Shakespeare On The Bluff Online

Hi everyone,

I was part of the first ever virtual Shakespeare festival, the third season of Shakespeare On The Bluff through LMU, my alma mater.  I was a theatre major and a Spanish minor.  I played the Widow in All’s Well That Ends Well and the Prologue/Epilogue in The Two Noble Kinsmen, both available below.

The entire festival was performed on Zoom with virtual backgrounds and you will love our inventiveness in making the unreal and unusual circumstances make sense.

http://www.lmu.edu/allswell

http://www.lmu.edu/kinsmen

 

10 Things About Me!

Hi everyone,

In a fun change from the regular post, here are 10 things about me styled after those celebrity fun interviews in magazines.

1. I’m scared of the dark because I still think that monsters will come out.

2. I visited Budapest with my family two days after the Russians had left.  People were celebrating in the streets and they were overjoyed to see Americans.  My Dad wanted us to do the day trip to Yugoslavia but my Mom told him no way.

3. I’ve had a root canal.  I was 19 when that happened.

4. I have sprained my right ankle about 15 times.

5. I once disjointed my baby toe by getting my foot stuck under the closet door.  I had to go to work, so I snapped it back into place and went about my day.

6.  When I was 12, I wanted to dye my hair black.  My Mom told me it would turn green, so I abandoned that idea.

7.  I wanted to be a Marine Biologist for a long time when I was a kid.

8.  I briefly took fencing lessons.

9. I won a first place blue ribbon for the backstroke when I was 7.

10.  I was among the last visitors allowed to climb Chechen Itza in Mexico.

Not The Apocalypse

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re alright as we go through this coronavirus pandemic together.  My day job is on hiatus as are all jobs that have more than 2 people in one building.  I submitted Super Break-Up to five film festivals and I already know it wasn’t selected for one.  I took advantage of festivals that have free submissions and allow myself to pay a fee for two.  I also submitted episode one of the La Famille mini-series to a script contest.  I’m really proud of what I have written so far; I just have to write the rest of it.  No more procrastination!

I signed up for the Relationship Ramp-Up class with Emily Grace and the program starts on April 7.  It’s all online and through Zoom, which many creatives are using for networking events and even staged readings these days.  You can check out the class at https://pickfordwest.lpages.co/relationship-ramp-up/  Basically, it’s about making genuine industry connections that lead to work.  Oh, and it’s just for women.  I’m really excited to finally get myself in order to book the work I want.  There are only 11 hours left to sign up.

About those staged readings: I just joined a Facebook group for script presentations online called ISO(lated) Company: Virtual Readings of New Writings and the link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/232443464569209/  I’m playing Roman Senator #2 in a reading of Coriolanus, a not-often performed Shakespeare tragedy, and I am excited!  I get to do the reading with someone I’ve wanted to work with for a while.

Alright, everyone, please wash your hands and stay inside as much as you can so we can send this virus packing!

P.S. I now have two SAG vouchers!  Here’s to #3 in the New Year!

Actress Mind Taffy

Hi all,

Let me start with some good news.  Go on over to my IMDb page to find out about my first foray into being a 1st AD: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5356965/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1  The feature is set to film in November.  I’ll definitely need to read up on my Tony Bill film set terminology.  In all seriousness, I’ve been on a number of sets and produced short films, so I have a solid idea of how to be a great 1st AD.

And now into the main topic of the blog post: the actress mind taffy I’ve had to contend with, namely varying opinions on pursuing Union work for little Non-Union me.  I’ve encountered the SAG old-garde who want to make sure that the Union is only filled with “qualified members” and that being Union is the only way to be called a professional.  There is also the attitude that there are so many qualified Union people, that Non-Union people shouldn’t take their jobs or even submit because they aren’t “professional” and will just waste the casting director’s time.  I thought we were all supposed to be on the same team.  Let’s remember that Unions are about fair pay and working conditions, not whether someone thinks you deserve it.  One wonderful acting teacher told me that the gigs are all “lottery tickets.”  And don’t forget all the people who Taft-Hartleyed themselves before the budget requirement on New Media.  Is someone going to take away their membership because they didn’t “earn it?”  I certainly wouldn’t!  Rise anyway you can, my colleagues!  Unions rise and fall based on contributions to the pension, and the more members the merrier.

There was a long e-mail chain post 15 years ago in the Oregon Actors Yahoo groups about what constitutes a professional.  Yes, anyone can call themself an actor, but no one gets to arbitrarily decide who gets to do that.  Anyone who has been doing it for 15 years like yours truly and has trained ridiculously with a Post-Graduate Certificate in acting from British drama school, deserves some respect you’d think.  (Writer/Producer also!)  I’m not just sitting here doing nothing.  But I’m grouped by default with that kid from Ohio who just one day decided to pursue acting.  And that really hurts.  One retired Oregon casting director many years ago gave me a long speech about buses of wannabes coming to LA every week and essentially not to think I’d ever make it or think I’m something special.  Well-meaning veterans say things to the younger crowd (or those who don’t age) in an effort to give them what they believe to be true, but it’s really discouragement and that just makes life harder.

I’ll go back to drinking tea now and petting my imaginary cats.

Why SAG-AFTRA Is So Awesome

Here is a wonderful response I received from SAG-AFTRA about my query about Non-Union performers being hired for Union projects:
Hello Anna,
Thank you for your email. We do not have restrictions on non-union performers auditioning for union projects but certain projects do prefer to only hire union performers. This is a personal preference for the production. Working on union projects is how people become eligible to join, so we aren’t as restrictive with non-union performers working on projects. There is often extra paperwork for productions if they hire non-union performers so sometimes that can factor into their decision.
I’m adding our list of requirements for becoming eligible below, just so you have all the information available on this topic. Additionally, there is a process called “Employment Verification” for performers who have been in low-budget new media projects, ultra-low budget films, student films, student commercials or short projects. This is different from eligibility in that there are no grace periods, you cannot list yourself as SAG-E or SAG-AFTRA eligible with any agencies or managers, and a performer must be prepared to join as soon as their employment is verified. This can work different for New Media/Short Projects and Ultra-low budget/student projects. Please let us know if you have been involved in any of these lower-budget projects so we can best direct you.
Eligibility
 A performer must meet one of the following requirements to join the union:
A. One (1) day of employment in a principal or speaking role (actor/performer) or as a Recording Artist.
OR
B. Three (3) days of employment as a SAG-AFTRA (or SAG or AFTRA) covered-background performer at full SAG-AFTRA rates and conditions.
OR
C. Any covered job on the staff of a radio or TV station or network covered by an SAG-AFTRA or AFTRA
contract.
OR
D. Union Affiliation – Performer is a paid up member of an affiliated union for one year and has worked as a principal in that union’s jurisdiction. Affiliated unions include Actors’ Equity, ACTRA, AGMA and AGVA.
Please Note:
1. Eligibility does not expire.
2. Ultra Low Budget, Student, or Short Films do not qualify towards SAG-AFTRA eligibility.
3. Potential Broadcast Members should contact the National Broadcast Department or their Local for information on joining.
4. Potential Sound Recording Members should contact the Sound Recording Department or their Local for information on joining.

Should a production fail to submit eligibility paperwork on your behalf, you can self-submit the documentation. To confirm your eligibility, please submit one of the following:

· Original Paycheck Stubs – The paycheck stubs must indicate date(s) of employment, performer’s name and social security number, production title, signatory company and wages paid.
· Performer Contract – The original contract with the performer’s name and social security number, date(s) of employment, production title, signatory company and wages paid.
· Payroll Printout – The payroll printout will include the performer’s name and social security number, date(s) of employment, production title, signatory company and wages paid.
Background vouchers and copies of paycheck stubs are not acceptable as proof of work. Submitting these types of documents will delay SAG-AFTRA verification eligibility.
In addition to enclosing proper eligibility documentation, you will need to include a separate piece of paper with the following information:
· Professional Name
· Current primary address
· Current telephone numbers
· Date of birth
· Place of birth (city & state)
· Social security number
· Gender
· Signature
A self-addressed stamped envelope must also be included so the documents can be returned to you. Once verification is completed, the performer will receive a letter of eligibility from SAG-AFTRA.
PLEASE NOTE: It takes the Membership Department 5 – 7 business days to verify the submitted eligibility documents.
Mail documents to:
SAG-AFTRA
Membership Services Department
5757 Wilshire Blvd. 7th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Attn: Membership Services/Eligibility
Please make copies of the documents for your records before submitting them to SAG-AFTRA.
Should you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

More Holiday! (with Photos)

The Greenhouse Media Christmas Party with my awesome showrunner/writer/producer friend, Miranda Spigener-Sapon, her husband, Felipe, and her writer’s assistant, Lauren, and her husband. And I’m the lady in pink.

Seeing the Broadway musical, Come From Away, one of the most beautiful and wonderful shows I’ve ever seen! This is the kind of work I dream of doing. Stage is my passion!

Practicing my red carpet pose. I’m working on it!

Volunteering for A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens at Independent Shakespeare Company. I just had to take a selfie in the selfie-booth.

 

April Showers Bring…

Hi all,

As you’ve probably noticed, that one producer is no longer on the project.  Sometimes you encounter people who want to make it their show and don’t have your best interests at heart.  Well, onward the Go-Girls go!  I have cast all the other roles.  Special thanks to Film Independent for the use of their space for casting!  I have some really exciting and accomplished people acting in the project.  I am currently finalizing the funding plans and have filed federally and in CA to accept investors.  Please check out the website at www.gogirlsfilm.com.  If you’re not an accredited investor, you will be able to contribute to the funding campaign shortly once I figure out the best way to do that.

In acting news, I got a callback for a national brand commercial the week before last.  This is exciting because I currently don’t have an agent and it’s my first callback with an LA casting director.  I continue to submit to agents and connect with casting directors.  And I also recently completed the Soap Opera Intensive with Bob Lambert, Casting Associate for Days of Our Lives.  He will be teaching the class again on April 20.  Please visit www.actingupnetwork.com for details.  You will love his class as it takes you through auditions to preparing a final scene for a screen test.  He even loves my headshot!  Basically, you should go to the Acting Up Network site period because they are always having industry seminars and at least two ongoing scene study classes.  Jodie, the head of the company, is so awesome!  I am also attending an exclusive TV taping this week with the Film Funding Club, a group of people who produce films or would like to produce films (like me!).  Nancy Fulton is the head of the group and she has many seminars, events, and extremely useful articles.  You can find her contact information and more about her services at NoBetterFriend.com.

Oh, and I’m taking ballet classes again with Align Ballet Method.  You can learn ballet too in a really supportive environment (of course, you can’t automatically get the 14+ years experience I have!).  Go to AlignBalletMethod.com.

Basically, that’s what’s going on right now.  I’m singing in the church choir for the Holy Thursday mass, going to Good Friday service, and singing Easter Sunday!  Yes, I’m that Catholic.

Special Space Units

Hi all,

I just realized I forgot to share this with you.  This is the short, Special Space Units, directed, produced, written by Douglas Proce.  It was one of ten entries accepted to the Phoenix Comiccon Film Festival in 2015.  I play Ensign Susan.  Enjoy!

The First Booking is the Awesomest

Hi all,

I’ve been up to a great deal of things.  I booked my first gig in LA and it was a commercial! It should be available on the internet by tomorrow or so.  I had a wonderful experience.  They were a top professional crew and we were filming at an actual sound stage that includes a house set, town hall, diner, and detective offices.  I had make-up and costume people fawning over me to make sure I looked perfect.  I have a selfie photo posted onto the fanpage on Facebook and on Twitter.  What I can tell you is it’s me in a situation that is comically improbable.

On the agent front, I was invited to an agent open call and I attended.  I haven’t heard from them.  I have decided to keep revising the agent target list as I learn more and have more experiences.  It would be much easier if they actually contacted me.  My number of submissions is at 18 at the moment.  I just started sending out one-sheets to keep myself on their mind and will be sending more of the one-sheets to commercial casting directors as a first point.  (I’ve also sent to some film/tv casting directors.)

As for classes right now, I have a two-month temp assignment that should begin next week.  Needing to be available during regular working hours might mean that I won’t be able to audition during the week, but I very much need the money.

What is up for this weekend is being an extra in an AFI student film, which should be fun and allow me to meet students about to go out into the world to make films.  I filmed the interview pitch video for The Go-Girls campaign.  And I need to film the personal pitch video.  I wonder what I should say.  I have the written pitch together, but I get really nervous without a script to say.  I have a new producer and he will be in charge of the crowdfunding campaign.  My executive producer continues to contact possible investors, a top director, and attend seminars to find us funding.  I’m so lucky to have him on my team.

Lastly, I attended the Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event last night as one of 6,000 lucky people who got tickets.  My BFF is a journalist for an online newspaper and she told me about the tickets back in January.  We went to lunch and then off she went to take interviews.  I love seeing my friends as I often focus so much on my work.  The event had most of the original founders of the Final Fantasy game franchise and even famous actors who are voicing the major characters in the tie-in film.  They have an anime, mini-game app, game-play demo, and the film that will available to stream soon.  I really want the game when it comes out in September, but I have to save up some money to buy it and a PS4.  I have to make sure I have enough money for acting and living expenses.