Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Game Plan

While I was in Idaho with Jake and his family, camping out, I had some time to think about my career and what my next steps would be. Because I'm a list person, and my ADD means I have to organize everything in bizarre little ways, I made a game plan.

Firstly, I need a new job. Or, perhaps, a second part-time job with a set schedule I can juggle Banana Republic and the rest of my life around. Mostly because I need more money for things like classes, cost of mailing, gas, food, rent, etc. Mostly because I'm not making what I need for even basic survival. Thank you Jake, for ensuring that my survival continues regardless.

Second, I should do some background work. Not to put on a resume, I'm already aware that isn't a good idea. Mostly for more money, and also to meet people and network. The more showbiz people I know, the more likely I am to work in the industry, in any capacity. My time in Baltimore was proof of that, I think. I have registered with Central Casting, and they pretty much constantly have projects, but I'm struggling with my conflicting work schedule.

Third, I need an agent or manager. To that end, I have made a beautiful excel spreadsheet with all the information I could find on agents and managers in the big directory I bought last year, focusing of course on those in LA, who concentrate on actors of my demographic. So I left out people who work exclusively with kids, musicians, emcees, screenwriters, etc. By the way, if anyone needs to borrow my directory, you totally can, but you have to do your own research.

I have also just received 500 headshot prints, and bought black ink for my printer, so now I can print labels, resumes, and cover letters, and send them out. I'm currently working on a mail merge for the agencies, to be followed by an email merge, and then the same for the managers. Baby steps, because it's a hell of a lot of work, and pretty tedious. And postage costs.

Fourth, I have finally gotten my demo reel put together, thanks to James Placious and Peach Market Productions! It was tough, I had a lot of footage to wade through (although not nearly as much as I'd hoped, since it's bloody impossible to get footage from some directors) but I think I got something passable put together, which I'm sure will help in my quest for a rep, as well as get more auditions lined up.

Fifth, I need more education. I know that sounds crazy, what with the degree in drama, but I'm discovering that a lot of what I know about acting in theater is not helpful when it comes to film. I'm looking into various classes, with different techniques, and of course I'm open to suggestions. At the moment, I'm most likely interested in the Steve Eastin Studio. The classes are all done in close-up, and the technique concentrates on what is most useful for film specifically. Also, it's one of the more affordable programs! I'm also looking into Groundlings (or some equivalent improv group) and the Beverly Hills Playhouse, about whom I've heard some really great things.

Finally, I need to generate my own work. I have some ideas for videos, one that's basically a sketch, and also a dance piece I've been mulling over. I figure the more I can put out there the better. I'm also trying to support my friends who are in a similar situation to me, by giving them my time for their projects as well. Actors help each other, right? I also have some ideas for some plays I want to direct, but those are not my priority right now.

Happily, things are moving along, and I'm glad I have some tools now to use. A lot of this stuff should have happened when I first got here, but honestly I didn't have the resources then that I have now. And damn it feels good to have 500 headshots at my fingertips!