Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shooting "Poor Elise" - test scene

Yesterday while everyone else in NYC was outside frolicking in the spring air, I was indoors in a location set up to be a dingy, motel room, shooting a test scene for my brand new web series, Poor Elise. Our series is a huge departure from what you normally see online. Not only do we have an amazing script and dedicated crew, we have high production values, including stop motion animation, post production graphics, and a kick ass soundtrack (performed by our very own 9-piece chamber orchestra and composed by our Co-Executive Producer, T.C. Crosser.) The filmmaking style will blend aspects of films like “Amelie” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” - highly artistic, and not always based in reality, with flashbacks and dream sequences. Plus we have me starring in it, and THAT isn’t being done online either... =)

This test scene was developed to allow us a chance to test our equipment and team work, and give our post production folks something to work with as we develop our production plan. For the actual production, we will be reshooting the scene, but for this one we hired a fantastic actor for me to play opposite. It was a lot of fun! I cannot really give away the plot, or else I’d be giving away a “reveal” for our pilot! But I will say that the scene was shot in a sort of film noir style, complete with cigarette smoke and mood lighting, as only a shady motel room can have.

To learn more about the project, you can visit our website. You can also become a fan on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Got another audition

I just got called in for another audition through Actors Access. Here’s the character:

Female, 24-30. Sharp, businesslike, and sentimental at heart. Must be very strong with language and comedy.

Here’s what I wrote as a cover note when I submitted:

This could not be more perfect for me! I am savvy, direct and empathic, and comedy is my baby. Can't wait to meet you! www.ErinCronican.com

It is nice to know that my marketing efforts pay off! =)

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Tribute to Mom


I just found this survey online and decided to answer it about my mom:

1. What is something mom always says to you?
People will treat you the way you let them treat you.

2. What makes mom happy?
Getting a call from her children.

3. What makes mom sad?
When she doesn't know if her children are safe.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
By telling goofy jokes.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Shy.

6. How old is your mom?
I know but I am not telling.

7. How tall is your mom?
5'3".

8. What is moms favorite thing to do?
Play tennis, if only her knees would let her.

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?
Read and play sudoku.

10. What do you think mom will become famous for?
Making people feel welcome.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Trivial Pursuit.

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Getting jokes.

13. What does your mom do for her job?
She's enjoying early retirement.

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?
Beef Chimichangas.

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Her perseverance.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Wilma Flintstone. Sensible, Patient, Gorgeous.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Go shopping, watch movies, drink wine.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We have the same facial expressions in pictures when we don't smile.

19. How are you and your mom different?
She is tan. Really unfair.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
She always listens, and makes me feel important.

21. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?
Maybe New York City, now. But Greece and Italy too.

22. How do you know that Daddy loves Mommy?
Well, I knew that he did because he was broken without her.

23. What is your mom’s favorite color?
Hmmm.... this one I don't know. I know she likes to wear blacks and browns and corals and some turquoise. I know she likes to have the yellow piece in Trivial Pursuit. She likes roses in the pink family. I don't actually know her favorite color, though.

24. What is mom scared of?
Snakes, though she is getting better and better about them.

25. What is mom’s favorite TV show?
Survivor, The Biggest Loser, American Idol. Hmmm... all reality shows, huh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Really? Who are you?

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I got another of these mysterious fan letters, although this time they actually left an address for me to send to (which I have redacted.) So this time I tried looking his email address up on Google and was interested to find that they’ve left the same comments on people’s guestbooks. Here is what he sent me:

To Whom it May Concern,
I enjoy Ms. Cronican's work and I am wondering if I may request an autographed photograph. Thank you for your time.

Regards,

Dale Rehm

We have a fabulous houseguest (@alpower - you Twitter folks will understand what to do with this...) who gave a great hypothesis about why people send these requests: Perhaps they troll the internet looking for up-and-coming actors, in the hopes that they will become famous one day. And if we send them signed headshots, perhaps they can make money off them. What a brilliant concept. Not brilliant for us, the actors, but brilliant for the autograph hounds.

Maybe I’d make more money if I did it their way...


UPDATE (1/6/10):
Today I got another autograph request from Dale, with no acknowledgment that he has asked me in the past. I checked my web stats, and the way he reached my website was by typing "aea sag resume" into Google. My website was found on PAGE 30 - kind of a long list to search for the purpose of seeking autographs. Weird!


UPDATE (5/1/10):
Oh... this just keeps getting better and better! I just received an email from someone named William Dale, and he says (copied verbatim- all spelling and grammatical errors are his):

"Dear Ms. Cronican,
In March of 2009 you wrote a piece on your webiste titled 'Who are you really?'. I believe I am the individual you noted in that piece. To spare you the lengthy details, in late March of this year I came to learn that someone had gained access to one of my email accounts and had been using it for various purposes. I am embarrassed and sadenned that it took so long for me to realize that; for you and others were impacted by this. This past month I have taken various measures to prevent this from happening ever again. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to you and others for any inconveniences this has caused. While you certainly don't owe me any favors, I am wondering if you would be willing to modify that blog and it's responses by either removing references to my last name or by only using the initial of 'R'. As mentioned earlier I am very embarrassed and distressed by all that has transpired and again I am sorry. Thank you for your hopeful understanding of this matter.

My humblest apologies,

DR

I don't, for one second, believe his story. Sure- he was kind and seemed reasonable, but there were too many red flags in his communications for me to take him at face value. So, this was my response to him:

"Hello- and thank you for your email. Since you have suggested that someone unscrupulous has been emailing actresses using your personal information, I think it is even more important to warn people about these emails. So I will not be removing the name "Dale Rehm" from the post, nor will I adjust the name to just a first name or initial. However, I will be posting your email, in its entirety, to the blog so that my readers can see what you have said.

As you may know, I have had multiple individuals send strange requests for headshots, and in an effort to warn others I have written blog posts about anything I found to be fishy. What you may not know is that on several occasions, I have received follow up emails from the "real" individual to say that their identity has been stolen and could I please alter or remove the post. I personally find the fact that you are now saying the same thing to be, well... odd. It seems odd to me that there are criminals out there stealing people's identities for the purposes of asking for autographs. It also seems odd to me that only since "late March of this year" you are seeking to clear your name, since it has been well over a year since I received my first autograph request from "Dale Rehm." (Strangely, I also received a second request from "Dale" in January of 2010.) Finally, another thing I find very odd- in your email, the FROM field says that your name is "William Dale" but you signed the email "DR." It makes it difficult to know who I am REALLY talking to.

I hope that what you are saying is true- and that the incessant requests to actresses by "Dale Rehm" will stop. For that reason, I'll happily post both your message and my response on my blog.

My very best, Erin"


I also have had a bunch of other experiences that I recommend being wary of- click here to check out my posts about them.


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.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The joys of general auditions

In an effort to make this blog more well rounded (and not just talk about events that happen in my life) I want to talk more about my philosophies as an actor, and how I use what I’ve learned to seek success in this business. Most of you know that as my “day job” I founded a business/career coaching service for actors, and as a part of that I blog about business related things at my blog: Bite-Size Business with The Actors’ Enterprise.

So, there will be times that I borrow ideas from my other blog and express them here as well, because it will give my readers here a very good sense of who I am as an individual. So, I am copying over bits of a blog post called, “Auditioning for a Season of Shows” so you can get glimpse of some of the things we run up against as actors:

We are in the season of summer stock, festivals, and general season auditions which forces actors to communicate several different facets of their skill set, often using only one audition piece (be it a monologue or song.) This can leave actors perplexed as the best way to present themselves, particularly if they are right for more than one show but the shows are completely different in style.

For example, here is the season from a theater currently auditioning in New York:

My Fair Lady
Little Shop of Horrors
High School Musical
Doubt
The Wedding Singer
Fiddler on the Roof

Um, so whatcha gonna do for this audition?

Take me as an example: I am a youthful leading lady with pop/legit soprano range, which means I am perfect for shows like My Fair Lady and The Wedding Singer. But with these shows having such different scores, how do I choose a song that can show that I am right for both roles?

The magic answer is that you tailor your audition pieces to fit your storytelling strengths, as opposed to fitting them to the season of shows. I’ll say that again, in another way: Do what you do best and the appropriate project will draw itself to you.

So, how do you do this? Well, start by asking yourself this question: What is it about you that makes YOU perfect for the projects listed? Most likely, there is something they have in common which resonates with you, and THAT is what you should be expressing in the audition room. Using me as an example again: I am someone who is constantly on a quest to better myself and the world around me. “Idealistic” is one of the main words I used to describe me. So, I took this information and looked at the season of shows. The roles of Eliza in “My Fair Lady,” Julia in “The Wedding Singer” and Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” have a similarity of spirit. All three girls dream of a better life but find themselves in circumstances difficult to overcome. But that doesn’t stop them from trying, and in the end they not only find what they were looking for, but they find it in the least likely of places.

So, you know what your unique point of view is, and you have found that kind of spirit in several of the season’s shows. The next step is to go back to your repertoire of audition pieces, and find something that allows you to express your viewpoint in the audition room. To continue the example: perhaps I would sing something like, “Part of Your World” or “The Sound of Music” which are both about wanting and loving things that are bigger than yourself. Sure, by choosing one song you only get to express your vocals in one style (legit or pop) but you are expressing your own viewpoint, which is perfect for both roles and will ultimately allow you to be seen for all relevant roles, regardless of show format.

By using this example, hopefully you can see that you’d be going into the audition room AS YOURSELF and letting the shows/characters attach themselves to YOU instead of you changing yourself to fit THEM. It’s a subtle distinction, but a powerful one!

Hope you enjoyed this blog post- expect more like this in the future!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Speaking it into reality

Not 4 hours after I typed my last blog, I received a phone call from the producer of a musical I auditioned for on Monday, offering me the lead role in their musical. Yippee! This will be for a concert reading of the musical, which is a part of the development process. Here is the limited information I have at this point (pulled from the audition notice):

SOCKS is the true story of what happens to socks after they go missing in the dryer. The role of Cassie is described as: “Female. 20s. Alto/Mezzo. She is a Cashmere Sock who has lived a very good life on Madison Avenue. She is young, beautiful, sheltered and spoiled. In Sockland, she discovers her true identity, courage and power.” I will post more details as they become available.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ode to a Cookie


Oh, black and white cookie, how I love thee,
California girls have never knows the joys of this East Coast delicacy,
Your cakey goodness topped with dark and white chocolate frosting,
Forces diets to be cast aside, eyes closed in calm delight,
Is it a cake, Is it a cookie,
Can it be both at the same time,
There are a dozen ways to eat it,
Dark side first then light,
Alternate between flavors,
Nibble and then wrap tightly for later,
Yet like all vices its potency can vanish,
Wait too long to eat and it runs dry,
Eat too fast and you get sick,
The perfect pace can put you in heaven,
Oh, black and white cookie, how I love thee.

The list of things to do gets longer

I had an awesome week of auditioning. First it was for an NYU grad film, which I got a callback for (though I couldn’t go, because I was performing at Mount Sinai that afternoon). Then I went in for the lead role in a brand new musical- sang cuts from two songs and did sides from the show. Yesterday I went in for an HBO/Cinemas promo. I gave a great audition, but there were women there of all shapes, sizes, ages and persuasions so it is left up to the producers to determine what type will fit best. I have an audition next week for another NYU grad film- I imagine that one of these will connect and I’ll have some good news soon!

In the meantime, I just printed new headshots so I am in the middle of a brand new marketing campaign to agents and casting folks. Some of you may know my recent “luck” with NY agents- my most recent agent was laid off in advance of the overall closing of their agency- and now this once well-reputed agency is in big trouble with the union because the owe actors lots of money. I feel lucky to have gotten out when I did, and am looking forward to forging new relationships.

Back to the grind... =)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Been a long few days

Hey, there, everyone. I am sure some of you are wondering, “Wow- Erin revamped her blog and let us all know about it, and then she went silent. What gives?”

Well, I am severely overworked right now because a number of exciting projects have come to fruition ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Here are the few of the things on my plate:

1) I am working as a standardized patient with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which is taking up a good amount of my time (nothing like paying work to be an actor!) We do simulations with medical students to help them practice their skills with patients. It is hugely gratifying and lots of fun.

2) I am in pre-production on a web series that I am the title character on. At the end of this month we are shooting a test scene that will be used to find investors and test out our equipment to see if it gives us the look and feel we are going for. Saturday I did a character building rehearsal with the creator to start developing the emotional arc of the character, which will drive the pace of the project. This is what we live for as actors- to have a role created for you and then be given the support and trust to bring it to life. Brilliant.

3) I am also shooting a scene for another web series next week, and if the first season goes well I am set to become a season regular in the second season. I sat down with the lead actor last week, who I will be playing opposite, to figure out a strong back story for our characters that will justify the crazy lengths he goes to try to find love.

4) I have been called in for a number of auditions this week. I have a callback for a grad film on Tuesday, I am being brought in for a new musical on Monday and an HBO promo on Wednesday. It’s fun to stretch my muscles in some many areas.

Aside from those, I produced two networking events for actors this weekend, one of which through my company, The Actors’ Enterprise. I am excited about a long-awaited day off tomorrow! (Well, it’s sort of a day off- I have to prepare for the audition and pick up my newly printed headshots!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Double Dutch


Have any of you noticed that going through one of those vertical turnstyles in the subways are reminiscent of trying to jumping into a double dutch jump rope game? There are multiple people trying to time things JUST RIGHT so they can jump into the turnstyle without getting mangled.

Just wanted to know if it was just me...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Watch my new episode!

Hey, folks. A web series I had a guest starring role on just released our episode! You can see the episode on 50toDeath.com. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

I have a couple of table reads coming up for feature films, which I am honored to do. I also hav a couple of shoot dates coming up. I have some pick up shots for a feature I started in 2006 (yes, 2006!) and at the end of March I am shooting a test scene for my brand new web series, Poor Elise. I am also scheduled to shoot the season finale of the web series, "Intersection" on March 12- that's 5 projects I'm working on at once! Whew!


The Fine Print

All content in this here blog is released under a Creative Commons by-NC-ND license. That means you're free to share it, republish it, refer to it, include it in your wedding vows, whatever... PROVIDED you

a) credit me (with my name, my blog's name, and a link back to my site- displayed at the top of the blog)
b) you don't change anything
c) you don't use it to make money.

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