Friday, January 29, 2010
Pasadena Playhouse Shuts Down Feb. 7
The Pasadena Playhouse will close Feb. 7 after the final performance of its current production of "Camelot," leaving its future in jeopardy as company leaders explore ways out of its financial woes, including a possible bankruptcy filing.
Stephen Eich, the executive director hired last June to run the theater, said 37 employees learned at a staff meeting Thursday that they would be out of work. The playhouse is essentially out of cash to continue running, he said, and faces more than $500,000 in immediate bills, plus more than $1.5 million owed on bank loans and other debts that have dogged the nonprofit company since the mid-1990s.
Founded in 1917, the Playhouse was designated in 1937 as the state theater of California.
Eich said that tapping into about $6 million donated for a capital campaign to refurbish the playhouse was not an option.It just would not be any way for us to solve the problems of the place. Those monies are restricted for the building.
Eich said he isn't sure if the playhouse's 8,000 subscribers will be reimbursed.
We have subscribers wanting to see the rest of the season. We're devastated by that,he said.
(from The Los Angeles Times).
How to Work on Your Art
If you want to work on your art, work on your life -Carole Gutierrez
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tears and Crying on Cue
In the DVD commentary of Braveheart, Mel Gibson says he used "menthol crystals" to make tears flow for the scene in which his character discovers he's been betrayed. I have since learned these are called Menthol Tear Sticks and often the make-up department has them.
Production doesn't always make organic tears the best option (e.g., 20 takes, organic tears aren't reading in camera, etc.) and if a film that won best director, best make-up and best picture Academy Awards can use them, we all can.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Doing Your Best When You Really Want the Part
If you really want a part you seem to have more difficulty focusing and doing your best work. I have heard that Del Close (a somewhat legendary director and teacher) called it "the fuck-it adjustment;" when you no longer care, you start to act.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Good Acting Requires Good Sleep and Eating Well
Abraham Maslow concocted a theory of a Hierarchy of Needs:
- Self Actualization
and the basic concept is that we focus on what ever lowest level is unfulfilled (e.g., if hungry, it is difficult to reach your full potential by performing a script well, for instance). You can read a whole book Maslow wrote on this and other complexities of human nature.
Financial Core and Saying You Are SAG
I am a full SAG member. Anyone who is Fi-Core (a Fee Paying Non-Member of SAG) or is considering going Fi-Core, may want to note that according to SAG, actors who go Fi-Core
can NOT represent themselves as Screen Actors Guild members on headshots, résumés, electronic submissions or web sites.
I have never heard of SAG pursueing anyone who has represented themselves as SAG when they are Fi-Core, but they could theoretically. Years ago I blogged an article about Financial Core and the actor and it's worth a read before making any decisions. I plan to stay a full SAG member.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Headshot 4x6 Proofs from a Lab or Store
For proofing new pictures, do you use lab prints or drugstore prints? When choosing new headshots agents and managers (both commercial and theatrical) often ask for 4x6 printed proofs of 5 to 10 images before making a final choice on which to print out as 8x10s and upload to casting websites.
Commercial casting is done with virtually no printed headshots involved (at least in LA) and for the moment theatrical casting is mainly paperless until an actor actually arrives at the audition with the printed headshot in hand. So for both, the digital image of the headshot as seen on a screen is identical to what casting will use to decide whether or not to call an actor in to audition. Agents and managers will never be using the 4x6 prints to pitch actors; these 4x6 prints are just for actor and rep to select what headshots to use in pitching.
Photo labs charge between 10 and 20 times what drugstores charge for 4x6 prints from digital files (one lab in LA charges $3.00 per print, a drugstore $0.19 per print, a discount warehouse $0.13 per print). In general it's good to cut expenses if the end customer won't experience a drop in quality; 4x6 prints are never seen by casting, producers, directors or audience.
Do you have any experience with presenting less expensive prints to an agent or manager for them to proof? Does it make sense to spend more money on physical prints when casting is now almost all digital images on screens (that money can go to other actor expenses like a reel, the photo session, 8x10 prints, classes, food, etc.)? Please leave a comment.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Audition Anagram for Beginners
Bob Fraser has written about the anagram PARADIGM as a anagram guide for how to audition. It is: Prepare, Arrive early, Relax, Act, Deal, Impress, Grace, Manipulate [yourself].
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
You Do Not Have To Do Something You Did Not Agree To Do
If the Director springs something on you, like a nude scene, that you did not agree to originally, you do not have to do it. Anything potentially objectionable should have been clearly articulated at the very beginning. Otherwise, it is not your problem. Do not compromise yourself just because somebody else has been incompetent
Monday, January 11, 2010
When Not To Audition
Never, repeat, never, ever do you as an actor, a professional, go to an audition knowing that you will not accept an offer should you be so lucky as to receive one.
...being false with your audition intent, you're abusing the valuable tick-tock and cha-ching of the creative personnel behind the audition table and fellow performers who need immediate employment
(from Paul Russell's Backstage article).
Monday, January 04, 2010
While seeking tickets for today or tomorrow (which I haven't yet found) for family visiting from out of town, I was pointed to a good site for audience tickets for being in the audience during shoots. If you want to watch a TV show film, tvtickets.com and audiencesunlimited.com have information about what is shooting, and who has tickets available. If you have any other audience ticket or audience work resources, please leave a comment.