Want success? Learn from Will Smith

  What traits do we need to develop in ourselves, to practice and live by, to keep improving? To make our dreams happen? There certainly seems to be traits that are always present in people who succeed time after time. – Persistence – ‘Can do’ attitude – Taking massive action If you want to match the success of the ultra-successful, do what they do! Think like them! All the keys to your success are found between your ears. Right? What else is there really?! What do you think? What do you attribute to the times where you were and are successful?! “I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, everyday, until the words become as much…

Film jobs – A dash of reality

  When I was living in South Africa (I worked in news around when Mandela became President), I hung out with Joao & these great guys, now known as the Bang Bang club, who risked their lives documenting what’s really happening in the world. Joao is a sweet guy & risks his life so we can see what really happens. It’s a blast of reality for me. South Africa is where I first got into the film industry.  When you get into international journalism, you’re doing an important job and also risking your life everyday so that people can see the truth. If you want to check out the book, Bang Bang Club, you can find it at Amazon. Here’s the link to the Huffington Post page on Joao. //www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/23/joao-silva-new-york-times-afghanistan_n_772823.html

Acting resumes – don’t misrepresent!

RESHOOT!!! The actress said she could ride a motorcycle. We show up and she’s sitting there on the motorcycle surrounded by production and agency, looking scared shitless. Anyways, we had to hire another actress and do a reshoot! That may have cost the production company another $50,000! Big money at stake here. During the audition the actress said she could ride a motorcycle no problem. So everybody believed her and she was chosen for the role. On the day of the shoot, she said she could ride motorcycles… but not that one. That’s lame and was a red flag. It was a regular motorcycle…. For the actress, that looks really bad and most likely prompted a number of calls between her and her agent. Her reputation, and her agents reputation,…

Cool Acting Job – Want to play in the fake snow?

Last night I did a split shoot. That’s the term for starting at 12 noon and going to 12 midnight. We were shooting at Downey studios in Los Angeles. Fake street, fake snow, fake snow falling. they used this sudsy substance that they blew out of these machines that looked just like big snowflakes. Very cool and fun shoot! The actors were kids 5 to 16. One group of kids building a snowman notices that across the street the kids have built a much bigger and better snowman. It was fun, lots of happy screaming kids on this set. It was the Producer’s birthday and we all had cake together to celebrate. At the end of the day, we all clapped for the kids. They had a lot of fun…

See how a smart young woman SELF Produced and got on the radar!

On one of our conference calls, we discussed getting on the radar of casting directors and producers. Here is a great example of someone who wrote, produced and acted in her own film. Nobody says it better than Bonnie Gillespie, a respected casting director. She wrote a fantastic post in her column, The Actors Voice, at Bonnie says, First, there’s the willingness to put yourself out there. You want to get your brand on the radar of the Hollywood buyers. You want to show the industry exactly how to cast you. You want to score meetings with agents who know how to send you out and with CDs who know they’ve called you in for the role you’re most likely to win, because they GET you already. But how…

From the Acting Advice Blog – by Jenna Fischer, from The Office

I am re-posting this awesome blog post by Jenna Fischer, who is an actor for The Office.  What she says in this post is very similar to what I hear from actors I work with in Los Angeles. It could be summed by the very true saying: “There is no free lunch.” To understand the real story of people who have made it in the business is valuable. In my opinion, it’s valuable because you can adjust, plan, and bring more determination and action to your plan. It’s the “go-getters rule!” Tuesday, June 17, 2008 The Acting Advice Blog – by: Jenna Fischer from The Office I’ve received tons of letters from people asking advice about the entertainment industry and, in particular, pursing a life as an actor. People have…

Acting Website Scams and Other Ways to Lose Your Money

The websites look good, appears professional, they sound good and they speak to your inner most desire of becoming successful – even famous. On the phone they make it seem so easy. With just the right amount of Hollywood arrogance they leave no doubt that your success is only a monthly payment or headshot away. Once you start to rely on and even look forward to the listings on the site, you find you’ve got to pay, kinda a lot of money… It really seems like you’ve found a path. Problem is… you can spend a shit load of money, hundreds for monthly listings, five hundred or more for “professional” photographer head-shots, thousands can be spent on acting lessons and showcases.   You get jazzed, but their ‘industry executives’ don’t take…

Birthday on the set

Hello!  Well today is my birthday. And I worked! But it was a short day, 9 am to 1 pm…. I have so many facebook friends in the industry that when I showed up on set today, everybody was wishing me a happy birthday. We shot at UCLA today, (that’s why we’re wearing those badges). We shot an American Express commercial with Sam Querry, a young guy that’s one of the top 20 tennis players in the world. It was a sunny, lovely day and we had a small crew, maybe 12 people, lighting, art dept, make up, camera, director, interviewer, agency, sound. We were all eating lunch (In-N-Out burgers) when the production manager came around the corner with a chocolate birthday cake (a GOURMET one!) and everyone sang me…

What your life will be like working in the film industry…

Do you ever wish you could go to a huge party, with cool people, eat gourmet food for free all day long, and get paid handsomely for it? Kind of sounds like the celebrity lifestyle huh? I swear… some days I have to pinch myself it’s so good. And if you get into this business, these kind of days will be common for you too. So we’re shooting in a swanky Hollywood nightclub, huge chandeliers, white couches, mirror tables, huge paintings – cool. We’ve got this techno club music playing and the dancers start warming up. Everyone is mesmerized watching these dancers. I talk to one of the dancers. He came to Los Angeles from Puerto Rico to do street hip hop. Once he got here, he met other dancers…

Working on set for the “Cat Herders” Commercial, my favorite

Shooting this spot was the most cold and miserable shooting days I've ever had.   Out in the plains, freezing cold, wind so strong it would catch your car door and bend it back. It took 3 days to shoot.   The production company put everyone up in a motel.   We actually snuck our cat into our motel room because he just had surgery and needed to recuperate.   So he lived under the bed. But he wasn't alone.   There were trucks filled with movie cats.   Each in their own cages. And real cowboys.   No actors.   Real cowboys who had to be skillfully directed to get a natural performance. Cats aren't naturally good at acting.   They want to be cats.   But the animal…