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Lessons from the Summer of '23

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

THE DOG DAYS

It was a cool beginning to summer that has given way to the Dog Days of summer. Do you know where the saying ‘Dog Days” comes from? I just found out. I used to think it had something to do with it being too hot for even dogs to move out of the shade, but not so.

The Dog Days go way back to Ancient Rome. It’s when the sun hangs in the same part of our sky as Sirius (the DOG STAR, the brightest star visible from anywhere on Earth and part of the Canus Major constellation.) It traditionally lasted 20 days, from July 3rd to August 11th. The Romans believed that this very bright star added to the sun’s warmth. Crazy. I love stuff like that.


THE STRIKE

But it’s not the Dog Star that is causing everyone in the industry to slow down; it’s the strike. Now, if you are a non-union actor, you can continue to work on non-union projects, but I don’t advise you to cross a picket line or work on a union project unless you know that SAG/AFTRA gave that production a waiver to work. I’m hearing that if you do, you’re running the risk of not getting into the union ever. I’ve included the link to the SAG/AFRTA Website article on this.,

So, my advice is to think long-term about this.




PRACTICE AND GROW.

Until everyone resolves this thing, read, develop a daily practice, do theater, and keep your skills sharp.

On that note, break your practice into chunks. This month, just focus on the ‘Who’. Not the rock band, the acting concept:

WHO are you?

WHO are you talking to?

WHO are you talking about?

And switch them around. See how that affects your work. Don’t try to get it perfect. Explore.

WHAT WE’RE UP TO:


Megan and Chuck are recovering from a summer of traveling around the country, teaching and meeting actors. So the Dog Days are suiting us very well.

We have released our book HOW TO TRASH YOUR CAREER. It’s a humorous look at what NOT to do in your career and helps ensure a long career. You can find it on Amazon & Barnes and Noble. I’ve put the links for that below if you want a fun read.

FESTIVAL NEWS

We are in the process of releasing the eight short films we have shot since the pandemic kicked in.

Our first pandemic film, TOAST THE GHOST is still making the festival rounds and has won several awards, we are happy to say.

This summer, we have also sent off to festivals: KILLING HOPE, a comic homage to the great film noir detective movies of the 1940s and 50s.

Cup and a Half, is a two-person short comedy inspired by the sitcoms of the 1970s and 80s.

WINO is a TV pilot about a woman whose husband just left her, and she is faced with rebuilding her life as well as a failing business.

There are other films due to hit festivals soon: The Writers’ Room, Reflected Shadows, and Raw Deals.


STILL TEACHING

On the education front, Megan and I are still looking for a place to teach in that we can call home, but for now, it’s still all online and working well so far.


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