After seeing the Oscars last night, I have come to notice that not a single actor acknowledged the casting director in any of the acceptance speeches. I find this a bit puzzling as I truly believe they play a key part in ways that most people (especially actors) don’t seem to acknowledge.
For those of you who have been able to finally (or easily) snag an agent/manager that you had good vibes with, congrats! Most of you are thinking the hard part is now over and all you have to do is get auditions, be the best, book something, and then you’re good.
Ahhhhhhhh if only it were that easy. While you can be lucky and start getting auditions right away, most of us will not be in that fortunate position. A good number of us will be twiddling our thumbs, wondering why auditions aren’t coming our way.
So what can you do in the meantime to not only help your agents/managers but yourselves?
(And we’re going with the position that your agents/managers are not evil cruel people ignoring you and not submitting you. More often than not, they are working hard to submit & pitch you.) Here are the following things that I do to keep myself busy…you may have your own but at the very least, I hope this provides an idea of what I do so that I never feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. If I’m missing anything, please feel free to chime in
To start this entry off, let’s be absolutely clear in saying that being an actor in Hollywood is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, regardless of one’s race, gender, or sexual preference. I want to get this off before we go into what I’m about to say next. So far, so good?
Okay good. Let’s begin.
For this week’s entry, I wanted to take a little break from acting career advice and share you my journey with Cinnabon, one of the primary reasons why I am called the Cinnabon Monster (also hence this blog’s name).
As far as I know, I am the only actor in LA who aggressively markets himself with the delicious pastry product Cinnabon and have been doing so for the past two years. Many casting directors & friends in the entertainment industry and outside of it have known me as the Cinnabon Monster, to the point that I give Cinnabon gift cards for every TV show, film, and commercial that I book.
But why do I love Cinnabon so much? Where did this obsession begin? Before we continue further with this entry, I want to direct ya’ll to a write-up I did on fellow actress friend Lynn Chen‘s beautiful Thick Dumpling Skin blog:
Not too long after I posted the entry about casting director workshops and how to best utilize them, I got immediate criticism, mainly from casting director Billy DaMota and others who insisted that these workshops are a waste of time & money, and worst of all, they are a scam that rips off actors (Billy also went on to nitpick my resume and asked why I have 6 co-stars on it from network TV shows). So for today’s entry, let’s look from the perspective of why casting director workshops are not ideal and if there are any POSSIBLE solutions I can theorize if casting director workshops were to be banned forever.
I must stress here that I am a supporter of casting director workshops but I also see a lot of problems with it and see where people can get disgruntled about it. So here we go!
NOTE: I was supposed to write the Nay version of casting director workshops but I still need more to gather SENSIBLE information that is not based on bitter actors who don’t know how to make efficient and smart use of workshops. It will be coming up for sure but for now, here’s another entry to take its place
In my Beverly Hills Playhouse acting class (holy moly, it’ll be my 4 years there by April 6th), my teachers have enlisted us to undertake a task and that is to take 50 administrative actions per week that advances your career forward starting on February 4th. I decided to try it for myself earlier and see how I do. In terms of what I define an action to be, it can be from having an audition, tweeting to your favorite writer to writing a passionate letter to a producer, creating new postcards, and so on. A singular tweet or a postcard is considered one action as taking an action doesn’t mean it has to be a grand gesture of enormous display. Just anything that is geared towards my acting career.
Do I expect immediate results from this? No. Have I seen some form of results from doing actions like these at some point? Most definitely. Whether it be for myself knowing that I will always have some form of production going on (it sure beats sitting on my ass and moping about why my career isn’t at his level and blahblah) or having a casting director I followup with consistently bring me directly in for a series regular callback with producers, I know that by doing this I can take accountability of my career.
So I hope my actions help you guys to inspire you to take actions of your own. It certainly don’t have to be 50 per week but enough to get you going. With that being said, here we go!
UPDATE: Now that folks like Billy DaMota HAVE seen this article and commented on it (you can see his long comment below), anybody else is also welcome to comment on the pros and cons of casting workshops. I’ll reply here and there as I’m interested in what you guys have to say but won’t go too much into details as I am resolutely an advocate for these workshops. To ask the question from others if I’m only being seen for co-stars from these folks I meet? Hardly. You don’t believe me? I don’t give a shit! Just to be fair though, I will publish the Nay Version on Wednesday.
For actors who get themselves situated in Los Angeles and New York, there’s three words that they will come across inevitably:
Casting director workshops.
You know, the thing where you pay to meet casting individuals for that TV show you like to watch or films you just absolutely adore? Yeah that one. Now I don’t want to bore you with the history of how and when it got started, but it is safe to say that they are most definitely here to stay, despite protests from folks like casting director Billy DaMota who believes it to be an illegal scam that rips off actors (I would read this article solely to get a full perspective on all sides).
Rather than go into a lengthy discussion of whether or not one should take a casting workshop or not, for the purposes of this blog entry, I will vote in favor for it because I can safely say that I am a product of these workshops, whether I met a casting director or an agent through this venue. And as such, if we are to do these workshops, here’s several things I want to give to you guys: