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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: Want to get paid?

What up, Peeps!

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You're an artist, therefore, you work for free, right? That is obviously not true, but that is what the common belief is and that is why you are not getting paid what you DESERVE. Why does this happen? Why do so many companies/people think they can ask artists to volunteer time on their projects, while they reap all the benefits? You'll get a copy of the finished project (if you're lucky) and credit, and maybe, just maybe you'll be on their mind when a paid project comes along.

Let me explain why this happens. Say for example there is a job available for $100/day. A person who is trained, skilled, over qualified, and fully capable declines the job because the rate is incredibly too low for the amount of work you will be asked to do. Break it down by the hour, the job ends up being $8/hour because we all know a day on set can easily be 12 hours, sometimes more. The rate is a bit of a joke when you calculate the years you have invested perfecting your skill. You can make more money in less amount of time waiting tables on a Friday night.

Then, Joe Schmo comes along and accepts the job because he is desperate for work. Now, the company thinks it's an "OK" thing to think that $100 is an acceptable pay rate, therefore they will never pay you for what you deserve because someone else will do it for less. 

Well, way to go Joe Schmo. You have officially lowered the standards for an entire industry. This happens everyday in all areas of entertainment in front and behind the camera. But, how much can you blame Joe Schmo? He wanted to make some money working in his industry that isn't opening any doors for him. And hey, $100 is better than no pay right? What a catch 22. And if you're new and still building up your resume, this is a great opportunity for you. How else are you supposed to grow and network?

On the flip side, super talented Tim McGee, who has invested THOUSANDS of dollars, loads of sweat equity, and time spent away from his family, has to settle for either no work, or stoop down to $8/hr. This is not ok and guess what actors, if the crew isn't making money, there is absolutely no way you're going to get paid.  Unfortunately, as important as you are, you are at the bottom of the totem pole and if you chose not to work for these rates, someone else is lined up right outside ready to take your spot. Ouch.

How can we fix this? Can we all stick together and demand more? Know your worth. I'm not saying that you should be getting rich off student projects, but some of the bigger productions may be able to offer some compensation if we (you, me, her, him, all of us) demand it. All I'm trying to say is, I like my current job, but I love my art. Power of the people, yo.

Have a good suggestion? Let me know and I'll write about it.