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GUEST POST BY JESSICA LEIGH SMITH: Make Self-Producing Work For You

June 15, 2015

Please welcome Jessica Leigh Smith to the blog today! Jessica is an Atlanta-based actor and Mom, who has co-starred on One Tree Hill and Drop Dead Diva (both times while pregnant! you go, girl!). She shared some of her actor-mom wisdom in our post on the subject, and is back to talk self-producing, as she’s recently launched her own web series called Alyssa’s Tips for Easy Parenting.

Check out her self-producing wisdom and her awesome web series!

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Make Self-Producing Work for You

We’re a good 10 years into the concept of self-producing your own web series. And actors have been self-producing since the dawn of Hollywood (check out the origins of United Artists for a classic example). What could I possibly add to the discussion?

Honestly, all I can really add is my own experience. But I hope that my personal story of how my show came to be will inspire you to get yours off and running.

We have to go back seven years, to 2008. I had been acting for two years and had just finished devouring everything Bonnie Gillespie uttered in her blogs on Actors Access. http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/index.html

I was pumped, so I brainstormed with a friend on what we could do together. We created a new take on the odd couple theme set in a faux reality a la The Office, with a surprise ending.  Read more…

Theatre Resumes

May 14, 2015

We as artists have the hardest time not only finding work, but getting help finding work. Unless you are in college (and for some people not even then), there isn’t any place out there to help theatre artists get proper feedback and advice on the paperwork side of things like resumes, cover letters, artist statements, and more. Really the best way to change that around is for someone to stand up and do something about it. Therefore I’ve decided to start a small side business in helping theatre artists with resumes!

My business Theatre Epitome (greek origin for both “a summery of written work” and “a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type”) has the sole mission to help any and all theatre artists from actors to designers, new in the industry or has been working for decades, with Community Theatre credits to Broadway credits; create the best resumes they can. For $20 an hour I’ll provide professional feedback on any and all theatre resumes or other related paperwork you have! All I need from any prospective client a digital PDF of what you want feedback on ahead of time, then for you to provide a printed copy on the day and time of our consultation session (unless you live too far to commute to NYC, then we’ll do an online consultation).

As someone who’s currently entering her late 20’s, I’ve had interviews at Broadway and well-established Off-Broadway venues such as Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC Theatre Company, Atlantic Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and more based on my own resume. I feel very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the skills I’ve developed, so I feel passing them onward would be helpful.

Contact me if interested (and pass along the info to those that might be)! Anyone that has issues contacting me directly can directly contact “The Red Headed Actress” through Green Room Blog to get ahold of me.

How to Get Your Solo-Show Produced in NYC with No Contacts, No Referrals and Living Out-of- State

May 7, 2015

Would this change your life?

I was living in Sedona, AZ.

I volunteered to collect email addresses for Eve Ensler (the creator of The Vagina Monologues) when she was performing her hit one-woman play, The Good Body in Scottsdale, AZ.

I was a huge fan, and had recently performed as The Angry Vagina in The Vagina Monologues in Flagstaff, AZ. We raised over $20,000 in one night to fight violence against women and girls worldwide.

I didn’t expect anything from Eve. I didn’t ever think I’d see her personally after the show in Scottsdale.

There was a group of twenty people waiting for Eve outside the stage door which was about 30 feet ahead of me in the auditorium. If I had any hope of meeting her…that kind of sealed my fate…or so I thought.

Fifteen minutes later I watched as her fans walked away from the stage door and left the theatre all at once. As the last person walked outside and closed the door behind them, Eve came out suddenly, walking straight to me. (The way the theatre was set up she couldn’t see the people who just left. They were just gone)

Eve Ensler asked how it was going. I told her how many emails I collected for V-Day.  I complimented her show and told her specific moments from The Good Body that moved me and inspired me. I informed her that I had my own one-woman show called My Brooklyn Hamlet and how I might do some things a little differently because of seeing her in action. I told her I admired her boldness.

She did a long once over of me in my bright green top, purple jeweled skirt and purple suede boots and said, “I can’t imagine you have a problem with being bold.” My cheeks flushed as I chuckled. Read more…

Your Life. Your Story. Your Solo Show.

April 16, 2015

I am scared to death. I’m backstage at one of the top acting schools in Los Angeles. I am about to tell my story, my real story in an exercise called a personal monologue.

I’ve got the unloaded gun I borrowed from a fellow student on stage already, alongside my flute and just a couple of props. I’ve given the stage manager the cue for my music at the end of the scene and I’ve even enlisted a friend in class last minute to join me on stage for a final dance to close out the piece.

Why did I ask to do this? I felt inwardly guided and yet I am now sweating, fear gripping me, knowing that I may be judged severely and the truth will be known…the truth I’ve been hiding for years. My father killed my mother and married her sister just a few years ago. He shot her in the head, cleaned up the crime and then abandoned me forever. My life is a Shakespearean tragedy.

Lights up, curtains open, all eyes in this 100 person class are on me.

Something happens.

I am free. I am in the moment. I am telling my truth through story and music and movement and narration. I’m being seen as I really am, in all my vulnerability and strength. My secrets are out for the first time since that fateful night and in that reveal I am free.

That short piece changed my world. Not only did I get a standing ovation but several of my peers flew over to me during the break and through tears they shared their secrets which were heavy until then. A directing student wanted to direct me and I was off. I realized I could change peoples lives.  Read more…

GUEST POST BY SAM GARLAND: Why You Must Create Your Own Work

April 6, 2015

Please welcome guest poster Sam Garland to the blog! She’s here today sharing why self-producing is one of the greatest tools for actors that most people never take advantage of. And you all know how much I admire actors self-producing! :)

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WHY YOU MUST CREATE YOUR OWN WORK

There are many reasons why it’s important for actors to be creating their own work. (In fact, I just hosted a free training call where I delved into all of them. Plus, I shared some awesome-sauce ideas on how to jump in and get started with a project tailored to your talents. Want to grab your free copy? Click here.)

But I wanted to highlight one in depth for you today. Quite simply, it will make you a better actor.

Let me explain.

First, I have to confess that I am slightly addicted to acting classes. I love the safety, the support, the constant stretching. I love knowing that I’m growing, and working on my craft. And I love the high I get from being in front of an audience and committing to a role.

But the difference between acting in class and acting as a job is like — apples and snakes.  Read more…

GUEST POST BY ALEX SOARE: 13 Actors Who Made It Big Late in Life

March 6, 2015

Please welcome Alex Soare to the blog today!

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Alex is an opera singer and the founder of ArtRise, a social network for creative professionals. He’s sharing some wisdom with us today that you may find comforting if you feel like your professional success has an expiration date.

 

13 Wildly Successful Actors Who Made it Big Late in Life

Hollywood is chock-full of kids fresh out of high school, hoping to make it big in the movies.

Most of them will decide by age 25 whether they can make a living as actors or not.

However, there are many big names in Hollywood who didn’t achieve massive success right away – some toiled away for many years before landing a dream role, while some didn’t start acting until they were in their 30’s.

If you need a little motivation to keep trucking, learning about their unconventional paths to stardom may just do the trick.

  1. Harrison Ford

It’s hard to believe, but Harrison Ford’s career was languishing until he auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars at the age of 33. The Star Wars trilogy got him into Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones franchise, and Ford has been a bankable star ever since. In fact, ford didn’t even take acting classes until his college years, which he signed up for to help get over his shyness.

  1. Sylvester Stallone

Sure, he’s Hollywood royalty today, but Stallone wasn’t cast in Rocky until he was 30 years old, and up until that time he was so broke, he performed in pornographic movies to pay the rent. Many don’t know that Stallone is partially paralyzed on the left side of his face, which is precisely what gives him such distinctive facial expressions and enunciation – talk about overcoming the odds!  Read more…

Support The Redheaded Actress’ Feminist Indie Film!

March 2, 2015

Hey, Green Room Blog readers!

Remember when I wondered if it was crazy to self-produce, fundraised for a hugely ambitious Anne Boleyn play, shared my crowdfunding tips, and then produced a crazy successful and beautiful piece of theatre?

Well, I’m at it again.

I wrote a feminist short film called Choice, and I’m raising $10K by mid-March to shoot it.

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Choice is a film about the challenges of being a modern woman, and I can just about guarantee that there’s something in it that every woman will relate to. And something in it that every guy should learn!

We’re already 20% funded (hooray!), but we need your help to make it to $10K.

In exchange, I promise to create a great film, give opportunities to women in indie film (we’re hiring an all-female crew!), and tell you all about what I learn along the way. Plus, we have some fun perks you can get, too!

So please throw a few bucks our way if you can spare ’em. I’ll do ya proud! :)

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Green Room Blog Live-Tweets #TEDxBroadway 2015

February 25, 2015

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I had the honor of attending Monday’s 2015 TEDxBroadway event at New World Stages as a representative of Green Room Blog, and boy, did I learn a lot.

The day was billed as a whole day of talking about how to make Broadway the best that it can be, and we were treated to 6 hours of talks on the subject from both theatre industry insiders and non-theatre people — think the founder of Warped Tour, a climate change expert, the VP of Marketing at the PGA Tour, and the woman responsible for running Governor’s Island, among many more.

It was an inspiring day talking about the future of Broadway, and lucky for those of you who weren’t there — I live-tweeted it all! And made a handy dandy transcript for those of you who missed the tweets.

Check out the transcript for wise gems from even wiser people. Already looking forward to next year’s event. Thanks for having me, TEDxBroadway!

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