Dear Actor…. So as I was writing this (and it was about 5 paragraphs longer… so now Octobers is done)! It dawned on me that some folks might think they recognize themselves in these (I say that because someone always gets a call here asking if it is you I am talking about….). I love that about actors….. here is the thing…..it is you… and you… and you….. all of the things I talk about have happened…. And usually more than once (or twice)… so if you are seeing yourself…. well…..know that you are not the only one seeing themselves…. And if you are rolling your eyes saying you would NEVER be guilty of any thing we talk about… then chances are it is really you I am talking to!
I recently got off the phone with a casting director who was calling me to let me know that the actor they had just hired showed up to set with NO proper documents. (No id, passport, etc). And that actor was one of the 4 that did that….. because the show is a BIG show and they could not stop production they sent a teamster to the actor’s houses to pick up what was needed… so now… the casting office is irritated… you have the teamsters none to happy… and the producers and directors all think you might be a bit touched as this is stuff you should have with you ALL THE TIME. - before any of you start rolling your eyes and saying you would never do that…. I want you to think about this 4 (four) actors did it that day…. So don’t get all cocky and say you would never…. Just always be prepared so that you don’t! It is never ok…it never has been ok...and never accepted...you look like a brand new actor who does not know any better!
Here is something I always thought was kinda funny....when a casting director says to an actor - why haven't I seen you before and the actor....taking themselves very seriously now gets upset with their reps because....well...why haven't they seen you before.... now don't get me wrong the casting director is being nice...and really....they may wonder that.... but this is not a red flag that your reps are not doing their jobs....and it is not anything bad on the casting director....but sadly when a casting director is being polite...or paying you a compliment for whatever reason actors see this as some sort of affront to them and their career.
Just because you have not been seen does not mean you were not submitted or pitched.....it means they were not ready to see you..whether it is your look or your resume.....but guys...come on....don't take that kinda talk that seriously......
Lets talk a little bit about indie productions…. You know I am a fan.. always have been!! But when a production does not want to talk to your reps…..that is a BIG RED FLAG. If you don’t want your reps to talk to production….THAT IS A BIG RED FLAG.
Here is the deal. We don’t care if it is an ultra low $125 a day thing. (ok… so we care a little…). But if there is no communication between production and reps then we can not protect you. If we have been trying to deal with production and are having a hard time then all of the sudden you are on the set that is not good. When I hear actors say things like “well I don’t know what the problem is they are really nice to me”. I see that as problematic not just with the production but with the actor. This is an actor who is does not need a manager since they can clearly take care of themselves and these are folks I generally don’t like to waste my time on.
It’s an audition/ test/callback/recall….. so many word…. So many meanings….Learn the correct terms…. seriously…. Every country has its own terms for things… and that is fine…. But learn them in the country you are in…as that can get very confusing!! nothing would make me happier if we had a universal tv/film language that we all spoke…. But sadly we don’t…..so learn these terms and what they mean… after all this is the business you are in…!
ok… lets talk about kids for a sec….and well….work permits - parents - if you have kids you need to get them work permits… this is the law. If you want to work in Los Angeles and New York get them permits in both places… and keep up with them. NYC is a year Los Angeles is six month…. And for any kids reading this… you have to maintain a c average to keep you permit! Make sure your reps have copies of them. It is a lot of info to know but it is important that you know it …
So recently we had a client leave us (I know weird right)! Hey it happens….in the email they sent they had mentioned something that had happened 9 months ago that really got their panties in a bunch…. And as it turned out it was something that they didn’t actually understand but for 9 m months carried it with them and let it fester. Folks… we have talked about this… honestly this is a life lesson… DO NOT LET THINGS FESTER!! What a waste of time and energy. They felt silly once the correction was made but the damage was done. If something is amiss address it asap!!
ok…so lets talk about technology - so over the past year actually even longer…. self tapes have been the norm for a lot of things. It certainly opens the door for more opportunity and allows the casting offices to see a lot of interesting people. It allows actors to travel and not miss out on an audition… so some pretty cool stuff…. So why… why are you still techno useless. Here is the thing… this has been gradually building up for a long time… it is not a surprise… and you don’t have to be an AFI student to do self tapes. There are NO excuses. I don’t care how old or young you are. If you have a smart phone (and if you don’t have one that is a whole other conversation). Then you can make a self tape. Period. I hear a lot of excuses from actors who don’t know how to do a lot of technical stuff. You need to learn…. Find a millennial - take them to lunch and have them show you how to use social media - email - text and self tape. If you are calling your reps to say you can’t do something… but I see you all over a social media site.. you are being lazy! It is 2017… get your shit together!! My dad is in his 80s and he is on social media and texts me when he needs to communicate quickly. (uh.. sometimes in latin)! So get it together… and millennials… need a job…. Put yourself out there for actors who come from a different generation and teach them something… who knows… maybe you will both get something out of it!!
ok…. Now go be a rockstar!