Sunday, September 14, 2008

A bit of clarity.

Thankfully, my meeting with my acting teacher went really well and I feel much better than I did. Having been out here for nearly half a year, I just needed to refocus for the next stage of establishing myself.

My first month or so was consumed with finding an apartment, then I focused on finding a job and went through an extensive elimination and training process to secure that job. The past month or two I worked as much as I possibly could, but with the tourist season and thus my hours abruptly ending, I was left with nothing and too much to do!

The sad part of the summary above is that it doesn't involve any acting stuff. I lucked into a good class that my roommate had gone to, as well as free workshops offered at work. The first agency I went to was horrible, but they took me and I haven't shopped around for a better one, because at least I can say "I have an agent..." I was fortunate to get two roles in that musical festival when I first got to town, but have only booked two other things...

I'm proud of the things I was able to accomplish in a short time; much of it was thanks to good timing, so now I need to do my own homework and make other important things happen.

So the number one focus is getting new headshots. There is a possibility that a new manager and/or agent might want different shots, but a good rep would give you 3 or 4 months to do that. It's a risk worth taking because my acting coach believes I'll be signed easily when I'm met in person, but I need better pictures to get in the doors of good offices.

Step 1: Research photographers
Step 2: Schedule a shoot
Step 3: Choose wardrobe; have the shoot
Step 4: Research reps and choose which offices to solicit
Step 5: Select best shot(s) and have it reproduced
Step 6: Tweak resume and write a cover letter
Step 7: Mail new headshot/resume/cover letter
Step 8: Follow-up on mailings and schedule meetings
Step 9: Have meetings
Step 10: Sign with a manager and better agent

Yeah... not quite as simple as "get new pictures and an agent," huh? :) I didn't expect it to be easy; the stress comes when things you need to do are undefined blobs floating around your head and you don't know where to start! I'd rather have a tedious 10 step to-do list than huge, general, unprioritized ideas.

I also need to research more intensive technique or theory classes, which I got leads for today, and buy and read some popular actor books.

The issue of holiday travel is still not solidified; my teacher seems to think there will still be work through the second week of December and that LA is "dark" through the first two weeks of January. I'm not as worried about his judgment of whatever decision I make though, thanks to him getting a better understanding of my relationship, which I swear he knew about... He said, "You'll get bored at home after a week or two anyway..." I rebutted, "I'll probably be busy packing up our house..." He became much more understanding after I explained I live with my beau, our house is on the market, we've been together nearly five years and are a totally committed, both wear rings, but have no desire to do the paperwork and declare the "m" word.

After that his tune kind of changed and he shared advice once given to him... "Establish your California residency first, then establish your acting career." He didn't mean government residency, I got that, but something else he said led me to clarify, "I live here. I'm in a lease...," fearing I'd confused the man who admits to having done too many drugs in the 70s!

We did understand each other and there's certainly no arguing with the fact that life is less stressful and more fruitful when you're completely settled... So anyway, I have more clarity with which to keep plugging along and hopefully a better understanding from my LA support system.

Also, he told me to stop doing paid audience work. "It's the bottom of the food chain." Indeed it is.

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