Tuesday, October 9, 2012


As Beck would say - "Go crazy with the cheese whiz."

I have been quite a busy bee, squirrel, your choice of forest animal or garden bug here.  I am working hard to integrate myself into the casting community of Los Angeles.  You see, if you are an "unknown" in Hollywood - which many of us are and many of us will always be (well, speak for yourself) - it is not enough to get an agent (fyi, I've since signed with Matt Jackson at Rebel Entertainment Partners for theatrical rep!) It is not enough to get a manager. It is not enough to be fully represented if you grew up outside of the industry and are unfamiliar to those in this tightly-knit world. So how do we meet these fine individuals in the casting chair? Actors take workshops.

A workshop is like a glorified audition. You get some one-on-one time with an important casting associate who could strongly influence your career by paying a small fee and preparing a small scene. Of course, many actors think this is a waste of time and money - but oh, are they wrong.  If you know the workshop offices, that's step one. Here's a few that I like:

Actors Advantage Showcase
ITA Productions
The Casting Network
Actor's Key

In the last two weeks, I've had the pleasure of performing for four highly respected casting ducks.

Judith Sunga of Audino / Schiff Casting - Judith comes across as a direct, no bullshit gal constantly evolving to be better at her job. Currently, she casts "Touch", "Nikita", and her office casts "Madmen" (Eee! Squeal of excitement!).  I was an extra on Madmen when I first moved here aaaaaaaaand it was a fab experience. I smoked herbal cigarettes in a French restaurant (aka Burbank cafe) and watched Don Draper hit on a suspecting young lass. Anyway, Judith paired us all up and gave me a GREAT scene from "Parenthood".  I had a real opportunity to act with this particular scene since the writing was rich and emotionally relevant, plus my character had a wonderful arc. Great experience and smart sides from her.

Mike Page of David Rapaport Casting - Mike is a joyous, wonderful, playful person to audition for (he casts "Arrow" on CW and "90210"). He gave the actors many CHOICES - including how to read the scene, what kind of scene, if we hate the scene please tell him so he can give you something you connect to, etc.  You can tell Mike Page loves to experiment with actors and heartily encourages the walls to come down. Choosing the drama genre, I read two scenes from "Fringe" (which Mike used to cast). He gave me great feedback. Guaranteed, you will feel comfortable with this guy and open to all sorts of possibility. FUN!

Rick Messina of Alyssa Weisberg Casting - Rick currently casts "Workaholics" (I vividly remember their VERY controversial billboard on Sunset Boulevard involving, shall we say "members" of the cast) and has also worked on "United States of Tara" and "Temple Grandin". Mr. Messina likes quick results, strong choices, and working in comedy. He paired me with a sweet little dude to read from "Past Lives" - a deceased pilot from years past. Although I liked Rick's approach very much, my character was the neutral, straight-edged attractive woman in the comedy with little dialogue to shine with.  I did well enough...All in all, Rick is an important man to see, so go see'im.

And lastly but not leastly, Chris Gehrt of Wendy O'Brien Casting - Chris is crazy attentive and a blast to audition for. He loves comedy, loves uninhibited performances and exploration AND loves his job. He is also a stand up comic, so he understands the risks, anxieties, choices - all of it. But he also knows what it means to have a pair of cojones. I was paired with a very talented guy and given a very funny scene involving a fake carrot cake recipe. Chris was in stitches and extremely complimentary. He casts "Sons of Anarchy" and a new FX comedy, "Legit". Highly recommend.

And that's the workshop update. Will keep you posted on others...


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