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Another Great Workshop!

11 May

Yesterday my confidence increased even more!  I did a scene for one of the biggest casting directors in town.  Her casting office is working on four major shows on ABC.  This girl is huge in the industry and she LOVED my scene!  She told me to send her my new headshots when I get them done.

The best thing she told me was that I had great castability overall in general.  That is the BEST compliment a casting director could ever give to an actor.  That means more options for roles.  It’s the little things like that that keeps us motivated. 🙂

Tonight I’m heading to an actor event in Hollywood with a red carpet and fashion show that my actor friend invited me to.  He will be the MC and I think it will be pretty cool.  Next up, are new headshots!!

Mother’s Day is Sunday, so I’m sure Mom and I will have a blast.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! xo

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It’s Been Awhile!

4 May

Wow, I haven’t written in forever!  April was a pretty tough month for me.  My grandfather passed away and I went to Texas for the funeral and visited family in New Mexico as well.  It was good to get out of LA for awhile and the drive was actually really nice!

I did squeeze in three casting workshops in April, all of which went great.  It feels good when a casting director loves your work.  It gets you excited about developing relationships and hopefully working with them in the future!

I’m sooo behind in my correspondence because of my last minute trip, so this weekend I’ll be mailing out postcards.  At the beginning of April, I also severed ties with my agent so I’ll be agent hunting as well as getting new headshot pics! 🙂

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo!  Enjoy margaritas and be safe! xo

It’s Friday the 13th!

13 Apr

…and it’s raining like cats and dogs here in LA.  I had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Church was nice and I decorated my apartment with grass, candy and dyed my Easter eggs.  Hope everyone had a nice one as well.

This past week was pretty cool.  I worked at American Film Institute, officially chose my new headshot photographer, found another television show to target and parted ways with my agent.  Springtime is the best time for actors to sign with new agencies because pilot season is now winding down and it’s still before the dead summer.

I went on with the second headshot photographer on my list because her work is amazing and she really cares about helping actors market themselves in order to book work.  I can’t wait to post my new pics on here.  I think they will help me get a better agent than my previous one, plus all the things I’ve been doing in the last month.

Tomorrow I’m going on another casting director workshop with a CD I really like.  Good times.

Keep your umbrellas close by this weekend. April showers bring May flowers! xo

Jesus in Hollywood

6 Apr

According to Wikipedia, there are 38 film adaptations about the life of Christ alone.  In honor of Easter Sunday which commemorates his death and resurrection, I wanted to showcase 10 of those films that depict Jesus and the New Testament.

The King of Kings (1927) Director: Cecil B. DeMille 

Starring: W.B. Warner, Jacqueline Logan, Joseph Schildkraut

This was the first film ever to premiere at Graumen’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.  I bet audiences back in 1927 were astounded to see a film with two color sequences.  It starts off having absolutely nothing to do with the New Testament.  In fact, Mary Magdalene is portrayed as a Cleopatra wannabe who is involved with Judas.  When she finds out he is a follower of Christ, she is angry but later on repents after meeting our Savior.  After that, we watch the familiar events take place and being a silent film, it’s actually pretty good.  The actor who portrays Judas did a terrific job showing his guilt over betraying Christ.

 

King of Kings (1961) Director: Nicholas Ray

Starring: Jeffrey Hunter, Robert Ryan, Hurd Hatfield

Before this picture, Hollywood only had a silent version on the life of Jesus.  It was also one of the first films at the time to show Jesus’ face.  Initially, it received bad reviews from critics but it was extremely popular at the box office.  Jeffrey Hunter’s acting is not that great.  He’s very stiff and playing more of a caricature of Christ rather than just being Him.  I did like the beginning explanation on how the Romans conquered their land and the back story on King Herod.  Not the best but not bad.


The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) Director: George Stevens 

Starring: Max von Sydow, Charlton Heston, Telly Savalas

I’d heard bad opinions from others about this one.  After finally watching it, I see why.  Critically panned when it was released, TGSET comes off more as a who’s who of Hollywood than a serious tale on Christ’s life.  John Wayne making a cameo?  Why?!  And then Shelley Winters with a bad Brooklyn accent in the middle of the desert.  Let’s not mention Sidney Poitier coming out of nowhere to willingly help Jesus with the cross when we all know that’s not how it really happened.  The acting is pretty bad and Swedish actor Max Von Sydow playing Jesus was the worst.  Sorry but Jesus was NOT even remotely Swedish.  He was a JEW from the Middle East.  Enough said.

 

Godspell (1973) Director: David Greene

Starring: Victor Garber, David Haskell, Lynne Thigpen

This film is definitely for those who love comedic musicals and schtick.  It is silly, goofy and very hippy which made it somewhat controversial when the Off Broadway show first appeared in 1971.  I’m very picky when it comes to musicals, so it wasn’t my taste at all.  It features the popular hit, “Day By Day” which is probably the biggest highlight.  I think it might be better to be seen on the stage since that is what it was made for.  The actors came across as hyper and overly ridiculous for me.  The entire film is shot on major landmarks in New York City.  Too over the top in my opinion, but as I said before it depends on your taste in musicals…And if you want to see Jesus in a Superman t-shirt with weird makeup.  I was shocked to see Victor Garber and I have only seen him playing straight-laced, shrewd businessman types in his later years.  Loved the Jew fro!


 

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) Director: Norman Jewison 

Starring: Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman

Hippy, trippy and a little wacky describes this rock opera with songs written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.  I’m not a big fan because everyone sings the entire time (rock OPERA) and I wasn’t aware of that fact until I started watching it.  I thought it was just going to be a musical.  Anyway, this story deals more with Judas’ point of view and his suicide scene was pretty cool.  The actor who played him had the best voice in the entire cast.  But what was up with the pharisees’ big black cones on their heads?  And that King Herod dance number was a bit much.  The last shot at the end is beautiful, though. To sum it up, it’s Tommy meets King of Kings.

 

Jesus of Nazareth (1977) Director: Franco Zeffirelli 

Starring: Robert Powell, James Earl Jones, Laurence Olivier

Probably one of the most popular depictions of the New Testament.  Many people love this version because it was a miniseries so it had time to give a detailed account of his life.  I like it too, except for one major irk: the actor who plays Jesus.  I mean, Robert Powell looks emaciated!  He’s boney with dark circles under his eyes.  He looks like a heroin addict!  It was so distracting for me the entire film.  Jesus is the epitome of humility, but come on, He had strength in God the Father.  He was a carpenter, for goodness sakes.  I really loved Anne Bancroft as Mary Magdalene.  She was very touching and made Mary Magdalene real.

 

Jesus (1979) Director: Peter Sykes, John Krish, John Heyman 

Starring: Brian Deacon, Yosef Shiloach, Rivka Neumann

Probably my favorite out of all the films that depict Jesus.  My family viewed this film religiously and I can remember being as young as three years old watching it.  I think this film helped me as a small child understand what all He did.  It just sticks to the facts.  Yeah, the effects and the acting aren’t all that great, but it doesn’t have the over the top Hollywood hoopla that some of the others do. (Ahem, Greatest Story Ever Told.)  It follows the book of Luke to the hilt and doesn’t make changes or leave anything out.  I would recommend it especially to new Christians or people needing to refresh their memories on specifics of the story.

 

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel

So after watching this I can see why this film is so controversial.  Jesus thinks more like a man than as God.  That baffled Christians.  That’s what made it so unrealistic for me in my humble opinion.  My biggest complaint is Jesus being deceived by Satan who appears to him as an innocent little girl.  The girl/Satan tells him God doesn’t want him to be the Messiah but to live his life as a normal man with a wife and kids.  At the end of the film, Judas of all people tells Him the girl is really Satan and it was all a lie.  He is to be the Son of God.  Well, if that’s the case then wouldn’t he have known all along because he is God, so God wouldn’t be dumb enough to be fooled by Satan? Since when is Judas and Satan smarter than Jesus?!   Um, never.

Jesus (1999) Director: Roger Young 

Starring: Jeremy Sisto, Debra Messing, Jacqueline Bisset

During the first half hour of watching this telefilm, I didn’t think I was going to like it.  First of all, Lazarus and Martha’s sister Mary wants to marry Jesus but he refuses her.  Um, not in the Bible.  Then Joseph dies.  Um, also not in the Bible.  Next, flashbacks of Jesus as a child that were not in the Bible either.  I was beginning to think this was waaay off and the filmmakers were just doing their on thing.  But as the film went on, I actually started to like it.  They were just showing what could have happened in parts of the Bible that were left out.  I was hesitant about Jeremy Sisto playing Jesus, because he will always be bad boy Elton from Clueless to me, but he proved me wrong!  He plays Jesus in a more natural, human way unlike the serious and solemn portrayals in other films.  I had a hard time accepting Debra Messing (Will and Grace) as Mary Magdalene, but she surprised me too.  Not too bad.

 

 

The Passion of the Christ (2004)  Director: Mel Gibson 

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Belluci

The most violent, barbaric and gory film I have ever seen in my life.  But in many ways, probably the most realistic portrayal of how He was crucified.  Let’s face it, the Romans were barbarians back in the day.  They were gruesome and still Pagan so they had no qualms about torturing Him in every way possible.  (Ever watch Spartacus?)  As a Catholic, I have a deep appreciation for this film, because it graphically shows what all He went through for us.  It’s not one I can watch regularly, but I try to watch it this time of year in remembrance of Him and for penance.  Look out for the depiction of Satan, it’s very creepy!

April Fool’s!

1 Apr

Happy April Fool’s Day!  It’s also Palm Sunday which is a favorite of mine.  For tradition, I weaved my palms into crosses. In lieu of April Fool’s I’m watching the slapstick classic,The Great Race on TCM starring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. So much has happened in the past week and now March is already over.  I can’t believe how the time flies!

Wednesday I had an audition for the series finale of a major FOX prime-time drama show.  The scene was short but very funny.  With short scenes, you have to really make clear, specific choices in order to stand out from the pack.  Of course, making choices is always mandatory anyway.  I felt it went great and they seemed to like it, but the producers make the final decision.  There were sooo many girls of different races, shapes and ages so competition was definitely stiff.

Friday was really cool because I was a volunteer caller for Dallas Traver’s monthly hot call seat.  I wanted advice on how to book more prime-time TV work and she said I was doing everything I’m supposed to.  She gave me advice on thinking positively by writing a daily journal of three goals I accomplished and what I am grateful for.  She also told me about a great book called “You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought.”  Really great advice.

This past month was very productive!  I got a dayplayer audition for a soap and a co-star audition for a series finale.  I picked a new headshot photographer and shot a SAG webisode.  I’m super excited for what’s ahead in April! xo

 

Headshot Photographer Search Part 2

28 Mar

So here’s an update on my March 21st post.  You’ll find it very interesting.  So, either L.A. photographers are so overwhelmed by all their actor clients and they don’t need any new ones or I’ve just visited the Twilight Zone.

My other choice was a husband and wife duo known for making fabulous shots.  Supposedly, if you go to them and spend a $1000 you will get more auditions than you ever have your entire life.  A thousand bucks?! Yep, you heard me right.  Their website has amazing shots but I didn’t feel comfortable throwing that much dough.  Granted, I am willing to pay for high quality shots but geez, I’m a struggling actor here.  They are so sure of themselves and their work, that they state on their website that they do not meet actors beforehand because they get it right the first time.  Not so, said a few Yelp reviewers I read. I also found out the couple are now divorced and supposedly their shots aren’t as good as they used to be because they turned their business into a money machine.  Who knows, but after hearing all this plus researching other photographers, I figured I’d be OK without having to pay that amount of money.

Next, is a guy who has won awards through Backstage Reader’s Choice polls.  I liked him because like my second choice I discussed on my last post, he has actors in various looks on his website which showed their versatility.  Anyway, I emailed him and he said he was booked until May.  No worries, I said.  I’m still looking around.  Two or three days later, I finally heard back from his assistant who said I could come in the following Wednesday to meet with him in person.  I immediately emailed her back and gave her a time.  Do you know that was about two weeks ago and I never heard back?!  Crazy…

Lastly, is another photographer who refused to meet me in person.  He told me not to worry, that he wasn’t a pervert.  Um, why would you even say that?  That thought NEVER even crossed my mind!  I’m a smart actor who wants to meet first with a total stranger I’m paying hundreds of dollars to create headshots that will help get me in the door!  I need to meet you first to get a feel for who you are and if we can work well together.  DUH!  Anyway, he only offered to talk through Skype or over the phone.  Bad sign, says I.  Anyway, I decided to talk to him over the phone just to see what he’d have to say for himself.  When I called him last week, it went straight to voicemail so I left a message.  Final result: never heard back from him.

My advice to fellow actors getting new headshots: the shoot is about YOU NOT THE PHOTOGRAPHER.  If they are not willing to meet you beforehand or bother to call back, RUN!  If they can’t even do that for you, what are they going to do during the shoot? Don’t push yourself on them.  You deserve better because it’s your money and your career on the line. 

Webisode Shoot

26 Mar

This weekend I rehearsed and shot a webisode for a comedy series called “Money Hungry”.  I played a scheming, gold digger named Crystal who’s manipulating a dying, nerdy millionaire into marrying me.  We shot the webisode on location at a huge mansion in Santa Clarita and the weather was really bad!  It rained all day on Sunday so we had to keep adjusting the lighting to make sure it didn’t look too dim.  Besides the weather part, the shoot was really fun.  It’s a comedy with a splash of soap opera spoofs in there.  Besides my dopey fiance to be, there’s his other girlfriend who is a geek like him but a threat to me.  Then there’s the fiance’s brother who plots with me to get the dough.  Our director said our episode was his favorite of the four they shot that day.  I can’t wait to see how it turns it! I’m hoping it gets post on You Tube soon so I will keep you posted.

Tonight I have another intense scene in Jamison’s on-camera class.  I play a dying mother asking her best guy friend to take care of my baby.  I’ve been returning to my Meisner trained roots studying up on his books and using my imagination to raise the stakes for the scene.  And it’s been really helping!  The catch is the scene is also a listening exercise so we don’t know what the other person is going to say.  We just memorize our own lines and listen to what Jamison says so we’ll know how to respond.  Tricky, huh?!