Powerhouses in Hollywood have started to look into developing Science Shows with the recent BOOM of geek/nerd culture success providing them with a built-in audience. The NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Channel has incorporated new, “younger”, exciting shows like Brain Games with good success. Now stars are choosing to branch out into other a-typical Network options.
KNOW BRAINER, created by science personality Christina Ochoa, executive producers Casey Affleck, Mehcad Brooks, and director George Cawood aims to satisfy the audiences of Comedy Central/ Spike/ Adult Swim style networks with its irreverent and “Bad-ass” approach on the topic. Strategic connections to organizations like Mensa, NASA, celebs, Scientific geniuses and authors makes it a sure sell!
BIG BANG THEORY, COMICON…they have all served as pioneers in opening the doors and audiences’ minds to a usually rather insipid topic with the use of humor and passion. Its a wonderful break from the reality-TV, mindless programming taking over our screens.
A Canadian studio expansion to meet increased Hollywood location shooting has seen a new production equipment supply complex opened in west Toronto.
The Hollywood Reporter has a new article on the mega-production structure that is the new William F. White Centre in the city of Toronto. There is no doubt that Los Angeles has been shooting itself in the foot with taxes for film shoots, but this type of news just serves us as a definite reminder that production is heading elsewhere. Toronto and Dubai, alongside France and Barcelona seem to be the closest at replacing Hollywood. We will have to wait and see.To read the THR article…click here.
Heres the main issue: Everyone needs to eat. And pay bills, and classes, rent, gas…etc. But as an actor you have to be careful with what "Day Job" you get. Not only because you run the risk of it taking up valuable time from your objective, but also because in BREAKALEGG we think ANY job that doesnt give you some sort of knowledge or advantage over other actors is a complete waste of time. Here are 10 great options of jobs that allow you to be flexible with hours or more importantly, can give you great insight into the industry. At the end of the day, it is where you are planning to be anyways…right?
Try to get work in a casting director or an agent’s office. Sometimes in the industry trade papers agents and casting directors advertise for assistants and people to work a few hours a week opening mail and doing office chores. It’s a great way to learn what goes on in their offices. You get to see the kinds of mail other actors send in, overhear telephone conversations, and just basically see what it’s like first hand.
In addition, there are other acting schools around the city that look for assistants.
Theater companies looking for stage personel and production assistants often with no experience necessary. Prerequisite is to be responsible and a fast learner.
There are also a host of casting websites and organizations, such as Actors Access, Breakdown Services, NYCastings as well. If you do a Google search, you will find a slew of others. Why not see if they need help or could use your services?
There are also showcases and industry events that are organized to help actors promote their careers. It's a great way to meet casting directors and agents. The organization of those events is a big to do and they need hosts and hostesses to help the event go smoothly. You can find information about such events by simply keeping abreast of what’s going on in the industry. Read the trade papers regularly and check the top acting/casting websites.
Why not see if the local union offices of SAG, AFTRA and EQUITY could use some help? Find out where their offices are. See if you can find out what they might be looking for. Find out who the person is you need to contact and if your approach is to send a cover letter, then address the person by his name as opposed to “To whom it may concern.”
Do you have skills that one of the trade papers could be interested in, maybe to work in one of their offices? Could be an idea to contact Backstage, Ross Reports, probably the most read of the industry papers. Have a look on the internet or in the Drama Book Shop in New York to see some of the other possibilities that exist.
There are many production companies who are looking for good people with skills.
Do you have the skills to form a production company? I know someone, a fellow actor, who has done just that. It’s a great way to make industry contacts with people who could also help you further your career as an actor.
Do you have the skills to start and run your own small business, form your own company? What do you love to do? Could you turn your hobby into a business? If so, do you know other responsible and reliable people who share your same passion and who have good business skills? If so, maybe you could form your own company together with those people. Why not? As time goes on, you could gradually distance yourself from the daily business of running your small company and dedicate more and more time to acting and promote your acting career. The whole point of this article is to help you think. If you don't have a steady stream of residual income that will permit you to focus 100% of your time on your acting career and you have to work in the traditional sense to make ends meet, then at least do something that will keep you connected to the industry and at the same time help you grow in some way as an actor.
Actor-preneur posted this quote on "Winners" applicable to all careers in the business. While its true that you cant make predictions about the future in this wonderfully fickly industry most of the time, or on any one project/persons success, its also tru that you need a plan to succeed.
Our suggestion is think about your long term goal, the one that may seem far away and improbable on tough days, but never stop there. Now make short term goals that can serve as your "guide" in that direction. Are you an aspiring writer who wishes to revolutionize Sundance with a dramatic feature? tart with taking a screenwriting class, or maybe writing a short that can serve as a callling card, or perhaps you want to jump right in to pitching your idea to producers or writing it on spec? Whatever the path you chose, the important thing here is that you create A PATH to follow.
Are you an actor with dreams of giving a great acceptance speech after winning an Academy Award? Thats a beautiful dream, but it wont be any more of a reality until you start making headway in that direction. Start auditioning for roles that bring out the best of you, or take a new class, or maybe you want to write your own role, or network with talented individuals/directors/producers that can one day help you get that role. Whatever your strategy is…HAVE ONE. Small steps each day towards the greatness you want.
“The camera adds 10 pounds”, “You always look bigger on film”, “If you lost just a few more pounds you would look better for this role”… We have all heard it before, its not just a mere myth, women AND men in the industry are really told such statements on a regular basis. So a new trend seemed to appear: The super –skinny. It has been happening for quite some time. Some of our most valued actors shrinking before our eyes! From Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank, or even Colin Farrell! It doesn’t discriminate with age or gender. But, Is it a key to their success?? Is it what the industry is looking for? To be brutally honest, it doesn’t seem like this trend is going to fade just yet. And skinny IS a commodity. BUT super-skinny is just as looked down upon as a few extra pounds. And nobody likes looking at a walking skeleton for two hours, so hence, studios don’t want to hire them unless they are already superstars and have a fan base. The audience just doesn’t accept it. And I’m not talking about the few who want to imitate it thinking it will make them “hot”. I’m talking about the millions of parents who don’t want their children with such role models, the advocates for health, the millions of Americans who “don’t fit the mold” these stars have created. Plus, its just not attractive or sexy at all on the screen or in real life.
When a body looks limp, un-energetic and like the person has an eating disorder (whether they do or don’t is another issue) its just not attractive to men or women. And sex sells remember? Being healthy is the main objective of an actor who really values his profession. His or her body should be in prime condition physically first, so he can later adjust it easily to the role. For example: if Spielberg wanted to do an action movie with you in it, and you had to give the appearance of someone who is strong and very active, if you have a healthy tip top shape body, its easy to gain a bit of muscle and definition. OR, If you are asked to play a rather ill person with cancer, lose a few pounds easily. OR if you are offered a “Bridget Jones” type thing. You can only adjust your body so easily (and healthily!) if you generally keep it in prime condition. Overweight people have really hard time losing the weight, and under weight gaining muscle or weight. Let alone later getting back to how they were!!! So if you are in good shape and healthy and a studio asks you to lose some weight, do it, but do it healthily. And when you are done with the project work as hard as you can to regain your previous more healthy figure. Think that your body is a working tool and you need to keep it working for as long as possible, and that ONLY happens when its healthy and fit. So tell me, what do you think of this trend of skinny celebrities? Has it gone too far?
Megan Fox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron…all no-doubt beautiful successful women. Propositions fall at their feet day in and day out, but what happens wen those propositions come from someone above them, with power to make-or-break a career? Fox …
We all know its part of our jobs to stay up to date on what the box office has to offer. Whether it be good or bad we need to be able to comment and intelligently critique the latest products of our industry. Nevertheless, unfortunately not everyone has access to screeners and private pre-released copies of the movies…or the spare cash to go to the movies 3 times a week (ejem..unemployed actors anybody?) So here is a great alternative from our friends at WiseBread.
Have you ever submitted something to a CD, or an agent, or even a producer; then called to get feedback and didnt get an answer? How many times did you ask your team (agent/ manager/ director) a question only to get ignored or even worse just a vague approximation to an answer?
Sometimes we stop asking because we fear our persistence will be seen as an annoyance. We think that if we keep insisting they will get tired maybe even to the point of “dropping” us, so we get frustrated thinking they arent taking us seriously. But here is the truth; you are just as responsible as they are for this vicious cycle. If when you dont get a reply you merely let it go, thinking well, I will find out eventually. Then you are giving the message, through your actions, that its OK for them NOT to answer you.
Normally one shouldn’t have to wonder if the person beside them, carrying out the same job, is getting paid the same. But curiosity killed the cat as they say, and we have all been there before. You look at another actor with similar amount of text as you and question if he’s getting the same amount of money. Or another writer on the same show as you, or a director…whatever the case. The answer is most likely: NO. Lets take the first as an example: Salaries for actors have a set minimum if the project is unionized, and you will never be taken advantage of being paid less than established, but once the minimum is set, there is no bar or law that establishes equality among cast. So he or she may be earning more than you. It mainly depends on two things: Experience and representation. Experience is more about your popularity among the industry or, in special
Accents are a funny thing. Some actors feel that walking into the auditioning room after having prepared the role with an accent (whether it is required for the part or not) liberates them creatively and allows them to fully enjoy the moment, thus living up to the saying "have fun with it" every single time. Almost as if putting on a mask that disengages them from the reality of an audition setting.
For most others, its baffling and severely hindering because unless you are confident enough in said accent; your mind wont allow you to focus on anything but GETTING IT RIGHT.Let alone being honest and listening to a Casting Director or the reader. The worst part about this particular problem comes when the role strictly requires a certain dialect. Obviously NOTHING, not even a casting director you says they want a Standard British Accent should make you compromise the level of work and talent you put into the
So I finally gave in and spent 15 dollars to go see AVATAR this weekend.The visual effects of the movie are in no doubt in a league of their own and so will not be the focus of what I am going to discuss. To the thousands of graphic artists involved from sketching and concept, to animation 3-D or lighting… BRAVO!.
Now, what I really wanted to review is the "substance or lack-there-of" of this multi-million dollar investment. AVATAR rumors and hype have circulated the net and subsequently our TV screens for months. Fans have written reviews before even seeing it, and not-so-fans hated it likewise. Honestly, if forced to choose… I was in the latter group. Not that I am not a fan of James Camerons previous work. I loved Alien (all of them), Terminator, The Abyss, Titanic, and even had a soft spot for Jamie Curtis doing her awkward strip-tease in True Lies…BUT after reading and hearing so
On one of my first auditions the casting director told my manager I was good, but I was "a bit green". So, What the hell does that mean? Well, its still not very clear. For some its a simple excuse not to get into detail about WHY they didn't like you. For others it means your lack of experience is preventing them from hiring you even though you have talent, and for others, its a matter of a "lack of talent" or not having learnt to use it.
After this, I asked around to everyone I could: What does being green mean?. Every single actor has gotten it at some point. The beginning ones get it as soon as they hand in their resume. The more experienced ones get it when they present themselves without a certain confidence generally associated with someone of their experience.
I started re-playing the audition over and over in my head because I wanted
Soon “Fame” will be coming to a theater near you. It was a classic, they are making it into a disgrace. Next thing you know they will be remaking “Grease” or “Pajama Party”. Listen, I know we need more musicals in film, but not cheesy, formulated, unoriginal teen productions without pazazz! I love that modern days have good movies that integrate music like: Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Hairspray, Sweeny Todd…(have you noticed the best musical features come from really good theatrical musicals?)… and on the other end of the spectrum we get the Step up (1 and 2!!!!)
Here is a great article from Creative Review about the opening titles of clasics and modern day jewels when it comes to film. Personally I have to say the 2 most iconic opening sequences from the list are any of the Bond Movie titles (who can forget those intricate and beutiful graphics and patterns intertwines with silhouettes?) and surprisingly the Pink Panther; mainly due to the catchy tome but also to the playfulness. Dudum Duddum, Duddum duddum duddum, Duddum Duduuuuuuuum.
If only for the brilliance of Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges this movie is a definite “Must -See”. And among SOOOO many remakes or unoriginal movie concepts (Somebody say: Final Destination 4, Wolfman…) its good to see that we are also still getting those great jewels (admittedly they are mainly based on Novels so its not exactly the screenwriters who get the credit). Here is the new Ewan McGregor and George Clooney movie: The Men Who Stare at Goats
As actors we are stuck with alot of “in-between gigs” periods. All that time when there arent many auditions and bills still need to get paid. When your career seems at a standstill sometimes you need to find new ways to CREATE opportunities. The most common and well known example of how this works is Sylverster Stallone, who wrote “Rocky” with the intention of creating for himself a good role that would showcase his talents. Im not saying your next script will be a big hit, but isnt it worth a try? It might even open up a new side of you that you werent aware of.
The other day I was reading this article on Unclutterer (for the full article…click here.) and it really struck a chord. In the extremely competitive business that is acting…auditions anyone?… how often do we feel the need to best others? To look better, perform better, act better, prepare better…basically BE better?
In this video, professional voice instructor Jennifer Rutherford of International School of Music, and private teacher in Bethesda Maryland, describes how to prepare for a competition like American Idol, or any other audition. Some tips on preparation, vocal health, song choice, and audition etiquette are covered. Warm ups are also suggested and demonstrated with student and model, Mair. The video assumes that candidates will have some level of training or natural ability, but would also be useful for the amateur interested in pursuing training for a career in singing.