Monday, December 31, 2012

Okay, here we are at the end of 2012 and it’s officially my worst financial year as an actor.  Yup, the absolutely worst.  Wow.  Ironically it’s also the year that I invested more money than I have in a long time in my career.  Funny how that works.

It would be easy for me to be down, out and depressed about it, but for some reason I’m not.  At all.  I’m not sure why. I think it might be because I honestly think that I’m doing a lot to make things happen. That is something I’m really happy about.  I also think it might have to do with the fact that, since I’ve learned to “pay myself first” I pretty much reached all my savings goals for the year.  That wasn’t easy.  I had to do some cutting back and tightening up to achieve it, but I did it.  So here’s to hoping that 2013 is a much more successful year.

Oh yeah, I’m also starting this 52-week savings plan as well.

Friday, December 21, 2012

So I get in the bed at 6:30 this morning after working last night.  I was hoping to get a few hours of sleep before my apartment property manager was to call at 8:30am to confirm that the plumber was to arrive at 9am to replace my garbage disposal.  I was hoping the plumber would be finished in time for me to give a friend a ride to LAX @ 11:30am.

While I was in a deep, relaxing REM sleep my phone rings @ 8:28 to let me know that, in fact, the plumber would be here at said time.  My sleepy self gets out of bed to make sure everything was clear in the cabinet for the plumber work.   He arrives, sees that the garbage disposal is leaking and fetches a new in his truck.  Shortly after the plumber returns and starts working my phone rings @ 9:28…it’s one of my theatrical agents.  He has an audition appointment that came in late last night for 10:45…in West LA.  I live in West Hollywood.


Without even taking the time to return the call to my agent I washed my face, printed the sides, got dressed, ran lines, put on a tie, ran lines, grabbed my lab coat, and pretty much followed the plumber out the door as he was finishing his work.

Then I called my agent and told him I was already on my way to the casting office.  Right after I hung up I started to feel that I should’ve asked my agent if it was possible for me to come in later in the afternoon after I took my friends to LAX.  I almost called him back, but I decided to just go with it and hope that everything worked out time-wise.  I’ve been dropping off pictures to this casting office for years trying to get auditions and just 3 weeks ago I did a casting director workshop with one of the associates in the office.  Seriously, I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass.

The traffic cooperated perfectly; odd for LA and the 10 West, and I made it to West LA without any problem at all.  Things went so great that when I was looking for parking an actor that had just auditioned and was walking back to his car offered me his parking spot.  That was very nice of him, and it even had money still left on the parking meter.

I went upstairs to the casting office and there were no actors waiting.  I took a moment to warm up the material and then I was called into the room to read.  I commented on how nice the office was and the associate, Chris, was surprised that I had never been upstairs.  I guess he was surprised that I never actually auditioned at the office…I took that as a good sign.  Then the other associate, Melissa, enter the room and she greeted me warmly as well. I had just met Melissa at a workshop 3 weeks ago.   Chris, I had met back in 2007.

Audition: “Legit” @ Wendy O’Brien Casting.  The audition went really well and I hope I will be the one that they choose for the job. 

Amazing, I finished it all up with time to spare and was able to get back to West Hollywood to pick up my friend at 11:30 without any problem.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ha!  I’m shocked that I got a call for a print go-see from my print agent.  I was pretty much ready to chalk up my new…ish print photos as a total loss.  I got more appointments for print with my old headshots.  But it appears that someone wants to consider me today.  Yay!  I’m ready.

Print go-see:  “ @ Casting Partners.  Fill out paperwork.  Front shot.  Side shot.  Cool shot.  45 seconds later I’m done and on my way home.  Cool, I’ll take it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Audition: “Johnson & Johnson” @ Lisa Fields Casting.  This was an interview type of deal.  They asked about the holidays, our families, etc.  It was a fun time. 

I also signed up for a screenwriting class to start off the year with.  I’ve got to learn more about writing and get this script finished.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shooting: “FedEx” @ The Westin Hotel/LAX.  I showed up on set for my 7:30am call time with a whole 55 minutes of sleep after working last night at the restaurant.  Ugh!  That HAS to change.  I’m very grateful for my employment but I don’t know how long I can keep up the pace.  I feel like I say that once a week.

A damper came through the cast as news of the school shooting in Newtown, CT spread across the nation.  It’s just so sad and heartbreaking.  My thoughts are with all of the family and friends.  I cannot image what they are going through.  I’m so sorry.

On to brighter things, the shoot day was great.  I sat on a couch the entire time while other cast members stood.  I would’ve passed out if I had to stand in one spot for all of that time.  One of the cast members’ “day job” is that of a writer/director.  He gave me some tips on my romantic comedy script which was really welcome since I have no idea what I’m doing in writing it.  One thing I do know is that I really need to finish it, but first, I need to get some rest before I go to work tonight.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Audition: “Sutter Health” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This was very simple, small, quiet work.  I think I did very well although I might play a little young for it.  Either way I hope I get called back.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Audition: “Toyota” @ DB Casting.  Wow, this went really well.  So well that the casting director told me I was amazing – twice.  She asked me if I wanted to do it a 3rd time, but I thought about it for a split second and thought it would be best to leave well enough alone.  So I walked out of the room leaving them wanting…a little more.

Fitting: “FedEx” @ Siren Studios.  It’s always great to be at a wardrobe because it usually means that I booked something.  This one was quick/fast – just over an hour.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

After working a long, busy night at the restaurant I woke up just after noon by a voicemail from my agency.  Before retrieving the message I knew that if it was the voice of a man it probably wasn’t great news, BUT if it was the voice of a woman it was probably fabulous news.

Fortunately it was the angelic voice of a woman, Alicia, my commercial agent with great news that I booked the “FedEx” commercial.  Bingo!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2nd Callback: “FedEx” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  One thing I love about 2nd callbacks for commercials is that we get paid for them.  The other, and more important thing is that it means I’m still in the running to booked.

The audition went well and my recent commercial training kept me grounded and confident.  Most of the time there was spent waiting – a total of 2 ½ hours.  Fortunately, I didn’t have anywhere else to be.  It was a great way to start the week.

Hours later my agency called with the news that I had been placed on avail!  Some actors hate being place on avail, or at least they hate actually knowing about it.  Me?  It doesn’t bother me too much.  I look at it as good news, but to be honest, I’m looking for some great news.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Callback “FedEx” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Yes!  Wow, this was a blast.  I had a great time.  I’m not always the most social person at auditions because I’m usually reading or somehow self-involved.  It’s something I’m actively trying to change about myself.  I was in rare form today, cracking jokes about anything and everything.  And…oh yeah, the callback.  I went in for the same role as the first audition, but they also had me read for the “boss” character too.  We were in and out in a flash; but wait.  Before I got 15 feet away the production team sent word that they wanted me to stay and come in for a different spot with another group of actor’s.  That commercial spot had a bunch of dialogue that I was trying to become familiar with in a hurry.  Then we got in the room and the dialogue wasn’t on the copy board.


My training kicked in and I didn’t let it throw me.  I knew what I knew, as far as the copy went, and what I couldn’t remember, word for word, I let it go and made it up…but I made sure to get the name of the company correct.  The director; the cool, funny & amazing Tim Godsall, kept throwing different things at us.  I think we handled it well.  It was a great way to start off the weekend!

Afterwards I headed out to the Los Angeles Auto Show to check out my dream car – the 2013 Acura TSX. It’s super nice, but still relatively economical.

I’m not finished yet.  Shortly after I got home the casting office called and informed me that I have another callback Monday morning for the same “FedEx” commercial.  Yes!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Audition: “FedEx” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This was fun and I showed well I think.  I had a fun group to go in the room with.

Tonight I attended a seminar hosted by and Breakdowns Services entitled Realities of the Casting Process.  Seminars like this are always a good way to keep me in check.  They let me know that my work is not done and that I have to keep on hustling to move forward in the game.  I REALLY need to update my online presence/reel, but I have to book something that is worthy of showcasing.  I’m looking forward to that.

Back to the seminar, it’s daunting to see just how many actors are after so few jobs.  The numbers are incredible.  That fact that I get any auditions at all makes me feel that I have made progress, but I’m looking to take it to the next level.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Audition: “1600 Penn” @ Debra Zane Casting.  Yes!  This is one of my favorite casting offices to go to in town.  Debra, Tannis & Shayna are some of my favorite people.  It was a really, really small role that I was reading for.  I used to be really good at booking those roles, but that has changed for some reason.  I think I did well enough.  I was prepared and had done my research; so it’s up to the powers that be.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Audition: “ING” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This was fun; I think it went well for me and my partner.  I would love to book…something before the end of the year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Audition: “Harris Bank” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Oddly enough this went pretty well.  At least the session director thought so; I felt a bit confused.  Not confused, but I was really in my head.  Oh well.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Audition: “State Farm” @ TLC/Booth Casting.  This is a Joe Pytka-directed spot.  It went well.  Hopefully I’ll get a callback.  He doesn’t usually have callbacks, but maybe that has changed.  At any rate, I hope I’m there.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Audition: “Nike” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Another one that went great.  I think it shoots tomorrow.  They should call me soon…before I commit to selling burgers & fries.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today marks 10 years since I lost my mother, Louise Fuller, to pancreatic cancer.  Wow.  I miss her so much.  I can only imagine what it would be like if she was still here.  I cannot believe it’s been 10 years.  I don’t know…I just shake my head and be thankful that’s she’s no longer suffering.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Audition: “Coors Light” @ [skirts].  This went really well…which has NOTHING to do with whether I’ll get a callback or not.  Feels good though.

Tonight I did a prepared scene in a 2-week workshop with a network VP of Casting and I felt that my partner and I did a great job.  Yeah, I think I can do this acting thing.  I know I can.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Audition: “Happy Endings” @ Susan Vash Casting.  Wow, my first appointment in 3 weeks.  Susan remembered me and that’s always a good thing.  The actual read was okay; I had a few moments, but…

Friday, November 02, 2012

Wow.  Yeah, that’s what’s on my mind.  What does the future hold for me?  Who the heck knows?  Sometimes that’s scary as heck and other times it’s stimulating.  Today it’s a bit of both. 

I’ve been thinking about other things I can do with my life.  This isn’t anything new; I’ve always had these thoughts, but now I’m thinking about it in a more serious way.  I think about how working at the restaurant has taken a toll on me.  Make no mistake it’s not the worst thing in the world, far from it.  I have, so far, made the best of it.  But still.  I’m less patient, more cynical, more empty…but also more insightful, more patient with a better grasp on the Spanish language.   Ugh…  How many more tables?  How many more sides of Ranch dressing…I hate Ranch dressing…

I have so much more to offer than what I do there.  So much more.  I want to be a part of something great.  Or at least something that aspires to be great.  Now THAT sounds like fun!  Not many things or operations aspire to be great.  I’m ready to have more fun while I work.  That’s something I usually get to do while acting, but I need to act more often…professionally.

I have to say I’m quite proud that, even if I walked away today and never auditioned for another commercial, TV or film project I could hold my head up high.  I have something to show for my efforts.  I cracked this really tough nut of Hollywood.  I just want more.  I want more of a lot of things.  I just have to figure out how to move things to the next level.  In my career and in my life.  I’m just really hungry.

I mentioned that super, duper, weird crazy experience with my father a few weeks ago.  I haven’t heard anything else from him.  Of course I haven’t reached out to him either.  So maybe we are both guilty.  Maybe he’s more guilty than me.  Maybe that’s just the way life goes sometimes.  Who knows; I think there is a good chance that we’ve spoken to each other for the last time.  What a waste.  Are you serious???  He is supposed to be my father; the one who brought me into this world.  Wow, how empty.  The really odd thing is that out of all six children I am the one that is the most like him.  I began to think that when I was in my late teens and I’ve been running from it ever since.  Sometimes it is said one can become what they are most afraid of…oops.  Terrifying.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

This morning I got a casting notice for a print appointment…at least I thought I did.  Shortly afterwards I received messages informing me that it was actually a glitch in the system at Casting Networks.  Ouch!  I thought I was turning the corner in the print world, but I guess not…yet.  This print thing is hurting me because I finally invested money and shot photos specifically for the print market and, so far, I’ve heard nothing but crickets.  I got more appointments when I was using my regular commercial headshots.  What gives?  At least my agent is responsive to the situation.  She says to give it a little more time and then will re-access.  Okay, I will, but I feel strongly that I can work in the print arena.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Callback: “Cox Communications @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Yes!  I’m really excited about the possibility of work with this director.  The callback went really well so we’ll see what happens.  If nothing else, I’m one step closer to the brass ring of a booking.  A freakin’ booking!  What’s that???

Friday, October 19, 2012

Audition: “Cox Communications @ Ross Lacy Casting.  I had a great time delivering a very low-key, almost deadpan read in this audition.  The session director gave me a lot of insight into what this particular director, Zack Math, likes to see in the work.  The spots Zack directed for ORKIN are some of my favorites.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

”Where are the bookings?”  More specifically, “Where are MY bookings?”  I certainly don’t know.  It’s not slow, people are booking, it’s just not me.  It seems as time goes on there has been more and more space in between my bookings.  I wish I had an answer for it, but I don’t.  I’m auditioning better and studying more, but the results are not what I’d hope as of yet.  I even shot photos specifically for my print agent, but that hasn’t lead to even one appointment for a print job.  Not even an appointment.

I’m seeing success all around me, but I’m not seeing tangible results for myself.  At the same time I feel very strongly that I’m doing the right thing in participating in my quest to move forward in my career.  It’s funny, I sometimes go back and read old entries that I’ve written and I hardly recognize the excitement and strides I was making back then.  I’d hoped that, by now, I’d be MUCH further along than I presently am.  I don’t know why I am not.  I do know that there are plenty of, now successful actors’, that lived the same story I’m living now before hitting that next level.  They catered, did construction, were fitness trainers, served burgers, made drinks, etc.  I have no question that I’m doing the right thing by staying engaged and not giving up my place in line.

It seems that I can hardly watch TV, film or a commercial without seeing some sort of connection to a person, a production or a product.  It might be a very obscure connection, but a connection nonetheless.  I feel like I have no more than 6 degrees of separation from everyone in the industry.  Of course that’s not true, but often times it seems that way. 

I, like many and most actors, just want to see more results.  I also know that I’ll have to be patient.  This is not a sprint it’s certainly a journey.

Lastly, I definitely want to thank my representatives and the casting directors that continue to support me and believe that “I can do this!”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Today I attended the Los Angeles Financial Planning Day Event held at The Los Angeles Central Library.  I didn’t get much sleep before attending, but…what else is new.  I stayed awake the best I could.

I’m always surprised at the low turnout for an event such as this.  But, I guess 10 years ago, I would have been one of those same people not showing up.  I’ve always been a seeker of knowledge, but not necessarily in the area of personal finance.  Thankfully, that has changed.  It was a good, informative event for me. 

At the end I sat down for a one-on-one meeting with a consultant about my situation.  I told him where I was financially 6-7 years ago and where I am now.   I also showed him my credit report and my net/debt worth statement.  He was very impressed with my journey.  I told him that I felt I was saving a little too much for retirement and not enough to be liquid, emergency funds, etc.  He agreed and suggested I slow down on my Roth IRA contributions and start saving for a condo/house while continuing my 401(k) at the restaurant.  For the most part I agree with that, but I really just want to make more money acting and use that for a down payment on some real estate.  It’s going to be really difficult for me to stop contributing to my Roth IRA…we’ll see.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Audition: “The Splits” @ Natalie Ballesteros Casting.  This was great fun.  I usually try to avoid being the first actor on tape for a session because often times it seems like they are still working out the camera, the computer or what works and/or doesn’t for the character.  I didn’t worry about that this time I just went in and did my thing.  I was very happy with the result.  It’s a web series and I really hope to book it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Audition: “Ford Fusion” @ Dan Bell Casting.  Nice!  Good stuff.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Something really weird that caught me completely off guard happened today.  I called my little sister, Avis in Virginia Beach, for her birthday.  Avis has Down’s Syndrome and is as special as they come.  Truly, she has made me laugh all of my life…and continues to do so.  She is the reason that I’m as empathetic as I am…sometimes too empathetic for my own good, lol! 

Anyway, we were on the phone laughing and joking as I sang Happy Birthday to her.  I could hear her sorta bickering with my father in the background.  That is normal, not “really” bickering, but just playfully complaining as she always has done with him.  Mind you, I haven’t spoken to my father since July of 2003, about 8 months after my mother passed away.  I stopped calling to check on him years ago and he’s never cared to have any interest in my life or development as a person…at all.  Unless, of course, it’s to let me know that he thinks I’ll never amount to anything in this life.  I’ve been free of that for the last 9+ years. 

I have heard his voice over the years in this same fashion, in the background on the phone, over the years and it was always surreal knowing that my father was so close… yet so far.  I don’t know if I no longer exist to him or what.  I have no idea what he thinks.  He knows I’m still alive.  He knows I don’t live in Virginia Beach anymore.  Beyond that I couldn’t tell ya.

Back to my sister.  As she continued with her playful bickering all of the sudden he was on the phone with me.  I didn’t know what to say for a second so I didn’t say anything.  Then I started talking as if we were old friends.  I wasn’t sure if he knew it was me or not.  Then he asked something about her medication and I kinda paused and said, “I…don’t know.  I’m not sure”.  He replied, “Who is this?”  I said “Bryan, It’s Bryan” (My given name).  There was silence.  He thought I was my brother Jeff who he speaks with daily.  He stuttered for a bit; we made a little small talk.  He asked how I was and gave the phone back to my sister.    

It was odd.  My sister was talking to me and I wasn’t “all there” as I was still dealing with what had just happened.  Then my father got back on the phone and made more small talk and either the call dropped…or he hung up.  I sat there in my car in silence.  For the life of me I cannot understand how and/or why my father has treated me the way he has for my entire life.  In his eyes it seems as though I have zero redeeming qualities.  I started to feel very emotional and sad.  After sitting there for a bit I gathered myself and made my way home.

The older I get the more I see how much I missed from not having a supportive and nurturing family.  It happens to a lot of people.  I’d like to think that if I ever became a father I’d be great and really try to be all I could be for my family.  Maybe my father is giving all he has to give.  I don’t know, but I know that I wish it was more or he'd at least try to be better.

                                           My sister Avis.  Happy Birthday!  I love you!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Audition: “Georgia Lottery” Joe Blake Casting.  Eh, this went okay.  I felt just a little out of place with my auditioning group, but that has very little to do with what I think.

Callback: “Lincoln” @ [skirts].  The callback was just okay.  I felt like you could see me, working and thinking, while I was doing what I needed to do.  I was in my head too much.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Audition: “Lincoln” @ [skirts].  I got to sit on Santa Claus’ lap for this audition.  Must be that time of the year; meaning time for Hollywood to start producing Holiday commercials.  It was fun.  Me, as a grown-assed man, sitting on a grown-ass-old-ass man’s lap.  Yup, pretty funny.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Audition: “Applebee’s” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Oh my, my “wife” in this audition was so charming and beautiful that I don’t even remember what happened.  I think it went well.