Ch-ch-ch-changes! The self tape requests have just made their way to commercials, folks. Well, that’s not exactly true. The first time I was asked to gather a few self tapes for a job was about 5 years ago. It was for a SAG job. Production had added a completely “new role” after the job had been cast, talent had their wardrobe fitting, and they were on day one of the shoot. Instead of booking from headshot/resume/reel or hold an additional casting session (which we didn’t really have time for) they asked that I have 5 or so actors put themselves on tape. Nothing crazy, just with their phone, no fancy camera or lights necessary. It was a new request to me… but it certainly made sense. And the requests and the circumstances have continued to evolve and roll in from there. read more
A “world premiere” always sounds really special and exciting. And it is! But truthfully when you take a seat at a world premiere of a play, you should know what you are getting into. Even when it’s an established award-winning playwright it can be a toss up as to its success, and if it’s a relatively unknown playwright, it’s just plain risky viewing. And exciting. Don’t forget exciting. You could be a witness to brilliance, or more often an intriguing show that still needs some work. read more
To agent or to no agent… and which agent? Those are the questions! Sometimes I feel like you can find an opinion to match what you think/want to hear on any aspect of the industry. I always go with the study that confirms that I’ll live longer for drinking a glass of wine a day, so I get it. All you’ll be getting here is my opinion, but let’s face it, that’s par for the course in this column. And (drumroll, please) my answer to the agent or not to agent and which one question(s) is:
it depends. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
Commercial actors should never be confused about commercial representation. read more
It isn’t often you walk into a theatre to see a 1948 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama by an iconic American playwright, and are greeted with DJ, who happens to be a fabulous chick drinking a beer. It does clue you in that the Theatre @ Boston Court means business when they label their production of A Streetcar Named Desire “reimagined”. Don’t want a DJ paired with Tennessee Williams? Ok, but it’s your loss. Really. read more
Here I go… beating that drum (or dead horse, depending on how over this topic you are) again. My commercial friends: I can’t emphasize enough how important really great commercial headshots are. I think you know this. But I’m not sure you KNOW, KNOW this. I believe more of you would be picking up extra shifts, watching tons of commercials, shopping for wardrobe and making sure you are on the wait list of the best commercial headshot photographers, if you truly took this to heart.
Commercial actors should never forget HEADSHOTS are their single most important tool.
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