Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanks to My Team

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One of the fun things about blogging is being able to promote some of my favorite people/services to the actors who read my posts, thereby helping those who have helped me over the course of my career. So, in honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would give a warm thank you and special shot out to my team who has made my coaching & acting career possible.


My Acting Teacher: Alan Gordon, of the Alan Gordon Acting Studio
I met Alan at a workshop for actors, where we both brought on as panelists to give actors a little bit of advice for their careers. After we both heard each other speak, we realized that our philosophies were very much aligned, and we started an easy friendship. We then began to refer students back and forth to one another, and finally began working together in the classroom. Alan is nurturing but tough, and challenges me every week using the techniques of Sanford Meisner. Not only is he a great teacher, but he is also a great friend.

Honorable Mention: Larry Singer Studios, and Art & Soul Acting - both studios who I’ve highly recommended to students.


My Voice Teacher/Vocal Coach: Carolann Sanita
I met Carolann originally through her husband, an actor with whom I did a show. One of the first things that I noticed when coaching with Carolann is how positive the sessions were. Working on the voice can be a stressful and arduous process, but every time I leave lessons with Carolann I feel empowered and accepted, and that my voice has a place in the industry. Not only that, but I have deepened the power of my voice, raised my confidence, and she introduced me to Craig Carnelia, with whom I’ve studied Acting for Musical Theater since June 2009.

Honorable Mention: Michelle Hakala, Bill Zeffiro, Anita Vasan, Joan Barber - All of whom I have sung with and I highly recommend.


My Dance Teacher: Christine Cox
Christine started out as a coaching student, but very quickly I joined her as a student in her classes as well. Christine is very passionate about training actors & singers ways to express themselves on the dance floor, and is an excellent private teacher for actors who are preparing for a big audition. She’s youthful, quirky and fun, and very supportive.

Honorable Mention: Jessica Leigh Brown - Jessica is a friend and marvelous teacher as well, with several Broadway credits under her belt.


My Accompanist/Transcriber: Cory Hibbs
I have known Cory for years and years, since we did a show together in San Diego. In the show, not only did he act, but he was our show’s on stage accompanist and the arranger for all of our songs. This guy really knows what he is doing. In your session, he can easy play your music, and can arrange transpositions and do transcriptions, so virtually anything is possible. Oh, and he has a PHD in Music Composition.

Honorable Mention: Bill Zeffiro, Tony Colombo, Jeff Caldwell - I have sung with all three of these gentleman, and I just adore them.


My Dialect Coach: Pamela Vanderway of Dialect 411
Pamela and I first met via Twitter. That’s right, Twitter. We shared advice back and forth and helped promote each other online, so it became natural for us to start working together to support each other’s businesses offline. I highly, highly recommend her blog, Dialect 411. As for coaching, she normally works as a consultant on major feature films & TV shows, but she takes on private clients on a case-by-case basis. At the very least, she’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Honorable Mention: Gerritt VenderMeer - an amazing talented actor, and gifted voice/speech technician.


My Photographer: Matthew Sussman Photography
There was something very special about my time shooting with Matthew. Perhaps it is because he started his career as an actor before transitioning into teaching & photography, but there is a very relaxed way he approaches the headshot session which brings out the very best in actors. Almost without exception, the students I have sent to Matthew have been blown away by the shots he’s taken, which is why I will continue to promote him.

Honorable Mentions: Bluface Photography, Peter Dressel - I have shot with both of these photographers and have loved their work.


My Graphic Designer: That would be ME!
At the risk of patting myself on the back too much, I think I have done a heck of a job designing my materials, as well as the materials of dozens of other actors across the country. To see samples of my designs for websites, business cards & postcards, visit my site by clicking above.


My Life Coach/Mentor: Rhonda Musak of Art & Soul Coaching
I met Rhonda at a fundraiser event, where she and I had donated our services for the evening to any of the guests who wanted a little bit of coaching. Who knew that 3 years later we would be working together supporting each other’s careers? Rhonda’s life coaching is much different than therapy - instead of focusing on therapeutic methods to solving problems, her life coaching uses brainstorming and visualizations to help reach peace, set and achieve goals, and find happiness. It has been wonderful having her as a part of my life.

Honorable Mention: Visceral Coaching - Robert is a very good friend and talented life coach. I worked with him when he was getting his certification several years ago.


My Hair Stylist: Linda, with Hair Shapers
When I moved to NYC, I was a bit fussy about my locks. After all, I had gone from a really dark brunette to a light blonde, and I needed to make sure my hair looked natural and would easily be maintained. So, my first month in NYC, I traveled from my apartment in Astoria to Manhattan, where I assumed good hair styling would be. Of course, you can get amazing service in Manhattan (they even serve wine!) but at a price point of $500 and up, and a snootiness I couldn't stomach, I returned to Astoria, dejected. Then my roommate told me about Hairshapers, which was one block away from my apartment, and I gave them a shot. I have been a faithful client of Linda's for 5 years now, even after I moved to Manhattan in 2006. I have sent dozens of people to her, and everyone has been thrilled with her great work, friendly service, and low prices. Please mention my name if you stop by.


Some other folks you may want to add to your team:


Production Services: Michael Roderick, Small Pond Entertainment
Michael is an amazing resource for anyone who is interesting in producing a show. Not only can you hire him to take on one or more production aspects of your project, but he can also teach you the tools to handle these things on your own.


Demo Reel Editing: Reel Spiel Productions
Allison and Chris, with Reel Spiel, are absolutely wonderful to work with, and they turn out reels that my students love. They also have a successful production company, producing shorts, web series, and feature length films.


Legal Services: Nance Schick
Nance specializes in employment law, and typically works with employers to help them draft policies and practices that keep things legitimate and working smoothly. But she has a soft spot in her heart for artists, and having worked as a sports agent she has lots of great advice for actors who need support in legally pursuing their business as either an employee, or independent contractor. She is especially useful for actors who own side businesses, and for those who are producers as well.


Contract / Legal Services: Michael Bond
In January 2010, Michael will be starting his law practice, specializing in Entertainment Law / Contracts (as well as LGBT issues.) If you ever need a contract review, Michael is a wonderful person to contact.


Financial Education: Abundance Bound
I have known Miata and Adam for several years now, and really admire and respect the work they do for actors. They take the phrase “starving artist” and turn it inside out, helping actors take control of their finances and plan for their futures.

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.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happiness List - Thanksgiving Style

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For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I have often posted Happiness Lists - things that, no matter what is happening, will always bring a smile to my face.

This month, I will revise this slightly and make this is list of things that I am grateful for.


Friends

This kind of goes without saying, but I have made some fantastic new friends this year and deepened old friendships. Notably:

Best friends, always: Candice Oden, Lee Cavellier, Dean Samaniego, My Mom
Friends I’ve met through Shows/Shoots/Classes: Christine Cox, Anita Vasan, Carmen Gill, Anna Marie Sell, Lexi Windsor, Elyssa Samsel, Zach Wobensmith, Steve Engelbrecht, Rhonda Musak, Quinn Vogt-Welch,
Old Friends who’ve become better friends in 2010: Brandon Walker, Kevin Stocklin, Bryant Lanier, Carolann Sanita, Gerritt VanderMeer, Richard Watson, Bobbi Owens, Nance Schick, Tom Tillotson, Tom Davis, Bill Zeffiro, Alan Gordon, Stephen Wilde
Friends who I don’t get to see enough: Jessa Watson, Henry Price, Jim Ellis, Julie Sachs, Courtney McLean
Friends through Twitter: @MarissaMutascio, @LanceCarter, @Dialect411, @AliciaYing, @PilateYourBody, @SierraRein


A roof over my head

I am very lucky to be able to live in my own apartment in the world’s greatest city. I even love the fact that my shower is in the kitchen and my bathroom is in the hallway. These quirks make it possible to live by myself on a self-employed salary, in Manhattan. I sit in my apartment at night, with the lights off, to allow the red neon lights to spill into my window from both the hotel and parking garage across the street. Magical.

The world’s greatest dog

My pride and joy, and my occasional frustration (“Do you HAVE to sneeze right in my face?”) She entered my life on November 27, 1995. When I went to take her home, I initially transported her inside a carrier, but she kept falling over as I drove the twists and turns through Malibu Canyon. So, I pulled over, took her out of the crate, and put her in my lap. Of course, having her in my lap as I drove wasn’t the safest plan. But the memory of her lying there, with her head on my arm looking up at her new companion, is absolutely priceless.

The best “day job”...ever

It is an an incredible gift to be able to run my own business and support/inspire hundreds of actors in the pursuit of their careers. I started this journey almost 9 years ago when I quit my (very lucrative) day job to pursue acting full time. I took on a side job as a membership & marketing director at a small non-profit for actors, and got to spend the next 3 years guiding and supporting their careers on a community level. When I moved to New York, I knew I wanted to do something similar, and found that my many years in marketing and acting, plus the work I did at the non-profit, made me uniquely primed to start this coaching service. The Actors’ Enterprise will be celebrating 4 years of operation in April 2011 - and this is thanks, in no small part, to all of the students who have trusted me with their careers. For that, I am humbly thankful (learn more here.)

Reaching a larger audience

That said, this year I made huge strides in getting the word out about my coaching, and I could not be more thrilled. I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and Time Out New York, I was a panelist at Backstage’s Actorfest, and was the special guest of a hour-long interview/radio program called “Coaches’ Corner with Andrew Poretz.” I was also named one of the “2011: 40 Women to Watch in Social Media“ by Scott Bryant. I am hoping for even bigger and better things next year.

A very successful year of acting

This year, I did an Under 5 on “One Life to Live”; shot a comedy short that has already won awards at film festivals; recorded a studio demo of a brand new musical and then did several fully staged readings of that show for industry guests; had the world premiere screening of a feature film that I starred in; became an associate artist of a theater company and starred in one of their shows... the list goes on and on and I am so excited for what’s to come (see the list here.)

Health Insurance

I’ve been lucky, thus far, to have had enough health insurance to cover the things that I have needed: medication for severe allergies, surgery for minor skin cancer, annual check ups. Not everyone has this, and I feel very, very fortunate.

Social Networking

I know a lot of people dislike the idea of being plugged in so much, but I have benefited tremendously (both personally and professionally) from my time on Facebook and Twitter. Not only have I gotten to know some really neat people that I, otherwise, would not have met, but I have gotten a chance to hone and perfect the kind of person I want to be in the world. The social networks hold you accountable for who you say you are, and are unforgiving while doing so. The trick has been to understand the difference between public and private life, and I am thankful I have (thus far) bene able to separate the two.

Other things that make me happy, today

• The colors of changing leaves - the reds and oranges take my breath away
• My special coffee, with flavors like “Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven” and “Banana Foster Float” (sound yummy? buy some here.)
• Writing. I adore writing.
• Being inspired. I am grateful for inspiration every day.
• Pizza.
• Cheese whiz. Especially the spicy kind.
• Guitar Hero.
• The possibility of true love.
• Taking a stand about who I really am.
PaperbackSwap - love that I can get nearly any book I want for next to nothing.
• Vintage clothes & jewelry.
• Making a difference.
• Movies that make me weepy.
• Music from my high school/college days.
• Crispy Bacon.
• Meeting new people.

And... I am happy that you have taken the time to read this blog! So... what are you thankful for, and what brings you happiness? Feel free to leave a comment and share. Or better yet, start you own happiness list and post a link to it in the comments section. I’d love to read it!

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.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Erin takes on Cue & A

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Playbill.com has a series of interviews they do with well known theater performers, so I thought I would take on the same questions! Here are my responses:


Full given name: Erin Quinn Cronican

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Zodiac Sign: Scorpio, baby!

Audition song: “Will He Like Me“ from She Loves Me.

Special Skills: Naming the 50 US States alphabetically in less than 30 seconds.

First Broadway show ever saw: Noises Off. ADORE Faith Prince in any role!

First West End show: Jesus Christ Superstar. Ah-mazing.

If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?: Original cast of West Side Story.

Current show you have been recommending to friends: Rock of Ages. C’mon, I’m a child of 80s/90s hair metal.

Favorite show tune: Egads, how the hell can I narrow that down? I know, I’ll check my iPod’s play count... Winner is ”Still Hurting“ from The Last Five Years. Hmm... that can’t possibly mean anything.

The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: When I saw Jesus Christ Superstar in London. It was magical.

MAC or PC?: I’m a Mac user from way back (thanks, Brent!) I have 2 laptops, an Apple TV, iPhone and an iPod.

Most played song on your iPod: Non-musical is ”Morning Song“ by Jewel.

Web obsession: Statcounter - where I can see what brings people to my websites and what pages they visit. Yes, I am a super geek.

Last book you read: Just finished ”The Last Picture Show“ and am starting Eckhart Tolle’s ”A New Earth.“

Must-see TV show: ”Fringe.“ Holy bejeezus, that’s a good show.

Performer you would drop everything to go see: Bernadette Peters

Pop culture guilty pleasure: COPS (filmed live on location with the men & women of law enforcement!)

First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Well, technically they were the Disney records I listened to as a young child. But the first cassette tape I bought was Whitney Houston’s self titled album.

First stage kiss:         Hmmm... probably ”South Pacific“ in high school.

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Definitely Gloria in ”Wait Until Dark“ - I got to throw all kind of pots, pans, silverware, plates
and made a mess on stage. Brilliant.

Favorite pre-show/post-show meal: Pre-show - coffee. Post-show - buffalo wings

Pre-show rituals: I always get to the theater super early, read through my script & warm up, and then sit in the theater and think.

Worst costume ever: My first ever play at the age of 9 - ”Charlotte’s Web.“ I was the Gander and had my first experiences with spirit gum... on my chin (for the beak!)

Who would play you in the movie?: Naomi Watts on my dramatic days, Amy Adams on my quirky days.

Worst job you ever had: Working as a personal assistant for a crazy woman. I actually did that twice -- never again.

Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Amalia in She Loves Me or Glinda in Wicked. I also have always wanted to play Sandy in Grease.

Favorite team/athlete: San Diego Padres!!!! Keep the faith!

How you got your Equity card: Good story. At holiday time in 2000, I was out with some friends looking at Christmas lights and we decided to stop by a restaurant to get something warm to drink (which, looking back, is silly because I lived in San Diego and it was probably 60 degrees.) While there, a man I’d never met pointed at me and said, ”You - are you a member of Equity?“ I said no, and he scoffed, saying that he needed someone ”just like me“ for a gig at the San Diego Repertory Theater. He said, ”I don’t even know if you can act, but you look perfect.“ I reminded him that he could, in fact, audition me and then offer me my card, but he said he did not want to have to Taft-Hartley anyone into the union. So, I smiled and gave him my business card, and told him to call me if he changed his mind. A month later I received an audition appointment, and 2 weeks later the role (and my card) was mine.

Worst onstage mishap: Egads, there have been so many. Probably my biggest lesson was to avoid eating a huge meal before I go onstage, especially in a musical. When I did the national tour of Suds, one of the venues was a casino and we got the ”all you can eat buffet“ added to our contract. My character has to do a dance that ends up with her body upside down (vertically!) in a washing machine, being ”agitated.” I nearly barfed up a lung in that performance. Never. Again.

TV or commercial gig you most enjoyed: Shooting my very first episode of “Veronica Mars.” Being on my first network TV set was magical.

Three things you can't live without: My dog, contact lenses, and my iPhone.

Artist you would most love to work with: Raul Esparza

I’ll never understand why…”: People let others determine their destiny.

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.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Journey Back to the South Pacific

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As most theater folks know, August marked two landmark events - the closing of the amazing Broadway production of “South Pacific,” as well as the live broadcast of the show on PBS’s “Live at Lincoln Center.” Many actors my age have a long history with the show, and I am no exception. I’ve done it twice, and prior to watching the PBS broadcast I thought it was 2 times too many.

I first did South Pacific when I was a senior in high school. From the beginning, it was wrought with drama. First off, just prior to auditions I somehow contracted chicken pox, even though I had had chicken pox in 3rd grade. I mean, c’mon- you’re only supposed to get that once! The day before auditions I was still contagious, because I still had these pesky little blisters all over my body. “When will I stop being contagious???” I asked my mother. “When you no longer have blisters,” she said. Hmmmm.... being ever resourceful, and even more determined to make it to the auditions, that evening I painstakingly popped all of the blisters. ALL OF THEM. The next morning, I presented myself to my mother, blister free, and she had no choice but to let me go to school, and to the audition. Little did I know, popping chicken pox leaves pretty deep scars. So, each time I look in the mirror I see evidence of how passionate I am about this business. :)

The audition went well...but not well enough. Despite starring in almost every show at school, this time I was cast as the offstage understudy (meaning: I didn’t even get to be in the show.) It was devastating. I spent 1.5 months sitting at rehearsals watching someone else play the role I was dying to play. But I have already given away the ending - I did end up playing the role. The original actress got a part in another production off campus, and with only a couple of weeks before opening I was offered the leading role. It was an understudy’s dream come true!
That's right- my natural hair color is brown!
The show was great- I got some fun reviews in the local paper, and I got my first taste of leading a major musical. But the themes of the show didn’t really resonate with 17 year old me ... and my fellow actors and I started calling the show “So Pathetic.” I swore that I would never, ever do the show again.

Fast forward 13 years and I was approached to audition for the show again. This time, I had no chance at the leading role because the role had already been cast. But I had been dying to work with this director so I was happy to take on the role of a nurse. Of course, throughout the rehearsal process I sat watching the leads rehearse and thought, “Man, I wish that were me!” I have an amazing memory for dialogue, so I would unconsciously mouth the words as our Nellie went through her scene work, remembering what it had been like to deliver those same lines so many years earlier.

Can you spot me? Remember that I used to be a brunette!
During our last tech rehearsal, the day before we brought in the full orchestra, I noticed that the production staff was huddled in the corner with worried looks on their faces. They were talking in hushed voices and looking around the room nervously. I saw the director look my direction, and when her eyes locked with mine a look crossed her face as though a light bulb went off. It wasn’t long before she called me over, and explained what the hub-bub was about. The actress playing the lead role of Nellie had unexpectedly left town - her father had fallen ill and she asked to be released from the show until his prognosis improved -- which could take hours, days or weeks. Trouble was, we were opening in 4 days (with an invited dress in 3 days) and the production did not employ understudies. They were in danger of closing the production unless they could find someone to temporarily cover Nellie... and quickly. So... why was I called over? Well, the director remembered that I had played the role before and she thought I would be the perfect person to bail them out of this sticky situation. And, of course, I said yes.

My first rehearsal as Nellie was the full orchestra rehearsal. The most nerve-wracking part of it was not the actual singing of material - that was easy. It was walking onto the stage, grabbing the microphone and dealing with the incredulous stares of the other principal actors... because the director had not yet made an announcement that the lead actor was out of town! So, it was quite awkward to stand there with these actors, with whom I had never rehearsed, while they wondered what the heck I was doing there. Once that was ironed out, singing through the show with the orchestra was thrilling! Rodgers & Hammerstein has created an amazingly beautiful score, and our large amphitheater (which seated almost 3000 people) sounded incredible.

At the end of the rehearsal, the director and music director expressed how grateful they were for my help, and then gave me an update. The lead actress still had not returned, and they needed me to do the first full dress rehearsal the next day. The pressure was on - dress rehearsals involve so many things - costume changes, blocking, choreography, entrances & exits, and not to mention being off book. But remember that I had been watching rehearsals with an eagle eye, and luckily the blocking and lines came to me easily. I was on top of the world - talk about the illusion of the first time! The last part of the show, of course, was the curtain call, and Nellie has the final bow after all of the other actors. That day, after performing the role for the very first time with no prior rehearsal, I went down to the front of the stage to take my bow, and the enter company erupted into applause and cheering. They surrounded me with hugs, high fives, and huge smiles, and the production team stood in the audience, on their feet, and cheered along with them. I have never felt such powerful appreciation in my life, before or since. It was incredible.

The good news for the production (but bad news for me) was that the actress came back right before the show opened. I really wanted to be able to do the run of the show, but was so thrilled that I was asked to fill in last minute. And it really proved to me that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. I will never forget that production.

So, as you can see - this show holds a special place in my heart. Prior to watching the Lincoln Center production, I thought the show was far behind me. But after a bunch of people contacted me telling me how much they were reminded of me while watching Kelli O’Hara... now I am thinking that I’d like to play the role again. This time, I’d like to earn the role from the start! ;)

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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nabbed a role

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At the tail end of 2009 I was fortunate enough to perform in the first ever revival of Subways Are For Sleeping, a Broadway show that had its only NY run in 1961-62. Through this show, I met lots of incredible people, including fellow actor, Lee Cavellier. One night after a performance we were enjoying one of the great benefits of working at The Duplex Theater - free drinks at their bar for the remainder of the evening. At some point, Lee turns to me and says, “ So, I’ve written this musical and I was wondering if you’d be interested in recording a demo for it?” Now, I meet a lot of composers and I have often said yes to proposals like this only to find that the recording never happens. So, I said yes even though I fully expected nothing to come of the idea.

Luckily for me, Lee is dedicated, talented and infatigable and, by golly, we did get that demo done! And, thus, an original musical was born, and it was named Nab-A-Date! (Check out some of the demos we recorded here.) The cast that Lee (and his producer, Steven Engelbrecht) assembled for the demo was so cohesive and winning that he has offered us the roles for the next phase of production, which is to shop the show to Off-Broadway producers. If all goes well, a commercial producer (or team of producers) will option the show with its current cast. From our website, the show is described as:

At a performance of Nab-a-Date!, you're viewing a "live taping" of the world's first and only musical dating show, where three bachelorettes battle for the heart of one lucky man through song, dance, and some very personal questions.

Smooth-talking host Kelly Lee is your musical matchmaker, inviting our bachelor, Tommy, to carefully assess the voices and vices of the lovely ladies to determine which of them can steal his heart and satisfy his longing for love. But of course, nothing's ever that simple... The show's producer has a burning desire for the spotlight, and things get ugly when he shows he's willing to sabotage the taping to get what he wants!

With side-splitting humor and jazzy, upbeat music by writer and composer Lee Cavellier, Nab-A-Date! will have you snapping your fingers and laughing till it hurts as you realize, along with the contestants, that it's all about love.

In the show, I play Meaghan, also known as Bachelorette #3, and the rehearsals have been a blast. The music is challenging and exciting, and we have all become very good friends, which is a crucial part of developing a strong ensemble. Of course, you can have a great show where the cast is merely cordial with one another, but an intimate cast makes for a special evening of theater.

If you’d like to be invited to the exclusive readings in November, go to their Ticketing Page. If you are a producer and would like to receive a promotional packet, please head over to their website and sign up.

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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

100 Random Facts About Me

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A special thank you to Corina MacKay, who inspired me to do this 100 Random Facts list. Thanks, Twitter buddy!

Without further ado, here is a list of 100 Random Facts About Me:


1. My name was almost Colleen. It was my parents’ 2nd choice, and coincidentally, the nurses at the hospital randomly assigned me that name to me via the bassinet name card. But Erin won out.

2. My middle initial is Q. Stands for Quinn.

3. People always think I am taller than I actually am. And yet, I am almost always too tall for my musical theater scene partners. Murphy’s Law. (I’m 5’5“)

4. I was born a super dark brunette. With a widow’s peak. I looked like Baby Dracula.

5. I’ve owned 5 businesses, and been a mid-high level manager at 3 different companies.

6. I’ve owned 2 properties, the first before the age of 25.

7. I get really excited when the mail comes. And if my box is empty, my heart sinks.

8. I often sing songs to my dog, and put her name in the song. Like, ”Sweet Denver Dog, (bah bah bah!) Good Times Never Seemed So Good (so good so good so good!)"

9. I have an irrational fear of grasshoppers.

10. I adore alphabetizing. And sorting of all kinds.

11. I am really good at hanging pictures perfectly straight without a ruler or tape measure.

12. I have a crapload of family I have never met.

13. I love buying cosmetics. Doesn’t matter how many bottles of lotion or tubes of mascara I have, I always want to try more.

14. I have been a Mac user since 1995, and I am a diehard fan. I don’t yet have the iPad, but I have an iPhone, MacBook and an Apple TV. And my old iPod, which I still use.

15. I am extremely introverted, which no one guesses because I can be very personable, expressive, and attentive. But I then disappear for days because I have to recharge. This is why some of you have yet to receive return phone calls and emails. Oops.

16. I’ve finally realized that I have been lying to myself all of my life- I DO want to be swept off my feet like in the storybooks.

17. However, I don’t want kids.

18. My dog is nearly 15 years old, and I have had her since she was 10 weeks old.

19. I feel things very quickly, and very deeply, but have a huge wall that appears when I am with others. Over the years I have slowly been able to lower the wall bit by bit.

20. Spaceballs (Mel Brooks) is my favorite movie. Ludicrous Speed- GO!

21. I had a basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) removed in Oct 2009.

22. People look to me for guidance and direction, but most of the time I am just making shit up.

23. I have a tendency to fold things when my hands are idle. Give me a napkin and I will fold, unfold and fold again without even noticing it.

24. Shows/movies about redemption makes me blubber like a baby.

25. I write 2 blogs, and am a contributing writer to 4 more.

26. I’m really behind on those blogs (see #15.)

27. My mother knows just about everything about me.

28. I don’t like to leave things unfinished, so I will probably write all 100 of these things in one sitting. (Postscript: It took me 3 hours, but I did it.)

29. I want to donate my organs, because those who outlive me will be able to see me live on in others, and it is the only way I can guarantee that I will make a difference in this life.

30. My left eye is much stronger than my right eye.

31. You can’t see it in most pictures, but my eyes have a brown ring around the pupil, and depending on my mood or what I am wearing, the rest of my iris can be green, blue/green or hazel.

32. I am incredibly intuitive/empathic and take on the feelings of those around me. Thus, people who get really angry or upset can inadvertently make me feel those things too. It makes me a good coach but bad when I’m near people who are fighting.

33. It kills me that my father never got to visit me in New York before he died (his birth place and my home.)

34. I was horribly unpopular when I was a child. I was routinely bullied and often beat up.

35. I find filling out surveys like this strangely therapeutic.

36. I’m a lot older than I look.

37. I don’t believe in God, but I love that other people do.

38. My sister has big boobs and it was devastating when I realized I would not grow up to be like her.

39. I love camping, but only where there are outhouses. I will not do my “business” in the woods. It’s just about the only girlie thing about me.

40. I dated someone with kids once- I am not sure I can do that again.

41. I always paint my apartments with bright colors.

42. One of my acting jobs is as a standardized patient (SP)- I do improvised scenes with medical students to help them practice their clinical skills. These SP exams are required elements for medical school, and I’ve been doing this for more than 7 years.

43. I’ve never had a nickname, but I’ve always wanted one.

44. I taught myself graphic and web design in the late 90s, and now I offer these services to actors.

45. “Groove Is In The Heart” (Dee-Lite) is my theme song, and would be in the opening credits of the movie of my life. “Happy Phantom” (Tori Amos) would be the closing credits.

46. My brother and sister both have intense ADD. So does my nephew. I don’t.

47. I enjoy reading astrology descriptions. Not predications, but the personality outlines. (PS: I’m a Scorpio.)

48. Red meat gives me massive stomach ache, but I’ll suffer it for a good Philly cheesesteak with mushrooms and cheese whiz.

49. When I was a kid, my sister and I used to sit with coffee and cherry pie and watch Twin Peaks.

50. My sister (see #38, #47 & #49) has disappeared, and no one knows where she is at. Worse than that - her disappearance is intentional.

51. I HATE the sound of people eating. Chewing, slurping, smacking of lips. It gives me all-over body convulsions and it makes me want to get violent.

52. I could eat eggs at any hour of the day. I love breakfast!

53. I stay up until 3am most nights (mornings?)

54. I am rather addicted to thrift store shopping.

55. I lived in Brussels, Belgium for kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade while my father worked at NATO.

56. I have a strange affinity for marketing, and have lots of creative ideas for promotion. These ideas often keep me up at night (see #53.)

57. I inherited my observational humor and penchant for puns from my father.

58. Being from SoCal, I should have taken Spanish in school but instead I took French. (see #55)

59. I avoid most political conversations, but the issue of gay rights makes me nearly militant. I endorse love between consenting adults.

60. I adore singing in harmony.

61. I giggle every time I hiccup. The more I hiccup, the more hysterical the giggles get.

62. Unlike many actors, I like to watch myself on film and listen to myself on tape. I will no longer feel bad about this.

63. I have had braces twice, had my jaw realigned and had 10 baby teeth pulled when they wouldn’t fall out on their own. I don’t heart the dentist.

64. I won the high school talent show singing, “Somewhere” from West Side Story.

65. Unless I am on stage, I hate having the focus on me in public. HATE. So, please never sing Happy Birthday to me or propose to me with people watching.

66. Alec Baldwin once told me I have beautiful eyes.

67. I am close friends with most of my ex-boyfriends. I chose them for a reason- they were good people and worthy of keeping in my life.

68. I am particularly sensitive about people being taken advantage of (especially me.) I am normally pretty low-key and easy going, but if I think someone is trying to use/disrespect me or my friends, my blood boils and I get into fight mode.

69. I love spicy food, and am afraid for the day that I get too old to eat it.

70. I own a lot of DVDs that I have never watched.

71. I did a 2 month European tour when I got out of college.

72. I’ve been engaged, but never married. Thank the baby Jesus.

73. I adore watching baseball, but have backed off the game since moving to the East Coast because I can rarely watch my Padres and it depresses me.

74. In my first play (at age 9), I played a Gander in “Charlotte’s Web.” Then I played Grumpy “Snow White.” I went on to play many, many more male roles until well after college.

75. I look better in skirts and dresses than I do in pants.

76. I named my dog after a character in the book, “Beloved“ by Toni Morrison. Her name is Denver.

77. If there is cheese dip on the menu, I’m ordering it.

78. The first inspirational quote I ever put to memory was the Chinese proverb, ”Talk does not cook rice.“ It really speaks to me about motivation and action.

79. I really, really like things to be even. Like, if things come in pairs, do not separate them. I skim ice cream evenly in the carton. And I’ll straighten anything that is askew.

80. I have never smoked cigarettes.

81. I find it immensely satisfying when a cat likes me... even though I am allergic to them.

82. One of my favorite words to use is ”delicious.“

83. I have no tattoos, partly because I am deathly afraid of needles.

84. My very first official job (besides babysitting) was at a double feature movie theater.

85. I am an amazing parallel parker, but I am still terrified of rolling back on a hill with a manual transmission.

86. It has never mattered to me how much (or how little) money my boyfriend makes.

87. The first thing people tend to notice about me are my eyes, and I really like that.

88. In high school and college, I took summer school to get ahead- I wanted to take as many classes as possible. I also took a ”zero period“ weight lifting class in high school, which happened before school started every day. Super geekdom.

89. I was the best girl’s tennis player in my high school for 3 years running, and the only freshman varsity player. It must have been all of the weight lifting (see #88.)

90. Italian food is my very, very favorite cuisine, but I crave smoked salmon or salmon sushi almost daily.

91. I am super, super, super liberal, but came from super, super, super conservative parents. Strangely, my mother is more liberal now that she is retired.

92. I’ve never had a one night stand.

93. I am right handed, but I shoot pool left handed.

94. For my next big vacation, I want to take a road trip and not plan where to stay until I find a town that I want to stay in. It terrifies and excites me all at the same time.

95. I am terrible at remembering jokes, but most people find me extremely funny.

96. I really, really love taking pictures, but I am afraid that if I get a good camera and learn how to use it, that it will be yet ANOTHER thing that occupies my time and I may never sleep (see #53.)

97. I think Twitter is just about the most amazing networking tool that actors have at their disposal.

98. I have a ”Wizard of Oz“ Barbie in my living room because I once played Glinda.

99. People LOVE my coffee-making skills.

100. This list has just helped me formulate 100 things to talk about when I start dating again...



And... a special section of questions from some folks on Twitter & Facebook


@KevinScottT asks: What made you leave CA?

A couple of reasons. 1) I wanted to know what it was like to pick up and move to a new place, because I’d spent nearly my entire life in SoCal. 2) I needed to be in a larger acting market than San Diego, and because I had already lived in LA, I decided to try the next best option- New York City! Moving here was like coming home.


@JenPonton asks a few questions: Favorite flavor of ice cream? Biggest pet peeve? Biggest simple pleasure? Favorite thing about Denver?

  1. I love Coldstone’s cheesecake ice cream with Butterfinger as a mixer. That is, when I eat ice cream, which is not that often (I am more of a salty snacker.)
  2. I have a hard time with people who are mean to others.
  3. My favorite simple pleasure is waking up with my dog and snuggling with her, and kissing her dry nose before she wakes up and it gets wet again.
  4. That dry nose is my favorite thing about her.


Ed Hofmeister asks: Where were you born?


I was born in Virginia - my father was in the Air Force and was stationed at Langley Air Force Base. We lived in Newport News for the first 2.5 years of my life. (city of birth withheld - lots of places use it for security purposes.)



Ashley Wren Collins asks: What is it that makes you feel like you definitely should have been born a blonde?

People definitely talk to me more as a blonde, which forces me to be more social and helps me stay engaged and connected to people. I also find that I seem more complex, because they expect me to act like a blonde and instead I act like a brunette. I also love telling people about my natural hair color (see #4.) And finally, it just feels right.



Rich Fromm asks: Who should win the epic battle between Werewolf and Vampire? More importantly, who would win in a fight between Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning?

  1. I think the vampire would win because all he would have to do is thrown down Beggin’ Strips and the werewolf would lose his shit.
  2. Who would win a fight between Kristen and Dakota? The men watching, that’s who.


Mary Lahti asks: Is there anyone else in your family that does what you do? When you aren't so focused on your business/craft, what do you like to do for fun? Do you have any A/C yet?

  1. No, there are no other actors in my family anywhere. My brother may argue that LARP is like acting, but I really don’t think it is.
  2. This is a tough one, because so many of my hobbies are related to my career (watching movies, singing, etc.) I like to go thrift store shopping, take pictures, hang out with my friends at wine bars or the park, and playing with my dog.
  3. Yes! I have AC! =)



Chris Ritter asks: Cake or Pie?, Puppies or Kittens?, Batman or Joker? Favorite place outside America? Barbie Dolls or Rock em Sock em Robots? Favorite Body of Water? Number of degrees you are from Kevin Bacon...? Favorite Ethnic Slur?  Any Civil War Ancestors? The most unusual celebrity you ever met was...? The volume of Cheese-Whiz you've consumed in your lifetime is...?

  1. Cake, usually.
  2. I want to chew on both of their paws equally.
  3. Batman. He’s hot.
  4. Edinburgh, Scotland or the beaches of the Caribbean. 
  5. The answer will always be robots.
  6. A spa.
  7. My Kevin Bacon number is 2, because I did a movie with David Straithairn, who did a movie with Kevin Bacon.
  8. I don’t have one- they make me feel really bad.
  9. Nope, no Civil War Ancestors. My ancestors were over in Ireland.
  10. Oooh... good one. My college had a professional theater on campus, and Helen Reddy came through doing ”Shirley Valentine.“ I worked for the theater, and was selected to be her ”personal assistant“ for the production, which means I obeyed her every whim. This included being her dresser, and I would help her put her pantyhose on. She seemed really old to me at the time, though she was probably only in her late 50s, early 60s. Still, there was no reason for me to be that close to her crotch.
  11. Should I answer in gallons or pounds?


Anyone else have questions? Post a comment and I’ll answer them. If you have responses to my random facts, please leave 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.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

15 Movies

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Just saw this posted by my friend, Jason, on Facebook, and I thought I’d take a stab at it here:

Fifteen Movies
Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

In no particular order -

Spaceballs
The Shawshank Redemption
Lost in Translation
Beaches
The Princess Bride
Little Children
Rachel Getting Married
Shakespeare in Love
Raising Arizona
Airplane
The Notebook
Ghost
The Making of Miss Saigon (documentary)
Charlotte’s Web
West Side Story



These were the first 15 films that popped into my mind, with no editing. And now that I am done, more and more are coming to mind, like:

Austin Powers
500 Days of Summer
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Waiting for Guffman
Best in Show
Steel Magnolias
The Exorcist
Nightmare on Elm Street
(all 5 that were out when I was a kid)


I’ll consider adding more as time marches on...

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.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In memory of Danny Aiello III

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Those of you who follow my coaching blog regularly may remember a blog I posted about the power of networking when on set. The subject of that blog “not sucking up” and referred to a great conversation I had with Danny Aiello III, who was the stunt coordinator over on “One Life to Live.” I just watched the season premiere of “Royal Pains” and at the end of the show, there was a “In loving memory of” placard for Danny, which is how I find out that he passed away May 1, 2010.

This has really hit me hard, because even though I only spent one day with him, he had a special spark that made everyone feel loved and valued. I was inspired by him, and my time at the studio was made better because he was there.

You can read about his passing here.

You can read about his life/credits here.

And you can read my blog post about when I met him here.

Rest in peace, Danny. And much love to your family and friends who have survived you.


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.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How Much Would They Pay...?

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I just saw this audition notice, and just HAD to share:

We’re looking for 2 Female patients. Both should be attractive and in shape. If you book this, you will need to use the product (syringe) with saline solution. It is completely packaged, medically safe, and non-painful (tiny needle) but you will have to self-inject needle. MAKE SURE HANDS LOOK GOOD. There'll be close up shots of you holding the product, and then you'll lift blouse to expose bottom part of belly only, pinch stomach and inject needle. On casting you will NOT be injecting a needle. Just giving the illusion that you are. Just on the shoot day if you book will you have to self-inject. NO copy. This is all MOS for you.

Um, yeah, so I hate needles. I wonder how much they’d have to pay me to make this shoot worth it?

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.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

1 Door Closes... and then some

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You know that old saying, “When one door closes, other opens”? I usually gag whenever I hear that reference, because any time something unfavorable happens, people try to cram optimism down your throat. But there is something to be said for optimism coming from a place of confidence and self-worth. Optimism that says, “This setback is just *what happened* - not a comment on how good I am or my place in the industry. Let’s see what other projects I can rock now that this project has been laid to rest!“

I had a recent audition experience that was, well... odd, to say the least, but thank goodness I had it.

A director/producer saw me perform at a cabaret event, and sent me an email afterward raving about my work and inquiring about my availability to work with him on a project. This had never happened to me before, and I was thrilled! The project, he said, initially Off Broadway in the 90s and he was looking to do a revival, and felt I would be perfect for one of the female leads. He promised to keep me apprised when/if it ever came to fruition. About 4 months later, he contacted me and said a fundraiser reading of the project was moving forward in anticipation of a full run next year, and would I be interested? He had assembled a cast of his favorite choices, and asked us to send him our schedules so he could book some a date for a read through.

As fate had it, no one’s schedule matched, so he had to put the rehearsal on hold. He asked for schedules later in the month, and said he would get back to us with a firm date. Instead, a few days later I received this email:

”Sorry for the short notice, but an opportunity has come up for us to have a "casting party" this coming Sunday from 4-6pm. The Musical Director and I will bring together a couple of ideal choices for each role, pass out a few scripts and scores, do some musical sight reading, give you character/scene breakdown, do a little cold reading and make our final decisions on the cast. Different? Yes! But, an ideal way to introduce you to the show, each other and the fun of the project in a much less competitive atmosphere than your typical cattle call.“

Hmmmm..... not only was this new plan a bit different than what an Equity actor would normally expect, but it was obvious that I was no longer a shoo-in for the role. But I had already won the director’s heart, so now all I needed to do was win the musical director’s heart, and I’d be in business. I committed to attend the ”casting party.“

Well, after learning 3 songs and a monologue, I think it was safe to say that I ROCKED THAT AUDITION. I am a good sight reader, so I learned the music accurately and quickly. I was also able to infuse the character with my unique brand of charm, and I felt relaxed and in my element. But as most audition stories would have it, being good at what you do often has no bearing on the casting decision. This became evident when I was asked to stand side by side with a young man who was being considered to play my love interest. The minute I stood next to him, I knew I was done for. He as quite a bit younger than I, and no taller than me. There was no way in the world that I was going be cast opposite him. Just no way. No matter how much the director loved me. No matter how well I performed.

And I was right- I got a very nice email that evening from the director thanking me for my talent and professionalism, but alas, the part was not meant for me. And while all audition experiences can have value squeezed out of them, this one felt a little like 2 hours of my life that I could not get back... if you know what I mean.

And then I remembered something... While we were working music, the musical director mentioned that he was considering us for more projects than the one we were auditioning for. So, I pulled out his business card (which i was sure to get while at the audition) and wrote him a thank you email:

”Hi, Chris! It was so nice to meet you at the casting party for [name of show redacted] this weekend. I'm sorry that we won't be working together this time, but I hope that we get to work with each other on something in the near future. And please keep me posted on your projects in general - I would love to come out to support your work!“

I received a kind email from him saying that he was sorry they couldn’t use me for the show (in fact, I was his top choice.) And wouldn’t you know it - he had a project he had composed, and asked me if I would be interested in being a part of it. SCORE!

Which brings me to last night... Monday evening, after about 4 rehearsals, I performed in a concert version of his song cycle. I sang along side several Broadway and Off Broadway performers, and got the chance to learn some great new music (and got to know the composer in the process.) When considering this concert versus the original show I auditioned for, I’d say I traded up!

In the end, talent and professionalism always win, even if they don’t win you the part you wanted. Opportunities are always available to those who prepare for them and grab them when they fly by. I’m looking forward to the next door that slams in my face, because who knows where I’ll be headed next?

Though, if the door leads to being cast in Wicked, I’d rather walk through it. =)

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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Never Give Up

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On Sunday evenings I spend time at the fun and inspiring open mic, The Salon, hosted by Mark Janas. Each week, singers are invited to bring a song to share with the crowd, and the audience is filled with award winning cabaret and musical theater performers, as well as songwriters, directors, producers, critics, and folks who simply love music. One thing that distinguishes The Salon from other open mics is their weekly theme - last Sunday we were celebrating Sondheim and were invited to bring any Sondheim song of our choosing. The Salon also brings in special guests to sing an extended set, and perform work that is related to the theme. This week The Salon brought in the great Len Cariou, who is known for originating roles in A Little Night Music, Applause, and the title role in Sweeney Todd (among others.)

I volunteer at The Salon as one of their Etceterette’s- this week, I was the “Floor Etceterette“ who signed people up to sing and then notified them of the song order throughout the evening. And because of this work, I was invited to close Act I of the evening with my song. A few months back, my musical theater acting teacher, Craig Carnelia, asked me to learn the show-stopping anthem, “Being Alive” from Sondheim’ show, Company. I have been working on it since, and felt that Sunday’s Salon would be the right time to break it out for the public.

Folks- I am so glad I did!

When the accompaniment started, it took a few measures for people to realize what I was singing, and a hush came over the crowd. In front of me was Len Cariou, along with his wife Heather and 15 of their closest friends (including Alice Evans, David Green (Judy Kaye’s husband and fantastic singer in his own right), and Penny Fuller.) Add those to the other 40-50 Salon regulars, and you can imagine what a hush might sound like. =)

Probably the strongest thing I have to offer as a singer is song interpretation. There are other singers who have more flair or louder sound, but I pride myself on cutting through the fireworks to deliver a good story. “Being Alive” is not just an anthem, it is MY anthem... an anthem of what I have been going through and what is yet to come. Here are some of the lyrics:

Somebody, hold me too close
Somebody, hurt me too deep
Somebody, sit in my chair and ruin my sleep and make me aware
of Being Alive
(....)
Make me Alive
Make me Alive
(...)

As I sang, I took time to look each audience member and try to let my words reach their soul. Maybe there would be something in the song that would resonate with them. Maybe there would be something in the way I sang it that would teach them something new. And maybe they might just really, really like the song. No matter, I wanted the song to touch them.

(...)
But alone is alone, not alive...
Somebody, crowd me with love
Somebody, force me to care
Somebody, let me come through
I’ll always be there, as frightened as you
To help us survive, being alive
Being Alive
Being Alive

As I hit the last big, sustained note, I could feel that the audience was with me. I laid my head back and let’er rip, and the applause was loud and appreciative! As I walked off the stage and back to me seat, I turn my head to look at Len Cariou, who was beaming. He reached out to grab my hand- as held it he covered our hands with his other hand and looked me deep in the eyes. Then he drew me close and planted a warm kiss on my cheek and said, “Good job!”

Later in the evening I was speaking with his wife, and she said that when she and Len go to concerts, they have a secret “look” they give each other when they are impressed with the singer. She then looked at me and said, “You sang, and he gave me“The Look.” She then said, “Never give up. Keep working. Never give up.”

I am starting this blog again in earnest, as a commitment to never giving up. It is very important that I “Cronical” my adventures as an actor, just as much as I have been chronicling my adventures as a coach. And much like Crystal said last night on American Idol:

“The time is now.“

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.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Even Nice People Can Bully

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Those of you who have been following this blog know that, on occasion, I'll post strange and/or unsettling emails I've received, in an attempt to warn actors about possible scams or unscrupulous characters out there. (You can see a bunch of these by clicking here.) This correspondence is related to a blog I posted called Really, Who Are You? (Note: The below text is 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"


He then writes back:

Thank you for the response. I certainly understand and respect your opinion, given what you have mentioned. I only ask that when posting your response that you remove the reference to the current email name as that was part of the process of trying to prevent further issues. Thank you again.

So, I reply:

"I'm sorry, I won't be making any changes to my post. It is very important that I report things accurately to my readers, and they need to be fully informed about this situation, especially if it involves such a serious crime as identity theft. But I will happily post your response on my blog so that my readers are aware of the situation.

I will make one offer- I will write no new blog posts mentioning Dale Rehm and William Dale if there are no further requests by Dale Rehm or William Dale-- to anyone. If a reader is contacted by one of these names and asks me to comment, I reserve the right to post a blog in response. I also reserve the right to comment on my current blog post if readers pose a question. Further, I reserve the right to post blogs about communications from any other person requesting autographs, no matter what their name is.

In return, I am requesting that you cease all communication with me. If I am contacted again, I reserve the right to re-post whatever communications have transpired. So, in the best interest of all parties, I request that this be our last communication.

Sincerely, Erin Cronican"


As I have mentioned, it is our responsibility to look out for each other, and part of that is sharing experiences that are uncomfortable or even downright scary. By putting this in print, and by being as even-handed as possible, I am striving to provide a service to other actors and I hope this inspires you to do the same.


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.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

If I Could Be Like Liza

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I just recorded a demo of a brand new song by Richard Eisenberg called "If I Could Be Like Liza" - and I have uploaded it here for your listening pleasure! (Just click the "play" button on the left hand side...)







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.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Actors as Nomads

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I was finally able to watch “Up In The Air” recently. I was really gripped by this tale of a man who loves his nomadic lifestyle and finds connections through the strangers he meets through his work. He enjoys the solitude and loves living without attachments (both emotional and physical.) The people around him cannot understand what the allure could possibly be, and see him as some sort of emotional degenerate. But in his work, he is compassionate and thoughtful and makes a difference to those he meets across the country.

Kind of sounds like an actor, huh?

It’s hard for me to describe why living an actor’s lifestyle makes me happier than being stable and secure. I worked for many years in the corporate and non-profit sectors, made oodles of money, and felt like I was selling my soul (even though the companies I worked for had great working environments.) There came a point where I knew I couldn’t do it anymore, and I gave up the steady paycheck, phenomenal benefits, and support system for a life with infinite possibility. A life where no day looks like any other. And even though it is sometimes hard financially, and sometimes I have to apologize to friends I don’t have time to see and these relationships suffer, I think I am a better human being for living a life that makes me happy.

I feel proud and lucky that I have been able to live a completely empowered and free life - running my own business as a career coach and being a professional actor allows me to choose my own adventure, day by day. I worked really hard to get here, building a skill set in business & marketing that allows me to call the shots. But I also feel lucky that I had parents who championed my innovative nature and inner fire and pushed me to be everything that I could be.

Very lucky...


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.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Part of the Disney Family?

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As most of you know, I have done quite a bit of work over the past 2 years on “One Life to Live” (and show owned by Disney, which is the parent company of ABC.) I’ll get booked to work one-day stints on set, and then receiving a paycheck 2 weeks later, along with a residual check about 4 weeks after that when the episode airs on “SoapNet.” I have had the same relationship with Proctor & Gamble (parent company of CBS) after all of my work on “Guiding Light.”

So it was odd when I found a large (but thin) envelope from Disney in my mailbox the other day:
It was a brochure for their Employee Assistance Program which (those of you who have worked in corporate America know) is a program that pays for emotional counseling and ”personal life resources“ for all employees. Companies do this because they value the mental health of their employees, and feel it’s a good way to protect their investment of time and money for each person they hire.

Funny- I never really thought of myself as an employee of Disney, though I certainly get W2s at the end of the year. So, I find it amusing that, of all the things Disney could send me, a document regarding my mental health is my official introduction to the Disney family.

Though, if you think about it, the fact that I get W2s each year from one of the biggest companies in the world but still live paycheck to paycheck MIGHT make me a mental case at some point. Maybe we should applaud their foresight...

Oh and PS: I just booked ANOTHER day on "One Life to Live" - this time as a social worker. I'll be picking up my script next week, but in the meantime I am fantasizing about who I will be counseling... =)


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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kate Turns the Tables

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I finally got around to watching “Revolutionary Road.” Man, Kate Winslet was amazing in that film. Actually, I liked everyone in the film, especially Michael Shannon as the disturbed houseguest, John Givings. But what amazed me is how unafraid Kate is of looking “normal” and “her age” in the film. She is beautiful to watch, both visually and emotionally, and her performance packed a punch. As always, I eagerly anticipated the special features on the DVD, which would allow me to get a sneak peak into the construct of the film. In part of the features, there was a wonderful interview with Kate where she talked about working with her husband as a director for the first time, encouraging “Leo” to play the role of her husband, and shared her perspectives on the characters. While I was watching this, something profound occurred to me: looking natural and “normal” on-screen is a brilliant move for a woman in her 20s & 30s.

Think of it this way: most of us are terrified that if we appear old on-camera, it will limit our ability to play roles our own age (or younger) in the future. Female actors strive to look as young as possible to compete, and work hard to live up to the perfect image that gets portrayed on the screen. We compete against the professional makeup, camera filters and fancy lighting, which will always beat out natural light, “street“ makeup and the naked eye in observation.

But if you watch what Kate does: Kate always appears fabulous off-screen because she she doesn’t pretend to be perfect on-screen. It’s kind of brilliant (and I say that tongue in cheek, because I think it kicks ass.) As evidence, take a look at this set of photos:

Kate on-screen in her last 2 big films:


Kate off-screen, likely at an industry event:


WHOA! You end up saying to yourself, “Wow- Kate looks amazing!” With many other female actors off-screen, the context of the photos would be flipped. People will think, “Well, she looked great in that movie, but in real life she’s looking old,“ or, ”Wow, she looks like she’s gained weight.“ Kate has pretty much guaranteed that she will look more sleek, more polished, more radiant... just stunning... because she doesn’t have to live up to some kind of unrealistic perfection. Other examples: Charlize Theron in ”Monster.“ America Ferrera on ”Ugly Betty“ - I wish the list could go on and on, but there aren’t many people who are confident enough to break down these barriers.

I found myself really inspired by this realization. It should be noted that the main way Kate gets away with this is that she is captivating to watch, and give a performance of a lifetime each time she takes on a role. The beauty of this realization (pun intended): Because of my ”light bulb“/”ah-ha“ moment, I am no longer afraid of how I might look on screen. What really matters is the quality of the work, and someone who presents themselves as joyful and fearless in everything they do. THAT is the real reason people think Kate, and Charlize and America are beautiful. Their work can do the speaking for them, and they just have to show up in a pretty dress.

Who wants to commit to joining the ranks and further break down these barriers? =)


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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