Thursday, September 30, 2010

Audition: “Sprint” @ Joe Blake Casting. My agent woke me up with this same-day call. It went great! I went in the room and didn’t feel all that prepared, but I threw all that “baggage” away and had fun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Audition/Producer/Tape: “Raising Hope” @ Dava Waite Casting. I was really happy with how this one went. I felt like I had a hold on the character and I did what I set out to do. Can’t ask for much more than that…well, yes I can but; this is a great start. Actually, I have a little history with Dava’s office. She called me in for CBS sitcom, “Yes, Dear”, years ago; I didn’t book the role, but a few episodes later they called and offered me a role. I really appreciated that. Can lightning strike again? I think so.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Audition: ”XXXXX” @ Xxxxx Xxxxx Casting. I signed a non-disclosure agreement for this one…so I guess it didn’t really happen.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Audition: “McDonald’s” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. Good stuff; pretty simple. It was one of the type of auditions I don’t normally excel in.

Callback: “Alka-Seltzer Plus” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. I had a great feeling that I was going to get a callback for this one. The callback itself? I think it went okay, but there was a little blocking change that I wasn’t told about before the first take and it might have made me look like I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did it the same way as the first audition…oh well. You never know.

Audition: “Comcast” @ Alyson Horn Casting. This went well. I am so thankful that I get brought to this very important office on such a regular basis. It’s been a long time since I’ve booked here, but she must believe in me because there are many other actors she could call in my place.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me! 17 years ago, on Wednesday September 22nd 1993 @ 7:30pm in Virginia Beach, VA I took my first acting class and embarked on a very, VERY interesting and difficult journey. Sometimes, oftentimes, I think a lot has happened in those 6209 days, other times, occasionally, I'm not so sure.

Hold up! Of course I’m sure! I just don’t think about it in those terms on a regular, basis. So I’m going to take a moment, and revisit some of the experiences I’ve had as a professional performer. I hope it doesn’t come off as me being full of myself…here it goes:

Member of the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG).

Had the same, effective theatrical & commercial representation for 12+ years.

Had my first audition in Los Angeles just 12 hours after arriving from New York.

Had 3 commercial auditions and 3 callbacks my first week in Los Angeles.

Had a period of 7 years that I solely made a living & filed taxes as an actor…took vacations too!

Have traveled to Washington, DC, Miami, New York, Japan & Spain as a performer.

Booked a national commercial and was “unbooked” just before the fitting.

Have performed onstage at the Kennedy Center.

Was cast in Ocean’s Twelve by director Steven Soderbergh & CD Debra Zane, but the scene was cut before filming.

Was also cast in Ocean’s Thirteen by director Steven Soderbergh & CD Debra Zane, but this time had to pull out the film, and a scene with Al Pacino, because of a commercial booking…I was later edited out of the commercial.

Have worked with several directors who are very highly regarded in their field – Film, Steven Spielberg. TV Comedy James Burrows. Commercials, Joe Pytka.

Have qualified for Health benefits every year since becoming a member of SAG.

Have become a vested member of SAG which awards me with a pension at retirement.

Have been featured on the cover of Backstage magazine.

Have been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) in a piece on the casting process with Casting Director Debra Zane.

Have been featured in “Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business” By Bonnie Gillespie & “Acting Q’s: Conversations with Working Actors” also by Bonnie Gillespie & Actor/Author Blake Robbins.

Have learned a lot about how the casting process work…maybe too much.

I moved to New York with $200 in my pocket, no job…shared a bed in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan…with a guy…for 4 months.

Have been featured on the Wrigley’s Jumbotron in New York’s Times Square.

Have been interviewed on the New York-based EverythingActingPodcast.

…umm. I just got “wide-open” with the “me” stuff. On the one hand I feel like I should apologize for laying it on so thick, but on the other hand “it is what it is”…it’s all true and verifiable. Plus, I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in a notoriously difficult business. No, I’m not exactly where I want to be in my acting career, especially the working in a restaurant part, but I’ve usually been able to make the best of most situations I’ve found myself in.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lately, I’ve been dropping off my headshots around town like a mad man. Why? I gotta get “this thing” in motion. What “Thing?” My career. That’s what “Thing”. I HAVE to make it happen and move to the next level in my acting journey. For me, the major way of doing that is to hustle…get out of the house and participate in my success. Back to the drop-offs. I’ve always heard actors talk about the “many reasons” why dropping off photos is a waste of time or that it’s no longer effective. Usually, there doesn’t seem to be any concrete reason why they say what they do, but I definitely have concrete reason as to why I say otherwise.

Hustle: Anything I’ve ever accomplished has been because of that…I can’t stop now. Have photos; will drop them.

Audition: “Better With You” @ GO Casting. This came directly from a drop-off yesterday. How can I be sure? They told me.

Audition: “VW” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. Yeah, good one in the can. I have a pretty good track record at this office.

Audition: “Alka-Seltzer Plus” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. Yes! This went really, really well. While in company of my scene partner I felt I was in the presence of a real talent. That woman was a pleasure to watch. I hope both of us will be at callback in a few days.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Work, work and more work it seems is the order of many of my days of late. I’m not complaining; I’m just sayin’. I think it’s better than not having enough work opportunities to make a living. Speaking of work, after the monthly employee meeting for my night job I received a text message, directly from casting director Dori Zuckerman, asking if I had a current wireless conflict. If not, she was offering me a time slot to audition for AT&T later in the afternoon. It was a great surprise, but not shocking.

I met Dori about 10 years ago in a casting director workshop and have worked for her as a reader countless times over the years. I’ve even booked a few jobs with her and learned a bunch about the casting process.

Audition: “AT&T” @ Dori Zuckerman Casting. The audition went great and I had a wonderful conversation with my scene partner afterwards.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Audition: “LVCVA” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This was quite the lively situation…and fun. Big ole group thing.

Callback: “The Whole Truth” @ Shaner/Testa Casting. Yep, me as a judge. I think this went well. The writer/producer/director, not sure exactly who the beautiful woman was, but she was very nice to me and thanked me for coming back in to read for the role. She’s probably nice to everyone…not just me. She sure did have a great smile

Anyway, I didn’t have any questions about the character and went right into the first read. I got a little bit of direction and read it once more. All seemed very happy with the performance, including me, and I was on my way.

This caps a week of 8 auditions and several graveyard shifts…I’m exhausted, but not complaining. The only thing is that I didn’t get too many drop-offs done this week. I did quite a few the week before and I’d like to think that some of that ground-level hustle had to do with the busy week I just finished. Who knows; I’ll take it however it comes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Audition/Producers/Tape: “The Whole Truth” @ Shaner/Testa Casting. I think I’m really right for this one and I was happy with how everything went in the room. I read it once, got some direction and did it again. I would LOVE to book this role. I’d even have to join AFTRA to do the role…don’t get me started on 2 unions for the same acting work.

Less than an hour later my agent calls with a callback! YES! But for another, smaller role. Huh? Yup, and get this? It’s for the role of a judge. Really? Yup, really. I kinda don’t see myself as a judge, but it really REALLY doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what the buyers think.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Audition: “xxx” @ Xxxxx Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx. This didn’t happen, but the confidentiality agreement I signed did.

Audition: “Target” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This is a spot for the upcoming Christmas season. Lots of underplaying for the feature director that is directing this commercial.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Audition: “NCIS” @ Susan Bluestein Casting. Yes! I’ve been trying to get into this office for years. The audition consisted of two short scenes and although I wish I would’ve read the second scene again, just to clean up the dialogue a bit, I was very happy with the outcome. I hope I’ve opened the door to a long-term relationship with this office.

In a new development at my night job I've been offered a promotion, a small promotion, but a promotion nonetheless. I'm not sure if I'm going to accept or not...gonna take some time to weigh the pros and cons.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Audition: “The Defenders” @ Felicia Fasano Casting. I have been trying to get into this office for years with no success, but finally it happened today. Not sure if it had anything to do with the general drop off of my photo last week, but I’ll take it any way I can get it. It’s been incredibly quiet from me lately, especially theatrically.

The role I went in for was that of the Master, the Legend…Sammy Davis, Jr. Yeah right. I mean, I don’t how know much I look like him, but I’d guess we are/were of similar stature and build. Dancing skills? Me a close 2nd. Nah, not really. Singing skills? I’m right there…hmmm, not even close. Me drinking on stage with cigar in one hand and a gin martini in the other? Now you’re talking! Few can drink and smoke like me.

The cool part was that, in the description, it specifically said that the role did NOT have to be an impersonator, just an actor who resembled him. Cool. So I did some research on him over the weekend and Sammy was a bad dude for real. Massive talent. Going in I felt fine because it wasn’t like I had to dance or anything.

Of course, as soon as I got there the dialogue had completely changed. It wasn’t a whole lot to begin with so the change was no problem. I go in and the first thing I’m asked is if I’ve ever “done Sammy”, LOL! “Oh Sh*t!, I’m thinking, but I didn’t trip on it. I just gave her what I had…which wasn’t enough. She gave me some direction and I did it again. I think she wanted me to “be him” because my look was in the ball park, but she said “Nah, you’re not Sammy and I’ve got real impersonators coming in. But you’re a good actor; I’m pulling your photo and I’m going to get you back in here for something good.” Then she said, “Sorry.” I replied, “No, this is great, thank you.” And I walked out feeling really good about myself. I have to add that I smiled to myself when she turned my resume over. Why? Because I know exactly what’s on it.

So I have to stay out in the street; keep dropping photos, keeping trying to get more rest, keep trying to not let my other gig get the best of me and keep believing that I can continue to move forward in this career...and build my other one.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wow, I got a very unexpected residual check today for the commercial. Perfect timing because I’m in the market for a new Windows laptop.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Audition: “Petco” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Nice! This went great!

Wow, what a surprise! I got a holding fee for the Healthy Choice/Marie Callendar’s commercial today. It wasn’t a huge check, but it completely paid for the computer I bought today. I ended up getting an eMachines desktop instead of a laptop and I spent less than I had planned. I’m also going to reinstall the OS on my Macbook so that it will run faster. All that will help me run a smoother operation and get out in the street to make things happen again.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Wow, I got a very unexpected residual check today for the commercial. Perfect timing because I’m in the market for a new Windows laptop.