My Birthday Wish!

January 13th was my birthday! And as I celebrated this weekend with friends, Madonna and Meryl Streep, I realized what I wanted my birthday wish to be: It’s to continue honoring my imagination as an artist. I love this definition of imagination from the 1904 edition of Webster’s Dictionary:

Imagination

I just finished the 4th season of “Black Mirror”. IMAGINATION! I also watched “The Shape of Water”. IMAGINATION! There are many more examples I could give to illustrate imagination.

So in 2018–and beyond–I can’t wait to see what my imagination unlocks for me as an actor, writer and executive producer! I can’t wait to see how my imagination rocks me and others.

Who do you think has a great imagination? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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An Arrogant Farewell To 2017!

My last blog entry for 2017! I will see you in the new year! But for now, I am here to give an arrogant goodbye to 2017. Arrogant as in “claiming for oneself” and “pride”. I have so much pride in the wins I’ve had in 2017 and I’m going to share just a sampling of them. I’m tooting my horn. As should you. What were your wins in 2017?

Cause at the end of the day, what’s a horn for but to toot it?

Here we go!

January 4th: Audited a scene study class at Jame Franco’s acting studio

January 13th: Celebrated my birthday with friends, drag queens, bottomless mimosas and twerking

February 5th: Celebrated one year anniversary with Chris

February 6th: Attended “Assassins” musical fundraiser at Rage to support my fellow Richard Lawson Studios members

February 9th: Imported the rest of my relationship map into Insightly

February 10th: Took a wonderful trip to Seattle with Chris

February 24th: Had a kick-ass audition playing a character like Huck from “Scandal” in the PDP 3.0 class

February 25th: Shot new headshots with Marisa Leigh

March 7th Made final payment to company and got rid of an outstanding debt

March 24th: Co-hosted the first of 13 viewing parties for Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race

March 27th: Took a picture with my favorite drag queen: Bianca Del Rio

April 13th My blog entry, “Sending The Elevator Down”, was accepted into the Huffington Post’s Thrive site

April 13th Had coffee with one of my favorite actors and people, Justin Huen

April 17th Signed with the Paradise Group for commercial representation

April 18th Participated in the LA Law charity event (our group raised the most money in the history of the event)

April 21st Did a kick-ass cold read audition as a doctor in the PDP 3.0 class

April 29th Attended the inaugural Wearable Art Gala wearing a custom-made metallic gold mask

April 30th Attended Drag Con and took pictures with Alyssa Edwards, Nina Bo’nina Banana Fofana Osama Bin Laden Brown and Karen From Finance; received video shout out from Shangela. Also attended a handful of wonderful panels.

May 6th Attended “Assassins” musical in Silverlake to support my fellow Richard Lawson Studios members

May 13th Attended The Bougee Party in Woodland Hills

May 13th Attended screening of Chinatown at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with Chris, Lindsay, Jordan, Sarah and Ryan

May 19th Did a kick-ass procedural audition as the CEO of Caster Industries in the PDP 3.0 class

June 1st Began Round 1 of social media campaign for my James Franco feature film project

June 2nd Had a meeting with Oakley Entertainment about my James Franco feature film project

June 3rd Wrote the first draft of my movie pitch

June 4th Posted my 100th blog entry

June 5th Was a reader for a feature film that Kim Hardin was casting

June 10th Attended screening of The Wizard of Oz at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with Lindsay

June 17th Attended Danielle Eskinazi’s workshop and did a kick-ass read during the workshop. I had a commercial copy from a Honda spot

June 20th Did a kick-ass cold read audition as a fashion consultant in the PDP 3.0 class

June 23rd Sasha Velour won Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and represented Vassar College beautifully (Sasha was class of 2009)

June 25th I attended first Richard Lawson Studios teachers meeting

June 26th Email sent by Oakley Entertainment to one of James Franco’s producing partners

June 30th Shot a computer hacker scene with Lindsay, Lauren and Kenny

July 2nd Final cut completed of Human Revolution short film  (a film I executive produced, co-wrote and co-starred in)

July 3rd “Curtsy, Mister” became an HBO finalist at MVAAFF (in addition to 15 other film festivals it has already been accepted into. This is a feature documentary film I acted in and also was the first assistant director on)

July 5th Signed with the Paradise Group for theatrical representation

July 10th: My weekly blog, Chasing The George, turned two years old

July 18th: Shared the computer hacker scene I shot with Twinkie Byrd, Danielle Eskinazi, Monika Mikkelsen

July 19th: Lindsay shared computer hacker scene with various casting directors on Twitter

July 24th: Dropped off cream puffs and James Franco script with Reed to Rabbit Bandini Productions

July 25th: Did a successful on-camera audition from The Librarians TV series in the PDP 3.0 class

July 26th: Oakley Entertainment reached out to Laurie Holden’s people for the lead female role in my James Franco feature film script

July 26th: Successful production meeting for phase two of the Human Revolution movie

July 29th: Started window shopping for office furniture

July 30th: Did research on 10 film festivals Lauren gave to me and I reached out to them via email for premiere requirements

July 31st: Intention without hesitation. Back to back actions on:

    • Emailed top CAA agent re: Human Revolution (HR) submission to Vassar Film Festival and drop off to James Franco’s production company
    • Followed up with Jessica re: HR viewing
    • FB message to Ryan and Sarah re: Princess Bride screening and mini-golfing
    • Tweeted computer hacker scene link to various CD’s of Mr. Robot, Fear The Walking Dead, etc.
    • Sent film festival update to HR producing team
    • Tweeted Twinkie Byrd about collaborating
    • Researched and sent literary inquiry letters to Heroes and Villains Entertainment, Rafterman Media, Original Artists & Society Entertainment

August 3rd: Chasing The George was included in Vassar’s “In The Media” July 2017 round up email which is sent to graduates all over the world

August 4th: Submitted Human Revolution to the Vassar Film Festival in D.C.

August 8th: Sent Julia (my agent) my DOIN’ (aka my business plan) and she loved it

August 8th: Human Revolution submitted to SXSW, Atlanta Film Festival, Slamdance

August 9th: Submitted Human Revolution to Taos Shortz Film Festival

August 10th: Followed up with the literary agents I submitted to on July 31st

August 15th: Emailed Julia and asked her to do an intro for me to the casting director of Gente-fied.

August 16th: Received another IMDB actor credit for a feature film called Zombie TV that comes out in 2018

August 16th: Sent Tady link to HR

August 17th: Sent FB message to the creators of Gente-fied

August 17th: Sent literary inquiry letter to The Mission Entertainment

August 18th: Sent email to Kelly Edwards re: HBOAccess program

August 19th: Sent Travis link to HR

August 20th: Participated in a career administration panel at the WACO Theater Center

August 23rd: Submitted Human Revolution film to Sundance, Sarasota Film Festival and the Utah Film and Awards Festival

August 26th: Celebrated 15 years of living in Los Angeles

August 28th: The Huffington Post’s Thrive section published a second blog entry of mine, “What Is A Win?”

August 31st: Worked with a private client who wanted to start learning an approach to acting

September 2nd: Submitted Human Revolution to the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival

September 4th: Posted my 10,000th tweet

September 5th: Submitted Human Revolution to the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

September 5th: Emailed the casting director of Gente-fied and received her response on September 6th

September 9th: Did a self-tape audition for the feature film, French Fries

September 26th: Did cold stand up comedy in the PDP 3.0 class and rocked it

September 26th: Outlined a new short film script in 32 minutes

September 30th: Took above outline and wrote first draft of script in 1 hour and 25 minutes (which became The Doppleganger)

October 10th: Auditioned for Criminal Minds and received a callback 5 minutes later

October 15th: Did my second ever video blog and had a lot of fun

October 17th: Registered my script, The Doppleganger, with the WGA

November 7th: Co-taught the PDP open class with Kelly

November 10th: Co-taught the Audition open classes with Lindsay, Kelly and Beth

November 10th: Had first read through rehearsal for my film, The Doppleganger

November 12th: Posted third video blog

November 15th: Had second rehearsal for my film, The Doppleganger

November 17th: Had first rehearsal with Courtney for scene from The Out of Towners

November 22nd: Had third rehearsal for my film, The Doppleganger

November 23rd: Celebrated Thanksgiving with Chris and friends

November 26th: Shot a self-tape audition for the PDP 3.0 class

November 26th: Shot another self-tape audition for an exciting top-secret project

November 28th: Did cold stand up comedy in the PDP 3.0 class

November 28th: I was offered the role I auditioned for in the exciting top-secret project

December 3rd: Shot the role in the exciting top-secret project

December 3rd: Had a scouting and production meeting for my short film, The Doppleganger

December 7th: Had a final rehearsal for The Doppleganger

December 10th: Shot The Doppleganger (a film I wrote, executive produced and co-starred in)

December 11th: My feature film script was emailed to James Franco’s manager

December 15th: Had a great audition for an untitled Noah Baumbach feature film which stars Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern and Merritt Wever

Recurring wins:

I taught the PDP 3.0 class several times

I was a guest DJ several times for the Richard Lawson Studios scene study class

I posted a new blog entry every Sunday morning

Overall happiness and health

Constant give and help to others in my community

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

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

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!