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Deadline Article –} Actors vs Casting Directors

So just to back track here Deadline.com came out with an article last week when actors Ever Carradine, Merrin Dungey and Sprague Grayden slammed an ad by Betty Mae Casting offering paid self-taping services for non-Betty Mae projects. Their comments launched a heated discussion about the wide use of self-tapes, which have replaced the vast majority of in-person auditions over the last three years. Now just for reference Betty Mae Casting has casted huge movies like Bullet Train with Brad Pitt,  Machete 1&2, Black Swan,  Brooklyn’s Finest, Spy Kids 1-4, Sin City etc

So my question is Why are we blaming casting? The deadline article is utterly ridiculous. So I’m going to give you 5 reasons this is crazy nonsense!

#1st thing is now Casting directors are able to see more people because of self-tapes. As opposed to when we used to go in person there wasn’t enough hours in a day to see tons of people so casting kept the audition list small & tight. With self-tapes casting can now go through hundreds of tapes looking for the perfect actor! All the self-tapes load into Breakdown Services and they can go through them 1 by 1 easily. Just FYI, In the past the self-tapes were actual “TAPES”, VHS, BETA & DVDs now that everything is digital. So I ask my fellow actors… Isn’t that what is actors want… More Opportunities to Audition?

#2, You do NOT need to pay to do a self-tape! Casting has never required payment to audition, never have in the past & still don’t. So I ask Why are you paying $50 when anyone can set up a little audition studio in their closet, bedroom, office or garage. All you need is a bed sheet or curtain backdrop & ring light from Amazon for $40 and your cell phone. Most of your auditions are shot from the chest up cause they want to see your facial reactions. You just need to bring your acting chops & perform. To me anyone paying $50 at a casting office is because they are hoping to be plucked from obscurity by using a famous busy casting house. So then when you don’t get a call back you blame the $50 that you spent. No Casting Director has ever asked me to Spielberg or Scorsese and never asked me to do crazy extreme set ups. See, I think the best thing about self-tapes is that you get submit YOUR BEST AUDITION and delete the crappy ones! If you film a crappy take then guess what, you can just HIT DELETE! That is what is so perfect about self tapes, you get to control your audition. Back in the day when you did in-person auditions if you were having a bad day your risked a crappy audition. If you went to your audition and sucked well there’s no going back your fate was sealed for that job. So quit bitching about being given the opportunity to submit your best stuff!

#3, CASTING IS & HAS ALWAYS BEEN ON THE ACTORS SIDE!! I don’t know how many times I have to say this but casting is rooting for us to be amazing, to be perfect for the role. If they’ve chosen you to audition then that means they believe you have something to offer and they’re praying their intuition is right when we audition & we blow them away! Casting is rooting for us! There are many reasons that are out of your control of why you didn’t get a callback or pinned. It could be that you don’t fit the “Family look” or you don’t come across on film they way they thought you would. For example my daughter is 24 years old but on camera she come across as only 14-16 years old. Or lastly you didn’t do your homework & your acting just sucked. Believe me when I say You definitely can blow a self-tape audition.

#4, Readers….Yes we need readers but do we really need to pay for a reader? No, absolutely NOT. You’re an actor so I know you have other actor friends. I’m fortunate to have my daughter who is also an actor read with me but I also know five other people that would at any given notice, read with me. So just reach out to your actor friends/groups/classes and ask! We as actors can always use the practice. So trading off reading for 1 another for FREE is the perfect scenario.

5th, Lastly, I’ll ask again, why are we blaming casting? That’s what I really don’t understand. Come on people think about it. Do you know that casting directors are one of the most Important people in the industry. Their choices/suggestions can make or break a TV Show or Film. It’s also the most underappreciated jobs in the entertainment industry. They cast an entire film or tv show then everyone forgets about them. How often do you see someone get up and accept an award & thank the casting director for giving them the opportunity…? never! Casting is an important but very tough job. They can go through 50 to over 300 tapes for some roles & believe me when I say casting is watching them all. That’s their job and they take pride in their job and if they didn’t watch then they could miss watching someone who is perfect for the role. So trust me when I say they’re watching those tapes in hopes that YOU’VE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU’VE READ the SCRIPT & FIGURED OUT THE CHARACTER. They’re also praying you’re perfect for the role so they can tell the Director & Producers all about you.

Let me just add it’s my opinion that the people who paid $50 to a prominent casting office probably did so because they thought it would help their chances or maybe that casting office would pluck them out of obscurity and make them famous….kind of like eating lunch at “The Ivy” in hopes of running into Spielberg or Tom Cruise and getting to stare their next film. The likelihood of that happening is next to None! So don’t bitch and complain when you pay and don’t become famous. There’s also many reasons you DON’T book the job and MOST of those reasons are out of your control. There’s only 1 of those reasons that you didn’t get a callback or the job and that is you were NOT prepared and you sucked (and we’ve all had that happen). So put on your big person panties and do the work, be prepared and kick ASS in your auditions….for FREE!!

So Actors Please Stop Vilifying Casting Directors & Stop complaining about getting self-tape auditions and go for every opportunities handed to you for tv & film roles & stop complaining because you sound ridiculous!

PLEASE FOLLOW ME (click on my user ID) ON INSTAGRAM @cathbria99 FACEBOOK @catherine99 TWITTER @catherin99 (yes no E at the end)

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Every Actors Must Have Study Guide!!


BEST AUDITION STUDY GUIDE!

Michael Shurtleff has been casting director for Broadway shows like Chicago and Becket and for films like The Graduate and Jesus Christ Superstar. His legendary course on auditioning has launched hundreds of successful careers. Now in this book he tells the all-important HOW for all aspiring actors, from the beginning student of acting to the proven talent trying out for that chance-in-a-million role!

The Twelve Guideposts

  1. Understand the relationship between you and the other characters in the scene. Once you establish the facts, recognize how they make you feel. It’s important to not idealize love, the desire for it can be narcissistic and selfish, but the desire to give and receive love is still the chief propellant in human beings.
  • Ask yourself what you are fighting for in the scene in order to pinpoint the conflict. If there is no conflict, then why don’t you run? What is keeping you engaged in the scene?
  • When beginning a scene you need to put yourself in the mindset of the moment before. Many actors take time to get into a groove on the stage but the best don’t need to–get into rhythm on the wing before entering.
  • You need to find the humor in every scene, not just the “funny” ones. In real life we use humor not to be funny but as glue in relationships and to help us get through the day; this should come across in your acting. Shurtleff has “never seen a great or star actor who did not have humor.”
  • Exploit opposites in your behavior, as “consistency is the heart of dull acting.” There are opposites in every scene, it is up to the actor to find a way to show these, because they pop up in the most interesting kind of acting: the complex.
  • Identify the discoveries in the scene, the things that happen for the first time. The more discoveries you have, the more interesting the scene will be, so take nothing for granted.
  • It is not enough to have a feeling, you need to find a way to communicate it to the other actor in the scene. Remember that “communicating is the desire to change the person you’re communicating with.” Moreover, you need to embrace the competition in the scene, focusing on the facts that a) I am right and you are wrong, and b) You should change from being the way you are to be what I think you should be. Competition is healthy. He finds more resistance to this concept than to any other, but “an actor must compete, or die.”
  • Nobody wants to see everyday humdrumness, so actors must emphasize the importance of a scene. What is unusual? Strive to make the stakes as high as possible.
  • Don’t get so wrapped up in your character that you forget to create the events of the play. An event can be a change, a confrontation, or a climax, and they can be obvious or hidden, but what they all do is make the play progress.
  1. Create a place that you are acting in to help forge a reality for your reading. Since it is imaginary and you can choose whatever you want, you should make it real, like your own apartment.
  1. Ask yourself what game you are playing in every scene. Don’t worry that you are being insincere, because this is how you act constantly in real life, and it is meaningful to you then. For example, at a cocktail party everyone plays the game of trying to be the wittiest. Embrace this fact.
  1. After you’ve done all the other 11 guideposts, add “what you don’t know” to imbue an atmosphere of mystery. This is inexplicable but all the best actors do it well.
  • Romance is the secret life to have something better happen to us that is the “primary motivating force in every human being,” so find it.
  • You can’t learn comedy, you must be born with it.
  • Comedy is like a game of Ping Pong: “The faster and more precise the game of Ping-Pong is played, the more brilliant it is.”
  • Often the simplest choice is the most telling, so don’t be afraid to make it.
  • Present your true self in auditions
  • Shurtleff believes an actor’s greatest asset is his or her authentic self. “The first step to a better audition is to give up character and use yourself,” he insists. In the audition room, present your true self and then react as you would to the unique situation, going wherever the story takes you. “Actors, who should pride themselves on their singularity, are forever trying to be someone else. It isn’t necessary for you, the actor, to like yourself. Self-love isn’t easy to come by for most of us. But you must learn to trust who you are. There is no one else like you,” he says.
  • In his book, Shurtleff lists 12 guideposts for actors to use as a resource for preparation. Here are some of these guideposts, and tips for preparing on a deeper level:
  • Relationship
  • What is your relationship to others in the scene, and how do you feel about each of them? Is it a child who you love unconditionally, or an unreliable coworker who’s disappointed you several times? “Creating relationship is the heart of acting. It is basic. It is essential,” Shurtleff says. But beyond that, he insists, “Every scene is a love scene. The actor should ask the question: ‘Where is the love?’” Consider many options. He encourages actors to say “yes” to possible love stories. For example, if you’re wondering if your character is in love with another, answer “yes” and see what dramatic possibilities emerge from this creative decision. But don’t stop there. Keep exploring all the relationships. Perhaps your character wants revenge on another? Again, say “yes” and explore what happens. Was your character’s heart recently broken? Say “yes” and see what happens.
  • Conflict
  • What are you fighting for, and how are you working to get what you want? “An actor is looking for conflict,” Shurtleff asserts. “Conflict is what creates drama. [In life] we are taught to avoid trouble [so] actors don’t realize they must go looking for it. Plays are written about the extraordinary, the unusual, the climaxes. The more conflict actors find, the more interesting the performance.” Viewers yearn to live vicariously through others, seeing what happens to those who take risks that most dare not take in real life. 
  • The Moment Before 
  • Shurtleff insists that each scene starts in the middle. He urges actors to explore what their character was doing just before the scene started. What is your character taking from that experience into this new scene? “Every scene you will ever act in begins in the middle, and it is up to you, the actor, to provide what comes before,” he says.
  • Humor
  • Shurtleff asks what it is that keeps the character from giving into despair. “Humor [in a scene] is not about telling jokes,” he insists. “It is that attitude toward being alive without which you would long ago have jumped off the 59th Street Bridge.” Humor is a frame of mind that allows one to survive life’s difficulties. “Comedy is based on pain. And we laugh because we’re so relieved we’re not in their position. It allows us to suffer vicariously without going through the pain. So we laugh.”
  • Discoveries 
  • Tune into what makes each moment different. Pay attention to the things that happen for the first time. What does your character learn from each new situation? “Take nothing for granted. Make an emotional discovery as often as you can find one in every scene. Ask yourself: ‘What is new?’” Shurtleff urges. “Doing nothing is a really bad choice. No actor doing nothing is ever going to be interesting.” 
  • Communication & Competition
  • Communication is a circle; you send out feelings and messages and receive them back from others. Shurtleff says, “Listening is not merely hearing; it is receiving the message that is being sent to you. Listening is reacting. Listening is being affected by what you hear. Listening is letting it land before you react. Listening is letting your reaction make a difference. Listening is active.” He instructs performers to find out what the basic fight is in every character as well as in every scene. “An actor must make his needs (goals, wants, objectives) so strong that he is willing to interfere with the other actor in order to get what he needs. Interfering means getting in their way so that what you want is stronger than what they want.” 
  • Shurtleff insists that friendships within a scene are centered on competition. Two people are not friends simply because they enjoy each other’s company. Rather, they compete in some way. Consider if one is more athletic, more successful in the workforce, or has a more fulfilling marriage. “Competition [in a scene] is healthy. Competition is life. Yet most actors refuse to acknowledge this. They don’t want to compete. They want to get along. And they are therefore not first-rate actors,” he asserts. “The good actor is the one who competes, willingly, who enjoys competing … Peacefulness and the avoidance of trouble won’t help in his acting. It is just the opposite he must seek.” Once you determine the competitiveness, find a way to show the friction within the friendship. 
  • Mystery and Secret

What do we not know about the character? What secrets do they keep? What can’t be explained? “No matter how much we know about the other person, there is always something going on in that other heart and that other head that we don’t know but can only ponder. And no matter how we explain ourselves to someone else, no matter how open we are, there is always still something inexplicable, something hidden and unknown in us, too,” Shurtleff insists. Know what romance, dreams, and fantasies are in your character’s heart. “Everyone thinks romance is weak. Yet romance is everyone’s secret dream—it’s why we’re alive.”

MY NFT’S

So recently took the time to learn how to make Crypto NFTs. Here’s a few of my personal ones. If you’re interested in me making NFT Photos for you just let me know by following me on Instagram @cathbria99 and/or following me on Facebook.com/catherine99 and sending me a DM. The DMs from non-followers usually get lost in my spam folder. Anyway hope you enjoy!

TV & FILM ROLES

Photo by Bruno Massao on Pexels.com

“FROM THE SHADOWS” Role of CYNTHIA The REPORTER

“SHOTGUN CHAZA” Short Film Role LEAD ASSASSIN

Blog Review #2

In today’s fast-paced world, we juggle hectic lifestyles and irregular schedules, which completely turn our lives haywire. That is exactly what happened to me – before I realized what was happening, I was buried in unpaid bills and my bank account was in dire straits. A friend told me about the concept of “natural state of abundance” and the Wealth Compass program, and how it could help me land on my feet. I was skeptical, but once I tried it, the benefits were significant and allowed me to make much-needed changes in life. 

Finding my natural abundance

I hated history in school. From early on, my history grades were always the worst. On the other hand I loved to read, so I did well in his English classes and loved classic literature. I couldn’t tell you details about World War I, but I could remember a historical fact if it interested me. That is when I realized, that if I am interested in a particular subject, then my mental abilities are automatically engaged. The key to my abundance lies in my interests!

Trying not to attract scarcity

If your nature is a begrudging one and you are convinced that you are doomed to a life of scarcity guess what you will attract? You will attract only more scarcity with a side helping of doom and gloom. I made this mistake and learned the hard way! Who would you want to work with or spend your money with, the person that is cheerful and thinks abundantly or the person that thinks there isn’t enough to go around spreads doom and gloom and barks at anyone that suggests the sun might shine?

How to find abundance?

I looked for my abundance by starting with interests and hobbies. For instance, you could make a very good living mining your desire to assist people by helping them find the exact thing they are looking for through sales. Let Wealth Compass guide you on how to “live abundantly” and thus attract abundance. It is important to believe in an abundant universe as it paves the way forward.

After Wealth Compass, I sincerely believe there is no scarcity in the universe, and that it only exists in our thinking, which in turn creates scarcity in our personal wealth. I realized that I have to change my thinking, which would affect actions, and consequently bring about desired results – thankfully I did and I am happier and more financially secure at the same time.

>>> http://cath99.wealthcomp.hop.clickbank.net <<<

NATIONAL TV COMMERCIALS

Here are a few of my favorite TV commercials that I worked on, enjoy!

LINCOLN MKX COMMERCIAL
My very 1st commercial shot by Jean Baptist Modino (who did most of Madonna’s music videos) Shot in Paris France.
JC Penny Christmas Commercial
SECRET DEODORANT
HOME DEPOT
MCDONALDS (SPANISH VERSION)
My Lincoln MKX commercial & I’m also the Precision/Stunt Driver too
JC PENNY CHRISTMAS 2
My Verizon Commercial shot with Paul Rodriguez in July 2011. So much fun!
Olivieri Pasta Commercial. I shot this in Toronto, Canada. So much fun!
MY MILLER LITE COMMERCIAL DIRECTED BY THE LATE TONY SCOTT IN 1992

CHILD ACTOR ETIQUETTE

One of the most important aspects of having a child in the entertainment industry is ALLOWING them to be a KID!  They must have FUN, they must ENJOY and there should NOT be too much pressure on the child to book every job because that isn’t going to happen!  Make sure they have a life outside auditioning!  Kids that play sports or get involved in community activities or play musical instruments are more relaxed and handle the auditioning process better.  You don’t want them to put so much pressure on one project, kids feel better knowing “ok I didn’t get this commercial but I can’t worry about it because I’m going to my art class and I’m going to have fun!”

I’ll give you an example, my daughter Brianna, who has successfully booked 5 commercials and 2 Feature films wouldn’t stress out over missed jobs.  I curiously one day asked her how she does it and she replied “Well mom, I look at every audition as the job and I do my best and I feel successful and if I do book the job then that’s extra!”  A very grown up approach to acting but it is because she is a involved in taekwondo and plays softball and has a full life outside acting.  So make sure your kids get to be kids! 🙂

Commercials are a great way to break into the entertainment industry and a great way to make money but there is a technique to doing them and booking them!  The difference in Modeling and Commercial acting is Commercials for the most part are about being YOU!  You have to have a likability and marketability to yourself to book jobs.  In commercials you have to remember you are selling things to the public and you have to relate to people.  I’ve met many “Actors & Models” that say commercial acting is a waste, well I beg to differ.  I shot a commercial for Circuit City and the director was Zack Snyder of 300, Watchman and Sucker Punch.  Feature Film director Tony Scott also shot my Miller Beer commercials so you can say you can make great contacts and great money doing commercials!

My biggest NO NO’s *makeup on kids…ABSOLUTELY NEVER! *Dressing kids like they are Older than they are or too bedazzled and done up (sparkly head bands, colored hair pieces and pageant looking are huge DON’TS (unless casting has specified)

*Undisciplined kids… Make sure your kids knows who is the boss when they enter the room and be respectful!

*Most importantly, kids go into the room being KIDS….Don’t act like a teenager when your 6 or an adult when you are 12….Be yourself and act your age! 🙂

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