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Casting Call – The Wrong Girl

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Accepting Self-tape submissions until March 22, 2019.

Genre: DRAMA / THRILLER 

Synopsis: Cassie, a troubled seventeen year old girl struggling with the death of her mother and her alcoholic father who can barely make ends meet finds herself lured into a seedy underworld of human trafficking by an intricate chain of events. 
Cassie’s terrifying journey, initiated by a female stranger with sinister intentions lures her towards this criminal industry that could either destroy her last shred of hope for the future or give her the strength to fight for it.
This is an eye opening and unflinching look at the inner workings and lengths that human traffickers will go to to keep up with the demand of the illegal sex trade industry and for this one group of traffickers they are about to realize they have taken THE WRONG GIRL when Cassie decides to fight back.

The Wrong Girl – Matchbox Pictures Inc

CAST OF CHARACTERS:

NOTE: For self-tape character sides please email us the character(s) you wish to audition for and they will be sent to you via email. EMAIL US HERE.


CASSIE ANDERSON (18 playing 16-17 Female) Pay $400 per day (Approx. 16 Days)

Cassie, a 17 year old teen is struggling with resentment towards her father after the recent death of her mother. She has been involuntarily tasked with raising her younger sister due to the inability of her father to cope with the situation.

CASSIE’S FATHER (Late 30’s early 40’s Male) Pay $350 per day (Approx. 5 Days)

Cassie’s Father and battling alcohol abuse and neglecting his children as he continues to struggle with his wife’s death and feeling sorry for no one but himself.

MIA (Female Age 17 – 20) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 5 Days)

A trafficked girl that arrives at what is known as “the pens” that has a difficult time coping with her situation.

ALEXA  (Female Age 17 – 20) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 5 Days)


A Russian trafficked girl being held with Cassie. Slight Russian accent.

KATERINA (30’s – 40’s Female)  Pay $300 per day (Approx. 3 Days)

A very friendly and nurturing young woman who’s business it is to befriend and lure unsuspecting young girls into the world human trafficking.

MILOS (30’s – 40’s Male)  Pay $350 per day (Approx. 6 Days)

A European born but US human trafficking muscle and intimidator. Slight indistinguishable european accent. Menacingly friendly in his demeanour yet very suave in his appearance. He loves his suits and takes pride in his appearance.

BORISLAV (50’s – 60’s Russian Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

A Russian Oligarch with ties to the traffickers in the vein of Gorbachov or Belsin from the 80’s. Fairly thick Russian accent.

JUDGE CARMICHAEL (40’s – 50’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

A sleazy, unappealing Federal Judge who abuses his position of power. He is an abusive and subversive man especially towards the girls he pays traffickers for and their services.

LAWYER / BARRY (40’s – 50’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

The trafficker’s corrupt lawyer who is blunt and abrasive with whoever he encounters. A toned down Lewis Black.

MIKA (Mid 20’s – Mid 30’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

Lower level and street wise trafficker. He has a James Franco type of dangerous charm.

VICE PRINCIPAL (30’s – 40’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

An unethical vice-principal who supplements his income by trading information to human traffickers. A weasily Steve Buscemi type.

THE BELARUSIAN MAN (30’s – 40’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 6 Days)

Milo’s main henchman. A man of few words but who stare and demeanour are terrifying in itself.

REBECCA (Age 7-8 Female) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 4 Days)

Cassie’s younger sister who a strong willed girl not afraid to speak her mind especially to her sister who her world revolves around.

MELISSA (18 – Native American Female) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 3 Days)

A youngNative American girl who finds herself being led into the hands of human traffickers.

WALTER (Late 30’s – 40’s – Native American Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 1 Day)

A Native American man who has loses his daughter Melissa to human trafficking. He is wise and spiritual beyond his years.

NESSA (18 playing 16-17 Female) Pay $350 per day (Approx. 6 Days)

A rambunctious and bubbly high strung girl who is taken by the traffickers at the same time Cassie but doesn’t fair as well.

PAULA (19 Female)  Pay $300 per day (Approx. 3 Days)

An firm and comforting older and wiser trafficked girl with a motherly quality who tries to help Cassie survive. May or may not have a slight eastern european, Russian accent. Actor’s audition choice.

JAKE (Mid 20’s – Mid 30’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 3 Days)

NYPD Tech department op. Slightly geeky but also funny and wise cracking.

OFFICER CAMPBELL (40’s Male)  Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

Dirty Uniformed NYPD Officer being paid off by traffickers for information and protection.

OFFICER JAWORSKY (30’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 3 Days)

Dirty Uniformed NYPD Officer being paid off by traffickers for information and protection.

UNIFORMED OFFICER #1 (mid 20’s – early 30’s Female) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 1 Day)

Uniformed Sheriff’s department officer who responds to missing persons report.

UNIFORMED OFFICER #2 (30’s – 40’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 1 Day)

Uniformed Sheriff’s department officer who responds to missing persons report.

JAMES GERRARD (19 or early 20’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

White street kid who loves rap and the thug life but doesn’t really fit in and tries a little too hard to both in his demeanour and dress.

SEBASTIAN (30’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 3 Days)

Clean cut “boyfriend type” trafficker who is known as the manipulator. Friendly and charming but also an edginess bubbling just under the surface like he could explode into violence at any given moment. 

BIG BURLY MAN (Mid 20’s – Mid 30’s Male) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 5 Days)

Biker type. Size of guy and a look you wouldn’t want to mess with. 

CARTER (Male 40’s) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 2 Days)

Politician type man with very distinguishable features and can seem creepy without saying a word with his slicked back black hair. The Anthony Scaramucci type of politician.

NIAN ZHEN (Female 18 playing 16) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 4 Days)

Chinese girl who speaks very little and broken english. Most of her dialogue will be in Mandarin.  Innocent and compassionate girl who befriends Cassie and is also being trafficked by these men but for much longer.

WILBUR SCOGGINS (Male 40) Pay $300 per day (Approx. 1 Days)

A slummy real estate agent that will stoop to any low to make a buck. Seems more like a used car salesman than a realtor.

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Visual Artists Welcomes Aboard Jim Kelly!!!!!

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Visual Artists Welcomes Aboard Jim Kelly!!!!!

Here is a little about Jim:

  Interests

  • Music, Soccer, Movies, Reading, Good conversation, Video Games, Beer tasting, NapsDreams
  • To host a late night TV show
  • Own a woodworking shop and make furniture
  • Star in a feature length film
  • To learn how to play the fiddleExperience
  • Cohosted The Taz Show for 5+ Years on FM96. The #1 morning show in the city
  • Performed in over 100 improv comedy shows with his not for profit improve group Shut The Front Door, raising over $100,000 for local charities.
  • Performed in improv shows with comedians such as Colin Mochrie(Whose Line), Patrick McKenna (Red Green Show) and Naomi Sneickus (Mr. D)
  • Won Best Male at the Sears Drama festival at age 18 for his role in ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’
  • Played the Male lead Tony Kirby in ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ at age 18 in Highschool.

 

If Interested in Hiring Jim Kelly, Feel free to Contact me at Admin@visualartistsinternational.com

Help me welcome Jim to our Roster!

 

 

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FILMMAKER BOOT CAMP – London, ON – August 12th, 2017

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Time: 10:00AM – 4:00PM Location: 121 Studios – 211 King St. London, ON

FILMMAKING BOOT CAMP – LESS TALKING. . . MORE SHOOTING!!!

When: Saturday August 12th, 2017 (1 Workshop Only)

Time: 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Location: 121 Studios 211 King St. London, ON

Cost: $195.00 per person***

Max. Attendees: 50

Book & Register Now!

Early Booking with Coupon: Save 25% off (Only $146.25 if Purchased before July 31st) Use Coupon Code: EarlyReg25%

Do you want to stop talking about making a film and start shooting it? Are you constantly running in to roadblocks getting your project off the ground? Stop being your own worse enemy, and yes, we as filmmakers are often just that. If you are an active or aspiring independent filmmaker, director or producer this one-day workshop is for you! Learn the things no film school can teach you from practical knowledge and experience.

Join Writer/Director/Producer Greg A. Sager of Matchbox Pictures as he delves into and breaks down the entire independent filmmaking process, shooting in London and lays out how to get your film projects up and going for the whole world to see.

Learn how to not limit yourself as a filmmaker, utilizing your resources, raising capital, attracting the right talent & crew and most importantly, finishing you film!

This intensive 1-day seminar covers the do’s and don’ts of independent filmmaking, from start to finish…

SCREENWRITING

“Oh, so you wrote its raining”…Choosing & writing the right project, the budgetary genre gap and working within it.

PRE-PRODUCTION

“Too much is never enough”…From locations and casting to your perfect crew and understanding the tips and tricks on keeping things moving and everyone committed and engaged.

CASTING

“You have how much?”… How to write your characters so they come alive with your budget in mind and the giant role that genre plays in your casting all while trying to not break the bank.

PRODUCTION

“Feeding the Beast”… Choosing the right camera, scheduling, the art of compromise, picking your battles and the importance of a great Production Manager.

POST PRODUCTION

“Can’t see the forest”… The highs and lows of the post process and how to get it done whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring an editor. Tips and tricks on utilizing resources you didn’t even know you had.

MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTING YOUR FILM

“Sending your child out into the world”… Letting go and what to watch out for…Deciding upon direct distribution, distributors and sales agents. Understand how distribution works and the reality of the new media era and how it affects the independent filmmaker & their films.

Q&A SESSION

‘Ask your Questions’ and get invaluable feedback about your project.

***Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or notebook and pen.***

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

London filmmaker Greg A. Sager has over 18 years of experience in film & video production and has written, produced and directed three feature films (‘Devil Seed’, ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Gray Matter’) that have been distributed in more than 60 countries around the world. Greg has also been a regular guest speaker at Fanshawe College’s Advanced Filmmaking and Screenwriting programs over the years.

Greg A. Sager on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3419080/

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Screenwriting 101 – London, ON – August 19th, 2017

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SCREENWRITING 101

When: Saturday August 19th, 2017

Location: 121 Studios – 211 King St. London, ON

Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Cost: $119.00 per person

Early Booking with Coupon: Save 20% off (Only $95.20 if Purchased before July 31st) Use Coupon Code: screenwriting20

Max: 25 people per workshop

Book & Register Now!

Join Writer/Director/Producer Greg A. Sager of Matchbox Pictures as he delves into and breaks down the process of screenwriting. Whether you’re writing a screenplay for yourself to produce or writing screenplays to sell to others…because it is far from the same thing. See you’ve already learned something. Great informative introduction for not only individuals interested in screenwriting but also an invaluable resource for producers and filmmakers too.

Some of the discussion topics…

Tips on planning, writing and structuring your screenplays…

Lessons on not writing yourself into a corner…

Software and formatting…

Spotting trends to focus your writing…

Writing for you vs Writing for them…

Q & A Session

About the speaker…

Greg A. Sager has over 18 years of experience in film & video production and has three feature films (‘Devil Seed’, ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Gray Matter’) under his belt which have been distributed in more than 60 countries around the world. Greg has also been a regular guest speaker at Fanshawe College’s Advanced Filmmaking and Screenwriting programs over the years.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3419080/

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Welcome to Visual Artist Roster! Heather May!

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Heather May 

locally known as a “Chameleon of Comedy”
Age: 30
Height: 5′ 3.5″
Shoe: 7.5
Owner/Producer/Director, Maybles’ Productions since 2009
Model/Actor
Landscape Ontario London Chapter Board Member
Abstract Visual Artist & Photographer
Project Manager/Designer with Rural Roots Landscaping
Rotarian and former Rotary Youth Exchange Student (India 2005-2006)
Favorite Shows: Downton Abbey, Hannibal, the Blacklist, Elementary & the Big Bang Theory
Favorite Radio: FM96, 102.3 JackFM and the Signal on CBC Radio2
comfortable with/likes rodents and reptiles (and most insects)
the awkward-girl-next-door type!

 

Looking forward to working a lot more with Heather!   Welcome to the Team! 🙂
If you would like to book Heather!  Please email me!
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What Type of Model are you?

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In many ways, making a career out of modeling depends on three key factors:

  1. Your genetic makeup
  2. Your determination and hard work
  3. Your willingness to focus on the type of modeling best suited toward your answers to 1 and 2.

Many models dream of walking the runways of Milan. Many dream of having their faces in magazines and commercials. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re one of those people. But are you putting your time and energy into the best places for your individual success?

Hard work and determination are important; they can make the difference between sinking and swimming. But no matter how hard you work at it, the nature of your body may limit where you can succeed. It can be harsh to tell someone that, through no fault of their own, they can’t do what they dream of, but the great thing about modeling is that really anyone CAN succeed. It’s about focusing your determination and work toward the areas of the industry that accept the assets you bring.

With this in mind we thought it would be useful to outline a handful of the most popular professional modeling types and explain what it typically takes, physically, to succeed in these markets. In some ways, making a living in modeling is like making a living in sports. If you aren’t tall, it’s going to be very difficult to be a professional basketball player.  Yes, there are sometimes exceptions to the rule (do you remember Spud Webb?), but knowing how your genetics align with a particular genre is critical if you want the best chances to truly make a living at modeling. Also, remember that a single individual can fit across multiple genres.

Runway Models

Think of the big fashion week shows like in Milan, Paris, New York and London. The models all fit very strict requirements and also put a lot of work and practice into their walk. Depending on your market, however, the requirements may be less strict.


Model: AJ Knapp

Here are the basic requirements:

Females

  • Height:  5’9”– 6’0” (sometimes 5’10” and sometimes up to 6’2”)
  • Bust: 32”– 34”
  • Waist: 23”– 25”
  • Hips: 33”– 35”

Males

  • Height:  Generally 6’0” minimum
  • Waist: 31”– 33”

If this is your goal, make sure your measurements are listed accurately and that your images show both your body structure and your ability to move gracefully.  Also, take the time to display your look when wearing different clothing types, like swimwear, dresses and casual looks. There are designers of every kind, so focus on the types you want to appeal to.

If you fit the strict requirements listed above you are in luck, but your work isn’t done yet. Often you will spend hours upon hours practicing your walk, going to castings and then long days of work. While runway is among the most prestigious types of modeling, contrary to popular belief it rarely pays well. For a non-celebrity model, it’s normal to be paid in nothing but clothes or, at best, a few hundred dollars.

If you don’t fit the statistics above, it doesn’t mean you’ll never walk a runway, but it does mean your chances of making it a career are very low. If this is you, read on to see if your energy might be best spent elsewhere.

Commercial Models


Model: Luckyfox; Photographer: Sarah Kehoe

Commercial work is usually based on conventional beauty. While having a face that stands out is good, the unique, odd features of many editorial and runway models may not fare so well in commercial work.

Print  

Females

  • Height: 5’7”– 6’0”
  • Bust: 32”– 34”
  • Waist: 23”–25”
  • Hips: 33”–35”

Males

Thin, tall body type

Commercials

No minimum height. Only clothing sizes vary.

Females

  • Dress size between 2 to 4 (sometimes extending to 6)

Males

  • Waist: 31”–35”

For commercial print, think of JC Penney, which often has casual, daily life shots. To excel in commercial print, you need to be able to look natural in front of the camera. There are a lot of smiles and laughs, and usually nothing too posed. The sizing can still be strict, but has more leeway than editorial or runway modeling.

For commercials, height is not an issue. This opens the door for a lot more people, but there are still a lot of specific requirements. Mostly, commercials require acting ability even if there are no lines. There are a lot of great commercial acting classes where you can train and increase your chances of booking commercials. Outside of ability, most commercial actors are thin and fit with conventionally attractive looks.

Editorial Models


Model: Kelli Kickham; Photographer: Vivendi Studio

Because editorial is in print, height is usually less important than in other forms of modeling. However, if you are a 5’5” editorial model, your jobs will be limited. Even if you photograph tall, clothing is pulled for taller models.

Females

  • Height: 5’8”–6’0” (sometimes 5’9” and sometimes up to 6’2”)
  • Bust: 32”–34”
  • Waist: 23”–25”
  • Hips: 33”–35”

Males

  • Height: 6’0” minimum
  • Waist: 31”–33”

Editorial modeling, like a fashion spread you would see in Vogue, is very exclusive and generally prefers tall, very thin, young models with sharp facial structures. Unique features such as large or wide-spaced eyes, big lips, high cheekbones and gaps in teeth often open doors for those starting in editorial modeling. Some of these features are considered less conventionally attractive, but are ideal in these jobs.

Fitness Models


Model: Rachel Elizabeth Murray; Photographer: Mike Byerly

You see fitness models when you look at ads for gyms, workout videos and fitness magazines. To be a fitness model, you need to have high muscle mass and lean to minimal body fat.  Generally, there is no height or measurement requirement, but a body fat mass less than 15% is standard.

Fit Models

Very different from fitness models, fit models are used to size clothing. While the measurements vary greatly from company to company, often a female fit model is an even spread 34-24-34 or 36-26-36.

There is no glamour in fit modeling—you stand in a room and try on clothes to determine the fit and style choices for production. Fit modeling can pay well and be more frequent and dependable than other types of modeling. However, the hardest part of fit modeling is that your measurements have to stay consistent all the time. For some models, even fluctuating an eighth of an inch can mean losing work.

Glamour Models


Model: Jessica Vaugn; Photographer: Danny Griffin

While there is no height, age or weight requirement for glamour modeling, most glamour models are between 18 and 30 years of age, thin, fit and large chested. These are the models you see in Maxim and Playboy. Classic beauty is an asset in glamour modeling. Large lips and soft facial features often work well for glamour modeling. Outside of the look, glamour modeling is based in sexy poses and clothing, so sexual allure is a strong focus. Lingerie modeling is a large outlet for glamour models and most successful glamour models incorporate some form of nudity, although glamour photos can also be fully clothed.

Alt Models


Model: Ulorin Vex

Alternative modeling is what you see in Dark Beauty, Gothic Beauty, Alt, Bizarre and tattoo magazines. Often, alternative models have body mods including piercings and heavy tattoos. Alternative modeling can include pin-up work and fetish work, as well. Whereas brightly colored hair, large facial piercings and a lot of tattoos usually hurt your chances in conventional modeling, in this arena it’s an asset. These models are often booked for their unique look and posing ability.

Plus Size Models


Model: Anna Adrielle; Photographer: Arno Nieuwhof

Plus size models, like you see in Plus Model Mag, are larger than the runway and editorial models mentioned above, but still have strict height requirements. Most plus models are fit and active with broad shoulders and a larger build. Plus size models can find a lot of work in plus size catalogs, runway, commercial and lingerie.

  • Height: minimum of 5’8”
  • Size: 10–16 depending on market (sometimes starting at size 8)
  • Fit Model Size: 18

Art Models


Model: Brennan; Photographer: Corwin Prescott

There is no age, height or weight requirement for art modeling in general, but specific jobs may have requirements. Art modeling is what you see in galleries, whether it is photographed, drawn, painted or in another medium. While art modeling isn’t always nude, most work requires at least some level of nudity. It can also be very physically demanding, especially if you are modeling for an art school. This can mean holding difficult poses for hours at a time while students draw you. By hour, this work doesn’t always have a high pay rate, but it can be more consistent with repeat clients.

Mature

Usually mature models are (or appear to be) 50 years old and older. Commercial print and commercials often use mature models –think about pharmacy ads and commercials featuring families. A bright smile with good teeth and a nice facial structure can help make a good mature model, and height and measurement requirements are not strict.

Maternity

Maternity models work mostly between 5 and 7 months pregnant. There are no specific height or weight requirements, but usually a fit build is desirable. Maternity models are used in ads for pregnancy products, baby stores and in a variety of commercials.

 

http://www.modelmayhem.com/education/modeling/8448-what-type-of-model-are-you

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MEMORIZATION TECHNIQUES – CONNECT THE DOTS

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By Hank Schob

The Pencil, Page, and Memory 

Writing helps your technique. Penny & I have always stressed the importance of writing your choices down right in the script. We passionately remind our Acting Lions to “Always write it down. Never just ‘memorize’ the lines. Learn the scene, with all of your choices.” It is a crucial element of your acting technique. When I was still acting, I would often write out my lines on a legal pad. This would allow me lots of room to write all of my choices right into the script. The very act of writing down the lines seemed to imprint the lines in my brain. When your subconscious mind sees the choices written down, it recognizes them as concrete and thus commits them to memory on a much stronger level. I instinctively knew this to be true, but I wanted proof. How does writing things down change the way our brains process information?

Connecting the Dots
Writing things down (not typing) builds links between the spatial part of our brain we use to make our scratch marks on the page and the verbal part creativity of our brain we use to create words that give our pencil scratches meaning. Basically, writing it down connects the dots for us. In doing so, we strengthen the process by which we store and retrieve information.

One study showed that while most students retain about 40% of what is taught in a lecture, the students who take written notes tend to remember all of the important material, whereas the material remembered by the students who did not take written notes was random and disorganized.

Writing helps your performance. Research suggests that, when we write a thing down, our brain processes it as if we are actually doing it. Yes, the act of writing everything down has a positive impact on your acting. This means that when writing down your choices, your actions, tactics, emotions, substitutions and character’s memories, it is as if you are actually making those choices and feeling the emotions. And they imprint on your brain. This is something I have always known from the earliest days of my career. When I wrote things down, the scene came alive with all my choices and emotional substitutions early in rehearsal, even though I had never said the words out loud before. When we write down the character’s backstory, along with all of our choices, we deepen our emotional connection with the character’s life. They become real memories for us, which then allows us to get out of our heads when performing and truly live in the moment as the character. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Writing helps your career. I recently penned an advice column for Acting Lion Tips, called A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Dream. In it, I stressed the importance of writing down your goals for your future and cited a study of The Harvard MBA program that noted that, after 10 years, students who had written down their plan before graduating were 10 times more successful that those who did not. That is 1000% more successful! Just think what developing this habit might do for your career!

Write it down and it will change the way you act forever.

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5 TIPS FOR A BETTER DEMO REEL

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5 TIPS FOR A BETTER DEMO REEL

All professionals in the world, no matter the field, utilize certain tools to help accomplish their goals. Chefs have all sorts of utensils, mechanics have boxes full of wrenches, and actors have… well, actors really only need themselves to do their job. However, the film and television industry is a tricky one, where the question of talent and skill can fall short of marketing and good timing. An actor’s tools usually focus more on helping them get the job rather than do the job. We’re all beautiful, talented little snowflakes (or so our Mother tells us), but we need examples and materials to demonstrate that fact to Casting Directors and Producers. Head Shots, a nice resume, your social media; all of these are tools to showcase your talents, but nothing does this more than the Actor’s Demo Reel. A Demo Reel is a short (1-2 minute) collection of clips from your previous work. It showcases your talent and really gives prospective collaborators and other industry professionals a clear picture of what you can do, by simply letting them see you do it!

The difficulty here is, however, that many actors are caught in a Catch 22. In order to get work, they need a Demo Reel… but in order to make a Demo Reel, they need to get work! This frustrating scenario can be mind-bending and has been known to break the spirits of more than a few hopeful actors. But there is hope! A few options stand out for those of us just starting out.

First, there is never a shortage of work being done by students and young independent filmmakers. Self-submitting through Actor’s Access, LA Casting, Backstage, or any number of other online utilities can usually garner a number of auditions for smaller projects. It’s a tough grind and a pretty significant investment of time and energy, usually with no pay (or payment in the form of pizza), but it’s a sure way to get some work done.

If you’re not interested in working the student film angle, or if you have been working it but fallen prey to a poor quality content or creators not sharing the copy, there are also a number of content creation services that will help to create content specifically for you and your reel. They usually have an upfront cost, but a quality team with an established process can take a lot of pressure off. Just make sure to take your time, do your research, and make a sound investment. A high-quality company can make some truly professional looking work to make you look the best you can, but it will come with a price tag. Be careful to know exactly what you’re paying for and who you’ll be working with.

For those feeling particularly ambitious, an actor can always create the content all on their own. Technology has gotten so accessible, it’s easy to get a hold of high-quality equipment. There is a significant amount of work involved in creating content, but it can be a very enlightening experience for anyone who’s willing to put in the legwork.

Whatever path you choose, here are a few tips to help ensure that your Demo Reel really works for you. Although there is no technical “industry standard” when it comes to Demo Reels, these are some good guideposts:

• Keep it two minutes or under. Most reels these days are about a minute long. One can argue that a two-minute reel is still okay for sitting on performances a bit longer. Just remember that Casting Directors are watching hundreds of demos and clips a day to find the talent. Don’t frustrate or bore them with an overly long demo.

• Always put your best work first. That’s just a given. A strong opening will keep them watching and let you leave a lasting impression.

• Have a minimum of at least 3 clips, preferably where you are speaking. You want them to focus on you and see what you can do. It doesn’t really help if you walk by in the background, even if Brad Pitt is standing in front of you.

• Loose the headshot at the beginning or end. Not a rule, just an opinion. The thinking here is that if you are on sites such as LA Casting and Actors Access, they already know what you look like. Your reel should be as short and sweet as possible. I believe in a “less is more” mentality. My editing preference is to just start the reel placing the actor’s name in the lower left or right third (depends on your framing) and then placing your name in white letters over black for 5 seconds or so. Clean and simple. Doesn’t waste any time.

• Start a Youtube channel and sign up for a free Dropbox or Google Drive account. YouTube is one of the best ways people can see you these days, and in HD to boot. Also, Dropbox and Google Drive are great ways to share and store your content. So, whenever somebody needs to see it, you can just copy a link and they can download it onto their computer. Welcome to the future. Don’t fear it, start making it work for you.
Find out more at www.rapidreelz.com

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Top 5 Takeaways With Casting Director Lisa Pantone

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Be Present During Auditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the biggest mistakes actors make is rushing through an audition. They fly through the copy, just trying to get through it and get out of the room. You were called in for a reason. Be present. Be connected to the material. Experience the reality of the scene and allow yourself to be in the moment.

 

2. Always Keep At Least 10 Headshots and Resumes With You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though most casting directors, especially for commercials, primarily use digital headshots and resumes, it’s always a good idea to have some physical copies ready. Many castings, theatrical castings, in particular, require you to bring in an actual headshot and resume. There’s always a chance you’ll get a last-minute audition, so be prepared, and have at least 10 copies of your headshot and resume on hand at all times.

 

3. If The Script Changes When You Get To An Audition, Familiarize Yourself With It Before Signing In

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever get to an audition, only to find out that your copy has completely changed? This is actually fairly common. If this happens to you in the future, don’t sign in until you are ready. Pick up the new script, read it over, and make sure that you are comfortable with it before signing in for your audition. You want to be as prepared as possible, so take that extra time to get to know the new material.

 

4. If You Don’t Have A Lot Of Credits, Do Student Films, Indie Films, Etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be hard out there for a new actor. You might not have a lot of credits or a lot of experience, and it feels like you are no match for all the other actors out there. If you’re new, it’s a good idea to do as many student films, indie films, and otherwise below-the-radar projects as you can. It will build your confidence, and your skill level, and you’ll have some great material for your reel. Never feel like you’re above a project, especially when just starting out. Do as many things as you possibly can!

 

5. Clear Your Mind, And Get Into The Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re reading through a script, the most important thing is to clear your mind and get into the story. If you’re going to book a job, you must be invested in the character you are playing and invested in the story. Don’t just skim through the script and memorize your lines. Clear your mind and get invested, even if it’s just a 30-second commercial. All commercials and all stories have fully fleshed out worlds. It is your job as an actor to fully flesh out your character within that world.


That’s it for this month’s Top 5 Takeaways. Thanks for checking it out, and thanks to Lisa Pantone for the great seminar!


Mike Danner is an actor, a painter, and a Cubs fan. He has a Master’s Degree in Film Production from Chapman University, his favorite movie is Jaws, and he enjoys a good breakfast sandwich. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
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The Conscious Actor: Support Yourself Inside

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One arrow is enough!

No one is immune to the unpredictability of life. One week you’re riding high from a lucky break, and the following week you can’t seem to do anything right. Stop beating yourself up; not everything is under your control. Don’t get caught in the overthinking trap, trying to make sense out of the senseless—instead, use your energy to move through the pitfalls faster and wiser. Here are a few tips to shift out of a powerless, negative mode and into a positive, productive one.

Become an expert at supporting yourself on the inside.

Don’t wait for others to come to your rescue. Yes, it’s important and necessary to have supportive family and friends during tough times, but you’ve also got to develop the skills to rescue yourself. That means disarming your biggest critic: YOU! The first arrow going in is the undesirable thing that happened to you, such as not booking that job you were counting on in order to pay the rent, or being turned down by an agent or manager.

The second arrow is the litany of self-criticism that you start playing in your head. You know, the “I’m not good enough” tapes. That’s the second arrow that you’re aiming at yourself. Don’t do it! Let the first arrow be enough. Make a commitment right now not to cause yourself further unhappiness by being self-critical. It’s damaging to your soul and not productive. Self-criticism is simply a bad habit that needs to stop. Remember, the more you practice negative mental habits, the stronger they become. If you leave your self-criticism unchecked, it will become the norm. The best way to interrupt this habit is to:

  1. Be aware of its presence. Simply notice when you’re thinking critical thoughts.
  2. Once you become aware of it, label it, “criticism.”
  3. Then, release the thought like a balloon floating up towards the sky. Just let it go.
  4. Redirect your attention towards something else.  Preferably something positive.

Don’t let go until you find the treasure.

Just as you have the power to stop bad habits, you also have the power to create good ones; it just takes training. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.” In fact, “People who cultivate a positive mindset perform better in the face of challenge.” The next time you hit a bump in the road, make it your business to look for the positive. You might have to get creative, but it’s there, just hang in until you find it. For example, when you go on an audition and don’t get the job, focus on how lucky you were to get the audition. Gratitude is key in maintaining a positive outlook. Start believing there is a greater good out there beyond what just happened to you; it’s called the big picture. You never know how obstacles can, in time, turn into opportunities.

Actors face challenges on a daily basis; they deal with the stress of finding and booking work. Then, they have to handle the challenge of giving the best performances possible. Performers need to build enough inner strength to withstand continual rejection and disappointment in between doing what they love: acting. You don’t know how long it will take to get your foot in the door, but you can start working now towards having the resilience necessary to hang in there for as long as it takes.

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Conscious Actor articles are not a substitution for professional psychotherapy.

Bonnie Has created The Conscious Actor Inspiration Journal; to help actors develop awareness of what inspires them. Beautiful pages filled with inspirational quotes to help keep you strong minded. For New York actors, the journal is available at Drama Book Shop Los Angeles actors may pick up the journal at Samuel French Bookshop

Bonnie Katz, MFT is a licensed therapist in private practice. Her goal as a therapist is to help clients reach “optimal mental wellness”, so that they can feel happiness, fulfillment and joy in their everyday lives. For more information on Bonnie’s therapy practice, visit her website.
http://blog.castingnetworks.com/14802/
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