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Mar

09

Survival Job

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Many moons ago when I was an actress starting out, getting work as a Background Actor on film sets and in television studios were the most desirable survival jobs a new actor could get.  One could develop set etiquette working with lighting directors, hair, make-up and wardrobe designers, take direction and keep skills fresh until the real thing came along.  

 

Nowadays recent university graduates have to be more creative about survival jobs. The popularity of cooking shows has even cut into an actors ability to secure the top wait staff positions at highly desirable restaurants. The internet offers some interesting options. Some actors do great in sales on Amazon or E-bey and still have flexible schedules to attend auditions or accept jobs in non-paid workshops. Other actors are utilizing crowd sourcing platforms to raise capital for film making or live stage shows.

 

Your options have actually increased, with so many companies offering on-line affiliate sales opportunities. Maybe you knit or build websites? Dust off those skills you haven't used in a while and tap into internet marketing. Who knows? You may finance your own film with the profits from your other creative strengths.

 

William Shatner of Star Trek fame is always reinventing himself and introduces a free to try it before you buy it internet money making option on his series "Moving America Forward".  Take a look:  William Shatner - Moving America Forward



Mood:Sunny Days! Music: Location:

Jan

01

Busy Filling In The Blanks.

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

It's New Years Day, first day of the 2014.  You've opened up that brand new leather bound Actors Personal Calendar-Agenda and January 1, 2014 is staring you right in the face.  The holidays are over and it's time to get to work.  You are back to the old leather bound trustworthy book that you can carry around in your briefcase or backpack because you learned the hard way like me.  After years of relying heavily and only upon that trusty Android, iphone, google or yahoo calendar - something went wrong one day.  Your hot spot wouldn't work while you were in a remote location and you couldn't find the address of where you were supposed to be.  You were in the general area - but unable to reach your agent - and as early as you are in the habit of being, the time was lost wandering around in circles.  Or your phone simply crashed.  It was over worked - tired and needed a rest just when you needed it.  That trusty leather bound hard copy never had any temper-mental failures which could potentially cause you to lose a job - so it's back!  

Staring at the blank page - if you already have a job and know that your flight leaves for Arena Stage, Joe Pap Public Theater, La-jolla, Yale Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Goodman, Guthrie, Penumbra, Steppehwolf  among other theaters producing quality work - you need only concern yourself with looking ahead to the next job.  Start filling in your blank pages with appointments from your cell phone or tablet for a safety back-up.

On the other hand if you find yourself to be among the majority, no job, no agent, BFA or Actors Certificate from training in hand facing your blank page.  Well, let's get busy filling in the blanks.  

You need an agent, but to get an agent it would be helpful to have a job in which they can see your work live or on film.  Getting a good reel is easier these days to acquire than a paid acting job. 

Get Reel:
You can register as an actor with the best producing film schools in the country and get auditioned by budding Writers, Directors and Producers in programs from New York University to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)..  Students are shooting films all year long and need the best talent that they can find for peanuts.  Make sure to get a copy of the work for your reel - that is what will make those peanuts worth your while.  Frequently Universities invite Agents and Casting Directors to their live and filmed presentations.  You may get lucky that way too from the fruits of your labor.

Auditions:
As a matter of fact, I happen to know that an NYU Alumni Film Group is looking to cast an Ensemble of actors.  All ethnic types, shades, shapes, accents and sizes age range 20-60 auditions take place week of January 6th. You need not be an NYU-Alumni to audition. Submissions are being accepted online at:

                          nyu.tisch.alumni.casting@ gmail.com
 
Start with your University or Acting Program wherever you are. Consult with your academic adviser about opportunities like Strawhat auditions for beginning artists.  Getting into Strawhat is a fantastic way to land your Actors Equity Card, an agent and get on the job professional training that no money can buy.  The 2014 Strawhat Auditions are being held at Pace University in NYC March 15, 16 & 17.  It's the 36th Anniversary of this amazingly reputable entry into professional acting.Take advantage! Applications available now.  You've got to be in it to win it!

 
For you professional Actors Equity Members - you know the ropes. Visit your Local Union Hall to fill up your appointment book with auditions or get onto:

 
Getting seen by Agents:
Agents attend University presentations, they attend Strawhat theater performances.  If you have plenty of money, you can pay to play all over America.  Agents are sitting in on panels along with casting directors getting paid to look and and critique your work.  There are loads of these sorts of adverts all over the internet and industry papers.  A word to the wise, just don't pay to play if your work needs work.  It could be far more costly to your career opportunities in the long run.  

If you land a show, always send invitations to the agents you desire representation with.  Keep in touch and let them know what is happening in your career.  That is the normal and old fashioned way to get an agent.  Although more and more I'm running into this crazy situation where agents I'd love to work with are saying that while they are familiar and would love to call me in for an exploratory, their hands are tied.  Unless someone that that they know, an attorney, a client, a manager, a star - recommends me - they can not extend even an invitation to meet.  Keep plugging.  I do.  Where there is a will there is an acceptable way to break down barriers.

Again, AEA members, even I am guilty of forgetting about this opportunity.  Most Mondays, our Union has a casting where a particular group of Agents seeking seasoned talent for their roster will come to our Union Hall and audition it's members.  Sometimes they want dancers.  Other times only singers, and sometimes they only want to see actors.  Figure who is coming, what they want and how to be see at: http://actorsequity.org/CastingCall/
 
SAG-AFTRA:
In order to be a member of SAG-AFTRA you have probably spent some time on a television or film set.  
 
Even if the Union doors are closed for the holiday or moving, the Union makes it's resources available to it's members 24/7.  Still staring at the blank page?  Got to http://www.sagaftra.org/ - take a look at the call sheet for your area or any area in the country where you have an aunt, uncle, cousin or friend who will let you rent out a couch while you work there as a local hire.  It's probably about time you wore out your welcome with Uncle Mike anyway!  Right?  If he had given you a bigger check for the holidays you could stay in a hotel - so shove over Uncle Mike and Auntie Sue too.  Thank you.

Don't forget to check with the Mayors Office on film if you want to get the jump on what's coming to town before it is actually signed with the Union.  In New York they are all working out deals with the Governor's Office and the Mayor's Office first to snag that 35% break on skilled local hires.  

SAG-AFTRA Agents:
http://www.sagaftra.org/ always maintains an up to date listing of all of the franchised agents throughout the country.  Take advantage and use it.  You need not look further to find an agent that you can legitimately work with to avoid unnecessary trauma drama. 

When in doubt, call the Union.  It's not easy out there - take advantage of the assistance that is there to help you succeed. 

Publicity:
One of the best things any actor at any stage of development can do for their career is to get publicity, hire a press agent or public relations manager.  A little publicity goes a long way.  One of the things that all of the stars have the perhaps you don't is a Public Relations professional on their side, making noise about every little thing they do.  Building their reputation and fan base.  Get the affordable, practical assistance you need with special rates for performers - ask about it: http://yprs00.wix.com/yprsolutions

Filling up the blank pages yet?  I hope so..  I want to see good things happen for our careers for 2014.  As always, I love to hear back from you.  Post here to let me know if anything suggested was helpful or if there is something specific you want elaborated on or e-mail info@CintiLaird.ws

Cheers Mates!  Hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, ice storms, ship wrecks, explosions, bad hair days, crazy wardrobe and too much partying last year?  It's all behind you now and you can start anew!

HAPPY 2014!
 
Cinti Laird
 
 



Mood: Music: Location:

Nov

30

Actors Helpful Holiday Goodies

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird
We are in the midst of the holidays, and I apologize for getting caught up myself and a bit behind in my delivery of this basket of helpful holiday goodies to you.  Well first and foremost an actor has to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional well being - some add spiritual to that list.  In any these intangibles feed us or feed on us.  Take control and maintain an equal balance during this holiday season and get your New Year off to a great start.  Work out regularly.  If you are going through a financial crunch, put a gymnasium membership, dance, or yoga classes on the list of holiday gifts you desire when asked what you want or need.  Who knows, someone may be in a position to gift sessions with a personal trainer.  That would take care of the physical.
  
Keep your mind stimulated by keeping those monologues and songs fresh.  When you are called to deliver that monologue or song, you want to be in a position to deliver.  A well oiled machine need not worry about being ready when the right opportunity calls.  At the start of the New Year there are many classes and private one-on-one sessions available for an actor to keep on top of their game with.  In fact, I now offer private New York City based coaching workshops both in acting performance and the business of acting.  Perhaps you can gift yourself this sort of head start to your career in the new year - or list it among the desired gifts to receive.  Show Business Workshops - get them gift wrapped today.
 
Stary on top of your business, pictures, post cards, business cards, stationery, agents, managers, networking after all it is Show Business.  You do not want to get emotionally attached to the business portion of what we do, except you want to understand fully the ramifications of anything you might sign.  If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA or Actors Equity Association you can take any contract to your union legal department to have it reviewed for compliance issues.  Of course if you are in a position to - it is always best to have your own lawyer review any binding agreement.  It will help you to best maintain your sanity and peace of mind in an already cluttered holiday season.
 
Everyone is promoting something this holiday season, sell, sell sell.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday.  Don't forget that you too have something to promote, your career.  You want to get the right kind of publicity to promote the things that you do well and want to be seen doing.  Now is the time to take control while public relations firms offering what could be your public relations solution to landing a great job in 2014.  Ask for the Actors, Musicians and Performing Artist Special Press Package which consists of 3 press releases at the 66% discounted rate of 0 from now through December 23rd, exclusively for readers of this blog, "So You Want To Be An Actor?"  Take a tip from me, the actors you see in the press are generally working not only at getting the next job but at being sure that people do not forget about them while they are not working.  It's called having a "Press Agent" or "Public Relations Firm" working on their behalf.  Try it out while the discount is active. 
 
These tips should help you pay attention to what's going to keep you on point for pilot season which starts right about now!  Keep your mind, body, and senses alert and get the help you need promoting yourself to get on top and stay there in the New Year!  Happy Holidays and thank you for reading my blog.  
 
Learn the business of acting in the quiet of your home this holiday season.  Click here to learn how with free help from Tony:  
 
 
 Acting Career Quick Start With Tony Is a Free Video
This Home-study Course Teaches How To Get Acting Work Quickly! Weekly Video Instruction For 24 Weeks, Downloadable Course Materials, Monthly One-to-one Coaching With Tony. Not A "just Watch" Course. Students "do" And Start Working Within The 24 Weeks!
 

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Mood:Excellent Music:Holiday Location: United States

Aug

08

Actors Add PR To Agenda

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

As a performance professional, I've always known about marketing, public relations and advertising due to shows that I was either performing in or producing. I knew that the publicity budget needed to be at least 4 to 6 times that of the actual operating budget in order for a show to sustain itself. What I did not know is what elevates careers and how to breed it. Popularity! What breeds popularity? Familiarity! As a producer with little or no clout, I was thrilled when a performer was so popular that their guests alone filled a house.   I was more thrilled when the performer was so well connected that their involvement would draw press attention to the work. Most impressive was if their minor role won over the press with glowing career elevating reviews, while stars got minimal attention. It began to dawn on me that it takes more than fabulous head shots, superior training and great talent to make a career!

What I did not know was that the actors' popularity was not just due to friends and relations. The actor played an active role in this success by hiring on Public Relations. Nobody knew that the PR Rep was not just a friend. However the PR Rep had a duty to the client and was on a mission to get the client reviewed. It is all so clear to me now that the reviewer was on-site as a result of the PR Rep, for the express purpose of reviewing the client. The client turned out to be – the actor with the minor role who got major press. This is only one example of why it pays to hire a public relations firm.Http://yprs00.wix.com/yprsolutions is now offering special rates for actors on a test market basis. Wherever you are in the world, this company can increase your local and global popularity for less than the cost of head shots.  

Again as a producer of cabaret, in my early years I spent so much money on paying musicians, private voice training, rehearsal halls, sheet music, transportation, wardrobe, props, patter coach, director, printing for post cards, fliers, plus wining and dining people I only hoped would come to my show and bring friends. There was never a way recoup a dime from a cabaret show – only the hope of getting a good review to elevate me to the next level was a lingering prayer on my breath. What I did not know, again, and I was not writing for the local papers at that time, was that those who got reviews cultivated relationships with the press and hired press agents. With sold out performances, the only thing I got from my cabaret days besides better at it, was provisional entry into British Equity because a friend urged me to take my old singing contracts along with me. I'd found them and thought to throw them out when my British buddy said, “No, don't toss them – bring them with.” Who knew that if I'd had a press agent I might have had a review to bring with too!

In the interim between theater, cabaret, film, television and London, I met a publisher of a local Manhattan based newspaper at a playwrights retreat. Conversations with him reminded us both that I'd been an editor and writer on award winning newsletters. The woman I wrote for owned a local paper and had been a WWII shero reporting the news. She was tough on her staff and demanded high standards.

Back in New York after this News Editor had a chance to read some of my writings he invited me to write for his paper. After a few months my articles began appearing on the front page of that newspaper and the editor wanted to have a conversation. He sat me down to suggest that I did not have to limit my articles to the one paper. “Why don't you take your articles around and see if any of the other publishers are interested in printing them? It would be another source of income.” Well, starving actor that I literally was, additional sources of income were more than welcome. Especially now, while I was on hiatus finishing a play. My news stories were actually about friends and neighbors who were local celebrities – so yes, there was interest. Before I knew it one of my stories was front page news on several other papers around town. During the same period I'd been hired on a consultancy basis at one of the worlds top public relations firms which increased my skill set and helped to accommodate my trips abroad.

In May of 2013, as a result of my work developing music reality options, I decided to offer performers and musicians an opportunity to test out my Public Relations skills. A gift for my birth month to whomever, wherever that wanted to test the importance of having a public relations press representative. Those who took me up on it found that their shows SOLD OUT.

Well honestly, it was a test to bring about awareness, and offer career boosters in the spirit of community.  I didn't really know what would become of it then. However, I realized that when my own shows take off they will rely heavily on press.  Might as well start now.  Heaven knows that once we get underway we will always be busy – posting – blogging – editing – daily tweets, comments and press releases.

So, you want to be an actor?  Take the test, invest in your career above and beyond studies, a great wardrobe, agent and head shots.  Actors, add PR to your agenda, get popular, expand your network, get results.  Request our special limited opportunity introductory rate for performers - know what to ask for. 

Http://yprs00.wix.com/yprsolutions

(213) 928-6820 or (631) 604-0006

CLPinc. is a production development company with film, television, theater, drama, comedy plus a variety of music reality shows in it's portfolio, a property of Actress/Writer/Director Cinti Laird.  CLPinc. Public Relations is it's latest subsidiary.  Http://yprs00.wix.com/yprsolutions


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Mood:Mellow Music:Calm Location: United States

Jun

02

Summer Chops

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

No, I am not talking about pork chops or lamb chops, which no doubt can be quite delicious off the barbeque grill.  Summer is here and while some of us who have not been lucky enough to land a summer acting gig, can spend time at the beach or on a boat; our acting chops need to be maintained.  In preparation for the next job, classes are a great option; however, watching and listening can be just as valuable a lesson. 

If you happen to be in New York City, check out that royal gem inherited by all from Joseph Papp whose Public Theater still produces "Free" Shakespeare in the Park.  I recall years ago having to wrestle my young nephew away from an afternoon aboard the Intrepid Air Space Museum.  I literally had to drag him kicking and screaming off the retired war ship, to Central Park to see Twelfth Night with Gregory Hines and the newly famous Michelle Pfeiffer. 

It was hilarious!  So enchanted was my nephew, so entertained was this little boy, that he found himself apologizing to me.  He expressed that, if he had known what he might have missed, he would not have resisted leaving the museum.  Yet, he reluctantly recalled how much I had insisted that he would not want to miss this show.  

We had so much fun watching it that this review stunned me.  Shakespeare In The Park  

It just goes to show, one can not be swayed by a review or a particular reviewer because their opinion and yours are often influenced by very different factors.

 

I say all of this to impress upon you, if you have not been lucky enough to land a summer stock position or a film - that watching, listening, observing others perform their craft is valuable. Yes, it is as urgent to an actors growth as it is to the development of theater appreciation in future audience members, like my nephew.  If there is no Shakespeare In The Park in your neck of the woods, there is nothing stopping you from creating your own. 

 

Shakespearian plays do not require any permissions nor royalty to produce.  This is true owing to the fact that Sir William Shakespeare scripted plays during a time, when I am not even sure if copyright law existed.  His works are in the public domain.  Finances are also a factor, so take away the costs.  Put it under a tree in your local park or square, invite others to bring a lunch and participate.  It could be a round table or circle on the grass, in the readers theater tradition.  It does not have to be Shakespeare at all, but whatever you like.  There is no fee associated with reading a play out loud in a public forum of friends - on the beach, on the deck, at a barbeque!

 

What is the harm in this?  Well, you just might have some fun, inspire new audience and polish your chops at the same time.   Damaging indeed! 

 

 



Mood: Music: Location:

Apr

15

Reality Television

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

May as well face it, Reality Television is here to stay in one form or another.  Yes, thespians have been resisting "Reality Television" heavily.  However some popular singers, models, dancers, athletes, and businessmen like The Donald, have created a regular pay day and public relations tool out of Reality Television. 

It is natural for the trained actor to resist something that can be seen as a possible threat to the status quo as far as livelyhood is concerned.  Afterall didn't some stage actors resist film as much as silent screen actors resisted talkies?  They came anyway.  Didn't film actors resist the little box called television?  It came anyway.   Didn't television resist cable television?  That new runaway industry cutting heavily into it's audience revenue share?  Didn't they all resist the "Free Flowing Internet?"  Well, Netflix didn't and is realizing a major payday - not to be outdone by former royalty of Network daytime televison programming, Soap Operas which have now turned to the internet. 

All I am saying is, resist change as much as you wish - change is coming and the time for Reality TV is now.  There will be some nice hosting positions comparable to similar jobs on network television and already some acting jobs like the soaps are being made to go directly to Internet.  Internet is the next big thing.  It all translates into more opportunities for actors to work and to get paid.   I believe that SAG-AFTRA have been working out "New Media" contracts to accommodate this trend.  Check with your local office for updated facts. 



Mood: Music: Location:

Feb

02

Happy Valentine's Day Thespian

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Welcome to the height of the USA television pilot season, Regional Theater Auditions and the now bi-monthly postings of my "So You Want To Be An Actor" blog.  Not to worry because if you are diligent about the business of acting you know that the tools and information I provide here are life supplies which can never be fully implemented in a month.  You will need to refer to them time and time again.  Visit the archives frequently.

As for pilot season keep on top of whats new by frequently visiting Sagaftra.org if it is work you wish to find either union or non-union. When it comes to principal contracts that pay appropriately and or are tracked to pay appropriately, if it ever grosses any profit, you want to have worked under a Sag-Aftra signatory.  This goes not only for the film or television contract but also be certain that the talent agency representing you is a true Sag-Aftra signatory no matter if you are union or non-union.  Being non-union does not dictate that one must settle for less.  It merely means that one must make wise choices in order to avoid the pitfalls of being taken advantage of.  None of us were born into the actors unions - for me it came as a result of very hard work pre-dating the current voucher system. 

Sag-Aftra posts on their website a list of all films and television shows currently in production that have entered agreements for actor protection.  They also list the casting directors approved to hire for those shows,  When in doubt check the website or telephone either your local Sag-Aftra office or the Los Angeles office.  The same casting directors hire union and non-union for these films and television shows.

As for your regional theater auditions you have better odds of working in your area as a local hire if you visit your local theater, get to know the producers and familiarize them with your work.  When their season includes a role that is right for you ask to be seen for it.  Otherwise check Actorsequity.org/castingcall daily for new auditions.  Crash the Equity Audition if you are non-union, but be prepared to wait as long as it takes to be seen - so don't do this unless you have the entire day free to wait.  Often theaters host a separate day of auditions for non-umion actors - ask.   

Now you have a lot of information to get you through the pilot and regional theater audition season.  However, if you want acting lessons or some direction with your scenes and mologues look me up.  Directing and teaching are a great part of preparing actors and I have plenty of experience doing that. (213) 928-6820 Presently available for New York based actors.

By the way, if you tuned into the last episode of 30 Rock on January 31, 2013, you saw and heard me in action singing with the KMK Union Gospel Choir as part of the Alec Baldwin characters' memories. We were in grand company with out little clip as we were the only non-celebrity guests artists in that final episode and it was great fun!

 Cinti Laird

 



Mood:Hungry Music:Mellow Location: United States

Dec

24

Merry Christmas

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Merry Christmas.  Pilot season is here and it is time for actors to review  publication subscriptions on-line and off, to determine which were most beneficial and should be renewed.  It is also important to determine where we wasted monies that can be used for something else.  For instance, my hair is longer so I will need new pictures.  Cancelling unnecessary subscriptions can reallocate some funds for pictures. 

Break Down Services

Backstage

Variety

Theatrical Index

The Hollywood Reporter

Internet Movie Data Base

Internet Broadway Database

Actors Access

Casting Networks

Entertainment Weekly

Jet Magazine

TV Guide

Playbill

Academy Players Directory

Advertising Age

AdWeek

American Theater Magazine

Billboard Magazine

Box Office Magazine

Director Guild of America Magazine

Emmy Magazine

www.filmandvideomagazine.com

www.updatemag.tv

Regional Theater Guide

Young Biz Kidz Magazine

Production Hub

Yes, we absolutely can not do without some of these publications. No one has time to read them all or respond to all of the information, which leaves room to trim the fat - so to speak.  Figure out what you can live without.  If you are in the unions your union distributes an up to date signatory Agents and Agency listing monthly so you might note I left off some agency publications.  Download the SAG-AFTRA listing that you dues help to keep up to date.  Find your theater auditons on the Actors Equity website - almost all legit theater auditions in all regions are listed there.  Of course you have to be diligent and check it daily to be certain not to miss an important auditon.  If you have an agent it does not mean that you will automatically get an auditon.  It all depends upon the relationship your agent or agency has with the casting director working on the project.  This is one reason why you still have to stay on top of things yourself, even when you have an agent.

Take some time to review each link.  Each publication has something unique to offer, but only you can decide which ones work best for your specific career path.  This list will remain on this site for you to visit as often as you wish.  May it help you in some way to prosper in the coming year!

Happy New Year 2013

Cinti Laird, So You Want To Be An Actor - Blogger supply free and useful information to on-line actors everywhere. 

 



Mood: Music: Location:

Nov

28

Take Inventory

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird
It's the end of the year and time to take some inventory.  What were your greatest accomplishments of 2012?  What were your most humiliating failures?  What did you gain? What did you lose and did you learn anything?   
 
What goals do you want to accomplish in 2013 and what is the personal road map that you have plotted to get you there?  
 
Note that these questions are general and not "acting" specific.  That is because as actors there are often a wide range of responsibilities that we must take care of in order to be able to perform.
 
For certain as we near December we must reflect on what we have done to access what is next and to create an effective plan to get there.  December will offer some holiday time with friends and family - maybe alone time for reflection.  You want to be sure to set aside some private personal quiet time to get centered and make personal as well as professional plans of action for 2013.  Happy Thanksgiving.


Mood: Music: Location:

Oct

18

Getting Healthy!

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Sometimes as a performer, an actor just wants to jump into a roll, start peeling back the layers, learn all about the character and hit the ground running.  "Stuff" can get in the way.  It's fall season and children are back at school.  Colds, flu, coughing, running noses, sneezing, allergies.  The dog likes the script better than you do just because it's taking focus off of him - seems like a good idea for Chewy to chomp on it. To stably combat these issues, an actor must get healthy, mentally, emotionally, physically and professionally.  When you are healthy, dealing with "stuff" is far less stressful.  

How healthy are you right now?  Did you get that flu shot?  If you catch cold will it linger more than a week?  Is you weight good for your height. What about your professional state of mind?  If you don't hear from the casting direct or agent after an audition do you spend days agonizing about it or do you move on to focus on something new, like getting the next audition?

How healthy are your professional actor tools?  Your treasure chest of monologues for instance?  If I were to telephone right now inviting you to  show a few monologues as a screening process before being invited to screen test for a major motion picture; could you show 3 very different monologues that are absolutely right for you, that show depth of character, creative interpretation and sets you apart from others in your general category?  If not, there is some work to be done to make this section of your professional portfolio healthy.  Maybe you want to sign up for a few one-on-one sessions,

What ever it takes, an actor needs to get and stay healthy because your product is you.  If you are run down, out of shape, or ill to the point of not being able to deliver you - the work can not be done.  

The same as your physical body needs a regular work out, your mental, physical and emotional self requires regularly scheduled attention to meet the challenges that get you where you want to go.  So, it might just be necessary to take some inventory and some time to get healthy in all of the areas where only you know for sure that you might need some personal attention.  Getting and staying healthy is central to your mission if you want to be an actor.  Take care of your number one product - you!


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Mood:mellow Music:smooth Location: United States

Sep

02

Acting as a Second Career

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird
Discounted Before 9/11/2012
 

Announcing The Working Actor Show Business Workshop 

Fall 2012 Saturday Beginning Actors Workshop 101:

 

Acting as a Second Career or a Hobby

 

The ten week workshop, beginning on Saturday morning September 22 through Saturday December 15, 2012 will introduce film, television, and theater technique; comedy, drama and commercial copy. This introductory workshop is designed to give new actors an overall view of the different types of acting and the skills necessary to excel in each area. It will test and develop performance skills while challenging reliability. In the ten week introductory sessions, actors will explore finding appropriate monologues, working with scenes and scene partners, taking direction, working with cold copy, developing stage and on-camera technique.


WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE?

 

It is a workshop for beginners. If you have worked in community theater but have not studied or worked professionally, you qualify for these sessions. If you have never acted before, earned your living in another field and want to explore acting as a second career, these sessions are for you. Individuals who have not worked as a principal player on stage nor on screen, this workshop is for you. All of the basics of getting started in your acting career will be touched on. Background actors who desire work as a principal actors but have no acting training, will find this workshop beneficial.

 

Participants can sign up on-line using a credit card Mastercard, Visa, Discover or American Express through PayPal with or without their own Paypal account.  If you have a Paypal account or any other on-line bank (Chase, Citi etc)  you can make you payment to the e-mail address direct to: ActorsWorkshop101@Iseeyoufilms.ws.   Limited spaces are available and Paypal will no longer accept payments once the workshop is full.  The 10am  Saturday morning sessions in Midtown Manhattan have an introductory cost of 300 per person for the 10 week workshops. (Discounted for you today - because you read this blog.  See video)..

 

Video message from Cinti 

 

Cinti Laird is an actress, writer, director, a producer of theater and film. She has been featured in films by directors Alan Alda, Joel Schumacher, Mario Van Peebles and Louis Massiah. She has worked in sit-coms under the direction of Paul Feig, Steve Buscemi, Seith Mann and Linda Wallem. Cinti has worked in production under director Ron Howard and many others as a part of the production team on the original Law and Order. She has written, directed and produced Off Broadway theater and films. A New York University, Tisch School of Arts Alumni, Cinti Laird has taught acting as a teaching artist in New York City Public Schools, acting for television for years at the American Federation of Radio And Television Artists Stanley Green Audio Video Facility, apprenticed in musical theater: (1) with the late Rosetta LeNoire (AMAS), apprenticed in dramatic theater with: (2) Judy Jourdan (Van Damn), (3)  Lynne Thigpen, Austin Pendleton and Milin Stitt (Circle Rep) created and produced the live weekly reality comedy variety show, Cinti's Comedy Pageant in Manhattan clubs crowing a Comic of the Year for two consecutive years. For more detailed information join Ms. Laird on Imdb.com, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and CintiLaird.ws

 

Workshop Location: Midtown West Manhattan, Theater District NYC

RSVP TODAY - Space is limited and Paypal will stop accepting payments when all spots are filled.  Since this is a beginning workshop for all levels of new actors no audition is required. The option is to expose new actors to what is available, get them acclimated with relaxation exercises, preparation and execution of scenes, monologues, cold copy and commercial copy as well as an introduction to the business side of acting. This is a New York based project, but we serve a global community, and want to help you get prepared for pilot season 2013, hence the 213 area code.


Please direct payments and all inquiries to: 

ActingWorkshop101@Iseeyoufilms.ws or telephone: (213) 928-6820

This special discounted rate is just for you to reward readers of this blog, It ends on September 11, so pay now to RSVP and benefit.  Watch the video an learn how to get an additional discount.  

 


Mood:Happy Music:Mellow Location:

Aug

28

Seasons Change

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Seasons change, winter, spring, summer, fall. Metaphorically for actors, seasons change as well.  There is a time to prepare, a time to audition, a time to perform and time to teach but always there is a time to learn - a time to share.

Change is a strong part of the reason why some people become actors.  They love the changing circumstances of their lives that revolve around securing and interpreting different roles; becoming characters on stage and screen whom they would not dare to emulate in their personal lives.

If you want to be an actor really, your life will consist of extensive study and application.  For each role that you are fortunate enough to take on you will need to do a character study in order to develop a full life.  Sometimes an author will have brilliantly mapped out all of the historical details that build the character and other times it will be left to your imagination.  Once you figure it out you will need to work though it all incorporating behaviors and thought processes to form a life and walk around in it naturally, comfortably.

The best place for a beginning actor to develop these skills is in a classroom.  Many new beginner classes will start in the fall.  It is a great time to change your focus and really get involved with building the foundation to an exciting career. 

Cinti Laird Offers Business Strategies for Actors with the Show Business Workshops.  Small classes and private coaching is available.

Show Business Workshops 

 

 

 



Mood: Music: Location:

Jul

20

Saying NO to an audition.

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Sometimes an actor can want something so bad, an opportunity, a "chance of a lifetime" that we do not understand when it is in our best interest to simply let that "chance" just pass us buy.  If you live another day, there will be another audition another something just right for your type - someday.

For example, I wanted so much to audition for a Broadway Musical, which posted a character description perfect for me.  The age range, depth of character, even the musical vocal range and belt, I can do that.  I must be seen. 

Meanwhile, at the same time, I've been experiencing horrible allergic reactions to the mold and mushrooms which have been blossoming in my bathroom a result of the ongoing harassment from my landlord.  My voice is literally shot to hell and not coming back while that fungus is having a garden party in my bathroom.  My day in court takes place 4 days after the audition.  Yet, I must be seen.  I run over to the Actors Equity Audition audition early in the morning to sign up, taking the last possible spot of the day.  I've been vocalizing trying to lift some of the gook from my lungs days prior, to no avail.

My plan is to spend the day working my voice up.  Only my voice was not managing the songs I've been accused of belting out like Ethel Merman, not holding up in any manner as a steady flow of mucus fills the internal cavities of my head neck, lungs and throat.  Hope against hope, I worked at it as if by some miracle the symptoms would leave me before the appointed hour, allowing me to hear properly, process clearly and belt - where now still there was but a screech.

As fate would have it, I panicked, and switched to an easier song just prior to going into the audition...Another wrong move.  I was out of breath, suffering visibly and obviously as even the slightest movement under the influence of fungus takes my entire breath away.  No matter I'm pumped full of steroids.  Nothing doing to combat a singers worst nightmare.  

I'd kept my appointment but announced to the casting that "I have no voice, so I've selected a song" ... not in line with anything they desired to hear from me today - which I delivered poorly.

I've illustrated this mishap in order that you might avoid it.  It is important to know when you must say NO to an audition and save your reputation at times when the mind is willing but the body is not.  It would have been best for me to miss the audition and request an audition from the Casting Director at a time when my voice had fully recovered and the fungus was gone especially in light of the fact that no date has be actually set for the opening of this show, no theater rented.

As fate would have it I did well in my court case and now, 7 days after the audition the fungus has been removed and my lungs are in recovery...  I even hit a high A today when I couldn't do it a week ago.  Better already. 

Excuse me folks there is a Casting Director I must make amends with for causing such and ugly scene of an audition.  I will catch up with you next month or maybe even later this month.   Remember, it is as important to know when to say NO to an audition so that you do not create unnecessary strikes against yourself.  Now I must redeem myself while had I just not gone I would not have a chance at the job but I'd not have ruined any first impressions a new Casting Director might form from meeting me for the first time either.  Hope this helps...

 Cinti 



Mood:Sleepy Music:Mellow Location:

Jun

17

Be Seen By Casting Directors

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

It is important for an actor to have their work be seen by casting directors in order to be considered for the available acting jobs.  There are numerous methods by which an actor might capture the attention of influential casting directors.

1- A most common introduction is when an actor, upon completion of an acting program or workshop, is featured in an actors showcase by an educational institution or notable individual in front of an audience of invited guests that includes casting directors. 

2- The second general option is for a casting director to attend a show or film screening and be impressed by the performances. 

3-The traditional way to get the attention of casting directors is to mail a picture-resume along with an introductory letter and follow-up frequently with post card mailings to keep your face and work record in front of the casting director. 

4- Professional stage actors who are members of Actors Equity Association, have the added option of attending as many appropriate auditions at the union hall as often as one can to audition directly in front of the casting directors who actually attend calls or their charming assistants. 

5- Finally, there is the "Pay to Play" method which is the most available option for the actor with a substantial budget. The Pay To Play method books casting directors and agents onto a schedule for pay in turn for which they will watch an actor deliver a monologue or a song and sometimes even "critique" the actors work for that fee.  There are some rules of ethics which come into play here and  the Casting Society of American can fill you in on exactly what those rules of ethics are and how soon after a "Pay to Play" session, a casting director can legally call you in to be considered for a contract job. 

What ever combination of these methods gets your work seen by casting directors, the objective is the same.  Actors want casting directors to like their work enough to be inspired to recommendation it to others who can help to further their acting careers. That is the bottom line.  While some of the pay to play methods are cost effective others are outrageously expensive.  

That said, an actor should be responsible to investigate and carry out some due diligence prior to taking on any financial risk, just like any other investor.  Figure out who is actively casting and what types of projects they have done previously. 

Now you are armed with the information, here are a few options for places to begin doing your due diligence search, always begin searching with the actors unions:

For film, television and radio:  Http://Sagaftra.com

For theater:  Http://ActorsEquity.org

Then rely on your industry trades both on-line and off as well as archives.

Http://Imdb.com   (International Movie Database)

Http://talkingbroadway.com (Talkin' Broadway)

Cinti Laird is an actress, who writes, creates content, produces and directs a variety shows of shows for stage and screen.   A New York University Tisch School of Arts Alumni, Ms. Laird coaches actors privately and in semi-private small groups by arrangement.

Http://cintilaird.ws/Show_Business_Wkshp_

Cinti Laird also offers a wealth of information in this monthly column "So, You Want To Be An Actor?" on her blog. Http://cintilaird.ws/SoYouWantToBeAnActor

 

If you follow any of the suggestions in this blog, please come back and post a comment to let us know how things are going.

 

 


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Mood:Happy Music:Melodic Location: United States

May

25

SAGAFTRA.Org/events & Dailies

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird
SAGAFTRA.Org/Events is a great place to find out about and get involved in career boosting opportunities, so be sure to stop by frequently.  I just realized Sony Pictures is hosting The Producers Guild of American and the International Consumer Electronics Association 4th Annual Produced By Conference, June 8-10 in Culver City, C.A.   I would love to have known about it well in advance so that I could have planned to BE THERE.  Who wants to miss out on mixing and mingling with over 1,200 Producers and entertainment industry decision makers?  Possibly gaining a mentor in the area of "SHOW RUNNING" where I really could use some assistance!  Sharing content to possibly get backing and distribution?  Aw man! 

It's a bit of an expensive weekend, which is why advance notice would have been helpful.  That's my fault, while I did visit sagaftra.org, I failed to read everything.  Hand I read it soon enough I could have applied in time to get a substantial sagaftra affiliate discount and saved my pennies.  For those of you not counting your pennies, hop on it.  Come back here and tell me all about it and if you made any helpful connects, better yet take me along!

Actors should visit www.actorsequity.org and  www.sagaftra.org as frequently as business people read the Wall Street Journal.  I'd bet that they read it daily along with the London Financial Times and a few other goodies.  We have Imdb.com, Variety.com and HollywoodReporter.com so eat em' up my acting family.  Learn what's happening and who is doing it long before the casting notices are sent out.  Get the jump on your career - and do something about it - everyday!  You will need to spend substantial time on the internet so invest in a soft cushion...  That last tip was free...

 Happy Memorial Day Weekend Friends!

 Cinti 

 

 

 

 


Tags:


Mood:Happy Music:Mellow Location:

May

11

SAGAFTRA.ORG A Merger

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

Let's Talk Union

First of all, please accept my apology for not a posting for the month of April.  It got so busy that it slipped away from me.  My intention is to post at least one useful tidbit a month.  I will post two during the month of May to make up for it and ask your forgiveness and understanding.

We had a lot going on with the unions between March and April.  The Screen Actors Guild EEOC participated in the NFL Filmmakers Bootcamp, and the Screen Actors Guild voted to merge with the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.  I am a member of both unions so the merger does not affect my standing in either union.  As a mater of fact while, I have been serving on the Screen Actors Guild National EEOC committee, AFTRA is my parent union.  The way I look at it, if you serve one union you serve all.  I am new to EEOC and am not sure how things will configure as we iron out merger committee details, but I will keep you posted. 

Merger talks began and before we knew it, we voted and now we are officially one union.  We are ONE - it's like a marriage.  How will that effect you?  If prior to the vote you were in SAG but not AFTRA, now you are in both.  If you were only in AFTRA before the vote you are now in both.  The new union SAG-AFTRA, covers actors, singers and journalists working under television, film, internet, radio, music video, new media and (*new content rich devices are invented rapidly these days) voice over contracts.  One primary order of business is to streamline contracts to meet the needs of our membership in all areas covered by SAG-AFTRA.

You will want to be sure to have any contracts you are presented with for agency, management representation or work in any media platform reviewed by a union representative before signing on the dotted line.  Print and stage are the only areas not covered by SAG-AFTRA.  There maybe a little grey area in print, if the still is actually taken from a film or television commercial.  Your union is there for you, so let them see what you are up to before you make a mistake like, for example signing on with non-franchised agency.

Now, only stage actors need seek a separate union, and that is Actors Equity Association.  Print and fashion models are still with modeling agencies like Eileen Ford. 

If you haven't heard,

On May 19-20, the SAG-AFTRA National Board will consider a unanimous recommendation by the Executive Committee to implement a Do Not Work notice against music video productions.

It seems that the music video area requires some looking into.  If you are slated to appear in one, check in with SAG-AFTRA before stepping in front of the camera. 

The first ever Membership meeting of the New York Local SAG-AFTRA is scheduled for:

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:30pm at the Directors Guild of America Theater 110 West 57th Street.  No bags larger than 14 inches will be permitted, no food or drink.  Your union card, paid up through April 30, 2012 represents your admission.  Doors open at 5pm.

These are my tidbits for today.  Congratulations fellow actors, SAG-AFTRA is finally a fact!  May we live long and prosper, plus secure better working conditions that lead to better living conditions for our membership families.

Check Http://www.sagaftra.org/events  for the first membership meeting in your local area as well as all other SAG-AFTRA Union Business.


 


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Mood: Music: Location:

Mar

13

Auditions

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

The Audition Process

     The audition process is different for every individual.  What you do to prepare for it is key.  In February, I had two very important auditions.  One for a major motion picture and one for a Broadway show.  

     Needless to say, focus and concentration are the most important elements when it comes to giving your best performance.  So, what you do - or don't do and what the actors waiting all around you do or don't do can pull your focus.  I was standing in the line waiting for my chance to audition for a Broadway show just minutes away from my audition, when the actor behind me was just getting on my last nerve. 

     I was trying to read my lines and hear myself read in a whisper while he was reading, in the line at full voice.  I removed myself from the line and found a quieter place to prepare for this cold reading.  Stage actors get the sides just a few minutes before the audition.  20 minutes before according to the Actors Equity Rule Book.  So, in preparation, every moment counts.  I was able to focus and collect myself in the few minutes that followed before my audition and received a lovely compliment from the casting director.

     After our audition I had the chance to walk and talk with the fellow who had earlier been a point of contention.  He was actually very nice.  It just goes to show how frayed nerves can be just before an important audition and how very relaxed one can be almost instantly, after the deed is done.  

     We must all, as actors learn who we are and how best to calm ourselves in the midst of confusion in order to focus on putting forth our best possible performance.  We don't always have an environment that allows us to lie down on the floor and close our eyes to get centered.  So sometimes we must, in the midst of chaos find the center within ourselves.  Happy auditions.  We are right now at the height of the regional and stock theater audition season, not to mention next summer 2013's block buster films, so have fun and break a leg!



Mood: Music:Http://CintiLaird.ws Location:

Feb

05

An Actor Prepares

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

An Actor Prepares

by Cinti Laird

An actor, who is not performing is always in preparation to perform.  Subconciously, we watch the behavior of interesting personalities.  We listen intently to various dialects and speech impediments.  An unusual walk, mannerisim, a sly grin; all are subject to possibly appearing in the life of a character one is taxed with creating a life around when an audition is finally won; and making the performance uniquely and believably brilliant.  So we prepare, in classrooms, at bus stations, in grocery stores and in rehearsal halls all over town. 

We prepare for an audition by reading the script in advance and preparing monologues or songs for similar characters if the reading of sides do not apply.  We prepare by losing or gaining weight, studying medicine so that we can at least prounce medical terms correctly and to understand the job of the Physician we've been cast to portray.  We prepare because it is invariably always the actor most prepared to meet the challenge who is cast to play the part.  At least that is what we want to believe.  However we know all too well that casting is subjective.  Yet we want to be prepared just in case today is the day that we get cast in the job!



Mood: Music: Location:

Dec

27

1 to 100 That's the Ratio..

No comments · Posted by Cinti Laird

When I set out to become an actress some years ago, I was told that it is not wise to dwell on an audition; to go over and over it in your head after the fact trying to figure out what you could have done different, what you might have done better.  It's over, move on.  Move on because the ratio that an actor will land a role is about 1 out of 100.  That's the ratio and those are the odds.  So move on and get that next audition, put all of that energy into making it as good as it can be and then get the next audition and do the same.  If you book more than 1 out of 100 auditions, you are doing far and away better than the odds. 



Mood: Music: Location: