Commercial actors should never believe they are less than 100% in charge of their own success.
Ok, I just started right out with a lie. I have no doubt you could rattle off a list of things that are out of the control of you, the commercial actor. I can! There are a few things, admittedly, that are out of your hands. It’s likely you find these things frustrating. I hear actors talking a lot about the topic. Too often it’s a focus, in my opinion. Too often it’s an excuse. Yep, I said it.
Oh, people. There’s an obscure Pinter play on stage right now at the Antaeus Theatre! What does this mean for you? Well, it depends on who you are. If you would call yourself anything less than a theatre enthusiast, if you don’t proudly wear a theatre geek badge, you can quite simply move on. This show is not for you. If I had you at “obscure Pinter play” keep reading! read more
One of the great mysteries (and frustrations) in the casting world is why some actors don’t show up to their audition appointments. Right now you, the actor, are either shouting at your computer in exasperation because you would never miss an audition, let alone be unprepared or late. Or, you are going though the list of what seems to be legitimate reasons an actor (ahem, you) sometimes miss auditions. And while I’ll fully admit those legitimate excuses exist, I’m sure it’s not nearly as often as I hear them. What’s the big deal? That’s well covered territory, but a quick recap: it’s a BIG deal. So, what gives?
Commercial actors should never stop assessing why they don’t show up. read more
When you are a true lover of the theatre, many believe you have a higher calling/moral obligation to support the new stuff, the home grown stuff, the challenging, strange and goofy stuff. We all want a world with new and innovative theatre and not just the classics produced over and over. Los Angeles has a surprising amount of new theatre being produced and supporting the cause is important, if not required. Now let’s be clear, you don’t have to like it and many times you probably won’t. But those shows turn into, or, at the very least, provide a start for the shows that take our breath away, inspire and entertain us. You can’t have one without the other. read more
Have you noticed changes in the commercial business and can’t make heads or tails of it? Perhaps you can’t put your finger on what the movement is, but you know something is definitely moving. I’ve always marveled at the rate of change in commercials. I have to keep up because my business depends on it. Yours does, too. If you take the commercial pursuit seriously, your business depends on you being in the know, so that you can make informed, strategic and thoughtful decisions. For the millionth time, booking a commercial (or commercials, plural) isn’t a crap shoot. It’s a thing. And you gotta know about the thing. How? Let’s talk about it.
Commercial actors should never stop asking the important questions. read more
I think you all know how I feel about Hamilton. If not, it’s how you feel about Hamilton, if you’ve had the opportunity to be “in the room where it happens”. Everyone, everyone, everyone loves it. And rightfully so. But what now? Where do all the Hamilton lovers go, besides back to the theatre to see it again and again, inevitably leaving them homeless and penniless? The Kirk Douglas Theatre may have a solution for those suffering Hamilton withdrawls. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I suggest Spamilton, An American Parody! read more
I always like to keep things in perspective when casting. A favorite phrase of mine: We aren’t curing cancer, we are casting a commercial. This is important for me, personally, to keep in mind because things can get stressful quickly in the world of commercials and sometimes it feels like the walls are caving in. As things move quicker and quicker and demands become more insane, actors will be increasingly finding themselves in the position to save the day.
Commercial actors should never miss an opportunity to become a casting director favorite.
The Actor’s Gang is a Los Angeles treasure. The theatre has been around since 1981, specializing in original works and reinterpretations of the classics. They have a Prison Project that is currently in eleven California prisons and they can also be found in a few lucky Los Angeles public schools providing in-school immersion and after school programs. What is not to like? I couldn’t be more serious. The Actor’s Gang deserves your support, every opportunity you get.
I just scrapped my planned subject for this column. Why? Because I was going to address some nuances… some (seemly) silly subtleties of the commercial world. Unfortunately, it’s become clear over the last few casting sessions I’ve had that some bigger issues should take precedence. Knowing the finer nuances of the commercial audition will prove worthless if you are performing (knowingly or not) some giant jerk moves. You may think you know the golden rules of commercials, but I’d urge you to read with refreshed eyes and consider once again if you are causing a small to large crisis in the world of a commercial casting director.
Commercial actors should never… break the golden rules of the commercial audition.
If you are an avid theatre patron in the City of Angels, you’ve likely seen a show or two at the lovely Falcon Theatre (and if not, for shame!) in Burbank. The Falcon has very recently closed its doors after a 20 year run and re-launched as a non profit organization in honor of Garry Marshall, the late founder. The theatre has a new name: The Garry Marshall Theatre, not to mention a new attitude. And it’s a great one.