Uncharacteristically, I did not plot out my goals this year, publicly or privately, as I have in years past. But while I don’t have a normal mid-year “recap” to share, I still believe in being honest with oneself, preferably out loud, every six months or so, to ensure that too much time doesn’t slip away unnoticed. Think of a mid-year check-in as a way of seeing what adjustments you might need to make in the areas you feel need your attention. The first step toward changing anything is focusing your attention to that which needs to be changed: either to do less or more of something.
Lights, camera, kale! The real action happens when we fuel our bodies with foods that make us glow so bright we create a buzz without the expensive publicity. “Wow her skin is radiant, what thick hair and that radiant glow! I’ll have what she’s having!”
We are slowly shifting the conversation from who’s your doctor to what are you eating? This makes me happy as I raise my green smoothie to cheers this way of thinking. Every time we eat or drink, we are making a decision in one direction or another. Foods that fuel us or drag us down!
Let me say, I think it’s important to consume foods, thoughts & habits that make us our best selves. But – for the purpose of this blog, I’m going to share the top choices to make you red carpet ready!
It’s summer! There’s extra pressure this time of year to get out and have some fun. Luckily in the City of Angles, we have a lot of great entertainment options. One you may want to add to your list is The Last Breakfast Club: Musical Parody at the Rockwell: Table & Stage. Gen Xers and 80’s music enthusiasts, this show is for you.
The show appropriately opens with the familiar R.E.M. song “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” as we find the expected gang of five in weekend detention. All is just as you’d expect, except there’s been a nuclear disaster and they are very likely the last brain, athlete, basket case, princess and criminal on the planet, all holed up in the library. But don’t you worry, Bradely Bredeweg (director, EP, co-writer) and Rockwell veteran Kate Pazakis (EP, artistic director, co-writer) have them all mulling over the same teenage angsty 80‘s issues from the beloved movie as well as a few new topics to add to the mix. Good ‘ole Principal Vernon is there keeping watch, although he is a now a zombie. And Carl the uptight janitor seems to have survived as well. Purists don’t fret, the changes are fun and there are a lot of them, it is The LAST Breakfast Club after all.
“If only,” two words that can make you feel like a victim and keep you stuck in negativity the rest of your life. If only I was 3 inches taller, 30 pounds thinner, and could sing and dance like Beyonce! It goes on and on and on. When your happiness is reliant on the external instead of the internal you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Seeing everything through a negative lens robs you of joy, zaps your enthusiasm and leaves you feeling as if something is always missing or not quite right.
You’ve done all the things you can to have command and control over your career. You are a solid actor, you have a well-developed resume, you are comfortable auditioning and you know how to be in a room. (see blog What Hamilton and Commercials Have In Common). Even after doing all you can do to take control, there is one element you have no control over that can work for or against you. That is the element of luck.
After you do everything to create your own luck, let’s look at where this mystical area comes into play. Bringing these areas to light can eliminate the stress of fighting against something you really have no control over.
GO FOR IT! IF YOU DON’T SOMEBODY ELSE WILL
Your fear can be the answer to why you are here.
What is it that makes one person go for it and another just talk about it?
Honestly, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I go for it I do it full force, and when I talk about it, well, I tend to do that full force too! After a while, I get tired of hearing myself talk about it and I am sure all the people who have had to listen to me are just as exhausted as I am!
I’ll admit, I’m a little excited and a little scared. I’m attempting to tackle a topic that doesn’t have a clear answer: How an actor finds commercial representation. I’ve had many actors ask and my answer is always something close to shrugging my shoulders. But that’s a cop out. There are MANY ways an actor can obtain a commercial agent and I know of plenty of them. The painful part of the process is no one can say which one or which ONES will work for you. There are variables that are in your control and out of your control at any given time. In the end, you just need to try things and work at it. But making informed decisions is a good thing, and that’s where I (hopefully) come in with some help.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the context of the conversation, but I very clearly remember having it. I was talking with an actor who has been at it for quite some time. He isn’t famous but has been hired plenty of (MANY) times over the years—you know, where lots of actors find themselves, somewhere in that grey, middle area of the success arena. He told me, “When I go to a theatrical audition, I know I can book it. When I go to a commercial audition, I never think I will.”
Commercial actors should never give up on commercials without realizing it.
For the past 3+ months, I’ve been enjoying my first time back among the ranks of the fully-employed in 25 years. And I’m not kidding when I say “enjoy”—far from finding the 9-to-5 (or in my case, 8-to-4) burdensome, I’ve found it quite freeing, and in ways I wasn’t really expecting.
Since many, if not most, actors need some kind of day job to survive, I thought it might be worth enumerating what I’m learning from my new gig, how it’s shaping the rest of my life (including my creative outlook—and output!), and other reasons why that thing you may be regarding as a set of shackles could be the very thing that frees you.
Our May seminar speaker was the fantastic Michael Sanford. Michael and his wonderful team have worked with many top commercial, television, and film directors, as well as production companies and advertising agencies. Several of these clients have been nominated or have won the Oscar, Emmy, DGA, and various other awards while collaborating with Sanford Casting. In 2006, Michael broadened the company’s vision to include casting projects in the Spanish Language market. In 2010, he launched a feature-length and short film division whose recent credits include A Pebble of Love, A Reason, California Solo, The Artist, I Melt with You, Mosquita y Mari, The Sleepy Man, and Dustland. He shared the 2012 CSA Artios Award with his mentor and fellow casting director Heidi Levitt for their collaboration on The Artist. Additionally, Michael received the 2013 Seymour Heller Award for Commercial Casting Director of the year, which is given by the Talent Managers Association. He is also currently serving on the Diversity Committee with the Casting Society of America.
Here are just a few tips that came out of the seminar.