Creating The Evidence…Again!

On Friday, June 30th, I will be shooting a new scene for my actor reel. I want to make sure that I keep my arsenal, my actor package, current and marketable. I’ll be playing a computer hacker along with friend and fellow actress, Lindsay Hopper, who will also be playing a computer hacker. I’m excited to add this visual piece of evidence to my actor tool kit because this is a part I can play. I’m excited to share this scene with my reps so that they can use it as another tool to promote me with.

I’m excited that the script and production design are influenced by Mr. Robot to really hone in on a specific world of computer hacking. I’m excited that I asked Lindsay, “Hey, can you write a short scene for my reel where I play a computer hacker?”, and that she wrote the scene immediately. I’m excited that I’ve been working on my character so that on the day of shooting, I can let it go and trust that the work I’ve done will be there.

I’m excited that I have the ability to create the evidence (from filming my own products/projects to writing pilots and feature films) I’m excited that I’ll have a filmed scene for my reel that matches the computer hacker headshots I took earlier this year.

Creating the evidence puts me in the driver’s seat. Creating the evidence opens doors to opportunities.

What are you currently creating and working on? Let me know in the comments section below!

Let’s Go On Tour!

Hello everyone! I wanted to quickly share a passion project of mine that I would love to do at some point. I would love to sing a set of songs with a symphony orchestra and perform at various symphony houses around the world! I also see media integration with each song! What is one of your passion projects? Leave me a comment below!

Here is my set list (Helpful hint: To hear a preview of the songs, you can hit the Play Arrow on the upper left corner of the pictures below. If you want to hear the whole song, you will be asked to open your Spotify app!)

1: ”The Girl and The Robot”—Röyksopp feat. Robyn

 

2: ”Sissy That Walk”—RuPaul

 

3: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”—Elton John

 

4: “The Man Who Sold The World”—David Bowie

 

5: “Frozen”—Madonna

 

6: “Think”—Information Society

 

7: “I Feel Love”—Donna Summer

 

8: “Vogue”—Madonna

 

9: “Creep”—Radiohead

 

10: “Once You Lose Your Heart”—Me and My Girl (musical)

 

11: “Messiah”—Madonna

 

12: “Monument”—Röyksopp feat. Robyn

 

13: “Colors (Who I Am)”—Yinon Yahel feat. Meital De Razon

 

Encore: “Life On Mars”—David Bowie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auditions

LLL d 31_5418.NEFCasting directors in a scene from “La La Land” / Lionsgate

On Monday, June 5th, I had the honor and privilege of being a reader for a prominent casting director who was casting various roles for a feature film. As the reader, I brought each scheduled actor into the room and read the other characters in the scene they were auditioning for. A reader gives the casting director the opportunity to focus on the actor who’s auditioning, to take notes on them and give re-directs if necessary.

This was my third time being on the other side of the casting desk. The first time was when I was a reader for an AFI short film that was being cast by another prominent casting director. The second time was when I was casting for my own TV pilot. With this project, I read the entire script for context and I rehearsed the scenes I was in so that I could impinge and affect the actors when they read with me.

Being a reader this past Monday was a great confirmation and reminder of things I already understood about the casting process and I wanted to share it with you all:

1) Don’t take it personal if you don’t get the job. There are so many reasons why you don’t get the job. Reasons that are out of your control. This particular casting director (and the director of the feature film) was looking for something very specific with certain roles. So either the actors had it when they walked in the room or they didn’t. In some cases, several of the actors had one dynamic of the character, but lacked another dynamic of the character. All good and talented actors that came into the room. But again, nothing personal. The people behind the scenes are putting together a complicated puzzle and have to make sure the pieces fit looks-wise, age-wise, type-wise. One actor was too tall. Another was too short. One didn’t look high school enough. One didn’t look nerdy enough. Our job as actors is to deliver a strong product and book the audition rooms so that we can be brought back for other projects in the future. Remember, casting directors are not just casting that one project…they are casting other projects down the line.

2) Don’t take it personal if the casting director seems “unfriendly” or “cold”. This particular casting director was literally juggling 10 different things in between each audition session. It’s not that they were cold. This casting director loves actors. It’s just that they were dealing with a myriad of things regarding the project. In between actors coming into the room, this casting director was calling one particular agency to see if they could resolve a scheduling conflict with an actor they already cast in the feature; or they were working out a deal memo; or they were calling Breakdown Services to re-release a breakdown for another character; or they were on the phone with the director and producer of the feature film to let them know that they might be losing one of the lead actors due to a scheduling conflict.

3) Make strong choices. The actors that booked the room made strong choices and delivered a product. One actor asked me before we entered the room, “What do you guys want to see from me?” I answered, “Do what you prepared and they’ll give you a re-direct if necessary.” Don’t ask or figure out what the casting director wants to see from you. Create your product and deliver it. Show us what you created and how you brought this character to life. Give us the answer. Believe in what you created.

4) Don’t apologize. Apologizing before you start your audition, apologizing during your audition or apologizing after your audition doesn’t serve you. Apologizing leaves something in the room that doesn’t need to be in there. Apologizing leaves this icky feeling/energy in the room. Once you apologize, it gives us an “out” to not root for you. Once you apologize, you’re shaping our viewpoint of what you’re about to present to us or what you just presented to us. Don’t apologize. Do your best and let us have our own opinion and viewpoint about your audition. Don’t apologize for us and leave us with an apology.

5) Casting directors are rooting for you. They want you to be the answer!

This was a great experience and I hope to do it again!

Being “On Go” Update!

Hello my fellow artistic warriors! I hope you all are having a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Last Sunday, I posted a blog entry about being “on go”. I challenged myself to be on go for the next seven days for my career. I also encouraged others to share with me how they would be on go for their careers as well. Here is the link to that blog entry: http://wp.me/p8uI5M-cK

Today, I’d like to share my experiences and accomplishments. Now, please understand that this is not about me showing off. Not at all! This is about creating accountability for myself. To hold myself accountable and to see where I backed off when it came to being “on go”. I hope that what I experienced will help others out with being “on go”.

When I look back at the last seven days of being “on go”, I think I did a pretty good job of doing so. I tackled and accomplished a lot of things from my list without hesitation. I reached out. I acted on something. I moved on something. I asked for things. I communicated and expressed. Again, I think I did a pretty good job of being on go. Being on go forced me to not question, to act now. To do it now.

I learned that being on go means that you also honor your instincts. I had an instinct, a knowingness about something on Tuesday morning (May 23rd), but I went against it and now I’m experiencing the repercussions of it. Fortunately, the repercussions are not damaging or devastating or irreversible, but still annoying because I KNEW. I KNEW! My instinct told me to act in a certain way and to go in a particular direction, but I went against it to not rock the boat. To not cause trouble. Lesson learned. I won’t do that again.

I also flinched Wednesday morning (May 24th) on executing the beginning of my social media campaign for a project I have developed. I flinched (to draw back or withdraw from) because I realized I wasn’t ready to launch that social media campaign. I know that this social media plan (plus a couple of other things related to my project) will put me in a position of attention and accountability…and there’s just one dynamic regarding my project that I haven’t mastered yet. So that’s where my flinch came from and why I stopped being on go in this particular instance. I was like, “I have one shot with this. I have to make sure that when I do launch this campaign, that I’m ready to deliver.”

But like my teacher, Richard Lawson, says, “The wrong way is the right way.” Meaning that it’s better to stay in motion than to remain at rest. Cause at least while you’re in motion, you’ll figure out that you’re going the wrong way and then you’ll equip yourself with the right tools or knowledge to start going the right way. I didn’t want to start my social media campaign because I’m still trying to understand this one important dynamic about my project.

That being said, I should have started my campaign and then been on go to get the information I needed. Being on go means that I’ll figure it out. Being on go involves trust and confidence that everything will work out. Being on go means that there are no regrets or what if or would have, could have, should have. I wonder what would have happened if I had launched my campaign on May 24th? I’ll never know now.

However, I won’t stay stuck on that. I won’t kick myself and feel bad for myself. The point is that I identified my stop and now I’m on go again. Since Wednesday, May 24th, I have been on go to get this information and I will execute my social media campaign once the holiday weekend is over. Be on go! I still don’t have all the answers, but I’ll start the campaign and know that I will have the answers and info I need. When the opportunity comes, I will be ready. Trust that, Jorge (“George”)!

Here is a list of things I was able to accomplish by being on go. And this is not just a random list of things. I’m not trying to be busy for the sake of being busy. I’m pushing a career forward as an actor and writer. All these actions are connected to my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence) aka my business plan. These actions are connected to what I want to accomplish this year from my DOIN’. For each action, I bolded what area that pushes (e.g. actor, writer, producer, human being)

  • Responded to a contact that used to work with someone I am targeting. (Writer)
  • Printed a series of postcards at FedEx for my feature film project. These postcards will be part of my campaign. (Writer)
  • Typed up and printed mailing labels for postcards. (Writer)
  • Posted new blog entry about being on go and shared it on social media and with my contacts. (Actor and Writer)
  • Responded to post-production timeline on a film I produced. (Actor and Writer and Producer)
  • Returned a ton of emails. (Actor and Writer and Human Being)
  • Found other projects that a casting office casts and engaged with them via Twitter. (Actor)
  • Found out who the casting directors were for two TV shows I could be on. (Actor)
  • Donated to a fundraising campaign for a web series that my friend created. (Human Being)
  • Reached out to a director in scene study class and asked them if they would direct me in a scene. They said YES. They suggested I look at “A Fish Called Wanda” (the Kevin Klein character.) I will watch the movie as soon as I post this blog entry. (Actor)
  • Emailed a showrunner to check in and rekindle communication. (Human Being)
  • Posted two procedural auditions on Youtube and shared them with my agents. (Actor)
  • Followed up with and read the marketing campaign my commercial agency did for me. (Actor)
  • Continued reading articles on pitching movie scripts. (Writer)
  • Sketched the floor plan for my office. (Mogul. Empire)
  • Read three new scenes for my actor reel. (Actor)
  • Communicated with team about my feature film project. (Writer)
  • Met with a student from class to answer questions they had. (Human Being)
  • Helped another student on their journey to secure an agent or manager. (Human Being)
  • Sent self-care reminders to another student. (Human Being)
  • Emailed my agent a proposal. (Actor)
  • Engaged three separate times with a list of individuals I admire and respect. (Artist)

 

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!

How I Use Social Media

Okay, let me first start off by saying that I am not the end all be all of social media expertise. If I were, I would have 100 million followers and making bank off of social media.

However, I am proud of the way that I have used social media to put myself out there as a person and as an artist. I am proud of the relationships I have built and the people I engage with. And I am proud of how I have helped people gain clarity about using social media.

And so in today’s blog entry, I wanted to share my point of view as to how and why I use social media. A lot of people have expressed to me their fears, hesitations, allergic reactions, frustrations and confusion regarding social media. Some people would rather spend the rest of their lives in hell than log onto Twitter and deal with hashtags, retweets, mentions and why Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet.

Some people see social media as yet another thing to add to their list of things to do. Some people see it as a cumbersome or unnecessary burden. Or unimportant. Or a waste of time. Many people continue to avoid social media to this day because they don’t want to post pictures of what they are eating at a restaurant (they actually still believe that this is what social media is all about)

I totally get it. I totally get it. I totally get it. I was one of those people who avoided social media like the plague. But then I looked at the word, “social media”, and what it was originally created and intended for: To use media as a way to be social. To use media as a way to connect, listen and engage with people you are interested in. To use media as a way to build exciting relationships. To use media as a way to let people know about you. You control what you want us to know about you.

How awesome is it that social media allows us access to so many people? Direct access to so many people with no gatekeepers involved? Twitter, Instagram and Facebook give us a first-hand, front row access to the people we love, respect and admire. We have access to engage with a writer, a producer, an animator, a senator, a lawyer, a chef, a wrestler, a teacher, a scientist, a musical theater enthusiast, a clothing designer, a dentist, a charity organization, etc.

When I first started using social media, I made mistakes in terms of cringe-worthy posts and a look at me, look at me, look at me approach and more cringe-worthy posts. I am also guilty of posting a few negative rants back in the day. And it’s okay because once I learned about the power of social media and its true intention, I reshaped my approach.

I use social media as a way to engage with people I am interested in. I use social media to stay engaged with what’s happening in the lives of people that I personally know and that I want to know. I use social media to express my voice as a person and as an artist. As a way for people to learn and know a part of me. I realized that I can’t always post about my career. Great, we get it: You’re an actor. You’re a writer. You’re a showrunner. But what other things is Jorge Ortiz interested in? So I find a balance between sharing my artistic journey with things I am passionate about: Madonna, RuPaul’s Drag Race, music, art work, my sense of humor, my points of view, etc.

I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis and I feel that I do a pretty good job of balancing and showcasing both the professional and personal aspects of my life. Again, I don’t have millions of followers (and building a larger audience is the next level of learning and application for me) but I am proud of what each of my social media pages represent. I love that I am able to honestly engage with people I am interested in. I love that I am able to impinge and make honest connections.

I use the word “honest” because social media is about–for me at least–making honest connections. I am following you because I’m interested in what you do. You speak my language. You do what I want to do. I truly want to connect with you. Be honest because people can spot a fake immediately.

I give props and shoutouts to people I admire. I’m clear as to why I’m engaging with them. I respond to things they post that resonate with me. I cheer them on. I laugh with them.

I feel a sense of pride when I look through my Instagram page @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂 because I see the variety and the thought I put into the professional and personal aspects of my journey. And my Twitter too @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂

Connect with people on social media and build relationships. If someone wanted to work with me or target me, they could easily go through my social media pages and find out how to “cream puff” me with at least five different things I am passionate about. “Cream puff” is a term that famed acting teacher and director Milton Katselas created as a way to build and further relationships. When you are interested in targeting someone or getting on someone’s radar, you have to listen first and see what they like and what they’re interested in. Listen to them, do research on them so that you speak their language. In this way, you bring them a cream puff that is thoughtful and speaks their language. The person who receives the cream puff will be touched/impressed/honored/appreciative because you’ve done your research and gave them a thoughtful, connected gift.

I always ask myself, “What do I want to express today on social media? Will it be in alignment with my voice and brand?” I really do give thought to what I want to express and reveal about myself on social media. Many times, I’ll create my social media plan for the week on Sundays (but I still allow room for inspiration to come in as well throughout the week)

What do I want to express? Because truth be told, people are listening to me. People are watching. People are looking. What do I want to express today? Is it on brand? Is it a reflection of who I am? I want to use social media as a way to engage and build relationships. I also want to use social media as a way to share my journey as an artist and the things I am interested in. On the other side of the coin, I also know what I will not use social media for (e.g. I will not talk about politics, religion, etc.) These are topics that I don’t want to present on my social media pages.

So, for those of you who are reading this and have a profound aversion to social media, I hope this encourages you to give it another try. How can you use social media in a meaningful way that adds something to your life rather than it being a burden or a subtraction from your life? What is the voice you want to put out there? What do you want to share with us? Who do you want to engage with? Who do you want to build relationships with?

And most importantly, have fun! The world is at our fingertips!

You can follow my Instagram and Twitter accounts at @jorgeortizactor

What Inspires You?

 

IMG_1312

“Storm Hits The Sideshow” was the first painting I ever acquired. Famed acting teacher and director Milton Katselas painted it and the second I saw it in his art gallery, I knew I had to have it. As a matter of fact, I walked into his Saturday master class during a break, marched straight up to him, looked him directly in the eyes and said, “Milton, I love your painting, ‘Storm Hits The Sideshow’, and I must have it. I will own it.” And in true Milton fashion, he put one hand on my shoulder, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Good!” That’s all he said and I knew that he knew the painting was going to be in great hands.

I purchased the painting a week later, and to this day, I still love it.

This is a work of art that inspires me and is personal to me. If you zoom into the picture of the painting, you will see a guy riding a motorcycle in the middle of this storm. I always saw myself as that guy. I am cutting through the storm, the uncertainty and the craziness of this industry. I am that guy on the motorcycle who is cutting through the ups and downs, the naysayers and the rejections with force and intention.

That guy on the motorcycle is stepping into the storm. He’s stepping into the fire to get to the other side. He is bypassing and pushing through any doubts, fears and considerations he has. I have no doubt that this guy will make it to the other side of this storm and into a place filled with sunshine, clear skies, rainbows and drag queens (Yes to RuPaul’s Drag Race!)

I know that I too am pushing through with intention, even when I don’t have all of the answers. Even when things look dark. Even when it looks like the storm will never end. Why? Because I can ask the next question. Because I am on go. Because I take specific actions for my career. Because I am surrounded by a great community of like-minded artists and friends. Because I am a motherfucking artistic force who knows this is what I want to do with my life. In this painting, there is no sense of where the storm begins or ends, but it doesn’t matter because I am creating and building my career one action at a time.

I would love to read your comments below about what inspires you! Is it a painting? A song? A movie? I would love to know!