Making It Work

Hi all,

I had to get a post in before too late.  So, is anyone actually reading this?  I’m auditioning for a Christmas singing group in the area.  The special appointment with Goode Time Productions didn’t work out.  I’ll also be auditioning for a murder mystery theatre company.  Many years ago I tried to become part of the Eddie May Murder Mysteries troupe.  I auditioned and the lady accepted me as an understudy, but after rehearsing with them for a month or so, I found out that she had no room for the understudies.  I only found out after I had e-mailed her when I came to the rehearsal space and no one was there.  So this had better not end up like that.  I have received no callbacks from the Equity theatres.  I got a special local artist ticket deal for Boeing Boeing at the Phoenix Theatre.

I want to be considered a proper professional but according to the head of one acting studio that I had submitted to as an instructor, I have never acted professionally.  She said her other people are 10-yr+ industry veterans.  I have acted for money, that’s professional.  Pardon my non-union status, I’m trying to do something about it.  I applied to a local community theatre to be an instructor today and I hope to hear back soon.  The nice man on the phone invited me to audition for their season, but being community theatre, they don’t pay.  Before you say that that is no problem, I have to tell you that I didn’t go to London nor am on in a docudrama on Netflix so I can act with the plumber next door.  There’s a difference between extensively-trained people going for a career and people who do it as a hobby.  I want to work with people who can increase my skills to the next level, not lower them.  As the late Bob Fraser said, professional, high-quality projects don’t involve actors working for free.  (My little movie technically doesn’t count with that guideline.)  This theatre has won a lot of awards but I need union, paying professional work.  I’m not settling for much less.  I don’t mind doing commercials and industrials that pay.  Those are often not under a union contract, but a great deal of people see commercials so that would be awesome.

My commercial/voiceover/teleprompter workshop with Gene Ganssle is great.  I’ve had a lot of fun and read some fun scripts like the one for the “car whisperer” and Mother Nature.  The last session is today.  And I’m working on those monologues for my agent.  The Rebel group acting competition was cancelled, which makes me sad.  They thought they hadn’t planned it right but it sounded fine to me.

Also, a buddy of mine contacted me about a lady he knows that needed someone to sing Ave Maria at the renewal of her wedding vows.  I was so flattered and I happily agreed.  She’s paying me money, which is the way I like it.

I only got a day instructional aide substitute assignment so far from one of my school districts.  Another one of the districts is having an issue with reference forms so they won’t let me sub for them yet.  And I didn’t get into the standardized patient program.  And I thought the interview went so well.

It’s Official!

Hi all,

Here is post number 2 for today.  After hoping and submitting for a good agent, I have been signed!  Deborah Maddox is now my agent.  Her agency is SAG-franchised and she has been in the industry for a long time.  My photographer, Jon Simpson, knows her and thinks she is terrific.  Most projects that come through in Arizona are commercials so she wanted me to get my commercial skills in order.  I will be attending a commercial workshop with her colleague Gene, an industry veteran.  And I will be preparing two film monologues to show her.

I can’t believe I wasted so many months trying to get a straight answer out of the Young Agency.  I don’t know what they think they’re doing.  I heard a radio ad for a casting director who is holding a workshop to get your kids on the Disney Channel.  The Young Agency has a casting director come out quite often to hold a workshop at their office who is supposed to cast for Disney.  The cost is $99.  This must be the same person.  No one can promise to give your kid or any other actor a job and I don’t know why she comes to an agency and charges their talent to audition for her.  Agencies don’t do business like that so I don’t know why they have an A from the Better Business Bureau.  They certainly don’t have SAG approval.

So I’m working on the skills and hope to book some well-paying work soon.  I interviewed to be a Standardized Patient at a local medical school.  Standardized Patients portray patients with a specific medical condition as part of training medical school students.  They help them communicate better by giving feedback and a safe environment to make mistakes.  I got to act out a case as part of my interview and the lady was impressed.  I will hear by next week if they would like to hire me.  It pays really well.

So yes, I have many things going on.

Anna On Film

Hi all,

I wanted this post to make it before July ended.  Oh well.  I filmed my little movie this weekend at Collins College.  We filmed in the hallway outside a class room, but I hope it looks like a casting office, which is where it’s supposed to take place.  I was very excited to finally have something I created become a reality.  So much of my stories are still in my head or stuck in a document on my computer or only had one small staged reading (hint, hint).  La Famille is a long time coming along.  Anyhow, it was a great shoot.  We all had fun and laughed and talked about Quentin Tarantino.  I really wanted to act well and my director, Marcus Bejarano, said it looked good.  My co-star, Erica Mathlin, was wickedly funny as the porn star I’m competing for the role with.  I was surprised how long it takes to film a two-minute short.  I did tell them I wanted it to look good.  This wonderfully generous man lended us most of the equipment and we got to use a Canon 7D and a Rebel Camera.  You’d be surprised what you can film on cameras that compact.  I provided bottled water and home-made banana muffins.  I got some major help organizing and helping make the film from Ryan Pierson, one of the heads of Friars Lantern Entertainment.  He manned the sound equipment because the sound editor didn’t show up the day of filming.  Fortunately, one of my buddies and actors, Stephen Kessen, knows how to sound edit and also is editing the film.  Ryan bought the pizza.  It was all very quaint.  We made sure to get out of the building before they closed it up for the day.

I want to have a budget for my next film and some SAG contracts.  I found out that the major film companies don’t receive any incentives for filming in Arizona so those jobs go elsewhere.  I wonder what I can do about that.  Many people here and in Portland have settled for working for free, except Oregon has film incentives.  I think that’s sad.