Sunday, May 20, 2012

Making it Work

I am in two new videos on youtube now, one on my channel, and one on my friend's channel. The video I posted on my channel is a bit of comedy experimentation, using the stages of grief. I really feel like the class I'm taking at Joel Asher Studio has helped me connect to characters and material.

This video was all improvised, using the bare skeleton of the idea of a girl dealing with a break up and going through the different ways that we all deal with tough times.

The video on my friend's channel is a character created for a particular sketch. This is also improvised, and involved a bit of serendipity, as most experiences working with animals tends to be. I was lucky that a friend of mine offered me her cats for this, and I think it really adds a lot to the character to have her (as a cat lady) in an appropriate environment.
 There are, of course, more videos coming in the series for This N That. I'm really excited about the project, and here's why: Everything is bite sized. It's ambitious in that there are a lot of things we want to do, but at the same time I feel like here is plenty of content that we can make quickly and with little money, to start building an identity and a following. The worst thing for a group to do is stagnate, and go a long time with no new material. Peach Market Productions, the banner under which This N That is being produced, is being really smart with producing small, easy to manage projects for now, so that all the work is well done and available quickly. I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can do! Everyone involved is really talented, and really focused.

I am, I must admit, very influenced right now by Felicia Day. If you aren't familiar with her work, she started a series called The Guild. She is an actress who wasn't doing the work she wanted to do, so she went out and wrote it for herself. I have a lot of respect for someone who can just go out and DO. And it's paid of for her. The series is now sponsored and bringing in some money, which has afforded the group better production value, as well as their new channel Geek and Sundry, with a lot of mini shows celebrating all things nerd. Felicia Day herself has garnered enough attention to be a main character on the epic series Dr. Horrible, a guest role on Supernatural, and the lead in Dragon Age: Redemption, a series about one of my favorite role-playing games. The lesson here is pretty obvious...if you make it, the work will come. A lot of people have found success using the pro-active, make your own work method...Good Will Hunting is probably the most famous and lucrative example. But being a working actor means more than just making money. It means always having a project. No one is interested in someone with nothing going on. Even if the answer to that constant question, "what are you working on?" is "oh, this project I'm writing with a friend of mine," it's way better than saying "oh, nothing right now. Just sitting at home, waiting for the phone to ring."

On that note, I've also been going to Manager/Agent showcases, mostly through ActorsWest. I understand that it's ultimately a paid audition, and at around $40 I can afford to do it once a month. It's certainly less expensive than some showcases. But I can't help but wish I was getting more feedback from the agents and managers that attend. I feel like I would be getting a lot more for my money if they would critique my audition, and give me some clue as to how I come across to people who don't know me, and how I can improve. That is, after all, what I hope to get out of the experience, other than a chance to audition for an agent. I just think it would be more legit if I was getting this kind of feedback. Watch this space for more videos! And let me know what you think of these!