Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beggars CAN be choosers

I recently read a fun blog by my friend who talks about what it is like to receive uninvited solicitors at his home on a Saturday morning.

In New York, you don't get this at your home (yay for locked main doors.) You get this on the subway. There was a guy who had a REALLY good pitch on the subway one day. He said something like, "Hi, can I have your attention please. My name is Jacob and I have never done this before. I am not homeless nor am I sick. I have a good job but I am in a touch situation. I am married with two kids and we just moved to New York when my job transfered me. I start work tomorrow, but they just told me that I have to purchase a $400 insurance policy in order to start work. After all of our moving expenses, we don't have enough cash left. I already have $300 but I need the final $100 in order to start work tomorrow. Can someone please help me out?"

You should have seen the number of people giving money- he really tugged on our heart strings. It really was too bad, then, when 4 months later I saw the same guy, on the same train, giving the same speech. GRRR!!!!! I was REALLY pissed off, and wanted to warn these passengers that this guy was a swindler. But then I thought twice- if this guy has the balls to walk on a subway car and ask for money, and he does a good enough show to make people give, why shouldn't he profit? People feel better when they give money to those who need it, he feels better because he has made a quick buck, so who am I to stop it? I am ticked off that people are being taken advantage of, but at the end of the day, the only person who loses out is me because I am the only one who feel icky in the transaction.

So, much like my friend Mike who wrote the blog (referenced above), maybe I should see this beggar display for what it really is: a performance. My “realist” side doesn’t always let me look at things romantically, so this would be a real effort. But my time on the subway would be much more pleasant...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Coffee and a Nap

It is probably not a good idea to take a nap at 6:30pm, and then have a cup of coffee after I wake up at 8:15pm. That usually means that at, oh say, 1:45am, I am not really that tired.

I don’t really have much to say. I just know that I want to blog a little more and I have decided to ignore the “I don’t know what to write” mantra that goes through my head on a daily basis.

Besides, my mother always tells me that I have a fascinating life. So, I guess I should document it so that you can tell me if she is right.

By the way, I have two other blogs. Chances are, if I am not writing here, I am writing over there...

Acting Blog
Coaching Blog

Monday, July 14, 2008

I nailed the banana

Today I shot another episode of “One Life to Live” which completes my 3 episode arc in the Mendorra Palace. I imagine that they will bring me back to play other roles sometime in the future, but I am sure it will be a while before that happens. Soap operas are known from having the same actor play lots of different kinds of parts. I would love to get a shot at being a contract player, or at least a recurring day player. It would be a lot of fun to be on this set several days a week. It would be good for the bank account, too.

The most fun part of the day was working with the stunt coordinator, who choreographed a scene where one of the contract players subdues me and steals my clothes so she can walk around unnoticed in the palace. Of course, you don’t see any of the juicy stuff- only that she binds my hands behind my back. I also loved hanging out with the actors who played Cristian and Sarah. I got lots of insights into what it is like to be a contract player on a soap opera. It makes me want to look into doing them a little more seriously now that I am aware of the joys and pitfalls.

Oh, and with regard to the title of this blog, they call it a “banana” when an actor walks in an arc instead of in a straight line, which is usually for the benefit of a camera that is hidden behind a corner or wall. Walking in an arc also allows multiple cameras to pick you up as you move, which gives the director freedom in the control booth to use whichever camera they see fit. I cleared the set, doing a banana on the exit, and one of the actors gave me a thumbs up and said, “You f&*^ing NAILED that banana!”

God, I love this business.

PS: I just saw this job notice on one of my casting websites. I’m not kidding:

Looking for enthusiastic models + Actors who HAVE THEIR OWN CHICKEN SUIT for stock photography shoot on the streets in Manhattan or in Brooklyn. All models must sign model release form and have SS# or Tax ID# to complete tax forms. Approximately 4-hour session for $200 compensation paid directly following shoot plus cd with hi res images supplied within a month of the shoot.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

You look like...

One of my students just told me I looked like Hilarie Burton from “One Tree Hill.” In some pictures, I really do look like her, especially in her blonde years. It’s funny, too, because she also looks a lot like Naomi Watts, who I have been compared to. And it’s especially flattering since Hilarie is 26 years old. (wink wink)

I also got approached by an excited woman in a diner who said I looked just like Julia Delpy from “Two Days in Paris.” I don’t see that one as much as some of the others, but I will gladly add it to my list!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Feel Good To Be Back

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Howdy, folks! It is great to be back. Let me start by saying that I highly recommend vacations- if you do it right, you’ll have gotten enough rest and recreation and end up really WANTING to come back to work. Of course, it helps to have a career path that excites and inspires you, but even if you have a “day job” getting away can really do amazing things for your spirit.

I spent 8 days visiting my hometown of San Diego, my alma mater Pepperdine University and its surrounding cities in Los Angeles County, and Vegas, baby! Talking with my theater friends in SD and being around industry folks in LA has refueled my fire for acting professionally. And I mean REALLY professionally, like earning a large majority of my income from acting (right now it is hovering around 50%.) I have also learned that the best way to feel good about your career is to talk to people who don’t get to be a part of your every day life- and then tell them about what you have accomplished. What might seem “ho-hum” to you will sound like the most glamorous, dream-filled life to those around you. And this is a good thing to remember! I sometimes forget that I have created a life where I pursue what I love, and I call all of the shots. It really is fantastic, and it often takes an outsider to shake me out of my limited view to see that, WOW, I am doing something incredible!

Some funny and great stuff happened in my career while I was on my trip:

- My first episode of One Life To Live aired on July 3 on ABC. On that same day, casting called me and offered me a third episode, playing the same role of “Palace Maid.” Be sure to check out IMDB to see when the episode is posted! (Click here to read my blog about the day on set.)

- While in San Diego at one of our old watering holes, my boyfriend Tom had a conversation with a woman who he knew years ago. He was a proud papa and talked about my OLTL episode, and she had actually seen it that day! It was awesome to be recognized (albeit, through Tom) - would love to have it happen spontaneously!

- I met with one of my friends who happens to be the mother of an actor from my all time favorite TV show. She told me that he is now living in NYC and she told him about my coaching service- not that he needs it, but she thinks he can certainly take advantage of my networking events. WOOHOO!!! Now, if I could only get her to introduce us... I would be reduced to a quivering teenage girl in no time.

- I was called in for an audition for a new web series, which is being cast by a CD that I met at The Network. My time doing the audition seminars has certainly paid off recently, as has my relentless follow up by mail!

Like I said... it’s good to be back.

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

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