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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: "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

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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: #LikeaGirl

In honor, of this past weekend's Super Bowl, I am going to write this awesome blog, #LikeaGirl. During the highly anticipated commercial breaks, Always (don't freak out- tampon/pad brand) featured a commercial of what the stereotype of being a female is like, and how it became a "bad thing" to be a girl. By the end of the commercial, there was a young girl who shared her untarnished idea of how to run like a girl.  Her answer was "as fast as you can" as opposed to the frilly wimpy response that came from the teenagers and adults. She represented strength, power, and fearlessness and that's what being a female is all about. Males too. We just have to get the rest of the world on board. Women are often overlooked, not taken seriously, and underpaid. It's 2015, how does this still happen?

Fortunately for me, I was raised by a feminist. Now, lets talk about that. Since when did the word "feminist" become a negative term that is associated with man hating? Last time I checked, it stood for equality. My mother never told me that I shouldn't do something because "I was a girl". In fact, she encouraged me in sports and never once told me or my sister to stop climbing the trees because "only boys do that". We're all kids at one time, why do things change as we get older?
 
I was never taught to "play my role" and be a trophy wife. If that's what you want, then that's cool, but it's not for me. I don't need to look perfect every time I step out of the house. I don't need flashy name brand clothes to seek approval from my peers. Actually, I rarely ever match. Perhaps, I take this one a little bit too far sometimes. I don't need to hide when I want to stuff my face with a bag of cookies because it's not "lady like". Guys don't, and we all know cookies are delicious. When I need to be professional and get something done, I do it. And I do it well, just like every other successful person.
 

I never realized my gender struggled so much with opportunities until I moved to Los Angeles and began my career in entertainment. Turn on the TV, watch a commercial, look at the billboards, I guarantee you will see far more males dominating the TV than females. Open up a magazine, and I can assure you there are probably some awful pictures and gossip about an actress with a headline that reads something similar to this, "Fat, wrinkles, no make-up, oh my". Think of an actor, now try and think of a time when you saw his private areas on the screen. Now swap it, how many times have you seen a naked, semi nude, in lingerie or fully topless female on your TV? Eh? Got you thinking now, don't I? Trust me, there is nothing wrong with the human body, I love my body and being sexy, but there are a lot of other AMAZING qualities that we females possess. I know I would personally love to see more of it on TV.

Entertainment plays a big role in our society. I feel pretty confident that if there were stronger female roles portrayed all over our media, things would begin to start changing. It would take time, but people are inspired by what they see and hear. If you are constantly being told you can't do something, then you're probably going to start to believe it. If you only see women in roles as mistress', secretaries, one night stands, the "party girl" then what would inspire young girls to think they can one day be as successful as their male counterparts who are portrayed as lawyers, presidents and CEO's?

Check out these movie posters. Lots of opportunities there. Are you sensing my sarcasm? These are just a few examples, and I'm not saying that female opportunities don't exists, but we can still aim to do better and achieve more, for everybody.

CONGRATS to Always and Procter and Gamble for paying, probably millions, to have this #LikeaGirl campaign play during one of the biggest male dominated sports days in America. That's some smart, clever marketing right there. They KNOW people are sitting around waiting to watch these commercials. Good work, we have your attention now.

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