Saturday, December 31, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Anyway, when I talked to them last week I requested a copy and the gentleman said he would "pass the word" to the accounting department. To be honest, it didn’t sound like I would really get a copy that easy. Sure enough, FedEx delivers the tape today. Enclosed was a very nice note from the Assistant Account Executive who said that due to the delay of the next “IBM” campaign launch I would start seeing my spot airing on Network TV. THAT is great news, really great news. I just need to move pass the “on avail” step more often. I think a commercial class is in my future for early ’06.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Anyway, tonight I was driving to one of my favorite stores, Costco, in Burbank. I wasn’t feeling particularly great, personally. Ya know, dealing with some “stuff”. I was in the Media Center Mall area of Burbank to be exact. I became familiar with the area a couple of years ago when I started dating someone who lived over there. It just seems to be less stressful than the Miracle Mile area that I currently live in. It has wider, smoother streets and there seems to be lots of parking. I know, sounds crazy, huh? Well, maybe it’s the side of me that has lived in this studio with no parking for 7 years. Maybe it reminds me of being home in Virginia Beach.
Sure, I could just move over there, but I don’t want to move into another rental if I can help it and I don’t want to move into a rental with a roommate. I mean, I’ve been paying rent here for 7 freakin’ years and I have nothing to show for it. That is not a great feeling.
My ex and I actually flirted with the idea of buying something together, but I don’t think that would have been too smart for either of us. She moved forward with the idea with her roommate and I think it has me consumed with doing something similar. I don’t know how I could afford buying something by myself, I don’t have any male friends that I could think of doing something like that with and if I do it with a woman she’ll be my wife…..or at least fiancé…..I think.
I would, however, consider having a roommate if I had a mortgage. Food for thought; something to think about while I’m on vacation.
Anyway, back to my Costco trip. While turning left onto Victory from Magnolia I saw a car that was sitting in the intersection and it appeared to be stalled with nobody helping. I immediately pulled over and jumped out to push the car out of the roadway. Before I could even get there 3 men were there already pushing; THAT was a great thing for me to see. It really warmed my heart.
Once the womans’ vehicle was safely off the road the other men cleared out in a flash. I stayed to see if I could help in any way. The driver, an older Mexican woman, was really stressed out with a very long un-lit cigarette in her mouth. I asked her what was going on. Obviously, the car wouldn’t start. I wanted to figure out why. It was trying to start, so the battery was fine. She had fuel, but it wouldn’t run smoothly. I think it was a bad fuel pump. After a while of her trying to start it I asked if I could jump in and try it; she happily obliged. I got it started, but it would idle very, very roughly and I didn’t think it would get her far.
Through her accent, she told me she was on her way to work at the same place that her daughter worked, somewhere up on Roscoe Blvd. I hadn’t been up on Roscoe Blvd. since my car was towed and taken up there…..whole ‘nother story.
I wasn’t in a hurry so I offered to take her the rest of the way. She was understandably hesitant and explained that it was her daughters’ car and she didn’t know what to do. I asked if she had AAA and she replied “no”. I didn’t want to leave her on the side of the road, but there wasn’t much more I could do so I offered her a ride again. I told her I understood if she didn’t want to accept, but I am know one to be afraid of and that I “wanted” to help. She looked at me for a moment and kinda sighed and said “I believe in God”. I said “Great, I’ll be right back with my car”.
Oh yeah, that long-ass cigarette she had in her mouth was now lit. I was curious if she would be so bold to smoke in my car, or at least try. Nobody had smoked in my car before. I was also curious if I would let her smoke in my car since she was already stressed out OR if I would save her from dying another day earlier and ask her to put it out. When I went back to help her in my car the smoky stick was gone.
On the way to Roscoe Blvd I found out that her name was “Esther” her daughters’ name was also “Esther” I guess that makes her daughter a “Jr.” huh? She explained that her daughter would be very, very angry to know that she took a ride with a stranger. I told her I understood and suggested that she call her to let her know what was going on. I guess she felt pretty comfortable with me because she didn’t feel the need to call.
After a 10 minute drive I left her safely at her place of employment. It really felt great to be able to help someone tonight. I wasn’t in the greatest place and that was the perfect medicine to make me feel better. Thanks Esther and your daughters’ old ass Toyota Camry wit a jacked up fuel pump. You helped me have a better night than I would have had without you.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I have to say, I was happy with how it turned out. It would have been nice to have more dialogue, but I’ll get ‘em next time. I’m going to finally put together a reel and I think there is a piece or two from the show I can use.Now the question is: Are they going to bring our characters, the geek/nerds, back? I mean our situation was totally left open; the matchmakers didn’t help us at all. They should bring us back for a couple of episodes and get us the help we desperately need to get some chicks. Right?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Callback: "Toyota" @ Danny Goldman & Associates. Cool, I'm really glad to be getting a callback at this office.
My wonderful agents @ KSA are keeping me busy still and I so appreciate it. One of the agents, Brooke, is driving winter items down to an orphange in Mexico. So she put out an e-mail to request any items we could donate. This was great for me because I was able to gather 4 bags of clothing to give. I had been "meaning" to donate the clothing to a local organization, but her request made it so that actually "did" something about it. Thanks Brooke and I think what you are doing is extremely generous.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Audition/Producers: “My Name Is Earl” @ Dava Waite Casting. Wow, perfect timing! Why? Because I was randomly selected to vote for the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Primetime Television Category. As a result I’ve been receiving a whole bunch of primetime television DVD's in the mail and just the other day I got a couple episodes of “My Name Is Earl”. I’ve seen the show before and like it a lot, but it’s always great to have a couple of fresh episodes right in front of you.
The creative team behind "My Name Is Earl" is the same team behind "Yes, Dear". Dava hired me for "Yes, Dear" and "Hot Properties" and I would love to get in on this one as well.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Can I say, again, that I really like my agents? I mean when Caleigh called with the appointment I really got the feeling that she was rooting for me. I like that feeling.
The character I’m reading for is “Derrick” a wannabe rapper trying to come up in the game. He is really bad at rapping so that works well for me - Stephon. If you are curious; I like “Derrick”, suck at rapping too.
“In Search of the Perfect White Woman”. The title alone is sure to get some attention. There is no imdb listing for the project so I googled the title to see what I could find. Ha! I found a website exclusively devoted to White Women and their search for Black men. WHAT! Obviously, I know that interracial relationships are common; I’ve been in a few myself. BUT I didn’t have any idea that the demand was this great; at least according to this site. Wow, you can find anything and everything on the internet – even if you aren’t looking for it.
Partners Ricki Maslar & Caroline Liem both greeted me warmly when I arrived at the office. Actually, Ricki hired me several years ago in an indie film called “XCU”. When Caroline took me in the room to audition writer/director Alonzo Brown immediately said he had seen me before in a film or TV project or something. I haven’t really been in anything lately and didn’t wanna lie so I just paused and said “Good! – CUT!”. That got a good laugh from the room; which helped me get in a groove to read. The producer handed him my resume, he looked it over and seemed quite impressed. That was a cool feeling.
I always feel I have a bit more freedom with the text in a film audition vs. television so I was feeling quite free. The read went well, really well. I added a couple of extra things to the text and it just flowed for me. I was happy with the results. Oh yeah, this was one of the lead roles.
So I leave the office feeling really good and I’m waiting for the elevator to come and I hear “Stephon!” I answer “Yes”. It’s Caroline coming out to get me to say that the director wants me to read for another role – this time it’s “Rodney”, the lead in the film. Cool.
So I go back in 45 minutes later and have a good read for “Rodney” as well. I felt “Derrick” was a lot more fun, but I think on I may be more right for “Rodney”. We’ll see. I called Caleigh to tell her how it went and she was really, really excited.
This was a really good ending to the week because I haven’t been feeling like myself, physically, since returning from my Thanksgiving vacation. I’m just really tired and not my normal motivated self. I’ve been faking my way through it, just trying to make it through the next couple of weeks until I can go home and recharge. It always happens like this before I go home, I kinda run myself really, really hard and then I leave town and return ready to rock and roll. The cool thing is that I go home and really disengage from my LA hustle – which I think is good because it is a real hustle.
Last night was particularly bad, I was feeling horrible. So bad that I cancelled a workshop I was scheduled for. Get this, I love taking baths, but I rarely do because I don’t like my bathroom. I usually only do it now when I stay in a hotel. So last night I really want to take a bath, so I do. I ran my water, took a couple of Nyquil, an Airborne pill and some Vitamin C. I woke up later, naked in the tub, with no water in it!! WHAT!! Yeah, my brother laughed his ass off when I told him that. I laughed my ass off too. Being sick sucks! I’ll be back though. I think the next two weeks I’ll try to keep working out at the gym and start playing tennis with my new tennis racket. I’m sure I’ll be doing drops and auditioning too.
I look forward to two more Nyquils tonight! I’m gonna sleep like Sleeping Beauty tonight. I can’t wait!
Saturday, December 03, 2005
This was to be a pretty big event with over 1,000 people on the guest list. I guess that’s a lot of people. I can barely get 8 people in my studio apartment. Anyway we were instructed to park at the local high school, check-in and a shuttle would take us to his home where the event was being held. When my date and I arrived there was already a line to check-in.
Finally, after in a bit of time in the bitter, cold LA weather we were on the shuttle through the narrow, winding roads to his home. The theme this was New York famous club Studio 54!! My date and I had been to Mekhi’s house at the wrap party for the film he directed “Easier, Softer Way”. His place was unbelievable to me then, but he took it to way beyond the norm. What’s normal in Hollywood right?
The entire entrance to the estate was redone to resemble a New York club. They even had club security and paparazzi taking photos of the guests as we entered. There was even graffiti on the walls outside. I was wondering how he was going to get 1,000+ people in his house.
I was told that the set director from the film did his house for the party. They basically covered much of the outside grounds thus making it also indoors. There was all kinds of different rooms set up one with a blackjack/poker table, some more cosy, some wide open. It was really, really cool. After dancing for a good while with my date I finally figured out that we were actually on top of the pool. Yeah, they had built this huge platform over the pool for the main dance floor.
You couldn’t possibly see everyone that was there, but I did see a lot of people from the movie, cast and crew. Some that I did see were rapper Nas, Meagan Good, Regina King, Danny Masterson, Jamie Foxx, Cedric the Entertainer and the always exciting Bobby Brown. Thanks Mekhi!
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Audition: “Grape Nuts” @ Jessica J. Casting. This one went well. I was a back packer having an encounter with a couple of bear.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
Since I was the last one flying in my family was pretty much waiting for me to have dinner. Let me tell you, I ate, I ate, I ate and I ate. Typically, I eat very little and very slow. I mean I’m like the slowest eater in the world. Actually, if I eat too much or too fast I will usually get sick to my stomach. BUT I love to eat!! I’ve always been this way. I weigh the same or even a little less than I did when I was in high school. Fortunately, I didn’t get sick this time, I think because most of what I ate was home cooked stuff.
For the first time in my life I went shopping on Black Friday, well I did more window shopping than anything else. It was complete chaos. Not really my thing, but interesting to watch nevertheless. I had a much better time going to the outlet malls, I try to only do the “full price thing” when I really have to.
We also went to the newly opened Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. It was quite the spectacle, lots of fish and many other creatures. I had never seen a penguin or touch a shark. It was pretty cool, I recommend it.
All in all, it was just great to be with my family again. I’ll get to see them again in Virginia Beach in about 3 weeks.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
This is going to be a great trip. I’m going to visit my sister and her family AND my youngest brother and his family are flying in from Virginia Beach as well. I am really looking forward to spending time with them. I love my family so much, I just wish there were more pockets of the great connection I have with some of my family members.
We are also planning to visit the new aquarium in Atlanta that is billed as the largest one in the world. It’s been a minute since I’ve been on a road trip; so this is great timing.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Audition: “Sealy Mattress” @ Keri Peyton Casting.Oh yeah, I also got word that the episode of "Love, Inc." that I shot airs on December 15th. Finally!!
Monday, November 21, 2005
Class tonight at Amy Lyndon was great.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
I think she raised me well and I hope I can do as much for the children I plan to have one day. I often think back and wonder what kind of child my parents thought I was. Well, I think it’s obvious what my father thought of me – not much, but that’s another story for another time. I think my mom thought I was a little odd; at least quite different than what she was used to growing up in the projects just outside Philadelphia.
I was a curious kid and I mean curious about everything. I am still that way even today. I was always interested in how things worked. It’s funny, because looking back I probably seemed a bit like a “mommas boy”. Nah, that wasn’t the case though. It’s just that I wasn’t afraid of what people thought of me. I mean, I remember @ 7 or 8 years old my mother teaching me to fry an egg or years later learning to make a box cake. My mother, being a seamstress, could always count on me to help her hem her dresses and pants. I took a foods class in high school; that was a convenient way for my extremely nerdy-ass to get next to some girls. I had limited success at that.
I think the reason nobody really tested my “manhood” or I guess “boyhood” is that I had MAD SKILLS on my BMX bike, could ride the heck out of a motorcycle and I could fix things. Oh yeah, I had skills on the neighborhood football field too.
I say all of this because even though most of what I did as a kid was foreign to my parents, they never really stopped me from doing the things I wanted. I mean we used to catch snakes and frogs at the golf course and bring them home as pets. I remember building a ramp and jumping over my VW bug in front of the house. So I’m thankful that they never stopped us because those little things can prevent us from being free to pursue our lives. I feel free to pursue mine and I thank my mom for that. Happy Birthday Louise L. Fuller!!
Friday, November 18, 2005
This afternoon I was back in the saddle as a reader for Natasha Cuba/Kelly Wagner @ Nancy Nayor Casting. This ended up being a kind of a long session even though we didn’t see that many actors. The director, Paddy Breathnach, was spending A LOT of time with everyone. It was great to see such patience and also interesting to see people take direction – or not. This was the last session before Paddy goes back to Dublin.
I’ll say it again – it’s so insightful being a reader. It’s amazing to see these young actors come in that have so much going on – even though you have probably never heard of them. Some of them will blow up in the coming years. I witnessed one actress given the pros of doing the project even though it would totally take her out of her first pilot season here in LA.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Anyway, it was a last minute reporter role added to the script. This is what I’ve been trying to accomplish – getting what I call “in casting directors’ mouth” meaning that if they are putting together a session to go straight to producers I want to be one of the first 5-7 actors that they think about. That way I am not depending on my agent, breakdowns or anything like that, but I’m doing my part to help the whole effort.
Now here’s the not so great part. The audition just went “so so”. I was rushing to get there and I didn’t stop to “FOCUS”. I had another commitment on the other side of town that I was driving there from and I was the last actor to read. No excuses, my fault, I had the time, even just 2 minutes to collect myself, but I rushed myself. There were no other actors there so I went right in the room.
I wasn’t horrible, I had some nice moment, I think. It just wasn’t together like I would have liked. Yes, I’m guilty; I yelled “F&%K!!!” a couple of times when I got back in the car.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Audition/Tape: “The Office” @ Allison Jones Casting. This goes well. Allison even commented that she thinks she got my photo from my own drop-off. I like hearing that. Of course I would like to book it, I felt great in the room and feel that Allison and her associate Dorian Frankel will bring me back in for other stuff.
A last minute call comes in from Janine Sugawara @ Nancy Nayor Casting asking if I can be a reader this afternoon. Of course I said yes. I’d met Janine and Joanne Bloom from that office at Actorsite and volunteered to be a reader. Actually, it’s for Natasha Cuba and Kelly Wagner working in conjunction with Nancy Nayor Casting – I think. Anyway, the film is called “Shroom”. Yeah, like psychedelic mushrooms. It’s a horror film directed by Irishman Paddy Breathnach. It was a lot of fun, Natasha and Paddy seem to be really happy to have me there and surprised I was so prepared. She introduced me to Kelly Wagner and they requested photos from me for their files.
I always say that being a reader is unbelievably educational and I’ll say it again. This was a great thing for me. If you get a chance to do it – do it.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
I got some great news from a friend, she booked her first national commercial for “Comcast”. I am particularly tickled because a year or so ago she wanted to take a commercial course with a teacher around town. I had no problem with that particular teacher, but I thought Craig Colvin would be a better choice because he is a working casting director who is on the pulse of what is happening in the industry. I actually went to his office, spoke to him directly and passed on the brochure to her……..and to her credit she acted on the information. She learned alot from the course and gained much more confidence. Through mailings she had some meetings with commercial agents but they passed on her. Around this time Craig started calling her directly for auditions. I think she got callbacks on 2 of the first 4 and booked the 4th one. It was a non-union spot so she didn’t have to join SAG just yet(she’s SAG-Eligible). She approached one of the reputable agencies that previously passed on her and they were eager to sign her since she had just booked.
Well months passed and that reputable agency did very, very, very, very little to help her in ANY way, BUT Craig Colvin kept calling her whenever he could for both union and non-union commercials. This is the first SAG commercial she has booked. It just shows the many ways to move forward in this career. Have a great shoot and I hope you make a ton of money on it!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Well, the callback went great….I think. The director said it was funny and allof the rest of ther crestice team laughed. When I signed in I saw that they are having another round of callbacks tomorrow/Friday for the food. I guess they want to see how the actors interact with the chicken. I can tell you that I interact with chicken really good. So I guess they will see who they like from the callbacks and then bring them back for another look. I hope I get another callback.
I ran into my friend Margaret Easley at the callback. Actually we auditioned together at the first audition. I met Margaret while doing a "US Postal Service" commercial several years ago. Although I see her on TV more than I do in person I think she is just a great person. I am always more inspired after talking to her. This time the topic of discussion was buying a condo or house. This is something I am a little bit obsessed about these days. I think buying property will make my relationship with Los Angeles a much better one. So I am trying to get things together (credit, savings, etc.) to make that a reality. Plus, I think the housing market is going to burst in the near future. At least I hope.
Audition: "Eve" @ Powell/Melcher Casting. Ewww…this one goes ok. I think I made the character a little too charactery. Maybe I was more sketch-like and less mutli-camera comedic. Gotta work on that.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Audition: "Kellogg's" @ Ross Lacy Casting. I auditioned here just yesterday and this one went well.
Audition: "TGIF" @ Kathy Knowles Casting. I felt good about this one too. Actually, really good, I felt like my partner and I gave them something different. For better or worse!
Audition/Producers: "Boston Legal" @ Valko/Miller Casting. Cool, that didn’t take long to get back in this office. I was there just two weeks ago. I did my thing, so we’ll see what happens…..if anything.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I got my first call today from my new theatrical agent, Caleigh. She was going to submit me for a series regular role that required a sketch and stand-up background. She called to see if I had that background, unfortunately I don’t, but it was great to talk to her. She is so energetic that it’s catchy; I am really looking forward to working with her.
Monday, November 07, 2005
FINALLY she's here!!! I became an uncle for the 5th time yesterday. Nikita Fuller was welcomed into the world @ 6:30am in Prague, Czech Republic. My brother, Tommy, has been living there for the last 5 years. I went for a visit in 2003 and it sounds like I need to plan another trip soon. The proud parents will hopefully visit the US in the Spring.
While running on the treadmill this morning (trying to maintain my girlish-figure!! I do live in LA!) I thought about how fortunate I am. I mean things are really good for me. Sure, there are some elements of my life that could be better, but I am definitely on the right path. Let me tell you, I know firsthand, what it's like to "not" feel like I'm on the right path and it can be challenging.
Yeah, I'd like to have parking, more in my savings account, buy a condo or house, get married, have children, become a better performer, finish my script, book more substantial roles in TV/Film/Commercials and Stage, learn how to ride Motocross better, do more consulting, be a better boyfriend(during the times when I am one), have a relationship with my father, get my oil changed in my car and two tires, etc. But I gotta tell ya, I am moving forward in almost everything I just listed and that is a great feeling. Step-by-step baby!!!
Saturday, November 05, 2005
The sessions was quite informative and I will definitely use the tips they gave to give me more of a chance to book commercials. I need all the help I can get!! Matter of fact, I might take Craig Colvin’s Commercial course to brush up on my skills.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I have it pretty good as it is, spending about 6+ weeks a year at home on the East Coast. There are some things that could change my perspective like........and........yeah those things would be an interesting addition.
Audition: "Wal-Mart" @ Joe Blake Casting. This goes well and I think I'm right for it.
Audition: "The George Lopez Show" @ Zane/Pillsbury Casting. This the 3rd time in the last 3 weeks that I have read for this casting office. I haven't booked yet, but I think I am doing my job right. I just have to stay on the course of doing good work and the rest will work out......right?The character is a guy who is about to get married and he's getting some counseling about it. Ha! Sounds like my life! Moving right along….......The audition went well. They gave me a little redirect and I felt like I gave them what they asked for.
Tonight I'm conducted an orientation for another group of actors from Actor's Connection in New York. They are in LA testing the market. This was a nice, spirited session. At times I felt like a street preacher. I love to talk about things that I'm passionate about and I'm really passionate about business. Not just show business, any kind of business.
Audition: "Aftershock" @ Pemrick/Fronk Casting. Okay, I was late getting to this audition because I was talking to the New York group. I don't usually have appointments at 7:50pm, but I'm thankful. I've been trying to get into this casting office for years. They cast tons of independent films. It was a little weird because even though a lot of people were in the waiting room I was taken in immediately because they paired me up with another actor I hadn't even taken my jacket off yet when I was brought in the room.
The other actor wanted to talk about another project we had worked on together. It was great to see him, but I didn't want to talk about it right then in front of the Producer, Director and Casting director. So that started off a little weird, but I think I recovered and got back on track. When I came out of the room I ran into a dear friend of mine which was a really nice surprise.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have a new theatrical agent. Well not exactly a new agent, but an additional agent at my theatrical agency. Her name is Caleigh and I already like her. She is young and energetic and even knew who I was when I walked in her office. I know that if my existing agents brought her on board she must have her stuff together. Caleigh was brought in because one of the partners, Josh Schiowitz, is relocating back to the New York office.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
The audition went well enough to get a callback for a couple of hours later. Since I was way down in Manhattan Beach I took time to visit my favorite store - Costco!! Ha!
Anyway the callback went well, I felt, so we'll see what happens.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tonight was the second episode of a series that my friend Jonathan Julian has a recurring role in called “Noah’s Arc” on the Logo Network. Actually, he’s been in everything episode so far. He got this role from a self-submission on Now Casting about 3 years ago. It was funny, shot well and definitely pushed the envelope.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The story is about a disgruntled casting director trying to cast a project. I play one of the actors auditioning for the project. I knew several of the actors from Actorsite. It was a fun, amazing experience. I still cannot believe that we got it all done. I see “we”, but I really mean “them”, I was just a piece in the wheel. Thanks Julia!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Audition: “Coors” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. Cool, I just auditioned here yesterday. This is where I had my first audition in LA on July 29th 1998. This on goes really, really well. We had a ball in the room. I have yet to book in this office, but that will change……. And I hope soon.
Audition: “Honda” @ Ross Lacy Casting. That makes three really great auditions today. Now let hope for some callbacks!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Check this out. As I was walking back to my car after the audition my phone rang. It was an “818” number I didn’t recognize. I thought maybe I left something at the audition and needed to return. So I answer my phone and it’s Alison Mize from Deedee Bradley Casting. She had just received my postcard and wanted to congratulate me for booking my first Guest Starring role. She had a lot of compliments for me. I had to tell her that the episode has been pushed and it won’t air on Thursday like it said on all of the 131 postcards I sent out. She said, “So what, the important thing is that you booked it”. Thanks Alison.
I did a scene for her at an event a couple of months ago and she commented that she was glad to get to see me work because she sees my photo all the time and now has a little more to go on. I was speechless. It was such a nice thing to do.
I’ve been trying to get in that office for a good while and it’s nice to know that all of the drops, postcards, etc. are not in vain. Hopefully, I’ll get in to audition in the future. My day was already going well and that just made it even better.
This was my first commercial audition in several weeks so I have a feeling that since it’s been a little slow lately commercials are going to pick up.
I am participating in the 48-Hour film festival with several other actor/producers/writers, some of which I know from the Actorsite Networking Group. The production takes place this weekend and we had our cast and crew meeting tonight. I think this is going to be a lot of fun. Oh yeah, since I got the surprise that the “IBM” commercial is being used worldwide I was able to make a donation to the production of the short film. It wasn’t much, but hopefully it will help with the craft services cost or something. In my future I really hope to be a philanthropist on some level. It can’t always be money; there are many other ways to give back.
At 6:30 my phone rings and it’s 2 commercial auditions for tomorrow. YES!!! Then @ 8:25pm I get a call for a third audition. I couldn’t believe my agents were still putting out calls. Actually, I’m not shocked. It’s just a good feeling to have such a great team to work with. Matter-of-fact after interning last week at Nancy Nayors office last Friday I’m going to send a thank you note to my theatrical agency just to let them know that I appreciate what they do and have done for me over the years.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Tonight I conducted another orientation for a group of New York actors testing the waters in Los Angeles. There a fun, energetic group with lots of questions about how the LA market works. I definitely don’t have the answers, but I’ve picked up some ideas along the way.
Friday, October 14, 2005
So I arrived to a whole lot of submissions for 3 different films they are working on. The first thing it did was amaze me I get any appointments at all. I mean, there were so many submissions to go through. Boy, this is a tough business we are in. Fortunately, I bought my own letter opener with me.
When you go through over 1,000 photos it’s interesting to see what other actors’ methods are. I couldn’t understand the rationale of not stapling the headshot to the resume at all. You would think that attaching the two things would just make sense. I also noticed a lot of duplicate postcards. That seemed to be mostly people that were using labels. In this particular office they were addressed to three different people, but in reality the went in to one stack.
I can tell you that, from what I saw, everything gets looked at. If the submission had the right project and a character name it went into the stack with all of the agency submissions. So THAT was encouraging, but I gotta tell you the odds are……..well.
This was timely because I am in the midst of sending postcards for my appearance on “Love, Inc.” this week. Actually, they may have changed the date because there’s a different episode listed on tvguide.com. I’m kinda in limbo because I don’t want to send them with a date if it not going to air, but I need to get the word out that I booked the job.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Audition/Producers/Tape: “Joey” @ Greenstein/Daniels Casting. Here's another casting office that recently called me to producers. This is what I’ve been trying to accomplish, so maybe I’m getting somewhere. Actually, I found out that the role I went in for on “Joey” a couple of weeks ago was cut from the script. I just have to keep my momentum up in these offices and build up a following. I felt good about this one too.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Although, I haven't seen the "IBM" commercial but one time, I found out today that they are using it worldwide. Let me just say that is a good thing.....a very good thing and a big surprise.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Ooops! This didn’t go too well. At least I don’t think it did. As soon as I walked in one of the casting directors starting talking about the episode of “Weeds” airing this week. I thought that was cool that she actually remembered the particular episode that I was in.
The role I was reading for just had a couple of lines that ran pretty much together in the scene with a continuation to the very next scene. I chose to just run it all as one scene instead of doing one line, cutting, and then doing the other line. It was totally my fault and my flow got kinda jacked up when they broke it up into two separate scenes. It said “Start” and “End” on both pages, so I have no one to blame, but me. Ewww!
Monday, October 03, 2005
I had a list, mostly from the Actorsite to go on. About 18 different drops, I knew I wasn’t going to do them all today because they were all over the city and I have be careful of my gas consumption. The Actorsite list usually has many addresses that I haven't heard of and I don't know where they come from. That's cool though, it keeps me busy. The Actorsite is where I found the original listing for “The Terminal” and walked to the casting office, dropped off my photo and booked a role. Speaking of the “The Terminal”, I am still waiting for home video residuals which are MONTHS late…….did I say months? I won’t get into it, it’s sore subject with me right now……
So my first drop is way out in Pasadena and the traffic most of the way there is horrible. Well, at least I got to talk to my brother, Todd, in Virginia. We talk business practically everyday and I love that.
It seemed that almost every drop I did today was at an unfamiliar address. So I was totally feeling like “why am I driving waaaay out here? Traffic sucks. I should just blow these off today and go home and feel sorry for myself.” That’s when my alter-ego in the passenger seat looked at me and said “dude, stop bitching!” There are times when I just don’t feel like doing it. Sometimes I pull out my bag of tricks and sometimes I carry my ass home.
Today I opted to pull out the bag of tricks and see what I could find. It was my alter-ego (also me) telling me to "Keep it moving!", so that is what I did. I get to the first one in Pasadena and hand my photo to the receptionist and totally felt like it was a waste of time. I had to laugh, BUT I followed my own advice of “nothing is a waste of time, because you never know what the future will bring”.
So on to the next; it was in a neighborhood. First, I’m thinking that I’m in the wrong place so I double check the street and lo and behold I AM in the right place. It’s a house with a big ass dog barking in the back behind a fence. The spot was a little “hoodish” and I was like “yo, I’m outta here!” Then I was like “I drove all the way out here, I GOTTA drop this off, who knows what I might be walking away from”. For real though, I was kinda nervous about rolling up to someone’s front door.
I took my own advice and went for it. I walk up to the door looking for a drop box or something so I can “stick and move and be OUT”. NOTHING. I’m thinking somebody is going to come out on the porch and say “HEY get away from my shit!!!!!” At this point I’m laughing inside because I rarely get nervous in the field, but I was sweating bullets.
The front door was one of those heavy, black, metal security doors that you can’t really see into, but they can see out of. I couldn’t tell if anyone was looking at me so I was trying to be cool, but not really and finally I hear this voice. Oh sh*t. I couldn’t see who it was. So I ask “Can I drop this off for the casting?” Finally, I could sorta see who I was talking to; it was an Asian woman in her 60’s who didn’t at all look "Hollywood". She doesn’t know what I’m talking about, so I say “uh, can I leave this for the movie?” she replies “huh, moobie?” I’m ready to apologize and head back to my car and right then she says “KYC ProoooDuctions?” I say “Yeah!” and she opens the door and takes it and even says “thank you”. I thank her and breathe a sigh of relief. I head back to my car, but not before giving the barking dog “da finga, beeeyotch". Peace!
After a couple of wrong turns trying to get out of this very unfamiliar place I head to Sunset Blvd. for my next drop. But even this was an address I had never been to. The attractive receptionist greets me warmly and points around the corner to a woman who was sorting photos.I politely hand her my photo; she glances at it, then sees my name and looks right at me. Her look was so abrupt that it stopped me in my tracks. I was startled, so I said “Ha, have we met before?” she kinda nodded. I honestly didn’t recognize her so I said “ok, well, hey have a great day” and hopefully, gracefully made my exit. What a day.
Next stop was another unfamiliar spot on Las Palmas. The three women were very nice and responsive to me being nice and friendly. Whew, some normalcy.
Even when I got to Sunset-Gower Studios the security guard was a little weird, like I was the first actor to drop off a headshot. Anyway….back to work……………
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
A little more than a year ago my longtime theatrical agency, Badgley/Connor joined forces with Schiowitz Clay Ankrum & Ross.
Up until now, it wasn't an official merger. I was still repped by my longtime agent, Erin Connor, as well as the new ones, David Ankrum & Josh Schiowitz, but this week it became an official merger.
Actually, I hadn't been officially under contract since my last one expired 3 years ago, so this "felt" new and exciting. I must admit I was a little surprised when they informed me that they are using Standard SAG Contracts. Cool, I expected a GSA.
So the official new name is Schiowitz, Connor, Ankrum, Wolf, Inc. Teresa Wolf is in the New York office. Ironically, Teresa was one of my agents for a short period of time years ago in New York @ The Luedtke Agency. I'm really happy with this group of people on my side, including the office manager and interns.
I've never worried too much about not having a demo reel, but now I’m more ready than ever to really get one together. Don't get me wrong, I know it can only help me as long it's solid material, but I've always felt they were much more instrumental in getting an agent and since I have rep I’ve concentrated on other things.
Anyway, they stated that it's becoming very important to have a demo reel available online. This is what I needed to hear AND from who I needed to hear it from in order to get my butt in gear to get my reel together. They said the online demo is becoming an actors' pre-read.
We, as actors, hear so much about it from the companies that provide the service, but hearing this particular thing from my agents means much more to me. They gave me a print out of four different services I could choose from. Hopefully, this “Love, Inc.” episode in a couple of weeks will be a great start.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Thinking back to that very first Wednesday night class in Virginia Beach, VA when I met William Gregory Lee seems so long ago. By the very next week, we became somewhat of a team. I think the most important thing for us was our vision of believing we could do it and not being afraid to try. It was never, even for a moment, a question of whether we would pursue this business on a grand scale or not. Most of the class was hedging or kinda testing the waters, we chose to jump in the water with our clothes on. I don’t know if that was the best way to do it, but it’s what we did.
Looking back, that blueprint is what freed us into the world of "what could be". We were off running and know one could stop us, not even our teacher, Sylvia Harman, who wasn’t very supportive of our determination, in the beginning. She was a great teacher, but I don’t think she understood what "our" realities were. So we had to do what we had to do…..and we did it.
Since those early days, I’ve yet to work with anyone else in such a partnership, but even that didn't last too long. Greg and I stopped working so closely together after moving to New York; even though we shared a bed for 4 months in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. THAT was a whole ‘nother story!
We remained and still are very good friends, he is making big moves here in Los Angeles as we speak. We often talk about what is happening in our respective career and it's all good stuff.
So here I sit in 2005, obviously, older and more experienced than I was in 1993. Often times I wonder what the future holds. Will I be doing this in another 2 years, 5 years, 10 years; will I go back home to Virginia and sell Cheesesteaks with my family; will I write a book and become a motivational speaker/mentor to college students and other actors embarking on a their careers as actors…….I don’t know………I really don’t know. Maybe I’ll become a Honda salesperson, get married and start making babies. Ha!! Could be, could be not. In reality, I think it’ll be combination of all of it. I really love what I do. I think I'm where I should be, doing what I should be doing, but I also know there are so many other things I want to do as well. I am a very fortunate man.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
Audition: “Listerine Pocket Mints” @ Joe Blake Casting. This goes really, really well and I think I’m really, really right for it.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I guess “Joey” moved on without me. That’s okay, because I felt I did a great job and I’ll get another chance on another day.
I read in the trades this morning that ”Love, Inc.” has been moved from Thursdays at 9:30pm to 8:30pm. Now it directly follows “Everybody Hates Chris”, THAT is great news….really great news. Funny enough, I was talking to one of the regulars about how it would be a great thing to be in that slot. I am in the fifth episode of the season airing October 20th…and hopefully more.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
The only problem is that I have a commercial audition at the same time. I'll try to get in on that early then go to the other side of the hill for "Joey".
Audition: "Sears" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one is really, really fun. I'm not sure if that means it went well, since I don't know what they are looking for, but it was definitely fun.
Audition: "Joey" @ Valko/Miller Casting. I went in for one of their shows 3 times last year and was called back each time, but didn't book. It's time to score again.
I was reading with the associate, Peter Pappas, with owner Nikki Valko observing. When Peter started the scene I was like a "deer in headlights". Why? Because I was given the wrong material and the wrong character. Ooops. I got the right sides and left to prepare.
Okay, back in the room and ready to do it. The first read goes well, they redirect me and it goes even better. They give me a callback on the spot for 2 hours later @ Warner Bros.
I get word that I'm on avail and have a callback for the "Vodafone" commercial I went in on last week.
Callback: "Joey" @ Valko/Miller Casting. As expected, Kevin Bright was in the room at the callback. I read it once, got direction and read it again. Regardless of what happens, I felt great about my performance. Kevin directed the episode of "Friends" I did back in '99.
While at the audition I spoke to Collin Daniel & Brett Greenstein. Colin is the one who brought me in for “Frasier” several years ago. They informed me that they are the new Casting Directors on “Joey” starting with the next episode.
Monday, September 12, 2005
This audition was all improvisation. They wanted three different ways and I gave it to them. All in all, a good time.
Finally, the "IBM" call comes in and.........I've been released…..again. Ugh! I was hoping to get to work with Kevin Christy again. Oh well, I get 'em next time.
In and out of make-up in a flash and I’m ready to rock and roll. We run the two scenes I have left and I’m done until lunch. I actually did the intelligent thing during my break. I didn’t yack on the phone or fiddle with my PDA; I took a freakin’ nap and it was great.
During lunch I get a welcoming call from my agent. Well, most calls from my agent are welcoming, but this was especially. I am on-hold for the “IBM” spot I busted my butt to get to yesterday. Yeah!! They should know for sure on Monday. Funny enough, one of the other “nerds”, Kevin Christy, is already scheduled to shoot an “IBM” next week. We both currently have “IBM” spots running. The difference is “Mr. Christy” is a bit higher on the totem pole than myself because he rarely has to audition for “IBM/Pytka” anymore. He’s done several spots for them. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working on it.
Okay, locked and loaded. It’s time to put this thing in the can. The audience is in place and the cast is in the make-up room doing the speed read before we go on stage. The energy is electric; the cast and crew is confident in what we have to present tonight. Scene “A” starts out with a bang. My first scene is “B”; we do a take, get a notes and do another take, then a pick-up. Production tells us that we’ll pick it up later, after we let the audience go, to get it “clean” without the audience laughter.
I hang around and watch some of the rest of the scenes being shot. Next up for me was scene “M”, the last scene of the night. This time we had a really rough first take. We got re-writes/notes and did another take. Both takes had great parts and not so great parts, but I guess between the two of them we got it right. They said they would release the audience do pick-ups for this scene as well.
Before the pick-ups I got a chance to talk, one on one, with the director Arlene Sanford. Arlene is rare in television directing in that she does ½ hour multi-camera, ½ hour single camera, one hour drama, one hour dramedy and film. She told me a bit about her journey and said to keep doing my research. I’ve always felt it was best to get to know writers/producers and directors in this manner.
After pick-ups we were done for the week. It was great experience. Lots of hugs and “thank yous” were going around. When I was thanking Executive Producer Adam Chase, I mentioned to him that I my first TV job was on “Friends”. He was a writer/producer on “Friends” and wrote the episode that I was in back in ’99. Adam mentioned that to the 1st AD of "Love, Inc.", who was the 2nd AD on “Friends” when I worked on it. The first day on “Love, Inc.” we all thought we knew each other but couldn’t remember from where; at the last hour we figured it out.
The way the story line of “the nerds” goes there is room for us to return. I won’t hold my breath, but you never know….I’d love to go back for another episode.
After a crazy week, I want to thank both of my agencies for making many extra phone calls to accomidate my schedule. I worked all week plus had six auditions and was able to make all of them. Thanks!!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
There was no script at my door this morning so that tells me their are no re-writes or they are STILL re-writing. As soon as I get there they are ready to run one of the scenes I’m in. So I grab a white script, yesterdays was blue, I start doing it. Yup, there are rewrites! I like the new stuff, the old stuff was cool, but this is better and better for me. When I first walked in the director, Arlene Sanford, hardly recognized me because I was clean shaven. I look like a college kid!!
Of course, I’m plotting and planning how I’m going to slip out to the “IBM” audition. I simply CAN'T miss this appointment. I don’t want to miss the other one either, but “IBM/Pytka/TLC/Loree Booth Casting situations are pretty unique in my eyes ABD it’s not looking good.
So back to work……I go into make-up to get all pretty and whoa!! They don’t usually spend that much time on me, but this make-up artist really laid it on. Oh well, I’m pretty………pretty made up. Geez.
I get into wardrobe as the nerd, which was a pretty cool outfit. I’d wear it in my regular life, maybe I really am a nerd. That’s okay with me. We do a camera blocking of the scene and the new dialogue that I got is great. It worked well for me. Then the stand-ins take over. My stand-in is a woman……WHAT!!?? I’m kidding, she was a very nice woman.
It’s time to shoot!! These are pre-shoots so there is no “live audience”, although there is a lot of people there. It goes really well. The next scene was in a night club and that one went well too. We, the nerds, worked mostly with Reagan Gomez-Preston and Vince Vieluf. Vince is really funny and non-stop energy, Regean is very sweet and really, really hot. Reagan even made the comment that “these guys should come back on the show” in front of the writer. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if they brought us back in the future; our situation isn’t resolved by the end of the episode.
So now I’m trying to get released and it’s not working. I must be driving the 2nd AD, Michelle, crazy by now. It seems that everyday I have had a request to leave for an appointment. I would never be high-maintenance unless I had to.
An hour goes by and I’m still there. I could have been gone and back by now!! I understand from their point of view, they are paying me to be there, but still………
After a while one the other production guys, Kevin, comes by to pick up my contract and I ask him about the likelihood of me leaving. He suggested that I go ask again. I was walking down the hall to the 2nd AD’s office and I spotted her walking towards me. She released me and said to just return after lunch. So I called my agent right away and she called casting and they said I could come by right now. So I made it. Then production called and said that I didn’t have to come back until tomorrow. Cool! So now I can make my other audition too.
Audition: “IBM” @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting. Yup, it goes well.
Audition: “Expedia” @ Deborah Kurtz Casting. This one goes well too, I was paired up with Rachel, who I worked with in a “Denny’s” commercial several years ago.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Auditon: “Capital One” @ Ross Lacy Casting. I barely made it to this and back during my lunch break. It goes well.
The 2nd AD, Michelle, calls and asked me to be clean shaven for tomorrows pre-shoots. I already shaved my little goatee and now they want to be clean, clean shaven. The other two are younger than me and they want us all to look about the same age. So they are having me shave and telling them NOT to shave. I guess I’m getting older.
I have two commercial auditions tomorrow and I really hope I can make them both especially the “IBM” one. Oh yeah, I finally saw the “IBM” one I did back in June. It looks fun, totally different than what I envisioned. I like it, I hope it runs a lot.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I remember it vividly and it was, without question, the hardest period in my life. Things were going great in my career and terribly in my personal life. Just a day before I'd returned from Tokyo, Japan shooting a commercial for "Honda" and "Good Morning, Miami" had me scheduled to work right after finishing "Frasier". Right now, as I close my eyes I can see myself outside of Stage 25 where "Frasier" and before that "Cheers" was filmed. I was broken down in tears talking on my cell phone to my younger brother, Todd, back in Virginia. We were both coming to terms with the fact that we were losing our mother to pancreatic cancer.
She took sick and her condition rapidly deteriorated, but still, we believed that she would recover. It was about this time that we realized her time with us was ending. Exactly one month later, again on the phone with Todd, this story repeated itself @ CBS Radford while working on "GMM". I was in my trailer crying my eyes out just before going on stage to shoot the episode. Mom had really taken a turn for the worse and I was praying it would end soon. The next day, November 15th 2002, my prayers were answered. After traveling back and forth to Virginia numerous times with little hope I was relieved for her to be able to rest.
Sorry about the sad story, it just kinda came over me.
So back to the present. I find Stage 19 and the first person I see is Kevin Christy. Kevin is playing one of the other nerds. He and I worked together a couple of years ago on a pilot presentation for the BBC.
The morning starts with cast introductions and a table read of the script. Cast and crew were all very nice and personable. At that point writer/creator, Andy Secunda and director Arlene Sanford realized that me and one of the other "nerds" had been cast in the wrong role. Ooops! So we switched and read it as requested. It was fun and funny. Following the table read the writers got together for notes and we were released.
I told the 2nd AD that I had an audition on the lot and asked if it was okay for me to go. She said "cool".
Audition: “Threshold” @ Ronnie Yeskel Casting. Get this, it’s at Paramount Studios as well, literally 50 yards from Stage 19 where I’ll be working on “Love, Inc.”. I did a general drop for “Threshold” several weeks ago, maybe they just got it! Ha! The mailroom at Paramount is notoriously bad from what I hear from casting associates. Or maybe my agent submitted me and I was called in, the old fashion way. Hey, I’ll take it however it comes.Ironically, I dropped off there for some friends while I was on the lot for "Girlfriends". Then when I went back later in the day for the producer session for "Love, Inc." I was given the wrong building and was kind of lost. I walked in to the casting office for "Threshold" and Ronnie was the one who gave me directions.So I'm in the waiting room with several other actors hoping it doesn't take too, too long. Right then Casting Director Chuck McCollum enters the room. He's getting his stuff together to begin the session and spots me.
Hey Stephon. (then approaches me) Are you okay for time?
Yeah, I should be good. Thanks.
Just let me know if you need to go in early, because I know you're working on the lot today.
You're reading my mind.
Yeah, I talked to your agent and he told me what was going on.
Thanks, I really appreciate it.
Ya know, it was a little weird because I didn’t want to be “that actor”, the one who gets special treatment. I guess it was okay because my agent spoke to him about it ahead of time. At the same time it was great to be reading for another job while on a break from a booking. I always wanted to experience that. As a reader I would see that all the time, actors auditioning while on break from a series or a film.
So I get in the room and read it once. I felt good about it and they gave me direction. I took the direction and got a callback on the spot for later in the afternoon.
Next, I hurry back to "Love, Inc." and the timing is perfect. We run a rough blocking of 3 of the 4 scenes and are released for the day.....it's only 12:15pm.
Callback: "Threshold" @ Ronnie Yeskel Casting. I didn't recognize any of the actors from the pre-reads, so this must have been the “straight-to-producers crew”. Anyway, the callback goes pretty well, I jumbled some words a little, but I think the character was intact. We’ll see.
Audition: “Vodafone” @ Mayclaire Sweeters Casting. I barely made it to this one. Actually, I was about 40 minutes late and the very last one to be seen. The session runner had to put me on tape by myself instead of the groups of five he had been doing since there was no one else there. Again, we’ll see, hopefully I’ll get a callback.
Wow!! What a day today was. I worked, made all three of my AND did a bunch of drop-offs. Tomorrow is a new challenge.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Right after my agent, Josh Schiowitz, called with the good news the CD, Susan Vash, called with congratulations and the details. I got a chance to thank her for calling me directly when she had trouble finding me through my agent. She was like “Of course! When I want to find someone I don’t stop until I do.” Thank you Susan!!
An hour later I get a call from my agency confirming that I should still go to the callback for "Girlfriends". It crossed my mind that "Love, Inc." and "Girlfriends", if I book, may shoot at the same time, but I didn't want to be too presumptuous and ask; I figured I'd cross that bridge if and when I got there. They were being proactive!! They found out that "Girlfriends" doesn't shoot until later in the month. Yes!! I like my agents.
I was determined to make something happen this week. I hit the ground really hard with the drops on Monday morning and Casting Director Susan Vash called me that afternoon. Of course, this specific situation wasn’t a result of my efforts this week, but it worked the way I designed it to work.
1. Stay really, really busy hustling to create opportunities.
2. Know that everything done to further my career means something. It may not always be tangible, but it matters in the big picture. Sometimes it takes years to see the result of an effort made today.
3. Don’t worry about what my agents are doing, I trust that they are doing their job. I realize I may be in the minority on that.
4. Remember that I get 90% and my agents only get 10%. So I need to do my fair share.
Callback: “Girlfriends” @ Susan Goddard-Smythe Casting. This goes really well and I think I’m right for it. Regardless, I think Susan will call me in again and the season is still young.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Audition/Producers: “Love, Inc.” @ Susan Vash Casting. This character is perfect for me; it’s one of three computer nerds trying to attract women to date. Ha!!! Anyway, interesting enough the casting director called me on my cell phone. She had an old resume which had the old number for my theatrical agent on it. Cool, I’ll take it however I can get it. Remember those direct contact numbers for situations like that.
This goes great too! I felt really good about the character, a computer nerd. Ha! It fit me perfectly! The room was full of the usual suspects; director, writers/producers, casting, camera operator and reader. It just seemed to click for me, even though I kinda chewed up a little bit of the dialogue the character was intact. They laughed a lot. I guess it’s wait and see now.
Afterwards I stopped by my theatrical agency to say good-bye to the office manager Michael. He is moving on to do some different things in the business. I met Steve who will be his replacement. I also got word that an official name change of the agency is in the works, probably sometime in the Fall. I'm really happy with my agents....I am fortunate.
YES!! I get the call that I am one of the “choices” for a role in “Love, Inc.”. They won’t know until tomorrow, but she said it “looks very strong at this point”. Alright, I’ll take that.
So what happened today?
- I had 2 auditions.
- Both were at Paramount Studios.
- Both were reading 3 different roles.
- Both of the Casting Directors names are Susan.
- Both scenes are with African-Amercian females.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Audition: “e-bay” @ Shane Casting. This one goes well. As I was leaving, I thought how amazing it is that I even got an appointment for this commercial. There was 6 men of virtually all types in my group. I’m sure I know 100+ men that were right for it, but not everyone will get an appointment.
I look at it this way:
I go from one of the 10,000’s of men that are right for it
To fewer that have representation
To even fewer who are actually submitted by agents
To even fewer that have agents whose submissions get looked at
To WAY fewer who get appointments, maybe 100-200 I’d think.
To all of that I say “wow”. I am very fortunate. Thank you KSA!
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Audition/Print go-see: “Adidas” @ Vicki Goggin Casting. WHAT!? This is like the fourth print go-see I’ve had this year. I’m actually getting less surprised when I get calls from the print department. Thank you Jenny & Rose! I even finished those drop-offs from yesterday.
Monday, August 29, 2005
I did drops all day today and I am exhausted. I didn’t even get them all done, I’ll finish tomorrow……I guess.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Audition: “That 70’s Show” @ G. Charles Wright Casting. I really wanna get on this show! I’ve auditioned for it a couple of times now and hopefully I’ll score one of these days. I felt great about the audition, so we’ll see.
After I left I went to do drop-offs at some of the other offices at CBS Radford and ran into Craig Welzbacher. Craig is the one who let me in on his callback for the “Honda” commercial 3 years ago. We both booked and got to go to Tokyo, Japan for additional spots. He’s a great actor and a great guy.
Then I went over to the “Will & Grace” casting office where another friend was auditioning. I dropped an updated photo and resume. They are currently casting 4 shows.
This is where something really, really cool happened. I was looking for Jeff Greenberg’s office, which I believe has moved, and spotted David Kohan. David, along with Max Mutchnick created smash hit “Will & Grace” and I worked for them on “Good Morning, Miami”. We chatted for a bit, he was testing out a new road racing bike. He asked what I was up to and said “when something comes up, we’ll get you right back in there”. That was cool, they are doing “W&G”, “Twins” and “Four Kings”. I won’t wait by the phone, but hopefully it’ll turn into something in the future. I just like having as many possibilities as I can out in the universe.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
Today, I was treated to the most amazing singers - and they “was all up in my grill” singing to directly ME!! It was like a dream come true. One of the songs was Jennifer Holidays' version of "And I'm Telling You". It was crazy. After the first actress/singer performed, I had goose bumps. They even had a pianist. It was completely surreal. Fortunately, for everyone, I wasn't required to sing. The other scenes had dialogue so I got to work too..
As I've said before, being a reader is an incredibly insightful way to learn about the casting process. I got a chance to see and hear some really cool things; I’ll wait to see the final product on the big screen. Ooops, I forgot, I myself auditioned for it several weeks ago!! Maybe I’ll be in it too! I probably would have heard by now. Well, who knows, it doesn’t start shooting until January.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tonight I attended, what was supposed to be, a SAG Presidential Debate Meeting. The only problem is that the opposing side chose not to participate. I usually attend a couple of meetings a year and more often than not I leave with not such a great feeling. To be honest, I sometimes wonder exactly what side the higher-ups of the Guild are on. I don't pretend to know the real in and outs of all the contracts, but some things just seem weird. I could never understand why "we" hired Bob Pisano, the former the CEO that recently resigned. I mean, he was on the board of directors of Net Flix the whole time. I don't blame him for not giving up his seat on the board, I’m sure he was making a lot of money but I don't understand why SAG hired him. I believe it was pretty obvious what side he was on...and it wasn't ours. I don't know, it just seems that SAG, in so many ways, is playing catch up while the producers watch us fight.
If you, like me, used to not too much attention to the Guild stuff that comes in the mail I beg of you to check it out. We need guidance and soon. We have to have more informed voters so we can all earn a living in this crazy business. As I wait for my residuals for “The Terminal” it pains me to know how little of the pie we get while the studios get so, so much. On the surface, it seems to me, that if we actors were aligned with the directors and writers we could get our fair share.
This is an email I received as an example during a recent negotiation. It shows how things can be:
Thank you SOOO much for your recent email. I have tried till I'm blue in the face to explain what happened to me on the movie Seabiscuit, which you referenced in your email? [Note: we pointed out that the Writer and director of "Seabiscuit" each made $650,000 from DVD sales.]
Please feel free to share this information in ANY of your materials as it will further breakdown HOW LITTLE will show up in the actors' pockets and how MILLIONS of dollars will be lost in the future.
A few key points on "Seabiscuit" and another movie I worked on, "Catch Me If You Can".
Seabiscuit - pay rate for me: 1 day, Scale plus 10%. "Take it or leave it." Sound familiar? I took it. THINKING, great book, big movie, big budget, RESIDUALS - WRONG!!!!
The movie grossed over 200 million at the box office, then went on to become the #20 Top Selling DVD of ALL TIME at 6.6 MILLION UNITS. But I had to split the 12 CENTS that actors got for each of those 6.6 MILLION UNITS with 90 other speaking roles!
Net pay for me for one day: $538.00
Residuals: $458.00 - And that's for EVERYTHING - DVD, Cable, Pay TV.
Films of this size are skipping cable and syndication and cutting right to cheap, mass-produced DVD's which offer PURE PROFIT.
Now I will use Catch Me If You Can as my other example:
2 days at $800 (my quote at the time - you'll see why fighting for your quote is worth the risk of losing the job.) [Note: this is also a good example of why the proposed 3% increase in minimums is meaningless.]
My residuals for Catch Me If You Can: $5,200. Almost 3 times my initial salary. Same 200 Million at the box office - BUT - not anywhere near the DVD sales of Seabiscuit. BUT - A LOT of HBO, Cable and Pay-Per-View.
The DVD issue is worth sending these guys back to the table. Any penny above what we have now is worth MILLIONS in the long run. The STARS have to come out on this since they have even more to lose than we do. They came out late in the Commercial Strike - I say - bring them out now.
I will send your email to all my friends with that thought in mind that ANYTHING we get above NOTHING now is worth the good fight. WE MUST NOT be fed this b.s. from up top. They misjudged us when they tried to sell us on the merger and on the dues raise. I think they're doing that here, too.
Yours in Brotherhood,
[Name deleted at writer's request.]
Is that a wake up call or what? Arm yourself with knowledge and then vote!!
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Anyway, I talked to the casting associate today and she said they only re-shot the females leads scenes. So I guess I’m safe.
Friday, August 12, 2005
I talked to the ad agency for the “IBM” spot today to see when it might start running. She said it was going to through market testing at the moment and they should know next week and she’ll call me then. I hope it test well!
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
Their office, just down the street from my apartment, is a film casting gold mine. I do drops there on a regular basis. As individuals, we sometimes think the casting community forgets about us and in many cases, it’s true. They have so many others from which to choose. I’m trying my best to prevent them from forgetting about me; without being a nuisance. When this call came from my agent I said “YES!!”
I gotta tell ya, getting to read @ Debra Zane's office is a pure treat. It's more like a rehearsal or even shooting. Tannis runs the camera, they put a wireless microphone on you, they have studio lights and Debra is actually in the scene with you!! I mean, as an actor, you kinda have to switch gears because it's odd to get that much attention during an audition. Oh yeah, they schedule actors in 20-30 minute time slots. WHAT? Yeah, so you rarely even see another actor while you're there. These people really want to help you be the absolute best you can be.
When I arrived I had 5-7 minutes to warm it up in the space where I would be reading. They gladly answered my questions and we put it on tape. In the end I was happy and they seemed happy so we'll see what happens.
Audition: “Gilmore Girls” @ JaM Casting. I actually booked a role on this show back in September of 2002, but I wasn’t able to do it because I was already booked on “Good Morning, Miami”. So here is another shot for me. It’s for two episodes.
I felt really good about the read; at minimum I think they’ll bring me back if I don’t book this time. The only thing I didn’t like was that my character yelled in the scene; he was breaking up a fight. I was pretty loud in the room, but I don’t think it was a deal breaker.
Wow another audition?! Almost. Before I even got this message for the appointment I got the message that it had been cancelled. It was for "Strong Medicine" and Lori Sugar Casting, but the role was written out of the episode. They said they'll get me in for something else soon. Cool, at least I'm on the radar. I've auditioned and gone to producers for the show 3 different times, but the last time was like 3 years ago. I will keep trying.
Callback: "Cheese Nips" @ Mimi Webb-Miller Casting. This was from last week; the same office where I got into the little spat with the session runner. She was there today and approached her, tapped her on the shoulder and told her "that I was on my behavior today". She just laughed; I told her that I felt horrible about it and even wrote about it in my journal. She said she told her boyfriend. We are fast friends now; things usually work out. Anyway, this callback went really well. Time will tell how it really went.