Back On Another Film Set!

I’m excited and thrilled to be back on another set! Last Sunday, December 3rd, I shot an exciting project and today, December 10th, I’m back on the set of The Doppleganger. I wrote this film and I am also executive producing and co-starring in it.

I’m proud of the script. I’m proud of the cast and crew I’ve assembled. I love that 96% of my crew is FEMALE! I handpicked each person to form a wonderful, exciting and positive set.

I want to thank my co-star, Javier Lezama.

I want to thank my director and fellow producer, Lindsay Hopper.

I want to thank the GIRL POWER crew:

Beth Pennington (1st AD), Taylor Babb (Key Production Assistant), Lauren Elle Christie (Script Supervisor and Continuity), Sayaka Miyatani (Sound), Jessica Sade Ward (Camera Assistant) and Courtney Nichole (Craft Services)

I want to thank our honorary GIRL POWER crew:

Hitoshi Inoue (Cinematography and Director of Photography), Craig Taggart (Associate Producer and Location Manager) and Jordan Bull (Production Assistant)

I want to thank Chris Beber for your love and support and for always running lines with me!

And lastly, I want to thank the Richard Lawson Studios for truly creating a space where art can occur. For creating causative and powerful artists. For being a place where I and many other artists can workshop our material and take it to the next level!

Here’s a picture of Lindsay, Javier and I at our last rehearsal this past week:

The Doppleganger

Here’s a picture of me on set. Picture taken by Lauren Elle Christie:

The Doppleganger

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I’m On Set!

Hello fellow artists! I’m currently on the set of an exciting project! From the moment the director reached out to me on Sunday, November 26th about the project and the role he was considering me for, I was on go! I spoke with him over the phone for 15 minutes and immediately put myself on tape for him afterwards (and just 10 minutes before our phone call, I finished putting myself on tape for another audition) I put myself on tape and didn’t question my choices. I gave my character subtext and a quick arc to travel through.

I submitted my self-tape audition to the director and he loved it. He forwarded it to the executive producers so they could see my audition as well. On Tuesday, November 28th, he emailed me back and wrote:

After going through many, many auditions, our team has come together and agrees that you are the best actor for the part. It would be our honor to have you join us. With this e-mail, we would like to officially offer you the role.

I was thrilled that I brought to life a certain dynamic that they were looking for in this role!

Here’s a picture of the cast and crew contracts. More pictures to come soon!

FullSizeRender

Actor Wonderland

Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! I’m excited for today’s blog entry because I realize how thankful I am to be doing what it is that I love to do. I am first and foremost an actor. I love acting. Love it. And I am currently working on three different projects. Each one is completely different from the other in terms of genre and tone And I love how each one is igniting my sense of imagination, play and instincts. How my fellow co-stars and I are asking the next question and having a blast creating art together.

I am in an actor wonderland.

So this is a shout out to my fellow co-stars and to other actors out there. Below is a picture of my awesome co-stars! Clock-wise from left: Alesha Braden, Courtney Nichole and Javier Lezama:

Actors

Alesha and I are working on a scene from Christopher Guest’s “Best In Show”. “Best In Show” takes a personal look into the world of various dog owners who are preparing to compete in the annual Best In Show dog competition in Philadephia.

Courtney and I are working on a scene from Neil Simon’s “The Out Of Towners”. This is a madcap, physical comedy about a couple that flies to NYC for a business trip and everything just goes wrong for them over the course of 24 hours.

Javier and I are working on a short film that I wrote called “The Doppleganger”. I love “The Twilight Zone” and “Black Mirror” and those shows inspired my short film. It takes a look at the lengths someone will go to in order to achieve happiness, normalcy and closure. We are shooting “The Doppleganger” on December 10th.

I’m thrilled to be in an Actor Wonderland and to be working with such talented artists!

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to wish everyone a blessed, warm and safe Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful time with family and friends. Let’s put our creative minds to rest and enjoy what that day has to offer.

*Amongst the MANY things that I am thankful for, I am thankful for being an artist.

Thanksgiving

Picture found on Pinterest.

Hollywood 101 Recap Part 2!

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the year when I like to stop for a moment, recap and catch everyone up on the exciting blog entries I’ve posted over the last 4 months. Ranging from When To Get An Agent to When To Leave Your Agent to What Is A Win to me dropping off my feature film script to James Franco’s production company, let’s take a stroll down memory lane from oldest blog entry to the newest:

 

Happy Birthday! https://wp.me/p8uI5M-iN

Taking It To The Next Level: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-jx

A Big Win With James Franco: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-jR

What Is A Win? https://wp.me/p8uI5M-mS

The Revolution Begins: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-os

When To Get An Agent Or Manager: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-6T

Happy 15th Anniversary! https://wp.me/p8uI5M-qq

Happy Labor Day Weekend! https://wp.me/p8uI5M-rq

Self-Tape Audition Adventures: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-rA

The Showrunner In Me: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-sx

Do You Celebrate? https://wp.me/p8uI5M-uj

A New Journey Begins: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-wo

The Power Of The Human Spirit: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-x6

Quick Tip: Callbacks https://wp.me/p8uI5M-xn

Pre-Production Begins! https://wp.me/p8uI5M-xx

When To Leave Your Agent: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-y5

When To Leave Your Agent

“When should I leave my agent?” This is a question I receive often from actors. I’ll do my best to offer my perspective because it’s a great question.

First, actors need to understand and realize that they are entering into a business partnership with their agents. And like any business partnership, there has to be a constant exchange that occurs between the two parties. In the partnership between an actor and agent, the actor is the one who needs to put in more work. Some actors expect the agent to do ALL the work for them. And these same actors sit back and complain that their agent is not getting them out enough or not getting them out at all for auditions.

Remember, when you book an acting job, you typically receive 90% of the pay and your agent receives the remaining 10%. So just these percentages alone should clearly indicate that you are the one who is driving your career bus. You are the driver. You are the one that is in charge of developing the relationship with your agent. You are the one that is in charge of sharing your dreams, your business plan, your goals, your hustle, your materials, etc. to your agent. It is your responsibility to keep the exchange in this business partnership alive and exciting.

Some actors do not do that. They don’t navigate their own journey and expect the agent to do all of the work for them. And in this day of technology, social media, insta-fame and insta-celebrity, people want things YESTERDAY. I want to be a star YESTERDAY. I should be working YESTERDAY. And so when an actor signs with an agent, some want to jump ship if their agent doesn’t produce results in a month! I’ve known actors who have jumped ship after being with a new agent for a few months. I’m like: What the fuck?!

It’s like those actors who jump from acting class to acting class and expect to receive a fully-realized education and experience in a few months. “I’ll take scene study for three months here and then I’ll jump into this on-camera acting class for four weeks.” I’ve had actors ask me what they can get out of a scene study class in two months. What the fuck?! It doesn’t work like that. When you enroll in an acting class, you need to commit time to it. You have to let the teaching work. It takes time, commitment and application to really get a handle and understanding of a particular acting approach. Your career is a marathon race. Your career is a life race.

Look at it from this perspective: Are you going to enroll in a gym and expect the long-term results you’re seeking to achieve in one month? Are you going to declare a college major and expect to master that discipline in a few months?

So, why do some actors jump ship so quickly when their new agent hasn’t secured an audition for them in a month? Give this relationship time. The agent is learning about you. They are learning about where you fit and belong. They are learning about your strengths. At the same time, you have to be present in this exchange and make them excited to have you on board.

So, going back to the original question (“When should I leave my agent?”), my personal advice is:

*Leave when you have been with your agent for a year and have exhausted every single avenue to get yourself out there. Meaning, in the year that you’ve been with your agent, did you do everything to update your headshots and reel; to be in an acting class; to utilize social media as a way to build relationships with industry people; to create evidence for yourself that you can share with your agent and the world; to give your agent a list of shows you can be on right now; to pitch you for projects in production or in development; did you ask them what they need from you; etc.

When you have done everything in your power to build this relationship in a year, then you can leave. You’ve exhausted every avenue.

And look, I know that some agents are better than others in terms of their ability/clout to get their clients into the door. I totally know that. Some agents have better/great relationships with casting directors and other industry people. So I know that all agents are not created equally. But don’t jump around from agent to agent when you haven’t done your part to build the relationship first and foremost.

Also, leave if your agent is hostile or unsupportive. If the atmosphere is hostile and unsupportive, leave. But you should have already sensed that from the first meeting with them. You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. You know in your gut if something is not a right fit. I remember meeting an agent–who on paper–seemed like a great fit. But as soon as I stepped into their office and met them, I could feel this was a hostile environment. When we talked, they had a hostile point of view about how an agent-actor relationship should work. They believed that an actor shouldn’t tell an agent what to do, they shouldn’t ask an agent to pitch them for things, etc. Basically, the agent runs the show and the actor is the passenger with no voice.

I clearly was not down for that. I’m looking for collaboration. I discovered during this meeting that the agent was a former actor and I understood why they were hostile: They had a failed purpose with acting and they were taking it out on other actors. No thank you. I was out the door for that agency.

Sometimes, when an actor has momentum and trajectory, they leave their agency for another one that can open bigger doors for them. If you are booking a certain level of work with one agency and find that you’re stuck on that level for a while–and that agent can’t get you bigger auditions–then you can set your sights on a higher-level agency that can get you bigger auditions and opportunities. So, as your career progresses and gets bigger and bigger, you can move up to an agency that can handle that higher level and caliber of your career status. So if you’re stuck in co-star land and want to graduate to guest star, recurring guest star and series regular status, then look at a higher-level agency that can get you those auditions. Just make sure that you leave your current agent cleanly, with a sense of integrity and ethics. Express gratitude to them for getting you to this level and now you’re ready to go with another agent who can get you to a higher level.

So my advice is to leave after you’ve done everything you could to build that relationship in a year’s time. Or leave if the environment is hostile and unsupportive. Or leave when your career evolves into a higher status and you need a higher-level agency that can support that status.

See you next week! Maybe next week’s entry will be another video blog!