Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Good Week

The first two days of this week have been full of pleasant surprises. I have 3 new clients, was asked to re-join an old theatre company and had a wonderful audition. I also revised my strategic marketing plan (which I do on a very regular basis) and am doing a lot of actor marketing for myself. I am feeling very liberated and in a very take charge mode. I think sometimes as actors we feel we do not have control over our careers and end up becoming quite passive. I took a workshop at the SAG Conservatory summer sessions earlier this month from an audition coach who struck a chord in me - my audition is mine, I get to control the time I'm in the room. How many times do we get in our head and worry about will they like me, do they want to see this or that? It IS all about me, what I am doing, am I listening, am I connecting, am I having fun.

I'm cranking up Yogi Berra's quote a notch by saying that "Acting is 90% mental and the other half is physical."

I'm starting my rounds of casting director workshops - I took a long hiatus as I was moving into a new home and we all know how daunting a task that is. I feel in a good place and I think it has to do with being objective about life, enjoying the process and forgetting about the outcome - and that's what creativity is all about.

And I must say a big RIP to Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays, Fred Travalena - I'm sure I'm missing lots, and I've already listed great icons. Life is so precious - we really have to live life like we were dying.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pittsburgh - City of Champions

It is so great that Pittsburgh is home to the World Champs Pittsburgh Steelers and Stanley Cup champs Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh to me is the epitome of what life is all about - enjoying our experiences and taking care of each other in the process.

My So-Called Marketing Life

I am so happy to be writing a regular article for Marketing Profs, one of the two best online resources on the subject of marketing today. The other being Marketing Sherpa. I have been a published writer since 2001 and floated in and out of writing for trades depending on my available time. To create the tone of the column, I am pulling from my years of being a corporate marketing director, marketing consultant and actor.

In my latest article, I wrote about the power of branding from an actor's perspective, even though the same takeaways apply to small and Fortune 500 businesses. The takeaways are:

1. Treat a brand for what it is. Your brand is your uniqueness so identifying and capitalizing on it is paramount to being able to differentiate yourself from the clutter.

2. Network. Be visible. Be a problem-solver. Go to where your target market is and engage with them. Help them.

3. Follow up. Stay in contact and top of mind.

4. Test, Revise, Test. Always be in a position of giving your customers what they want, so be comfortable with improving on your product and promotional materials all the time.

I also have a new web site. It is in the "in progress" phase. It is located here. Please visit often as we are updating content regularly.

Have a super weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strange Days

It's been disheartening having to hear that both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died today. Farrah Fawcett - what can I say, I wanted to be Jill Munroe. I loved Charlie's Angels. And Michael was an icon, he was bigger than life.

I can't believe it has been over 2 months since I last posted. Much has occurred, Mother's Day came and went, my Aunt Sylvia died, we moved into a new place (I strongly believe in the power of feng shui and positive energy because I have been feeling so good since moving into the new place), SAG voted to approve the new TV/Theatrical contract, and Father's Day. On the SAG front, I am happy that resolution occurred. I hope this new contract is good for our union. I'm looking forward to two years where SAG can come together with the DGA, WGA and AFTRA and present a united front when we meet with producers. SAG elections are coming up and once again Membership First will be duking it out with Unite For Strength for control of the board. I hope we can minimize the infighting and stand together to make our union better.

I was happy to catch the new "Star Trek" movie (AKA prequel, Star Trek XI) this past weekend. It was amazing - JJ Abrams is amazing or "fascinating" as Spock would say. The best part was to see the new Spock (Zachary Quinto - it's great that he's from Pittsburgh!) and old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) together in the film -- it was sort of like the passing of the torch, if you will. I read an interview that Zachary had to have his eye brows shaved and have his hair cut for the Spock hairdo - oh my goodness. We'll have to wait and see what's up for ST - I also heard that Paramount wants to see a script for the sequel by Christmas.

I think the most greatest feat that has happened recently is that my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup - not only is it the third Stanley Cup for the franchise, it may mark the first time a player/owner has won the cup (trivia question in the making?) and it also provides a nice send-off to say goodbye to the old Civic Arena and welcome the new arena, Consol Energy Center. Congrats, guys.

Things have been quiet this summer so far. I will be in a staged reading of "12 Angry Women" - I play Juror 6 - on July 25 at The Complex on Santa Monica Blvd. I'll be posting more details as we get closer to the date.

Peace and love.