Friday, September 29, 2006

Year of Not Enough Blockbusters

Hollywood has been the last refuge of the hit, the one industry that seemed to be able to resist the force of gravity dragging down blockbusters everywhere else. This year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which set a box office record in its opening weekend, seemed to prove that the movie-making business still had the gift of mobilizing mass audiences. But no other film this year has done nearly as well, and when you look at the industry at large, the year so far isn't looking good at all. Total ticket sales (in tickets, not dollars) are down 9% from 2004, and it if weren't for Pirates, they'd be down 15%. The last refuge isn't looking so safe anymore
(from The Long Tail).

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Monday, September 25, 2006

'Acting Is Everything' Book Signing and Panel Sept. 26th 7-9 pm

The Valley Samuel French store: 11963 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604 (one block east of Laurel Canyon [Google Map]), 818/762-0535. There will be a wine and cheese reception and I will be there signing books and introducing many people who have contributed to the book.
At 8 we will have a panel discussion.
The Industry Panel will include special guests featured in the book: Life Coach-Wendy Haines; Talent Manager-Michael Wallach; Casting Director-Bonnie Gillespie; Theatrical Agent-Bonnie Howard; Commercial Casting Director-Stuart Stone; and Sitcom Director-Mary Lou Belli!
Also meet other industry insiders, as well as actors "Living Their Dreams:" Keith Johnson, Brittani Taylor, and Kevin Anthony.
This is all I know about this; caveat actor.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Actors and Interviews

Seth Godin blogs about traditional interviews as flawed for hiring people at most organizations. Actors interview all the time; we call them auditions. I'm not yet entirely sure how to apply/view his words with regards to auditions. I do like his observation that job openings fall into two categories:
Let's assert that there are two kinds of jobs you need to fill:
The first kind of job is a cog job. A job where you need someone to perform a measurable task and to follow instructions. This can range from stuffing envelopes to performing blood tests. It's a profitable task if the person is productive, and you need to find a reliable, skilled person to do what you need.
The second kind of job requires insight and creativity. This job relies on someone doing something you could never imagine in advance, producing outcomes better than you had hoped for. This might include a sales job, or someone rearranging the factory floor to increase productivity. It could also include a skilled craftsperson or even a particularly skilled receptionist.
I imagine extra work and stand-in work would fall into the first category: cog jobs. Extras and stand-ins must be professional, prompt and have the physical appearance that is needed, to be right for these cog jobs. Innovation is not required, or even desired, on the part of the typical background artist. As can be true in other fields, innovation can be disruptive and an opposite of consistency/competence.

Other acting is, to one extent or another, belonging in the second category. The actor is an assistant story-teller. Not everyone agrees with this, wants it, or is comfortable with it (both actors and others). Sometimes one is expected to simply stand there and say the words without challenging anyone emotionally or bringing anything unique to the process.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Screening: The Last King Of Scotland

Back Stage, in conjunction with The Hollywood Reporter, is proud to present a special free Los Angeles screening of Fox Searchlight's upcoming film The Last King of Scotland, starring Forest Whitaker.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with actor James McAvoy and director Kevin Macdonald.
Sept. 20 at 5 p.m.
Laemmle's Sunset 5 Theatre
8000 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

The screening is free, but an RSVP is required. To RSVP, please call (310) 369-1200
This is all I know about this; caveat actor.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lonelygirl15 is YouTube Fiction

She's a fictional character living in a fictional world distributed completely through YouTube and MySpace (and soon some other online venues).

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Actor Safety

Dead actors entertain no one. Be careful, be safe, be successful.

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