Here’s The Evidence!

Hello my fellow artists! Hope you’re all having a safe and fun weekend. In my last blog entry, “Creating The Evidence…Again!”, I shared that I was expanding my actor arsenal by getting together with my community and shooting a scene for my reel. Here is the link to that blog: http://wp.me/p8uI5M-gR

The shoot went GREAT! We shot the computer hacker scene on June 30th. Below are two stills from the shoot:

Hacker Scene

I want to give a shout out to Lindsay Hopper who wrote the scene for us and was my co-star partner in crime. Every time she and I work together, we create magic. I want to give another shout out to Lauren Elle Christie and Kenny Allen for shooting the scene for us. We completed the shoot in a little over 2 hours! Shout out to the Richard Lawson Studios for empowering us to go after our careers with a set of tools that work and for having a fabulous community of supportive artists. Shout out to Chris Beber for running lines with me!

Part of our set for the computer hacker scene:

Hacker Set

I am proud of the work we did and I love creating tangible evidence for my career that I can show to others. It didn’t take a lot of money to shoot this. It took a lot of creativity to make the vision come to life.

The next step is for me to edit the footage! Can’t wait!

Until next time, keep Chasing The George!

Advertisements

Being “On Go”!

From Dictionary.com

Go:

3) to keep or be in motion.

22) to move or proceed with remarkable speed or energy.

48) energy, spirit, or animation.

59) to proceed without hesitation or delay.

Word origin: Old English gan “to go, advance, depart; happen; conquer;”

I love these definitions! How will you be “on go” this week from Monday May 22nd to Sunday May 28th? Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll share my status report with you all on Sunday, May 28th!

Let’s push our careers forward!

Week 2 Status Report!

For a second week in a row, I stepped up my awareness in certain areas of my personal and professional lives so that I can be in alignment with my career postulates. With this increased awareness, and by taking a set of actions, I am stepping into the light and power of my postulates. If I see and want these things for my career, then I need to behave and act in accordance with the things that I see and want. For example, one of my postulates is:

I am a household name infiltrating and conquering mainstream Hollywood through my film acting work and by creating TV and Film content that is just beyond the margin of comfortability (Daring and artistically free content that falls within the wheelhouse of HBO, Showtime, Netflix, The Weinstein Company and other powerful indie studio houses)

I see this postulate. I just have to fill in the blanks to get there. Take the actions to get there. So that when I do become a household name, it’s déjà vu because I already saw it X amount of time ago. But in order for me to get closer and closer to achieving this postulate (and other postulates), I need to have an increased awareness of how to live and operate my life in certain areas. For example, I have to be a leader. I have to be in the front. I have to speak my mind. My viewpoint must be unyielding with good-humored inflexibility. I have to ask for what I want from the people on my team, etc. I have to take actions and vibrate at the same frequency level of my postulates.

So I tackled the same list of actions again from my October 16th blog entry. Again, some of these actions are already a part of my everyday routine. A few other actions are a little more challenging and I need to lean into them more. That being said, I had a little more ease with tackling the challenging actions in the second week than I did in the first week. Moving forward, I have to continue tackling these challenging actions until they become a way of life for me, a part of my routine.

So without further delay, here are the list of actions I took again. This is not a final, comprehensive list of all the actions I take for my life and career. This is just a small sampling of my career administration, with a focus on challenging actions I need to step it up in. The asterisk (*) indicates a challenging action.

To sit in the front row. (Yes. In both of my acting classes)

**To speak my mind immediately. (Yes. Better. Improved.)

**To follow my impulses and instincts. (Yes. Better. Improved)

To lead. (Yes. Taught my ass off in the PDP 1.0 and PDP 2.0 classes.)

To dance while in the passenger seat of a car when a good song comes on or when the driver dances. (I did not ride shotgun this time.)

To spice things up. (Yes. Sunday night.)

To dance in the streets. (Yes.)

To make extra money. (Yes. Two times.)

To be myself without apology. (Yes. In terms of the way I laugh, the things I say, the jokes I say, the way I dance.)

**To hold my own space. (Yes. Much better. Improved)

To dance without consideration at the top of acting classes. (Yes.)

To continue administering my acting and writing careers. (Yes! Yes! Yes!)

To engage in conversation with a new person (Yes. I engaged with a customer at the smog check station, with the tech assistant at the smog check station and with two people at a Halloween party.)

To ask various industry people for something I want. (Yes. I reached out to two TV showrunners to be their assistant.)

To excite my agent again with a new piece of administrative evidence that will push my career forward. (Yes. I sent them my commercial headshot template.)

To be submitted on 3-5 TV series and 3-5 feature films. See below:

TV Series: The Fosters, Silicon Valley, Counterpart, Grey’s Anatomy.

Feature Films: Happy Anniversary, Willie and Me.

To impinge! (Yes. I stood by my Halloween costume concept and didn’t yield from it at the Halloween party. Also posted my concept on Facebook. I also impinged when I taught PDP 1.0 and PDP 2.0. I impinged with an audition I did. Etc. Etc. Etc.)

Here’s What Happened!!!

So last Sunday, October 16th, I made a commitment to tackle a small list of actions that would help and push me into being the living embodiment of my postulates (The blog entry was titled, “This Week, I Commit Myself”: http://wp.me/p8uI5M-1u)

A postulate is something I see for myself and claim. A prediction. A proposition that requires no proof. Being self-evident. You see something, you work towards it and when you achieve it, it becomes déjà vu. A postulate is a way of life. I have to live my postulates and be them. Currently, I do a pretty good job of living and operating within the realm of my postulates, but I know I can step it up even more.

In other words, if I want to achieve certain things in my life and career, then I need to start living them even more so. Behave as such. Behave as if I already have them and achieved them. So I created this small list of actions to start moving faster towards the completion of my postulates. I already execute some of the actions on this list on a daily basis, while other actions on this list need more awareness and attack.

I committed to doing these actions for a week, and man, what an experience. Many of the actions on this list were easy to complete, but a couple gave me a challenge and I found myself flinching from them.

The areas I flinched on (flinch: to back away, to retreat) was speaking my mind immediately and listening to my impulses and instincts. This is the people-pleaser in me. This is the person who wants to run for mayor and be liked. Many years ago, I was running for mayor big time and trying to please everyone. That shit was so fucking exhausting. It was not fucking realistic. Who has time for that shit? As Bianca Del Rio says, “Not today, Satan, not today.” I’m not about that because it makes me weak and puts me at affect. I have come a long way from that person I used to be.

However, there is probably 9% of that people-pleasing aspect still in me. And that 9% held me back from speaking my mind immediately this past week. I spoke my mind in certain situations, but not in others for fear of rocking the boat and disturbing the waters. That 9% also held back my impulses and instincts in a few situations. Again, to avoid getting into “trouble”.

When I flinched, I immediately busted myself and asked, “Why did you flinch on that?” “Why did you back away?” “Why did you look the other way?” “Why didn’t you speak on that?” “What do you think is going to happen?!” Because when I do speak my mind and when I do follow my impulses and instincts, it’s fucking liberating!! So, I kept calling myself out every time I flinched.

It takes a lot of energy to be a star. To be a leader. To see and be seen. To perceive and take responsibility for what you perceive. To just be. To not fidget. To hold your head up. To be the example. But I want to achieve what I see for myself and so I have to work at it.

The more I do this, the more manageable it will be. So, I will repeat the same small list of actions this week–and beyond–so that the challenging actions become second-nature. A way of life. Again, some actions on the list were easy to complete and is a part of my everyday routine, while a couple of actions were challenging.

Below is the list of actions and my status report for each line item:

To sit in the front row (Yes. I sat in the front of my acting classes. I must always sit in the front row or be in the front of a group.)

To speak my mind immediately (Yes on certain topics and no on others.)

To follow my impulses and instincts (Yes on certain things and no on others.)

To lead (Yes on certain things and no on others.)

To dance while in the passenger seat of a car when a good song comes on or when the driver dances (Yes. This pushes me to be the fool. To be present. To loosen up.)

To spice things up (Yes.)

To dance in the streets (Yes. I danced and skipped down the streets of Sherman Oaks. I also danced while holding 5-pound weights inside of Target.)

To make extra money (Yes. I made extra money on three different occasions. The intention is to create a state of affluence and financial abundance. To know that I can always create money for myself.)

To be myself without apology (Yes. In terms of my point of view, in terms of my laugh, in terms of my reactions to things, in terms of how I dress, in terms of the stand up comedy I recently did, to dance how the fuck I want to dance, etc.)

To hold my own space (Yes and no. Yes in terms of allowing myself to hold space at Queen Mary Dark Harbor Nights, holding my space on the trains and buses, at Trader Joe’s on Sunday during peak hours when the Brooklyn in me went in and out with groceries in FIVE minutes. No in terms of fidgeting. No in terms of looking the other way when a few people looked at me throughout the week. No in terms of not speaking my mind immediately.)

To dance without consideration at the top of my acting classes (Yes.)

To continue administering my acting and writing careers (Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!)

To engage in conversation with a new person (Yes.)

To ask various industry people for something I want (Yes, yes, yes! I asked for advice and leads on self-publishing a book.)

To excite my agent again with a new piece of administrative evidence that will push my career forward (Yes. I emailed him my theatrical headshot template.)

To be submitted on 3-5 TV series and 3-5 feature films (I was submitted on several TV series including: Criminal Minds, Speechless, The Real O’Neals, Master of None, Dear White People, etc. I was submitted on 3 feature films: Skin In The Game, Patriarch, Killer Complex.)

So, here we go again for this week! Round two!

The Hustle

“I’m always so impressed when I see the breakdown of what you’ve done, the minutes, the hours. So just something to consider for your blog in the future is: Taking a screenshot of your week, broken down, so that you’re not just sharing these experiences, but this is evidence of the hustle. Cause it inspires us and I know it will inspire others.”

Thank you to the incredible Beth Pennington for inspiring today’s blog post. I have taken three screenshots of a typical week for me. In these pictures, you will see the work, the hustle. The work speaks for itself. I hope that these pictures will inspire artists to do the same amount of work (or more) because of the following, all-too-familiar story, that I’m about to share. The story that many of us have unfortunately experienced before. These pictures help me to combat the naysayers. These pictures are my weapons against the doubters and invalidators.

My fellow artists, have you ever been in a situation where someone has asked you, “What do you do for a living?” And you reply, “I’m an actor” or “I’m a writer”. And then the person usually replies with a fake response of like, “Oh, an actor.” Their subtext being, “Great. Another wannabe actor.” You hear their subtext and you start back
peddling your answer, “Yeah, I’m an…actor…you know, I act…sometimes…yeah…but I’m a really great bartender. I can make a killer martini!” You start feeling ashamed and embarrassed to be an actor or any other artistic profession you are pursuing.

Then, they continue their invalidating process with questions like, “Sooo, what have you done?” “What have you been in?” “Are you making money as an actor?” “What have you written?” “Have you sold one of your scripts?” “A screenwriter, huh? Are you with CAA?” And the artist starts to sink further and further into the black hole. They feel small and worthless and the invalidator loves that. I used to be that person that was ashamed of saying, “I’m an actor.” I used to believe that in order to be an actor, I had to be working all the time on a professional level. I fell for that awful perception that a person is only an actor if they’re on a TV series or acting in a studio feature film. And that’s just not true.

I have been fortunate and blessed to be with a teacher and school that has taught me about the bigger picture, how to administrate it and how to be the best actor and artist I can be (The Richard Lawson Studios) I am now confident in telling people that I am an actor AND a writer. I have no shame in telling people that this is what I do. Point. Blank. Period.

I have developed a clarity and a work ethic that allows me to treat my career as a business. We are a business. We need to clock in and out like any other profession and put in the work and the hours. We need to know what we want and go after it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We need to be about it. Then, and only then, can we have the confidence to say that we are an actor. Or a writer. Or a director. Or a whatever. Why? Because we now have the evidence, the proof, the statistics to back us up and give us confidence.

When someone tries to invalidate me or write me off as “another wannabe actor”, I quickly shut them down with charm, humor and irony. They’ll ask, “So, what do you do for a living?” I reply, “I’m an actor and writer.” Then, they’ll ask with their sarcastic, doubting tones, “Oh yeah. What have you been in? What have you written?” I give them my business card and say, “If you go to my IMDB page, you’ll see what I’ve been in.”  In this way, I’m directing traffic to my IMDB page and simultaneously raising my IMDB Star Meter 🙂 Then, I say, “There you will see the independent feature films, TV series and web series I’ve been in.”  I also continue with:

**I’ve also shot a handful of national commercials from Toyota to The Hartford Financial Services to Verizon

**I’m currently shopping two TV pilots

**I’m currently shopping one feature film and just finished writing another feature film for James Franco

**I’m in scene study class every Thursday night and the Professional Development Program 2.0 class every Friday morning

**I’m targeting different TV shows, show runners, producers and casting directors with tangible results

**I run a blog and post a new blog entry every Sunday morning

**I utilize social media on a daily basis and have lots of fun with it

**I acted in a feature film in April; I have another feature film receiving distribution in which I play a principal character in that; I was offered a principal role in another feature film that is in active pre-production

**I put in an average of 35 hours a week into my career, and that’s on top of my plan B job

**Ultimately, my goal is to be the next Tyler Perry, Lena Dunham, Cristela Alonzo, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Louis C.K….self-producing artists who create vehicles for themselves

People either shut the fuck up real quick because they see that I’m not just “another actor” or they get really interested and want to know more about me.

So, I’m sharing three pictures of what a typical week looks like in terms of my administration and the amount of time I put into them. Not to show off, but to hopefully inspire. And I’m not just putting in hours for the sake of putting in hours. Rather, every line item and every minute spent is to push a specific project forward. There are no arbitrary actions in my lists. In 2015, I have completed three projects on my plate and just started a new one:

Get a meeting with Creative Artists Agency and Anonymous Content.

(Thank you to the amazing Lindsay Hopper for pushing me to create this project and reach for the top!)

Earlier, I said that these pictures are my weapons because the work doesn’t lie. The stats don’t lie. I can show you everything I’ve done since the first week of January 2015. The invalidators can’t argue against that. They can’t put that down. Every strategic line item of work speaks for itself.

So, fuck the nay sayers. Fuck the doubters. Fuck the invalidators. Fuck the people who want to put you down because you’re doing what they’re too afraid to do themselves. Or because they’re jealous of you and want to bring you down to their level. Fuck them. Don’t let them make you feel bad about being an actor or a writer or a director…a FUCKING ARTIST.

But you will have a better chance of standing up to them when you’re putting in the work and can back yourself up with actions. At least that’s been my experience. When I’m walking the walk, creating the evidence, being about it, putting in the work on a
daily basis, going to class and staying sharp with my craft, and most importantly, HAVING FUN, then nobody can take that away from me.

Before we jump to the commercial break–I mean, the pictures below–I leave you with this amazing quote from Madonna. This was her response to all the critics who continue to write her off:

“It makes me realize how miserable most human beings are and how instead of celebrating that someone could come from nothing and do something with their life, they have to try to tear you down. Because ultimately, people don’t want to be reminded of how little they’ve accomplished in their own lives.”

Let’s continue being the amazing fucking artists that we are! I would love to hear your experiences!

Please scroll down past the tags below to see the three pictures. I’ve taken out the names of some people and some TV shows on purpose. And you can click on each picture to enlarge the text:

Chasing The Ambulance

On June 26th, 2015, at approximately 12:30pm, my teacher and mentor, Richard Lawson, said to me in the Professional Development Program 2.0 class that I should start a weekly blog. A blog that chronicles my journey as an artist. The highs, the lows, the challenges, the wins and everything in between. I’ve been studying with Richard for almost 10 years now and everything I have learned about acting and administration has been because of him.

Richard has seen my growth and my journey over these last ten years. He has seen it all: My laughs, my tears, my compliance, my defiance, my doubts, my growth and my evolution from follower to leader.

2015 has been no exception. At the beginning of this year, Richard challenged all of us in this particular class to step up our game and go after our personal projects with passion, enthusiasm, professionalism–or as they say on the streets, go after it like a maw-fucking pitbull with lock jaw. And every week, he wants us to present our progress and our logged hours to him and to the class.

So far this year, I have been averaging about 35-37 hours a week into my career. Not bad considering I work 30 hours a week for Richard. I presented my latest career administration statistics today and Richard said, “In each of you, I see the whole thing. Or I see the potential of the whole thing. So what I just saw for you was–cause I look at your journey as an actor and I’ve been part of your journey for a lot of years, so I’ve seen the progression. And I’ve seen the periods and I’ve seen the changes. And as I looked at the last ten years, I said, ‘Now what if he had blogged about that all along the way? What if on a week to week, day to day, week to week, no less than week to week, that you wrote about your journey as an artist? The artist’s journey. And you talk about the things that you do, the things that you did, the goals for the week, whatever it is in your blog that you want to share. That you would be speaking to probably all or some of every artists’ journey. So that people can identify with the–I hate the word, there are certain words that I hate. I refuse to use those words in my vocabulary. Words like ‘Overwhelmed’. ‘Struggling’. And so for you to blog about that could be a major thing because you’re blogging it from a standpoint of having the actions, the clarity, the organization, the artistic warrior, the postulates, the dreams and then the manifestations so that you postulate, there are categories of things. From week to week, you can choose the subject because the subject is clear. And you establish the subjects. And then this week I’m talking about postulates. Talking about work ethic and what a bitch that is. That from week to week, people tune in because it’s like, ‘Yo. Let me get behind-’ You know what it’s kind of like? It’s like getting behind the ambulance. In New York, if you see an ambulance, you will see motherfuckers who will fight to get in line because you know the ambulance is cutting through. So you see this ambulance and you see this trail of cars that are weaving through cause it’s the only way they can get through because everybody who’s not in that line is stuck. So what I’m saying is that for you to do a blog and to have that and you chronicle your journey, big. Big. So that when you get there, you have a lot of people who could testify. They followed the ambulance.”

So here we are. Chasing The George. Not a play on the Kevin Smith film, “Chasing Amy”, but rather, “Chasing The Ambulance”. When an ambulance is in emergency mode, they zoom down the streets with intention and energy. The ambulance is direct and cuts through traffic. Some people chase after ambulances so that they too can get to where they need to go. “Chasing The Ambulance”.

So week to week, I will be sharing how I am cutting through to achieve the things I
see and want for myself. And hopefully, I will inspire some of you on your own personal journeys to keep going and not give up.