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

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Pre-Production Begins!

Hey everyone! I’m excited to announce that pre-production has begun on a new film that I wrote and will star in. On September 30th, I posted a blog entry titled “A New Journey Begins” (http://wp.me/p8uI5M-wo) in which I wrote about outlining my new film in 32 minutes. Shortly after, I wrote the first draft of the script in 1 hour and 25 minutes. I was thrilled to see a finished product before my eyes. I was thrilled to see this outline transform into a script!

Now, the pre-production phase begins. The excitement and nervousness. Yes, nervousness. I still get nervous before embarking on a new project that I’ve originated and that I will be leading. But that nervousness is channelled into excitement and action. To be on go! I’m putting another product out into the world and I can’t wait!

I’ve created a pre-production plan. I’ve registered my script. I’ve reached out to an actor friend of mine to pitch my film and email the script. He loved the script and is in. I’ve reached out to a DP and cinematographer I’ve worked with before to shoot my film. I’ve begun identifying and writing down potential crew members I’d love to work with again. I’m looking at a shoot date and location. I’ve begun downloading pictures from Google Images to inform the art direction and the storyboards. I’ve created a list of production equipment we’ll need for the shoot. I’ve already come up with a concept for wardrobe and how I want my co-star to physically look. I’m excited to start rehearsing with my co-star and making any tweaks to the script during our rehearsal process.

Hiring a producing team to help me execute certain things like securing the perfect location to filling out SAG paperwork.

I already know how I want to edit the film. I see how the whole film plays out in my head.

And many other things that are involved in the pre-production process!

I’m excited to create another project and see how much further I can take this one in terms of the writing, the storytelling, the acting and the technical aspects. My aim is to always get better with each project. I can’t wait to bring this project out into the world as another example of my work and voice as an artist.

Stay tuned!

 

A New Journey Begins

As artists, we need to continually be in creative motion. We need to be involved in a handful of projects at any given moment so that we stay on path and remain artistically fulfilled. In other words, if one project doesn’t work out or doesn’t quite take off, then you have these other projects you’re working on. Conversely, if one project takes off and then that chapter finally comes to an end, then you have other projects to jump into. Let’s say you’re in a series and then it goes on hiatus for the summer. Cool. Now get back into class and put up some new scenes or shoot a short film over the summer based upon that script you wrote while you were shooting your series. Staying in creative motion is a cool, built-in defense mechanism. An artistic shield that keeps you moving forward from one project to the next.

I say all this because a few days ago, I outlined my next film script in 32 minutes! I am a huge fan of The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror and my script will pay homage to these great shows. I am so excited and proud of myself because as soon as the idea flashed across my mind, I jumped on it and didn’t question it. I didn’t throw away my idea because it was too big or too crazy or too this or too that. If you remember, my first blog entry of 2017 was a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”:

To believe our own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost,–and our first thought, is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.

I detected that gleam of light that flashed across my mind and jumped on the opportunity to outline my script. In 32 minutes. That is the power of following your genius. I can’t wait to write the script and shoot it in the near future. I’m clear that I am the protagonist in this. The focus of the story. And I want to go the other way in the casting of my co-star. And my instinct is right about how I want to cast my co-star and present this casting as the paragon of what I’m looking at in my story.

Creation is definitely tied to the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary definition of “Imagination”:

We would define imagination to be the will working on the materials of memory; not satisfied with following the order prescribed by nature, or suggested by accident, it selects the parts of different conceptions, or objects of memory, to form a whole more pleasing, more terrible, or more awful, than has ever been presented in the ordinary course of nature.

And I’m excited to get to work!

Until next time, keep Chasing The George!

P.S. I outlined my script in 32 minutes and it took me 32 minutes to write this blog entry! How synchronistic is that?!

The Showrunner In Me

The only reason why I want to be a showrunner is because I love telling people what to do.

LBH (Let’s Be Honest)

……

……

……

JK

LOL

LMFAO

TTYL

BRB

According to Google, a showrunner, in the most basic terms, “is the person who has overall creative authority and management responsibility for a television program.”

I want to lead and run my own TV shows.

ICYMI, In Case You Missed It, no one is going to create my career for me but me.

Showrunner: Ryan Murphy, Gloria C. Kellet, Mike Royce, Tanya Saracho, etc.

However, I want to be in front of the camera as well. I want to see my face up on that screen in addition to developing and writing the stories I’m interested in telling. I want to see my face on billboards and magazine covers. I didn’t have anyone that looked like me or sounded like me when I was growing up. THIS IS VITAL TO ME that I represent up there as well. I BELONG.

OTOH, On The Other Hand, when I was growing up, I wanted to be Madonna. As an adult, I still do. Hell, when I come back in the next lifetime, I want to be Madonna.

BTT, Back To Topic!!

DGMW, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I want to be me too. I love being me. And it feels so good each time I infiltrate mainstream public consciousness with my work, my voice, my sensibilities, my art.

So maybe it’s more like Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, etc. They are behind the camera as showrunners and in front of the camera as the stars.

But damn, I love movies too. AAMOF, As A Matter Of Fact, movies are my first love. I originally came to Los Angeles to be in movies. I love movies and I love being in them.

Hmmmmm, so maybe it’s more like Tyler Perry, Tina Fey, Dan Bucatinsky, etc. They are actors, writers and producers on both the film and television fronts.

Yeah! Actor, writer and producer for film and television.

I want it all!

I want to be in front of the camera and behind the camera. Film and television. Infiltrate the mainstream. Change perceptions. Fuck with perceptions. Challenge perceptions.

DIY, Do It Yourself, because no one else is going to do it for me. Work hard. Build relationships. Make bold moves.

This will be it.

It will happen. I have the talent. I have the intelligence. I have the work ethic. I make things happen. I make a set better. I uplift people. I administer tough love. I am a mensch. I love this explanation of a mensch from Wikipedia: “According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish Maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, a “mensch” is “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” The term is used as a high compliment, implying the rarity and value of that individual’s qualities.”

This will be it.

MMW (Mark My Words)

EOD (End Of Discussion)

P.S.

LBH, I really want to win some Emmys, Golden Globes, Oscars, etc. as that actor, writer and producer just so that I can go to the after parties with my awards in hand and channel Madonna’s dance spirit and outfit below. Riccardo Tisci, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, John Galliano and Rik Villa will each take turns to dress me.

Madonna

Happy 15th Anniversary!

15years-majic-painting

Photo courtesy of Majic Painting

On August 26th, 2017, I celebrated 15 years of living in Los Angeles!!!!!!!!!!

I celebrated by attending a Moët champagne and Veuve Clicquot champagne taste testing, amongst other cool things!

I am so blessed and grateful for the journey that I have been on as a person and as an artist. I am blessed and grateful because I came here to create my dreams and I am still in the game. I am blessed and grateful because I am still living my dreams and enjoying them whereas I have seen countless others give up on theirs. I can’t tell you how blessed I am that I am still living my dreams. I am blessed and grateful to have turned many no’s into yes’s. I am blessed and grateful that I have changed perceptions and enlightened many people on what I can do by honestly being who I am. I learned who I really am by moving to Los Angeles, living on my own and becoming an adult.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I went to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I am from the East Coast. However, Los Angeles is my home and I look forward to the next 15 years here.

I want to thank the following people and things that have contributed to my experience here in Los Angeles. This is just a sampling and not a comprehensive list:

My family: both biological and the ones I’ve created here

My friends past and present

My teachers past and present

Relationships past and present

Places of employment

My former co-workers

Past apartments I’ve lived in

My agents past and present

Actors

Co-stars

Casting Directors

Directors

Producers

Writers

Various crew members who also make the magic happen

Concerts

Writers Retreat

The beaches

Madonna

Harvey Weinstein

RuPaul

Drag Queens

James Franco

Jennifer Garner

Evangeline Lilly

Ryan Murphy

 

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!

 

 

The Revolution Begins!

“Human Revolution” that is! “Human Revolution” is a 22-minute SAG-Aftra dramedy film that I had the honor of executive producing, co-writing and co-starring in last year. This film came to life and was made possible through the collective efforts of the Richard Lawson Studios community. From crew members to actors, many people came through with their love and talent.

My fellow co-producer and I approved the final cut on July 2nd of this year and we’ve just recently entered the next chapter of film festival submissions and seeking distribution!

For myself, my co-producer and our director, our goal with “Human Revolution” was always about the bigger picture. To use this film as a calling card to spotlight what we can do as artists. And we want to do that by submitting our film to targeted/specific film festivals, to seek avenues of distribution and to share it with key influential people on our relationship map.

I’m very excited for this new chapter!

The first film festival Human Revolution was submitted to was the Vassar FilmFest in D.C. on August 4th. Vassar is my alma mater, so I knew I wanted to personally submit there. A few days later, “Human Revolution” was submitted to Slamdance, SXSW, the Atlanta Film Festival and the Taos Shortz Film Festival in New Mexico. Upcoming film festival submissions include: the Sarasota Film Festival, the LA Diversity Film Festival, the Utah Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, TriBeCa, the Bentonville Film Festival, Dances With Films, etc.

I will keep you all updated!

“Human Revolution”: Four strangers who meet at a weekend transformational retreat center discover that the teachings and life lessons they are seeking are actually found in each other.

Left to right: Angela Robinson Witherspoon, Jorge Ortiz (Chasing The George!), Sayaka Miyatani and Robin Karfo

Human Rev 1

Human Rev 2

Human Rev 4

Human Rev 3

What Is A Win?

On Tuesday, August 1st, the Professional Development Program 3.0 class presented their 7-month wins (January through July) It was a great way to pause, acknowledge and celebrate our wins so far this year. I love when we share our wins halfway through the year and at the end of the year because it’s always a constant reminder of how much we have actually achieved. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind, the hustle, the work, that we forget about how much we actually accomplished. We think we haven’t made any progress on our careers. We forget about our journey.

By typing out our wins and sharing them, we actually see how much we have accomplished, we realize we are on the right path and we are kept in a place of gratitude.

Sharing our wins also allowed us to identify and embrace all types of wins. Too often, and it drives me crazy, people only consider something a win-or consider something you’ve done a win-when you book work in the industry. That’s some fucking bullshit. Is that the ONLY time something is considered a win? When you book a job? How singularly anal is that? Gag me with a fucking mental spoon. We’re somehow taught to believe that booking a job is the only win that counts. And we are shamed into thinking that it’s only a win if we book a job. I hate that so much. But let’s stick with booking a job for a second. Why is booking the job the only win? Aren’t all the actions you took that led you to booking the job also considered wins? (e.g. Having the right head shots, knowing your casting, having good representation, building relationships with casting directors, preparing for the audition, having a causative routine, knowing how to deliver the same product at the callback, etc.)

So, what exactly IS a win?

Here are some definitions from dictionary.com:

2) to succeed by striving or effort

5) to succeed in reaching (a place, condition, etc.), especially by great effort

6) to get by effort, as through labor, competition, or conquest

9) to make (one’s way), as by effort or ability

10) to attain or reach (a point, goal, etc.)

Origin: Old English “winnan” to work, fight, bear
Synonyms: obtain, secure, acquire, achieve, reach, procure

The word effort came up in several of the definitions above.

Effort: something done by exertion or hard work; the amount of exertion expended for a specified purpose.

A win is a result of the effort you put into something. Of the hard work you put into a specific purpose. You made it on time to your acting class. Win. You put up a scene in class that required hours of rehearsal between you and your scene partner. Win. You wrote five more pages of your screenplay. Win. You had an audition that you were prepared for. Win. You submitted your film to a film festival–You know, the film that you wrote and/or produced and spent countless hours in pre-production, countless hours in production and countless hours in post-production. Win. You spent a lot of time building your relationship map through give, outflow and engagement. Win. You helped to raise money at a fundraising event. Win. You took new head shots. Win. You and your reps are on the same page. Win. You KonMari’d your home. Win. Or as Mary Thompson says, Calimari’d your home (you’re a riot!) You removed negative people from your career bus. Win. You thanked a casting director who brought you in for an audition. Win. You shared your business plan with your family. Win. You changed your attitude about something that was holding you back. Win. You paid off one of your credit cards. Win. You get the point. All of the above examples takes effort. It takes work. So these efforts are wins. They are wins because you are taking actions to reach a certain place or condition in your life; to change and enhance your condition; to reach a point.

Every effort we make in our careers and in our lives brings us closer to certain goals that we have set for ourselves. So when the goal is achieved, yes, it’s a win. But all the actions and efforts you took to accomplish your goal are also wins. These series of actions and resulting wins get you closer to the goals you have set for yourself. If your goal is to complete a feature film script, then all the efforts you make along the way towards completing that goal are also wins: From reading a book on screenwriting to joining a writers group to researching similar films to work shopping scenes from your script in a class, etc. All of these efforts become wins that lead to your goal of completing a feature film script.

If you are striving and making efforts on a consistent basis towards your goals, then you are winning. Keep track of all the efforts you are taking because each effort gets you closer and closer to your goals. You are making your way to your goals by your efforts, actions and abilities. And if you keep track of your efforts, you will see the through line of how you got from point A to point B to point C, etc. “Oh wow. I can see the entire journey it took for me to get from point A to point Z.” And then you can repeat that process in your next endeavor.

I see a win as any effort or action that moves me forward personally and professionally.

Acknowledge the work, the steps, the efforts, the actions large and small you are taking to achieve your goals. And celebrate along the way!!!!!!!!!

I hope this gives you a new perspective on what a win is!