Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yes!  I received an email from Tamara Hunter from the SAG Short film audition Saturday saying that they were really happy with what I did in the room and the director wants me to play the part of the leads best friend.  What I read next though, made me laugh out loud.  There isn’t any scripted lines for this character, LOL!!!!  I laughed and laughed…and laughed.  Can a brotha get a line?  Evidently not.  Hey, we are in a recession; lines are hard to come by I guess.  Anyway, like I said before, I really want to be a part of this project…and it pays SAG Short Film rates.  ACTION!

Audition: “Sears” @ Francene Selkirk Casting.  This was a simple question and answer type of dealio.  I had fun with 5 other actors in the room with me.

Audition/Tape:  “I Hate My Teenaged Daughter” @ Zane/Pillsbury Casting.  Ugh…Wow, this was hard.  It was much more like a 4 minute acting class.  I’m so thankful that the casting director was patient with me.  She basically gave me line readings, but I do feel that, in the end, we got a good, clean take on the tape.  The question now is will I even be on the tape that goes to producers…hmm.

I have to say that I see more and more guest-star actors going in for co-star parts.  It’s tough out here!  There was a time where I would pick and choose what roles I’d go in for because I was really trying to move forward with more substantial roles.  But these days I’m more happy to just have to the opportunity to work and get paid SAG wages.  Plus, I feel that it’s usually better to be on set working than not on set working.  You never know what can happen when you’re in the mix.  I wanna stay in the mix.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Audition/Director/Tape: “The Reginald F. Lewis Story” @ Tamara Hunter Casting.  I love this story and want to be a part of it most any way I can.  It’s the story of Reginald F. Lewis, one of the most successful and wealthiest black businessmen of the 80’s.

It’s a Saturday morning audition.  Can a brother get some rest?  Evidently not.  Gotta keep moving.  I think it’s well worth it for Tamara and this director/writer fresh out of USC.

I had fun in the room…when we got the right scenes to read!  It was great; I flip-flopped a few lines but ended on a strong note.  But as importantly, I made them laugh – we all laughed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Callback: “Hyundai” Heidi Levitt Casting.  Yes!  Well, sorta.  I didn’t feel like I performed all that well in this callback, but ya never know.  I mean, I sure hope I get some good news, but I’d be a little surprised. 

This evening I received an email from a casting director for a SAG short film.  YES!  This is from an office I’ve been trying to get into for years and it’s ALWAYS on my drop-off list.  Of course, I dropped off a photo just a week or so ago; I also dropped a photo at the casting office for THE OFFICE which just across the street.  Just goes to show that the time I spend out in the field IS productive and my strategies are sound.  Actually, in the email she said that I might not remember her, but that we met earlier this year.  In reality, we met on November 28th 2007, almost FOUR years ago, BUT she thinks it was more recent.  Probably because I’ve done other things to keep on her radar.  I call that a success and I’m thrilled!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sleep?  Who needs sleep?  Me.  That’s who.  Who gets enough sleep?  Not me.  That’s who.  I’m not sure how I get away with it for such a sustaining period of time, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m not really fooling anyone…not even myself.  People, including me, need their rest, but I actually enjoy working…in general.  I don’t necessarily enjoy all aspects of my current employment situation, but I love the feeling of a “job well done”.  I LOVE it! 

Usually, as long as I know ahead of time what kind of time demands I have ahead of me I’m able to handle them, no matter how stacked BUT it’s getting old.  Really old…heck I’m getting older too!  But I try to keep moving and not give in to the temptation to…whatever the temptation is.  Issues man!  I got ‘em!

So I worked last night, Monday night, which is “my Friday/end of the week”, but that’s only for my night job week.  Ugh!  I got off of work around 4am, in the bed by 4:30 with an 3 alarms to wake up at 5:45 for my BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 call time of 7am in Pasadena.  To have a fourth “just in case” alarm, I even asked my little brother in Virginia to call me on his way to work.  I’m terrified of oversleeping for an acting job.  Oversleeping for slinging burgers, eh, not so alarming; oversleeping for an acting job – alarming.  Actually, I have a story about that. 

So I woke up at 5:45, but my body was telling me to relax for a bit.  I got out of bed at 6am, hopped in/out of the shower and was on my way to BHC3 by 6:20am.

SHOOTING: BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 – The Langham Hotel - Pasadena, CA – DAY –

Wow, the property was amazing; a beautiful hotel – five stars or diamonds or something like that.  I followed the signs to crew parking, checked-in with a PA who drove me to the production truck and my trailer.  As I was getting out of the golf cart two of the young leads in the film, Erin Cahill & Marcus Coloma, were getting in the same cart to go to rehearse the first scene of the day.  They both were very nice and immediately introduced themselves and shook my hand.  That doesn’t always happens.  Sometimes coming on to a production can be a little cold.  Not necessarily because people are mean, but there is just a lot going on.  It was very nice to feel welcomed.  I will definitely do the same when I am higher up on the call sheet.  You bet ya!

I’m playing a waiter in the film; which was ironic because just 3 hours ago I was actually being a waiter serving breakfast.  Now someone is getting breakfast for me!  I guess that’s “life imitating art” or however that saying goes.  The funny part was that at my job night I often wipe my hands on my apron, but as an actor in wardrobe I kept catching myself almost doing that.  Not a good thing for an actor in wardrobe.  It took me a minute to get used to that.

After a while of waiting in my trailer a production assistant drove me to set where my scene was to be shot.  I was reunited with Marcus & director Lev L. Spiro and met for the first time Cedric Yarborough, Frances Fisher.  This really caught me by surprised.  This kinda blew me away…well, not kinda, it did blow me away.  The first thing director Lev said to me was something about liking what I wrote in my blog after the audition.  I about froze in my tracks!  Heck, I DID freeze in my tracks!  That comment completely caught me by surprise.  I mean, yeah, after all these years of writing about my journey I do understand that it’s published on the WORLD WIDE WEB and that’s it very easy for anyone to find, but still.  I don’t know, it’s just funny to know ANYONE repped by CAA has read any of my stuff.  After I thawed out from being frozen in my tracks I smiled…not sure why, but I smiled.

So, back to rehearsal, we did a few blocking runs, 2nd team came in, they set up lights and focus and then we went back and filmed it.  Well, more accurately, taped it and that was about it.  It was a great time and possibly still early enough to make my audition for THE OFFICE.  As I was leaving and saying good-bye to Frances I thanked her for her service on the SAG board.  I think that really caught her by surprised and we really started talking about all that, not so happy, depressing SAG/AFTRA stuff…  In the middle of that, director Lev walked by, thanked me and said “don’t leave”.  I was confused because, obviously he wasn’t talking to Frances, she had many more scenes but I didn’t have any other scenes on the schedule, but of course I was going to stay…just in case.

We broke for lunch, actually, Marcus, one of leads and I got to talking about a whole bunch of stuff – acting, kids, personal finance, motorcycles, movies, writing, producing, etc.  Great conversation, cool guy. 

So I stayed after lunch…and stayed.  And stayed, for hours and then I was released.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t released sooner, but that’s okay; I definitely wanted to be there just in case Lev had something else in mind for me.  Fortunately, I got released right in time to make it to my, oddly late, 7:40pm commercial audition back in Hollywood. 

Audition: “Hyundai” Heidi Levitt Casting.  Wow, I hadn’t been to this building in years!  The casting office itself reminded me SO much of being in New York.  It made think of exactly how far I have come in this business.  It was a good feeling and I ran into one of the guys from the DEGREE commercial.   The audition was fun and went really well.  I felt productive…and tired.  Exhausted actually.  No slinging burgers tonight; I’m catching some shut-eye.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I’m tired; really tired.  These overnight hours and running a career during the day is taking its toll on me.  I’m not sure what to do different or if I should be doing anything different.  I think I’m on the right path to reach my goals in life.  Well, sometimes I think that.  Oftentimes I’m really excited, sometimes just excited and sometimes…kinda blue/blah.  Fortunately I don’t get downright depressed very often, but I does happen from time to time.  Thankfully, that state of mind doesn’t usually last more than a few to, at the most, several hours.  In general, I’m very encouraged about the future.  

Anyway, while in a deep, restful sleep, my phone rang at 10:45 this morning.  It was one of my theatrical agents.  He wanted to know if I could make it to the valley by 12pm for a one-day guest star audition that shoots in a few days in Atlanta.  It was last minute because casting emailed him over the weekend, but there was a problem when he forwarded the info to me so I had no knowledge of the appointment…until 10:45 this morning.

So I hopped out of bed, waited for the email, downloaded/printed the sides, took a shower and blazed over to CBS Radford.  Of course I can make it!  It’s my job to make it.

Audition: “The Game” @ Guthrie/Goddard-Smythe Casting.  I felt like it went well, but I wish I could have delivered the re-direct on the first take.  Somebody is going to the ATL in a few days…I sure would like it to be me.

Okay, it’s 6:30pm and I should probably be at home resting because I am scheduled to work at the restaurant at 9pm, PLUS I have a 7am call to shoot my scene in BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 in the morning.  So where am I?  Not sleeping.  I’m heading into a seminar entitled INSIDER MARKETING TIPS for the Pro Actor! @ the Showbiz CafĂ©.  The seminar was sponsored by Breakdown Services & CastingAbout

Right before going into the seminar my agent called with an appointment for THE OFFICE tomorrow morning.  It’s not looking like I’ll be able to make the appointment.  OUCH!  BUT working on a feature is a pretty good reason to not be able to make it. 

Anyway, back to the seminar.  It’s funny, I ran into a few people that were surprised that I was attending…even the organizers were surprised to see me.  I’m not sure why. I hope nobody thinks that I think I know everything there is to know about getting ahead in this business.  I have a long way to go; there is so much I haven’t experience that I hope to.  Plus, I’m an information junkie that likes to learn whatever is out there to learn.  When it was over I had to race out of there to get from West LA to West Hollywood to sling me some burgers into the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Audition: “ESPN Promo” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Fun stuff.  This audition was run by one of those session runners that REALLY explains things well to give us, the actor, the best chance to have a successful performance.  Sometimes when I read for this particular guy I find myself trying too hard to listen to the details and I actually get lost in it…I know, weird.  Me and my baggage…if I could only get out of my own way and could “be a contendah!”  Anyway, I felt like my partner and myself put in a great effort which will, hopefully, leads us to callbacks and beyond.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Audition: “VW” @ RMB Casting.  This was a fun audition at a new casting office.  I went in with a couple of other funny guys and we had a great time.
After the audition I resumed my task of driving all over the city dropping off photos at casting offices.  It’s A LOT of work.  Plus, it was insanely hot last week, but that didn’t deter me in my quest to make something happen in my career.  I have to tell you though that doing the photo drops has become much more of a “job” for me that I enjoy less than I did in years past…but I still do it.  The saving grace is that it makes me feel productive and prevents me from “waiting by the phone”.  Also, I know that my competition, for the most part, is not out in the field doing the same.  I think it gives me an edge; an edge that I need.
I’m also really looking forward to taking a new commercial class next month.  So much that I wish the class was this month, but I guess I’ll just have to be patient.  I’m so eager to learn more so that I can be better “in the room”.  I plan to book more job before this year is over.  Yes I can; yes I do!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Now this was something I thought was pretty funny.  I ran into a guy that I thought I recognized, but I could not remember from where.  After 20-30 minutes it dawned on me that he was the “Can you hear me now?”  I can only imagine how often people approach him and think they know him from somewhere.  He was super nice so I asked him about it and he said “Yeah, I get that a lot”.  Then he said, “Do you have a commercial running right now?” 

I thought he was saying that that was something that people often say to him, but in actuality he was asking me if I “had a commercial running right now”.  I was stymied by the question and paused, then said, “Are you serious?”  Yes, he was actually asking me the question.  Wow, I have to tell you THAT made me smile; I was just caught so off guard by the notion that anyone recognized me.  It’s funny, because even though I’ve done 35-40 commercials I feel as though I’ve never booked anything in my life.  I guess I have.  Maybe I do have a chance in this business. Just maybe...

Something else really cool happened too.  I let a co-worker borrow one of my new books - Clark Howard's LIVING LARGE IN LEAN TIMES and he is RAVING about how much he's learning about getting his personal finances in order. Made my day I tell ya!  Changing the world – one person at a time!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Callback: “Planet Fitness” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. I can’t count how many times I’ve been to this office for auditions, callbacks and avails.  BUT I have never booked anything!  Nothing.  Not yet.  But it’s coming, I feel it. I know it. 

The callback went great...well, I nailed the 3rd take, LOL.  The director, based in New York, was very hands-on, very nice and complimentary of my initial audition.  My scene partner was taller than me, stronger than me, had a much deeper voice than me, wore waaay more lipstick than me AND had higher heels than me. She was a sweetheart though. Yeah, I was confused too...I just "went with it".

Wardrobe from BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 called again today.  I guess that means I’m still employed AND I received a script from FedEx…2 good signs.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Today was pretty crazy to say the least.  Actually, kinda mind-blowing in many ways.  Things are about to get interesting…I’ll leave it at that.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Audition: “Capital One” @ ASG Casting.  Fun stuff.