Monday, January 25, 2010

A Week In The Life of an Actor

Boy, this week was full of ups and downs but it began and ended with filming, which I'm ecstatic about. I'm working on this amazing web series about the Prop 8 trial here in CA. For those of you who don't know about it, Prop 8 was put on the ballot to dis-allow the marriage of same-sex couples. CA voters approved the measure in November 2008 and now there is a trial going on to overturn the decision. However, the CA Supreme Court ruled that the case would not be televised, so our producers decided to re-enact the case. I cannot believe the great team we have working on this - actors, producer, director. Check it out and let me know what you think!

So, my week started with filming the web series. I finished catching up reading Bonnie Gillespie's amazing articles. I did my planning for the upcoming week.

Monday was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and when rain started. It rained, rained, and rained all week. We saw sunshine on Saturday, Sunday and so far today, but I hear another storm is on its way here this week. It was bitingly cool earlier in the week and still is cool - 50's - in LA (I know what my Eastern Coast readers would say - Are you nuts? That's warm! - but, that's cold for LA!) I also learned I lost a couple of tutor clients. Unfortunately, the tutor business is cyclical, you get some, you lose some. I had a great workout session, with my personal trainer, Ana, at Train. I've been seeing 11:11 on the clock a lot lately. That means the angels are with you and are trying to communicate with you - very, very spiritual.

On Tuesday, I tutored. I watched a great video by Casting Director Marci Liroff. I was contacted by a writer for Inc. Magazine who wanted to interview me about an article that I wrote in 2004. Cool!! That article still pulls today.

On Wednesday, I had a great coaching session with the wonderful Dallas Travers. I lost another tutor client. I've noticed that the tutor clients that stick are the ones who want to tutor and are committed to it and they improve their grades because of it (I have a guarantee that the student will see at least a 1-grade increase if they stick with the tutoring.). I met with a client that I do PR for. Man, I love PF Changs. I saw my personal trainer again today. I worked on a play for acting class that I have been working on for a while called "Keely and Du". A very intense, but fascinating, play.

On Thursday, I tutored, worked on my play, and got a chance to view my work that I filmed on Sunday. I also scheduled a meeting with a new tutor client.

On Friday, I tutored. I had an audition for a short film over at CAZT Studios - I'm still on the fence whether I like that place or not. I didn't feel I did as well as I did on the audition I had last weekend, which I have a callback on, but because this industry is so subjective, you never, ever know so I try to put auditions out of my head and move along my journey and if I book something along the way, super!! I was also contacted by the producer of the web series I am working on that I would be filming more of my scenes for my web series on Saturday.

On Saturday, the new tutor client meeting was canceled, I filmed more of my scenes for the web series, and I worked on my play.

Yesterday, Sunday, was so productive. We went hiking to Runyon Canyon, I drafted a press release for a client, I was asked to write and wrote a post for a guest column on a great blog. The post is here. I made dinner. I engaged with people on Twitter and Facebook. And, I found out I booked the lead in the short film that I auditioned for on Friday. And, I'm on track to get all my marketing packages mailed this week to my target CDs and producers.

That, my friends, is a very full week. And, the 16th Annual SAG Awards were on Saturday. Congrats go out to all the winners. I am so happy for Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Mo'Nique, Christoph Waltz, the cast of Inglorious Basterds, Julianna Margulies, and Kevin Bacon, who won their respective categories.

And, I'm out of breath, I'm so looking forward to and grateful for all my amazing experiences and opportunities this week.

Keeping living, y'all! Enjoy yourself. Flaunt it!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

16th Annual SAG Awards

Awards season is starting to take shape nicely. I am so glad my personal favorites - Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz, Mo'Nique, Meryl Streep, Julianna Margulies, and Toni Collette took home Golden Globes last night. I'll be honest - I'm pulling for "The Hurt Locker" to win and Kathryn Bigelow to break the glass ceiling, but "Avatar" won. Watch the ACE Eddies to see which film wins - which is USUALLY your Oscar winner. Other key indicators are the PGA's, WGA's and DGA's.

So, SAG Awards ballots are due by 12 noon PST on Thursday, January 21, 2010 and the SAG Awards ceremony is January 23, 2010. So, if you're a SAG member in good standing, get on line as soon as you can and VOTE, because it is a privilege to vote.

And...the 82nd Academy Award Nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 and the Oscars broadcast will be on March 7, 2010.

Who do you hope wins the BIG prize? Let me know, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Advice To Actors For 2010

If you aren't already reading Keith Ferrazzi's blog, you should be.

As a special bonus to actors who already subscribe to this blog - I'm very grateful, by the way - or who come across it via a search or word of mouth - of which, I am equally grateful - Please check out these two posts by Keith:

Banish Approach Anxiety and Make the Sale! and

In Transition? Four Surefire Steps for 2010

Here's to your tremendous success in 2010!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Blessed Fan Page

I love Facebook fan pages. I created one for my acting business. And now, I have created one for this blog.

Please check them both out and ask your friends to check them out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Life as a SAG Awards Nominating Committee Member

I had the best time being on the 2009 SAG Awards Nominating Committee. It was a great honor and privilege, and I had a lot of fun with it.

Every year, a SAG member in good standing can request to be on the Nominating Committee (as I came to find out later, once a SAG member has served on the Nominating Committee, that member isn't eligible to serve on the Nominating Committee for 3 years. So, I won't be eligible to serve on the committee until 2012.) In 2009, I was one of 2,100 SAG members selected to serve on the Nominating Committee. I was notified in late Spring via letter and I also received my special ID card that identified me as "SAG Awards Nominating Committee Member - Theatrical Motion Pictures". There are two sections - film and TV. (Note: I ran into a Nominating Committee member who was on the TV side and tried like to hell to get info on the Californication season finale, which I wasn't able to do - I'm glad I waited - my colleague was right, there were a lot of unexpected elements!). In the letter, I was told that I would be receiving invitations to screenings and screeners starting in the summer, although I would receive most of them in the fall. We also were instructed to go to the website especially dedicated to our committee and visit it often for updates.

I found out in the summer that I would be receiving a letter that I had to complete and sign to be able to have the screeners and screening invitations sent to my home address. I assume since these screening opportunities were usually for films that hadn't been released yet, the studios and everyone associated with the awards, because of integrity reasons, wanted to make sure materials didn't fall into the wrong hands. I waited and waited for that letter to arrive, but it didn't and the due date to return the letter was drawing closer. I called SAG to see what was up and they said the letter probably went to my old address - we moved in June. When I told them I updated my contact details with SAG, they said they needed to send me the letter to my new address and I had to walk the completed and signed letter into SAG by the deadline (apparently, the letter would be sent to parties outside of SAG, who handle the mailing of the screeners, and SAG had previously sent them the Nominating Committee member database with the addresses they had at the time). So, I walked in the completed and signed letter to SAG - Whew. I made it by the due date!

So, Fall came and I was getting excited for all these screening invitations and screeners to come my way. At first, I received maybe a screening notice or two and a screener or two every week. As we got closer to that magical date in December when we would turn in our ballots - and our Nominating Committee Member service would end - the frequency of screeners and screening invites became more and more. I kid you not, the two weeks prior to turning in our ballots, I swear I was receiving something in the mail and receiving FedX and UPS packages 3-4 times a day!! It was overwhelming but I embraced it because I probably wouldn't have had seen many of these films. It was interesting to see that each screener is personal to each Nominating Committee member - it is coded with a special number so if the screener got into the wrong hands - you would be easily identifed as the culprit (it states on the screener that the screener is for the Nominating Committee member's eyes only and the screener is not to be given to anyone, I repeat, to anyone) - I can see Tootie from "Facts of Life" now, "you're in TROUBLE." And, that's a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for pirate. So, the message is to keep the screener for your eyes only.

So, the time came to complete my ballot and vote. I love that technology has progressed over the years that you can vote online - much much simpler! When the SAG Award nominations were announced last month, I'll be honest, I wanted to see how many nominees I actually voted for. I was right on the money with some - woo hoo!!

My personal goal for the Oscars has always been to see all the Best Picture nominees prior to the awards. This year, I have seen all the performances of the actors and actresses nominated for a SAG award. It was incredibly tough to cast my vote as there were so many amazing performances. The ones that stood out for me were Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Mo'Nique (Precious), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Matt Damon (Invictus), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Woody Harrelson (the Messenger), Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air), and Sandra Bullock (the Blind Side). My list is actually longer because of the superb performances and films. In fact, the last screening I saw was for a film called "Everybody's Fine", excellent film with an excellent ensemble cast including Robert DeNiro, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell and Drew Barrymore. An excellent film that didn't receive nominations, but is a must-see.

So, now I will vote as a SAG member this week to determine which of these nominees with receive the Actor. I'm looking forward to voting online again. And yes, I have received DVDs - duplicates of what I have.

The only thing I can think of to make this magical experience perfect is please, oh please, SAG, give me a discount on the $600/ticket to the SAG awards! I don't want to be greedy but if you want to give me a ticket, gratis, for my service, I will most gratefully accept and represent you proud!!

The SAG Awards will be simulcast on TBS and TNT on January 23, 2010. The complete list of nominees is here.

I love the awards season - and this one is going to be great! I've picked who I want to win the Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. What are your pics? Send me a note.


Birth-Day Gratitude

Yesterday was January 7, 2010. Just another day, right? 2nd Thursday of a new decade. Special day? Yep. My birthday was yesterday. I turned 48. As I sit here in Starbucks writing this post, I am thinking about birthdays - parties, presents, cards, cakes, party hats, balloons and the like usually come to mind. What if we celebrate birth-day instead of birthday? I was and am thinking about my 48 years of being a living, breathing organism on Earth and I can choose the experiences I want, I can choose the people I want to surround myself with. Being given this tremendous gift of life is amazing and when I think about it, I am so grateful to be alive, to be healthy, to have so much abundance and prosperity in my life, to be able to do what I want for a career - ACT!, to be surrounded by wonderful relatives and friends, to be married to my best friend, to have a great dog, have opportunities for personal and professional growth, have financial resources, a great car, a great home, and the list goes on and on.

While my birth-day got me to thinking about gratitude, it doesn't stop with my birthday. I write in a journal day - I write what is called morning pages - 3 pages of free form writing that you do in the morning before you start the day. I decided to incorporate a list of 5 things I am grateful for daily - sometimes the list is longer, sometimes it's shorter. In addition, I incorporate be gratitude into my daily affirmations.

Gratitude is an uplifting experience - you can feel it physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. How can you feel gratitude? Go into a quiet place and light a candle or burn incense and just breathe, focus on your breathing, be present with your breath, just be. That is gratitude.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Awards Season

I absolutely love awards season. I love having so many wonderful films at my disposal. As an actor, seeing films, watching TV and attending theatre is my market research. However, I have talked with several actors who say they don't watch TV, don't go to theatre, don't go see films that often. Actors, you should be doing at least two of these things - watching film in a theater, watching TV, attending live theatre - weekly.

Admittedly, I was on the fence when AMPAS announced last year that this year they would start having 10 academy award-nominated films. But, now that I have had a chance to sit with it - I'm excited. Today, the Producers Guild have announced the PGA nominations for best picture and - drum roll, please - they include:

Producers: James Cameron, Jon Landau

Producers: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson

Producers: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey

Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

Producer: Lawrence Bender

Producers: Clint Eastwood, Rob Lorenz, Lori McCreary , Mace Neufeld

Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness

Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof

Producer: Jonas Rivera

Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination

Later this week, I will share with you my experiences as a SAG Awards Nominating Committee member.

Have a fantastic day!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year! Welcome to 2010 and my first post of 2010. Today is a day of beginnings - the first day of the year and the first day of the decade. What you do today sets the pace for the rest of the year.

Did you create your 2010 plan? Did you do some research on 2009 before you created your new plan - did you reflect on what worked, what didn't, what limiting beliefs may have held you back from completing tasks to your satisfaction? I keep a journal of accomplishments - it is a variation on what I kept when I was in corporate life - I used to keep a file of accomplishments, not only as a record so I could reflect on how my year went, but also I would use the information when personnel reviews came around - I was ready to toot my own horn on these big things I did for the company - whether I increased revenues, reduced expenses or both.

It's funny but I forgot about some of my accomplishments for 2009. Have you noticed that we take minor accomplishments for granted because we think they might not be stellar enough to list? It might not be booking a guest star role, or securing that theatrical agent, but getting your creative space uncluttered or putting together a home office, or even committing to a weekly workout routine is just as important. Definitely sweat the small stuff - they are important, too! In fact, they are the building blocks for the bigger things.