Monday, April 28, 2008
2) Any money I save on haircuts goes directly into my gas tank and then out into the smoggy L.A. air. With gas around $4 a gallon ($4.15-4.20 in Beverly Hills), it cost over $50 to fill my car up this week. No, I am not driving a Hummer H3, it is my little Kia Spectra 5.
3) I took my first yoga class over the weekend. I guess that makes me a true Californian. I've heard it helps with relaxation, and I also wanted to get some kinks out of the ol' back. It was actually a pretty physically demanding workout!
Audition: Print audition today for a "Great Eats" project. Nope, I'm not sure what that means either...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
EXCLUSIVE (Keep refreshing for latest updates): I can now report that the negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP are not making any progress with both sides very far apart and very frustrated. Negotiators for the Hollywood CEOs are privately making it clear they plan to make a deal first with AFTRA in order to use that as a wedge to soften up SAG. And, get this -- my sources tell me that the AMPTP is now prepared to wait out SAG for a deal until as late as mid-July. Which means the Big Media moguls are virtually daring SAG to strike when its contract expires the end of June.For further info, visit Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Pros: 1) Potential to work on tv shows and movies - this is a biggie, because, although you can technically get cast as a non-union actor, it is very difficult to even get auditions unless you are SAG. 2) Get to make some money working as a SAG extra - the day rates are equal to about 2 1/2 time those of non-union extras. 3) Potential to work as a commercial SAG extra - rates are about 5-6 times those of non-union extras (as far as TV/Film day rates) 4) vote for the SAG awards! ;) 5) Try to get a TV/Film agent - they typically won't take anyone over 25 who isn't SAG (and most people over 25 who are SAG for that matter!) so my odds would certainly be better. 6) Make my way towards health insurance - I understand you need to make a certain amount to qualify, but I can't start to make that SAG money unless I join...
Cons: 1) No more non-union work - There is more non-union work here, though it pays less in general. But being SAG means no commercials, tv stuff or films that aren't sanctioned by the union. Which is an especially big concern now because of... 2) Possible SAG strike? - the union contract is up in June and there is still a possibility that the actors will strike. That means no work -- not even extra work -- for however long the strike goes. 3) $2400 - Joining fee, which is of course an investment, so that is the least of the cons.
I WILL definitely join the actors union, since that's why I'm here in the first place, and it will likely be sooner rather than later. But, the possible strike, and the idea that I can no longer do non-union stuff (basically everything I've ever done) gives me pause.
In other news, I got a call today from the Daniel Hoff Agency, one of the more well-known commercial agencies in town, and the first one I auditioned for after I came out here. Though that audition was in January, apparently there was some mix-up with the tape so they were just finally able to view it, and they wanted me to come in to talk to the agent herself. Strange, but true L.A. industry... I politely told them that I had signed with another agent in the interim and they wished me luck. While it is certainly nice to know that they wanted me to come in, I am very excited to be with my current commercial agency, so maybe things just work out for the best.
Friday, April 18, 2008
My day wasn't as exciting though I did have a commercial audition for Stubhub.com - a ticket selling website (and ever-present radio advertiser in Chicago). I had to be one-half of an "upscale couple enjoying the theatre." Lucky I know how to stare intently and clap.
Enjoy the weekend!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
(kids: ask your parents first, as there may be a touch of adult language from time to time ;)
Anyway, it was fun catching up at lunch, finding out the latest and greatest in David's life. He is busily involved in a number of different projects, and talking with him motivates me even more to keep moving forward. I was reminded again why the writer's strike might have been in fact a blessing for me, as it allowed me to meet inspiring, cool folks like David.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
It was also a great opportunity for me to continue to explore Southern California. The shoot was up in Ojai (pronounced O-hi) which is about 80 miles from L.A. It was a nice drive and the Ojai valley itself was absolutely beautiful. The day was a typical extra day: sit around for 5-6 hours then shoot for an hour or so. But, as I said the scenery was really something to see, so it was definitely worth it.
Audition: On Sunday, which was unusual, had an audition for Polaris ATV. I think it's a series of print ads they are doing over the course of the next few months, so we'll see...
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I had an audition yesterday for Telcel, a Mexican cell phone company, and I had to say a line of dialogue in Spanish -- which I don't speak. So, it was funny, but the casting director said not to worry, that the company was probably going to dub the line in later anyway. Ahh, every audition is proving to be a new and interesting experience...
Gina is writing a film noir-esque private dick character in one of her screenplays, so she's been trying to catch up on some of the classics. And, further proving that you can find just about anything movie-wise in this town, it just so happens that this month is the 10th annual Film Noir festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, so I took her there last night. The Egyptian is just down the road from the Chinese Theatre (also built by Sid Grauman in the 1920's) and the Kodak on Hollywood Blvd. A stately throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood, (built in 1922 and recently renovated) they show all kinds of old films there, usually running in monthly series'. For their Noir fest, they managed to obtain many films from the studio vaults that haven't been screened in decades and aren't on DVD, including last night's Hell's Five Hours. Starring Vic Morrow and Coleen Gray (who spoke after the film), Hell's is about a hostage/'terrorist' scare at an energy plant. It was a lot of fun, and the story (if not some of the dialogue and acting) held up pretty well after 50 years. Before the movie, noted crime novelist and screenwriter (and wildman!), James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia) talked a little about why film noir is still so captivating, and indeed he was skipping his own movie's premiere release (Street Kings) to catch Hell's Five Hours! Incidentally, right before the movie started, I saw a familiar face walk in with a huge popcorn and soda to sit by himself in the third row -- huge movie buff, Quentin Tarantino.
Only in this town.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
That's why little victories, baby steps must be celebrated and savored. After all, every experience, every audition, every rejection even is laying the groundwork for future successes. And that is why I also feel blessed to have such supportive family and friends who applaud my incremental moves along this long, long road and who lend encouragement when I'm down. In the 5 months or so I've been out here, I've also met some really great people who show me that there is a lot of goodness in this industry that often gets a bad rap.
It's not that I have to give up expectations of success. I still feel that I have the drive and determination to succeed, I just realize that is indeed a marathon and not a sprint. So, there will be some steep hills to climb, and hopefully some nice downhill stretches. Whew, I'm getting winded just thinking of it, I better go get jogging...
Friday, April 4, 2008
I also had a commercial audition for Deutsche Telecom which was a pretty intriguing concept. Similar to I Am Legend, it takes place in an eerily empty large city. Actually a series of commercials, the campaign supposedly details the importance of interpersonal communication. The best part of getting that gig would be that it shoots in Beunos Aires which would be pretty cool.
All week I've been working on a couple of mailings. The first being an update postcard to many of the commercial casting directors in town to let them know that 1) I signed with an agent and 2) I am now SAG eligible. Again, this is just to keep my name and face on their radar. Also, since I am now SAG eligible, I've been mailing my headshot/resume to more theatrical casting directors (TV and film). I figure that if I send my stuff in to 100 CD's, maybe I'll hear back from 1 who is willing to let me come in and read -- and I would count that as success ;)
Baby steps. Baby steps.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Spring is a time of new beginnings -- and a time for baseball. The Brewers battled the rain and the Cubs to win their season opener in 10 innings on Monday. Since it was a nationally televised game, I got to see every pitch. Good stuff. Another win today and the Crew is off to a good start...
It was surprising to hear that Marquette coach Tom Crean is leaving for Indiana. Not surprising that he would take the job, after all it's one of the most coveted jobs in college basketball, but just another reminder that college coaches' contracts are an absolute joke. I know that the argument goes that you can't recruit good players without your coach having a long-term contract, but does that really matter? Coaches get fired all the time with years remaining on their deals, leaving players in a pickle. And what about this instance? The MU players and recruits thought Crean would be around for awhile because of his long-term deal, but not so. Can you think of any other profession where contracts mean so little? I would just once like to see a college coach actually fulfill his contract. Now THAT would be something.
Auditions: Yesterday, Mike's Hard Lemonade commercial. Today, a print job.