New Agent!

Hi everyone,

As you’ve seen, I now have a new commercial agent, Robertson/Taylor Agency. They were one of my top ten commercial agents to be signed with and now I am. I also got a theatrical agent meeting but we had different career philosophies, so I decided not to sign with them. You can’t let desperation rule your choice of representation. I also did my campaign for managers and I am in the midst of my Equity theatres across America campaign. The more hiring people who know me, the better.

In other news, the reading of La Famille, Episode 2 is happening on Zoom on Saturday, October 17, at 2pm on Zoom (of course). And the link to the event is: https://www.facebook.com/events/663378994561016 You will find the link to the reading of Episode 1 on that blog post. And also on the new CactusFlowerPictures.com where you can see my short films in their entirety (also available on YouTube.com but more fun to watch on my site!). I’ve never had a website for my production company before. So please get in touch there too as I also offer writing services.

I really want the pandemic to end soon and hope our next election is not a disaster. The arts and film production are really affected right now and we need all the hope we can get.

The Power of One

Hi all,

Looks like I missed January for blog updates.  I just received my first acting paycheck of the year from the Skittles commercial in which I was an extra in December.  The commercial didn’t air during the Super Bowl, but that’s alright.  It was also in Phoenix this year and no, I didn’t have tickets, but Chris Pratt and Chris Evans did.  I had the opportunity to work six days at the NFL Experience in downtown Phoenix and it was a great deal of fun.  The pay was good and I didn’t have to work shifts that were too long.  However, that’s not the acting news you’re waiting for.  I was also cast as a stand-in for the Pro Bowl rehearsal through Good Faith Casting, who brought me in for the Skittles commercial.  I look forward to working with them again.  I got to pretend I was one of the players drafted into the Pro Bowl and give mock interviews.

I bought the domain name for this blog, so it will now be http://www.annasahlstrom.com.  My friend, Stephen, the amazing film god re-edited my demo reel for easier posting.  I have known my reel was too long and with the wrong cuts the moment I received it.  Additionally, if I am going to renew my Actors Access subscription after four years, I really need a competent reel.  I need to re-instate my memberships and LA connections so I can get a lot more opportunities.  I haven’t yet heard about Bogie and Bacall.

I’m going to strive to go to the Actors WorkHouse as often as I can so I can continually train.  I have an audition for the production of Twelfth Night with Class 6 Theatre company on Monday night of next week, so I have to really practice my monologue.  I will also be auditioning for a production company for their future commercials, feature films, and other projects.  The Sunday before last I auditioned for Burning Suns Entertainment, headed up by the famous Bobby Shook, for their upcoming commercials.  All these projects pay, but as for union contracts, I’m not sure there are too many of those upcoming in the Phoenix area.

I have made some changes to La Famille, with specific focus to the first 15 pages of the script I shared at the In The Works reading series.  I understood that the history the script deals with needs a great deal of explanation as most people don’t know Acadian/Cajun history.  I also short-changed that character and made her part much too short.  I am going to get The Go-Girls campaign going.  I need to put together my pitch to potential production partners, cast, crew, and directors.  A fellow stand-in at the Pro Bowl shoot told me there was no reason I couldn’t go ahead and get the funding campaign started.  He told me I need to quit waiting for someone else to get started.  I need to establish the Cactus Flower Pictures mission statement and industry presence.  To clarify: I am not trying to be like a major studio, just a small collaborative production company for my work and that of others if it gets to that level.  This is not a replacement for submitting to acting projects.

I did a bit of fan page promotion on Facebook and I now have 107 likes, up from about 65 just two weeks ago.  Also, the paperwork has gone through for Pick Me! with the distributor.  More details on that as they come.  I additionally have registered the copyright of the film with the US Copyright Office.  I found out that you have to list the company producing the film if more people than yourself worked on it.  I’m just learning these things.

Pray for my success.

December to Remember

Hi all,

Here is the last post of the year considering there are only two weeks.  Merry Christmas! or whatever you celebrate.  This is my favorite holiday of the year.  I love the Christmas shopping, the beautiful lights, baking cookies, the tree, Christmas carols, Santa Claus, and spending time with my family and friends I haven’t seen in a while.  I am also a very faithful Catholic so I see this as all about the birth of Jesus and how He changed the world.  I tried to keep myself engaged with acting during this festive month.  Casting director Mark Sikes, who has a weekly blog on the Showfax page of Actors Access, gave a challenge to actors to not let December pass them by.  I wasn’t sure how many auditions I would get and what I could book not being in LA and having an agent.  I’ll tell you in a moment what I accomplished.

First off, let me tell you about being in the Filmstock Actors Showcase.  The whole festival took place at the Harkins Valley Art and now includes short films from around the world in the categories of drama, comedy, animation, and documentary.  I performed Ariel’s Harpy speech from The Tempest and I received rave reviews.  They had an onstage director, Alejandro Montoya, who is a filmmaker from New Mexico.  He was awesome to work with and gave us all redirects after our initial performance of our piece. He told me to do the speech like Patton’s speech from the film.  It’s my Dad’s favorite movie, so I knew exactly how to do that.  I had a lot of fun acting like I did back at Drama school.  I also got coaching on the monologue from Duane Daniels at the Actors Workhouse.  I attended a free workshop at his studio and really loved it.  I would take classes there every week if had more money.  It’s only $30 per class.  He helped me move the monologue in the direction of making it how Ariel would actually do it, not Prospero.  Before, I made it an angry monologue, but Ariel is mischievous, light, and funny, so I changed my portrayal to show that.  I will inquire about getting the footage of the performance to put on my Social Media.

Remember the casting office where I got to audition for the commercial?  I booked another commercial shoot and it’s a big one.  I can’t divulge any details at this time, but look for it soon.  That certainly added to my making December count.

My script, La Famille, got to be part of the In The Works series reading this past Tuesday.  You get to have an excerpt from the screenplay, so I went with the first 15 pages about Laureatte.  I didn’t get any French speakers to read the script, but it was really cool to hear my words.  (I put the French bits into English. The French parts are not all translated because I’m not fluent in French and don’t know the Acadian/Cajun versions.)  The young lady reading Laureatte did the cutest French accent ever and I wanted to hug her for going for it.  I was really happy with just about everything that I wrote, but I knew I needed to add more.  After the read, the audience can give the writer feedback.  They said that I needed to have more explanation of the history, since many people don’t know the history of the Acadians/Cajuns.  However, they were really impressed with my research and my characters though they were differing opinions on how well they felt they knew the characters.  I will definitely be fixing the first part and adding a lot more explanation and scenes with Laureatte, Madame Richard, and the other characters in that part.  The most important change will be Dawn giving the audience (and her daughter) the introductory explanation of the history.

I signed up for the SMFA: Get in Gear for the New Year challenge hosted by casting director, Bonnie Gillespie, which is about getting actors on the right track to get hired in 2015.  I’ve done the homework so far and received some useful feedback on what my headshot says about me and how to target my materials.  SMFA stands for Self-Management for Actors and it’s the guide she wrote for actors to be successful in the industry.

I hope that amazing things will happen for me in the New Year, like finally being union eligible, getting significant credits on my resume, making The Go-Girls into a film, and getting La Famille produced (after edits, of course).  But first, I’ll go ahead and enjoy the holiday season.  I can at least take Christmas off, right?

 

Hot Tamales

Hi all,

My summer just got busier. I had a print ad audition on yesterday with the legendary casting director, Gay Gilbert, for whom I auditioned a year and a half ago for a student film. I’m crossing my fingers I book a part. My friend, Luca Patruno, is back here for summer vacation and we are going forward with filming, “Climbing Stairs,” and have a firm shooting schedule. I am very glad we are able to finally film the script. Additionally, I was cast in a student film called, “These Are the Breaks,” as the friend of the female lead. That should film at the end of July, or thereabouts. And there’s more: I was also cast as Tonton Julian in a landmark ASU Senior Thesis of Once On This Island. I always thought it would be cool to be in this excellent musical. What is unique about this production is that the director had audio-only auditions sent by e-mail. He decided to make casting choices on voice and ability rather than physical appearance or gender.

One really large project I am undertaking is producing The Go-Girls into a feature film in LA. I am just in the planning phases, but I have connected with people on Stage 32 and professional Facebook pages for advice and collaboration on making the film. I already have a lead actress and producer, which are both me! I downloaded a film budget form from online and filled it out. I think the tentative budget should be around $90,000. A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar through IFP Phoenix about crowdfunding campaigns. The whole thing was four hours long. Two of the guests spoke to us via Skype about their experiences with crowdfunding and also their production companies. The founder of Seed and Spark was one of them and she told us how her company works for supporting indie filmmakers through providing focused crowdfunding and distribution opportunities. I believe the case for most crowdfunding sites is that they are suitable for projects with budgets of $200,000 and under. I heard the average feature film campaign is for $50,000. I put together a tentative budget for La Famille and it will definitely be about $8 million. If either script could be produced for less, I would totally go for that. However, I wouldn’t do that at the expense of actors and crew being paid a living wage.

My friend, Lee, read La Famille and loved it! He was kind enough to make edits for me and even met with me to discuss them and gave me the marked copy of my script. I really appreciated it and having corrections made on a physical copy is the only way I can edit. Staring at the computer too long makes my eyes hurt. You can read the scripts for The Go-Girls and La Famille on my profile on Stage 32 at http://www.stage32.com/profile/21717/anna-sahlstrom

These are great undertakings, but it’s about time I got things rolling in my campaign for industry domination. There is nothing that I love more than acting and writing.