For the last two months I have had one goal: GET MYSELF A THEATRICAL AGENT! Since I live in California, it isn’t necessary, but I’ve gotten to the point where 90% of my competition for roles is from girls who are being sent by agents. I would attend the open calls, they would attend the agency calls, but in the end we would all be in the callback room. Then I built a good relationship with a casting director and got an appointment time for her next project. It was such a breath of fresh air to show up to my time, with the casting director expecting and WANTING to see me, instead of trying my luck and spending hours of time in the waiting room.
So when I closed my 4 month gig and found myself back in the city with no projects on the horizon, I took the time (and trust me, I had wayyy too much of it) to do extensive research on agencies. (I’ve been signed with a commercial agent for 2 years; that story is here and here.) Then I gathered all the video footage I had of shows I’ve done in the past few years and spent a week making a kickass theatrical highlights reel! A few emails and texts later and I had 8 directors/producers/casting directors willing to be my “industry references”. I was ready!
Wow! Life sure gets in the way, if you let it. This past week has seen both large steps and severe stunted movement toward my goal as I tended to things that popped up in my “real” life. In an ideal world, I would have had a couple more weeks to pull this together. But I don’t. And that’s okay. It just means I need to get. to. work. I have definitely learned the value of saying “No” this week. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson because I said “Yes” to too many things. But the show must go on, so I stay up late and try not to forego things like, you know, eating.
One thing that popped up was a unique audition that involve choreographing a dance combo. I spent a lot – A LOT – of time working that combo and the accompanying monologue. The work paid off; the audition went really well! The downside is I sacrificed time to work on View from the Pews to work on that audition, and I lost a whole day of rehearsal traveling to and from the audition (out-of-town, as always).
So, you’ve read my take on “Audition” by Michael Shurtleff (or perhaps not, you can check that out HERE). That was an older book. Now onto something new! Recently, a friend of mine told me to check out this book, “Minding The Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor” by Carl Menninger and Lori Hammel. I looked it up online, and after reading the description- I thought it might be a helpful book to check out:
Do you feel sad? Are you irritable? Tired? Frustrated? Do you find yourself subject to uncontrollable fits of rage, usually directed at unsuspecting tourists? Do you occasionally burst into tears for no reason, possibly in supply closets? Are you an actor? If you’ve answered yes, to one or more of these questions…then you might be suffering from a condition known as “Soul Sucking Day Job” or S.S.D.J. S.S.D.J. is a chronic condition that effects 98.3% of all actors at some point in their life, in which, (between shows) tiny particles of an actor’s soul are devoured at varying rates, leaving the actor feeling hopeless, artistically unfulfilled, and personally frustrated.
This condition may be severe or mild depending on the length and frequency of each outbreak. In many patients, the frequency of outbreaks decreases with age while, in others, symptoms do not occur until later in life. While there is no guaranteed cure for occasional outbreaks of S.S.D.J., the following treatment options are available to alleviate some, if not all of the symptoms.
Do you de-value your own work? The Enterprising Actor shares her thoughts:
“Sometimes a project comes across my transom that I’m interested in and appropriate for but the pay rate is shockingly low. In film/TV/commercial work, my agency generally has already negotiated the rate and to increase it substantially isn’t really an option. Everything can be negotiated, though, so recently I responded to my agent that I would be interested in a project, but that the pay was simply too low to justify the time I would be investing in the project…” Here’s the rest!
Hey New Yorkers! Have the day off?
Grab your reading glasses because here’s a challenge for ya!
As theatre artists, we should (and I think we want) to be as well-read as possible when it comes to scripts. It keeps a constant flow of new audition material coming our way, plants ideas for scenes we’d like to work on in scene study class, and as professionals, it is just completely necessary.
So here’s my bookish challenge: How many plays can you cram in one day?
The following NYC locations are all within walking distance of one another. Also, this challenge is complete with perks!