Monday, January 31, 2005

Most people miss opportunity because it arrives looking like work.
- Anonymous

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Casting Directors Could Strike:
Hollywood's casting directors threatened Wednesday to walk off the job early next week if they are not allowed to organize under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
(from The Hollywood Reporter). As I mentioned earlier, some actors perhaps could face unplanned (and unpaid) time off if productions shut down.

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Actor's Attitude - the balance between protecting yourself, and following directions: Sally Travers' experience at an audition in Los Angeles a couple weekends ago (that I did not attend), and Jackie Apodaca's great response (from backstage.com).

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Actors Secure $200 Million TV/Theatrical Contract:
Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) announced today that they have negotiated a sweeping $200 million agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on a new three-year television and theatrical contract
(from SAG).

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Seth Godin has a post on his blog referring to another blog's post about how an obscure album started to really sell. The song, called Dragostea Din Tei, has started to drive CD sales after people half a world away from the musicians (O-Zone) synced it to some flash animation.

I'm sort of thinking out loud, but I have the hunch that this kind of worldwide digital-remixing/reperforming (combined with the Long-Tail phenomena) could continue change the world of media. I doubt it will replace media's traditional forms, but may open other channels for media products to reach the audience. As actors, this change in how media moves from creators to consumers may affect us and our incomes (e.g., allows us to self-distribute in ways that were not before possible). Then again, I'm just thinking out loud.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Nominations for the 77th annual Academy Awards were annouced today.

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

How Shakespeare Died:
Many historians and biographers have remarked upon William Shakespeare's surprising interest in sexually transmitted diseases, and now a study conducted by an infectious diseases specialist concludes that the bard likely had syphilis and that mercury, used to treat the disease, could have poisoned the playwright and contributed to his death
(from discoverychannel.com). Not everyone agrees with this study's findings. His works on-line:

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Monday, January 17, 2005

The Golden Globes were awarded last night (see a complete list of the winners at AccessHollywood).

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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Some theatres turn to eBay to supplement income:
Arena Stage auctioned off a silk kimono from "M. Butterfly" on eBay last week for $637.76. It also unloaded two hand-carved thrones from "Camelot," getting $152.50 for the pair.
It has grown to be an important source of funds, turning in-kind contributions to cash, says Shayna Englin of Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, a Washington organization that advises Arena, Signature and others on how to tackle the new fields in fundraising.
Though there are modest start-up costs and slim returns so far, compared with the organizations' needs, the beneficiaries are pleased. They are reaching people in all corners of the world, people who don't have to get dressed and be fed at a cocktail party
(from The Washington Post). I don't know of any Los Angeles area theatre that has done online auctioning of props and costumes.

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A British theatre is pricing tickets based on demand:
Anyone who uses budget airlines knows that the earlier you book your ticket, the better the deal you get. What would happen if a similar pricing strategy was applied to theatre tickets?
For all 27 performances, the first 20 seats will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis at £10 each, the next 20 at £20 and so on, until only the final 20 seats are available priced at £30 each.
(from Guardian Unlimited).

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Friday, January 14, 2005

Actors and Their Phones' Area Codes:
As unpopular as this opinion may be with those living outside the major acting cities, I think area code matters. Maybe I'm being overly picky here, but, to me, a long-distance phone number implies a long-distance actor. And a long-distance actor implies possible problems or at least additional effort on the part of those casting. For example if I am casting something and see a (707) or (215) number, my first thought is that the actor is submitting from those regions. This is unattractive, in that I don't want to call them only to find out they can't make it out for my small-potatoes project - or worse, that they plan to fly out or make a major drive just for one two-minute audition. Talk about pressure.
Long-distance area codes also give the impression that actors are not here, not committed to their careers. It seems a little like they have one foot out the door - that either they aren't pursuing it full time, or they are keeping their old numbers so they can return to their old lives if this "acting thing" doesn't work out
(from BackStage.com).

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Casting Directors Could Strike:
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is eyeing Wed., Jan. 19 or Thurs., Jan. 20 as the day when casting directors will declare whether they intend to strike film and television productions in the United States
(from backstagewest.com). If they strike, unplanned (and unpaid) time off for some actors if productions shut down.

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Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
-Alfred Hitchcock

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SAG award nominations were announced on Tuesday, and the awards ceremonies air on Saturday, February 5 on TNT (8 PM ET/PT, 7 PM Central, 6 PM MT)
A complete version of the press release can be downloaded here (a Microsoft Word file).

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For a great discussion of the casting process, you can listen to CDs Barbara Fiorentino and Rebecca Mangieri, along with series creator Shawn Ryan, on the DVD commentary of episode 12 of season two of The Shield (entitled "Breakpoint"). While their comments are focused on television casting in the LA market, much of what they say also applies to film, commericals and industrials. You can rent it, or buy it, and spend less than you might for a casting director workshop.

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I begin.

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