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The best place to find advice, analysis, and information on demo reel services Los Angeles, whether for actors, singers, dancers, journalists, or anyone else with an interest in promoting themselves.

Dance-tress Acting Up- Head Shots

Hi Friends

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So heres the deal, I started making these video blogs about three weeks ago and I really enjoy it. I'm not going to lie, its MUCH more time consuming, but I guess when you enjoy what you do, work isn't really work. And like I've always said, I feel a high level of accomplishment after posting each blog. *pats self on the back*

This week I wanted to talk about head shots. I have included some tips, do's and don'ts and my own personal issue to get that perfect shot. 

First of all, they are the #1 tool an actor should have. If you don't have one, how are people going to remember you? Or, how will you convince someone to cast you in their project if they don't know what you look like? Please don't use a cute Facebook picture. You'll be laughed at and definitely not be taken seriously. Be professional.

Your head shot should not only look good in an 8x10, but also as a thumbnail. Casting directors may only have X amount of time to cast a project, so the likely hood that they're going to click through every single picture is slim. They're going to look at maybe a group of 20 pictures per page, then click the thumbnails that stand out to them. Bam, done.

I personally believe it is important to get other opinions of which is the best photo to use. You may like picture A, but the rest of Los Angeles loves picture B. Now, what's more important, a photo that you think you look great in, or one that everyone else thinks you look great in? 

Remember, the whole point of a head shot is for people to see what you look like! Sounds like a no brainer right, but how is everyone going to see what you look like if the lighting isn't correct? If you photoshopped your picture to make yourself look 10 years younger, or if your eyes are looking a different direction. Eyes are important. Always, look at the camera.

Wear an outfit that compliments your skin tone and the vibe you want to give off. If you're going for commercials, I would recommend bright colors. No logos and busy prints. If you're going for the business professional look, I would suggest maybe a shirt with a collar or tie. Bc, duh.

Last but certainly not least, chill out and RELAX! Have fun. Be you. Don't over think it. I know I know, I struggle with this myself, but that's why it is so important to find a photographer you are comfortable with. Bring some music and have fun. Photo by Jimmy Bui.

 

Dance-tress Acting Up: Murder Book

Hey Kids!

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Well, that was an amazing week. And when I say amazing, I mean UGH-MAZE-ING. Like whoa. Here’s what happened. I was in San Francisco this past weekend having BLAST, and I woke up to an email saying that the producer would like to book me on the Investigation Discovery Network show, “Murder Book”, am I interested? No audition (direct booking from my reels) and I get to be on a show? #YES

So after making several checks off my bucket list (Alcatraz, Full House house, Golden Gate bridge, etc) I left my SF trip early and headed on home for my Monday taping. Turns out I was actually scheduled to work Tuesday AND Wednesday as well. I misunderstood the letter from the casting director. She has sent me an email saying they were filming M/Tu/W and I interpreted that as I’ll be working one of those days, not all of them. Opps. So I had to do some last minute scrambling to give my work as much notice as possible. Aye, a day is not much, I know, sorry.

Director

This will have to be another topic one of these days. You NEED your j.o.b to pay for your bills in between jobs, but when an opportunity comes up to do what you came out here to do, you DO NOT say no. Nobody wants to become a professional at their day job, but you also don’t want to risk falling down a hole if you lose that job.

70's

Back to the important stuff, filming was awesome. It feels really nice to be back on set. Now, I just have to figure out how to do that more often. It’s such a tease, but I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

I don’t want to go too much into depth, but it is a reenactment show based off true stories. The event of the crime happened in the 70’s, so it was really fun to dress up in bell bottoms and flannel. There were so many scenes to film, so everything went pretty quickly. Most of the scenes had a general guideline of what the scene was about, and the rest was improvised. We did a quick run through then it was time to film. I pray I did a good job.

I usually need a quick moment for things to process, sink in, and relax, but there wasn’t time for that. I admit, my insecurities started creeping up on me, but that’s something I need to work on.

On top of all this awesomeness, I finally got to see Janet Jackson at the Forum Friday night. I still can’t get over how awesome it was. This was a HUGE bucketlist for me. Watching Janet and Britney dancing in music videos inspired me as a kid to get into classes. If it weren’t for the inspiration, I wouldn’t be here pursuing what I’m doing. Now, give me a beat!

Dance-tress Acting Up: "Catching Up"

Hello, World!

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Dude, You don’t even know how much it bugs me that I haven’t written since June! I've thought about writing a new blog on a weekly basis, but I've been so behind with the every day life and lingering projects I have had the hardest time catching up. But the good news is, I’m finally caught up and it feels AMAZING! It really does. This is the first time in three months that I can actually take a moment to breathe and think about my next project and what I want to start working on. Basically, I’m ready to throw myself into chaos again and I’m excited for it.

Let me just clue you in on what exactly I have been doing these past few months since my last blogizzle.

-I’ll be honest, I went through a pretty shitty depression for a little bit. I had a birthday (yay) and like most of us actors, you start to really think about what the hell you are doing with your life. I’m hard working, persistent, determined, I would like to say talented, but let’s be real, that doesn’t really always matter when it comes to making a living being an actress. I still to this day believe connections and money matter more than anything else. I have neither of those, so I was a little bummed about that for a little while. I would be much further ahead in life if I just had a “normal” job. Climbed the ladder, traveled the world. That's where my mind was.

-Then, the day of my melt down, I booked a job. Hehe funny how life works. Short film. No pay, but shit, when you’re so use to getting NOTHING not even an audition, the smallest things mean the most. And I am still very thankful to be a part of it.

-Went out of town to visit family. I know I’ve complained about this a lot, but it rained about 80% of the time I was there. It’s just that, I rarely take vacations and every time I do it either rains or I’m sick. This time it was rain…. Typical. I also have a trip planned this weekend and guess what, I’m fighting off the sicks right now. Ew

Cows

-Moved. This one took up a lot of damn time. It wasn’t just around the corner, but I moved about an hr away. For those that know, I LOVED where I lived, but I am adjusting and it’s growing on me. It IS REALLY nice to be away from LA sometimes. Also, it’s RIGHT BEHIND the dairy farm so at times it literally smells like shit. Fresh cow shit less than a mile away. Yeah, we had no idea and obviously didn’t think to scope out the surrounding areas. Actually, I was out of town, so I wasn’t really able to do my due diligence as I usually would. Whatever.

-Had to find a new job..which, ugh, is not really my favorite, but it’s paying my now much lower bills.

-My back had another massive spasm and I was out for about a week. I was in the garage (alone, without my phone) getting a cart so I could unpack my room without having to lift things and hurt myself (hilarious right?) when I moved the wrong way and pretty much fell to my knees. It was awesome.

-My computer has only had ONE problem and I think that had something to do with the writing program I use, Celtx, because it happened to my boyfriend’s computer too. So I feel pretty good about this.

-Joined a new dance company. I am now dancing with the “Sahlala dancers”. We perform every weekend, I’ll keep you posted.

-FINALLY finished editing season 2 of "12 TeEn". Took me a way longer than planned, but feels awesome to accomplish this.

-Did a really fun photo shoot with my friend Yosh. I’ll show you when they’re finished.

-My very talented bf Hisonni Johnson, helped me film some new material. I’m looking for new rep. My goal is to go on more than one audition a year.

-I started working out again. Some say my back muscles are week and that is the reason for my back issues. Also, some may say that I am “chunky”. Thanks team, I appreciate the honesty though. Not out of shape for your everyday human, but in Hollywoodland I suppose I could shape up. Eh, it was time to chill out on my sugar consumption anyways. It was a little out of hand. It’s hard when the 99cent store has such delicious snacks for, 99 cents!

Ok. That was a lot, but hey, it was THREE MONTHS worth’s of shenanigans and I KNOW you were wondering where I was.  Also, you see that awesome video attached above? Or maybe below, wherever I ended up placing it?  If you’re like me and have a small attention span and have “zero time” to read, then check out this video and I’ll just tell you what I just wrote. You can also subscribe so you can be in the loop for the next one. Hopefully, next week :)

 

Dance-tress Acting Up: General Interviews

Hustling every day. Follow me on the tweeter and InstaG to keep up with my shenanigans

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Dancer

Guess what, yo! I just had an entire sit down lunch with a casting director, for free! Everything I've ever heard is true, he was a real person! Not someone to be afraid of or intimidated by. AND, I didn't have to spend $ I DO.NOT.HAVE. Jealous? You shouldn't be because you can do it too.

Intrigued? Well my friends, it's called a "general interview". Yup, nothing fancy, just a general interview. The idea of calling up a casting office and asking them if they do general interviews NEVER EVEN OCCURRED TO ME.  It has been ingrained in my mind for so many years that if you want to get seen, follow "the rules" go to a workshop. 

I think there are a lot of different reason why actors either don't know about this idea, or simply don't follow through with the phone call.

1. Everyone is scared of being "BLACKLISTED". Do you really think a casting office is going to remember your name from 15 second phone call, put you on some evil list they have lying next to their phones, and NEVER want to hear from you or see you EVER again? Probably not. If they say "NO", then politely say good bye and don't call again. 

2. If you're inbox is anything like mine, then you probably receive TONS of emails every day telling you which casting director is holding a workshop and where. You are convinced they are going to spot YOU out of 100,000's of actors they see each week and are going to remember you for that one role that comes around every once in a while. Hey, I'm sure it does happen, but you will probably have to see that one particular casting director more that once. 

To me, an extra $50/month is a struggle. I'm not the gal to waste $5 for a coffee fix or a few drinks at night (things I don't like or do), I rarely get to fly home to see family (once a year or twice if I'm lucky), I HATE shopping, I simply don't have the extra money. Paying to play is a game for the wealthy and that's just not me.

3. There are no rules or exact steps on how to succeed in this industry. Everybody makes it a different way. There are books and articles from people who share what THEY did to succeed and many believe that is the ONLY way to make it because it's been "proven".  If they found success in one particular way then of course you will too. Like, duh. Times have changed and you need to pave your own way. Be creative. #useyobrain

4. Calling up and asking for an interview just honestly never occurred to me. I'm not an idiot, I have an education and a brain, I honestly just didn't even think about it because nothing in this business is normal. Whatever normal is.

Luckily for me, I do A LOT of researching online and came across some youtube videos from casting director Billy DaMota Guess what he suggested? Lol, yup! Be like Nike, Just Do It.

Personally, I would make sure you have all your goods prepared before you waste anyones time- ie. pics/resume/ reel/credits/ confidence. Do your research first and learn as much as possible about them. Maybe find a common interest and definitely watch a film or two they have cast. Nothing makes a more awkward chat when you know NOTHING about who you are sitting across from. It screams "cast me" and thats kind of difficult when trying to build a relationship. Desperate is never a cute look. 

 Vegan ;)  I do my research 

Vegan ;)  I do my research 

Billy and I had a lovely lunch. He said that he was now going to be my mentor whether I asked for it or not. It's hard to come across good people, so I'm down. Although he's from northern California, he reminds me a lot of my family on the east coast and I liked that as well.

So friends and whoever else is reading this. Target those casting directors you want to connect with, do some research and make those calls! Don't be a douche though, be professional.

Stay tuned for next weeks blog where I fill you in on what its like behind the scenes of a film festival. Oh, and all my free perks :)

Know the facts. Donotpay.org