Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's all about networking

January has offered a large amount of networking opportunities, and I am snatching them up like a starved child! Last week I had four networking sessions with casting directors and an agent. Here is a breakdown of what happened at each meeting:

Monday- Meeting with Clint Alexander (Fox TV/Casting)
For this meeting, I was given a scene from “Damages” to look over. This is just about the “coldest” read I ever had- it was handed to me 3 minutes before I was to go in to read for him (I was the first in the room, so I had less time than other actors.) Luckily the scene was well picked for me, and I had a strong perspective for the role right away. The character was a feisty yet friendly prosecutor, and I committed to maintaining strong eye contact with the reader (who happened to be Clint) so that I could express a certain charisma and charm. When I was done, he remarked about how impressed he was with the read I gave, especially since I had so little time to prepare. He said that I had a good look and talent for what is normally cast at Fox, and once the strike is over and projects are casting again, he said he would call me in if there is a role I am right for. (He also said I seemed to fit the 24-28 age range- that I could easily play a college student to a mom of a newborn. Thank you to my parents for my youthful looks!)

Tuesday- Meeting with Nikole Vallins (Binder Casting)
For this meeting, I was asked to prepare a monologue and a contrasting song. After finishing my song, she asked me to sing another song in a different style. I then did my monologue. Nikole said that she was very impressed with my versatility. She said I would be a good match for both straight plays and musicals, and that I could play a wide range of contemporary characters. She said that she would take my information back to the office and share it with the rest of the casting directors.

Wednesday- Meeting with Merri Sugarman (Tara Rubin Casting)
This meeting was done in a group, and was more like a master class in auditioning than a networking session (though it really is ALL networking.) Each of us performed a song in front of the other actors and received feedback from Merri. She said that I made very strong choices for my song that were well supported by the text and the music. But she suggested that I, as an alternative, consider trying performing it a 2nd, simpler way. She asked me to sing it again, and the new version met with approval by Merri as well as the rest of the actors. I am looking forward to seeing her again in future sessions to try out new songs and get more feedback.

Thursday- Meeting with Dan Wright (Ann Wright Representatives)
This meeting was a little out of character compared to other sessions through this networking group. For one thing, the agent is much older than I was expecting. This really isn’t a problem if the agency is well established. But though they have been representing actors since 1962, there are only 5-6 actors listed on IMDB with this agency, which leads me to believe that the agency does not represent a lot of professional talent in film/TV (mediums that I am interested in.) And while Dan seemed to really love actors and was committed to their success, he also seemed to acknowledge that he was a sort of starter agent- that most actors will start with him and then move on to another agency when they become more established. This makes me wonder- if they have been in business since 1962, why don’t they have more successful clients? I have been acting for many, many years and though I am a newbie in the NY market, I think I would be better of working with an agent who has more clients whose careers I aspire to have. All of that aside, Dan really liked my monologue and offered a few interesting ideas about how to refine it. It is always good to get a fresh perspective, and I will definitely take his suggestions to heart.

These are just the first steps in the building of long term relationships with this companies. Hopefully this networking will be an effective way to get a leg up in this crazy industry!


  1. It all sounds good. Also, as you familiarize yourself with each one's client base, you'll see who deals most in the direction you want, as well as with whom you feel that you "click" the best.

    Best of luck!

  2. Totally! There are definitely some people who have gravitated towards the upper or lower parts of my list of desired team members. Thanks for the comment, and for stopping by!


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