Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yesterday morning I was asleep after working the previous overnight shift. My phone rang and I saw that it was my commercial agency. I really, really hoped it wasn’t the type of news I got after my last commercial booking. That was not good news.

I retrieved the voicemail with a slight cringe having no idea what to expect. It was Jamie, one of the assistants, from the agency. Right away I felt that things couldn’t be too bad because if it was it would have been the voice of Samantha, the agent handling the booking.

The next thing that happened was that Jamie took a pause before saying whatever it was she had to say. That pause didn’t feel good. My heart was racing – I mean RACING. The next word I understood her to say was “Contract”. My split second reaction was “NOOOOO!” The next word after that was “Expired”. LOL!! I’m thinking my contract for the “KY Jelly” commercial has expired and I’ve been replaced; just like the “Cheetos” commercial! Crazy I know, but after all the weirdness I’ve had with bookings in recent years I’m a little edgy okay, LOL!

Anyway, it turns out that it was all great news. Jamie was informing me that my commercial contract with the agency had expired and that I needed to set up an appointment to resign a new 3 year agreement. That’s good right? I’ve been with KSR (formerly KSA), one of the top commercial houses in Los Angeles, for almost 11 years and they want to keep the relationship alive. That is a reason to smile and not panic.

With that, it looks like I am really flying to New York early tomorrow morning; it’s actually going to happen. I’m really, really excited.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Okay, I admit that every time my cell phone rings I think it’s somebody giving me the news that someone changed their mind and I’m no longer a part of the production. Not the greatest feeling, but it’s all part of it I guess. Jobs come and go. My last commercial booking came and went without me getting to shoot it; this one will be different.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Geez, I’m pretty worn out from working last night, but as I expected my phone started ringing very early with the logistics of travel and the shoot in New York.

I really hope this happens. What I mean by that is booking the job is not always enough. Just because you book a commercial doesn’t mean you will get to shoot the commercial. Just because you shoot a commercial doesn’t mean you’ll be in the final edit. Just because you are in the final edit doesn’t mean it will run more than once. Not trying to sound pessimistic, but I’m a realist and these are all situations I’ve experience first hand in the commercial and theatrical world.

Of course, way more often than not my bookings have proceeded as scheduled, but in recent years I’ve experienced more than my share of weirdness. Usually, I try to look at it as the more I book the more likely weird things will happen…and that weirdness goes both ways; for better or for not so much better. Anyway, I should get my travel itinerary tomorrow so I know when, where and for how long. I’m also glad to say that my manager was great in making my missing work no big deal.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Audition: “AirTran” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This went really well and I’m perfect for it. I usually get callbacks at this office and I hope to get one for this.

While driving on I-10, at on my way home from the audition my phone rang. The logo of KSR, my commercial agency, came on the screen. My first thought that there was a problem with the equipment at the audition and I needed to go back and audition again. That happened once at the office and I think about it every time I’m there.

I retrieved the voice mail message and mostly expected to hear the voice of Leah informing me that “we’ll get ‘em next time”; her way of telling me that I’ve been released from another avail. I hear that sooo often…it’s getting old.

Instead I heard the voice of Samantha, who actually I don’t think I’d ever spoken to on the phone. Samantha is my newest agent at KSR – she started about 9 months ago. The first word I remember hearing from Samantha was “congratulations….”. Yup, she then proceeded to tell me that I booked the KY Jelly” commercial!!! Right at that moment my life went into slow motions at 65 miles per hour. I couldn’t believe it. Like seriously, I couldn’t speak I was so stunned.

I got off the highway at the La Cienega exit, pulled into the Del Taco parking lot and sat in my car - speechless. It was about 5 minutes before I could even get myself together to call Samantha back to get the points of the deal. It was the first job I had booked through Samantha and I think I made it seem like it was my first booking ever - not commercial booking #35 or so for me.

It felt great to feel that way. No, I didn’t cry, but I was maybe a little misty-eyed…a little. She told me I’d be leaving for New York in a couple of days and production would call me directly to set everything up. Wow.

I always told my managers at work that I’d do whatever I could for them as far as filling in last minute or just being generally flexible. I also told them that I knew I would eventually have very last minute things come up in my career and I’d need their support as well. I guess I’ll see how this one works out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

hmm…still no news on the avail. Well, since this spot is traveling to New York I’m beginning to think that maybe they’ve moved on without me. I hope not, but who knows, maybe I’m still in the running. I hope so.

The last thing I want to do is totally get used to being released from these avails. I mean, “it is what it is”, ya know. It means that I am doing something right – a lot right in fact. I’m not at all defeated about it; I know that I have to just stay the course and keep it moving. I’m pretty good at that.

Oh yeah, “no news, is good news”. Right?

Monday, February 23, 2009

No news about the “K-Y Jelly” commercial. I’ll take that as good news.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yes! This morning my commercial agency called to inform me that I’m on avail for the “K-Y Jelly” commercial. That is great news! I would love to go to New York to shoot it. I never would have believed that in 10+ years in Los Angeles I have yet to get back to New York to work on a project. That needs to change and soon. Well, when I think about it; I’m happier being able to say that I’ve been to Tokyo & Madrid since I had never been to those places.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Audition: “Dave & Buster’s” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Not so much; I don’t think I’ll be moving to the next step on this one.

Audition: “K-Y Jelly” @ Joe Blake Casting. This was a first time call straight to callbacks. As soon as I arrived I was paired up with “my wife”. Let me tell you this woman was absolutely beautiful. So I’m there in my pajama bottoms and a tank top feeling a little weird. Moments later me and this stunning creature are cozied up rehearsing our lines. The scenarios in the different commercials were all about making love and using K-Y products. It was interesting to say the least. I know I had fun; I think she did too.

By the time we actually auditioned my partner and I were a well oiled machine. It was a straight to callback session, but only the camera operator/session director was in the room. The director was on a monitor in front of us in New York. He spoke to me as though we had worked together before, but we hadn’t. No matter, it felt like there was a bit of a connection – even from 3,000 miles away. Anyway, the session went really well and I was on my way.

Man, I would love to book this spot - KY?? Yeah! That's not like saying "I just booked a Burger King" spot or an "IBM" commercial. Saying "KY Jelly"!! Hell yeah, that'll give me some much needed street cred; ya know some edge.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Audition: “Fred & Vinnie” @ Brad Gilmore Casting. Eh, this went okay. Well, maybe less than okay. I felt like I just went in and did a bunch of stuttering. “Next!” Is probably what the CD said when I left.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Audition: “Dr Scholl’s” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Yeah, I too get tired of writing about how well my auditions are going, but not translating into bookings. Well here’s another one. Actually, I blew the first take (it’s ADD related, gotta work on that), but we did two more takes and they were great fun. Ross’ is another office that I have a good record of callbacks, avails and bookings…and avail releases too, BUT let’s not talk about that – just bookings!

A couple of nights ago I attended a mixer for CastingAbout. I have to say that I really like these guys and this company. They just seem like good people, plus they provide a tremendous service for keeping up with casting directors, associates, assistants, TV/Film projects and the status of them, etc. They’ve just partnered with Breakdown Services which I assume helps them get the word out.

I’ve always had to use several different sources to maintain my database of the casting community. It takes a lot of work, but I have been very successful at it. Keeping track of the casting community is a tough thing to perfect, but CastingAbout makes it a little bit easier and more informative – especially keeping track of associates and assistants as they move from office to office. And they plan to cover New York in the near future.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Audition “ACE Hardware” @ Craig Colvin Casting. Simple stuff; they could cast so many different types in this spot; including me. I have a pretty good callback ratio at this office so hopefully I’ll be there whenever they are.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Callback: (on a Sunday) “Verizon FIOS” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. Okay, this was pretty funny. Since I came up with the brilliant assessment that my glasses are holding me back in every thing I do in life I decided to go to the callback wearing contact lenses. I figured that way it might be easier to see my eyes and make “the connection”.

First, I have to say it’s great to run into so many actors that I’ve seen on the circuit for years and years some even going back to my New York days. Even though we are all competing for a job that could pay tens of thousands of dollars there is a great sense of camaraderie in the air. Make me proud to be a professional in this field.

So it’s my turn in the room with the director and the rest of the creative team. Everyone seems to be nice and the director was especially friendly. There were two different spots being casts and after the first take the director asked me if I had the glasses that I wore in the first audition with before with me??? I told him “yes, and that they were in my jacket in the lobby”.

Typically, the answer to that would be “oh don’t worry, it’s no big deal”, but no; this director was willing to wait to see those particular frames. So I run out to the lobby to get my glasses and put them on and I quickly figured out that contact lenses and glasses…on the same eyes…and at the same time do not work so well together. I didn’t want to take the time to remove my contacts and hold up the session that was already running behind schedule.

My vision with glasses and contacts was crazy! But I made it work for me; it was almost like I had a secret. In fact I did have a secret – my secret was that I couldn’t see SHIT!! Thankfully, I knew the dialogue.

Anyway, I felt that the callback went well and the director seemed particularly interested in what I had to offer, but he might have been that way with everyone.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Audition “Verizon FIOS” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. YES! I always have great auditions at this office! Well, not always, but more often than not it goes really well and I get a callback or and/or avail. I hope this is another one.

Tonight in my acting class I was watching myself on tape and noticed that it was quite difficult to see my eyes through my glasses. It felt a bit disconnected to be honest. I wonder if that could be helping me get released from some of the gigs I’ve been close to booking…an interesting thought. I like my current frames, but they do give me a headache at times. I’m not too much of a fan of contact lenses on a regular basis since getting an eye infection back in New York. I don’t ever wanna go through that again.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Audition/tape “Castle” @ Donna Rosenstein Casting. I was really happy with how this one went and I think I’m right for it. More importantly, I feel that they’ll keep bringing me in for whatever they are casting and that’s of vital importance for the big picture of my career.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

This morning I did a reading of scripts of students in a screenwriting program at Venice High School. It was a complete blast! I had been wanting to do something like this for a while and finally saw an opportunity and jumped on it. I’ll definitely do more in the future.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Audition: “Dairy Queen” @ [skirts] casting. Yeah, this one went pretty well; not great, but well enough. I think I might be too young though.

Callback: “Planter’s Peanuts” @ Digital Dogs Casting. This was a good one – fun too. It’d be nice to book something soon – practically anything would be cool.