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
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:
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.
Whoever labeled us performer folk as starving artists is about to be proven dead wrong today. Yes the paycheck for a background actor might not afford a seat at a high class restaurant, but spent intelligently, that cutie who said only whispers in the diner is about to dine right tonight. Having the knowledge of how to buy tasty, healthy food that will stretch longer than all the sequels of Fast and the Furious movies will leave both your tummy and wallet full.
When working with clients, I love sharing all types of nutritious foods, especially the ones that can be bought for cheap but are wealthy in nutrients.
No need to drain your account to fill your plate, Health Coach Jill has got you covered!
Don’t Look For A Cookie Cutter To Shape Your Audition.
The other day I was in the reception area of a project I was casting and one of the actors asked me “what are they looking for”? I cringed inside and answered, they are looking for an actor to bring them “something”.
The one thing you should not be trying to figure out when you are preparing copy both commercially and theatrically is what do they want. 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.
The art of storytelling is composed of talented, passionate and hardworking show business aficionados. As artists we live out our days admiring the directors, writers and actors who bring our favourite narratives to life. We are all visionaries and the truly gifted understand the importance of collaboration when bringing a creative vision to life.
At the forefront of this collaboration are casting directors; their job is to work with directors, producers and writers to ensure only the best actors are discovered and hired. It goes without saying that a great casting director not only is a champion team player but also holds a remarkable eye for talent.
With a career in the entertainment industry spanning 10 years, Nicki Katz has cast over 75 Award-Winning commercials, feature films, TV series, and short films, which have screened at festivals around the world. Nicki has had feature films premiere at Sundance film festival, including Sophie and The Rising Sun, and has cast box office hits including Annabelle: Creation. Her indie thriller Excess Flesh premiered at SXSW and was distributed through Midnight Releasing. Nicki has also worked on several Emmy Award-Winning television series, including Transparent, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Training Day. Her national commercial work recently includes McDonalds, Dominos, Hot Wheels, and Toyota campaigns.read more