A Million Miles A Minute!

I’m taking a quick break from writing cover letters to bring you this update…

Record Label

I think I forgot to mention that before my much needed trip to Mexico I was asked to audition by a record label.  They saw my profile on Backstage and pursued me.  I felt apprehensive about the audition because singing in public/in front of others is fairly different from auditioning for a role.   Despite my apprehension, I decided to go for it. At the very least, I would learn something from the experience. The big question became what two songs would I sing. I have to admit that despite singing before ever acting and despite singing frequently in my daily life…I didn’t feel like I knew any song well enough to audition without music. After much research, I settled for ‘My Favorite Things’ of Sound of Music fame as well as ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ (the Etta James version). I wasn’t truly nervous until I started singing for three people in business suits.  ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ went smoother than ‘My Favorite Things’. We discussed my favorite genre of music to sing, which for me was gospel, jazz, and blues.  They asked me to sing some more gospel songs.  I sang them but they were all pretty short.  They asked me to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ and embarassingly enough I totally forgot how the song went in the beginning then I totally forgot the second verse after I started singing. This is a song I’ve known since I was in a choir and one that I’ve practice in voice class numerous times. In fact, I could probably sing it for you now.  Wow.  They must’ve been interested because they called to talk to be about my audition while I was in Mexico.  They must’ve taken my lack of response as lack of interest. I called them when I got back to LA but no response. Then I followed up with an e-mail, yet no response. TBD.

Interested in hearing me sing? Check out a song I sang on for my friend’s band, The Milling Gentry.

  I Would Wait (Apple Store Mix) Version 2 by ravenreenie

Actorfest LA 2010
I wasn’t positive about my schedule so I opted to register for the general exhibit and a free casting call offered at this event.  Essentially, it’s an annual, bi-coastal convention for actors where you can network with other actors and professionals in the industry. I was fortunate enough to meet Terry Luce, Billy DaMota, and Fern Champion.  All of them liked my ‘look’ and each provided me constructive feedback, which was genuinely appreciated.  Billy encouraged me to enrolled in an acting class, which was totally valid. I’ve been shopping around for awhile, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. I’ve been selective because this is my craft; acting requires a great deal of trust. I wish I could transport T. Schrieber Studio to LA. I miss the authenticity and dedication of that school.  People were so much more focused on the work than the business.  It’s interesting though that people in the industry care about “which” acting studio you’re working with vs. whether you’re in one at all.  I tend to look at my rehearsals with my theatre company, hereandnow, as my class.  We do a lot of work (movement, scene, etc.) that you’d find at a traditional acting studio in conjunction with developing original pieces and rehearsing for upcoming shows. Sidebar: I never understood needing to have improv specific classes on your resume. I firmly believe all good actors should be good at improv.  That being said, I’ll likely be taking an improv class as well because though I can improv it never hurts to see what all the hub-bub is about and to become better at it.  After all, I’m always up for learning.

Terry Luce pointed out that I hadn’t joined SAG yet, which signals to industry professionals that I am just that…a professional.  It does feel a bit irksome that I’m not judged by the work that I’ve done but rather by what ‘card’ I carry.  But such is life.  I do find that to be quite a conundrum. You need SAG in order to be represented by a decent agency but you need a decent agency in order to get good SAG projects.  I’ve been advised by my actor friends to delay joining SAG until I got a big enough SAG project to pay for it.  They’ve been hindered by joining SAG because they can’t work on the meaty roles on nonunion projects and are also in debt because of the expensive dues.  Hmmm. Not really much of an incentive, right?  As with all aspects of my career, I’ve approached this pretty strategically.  Because I’m building credits and trying to create a substantial reel, I choose not to join SAG.  There are a lot of nonunion jobs that I wouldn’t have been able to book if I was a SAG member.  That being said, I feel like I’m getting to the point where I can create a decent reel thus becoming a SAG member is more of a reality.  I’ll likely join AFTRA first though. 

Fern Champion mentioned that my casting age range was college, which was nice to hear because the difference of opinion is fierce. I’ve been cast as a high school student, college student, a working professional, etc.  It’s nice to get an opinion of a  professional of her caliber. I know she’s a proponent of casting workshop, which is also another big conundrum. If anyone in the corporate world asked me to pay them to be interviewed, I’d hang up the phone or walk out the door.  Simple.  I didn’t work my butt off in high school and graduate from a hardcore university to be insulted.  Yet, the lines are blurred when it comes to casting workshops where actors pay to work in front of a casting director. I’ve read interviews from both sides…each with compelling arguments. How do you get noticed in an industry where talent, drive, and work don’t necessarily result in opportunities?  I do think there is something valuable to the actor of getting that opportunity to work in front of a well-known casting director.  Too bad casting directors don’t visit acting classes more often.  How terrific would that be? Then both parties would win (well, albeit less wealthy).  The actor would be seen in their natural habitat working on their craft and the casting director would be able to view new talent in an intimate setting.  But that’s my fantasy.  I haven’t attended a casting workshop yet, but there is a big push from a lot of different directions to attend one.  The funny thing is that before it was framed in the pay-to-play light, I really did think it’d be super informative to have a working casting director provide specific feedback about my auditioning skills.  I mean I’ve taken some cold reading classes but I want to hear it from the proverbial horses mouth. 
I’m excited to shoot with HBO this Friday. I’m going to be part of a scene that will be used for HBO Studio West Camera Assessment Series, a production-centric test of digital cinema cameras currently in use on HBO productions. The finished piece will be distributed internally to HBO’s creative and technical staff, which means…EXPOSURE. 
More Auditions
This Saturday I have an audition for a nonunion movie. 🙂 Exciting times!

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