Archive | September, 2012

Finding an Agent

25 Sep

Phew- two interviews over and they did not bite me and I did not bite my nails which makes the whole thing much more successful than I was anticipating.

Infact, one even wishes to represent me commercially, only problem is the head agent was a little too Hollywood phony for my taste buds. The other agency, while quite reputable and successful smelled a bit like a gerbil cage and they had dell not apple computers which for an agency, is highly suspicious.

The agent for agency #2, as I will call them, was giving me the bold opportunity to audition for him theatrically. The boldness is derived from the fact that I have very few professional acting credentials. So despite the fact that I studied with some pretty snazzy teachers in New York, it will take an agency a lot of work getting me low budget indie movies and no paying webisodes (Internet based series) to bulk up my résumé before I will make any money theatrically (theatrical covers any jobs that aren’t commercials). That’s why the most professional, yet still struggling actors make the majority of their income with commercials, which pay anywhere between 10-100 thousand dollars).

So, agency number 2 sent me sides (a piece of script to audition with), the night before, which I prepared despite the fact that my good friend from high school Tyler, arrived that night to visit for the weekend. After a few hours of work, I went to the audition the next day mildly confident. The part was for the lead in a pilot show for MTV that was currently casting, no small peanuts. I managed to act casual as I gravitated between leaning forward and backward on an awkwardly shaped couch while I conversed with the agent. He had a blue tooth on his ear and occasionally he spoke for such long periods that I had time to wonder if this was espresso or drug induced.
We emerged through all the chit chat and he called his assistant in to watch me perform. I wiped my sweaty palms on my pretty pink frock and fake smiled (no acting class seems to be able to remedy this) and exploded into dialogue. I got the very first sentence wrong which immediately pastes a look on my face that says “Eeeeeeeek” but I keep trudging through. I was expressive and pretty open and managed to do my jig without having anyone yawn (in this business you have to take points where you can).

The agent then went into anther mini dialogue of his own (it seems they need attention as much as actors) and managed to critique me until I felt like a picked scab. Sure, he said some nice things, like comedy was my thing and I showed a wide range and was very expressive, BUT mostly I heard him say that my comedic timing was off, I wasn’t ready to audition for leads, he would “think about representing me theatrically” and that I would have to study improv at either Groundlings or UCB if I could get in if they were to take me. What?? No confetti? No golden star that says I was fantastic?? Not even an A for effort?? I mean sure it wasn’t the worse news but Dam, it really is hard to show all of your guts, all of your insides to some stranger, and feel like they are totally underwhelmed.

He then sent me over to the commercial division where I had a nice long chit chat with the agent (frankly though I think I could be with a stronger commercial agent) and left. This whole process took nearly two hours, which I consoled myself meant I wasn’t a total waste of time to them. However the fact that this process took 2 hours meant I had a 63$ parking ticket on my windshield. After a short wallow in misery sitting in my car in my the parking lot, wondering what I was doing with my life, I had to smile because that’s the ride isn’t it? I mean if parking tickets and rejection isn’t part of the Hollywood experience- then I don’t know what is.

Practically locals

18 Sep

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Head-shots & Cold-emails

18 Sep

So, I finally sucked up my ego and sent away my photo that most resembles a headshot-headshot, and my scrawny acting resume to a half dozen agencies.

Gui has been diligently compiling a master list of agency emails (he’s kind of a hoarder in that department), so I sent my “stuff” to just a handful of them (rightly assuming that I would fudge something up, I didn’t want to burn all my bridges at once), in the email equivalent to a cold call. I waited nonchalantly for a response, refreshing my email web browser every 30 seconds. Well, low and behold, I now have three appointments with agencies this week!! Good agencies!! I also learned a valuable lesson in that I NEED to get some good head-shots, ASAP. One agent threw a bit of a sass fit about my headshot, saying I was lucky he was in a good mood (I imagine him with his hand on his hip and finger in the air as he cyber-scolded me). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely photo, but it’s black and white which is now very unfashionable and quite obviously not heinous enough to be a real head-shot (I swear head-shots can make even the biggest sex pistols look like big ole cheese balls). As one agent already notified me, the two things you do not spend frugally on as an actor are head-shots, and haircuts. Welcome to Hollywood. Eeek.

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Life on Venice Beach (so far)

12 Sep

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So, now that finding a living space is over it means I actually have to do what I came here for. Not that I don’t want to, I’m just utterly terrified. It’s like this giant jig- saw puzzle that you just sat down at after waiting what feels like your whole life for, knowing everything but how to start. The fact that I have like .9% of the reccomended patience limit does not help. My frantic little gerbil brain is running full speed on one of those little gerbil wheels that goes something like; finding new agencies (new, good agencies) requires having a great resume and headshots, having a great resume and headshots requires doing work and knowing people, doing work requires an agency. Having an agency requires… You get the picture.
So I stare at the jig saw puzzle slowly trying to put together colors that are sort of relatively similar and hope that I’m making progress while remembering that if all else fails I can always shave the back of my head and get a tattoo on it.

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The Boys & The Hollywood Hills

10 Sep

The Boys & The Hollywood Hills

Besides painting tiny toe-nails and absorbing a new environment, our week was consumed with “The Apartment Search”. Rarely is the apartment search a grand pleasure and when you have four young people with no current employment, two dogs, beach aspirations, and a limited wallet, finding some place that will take you, and some place that you want, can be challenging. Originally we thought we would want to live in Silverlake or West Hollywood but once you’ve been to the beach everything else sort of pales in comparison, at least for our free spirited troop. Our troop, by the way, consists of my appallingly sarcastic and dashingly handsome boyfriend, Guillaume, and two of my very favorite people and good friends from home, Chris Shin and Tad Brown.

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The Pacific

10 Sep

The Pacific

This week has gone rather smoothly despite occasional doses of anxiety at the prospect of total newness, minor traffic battles, and post-amazing road trip blues. The seductive promises of Hollywood and easy way of life (at least so far) has kept the whole transition very romantic. Plus, being able to stay with my extremely fabulous cousin Kerry, her husband and my new favorite little person, Jesse, helps LALA land feel not-so-foreign. The next best thing to being a child and having the gift of being able to play and pretend is being with a child and having the gift of being able to play and pretend without anyone thinking you are a maniac for walking sideways and using your hands as crab pinchers.

Hermosa Pier

4 Sep

The night we arrived we managed to summon enough energy from the full moon to walk down to the Hermosa Beach Pier. Besides making movies, sunshine and leftover hippie vibrations, we came to LA for the fish tacos. We feasted our eyes on the beach and the tanned and nearly nude volleyball players. There were some crazy people, for sure, but unlike New York crazy people they were nice, and happy! They mumbled sweet gibberish to Yogi and winked at him as they meandered by with their 40oz in tow. Tiny children glided on skateboards and people ate dinner in board shorts, not suits. For 30 bucks we had 4 pints of Blue Moon and two huge supplies of the freshest fish tacos our taste buds could handle, while Yogi got love from nearly everyone who passed by on the streets.

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