Thursday, August 26, 2010

New headshots!!!

I had new headshots taken yesterday, by my longtime photog Felicity Murphy. It was SUCH a blast. Her fantastic makeup artist Michelle Diaz did a great job, especially with my 'Mad Men' inspired look. :)

We shot over 600 pics, and Felicity narrowed it down to 465. I've uploaded quite a few to Facebook, but I'll put a small selection on here. We did a lot of looks, and I think I got some great shots to a) showcase the new hair and b) update a lot of older looks I had, from previous sessions. We also got some looks I'd been wanting to get, too!

Felicity Murphy Photography:
Michelle Diaz Make Up:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Angeleno Short Film Fest (and other stuff)

This coming Sunday, August 29th, from 12pm to 8pm, the Angeleno Short Film Festival will be happening at Cinespace in Hollywood. The winning films in each category will be screened, and guests will be able to participate in industry and guest panels, attend the awards ceremony, and network with other industry folks. There's a KILLER raffle, too!

I was asked to serve as a judge by my co-star from the Big Lots! commercial, in part because I act, write and (from time to time) produce, and because of my Actor's Voice - POV article. I've been enjoying the process of watching the films, as it's giving me a chance to learn what works, what doesn't work, etc. It's been nice to see the films that are well done, too. :)

So, actors, writers, producers, directors...if you're in Hollywood and want to come out to the festival, here's the website with the full details:

Day pass tickets are $10 (which gives you access to everything AND $5 to the bar); Award Ceremony only tix are $5, as are the Raffle tix. I personally have tickets I can sell you, if you see me in person this week. Otherwise, you can purchase them from the website!

I hope to see some folks come out and support the fest!!! :)

Actors, there's a great Emmy Roundtable interview in the August 23 & 30 issue of Newsweek. Pick up a copy if you can (article is not available online yet). Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, Eric Stonestreet, Connie Britton, Matthew Fox and Chris Colfer are featured.


Last week, I submitted myself online for a webisode that is being cast by a cd that I've had some positive interactions with...I know how many submissions she got for her last project, which was larger in scope (she Tweeted that she got around 15,000 for that one!), so I was just doing it to do it. Knowing something like that helps put in perspective that it really is about submitting yourself, then letting go. I always am grateful to get auditions, period. Anyway, I received a message, asking for a taped audition a day or two later.

Believe it or not, I had never had to tape myself before!! So, I opted to approach things in the most professional manner I knew--I hired my acting coach for a private session and to have him film my audition! I felt like it was an important step forward for me, as an actress, to commit to the action of "putting my best foot forward". I worked hard on breaking down the script, finding the nuances and dynamics in the character to ground her in reality, while giving her enough crazy details to push her out there in terms of comedy. Since improv was encouraged in the audition, I came up with a bunch of details, things to riff on, etc. It made for a really fun coaching and taping session!

We will see if anything comes of the work as far as being called in for the meetings/callbacks. I sent my video link in (they requested we put the videos online, i.e. on youtube), and got a confirmation that it was, we'll see!

Regardless, what I am trying to take away from the experience is that I made the choice to commit to doing it the best I could do it. And that's important, because I think it so often happens that a lot of us don't always give it our best, or limit ourselves in some way. In the end, it's entirely possible that I don't have the right look they want, or I went broader and they wanted dry, you really never know. All I can do is what is mine to do, and I did it. That's something to be proud of. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Actors Helping Actors!

Today, I received the following (fantastic) email:


Thank you SO much for the article you wrote for Bonnie back in May. Because of you, I just got taft-hartleyed.

I did a SAG webisode recently in which I only had one line, and the line was off-screen. The producer thought that because the role was so small, I couldn't be taft-hartleyed. But, because I had read your article, which taught me about the SAG New Media contract, I figured it was worth following up with SAG to make sure. Turns out, I *can* be taft-hartleyed off the project! So, thank you, thank you, thank you! I was also able to help a fellow actress on set, who was in the exact same situation as me but had no idea one could be taft-hartleyed through the New Media contract.

Also, just thanks in general for being so generous with sharing info with your fellow actors.

(I've withheld the name of the writer for privacy concerns)

That's awesome. I love it. I love hearing about this kind of success! The main reason I wrote the Actor's Voice POV article was to help other actors become SAG-Eligible!

This really made my day! Thank you to the actor who took the time to email me! :) (And, thank you to the other actors who have contacted me as well, via Facebook and otherwise--I appreciate it!)

Oops, was on vacation!


The last month and a half have been crazy for me--I was on vacation, then had to travel some more for family related stuff, etc, etc. I haven't had much time to update anything as a result--just been too busy!

Some tidbits, though:

~had my general meeting with Mark Measures from Abrams Artists (head of commercial), which I won via a contest on Twitter. It was a really interesting, educational experience. I went in without an agenda. I really just wanted to meet Mark and see what he was like. I didn't have any questions for him, at least, not any pre-planned ones or difficult ones. He was an interesting guy, very much what you might expect from an agent at a high powered agency. I don't know if he was thrown off by my lack of questions (he did comment on it), but I found his insights and advice to be smart and worthwhile. He gave me a tip about my resume, spoke with me about type, etc. He made two comments that I thought were worth thinking about the most, in relation to me specifically: 1) consider changing my hair, because it's so 'shampoo commercial' that it could be keeping me from being cast in the more traditional 'young wife/mom' sort of roles and 2) the people who work the most in commercials are the ones who blend in--if you can remember an actor from a commercial, chances are that they will not keep working. He did tell me--prefacing it with "don't take this the wrong way"--that I had a face that could make a million dollars in commercials--it's very All American. I didn't take that the wrong way at all! Could I have taken it as, "you blend in" and whatever negative connotations go along with that? Sure. But why would I choose to do that to myself? Doesn't get me anywhere. And, come on, he just told me I could WORK IN COMMERCIALS AND MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS. Seriously, the better choice is obvious here. :)

~had a callback and audition the same day that I returned from my second trip--I kept getting calls from my commercial agents, readjusting my schedule, trying to work out if I could make it to both. I did. :) It was kinda crazy--running from LAX, to my house to shower, then to the audition (in the valley), then to the callback, and then to work (no, for real). It was a long day! But I loved it. :)

~been redecorating my living room, which I know is not acting related, but it is making me really happy. :)

~considered Mark's comment about how this business is all about a haircut (this was related to his suggestion that I consider finding another way to do my hair that made it "less"--I really do have a ton of great hair, and I feel like a jackass saying that, but I do. It's probably my most-commented-upon feature--when I bother to do it nicely)...I spoke with my rep and decided to go about cutting it a lot shorter. My hair was very long, especially for commercials. So...I chopped it a couple of days ago. It's now just above my shoulders, which means it'll grow out to match my last round of commercial headshots well (my hair is just below my shoulders in those). I love it. I was so scared to cut it, because I've had such long hair for about 2 years now, and I was so attached to it...but I really love the cut. I have an amazing stylist, who takes into account bone structure--both face AND scalp, which determines how your hair lies and keeps style--and I love what she's done. I'm excited to see if this opens up anything as far as bookings go!

~along with the new haircut, I am looking to do some new headshots in a couple of weeks. My commercial shots should all be okay for right now--yes, my hair is a couple inches longer in it, but I think it'll be okay. My theatrical ones, go. All of the ones I use are photos where I have my very long hair. headshots!

~I did get some commercial headshots printed--my main shot that my agents use--just to have them, because I don't really have any commercial ones printed up. I also have some matching post cards that are waiting to be approved at the printer--going to do that today, I think. :)

~I'm also signed up for two workshops--one at the end of the month, with a cd associate that I've seen before (about 4 months ago). I did really well in that workshop, so I'm hoping to do well in this one and start the ball rolling on a good relationship with her. The other is a workshop with a commercial casting director, with whom I've become friendly on Twitter, and it is in September.

~now, on to class--I had an amazing class last week. I'd been in a bit of an acting funk lately, not feeling like I was totally into what I was doing, etc. But, despite having a hard time wrapping my head around my scene initially, I ended up locking into the scene about an hour before class and getting some power imagery done during our meditation time at the start of class. And my scene was awesome. It was one of those scenes that you can scarely remember what you've done because it was almost out of body. It was from "An Education" (I was playing a character who has one scene--a powerful scene--near the end of the film, with the lead character...trying to keep it spoiler free!). When we were finished and turned to receive coaching/feedback from our teacher, he and other members of the class were like, "Yeah, that's it." Which is, to say, that was a one take scene. It was amazing the first time through. No need to do it again. But we did it again anyway. :) Just to see what we could do, to play with it, etc. I changed my prior moment from a gentle, happier one, to a darker, more annoyed one, and it changed my reactions to the scene--my voice had more of an edge and I had a moment at the start of empathizing with the other character, before the edge took over. It was interesting. At any rate, I was so happy to have had that moment in class, because I needed it. Funny how that works, right? :)

So...I think that's it for now? I might have another post later, or soon...we'll see!