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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: General Interviews

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

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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

Dance-tress Acting Up: Tips from a Casting Director

Hey kids!

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You guys, I am so excited to share this weeks blog with you. I want to talk about a seminar I went to the other day, "Self- Management for Actors", hosted by multi-hyphenated writer/casting director/producer Bonnie Gillespie. First of all, it was FREE! Um, what? Nothing is free, but here was Bonnie taking 2 hours out of her day to share boat loads of information with everyone. Why, because she genuinely wants to help, and I believe her. I can't even find a free few minutes to make AND eat a sandwich.

...is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs.

It was also exciting to see the person whose blogs I've been following for a while now. A real person exists! Did I mention, she's hilarious. So, not only was I able soak up a ton of free information, I got in a few good laughs as well.

While standing on the side of an over packed theater, I had this interesting "deja future" (er?) sort of moment. I felt like I was watching my future self chatting it up on stage to an eager audience full of actors. Is that creepy? I don't know, but I felt as though I caught a glimpse of what my life will be like in another 15 years or so. She started out as an actress, then ventured into writing and eventually into casting. Well, that sounds semi familiar already. She has also written a few books and you guys know about me and my bucket list, that's #51. 

Because yours truly is also here to help, I want to share with you some of the things that caught my attention. The very first thing I have written down on my handy dandy notepad is "LA starts with a 'YES' ". What does that mean exactly? It means that everyone who wants to pursue a career in entertainment can pursue it. Everyone is welcome. It's up to you to put all of the puzzle pieces together. Are you willing to make a few sacrifices? Are you persistent? If you believe you can, you can. Hallelujah! 

Our main focus was on the 4 steps every actor should follow.

1) Branding- Who are you? What is your type? How do other people see you? For example, if you are normally percieved as "snotty and upper class", then own it. Rock your type and be damn good at it. Don't try and stretch to something that you're not. Be you. She said that if you're, "always type cast as the b*tch...cash that check".  If not, I'll cash it for you :)

2) Targeting- There are approximately 600 casting directors JUST in Los Angeles. Not everyone will specialize in your type. So, make a target list.

3) Creating your own content- Oh snap, I'm already there. Did you get a chance to check out my latest music video?  

I know, I know. Another shameless self promotion, but hey, I'm SO close to reaching my goal of 1k views. Then, one million :) Ain't no thang.

4) Pitching- Yeah, this one can be tough. How do you sell yourself? This is not the time to be modest. This is your chance to brag and share your talents with the world. Obviously don't be over the top with it, but if you don't talk about it, nobody knows. Maybe one day I'll have those mind reading powers, but for now, speak up!
 

Hopefully this will help give you a good map to follow. For more details, you can always follow her on her website. Carry on my friends, until next time!

Dance-tress Acting Up: Self Promotion

Good Morning, World!

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Congratulations Actor! You've taken your career into your own hands. You made your first project and it took a great deal of bravery and guts to jump into a whole new ball game. Ah, where do I start? I've never done this before? I don't have any behind the camera skills, but you spent countless hours of your own free time studying this new beast. The feeling of completing a new project is ugh-mazing. It feels like Christmas morning and you know the gift you've been begging for is under the tree just waiting to be opened. You can't wait to share your success with everyone. Your project is complete, now you're done, time to take a nap and go about the rest of your days. NOPE..here comes the fun part, promoting.

So, you share it with your friends and family. Maybe you post it on Facebook once or twice. But, the struggle is, not everybody gets online everyday, so perhaps those people will never see it. Or, so many other people have made posts within that hour, your project may get lost in the crowd. 

Let's remember the blog I posted a few weeks ago when I talked about how casting directors cast people who have a strong following. A low view count on a video means you are not getting seen, therefore, you're still not building a following. If you are just looking for new reel footage, or to practice a character, then great, but you will not be "discovered" by someone just randomly deciding to click on your video. 

Here's what I have been doing. Has it been working, yes, maybe, I think so, I don't know. I have linked my twitter and Facebook together so that I don't have to post on each site. I can post whatever I want to twitter and it will automatically post on Facebook. BAM, its that easy. I have also been scoping out people who may have an interest in my video and sharing it with them. For me, it's people who enjoy comedy, women film makers, actor friends/non friends, people who I have donated to their projects, people who have supported me, and to be honest, when someone I don't know randomly send me a direct message asking if I can vote for them in a contest, I reply with a "sure, can you retweet this video for me?" and then the favor has been returned. You know what else is kind of cool, because I have been posting so often friends who I haven't spoken to in years have seen my video, commented, and even helped me on my mission to reach X amount of followers by sharing it on their pages. Because of that, I have also been extended into their network of friends and gaining new followers. How cool is that? 

On the flip side, posting the same video every so often, many people can consider this spamming. They may even block you. So, I'm reaching out. What do you do to market yourself and your videos? How do you share it with like minded people and people who you believe would be a part of your audience? Help me, help you, GO!