Friday, February 1, 2008

Feeling Groovy


“La-la-la-la la la-la la, feeling groovy...”

I have been meeting many casting directors and agents recently, and I am starting to hear the same positive feedback over and over. It has been absolutely wonderful. There are two key aspects to getting work as an actor- 1) Knowing who you are and what you have to offer (your “brand”) and 2) Knowing how to appropriately communicate your brand to the industry. For the past year I have been refining what my brand is, pulling in feedback from industry professionals that I trust and taking the time to look at what I want out of this business. At the same time, I have been refining my skills as the lead marketer of my brand, building relationships with these same industry professionals and educating myself so that I am prepared when the time comes to “act.” The fact that I am hearing the same feedback from these casting directors and agents means I have finally solidified my brand and am communicating it in a way that is concise and powerful. And I am thrilled!

On Monday I had an audition seminar with Kate Martineau from “As the World Turns.” After the great Q&A, she assigned 4-page scenes to read with a partner. I was in the first group, and we stepped outside to read through our scene quickly before they called us in. We got a chance to read through 2 times before going in, and as I read I had a strong instinct to express myself in the scene in a way that seemed opposite from how the scene was described. And it really paid off! After we read, Kate said that she was surprised with how well we had read- she said that normally people who audition with that scene have a tendency to overplay it and make it very dramatic, but we were refreshingly understated. She was very impressed that we were able to find some nuances in such a short amount of time. After the read, she asked us a few questions- she asked me about my time in California and wanted to know what it was like being on Veronica Mars (she said the show was one of her favorites!) I feel confident that she will give me a call if they have anything in my type category, and I am so excited to be able to branch out into this genre of acting (which would be so much fun!)

On Wednesday I got a chance to meet and audition for Christine Wyse, from Donald Case Casting, who I have heard great things about. I performed commercial copy from Cingular which I got from my friend Bobbi (an accomplished actor and voice artist.) Other than saying that the copy was a little long, she said it was absolutely perfect for my type and showed me off well. She said that she felt I was in a very marketable category and that she would definitely call me in for a role that I am right for. She also said that the best way for me to get an agent, at this level, is to book something through a good casting director and then the CD can call and agent and say, “You know, you really should consider taking her on...” It’s a little bit of a Catch 22 (must have work to get an agent, must have an agent to get work), but that’s where the seminars come in. I need face time with the industry folks and without representation this is the best way to do it.

This Thursday I had what might have been the best audition seminar to date. This time it was with legit casting director Brette Goldstein. Not only is she a regular riot to spend an hour with, she is refreshingly pro-actor and in favor of discovering new talent, rather than pandering to names all day long. When I walked in she asked me where we had met before, but except for a large SAG seminar where I saw her speak, I had not seen her before. I performed my “go-to” comedic monologue, which I adore performing and she loved it. She said that one of the things that I have on my side is that not only am I pretty (thank you!) but I am funny too, and she said that a lot of the pretty actors who think they are funny simply are not. She also said that I had a certain quality that makes me stand out in a room- that even though I was sitting in the back of the room during the Q&A she noticed me right away. She said that may be why she thought she knew me- I had a certain essence that really made me memorable. She even went as far as to say that I am her ideal kind of actor- someone who has great timing, has a great look, and one who is professional. She also commented on the fact that I have an interesting package- that I have leading lady looks but a character-y personality, and that there are currently a lot of roles written like that. She asked me to please keep her posted with phone calls and emails- yippee! I walked out of the meeting feeling like a million bucks- and it has propelled me me into February with a newfound sense of purpose.

I have been spending the week sending out my monthly postcard updates to agents and casting directors I have met. My stable of relationships is growing so big that the postcards are somewhat difficult to get done on time. I want them to be personally addressed and written, but man that takes a long time! Eventually I am going to have decide on a way to automate them without making them impersonal.

Tomorrow I have two auditions for student film projects. The scripts seem good, so it will be interested to see how the auditions go. Busy busy busy!!!

7 comments:

  1. The brand thing is key even outside of acting. I've only just realized (after an interview for a job I didn't get) that I've been to open with all the things I have done successfully. I'm about to rework my resume mostly be cutting things out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think we talked about that once. Simplifying your resume sounds great- once you get on the job you can blow them away by how much you know. I find the same thing when I audition for projects- while I think that my experience with directing and casting would be of great value, I don't put it on my resume. Some directors have expressed concern that I may not be direct-able if I think I have all of the answers. So, I withhold the information until it comes up naturally, AFTER being cast.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Suggestion on your postcard dilemma; Hire an intern (or exchange envelope-addressing for coaching). the postcards still get hand-addressed, and you get to give your hand a rest AND hone your skills as a leader/teacher.

    And as always, really excited to hear about the career!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The exchange for coaching is a great idea. My problem is that I have to make sure the postcards are readable and express my personality, so I handwrite the whole thing, not just the addresses (in fact, sometimes I print labels but then handwrite the rest.) But I really like the trade idea, and may give it a shot. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent!

    I know that in my experience, casting projects (either for myself or for colleagues who feel at a loss when it comes to casting), very often the goodlooking actors make the easy choices, or the "cheap" choices or the choices they've seen on sitcoms a million times.

    I know I prefer to see a smart choice, an unusual choice, a different choice. Even if I don't agree with it, the fact that the actor took the risk makes me want to try more with the person and see how we can work in give-and-take, both doing creative work towards a vision.

    Sounds like you're on the right track, here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome post! I would suggest getting a font made of your handwriting... super easy to do, I think, but I don't know how to do it. But then you can type everything out. Well, not that they can't tell when something's been typed. Maybe you should hire the intern and make one of the qualifications good handwriting!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting! I am going to look up the handwriting font now...

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Thanks for commenting- YOU ROCK!


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