Friday, April 29, 2011

Audition/producers: “The Protectors” @ Billik/Wood Casting. I was very happy with how this one went. I was pretty much off book, felt the beats in the scene and knew what I wanted to accomplish. This was kinda funny. After I parked on the street at Culver Studios I paid the meter and was walking towards the lot. I noticed a Black, late model Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG. As I got closer I could see that an actor, sitting in the drivers seat was going over the same sides as I was…and I recognized the actor. I didn’t know him personally; I know him from TV & Films. I thought to myself; “Wow, how is this guy going in for the same 3-4 page scene I’m going in for.” I could’ve easily believed he’d would’ve been “offer-only” on a role like that. So I went through the gate, found the casting office and signed in. A few minutes later he came in. He wasn’t tripping or acting like he didn’t want to be there. I could have taken it like “Why am I going up against this guy?” or “Hey, I’m glad to be the company of an actor that has been working for years at a higher level than myself”. I chose the latter. At the end of the day I’m going to go in the room and do my thing and whatever happens after that…happens.

The audition went really well with exceptions of flubbing a few lines at the very end. They seemed pleased, said “thank you” and were finished with me, but I wanted another crack at it. I wanted a cleaner take…and I asked for it. I saw the casting directors face, Jason, and I think he was a little surprised, but accommodating. They obliged and let me do it again. Of course, this time, I HAD to nail it or I wasted their time. I cleaned it up and was very happy that I asked for the second chance. I’m not sure the 2nd take was taped, but I didn’t want to drive home feeling that I should have spoken up in the room. The people that consistently work aren’t afraid to take charge in the room. I took charge in the room…of my 3-5 minutes.

As I was leaving the lot I ran into one of the actors, Tisha Campbell-Martin, that are in the scene that I had just auditioned for. I spoke to her briefly telling her that I’ve been a fan of hers for years and hope that I get to work with her on the show. Actually, I did kinda work with her, years ago, in my capacity as a reader for Casting Director Debra Zane. Great memory!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I stopped by my commercial agency today to say “hello’s, goodbye & thank you’s”. There have been several changes with assistants and one of my 3 agents has left the agency. Nothing alarming; just people moving on with their careers. I always like to stop by and thank them for all of the work they’ve put in to help me in my career. Why wouldn’t I say thank you? I mean these people really try to make my life easier by securing me opportunities to work as an actor. “They” have done a great job; I need to do a better job of turning those opportunities into bookings. Truthfully, I feel that they get me enough chances/auditions to where I really shouldn’t need a survival job. I HAVE to do better.

Speaking of “survival job” I’m continually thrilled with the success that I’m having at getting some of my co-workers to take a closer look at their personal finances. I’m loving it! Truth be told; I’m amazed that it’s actually working. A co-worker texted me last week to share the news that she had finally opened a Roth IRA account and put auto, bi-monthly contributions in place. I had been urging her to do it for at least 4 months. That news made my day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Audition: “CLOO” Promo @ Joe Blake Casting. This was a great victory for me. Wall-to-wall copy for my character and I nailed it! I had a great time with a great partner.

Audition: “Lottery Monopoly” @ Carolyne Barry Casting. I studied with Carolyne about 5 years ago and I thought she was a great, no non-sense teacher. I went to her to help me increase my callback ratio. I’ve always felt that my callback ratio was on the lower side, BUT if I did get to the callback level my booking ratio was higher. So my brilliant plan was to try to increase my callback ratio and, hopefully, that would lead to more bookings. Funny enough, my callback ratio DID increase, but my booking ratio seemed to decline. I’m not sure why, more than anything I think it was/is just the ebb and flow of the business.

Anyway, the audition went okay. I did the first take; got a lot of direction from Carolyne and on the second take did exactly as instructed. I was happy with my redirect. I don’t think Carolyne remembered me as a former student, but that’s okay. It shoots in Detroit next week, I don’t know when callbacks are.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I’d been asleep for about 30 minutes when my commercial agency called this morning with a last minute audition for this afternoon. It’s been a little quiet lately audition-wise so this was a welcome addition to my morning.

Yesterday was the day that the DEGREE commercial starring Bear Grylls was supposed to start airing. I figured that if it did start airing I would hear about it in some form or fashion.  Nothing. Crickets.  I mean it could be running, but I haven't heard anything. I’ve had terrible luck in the last several years when it comes to commercial that I’ve filmed. For some reason they just haven’t aired like I would’ve hoped. Don’t get me wrong it’s great to book and shoot them, but I’m also trying to make a living here, LOL!

I have to put it behind me, because, if not, it’s going to drive me crazy. The thing is that I’m hoping to use this commercial for a specific financial purpose. What I really need to do is to book something new and move on. Anyway…

Audition: “Home Depot” @ Craig Colvin Casting. This was fun. My “wife” and I really clicked and had a great time. While in the waiting room I had two separate conversations with fellow actors about personal finance at my audition. One of the books I'm reading, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MONEY NOW by Jane Bryant Quinn, is 1190 pages long. It's a big, thick book so people often comment on it and that sparks the conversation. Anyway, it was great to talk, discuss and share things on such an important topic.


Yes! My younger brother Jeff just called to say that he saw the DEGREE commercial. I have to say if there was anyone that I would have preferred to call and give me the news it would have been my brother Jeff. Jeff and I have always been close, but we’ve grown much closer over the past two years or so and it means the world to me. I guess it’s safe to say that the news of the spot running made my day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day in the life of an actor: Show up at audition. Read copy. There is a kiss involved...with a woman. There is the eating of food in the commercial, but no real food in the room, no problem. When I enter the room I only see 2 forks - one for her and one for bag full of forks. Ya know, so each actor can have a fresh one. Ooops.

I meet the woman that I'll be playing kissy-face with and we're told that it's to be a "big, long, 3-4 second kiss". Cool. But what about that fork? How many people have put it in their mouth?

There was a shortage of women at the audition time so "my woman" was also the previous actors woman. Damn. CUT TO: ACTION! I say: Blah blah blah. She says: Blah blah blah. Then the KISS! Oh my...she's a method actor. Nice!

I tried to be all gentlemanly and stuff in the 1st take, but "my woman" wasn't having none of that; so in the 2nd take I matched her..."passion" with her...and the fork. Oh and how passionate she was. We made beautiful music together! Between her and the fork I think I kissed most of Hollywood today...and I'm strangely okay with that. I hope she's at callbacks...I'll bring my own fork.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

After sleeping for 90 minutes following work last night I woke up early to attend a 10am workshop. I know, what was I thinking? I was SO tired, but I just felt that I needed to attend this free workshop. It was with a casting director who specializes in comedy and he spoke on several things I need to hear. Some stuff I hadn’t considered, some stuff I had, but all in all well worth the trip to Burbank.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Audition: “State Farm” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This was fun, a blast in fact. I was a part of a group of four actors…being actors. Good stuff.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Callback: “Ford” @ ASG Casting. Yes! Finally. This is my first callback since, January 28th, 66 days ago. Without getting called back it’s hard to book commercials. It went well and…well…I guess if they think the same I’ll be placed on avail or booked. Time will tell.

I had something really cool happen at the audition and last night at my…other job. At the audition I saw an actress that I used to attend a lot of casting director workshops with. She asked me if I was still represented by KSR for commercials; of course I am! She said that, “thanks to me”, she is still repped by them too. For just a brief moment I was speechless because I had forgotten that, many years ago, after seeing her work, I referred her to my agents…and they signed her.

The other thing that happened was this. At my night job I’m trying to convince my co-workers to reduce/eliminate their debt, to save through the company 401(k) program and/or Roth IRA and to pay attention to bank fees, credit card interest, etc.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was explaining about the 401(k) returns and how it help to lower my taxes and I one of my co-workers approached me and wants to look deeper into getting into the same mutual funds I’m in. I was so excited to hear that! It’s working!

Between those two things I feel like I’m taking action to make this earth a better place through empowering others to help themselves. I don’t particularly enjoy going to the restaurant to work, it takes so much out of me, but these victories make it easier on a daily basis.