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Go Boldly!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.”

Henry David Thoreau





I know, I know, I know… we’ve all seen this quote on coffee cups and bookmarks and refrigerator magnets.  We see it so much that I think that we don’t see it at all.  I mean, we see it and think, “Yeah.. very cool. I’ll do that.” Then, we go about the established habits of our day. This is not to make anyone feel bad. We mean it as a challenge. More on that later, but now...


UNDERSTANDING CASTING 

In the coming months, we’d like to discuss casting more so you can understand


how it works, how to create and sustain meaningful contacts, and how to do a great self-tape.

It seems that just about everyone thinks that they have the self-tape issue down cold.  But in reality, they don’t.  In the old days, it was all about your headshot and getting in the room. It’s really not anymore.  Now, it’s a combination of many things.

We see so many self-tapes. And what I can tell you is this:

It used to be that just your headshot was the thing that got you 'in the room.'

Now, we look at your reel as a second step. That is what confirms our decision to give you an audition.

Then you self-tape and send it.


For now, let’s just talk about your self-tape.

We assume that of all the takes you recorded, the one you sent to us is the one you think is the best. But let's talk about that.


Are you pushing?

A lot of actors push.  We get the feeling that they only work on their acting skills when they have an audition.  And like any other artist or athlete, they get rusty …so they push.  It seems as if they want to show everything in one audition.

Or...

A lot of actors just give it a quick read. They barely know their lines, so they certainly haven’t worked on the role.  They just 'do what they do'. So their audition just looks like “here’s what I look like reading your lines” kind of thing.


We are not allowed to ask you to be off-book for a self-tape. In many cases, that would be unfair to you.  That said, it doesn’t do you any good not to learn the script the best you can.  It’s not a spelling bee.. you’re not on the spot.  However, the clues for the character and what you can bring to that character are in the script.  No word is accidental. So, learn the script.


We like to give actors 48 hours of turnaround time, so use it. So many self-tapes look really rushed, and it shows. Don’t try to ‘get it right.’ Instead, show us what you’d do with the role.


Fighting the urge to ‘do it right’ will take some practice. So if you feel like you have to 'get it right, get it perfect', give yourself some time try to ‘do it right’ on tape.. record it.. Get that out of the way...and now that you have got that on tape.. free up and have some fun.


Here's a challenge for you:


Try it as an exercise.  See what you think. Give yourself some sides (use a play if you don't have sides). Give yourself 48 hours to work on it and record it. Be aware of how life tends to get in the way and of your own personal resistance to doing this.

Do this regularly and see how much better your self-tapes become as you do this over time.


What’s happening at the Studio




As evidence that we go boldly forth here at the studio, it's been another busy month. We are casting a feature film, and let this be an inspiration to all of you. Don't be waiting for the 'time to be right" or for you to be 'ready". Don't be telling us that you don't have the money to make a movie. This movie that we are casting is a low-budget film where the passion, grit, and unstoppable drive of the director and the dedicated and talented crew that follows him in this journey far outstrips the constraints of 'budget," and the footage looks amazing. We can't tell you too much more just yet, but we will as soon as the film is done.

In other news, our films KILLING HOPE and CUP AND A. HALF were shown at the Marina Del Rey Film Festival last weekend. We are also in the process of budgeting and scheduling our first feature films. That also goes under the philosophy of "leap and the net will appear."

Speaking of taking the leap, our youngest son got married to a wonderful woman early in June. That happily took up most of the space in our minds and hearts for weeks. We are so thrilled for them and ... us..


Now, back to Thoreau: Live the life you've imagined.


No, that's not being impractical.

I talk to so many actors, they seem to be of the philosophy of ‘as soon as…”.    This month, we’re taking the impertinent role of philosopher/casting director/filmmaker:  Yes. Be as practical and efficient in as many ways as you can. Yes.  Invest in your future.  But also, live that imagined life fully and in the best way you can right now.  Don’t wait.  I guess that falls squarely into the lanes of ‘Make the movie you can make” and “Celebrate everything.”  We are all in this industry to have a better life.


So, we challenge you to do just that.  Lay out a vision and a plan and try to do the best version of that right now in the most affordable way.


Don’t break the bank, go into debt, or spend your future.  But celebrate every step you take in the direction of your dreams.   So, what are your dreams?  Don’t wait for permission.  Make a list.  Let that be your to-do list.





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