Like most things in my life, my path to getting signed with a talent agent was pretty unconventional (at least, it wasn’t how I imagine the process usually goes). I finally got the nerve to apply to two talent agencies back in February. My acting […]
I signed up for the Friends in Film program one year ago this month. When I joined, I had no idea just how much (and how quickly) my life was about to change. It did take about six months to actually get my first production […]
A few weeks ago, I applied for an office assistant position with a local talent agency. Their office is located in the city I would love to live in, plus it’s a job in the field I want to get into, so I figured it would be a good opportunity for me.
Then I had that really great film shoot, where I made awesome connections and felt like my PA career was finally moving forward.
When I was offered an interview for the job, I was first, shocked, and second, felt like it might actually now be a step backwards for me. I talked it over with my sister and decided I should do the interview anyway. Something in me told me I should. I figured if nothing else I would make another great connection in the local film industry and when I applied for representation again, they would at least know who I was.
I went and interviewed. I did not get a job, but I did get what may potentially be a really great step forward for me in this career I’m pursuing. (More details on that in blog posts to come.)
If I had just ignored my gut and stayed home instead of interviewing, I would have missed out on that. If I didn’t make an effort each and every day to find acting or PA gigs or work on my scripts or look for publishers for my music books I would never get these awesome opportunities I keep finding. I know that sounds super obvious but that was a huge epiphany for me. These opportunities aren’t going to find me if I sit at home wishing hard enough for them. My books won’t write themselves just because someday I dreamed of seeing my name on a bookstore shelf. I can’t make film industry connections if I sit at home on the weekends instead of driving myself here there and everywhere for film festivals and networking events and film shoots.
Because I have been doing all these things, I’ve started seeing some really awesome results. One of my film connections asked me to act in a short film for him. One of the casting companies I’ve worked with offered me a gig as an extra without me even applying for it. A publishing company I reached out to to see if they accept submissions asked me to send them one of my books and seem really interested in publishing it. Honestly, I’m not even doing that much. I could definitely be working a lot harder at this stuff. But even just a little bit of effort has gotten me opportunities I had only dreamed of before.
So to sum up what I’ve been learning: Ignore your fears, trust your gut, and actually do things to get you closer towards your goals. 🙂
Above: Me acting as art director for my friend’s short film. My goal at the beginning of the year was to blog twice a week. And as much as I’ve tried to keep my Sunday and Wednesday blog schedule, that has not always been possible […]
On Tuesday this past week, I submitted for a small role in a feature film. I have been submitting like crazy for any and all background roles I find, but I usually get too nervous to submit for featured roles. I received the casting call […]
Just two months ago, I was feeling incredibly frustrated by my lack of film gigs.
Since July of last year, I have been following the steps the Friends in Film program laid out for me. I even found a couple gigs for September…or so I had thought before both ended up falling through. I was hearing a ton of success stories from other people in the program who were finding a bunch gigs much faster than I was, which was pretty discouraging.
I was also frustrated by my lack of acting auditions, despite how many I had been submitting for.
By the end of the year, I was feeling pretty hopeless and upset by my lack of success. I was angry that all my efforts were going nowhere. No matter how hard I tried, I could not even find one production to work on to gain the experience I needed to start getting paid gigs. More than once I had thought how much easier things would be if I didn’t have this dream. Nothing seemed to be working for me and I was ready to give up on the whole thing altogether.
But then, I found a gig for January. And then another for March. And another, and another. Before I knew it, most of my days off in March became booked with gigs.
My efforts to find acting roles are also starting to pay off: I was selected for two auditions this week. Two!
Early last year, I had read that things always seem to happen right around the time you are about to give up hope, so instead of giving up, you should push forward just a little longer. It seems that that is absolutely true. Imagine all the things I would have missed out on if I had given up the countless number of times I had wanted to. Instead, because I’m too stubborn to settle, I have the beginnings of the career I have been dreaming of.
I think I touched on this subject briefly two posts ago, but I was reminded again this week just how important this is. Brendan Burchard talks about this too in his book “High Performance Habits.” He says (and I am way paraphrasing) to be open […]
This past Monday I got to work as a production assistant on the same film I worked on a couple weeks ago. We were in the same location but this day was much different than the first day I was there. The first day was […]
Each character I play has its own set of challenges, and my role as Honey in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is no exception. In fact, it may have been my most challenging role to date, as Honey is, at first glance, a very different person than I am.
When the director first asked me to play this role, I did not know anything about the play. But I was excited that he even asked and I know any role I can get is great practice, so I immediately said yes. Then I went to Google to learn more.
Here is the first description I found about my character: “Honey is the mousy, slim-hipped wife of Nick. She’s definitely not the brightest bulb in the bunch.”
My first thought? “Of course she isn’t.”
I have found over the years that when I actively avoid playing a certain type of character (because I feel I won’t be able to play them very well), my very next character has the exact characteristics I was trying to avoid. That happened with “Pitmen Painters” (I always felt I could not do a British accent, and my character in that was British) and “Rocky Horror” (I have always felt anything but sexy, and our biggest note for that show was to “be sexy”). The last two productions that I auditioned for at Blue Moon Productions had ditzy characters, and I made sure to write on the audition sheet that I would take any role except those. Not to be a braggart, but I am generally not a ditzy person. I did not think I would be able to play that type of role very well.
But now I had to.
My character also grows more and more drunk as the play progresses. I have never been drunk. I wasn’t sure I could convincingly pull that off either.
The very first thing I had to do was find things I had in common with Honey. Our biggest similarity is the fact that we are both timid and shy. I wouldn’t even have to act for that part. Each rehearsal I found a new thing I had in common with my character: we both were prone to bouts of naivete, we had religious upbringings, we are both childless, we feel incredibly awkward in certain social situations, and so on and so forth. I was surprised by how much I was actually able to connect with this character.
I also read several different character analyses about Honey, to see how others interpreted her. I kept the ideas that I agreed with (she’s naive, she’s not very bright, she has a very child-like nature) and discarded the rest.
And thus, my version of Honey began to take shape and come to life. It felt weird at first, letting go and acting in a way that is so different from how I act around other people. But eventually, I found myself having a lot of fun playing this type of character.
So, takeaway number one: Do the things that scare you the most, because that is how you grow. These roles have challenged me, but I came out on the other side a better, more confident actor (who is surprisingly good at British accents 🙂 ).
Takeaway number two: I learned one of the reasons why I love acting so much. It’s been bothering me because I didn’t really have a clear reason why I want to be an actor. I just know I enjoy it and I feel it’s something I need to do. But I realized acting is really therapeutic for me. I get to yell and scream and ugly cry and show how angry I am. I get to be giggly and act a fool. I don’t do that in real life. At work I have to be professional, no matter how irritated I get with people there. In public, I always try to put my best foot forward. On stage, I get to release all of that. I don’t have to hold back or put my guard up. It’s incredibly freeing.
I keep learning the same lesson over and over: do the things that scare you. Try the things that you’re afraid to try because you feel you won’t be good at them. The only way to improve is to do them. And besides, you might surprise yourself and find you’re better at them than you thought you would be.
I recently came across this picture on the Pinterests: It reminded me of two very specific people in my life: an acquaintance of mine and a certain local writer who reviews plays for the newspaper. The first one harshly criticizes everyone, so I try to […]