Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bitter Bloggings From an Optimistic Actress: Instant Gratification

Let me preface this by saying, as I write this first paragraph, Sarah Jessica's voice is in my head.

In the past twenty-four hours, I have picked up five auditions.  Of those two auditions, I have taped two and I am editing sound for a small job I picked up recently.  One of those auditions was on my agent's website, and boy did I respond as fast as I could.  This morning, the same audition popped up in my boyfriend's mailbox.  I asked him when it came up and he said, hours ago.  I asked him if he applied and he told me he hadn't.  I asked him why and his response was as follows;

"If you don't respond within fifteen minutes they won't even consider submitting you."

While to the average American who has never dealt in the film/tv community this seems ludicrous, to many actors out there is this is very normal.

The faster the world moves the faster we have to move to keep up with the mania.  Now we are expected to have auditions in within hours of getting an audition notice, after twenty-four hours you have almost no chance at all.  We may have all of ten minutes to reply to a casting notice.  It is so fast paced it's almost impossible to keep up with.

We have social media, twitter, facebook, webpages, smart phones, and hundreds of other devices to keep us constantly connected.  So here is my question: How is this actually helping the world of acting?  The response: It's not.

On my last day off, I kept within arms reach of my cellphone.  Oh, I went out and about, but I still had to be attached to that stupid piece of machinery that helps me get jobs.  My job slot machine if you will.  Why did I do this?  For fear of not being near the internet and missing an opportunity for a job.  As a migraine hit my head from being on the internet too long I thought to myself, this is terrible. 

Now I know most of you will say, "No, this is fantastic!  More actors can audition more quickly for more parts widening our talent pool.  This also speeds up the produciton process and allows for the people who are most serious to be considered first."

Actually, this allows for a whole bunch of people with money and time on their hands to troll the pages all day and respond quickly to casting calls while those who are actually working can't get back to it for a few hours.  Think about it.  If you are working are you going to be sitting on your cellphone?  Are you going to sit separated from your group and only pay attention to your email?  Are you going to drop everything between takes and go straight to the net to see of the top three casting websites and your agent have posted anything new?  No. You are going to work.  If you spent all day looking for other projects instead of working on the project you were working on you'd never work again.

Having been on the casting end the first hour and a half of submissions may have the occasional professional, but for the most part, it's a bunch of people who troll the websites because they aren't working.

Very often, your agent can only submit ten people.  So if you are the doppelganger of Benedict Cumberbatch and they are looking for someone who could be his identical twin, and the submissions need to happen in the next forty-five minutes, if you are working you could be kinda out of luck.  That two hours of being on set just lost you a lot of money.  Your two hours of actual work just lost you a gig that could change your life.  Isn't that silly?  Being on set loses you work?  That makes no sense to me.

Remember when you had a week to prep for character and give it your all?  Now, you are rushing through fifteen auditions trying to change between characters and not get burnt out.  And if it's a two actor household, it's even more stressful.

Now, your boss thinks you may be seriously addicted to nicotine or some other drug because you sneak outside for a "break" every fifteen minutes to try and apply for the auditions that have come to you.

Now, you can't even enjoy a vacation because you don't get to find a time when no auditions are coming in.  Auditions are always coming in and they always seem to be looking for just your type.

Now, the actor pool is so filled with every tom dick and harry who thinks they can act.

I get that now I can audition from anywhere,  But most casting directors still require me to be available for a callback.  And guess what, they don't give you a week.  You will be lucky if they give you a day.  The rush can kill you these days.

It's just another thing to deal with in an already busy life.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thoughts on Love at 1am

When I was younger, I watched Family Matters.  Funny enough, had a crush on Jaleel White.  Not so much the guy underneath the glasses, braces, and highwaters, but on Steve Urkel.  Glasses, brains and all.

Yes, I am weird.  To add to the long list of guys I crushed on as a child,  there was Tom Hulce, Raoul JuliaJeremy Brett, and, in my later years, Martin Csokas.  While I enjoy this little trip down memory lane, the purpose of this is not to talk about boys, but about love.

When I was in middle and early high school I didn't date.  Partially because I was too young, and partially because I had bad timing.  I often times found myself interested in people who didn't like me, or did like me but had girlfriends they literally dated until the last day of high school.

Much like Steve I was desperatly infatuated with people who had absolutly no interest in me.  And then boobs happened, but that, once again is not the topic.  I watched Steve for a long time and absolutely loved how he saw things.  No matter how often Laura rejected him, it never got him down.  He was always desperately in love with her.  He gave her a ring at a very young age and said,"no strings attached, just the ones to my heart."  So sweet.

Yes, most people saw him as obsessive and creepy and nerdy; someone who needed to give up.  I saw him as someone desperately in love.  To me, it was the episode he let her go on the dates and held her when things didn't work out that were the most beautiful.

Over my life, I have loved many people.  Some more desperately than other, but I always loved.  And, what confused a lot of people about me, is when I was most in love with someone and they didn't want me back,  I didn't call them a jerk and leave.  I didn't blame them.   I became their friends.  And you know what?  That was good enough.  I wanted to be able to be around them, not to wait until they loved me back and wanted me desperately, but just to be there.  No strings attached.  I didn't need to kiss them, or hold them.  Them being there was enough.  I was simple that way.  If I was in like with a friend and he had a girlfriend, I never came on to him, or told him I liked him.  I just hung around.

Unlike Steve, I wasn't waiting for the moment when they would leave their significant others to be with me.  I never expected it to happen, and it never did.  I simply found my happiness for them and with them.  It became more important that I was able to be around them.  So when I got older and people didn't want to see you ever after a breakup I became confused.  You mean when you break up with me you don't want to see me?  Why, we had fun together.  The only thing you seem to have a problem with is us dating, we can still hang out right?

There really are only a handful of people I care about to the point I can never see them again at all.  Takes alot for me.

My biggest thing is, I have been told, by more than one person recently, that I have never been in love with someone who didn't have the same feelings back.  That's incorrect.  I have.  Far too often.  And yeah, it kinda sucks to like someone who is taken.  But you are never alone in feeling that way.  Everyone has felt it.  It's how you deal with it that tells people who you are.