Bitching Post

It's ok to get it off your chest.

  • Actor Preparation Responsibility 10/22/2014  2:43pm

    I went back and forth about posting this because it will probably curb my anonymity, but I'm still mad, so here goes.

    Was at a callback today for One Day. Went through the dance and was asked to stay to sing and read after.
    Sat next to a girl that was very clearly going in for the same track (it's ethnicity-specific) who told me she just got the appointment last night. After I went back into the room to do my thing, she actually asked if she could HAVE my sides since I was "done with them".
    I'm fuming about this for several reasons:
    1) You got the appointment last night. Yes, it's a time crunch, but you had AMPLE opportunity to find a way to print the sides. What's more, we were sitting twenty feet from computers with printers.
    2) What if I wasn't done with them? What if the CD calls me in an hour asking if I can come back to read with a different scene partner and suddenly I don't have my materials?
    3) WHY would you ask a girl going in for the SAME track to share her materials with you?

    For fucks sake, even at my GREENEST I knew to print sides! You can NOT count on materials being provided for you like that. What's more, I spent DAYS with those sides, shaping the character to what I wanted her to look and sound like. The paper has notes and scribbles all over it, and those are now in the hands of someone else. Yep, I was actually nice enough to give them to her, which is partly why I'm so upset. I should have said, "no".

    Guys...handle. Your. Goddamn. Business. You have no right to expect the people competing with you to simultaneously take responsibility for you.

    To the girl that I'm talking about: Yes, I put this on a public forum because I'm upset. Sorry if it hurts your feelings, but you are an adult in a professional business and you need to take responsibility. If actors can't take their job seriously enough to prepare properly, why the hell should a creative team take the actor seriously?

    Aaarrrgggghh.
    Rant over.

    J1

    I feel the same way whenever I'm standing in line and people are like freaking out over what they're going to sing. I'm like, you haven't thought about this before 5mins before you're in that room? C'mon. This is your job.

    AudraLupone 10/23/2014  9:41am

    I saw this happen! (I was the one who thought I stole your seat) When I heard her say that, my jaw hit the floor!!! What the hell?!?! I was sitting there feeling shitty because I wasn't 100% off book and she didn't even have the sides? I mean to be fair, maybe she didn't have them sent to her, or her dinosaur ate them or something. But even so, you email the CD who gave you the appointment AHEAD OF TIME! Sheesh

    Jenga 10/24/2014  8:31pm

    First off, you're 100% right. Show up prepared.

    For the future, it might be helpful to have a nice "stock" answer you give if anyone asks for your sides. Even something generic and polite like, "Oh sorry, I actually still need them." so that you don't have to feel like you're being mean but at the same time not giving away your work and preparation. For all they know, you got called back, or they told you to hold on to them, or there's information you need on them, or you take them home and take notes about your audition on them. At any rate, maybe that will help you deal with a flustering situation in the future!

    jmf 10/24/2014  11:37pm
  • a STIPEND? REALLY?? 10/24/2014  11:34pm

    So you're gonna have Rob Ashford choreograph your show, pay Non Equity on a stipend to fill out your ensemble/understudy, and NOT offer them EMC points from your major equity-house theatre?


    Tis the season, I guess.

    Sue D'Onimm
  • New York Unified Theater Showcase 10/12/2014  11:49pm

    I am producing this event through Backstage University. If you have any questions after reading the info page, feel free to reach out.

    Current companies and office registered to attend:

    Cherry Lane Theatre, Gorilla Rep, Riant Theatre, DreamCatcher Entertainment, Open Hydrant Theater Company, RADD Theatre Co , PCC Productions (West Village Musical Theatre Festival), Monsterpiece Theater Collective, Rhapsody Collective, Crashbox Theater Company, Amios, Artistic New Directions, Attic Theater Company, Fault Line Theatre, MONOLODGE, DMG Theatricals, Radio Theatre, Loading Dock Theatre, The CRY HAVOC Company, Less Than Rent Theatre, Spookfish Theatre Company, NY Shakespeare Exchange, The Harbor Lights Theater Company,Voyage Theater Company …with more added every day.

    Also - Joy Dewing Casting, Carson-Adler Agency, BRS/Gage Agency, Ann Forry Casting, 9MUSE Agency, The Bethel Agency, Franck Casting, Robin Carus Casting…with more added every day.

    You can register for a 2-minute time slot. Accompanist is provided.

    web.backstage.com

    AuditionUpdate

    Oh my god this is AMAZING.

    J1 10/13/2014  9:47am

    Hi Tom!

    What an incredible opportunity. Thanks to you and Backstage for providing it to us. I am registered and was wondering how time slots are being scheduled. If we have a preferred time due to a work conflict is there someone we can contact, or do we just get in touch after slots are emailed out?

    Thanks!

    ImMrsIglesias 10/13/2014  10:41am

    Just went back and re-read the FAQ...

    "Can I request a specific time/change my audition slot?
    Unfortunately, no. Since we will be scheduling up to 150 actors that day, it is not tenable for us to take slot requests or changes."

    Wah. But FYI to all there is a FAQ section, haha!

    ImMrsIglesias 10/13/2014  11:00am

    :-)

    I entertained the idea of requesting a time slot for about a millisecond, and then realized the enormity of the clusterfuck I would be creating by doing so.

    FYI, for anyone interested in this event: Tickets are selling out WAY faster than I could have imagined, so if you would like to sign up, I would do so post-haste.

    AuditionUpdate 10/13/2014  11:35am

    This is wonderful! Got my ticket!!!

    eatthefish! 10/13/2014  1:24pm

    I am speechless. Non Equity folks (And some equity too) have been asking about something like this for a while. Tom should change his screen name to DOMINOS cuz he just fuckin DELIVERED.

    Adele Dazeem 10/13/2014  3:02pm

    ~tips hat~

    Happy to oblige.

    Dominos 10/13/2014  4:36pm

    Seriously! Such a bomb ass idea! (That's a positive!) and I got my ticket!!! A lot of theater companies I haven't even heard of, which is great. Nice way to meet new folks and stuff.

    NYCActor 10/13/2014  5:10pm

    Also, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey just registered.

    AuditionUpdate 10/13/2014  5:20pm

    Tom,

    will we get an updated list of those companies that have registered emailed out to us with our time slot?

    actingforlife 10/13/2014  5:34pm

    Indeed. After the event, all attendees will be emailed a spreadsheet with the Company, the name of the company reps that attended and the preferred method of contact.

    AuditionUpdate 10/13/2014  5:44pm

    Tom, when should we expect our time slot to be sent to us?

    NYtheatre 10/13/2014  5:46pm

    As soon as the event sells out.

    AuditionUpdate 10/13/2014  6:01pm

    Is there going to be any way of finding out if a particular company etc is interested in us?

    makesomeonehappy 10/13/2014  6:17pm

    Yes. When they call and ask you to audition for a show. :-)

    AuditionUpdate 10/13/2014  6:24pm

    I'll be there! Thanks, Tom!

    Mercutio 10/13/2014  10:06pm

    Will ALL the theater companies/agents/CD/managers be there for the entire day?

    sunnysideup 10/13/2014  10:11pm

    I noticed it says you can do a song, monologue, or both--does this mean you could do two contrasting songs if time permits?

    Ilseyoufrightenedme 10/14/2014  10:20am

    Companies are being informed that, in the interest of fairness to all the actors, if they register for the event that they stay for the whole event. However, in the interest of time, some companies are splitting the day among more than one person (ie. if they have co-artistic directors, one will be there in the morning, the other in the afternoon)

    AuditionUpdate 10/14/2014  11:00am

    Ilseyoufrightenedme - Yup. Your two minutes are your two minutes. Two contrasting pieces are totally acceptable.

    AuditionUpdate 10/14/2014  11:02am

    Also, there are only 26 slots left. I expect this to sell out by the end of the day. So if you would like to sign up, please do so ASAP.

    AuditionUpdate 10/14/2014  11:03am

    I just registered...how do I upload my resume for the companies?

    makesomeonehappy 10/14/2014  1:13pm

    When you need to upload your H/R to your Backstage University profile.

    Your resume has to be in PDF format, your headshot in JPEG format.

    AuditionUpdate 10/14/2014  1:33pm

    The following companies and office have registered since yesterday...

    Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Emerging Talent Agency, Amy Gossels Casting, Ego Actus, Threshold Theater Company, Shrunken Shakespeare Company, Lone Wolf Tribe

    AuditionUpdate 10/14/2014  2:54pm

    The event is now sold out. Cheers.

    AuditionUpdate 10/15/2014  8:57am

    Any chance of getting someone from Telsey? Or Jim Carnahan's office?

    makesomeonehappy 10/15/2014  11:56am

    Pretty sure the focus is on local theatre companies, more so than casting directors. Those offices offer separate classes pretty frequently.

    J1 10/15/2014  12:41pm

    Sigh...SOLD OUT. :( Sadness.

    LittleMissMoonshine80 10/15/2014  4:13pm

    I was able to release a few extra tickets get'em before they sell out. Ticket sales end Friday at 9:00AM

    AuditionUpdate 10/15/2014  5:29pm

    When will we receive appointment times? Sorry if this was already answered.

    Gotmycloudyglasseson 10/17/2014  10:31am

    They are going out today.

    AuditionUpdate 10/17/2014  10:40am

    I'm just now finding out about this, but I see that it's sold out. Is there any way to be put on an alternative or wait list??

    TM 10/18/2014  2:52pm

    Sorry. All registration is closed.

    AuditionUpdate 10/18/2014  6:56pm

    any new companies added to the list?

    makesomeonehappy 10/18/2014  10:47pm

    I have not received my audition slot. It's not in spam either. Should I be looking somewhere other than my inbox?

    nycgrl4ever 10/19/2014  7:23pm

    If you have not received your time slot, please email me directly at tom.lapke(at)backstage.com

    AuditionUpdate 10/19/2014  10:26pm

    So, this was awesome and well organized - thanks Tom!!! Will we get an updated list of who was in attendance today?

    emuhe 10/24/2014  5:33pm

    ^THIS^ would be very helpful information.

    Pretty pleeeease???

    Adele Dazeem 10/24/2014  7:31pm

    Of course.

    You will be receiving an email next week with a list of all the attendees, the company they are with, their preferred method of contact, and that specific contact info.

    AuditionUpdate 10/24/2014  8:29pm

    YAY! Thank you! And thanks for an awesome event :)

    emuhe 10/24/2014  8:36pm

    My pleasure. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    AuditionUpdate 10/24/2014  8:49pm

    What's the protocol for contacting these theatres?

    NYtheatre 10/24/2014  9:14pm
  • NAB: Packing Help! 10/23/2014  5:25pm

    Hey Hey booked a gig thats up north for basically 3 months of winter, any suggestions on must haves?

    TokyoBrown

    A real honest to goodness winter jacket. hats and gloves and scarves that are warm before they are cute! snuggly things.

    hkmac728 10/23/2014  5:44pm

    Boots for snow. Fleece lined, waterproof, with good thick soles.

    musethalia 10/23/2014  5:52pm

    Think genuine natural materials. Think wool, down, cotton, silk. Nothing is warmer or provides better breathing (essential to prevent sweating under your clothes which is not only unpleasant but also adds to your sense of being clammy.

    Do not believe anyone who tell you Thinsulate or anything like is as good a layer of cotton or silk against skin and wool over that. Top it off with a down out garment that has a shell with high wind resistance. Only there are plastic fabrics like nylon the right think.

    Cover your head and ears with genuine wool. I believe it is said that 50% of body heat loss is off the head.

    Yes, polyester and olron are colorful. They make for great sweaters and scarves as long as you don't mind frezzing you but off.

    Speaking of which, the real secret of staying warm in northern cities is a long parka or jacket that covers your butt. I suspect that the other 50% of heat is lost there.

    All based on 25 years of living and working in Chicago and further north.

    nevertoolate 10/24/2014  2:28am

    They're a little on the pricey side but I got one of the long Uniqlo jackets for Christmas last year and it quite literally changed my life. Warmest jacket ever! I grew up in MA and had pretty much just become accustomed to being tense and freezing and miserable for 5 months out of the year no matter how many sweatshirts and giant parkas I had on but those jackets really are magical. You don't feel the wind at all and they're super lightweight so you don't get sweaty.

    hkmac728 10/24/2014  9:56am

    I was on the coldest tour in the universe last winter. In addition to all of the warm weather clothing that others have suggested (I raided NorthFace), also consider a travel humidifier. Cold climate means they'll be running the heat wherever you're staying, and if you're not in really high quality housing, you might end up sleeping in some very dry air. Also for the dryness....Aquaphor for your chapped lips and hands, and moisturize your face!!

    Have2FinishTheHat 10/24/2014  4:25pm

    Bump on this! (wonder if we booked the same tour...:) )
    Any other suggestions? Anything besides cold weather gear?

    Jenga 10/24/2014  8:15pm
  • Cold Help! 10/23/2014  10:49pm

    Hello all,

    What is the BEST remedy for your throat aside from tea with honey/lemon, medicine & sleep gets rid of a fast approaching cold quicker? I'm a singer & can't afford to be under the weather right now :(. Any suggestions of miracle remedies that you or someone you know has tried & swear by, I'm all ears! Thank you kindly!

    sparkle&shine

    I've been taking fresh diced ginger and roughly mushing it up in organic honey with hot water. Feels great on the chords and cured the beginnings of the ick I felt coming on the other day.

    J1 10/24/2014  12:02am

    Raw garlic until you just can't handle it. :P No, but seriously. I chop it up and put it in soup I've already cooked, or just throw some back like it ain't no thang. I don't like spicy foods, so I end up crying from it involuntarily, but it seems to kick my colds a day early, so I'll take it. ;)

    Brakes 10/24/2014  6:32am

    Apple Cider Vinegar is disgusting but really helps fight colds and maintain overall vocal health.

    B'wayBaby 10/24/2014  6:46am

    Go to the Westerly on West 54. They have a shot of fresh ginger. It will BURN, but you'll feel so much better the next day.

    NYCActor 10/24/2014  11:13am

    Get a Neil Med sinus rinse bottle kit at Duane Reade, they're like $20, and rinse the germs outta your nose! It really works! You can do the rinse up to 4X a day while sick. My ENT suggested for me and likened it to washing your hands, but for your nose. The bottle applies a bit of pressure and helps to flush out your nose better than a neti pot. And I also second the garlic and ginger, they work great! Also, vitamin c, tons of vitamin c and don't forget water. Sip water.all.day. :)

    Anothersoprano 10/24/2014  4:54pm
  • NAB: Rehearsal Track Help 10/24/2014  9:56am

    I apologize in advance for the "classifieds" nature of this post.
    I am a high school drama teacher who is about to produce Godspell 2012. Our music teacher usually makes us a set of rehearsal tracks for the process, but he had a medical emergency and is out until after Christmas. His replacement is not a piano player. I am looking for someone who is interested in making a few extra dollars by making MP3s of the major numbers in the show. Pay is negotiable, but we have budgeted $200. I am figuring 8 Hours @ $25/hour. I realize how low that is, but these do not need to be performance quality tracks.

    If interested leave a contact email, or please forward this to anyone you may know who is interested. Thanks all!

    DramaTeacher

    Please contact pardothepianoman@gmail.com

    troybolton 10/24/2014  11:52am

    You can contact Tom to get in touch with me as well. I've MD'd godspell 4 times.

    MotherMonsterApproved 10/24/2014  12:38pm
  • Casting Directors: Dress The Part 10/22/2014  1:33am

    So, I have a gripe. I took a class with a casting director and basically she ripped everyone apart for not coming dressed for the part. For example, if it's a Sex and the City style show, you aren't dressed "Stylish enough" for the show. WTF? Aren't you a casting director? Aren't you suppose to see the vision? Why do I need to come in with a full on costume and design look? That makes no sense to me. And this is was for a MAJOR casting team. Messy. It just angers me. Do you have no vision? If you have no imagination you're in the wrong business?

    AudraLupone

    Well, dear Audra, in that case they'll all just have to agree to leave it and find a profession at which they're competent, if a CD can be competent at anything. You sound like a seasick sailor criticizing the ocean-how dare it have waves! This unfortunate aspect of being an actor is simply and unalterably what you will always have to deal with, so for your career's sake make the mental and emotional adjustment to do so as there's no other way. No, they don't have an imagination, and therefore you should turn up at the audition looking like the part was written for you and you just happened to walk in. If you want practical advice, dress to SUGGEST the part, not in an authentic costume- in your case and for example a long dress for a Shakespearean role, not a full Renaissance gown, and your most fashionable outfit for a society part, rather than an excruciatingly expensive creation by Monsieur Bitschee.

    Eliminating or at least learning to conceal your completely justifiable anger at those acting as an impediment between you and the person who will actually direct the project means you can just get on with the audition itself, and sincere best wishes for that.

    Ron Gielgud 10/22/2014  5:06am

    CDs see SO many people, that
    dressing appropriately is just about helping them help YOU to be cast in the role. No, please DON'T show up in costume (ugh, no), but if you can "dress to suggest", as my agent says, it simply helps the process along, especially if you are auditioning for people who are just getting to know you as a performer.

    Thia 10/22/2014  8:14am

    If you ever find yourselves at a point saying "why am I not getting cast?", my bet is because you have such disrespect for what casting directors do. There are a lot of great ones. Maybe you should take their advice. Or don't. But my bet is that you'll probably see better results of you stop seeing them as "incompetent". Which is just plain mean and unfair.

    thelordvarysofacting 10/22/2014  9:57am

    Most casting directors can't see past the bagel they're scarfing down while we are auditioning let alone the"vision." The upcoming generation of CD's are even worse. Soon, to play a murdered, I'll be coming in with a hatchet and a bucket of blood. NOW YOU SEE IT???? Also, I have NEVER seen callbacks posted here for any EPA for a play--only musicals. Please tell me i'm wrong!!!!

    Ianatom 10/22/2014  10:13am

    I might get flack for saying this, but CDs are becoming an increasingly unnecessary and gratuitous expense.

    Specifically on small projects, it reeks of lazy Artistic Teams.

    I get it for major tv/film and Broadway, but small LORTs with CDs? Please.

    LaughingArtisticDirector 10/22/2014  10:19am

    Do you have a blog, Laughing Artistic Director?

    thejollyraja 10/22/2014  11:49am

    I had this happen to me at a seminar once... the CD insulted what I was wearing in a very high school way... I was dressed very neutrally (for film/tv) and apparently should've been dressed more fashionable.... I say take it with a grain of salt. During the period where that happened to me, thankfully I was at a point where I was getting callbacks from another network CD on a fairly regular basis (even wearing my non-designer duds) - I just made a mental note to try to put on my best for THAT CD. I get the OPs point though - honestly in my case, if they want sex-in-the-city chic - there ARE people in NYC who just plain are that - I'm not going to kill myself trying to be someone I'm not (and probably would feel uncomfortable trying to be someone I'm not). I suspect you had the same experience I did - I also think my audition was just used to make the "dress the part" point to the class. Sorry it happened to you - but now you know what to wear in that office I guess.

    emuhe 10/22/2014  11:52am

    You have to realize that casting directors aren't the ones making the final decisions on who is cast. They are trying to help you get the role and looking the part is the #1 priority - especially in tv/film. They want someone who IS the person. So go in and show them that side of yourself, clothes and all and book that shit!

    dudeactor 10/22/2014  12:23pm

    "Also, I have NEVER seen callbacks posted here for any EPA for a play--only musicals. Please tell me i'm wrong!!!!"

    I'm afraid, lanatom, that there is no Santa Claus. An equity official told me she's never known it to happen for a non-musical EPA, I on the other hand have actually been called in for another play by a CD who saw me at an EPA, and once for a regional by the AD attending.

    But this is extraordinarily rare because for the most part CDs send a powerless associate or suchlike rather than attending EPAs themselves. The team of Daniel Swee and Camille Hickman are notable examples, and Ilene Starger herself attended the No Man's Land/Godot understudy auditions, but for the most part unless it's a smaller (much smaller) or remote production you'll be out of luck unless invited to attend the Agent Auditions. (And do dress the part...)

    Ron Gielgud 10/22/2014  12:31pm

    ^I have only ever gotten one callback from an EPA, and it was for a straight play with the director and playwright ITR.

    bwaylvsong 10/22/2014  2:49pm

    Don't mean to say ALL casting directors suck, etc. I was just fired up after taking this class. I understand "looking the part" like don't come in for Les Miz in a tank top and tattered jeans, but on the same token, I'm sure if you had a great body, good face, and a good voice, they aren't going to care what you're wearing, ya know?

    "Help us help you" seems like such class bs to me.

    AudraLupone 10/22/2014  3:06pm

    "An Equity official told me she's never known it to happen from a non-musical EPA" . . .

    ?!?!?

    What?!?! Many of us get called back (and cast!) from non-musical EPAs, I got my Equity card on a LORT contract years ago after attending an EPA, and earlier this year I was called in to audition for a major Broadway revival after attending an EPA.

    Not sure from what "official" you are getting your information.

    Thia 10/22/2014  3:28pm

    @LaughingArtisticDirector: "I might get flack for saying this, but CDs are becoming an increasingly unnecessary and gratuitous expense. Specifically on small projects, it reeks of lazy Artistic Teams. I get it for major tv/film and Broadway, but small LORTs with CDs? Please.
    ==================
    This is where tax/grant money tends to go when a theater is granted more funds. It never seems to get anywhere near the actors or the actual production, but instead is used to create yet another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy betwixt performer and job.

    Ron Gielgud 10/22/2014  3:31pm

    I really have to say that if you genuinely feel that way about the CDs you are in the room with, no matter how hard you try, a piece of that is sneaking into your performance. CDs are your biggest advocates for a creative team that can very often not know what they hell they want.

    The sentiments being expressed here just screams that you really don’t have an understanding about what the CD does. Saying that they artistic team can do the job of the CD is akin to saying the stage manager can just step in for the actor because the know all the entrances. Give me a break. Small companies shouldn’t hire CDs because they often can’t pay them what they are worth, not because they don’t need them.

    It is a CD's job to have three or four versions of exactly what the director wants at any given time. They are there because while the director has sat in 3 auditions that year, the CD has sat in 100 of them and has WAY more performers on their radar. If you can’t understand the value that brings to the table, I don’t know what to tell you.

    AuditionUpdate 10/22/2014  4:40pm

    "It is a CD's job to have three or four versions of exactly what the director wants at any given time."

    In practice the CD will provide what he or she THINKS the director wants, or worse and more commonly who the CD THINKS the director should cast. This can be very much at odds with what the director would actually be happy to see or who s/he would employ. If I'm turned down after auditioning for the actual director, too bad. At least I've had an opportunity. If, however, a CD consistently refuses to have me in for something I know I'd actually have at least a chance of booking were the director to have any choice in the matter, I'm going to draw the conclusion that my letters are being intercepted by a niece/nephew intern unfamiliar with both non-American drama schools and joined-up writing, my resume/reel unviewed/unwatched, and invitations to shows in town ignored.

    Ron Gielgud 10/22/2014  8:00pm

    "AudraLupone" -- I think you once again totally missed the point of what this CD was saying. Do you typically go to auditions in sweats? You have to "suggest" the character to the best of your ability through wardrobe and look, this is a visual business. That's not to mean you should show up in full regalia if you're auditoning for the Queen, but you shouldn't turn up in tights either. But I would think this was obvious....

    dopplegang 10/23/2014  10:00am

    youtu.be

    This might be of value for you to watch.

    thelordvarysofacting 10/23/2014  10:34am

    Tom - I get the value it brings to the table, but my two issues with it are:

    1) There are too many lazy CDs (mostly new ones on the block). There are GREAT ones - Tara, Bob Cline, JDC, Telsey, Jim Carnahan, etc. who are worth every penny to the projects they cast. Can you imagine BOM without Carrie Gardner? Of course not. They need her to find 42 Elder Grants.
    However - there are too many "hip" CDs who cast less than they workshop. They get off on telling young actors (their 22 year old peers) how to dress and how to get jobs. They also call in their friends and favorites for auditions. I hear stories of a CD who does a lot of college work, and sleeps with girls at the schools with the promises of a strong contact in NYC.

    2) CDs are expensive! Why is East Bumfuck Rep, a LORT Z Minus, with a $500,000 annual budget hiring a CD? I can tell you, that as a small theatre that does submission auditions (for both AEA and Non-Eq) - I can get 1,000 emails for audition slots at our NYC call. Broadway veterans, every type. It takes me time to sift through and fill our slots, but it saves tons of cash. If I had to cast 12 Productions of Phantom of the Opera, with rotating casts - of course I need a CD. A 6 show SPT season? Probably not.

    LaughingArtisticDirector 10/23/2014  11:36am

    Yo Dopple,

    I think you missed the point. If you read my previous posts you would get what I was saying. I understand dressing for the part. I just think telling a girl that she should have straightened her hair or worn a different color is not something I'm paying a $100 to hear. That's a super easy fix. I want to know more about the process. I also find it interesting that every time I've gotten an audition appointment with this particular casting office they always say "dress the part." I just think it's silly that you can't see past a v-neck Tshirt for Wicked or something. I've also had a casting director that they didn't like my jeans. Okay.. But what about how I read the sides? It's just frustrating and I'm bitching, so please don't speak to me like you're smarter than me, Dopple. :)

    AudraLupone 10/23/2014  11:48am
    JDC 10/23/2014  12:06pm

    I've been told by veterans of this biz that there were no such things as CDs before, say, the mid 1980s. 1) Is this true? & 2) What changed?

    Dymphna 10/23/2014  12:18pm

    @AudraLuPone "I just think it's silly that you can't see past a v-neck Tshirt for Wicked or something. I've also had a casting director that they didn't like my jeans. Okay.. But what about how I read the sides?"

    Maybe your reading of the sides was spot-on but your outfit was distracting from work that you did. Maybe the CD knows that the suits at the network/studio won't be able to look past the cover long enough to read the book. And maybe the CD believes in you, so they're offering you advice on how to present yourself in the manner that is going to give you your best shot at booking the job.

    JDC 10/23/2014  12:52pm

    Oh my god. yep. My jeans were insulted once. I spent 24 hours busting my butt on my sides and got critiqued on my jeans. I'm glad you posted that - I feel less alone now. (and my jeans are awesome btw. You know the wear what you would wear on a date thing? I was wearing my DATE-jeans.) I totally get what you're talking about here.

    emuhe 10/23/2014  12:54pm

    I think the Artistic Director has a point regarding CDs.

    They're def. needed especially since in the 80s we started having the mega musicals which spawned numerous productions: Sitdowns, tours, etc. You need people to over see the casting on that.

    But if you're a small summer stock theater, etc, you don't really need a casting director. You can cultivate your own talent, or just have an open call.

    I've been in for some big summer theaters who were only looking for maybe one or two ensemble members, and they had a casting team, and it was an open call. So, I don't really see the point of a CD at that point. If the creatives are in the room for the open call with the casting directors, then what's the CD doing? I guess we never see behind the scenes.

    NYCActor 10/23/2014  12:55pm

    ps - in my case it was an on-camera audition - and they were taping from like ribcage up. So my critique? Was on something that literally wasn't filmed. I just won't ever wear any jeans for that cd now lol.

    emuhe 10/23/2014  12:56pm

    I like auditioning for a CD, even for a small project. I consider it a networking opportunity. Even if she doesn't think I'm right for that role and won't pass me on to the director, she now knows my work and who I am, and will hopefully keep me in mind when she's casting another project.

    bowe123 10/23/2014  2:47pm

    @AudraLupone The best job I've ever had was a result of a casting director telling me to change my clothes for a callback.
    I went in to an audition for a long running production of a classical play. I hadn't seen this particular production, but I knew the play and the role--so I dressed in what I thought was appropriate cutesy musical theater type attire. The audition went well, and they offered me a callback with the following inquiry, "Do you have jeans? Wear jeans. And pull your hair back. And no make-up."
    I booked the job.
    Now, might the director have been able to see past my cutesy dress and lip gloss? Possibly. But when I went to the EPA six months prior, he didn't notice me... and in my jeans and ponytail, I had a job.
    I'm just illustrating what everyone else is saying--Casting Directors are your advocates. They are setting you up to win, to book a job, to make them look good. This casting director gave you advice. It's your prerogative to take it or leave it or bitch about it. In this case, I think the advice is good, but ultimately, you have decide what works for you.

    Poster.Girl 10/23/2014  11:51pm
  • NAB: Self-Tape Audition vids 10/23/2014  10:06pm

    I'm primarily a singer and my agent has submitted me for a tv audition that is requiring me to submit a video audition. I just got the materials late last night and it has to be submitted by tomorrow. I've only done one other submission in my career, poorly I might add, and I'm looking for any advice, do's&don'ts, words of wisdom that could help me. Thanks in advice!

    bearatone11

    Keep it simple. Don't over produce it, just make sure audio is good, lighting is sufficient, and background is simple.

    Good Backstage article:
    www.backstage.com

    Thia 10/23/2014  10:47pm
  • NAB-Actor slates 10/22/2014  2:01pm

    Hey guys. I have a question that might be a little tacky…but mostly if this site were owned by actors access. Which it's not. So here goes!

    So, you know how actorsaccess/breakdown express has that Actor Slate company that charges $200 to get a minute of footage on your profile? Well I'm interested in getting something like that on my profile, but 1. It's super expensive (though I've heard it's worth it?), and 2. Their website says there aren't any dates available in my city. I know it says "beware of imitators," and tells us that they're the only company who can REALLY get a well edited slate video…but is it true? Have you found this to be nothing more than clever advertising to dissuade us from trying to look for competitors? Are there competitors out there that do comparable work…ones that are a) cheaper, and b) available?

    Have2FinishTheHat

    Wait...what?

    Actors Access charges $22 per minute of footage. As far as the "slate", I'm fairly certain you get one free one, and every one after is $5. Is that what you're referring to?

    You should definitely have some kind of clip or reel on AA. I've heard the slate is nice, but not 100% necessary. But it does bump your submissions to the top of the pile.

    bowe123 10/22/2014  4:56pm

    I'm now realizing I may have completely misread your post. My apologies if that's the case.

    bowe123 10/22/2014  4:58pm

    To clarify, I'm talking about this (which is directly linked from part of the video section on actors access…they seem to be affiliated somehow, but haven't really done my research into that):

    actorslate.chelseastudios.com

    Yes, I agree that I should have video available on my AA profile. I don't because I want to be considered for musical theater, commercials, and straight theater, and I just couldn't decide what I wanted to spend my money on! I'd heard good things about this service that lets you just show your personality, because that could potentially get you called in for a wider range of projects. Just wanted to learn more about my options if I take this route.

    Have2FinishTheHat 10/22/2014  8:35pm

    Just FYI, I am going to be doing another round of "Get Your Audition on Tape" next month, where rent a room at RG 520, set up the camera, and bring in an accompanist. you can then book a 10 minute time slot to come in and get yourself on tape. I then cut it together for your and put a title card on it for you.

    If you want to use that time to create an actor slate, knock yourself out.

    Also, it is only $40.

    AuditionUpdate 10/23/2014  8:38am
  • NAB: Thank you, Tom!!!!! 10/21/2014  9:03pm

    I just want to give a HUGE round of applause to Tom tor putting in a search function and a "Load More" button so threads don't disappear!

    Thank you SO much, Tom!!!!!

    actorsmom

    Does this mean no more bumps????

    Nah, that seems impossible.

    NYtheatre 10/21/2014  10:20pm

    Hear, hear! Loving the updates Tom! Thank you!

    123xyz 10/22/2014  8:17am

    Ditto. Yay Tom! Thank you!

    Bento Tinderbox 10/22/2014  10:10pm
    AuditionUpdate 10/23/2014  8:25am