…which is also why I’m feeling a little empty about my career right now.
I have done pole comps in the past, but they were significantly smaller in comparison to yesterday’s, and that isn’t even the largest.
My goal is to compete as a way of getting out of my rut. I think focusing on my career too much can actually be detrimental rather than helpful.
Hopefully there is a small comp in Europe that would allow me to perform.
(Taken Monday after my epiphany.)
While I was rambling on one of my Instagram stories (saved in the highlights) about one of the films we showed at work: I thought about vlogging film and television reviews. A friend of mine suggested I use a separate platform as to not disrupt my current social media brand. Well that sparked something.
Currently I have an active YouTube channel that I use specifically for self-tape auditions. Since those links are usually private, I don’t have other content posted for the public to view. Until now.
Posting reviews is hardly anything new and there is plenty of competition out there for me. However, I just want a platform to air my grievances at other people over what I should actually be doing myself…work in the film industry. That is the premise. You are going to watch an actress who is also trained in the technical side of film, bitch and complain about why the production was bad, while also praising what’s good about it.
Don’t expect it to be comedic. Comedy is a precious skill afforded to few and its not my forte. My biggest hope is that it’s relatable and informative. Just like my blog.
I’m excited aren’t you?
(Taken this past Friday evening. This was my audition number.)
As of right now it’s not looking likely that I was picked for the project with the industry leader. That’s ok, because I’m grateful for the fact that I got this far and met her. I will continue to apply as long as she is putting out casting notices and she highly encourages it.
In other good news, it looks like I’m going to film another project with the same director who gave me my first speaking part (yay another role and reel footage!)
The synopsis of this film is a gentleman who travels from his home in Boston to work in Côte d’Ivoire. I would be playing the lead’s girlfriend. The part currently is limited, but they asked for my input on how I would play it. They got straight away to re-writing it.
(Source: Prinze Whyee. A still shot from MUDA, currently in distribution in Africa.)
Re-writing a part is nothing new, the director did it the first time when I had to step in on ‘MUDA’ as the last lead’s little sister. I think it’s awesome that he is able to do that for me and immediately thought of me for this new film.
I’m excited to embark on something new!
(Taken yesterday before my casting call.)
As I stated in the post previous to this one, I was a little nervous about what the day would bring for me on Friday. It turned out well.
First, there was some confusion about my shift in the morning. Even though I offered to cover a person’s serving shift and they said ok, apparently they asked someone else too and didn’t bother to tell me. I would have been annoyed if it wasn’t for the fact that I had something to do immediately after that shift. I could have cared less. I just wanted to go home and prepare.
Having a sudden breather helped big time. Yes, I have done plenty of runway auditions, but still I was dead set on impressing this person because I want to work with them in any capacity. Taking that time allowed me to soothe my nerves.
Later on at the audition, it was a good group of people. The models, the casting crew, they had a good energy and it didn’t feel competitive or chaotic. I did my walk and afterwards we got to take pictures with the leader herself (which is featured on my Instagram take a look!)
I’m hoping for the best outcome, whether it’s to work on the project as a model or as crew. Fingers crossed 🤞🏽
Tomorrow is the big day. My audition with the industry professional. Before that, I have to work. Tomorrow will be my first official serving shift at this job. There are issues however.
We have a new POS system that I’m not familiar with.
Friday lunches are usually very busy.
Plus my nerves will be racked the entire time thinking about my audition.
Pray for me that I survive the day.