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
That’s it! You’ve decided to upgrade your fridge and pantry products to A-list stars. Those items filled with artificial sugar, hydrogenated oil and garbage have been retired to well, the garbage.
I’ve got 5 EASY swaps to say, “That’s a wrap!” to the junky food and to get new, nutritious stuff in!
The quick cheat sheet or table read if you will:
Mithila Gupta is an Indian-born, Aussie-bred screenwriter that is quickly emerging as one of our best new talents. Her devotion to creating honest, culturally diverse characters in the landscape of Australian film and television, one that has largely been dominated by older, white males has ensured she is not only in demand for her fiery ideas, talents and spirit but that she also a breath of fresh air. 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
I’m going to start out with ways to calm your nerves that you have all heard before. One element that can get rid of your jitters, and can calm your nerves is certainly knowing your technique. In addition, understanding the venue you are working in, including who the players are. In addition understanding the selection process and the booking process will also give you more of a comfort level, and certainly we can add getting familiar with the casting community…. And let’s not forget being good at improv.
Patrick James is a triple theatre of a different kind, a producer, content creator and actor best known for playing the acid tongued drag queen and screen siren that is Wilma Bumhurt in the online series sensation The Horizons. Patrick is the kind of dynamic creative that understands that the creation and development of new content is the way forward. Since we first met and became friends many years ago, I have been privileged to watch my friend go from strength to strength creatively, his presence and personality always a source of joy and inspiration in my life and the lives of those around him. Nothing has given me more joy than watching Patricks journey from first being cast as Wilma and his nervous discovery of how to approach playing a drag queen, very unfamiliar territory for Patrick, to now being an activist for the LGBTQI community and an outspoken defender for equality. His role of Wilma has literally taken him all over the world and granted him countless amazing opportunities including the opportunity to present at the Logies and even have his own spin off series, ‘Where’s Wilma?’ read more
In a previous life, I taught people how to use the internet. It was way back in 2008, and people who were new to and/or overwhelmed by this thing called “social media” needed help making friends with it (even more important than making friends on it). It was my job to help them do that.
While I tended to get good feedback on my workshops, I wish I’d known then what I know now: that we learn slowly, and by doing. It took another Stupid Day Job™ to truly teach me how to teach, and to learn how I learn.
You can only learn one thing at a time. 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.