Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Callback: “Stanton Optical” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Wow, this was one of those callbacks that made me feel as though I could actually have a future in this “acting thing”.  It was simple, small and real.  Hopefully, I’ll be getting a call soon to say that I’ve been placed on avail.

Audition: “Buick” @ broad-cast.  I can’t think of one, single commercial that I see more often right now than the spot for Buick.  I can’t even begin to speculate on how much exposure those actor$ have gotten. 

Anyway, my audition went really well…so I hope to get to the next step in the process.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Audition: “Stanton Optical” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Embarrasingly enough, I almost missed this appointment because I was late.  No excuse, I was just trying to get some errands done…things that could have waited.  It all worked out and the audition went really well!  So hopefully, I’ll get a callback!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Shooting: “Bank of America” Downtown Los Angeles.  Yay!  I finally booked a B of A commercial!  The shoot was fun and I got to work with the wife of an actor friend.  What a great place to meet her…on set, making money!

I have to say that I have a really good feeling about both the B of A and the Sprint commercials I’ve done recently…I sure hope I’m right and they run long and hard.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fitting: “Bank of America” @ MJZ.  This was great for a few reasons.  First, because being at a wardrobe fitting usually means a job has been booked!  Second, the clothing!  They gave me a suit to try on and, in my opinion, it looked fabulous on me!  It was tan and the head wardrobe person thought the color was too light.  Then they put a charcoal colored one on me and it fit even better! 

I tried on a few more things, but before I left I asked where they purchased the suits.  They said JC Penny’s.  I went straight there from the fitting and bought two suits.  They were on sale so I ended up getting them for 50% off.       

I had been meaning to buy a new suit…for ever, but STILL hadn’t done it so this was just so perfect.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shooting: “General Hospital” @ ABC Prospect Studios.  Let’s start off by me admitting how freakin’ nervous I am about shooting this.  As I’ve said before, I’ve never been on a soap set before and I’ve always heard about how little prep time/rehearsal one gets and just how much shooting they do in a single day.

Fortunately, the dialogue in my two short scenes is pretty straight forward and I don’t have any weird physical moves to make.

My call time was 7:15am.  I drove on the lot, parked, went through security to get on the stage and checked in with the first AD.  She signed me in and I went back to security to get my room assignment.  Ironically, I was assigned to a room that is usually reserved for a guy that I know that is a contract player on the show.

About 10 minutes later I called to the stage for a rehearsal.  Admittedly, I don’t normally watch GH, but I had been watching it all week to be more informed about the tone of the show and who was who.  I recognized a few of the contract players right away.  We walked through it 2 quick times and I was released to go back to my room. 

About 30 minutes later it was my turn in front of the cameras.  By this time I felt pretty good and almost relaxed.  We did one rehearsal and two takes and that was it.  I was wrapped by 9:30am. 

On my way out I stopped by the office of Casting Director Mark Teschner to thank him for the opportunity to work.  He is such a nice guy and said that “Ya never know, sometimes these roles come back on the show.”  Cool, I’ll take that.  It was a great experience!  As far as I know the episode will air Thursday, June 18th.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

7,305 days ago, 20 years to be exact, I left Virginia Beach, VA with a pink duffel bag and $250 in pocket. I was on my way to New York City, Hell’s Kitchen to be exact, 450 W 46th St, APT 4RW, to be even more exact. The bus ride to The Big Apple cost $50. I wanted to be an actor.

For 4 months I shared a full sized bed with my friend, Greg Lee. Only once did he wake up in the middle of the night and think I was his girlfriend back in VA…I don’t think I ever told him that. I’m sure he has no recollection if it.

A lot has…and hasn’t happened in these 20 years past. It’s been a long journey, thus far, and I admit that the hustle of it all has worn me down, but I kept trying to succeed.

Will I still be doing this in another 20 years? I don’t know. Another 15? 10? 5? I don’t know that either. I’ll still be doing it tomorrow because I’m on avail for a commercial and I kinda want to see if it goes my way before I make any big decisions. I DO, however, know that the desire to be a professional actor has not waned at all. None. So, I’m guessing, I probably will be still doing this "actor thing” in some form or fashion on 5/10/2035.

Thanks Dalbe Markman, Lindsay & Shaunda for making my transition a smooth one.

Happy 20th Anniversary to me...

Friday, May 08, 2015

Yesterday and today I stopped by commercial & theatrical agencies and gave all of the agents and assistants a $10 gift card from Starbucks…I think, or was it The Coffee Bean?  Hmmm…not sure which one, but they all can get a little coffee and/or tea on me.  I just really appreciate all that they do to help me along my journey.  I guess, when I think about it, “my journey” is a part of their journey too.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

This morning I stopped by the ABC/Prospect Studio to sign my day-player contract and pick up my script for work next week.  I got a chance to meet Casting Director Mark Teschner for the first time too.  He was very happy to be able to give me the opportunity.  I can’t even begin to imagine how many actors he’s hired that have gone on to amazingly successful careers…I’d love to be one of them too! 

Callback: “Bank of America” @ Cathi Carlton Casting.  This was one of those callbacks that just feels right!

Audition: “Comcast” @ Cathi Carlton Casting.  Pretty simple stuff, that I’m pretty right for.  I like those odds.

Cut to: 8:29pm – The call comes on from my commercial agency that I’ve been placed on avail for Bank of America.  One step closer!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Audition: “Experian” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Yeah, this was a fun one.  I like the current campaign that Experian is running and would love to be in a future funny one.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles, pursuing my dream of being a professional actor for 6,127 days, almost 17 years. In that time I’ve auditioned for television, film, commercials, print, voiceovers, industrials, theater, etc. Amazingly enough, I’ve never, in all of that time auditioned for an adult video.
Shocking I know…(well, full disclosure, I didn't have to audition...

What’s even more shocking, at least to me, is that I’ve never, not even once, had an audition for a daytime soap opera. Not once.

Now I get it, I’m not a “soap type” per se, whatever that really is, but they have "normal looking" people on those shows sometimes too. Okay, maybe I'm not "normal" looking in the classic sense, I have an extra chin, 4 eyes and a smile that's just a little too eager, BUT I'm normal enough looking. I can recite the lines, "I had no idea she was married, I couldn't see her wedding ring with the lights off!” as good as any actor in Los Angeles.

Alright, for those of you, which I'm sure are the majority, that are thinking this collection of nonsense I'm writing will end with "I finally got an audition for a daytime soap opera!".

It doesn't.

It doesn’t end that way at all because in 17 years of pursuing my dream as an actor in Los Angeles I’ve STILL never had an audition for a daytime soap opera.
BUT, finally, I can say that I’ve booked a job on a daytime soap opera.

I'm SO, incredibly thrilled!

And one day, in the future, near or far, I will land an audition for a daytime soap opera.

Monday, May 04, 2015

So I got an email this evening from David, one of my theatrical agents, and in the subject line, in all caps, it reads: ARE YOU AVAIL TO SHOOT GENERAL HOSPITAL 5/12?

Well, I checked my schedule and the answer is…


I emailed him back that, I am available to work on General Hospital on 5/12!  His response was: “Sending your reel. They will book off of that. They wanted to know if you were available before I sent it. Fingers crossed.”

My immediate thought was…what reel?  My demo reel is so old that I forget that I even have one.  It’s been so long since I’ve booked anything that was “reel worthy” so I just keep what I’ve got.  I had hair back then! 

My next thought was:  Oh no!  Might I actually LOSE this job (that I haven’t yet booked) BECAUSE of my reel???  Alright, stop it Stephon, and let the cards fall where they may.  So that’s what I did.

Audition: “Bank of America” @ Cathi Carlton Casting.  I swear; it seems like every time I audition for a Bank of America commercial I am perfect for it!  One of these days I’m going to book one.  They seem to run a lot and that, of course, is what we hope for as commercial actors.

I also started my 4-week voiceover class tonight which went really well.  I HAVE to diversify my talents in the business and v/o is an area I’d like to expand into.  It’s not at all easy, but I want to remain committed to learning the craft.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Audition: “Toyota” @ Petite, A Casting Company.  This was another one that I feel I’m perfect for and it went really well.  It’s great that I was able to make it on a day that I’m actually shooting.  Double win.  Hopefully I’ll get a callback!

Shooting: “Sprint” @ Universal Studios.


I moved to Los Angeles on Tuesday July 28th 1998; arriving on a 10pm flight from Chicago, originating in New York. My first commercial audition was the following morning at 10:30am at an office in the valley. I’ve auditioned at this particular office countless times over the years.

Auditions/callbacks/avail totals

1998 - 3 times

1999 - 4 times

2000 - 1 time

2001 - 2 times

2002 - 1 time

2003 - 3 times

2004 - 4 times

2005 - 3 times

2006 - 10 times

2007 - 3 times

2008 - 3 times

2009 - 2 times

2010 - 5 times

2011 - 7 times

2012 - 0 times

2013 - 10 times

2014 - 12 times

2015 - 5 times

All without a single booking…not one.

Last week, Friday, I had an appointment there. I didn’t know it was a callback session until I got in the room. They said it may book over the weekend and be reachable by phone. Before even getting home I got the call that I had been placed on avail. The weekend came and went and I heard nothing. Monday came and went - crickets. I kinda took it as “no news is good news and better than an official release from the avail”. Tuesday evening, 5:35pm, I emailed my agency for an update and was informed that I was still on avail and they should have a decision by the end of the day. End of the day came and went - bigger crickets.

Wednesday morning I get the call.

I usually let the call go to voicemail in case there is information I want to play over again. Before listening to the message I knew what it was. Why? It was only 6 seconds…Plenty of time to say, “Hey Stephon, it’s Xxxx from KMR. Unfortunately you’ve been released from Xxxx. You’ll get the next one!”

And I was right. I had been released. I think I like the crickets better…

Exactly 24 hours later one of my agents calls, which is rare, much of the communication is through text and email. The request is to go to the set at Universal Studios to…audition for a different commercial. The directive was that they’d make a decision pretty quickly and the lucky ones would go straight to a fitting and work the next day, Friday. The audition was taped on an iPhone and I didn’t walk out of the room feeling lucky. So unlucky that I drove home and got on with my day…which really meant going to sleep after working the previous nights graveyard shift.

The time frame for making the decision “pretty quickly” came and went…those damn crickets again! Maybe I will get the next one because I felt this one slipping away. Gone.

Then, hours later, the phone rings while I was on another call. It’s my agent with the unbelievable news that I had finally, after almost 17 years of going into that particular casting office, been booked on something!

So I made my way back to the valley for the fitting and shot the commercial the next day.

Sometimes one does, in fact, "get the next one!"

The shoot itself was fun and tricky.  That’s all I can really say.  Good tricky though and I think it’s going to be a funny spot…a spot that runs long and hard!