Bitching Post

It's ok to get it off your chest.

  • NAB: Rock the audition 01/26/2015  12:00pm

    Hello all.
    Has anyone done a rep coaching through Rock the audition? Did you like the songs selected, find it helpful, etc. Any insight would be appreciated.

    albelle423

    YYYEEESSSSSS!!!! With Sheri?? Everyone, but EVERYONE, needs to do themselves a favor and go to this woman whenever you can! I literally gush about her to whoever will listen because she's THAT amazing at what she does. I've only done one coaching with her, and then later bought her book, which again , DO IT!! Even though my experience with her personally is minimal, I learned SO much from her, I took to it like a fish to water, so much so that I do better at the auditions where I use the pop/rock rep she gave me rather than my traditional MT rep..go figure! I've always loved moving and rocking out to music, which is probably why this was the case, lol.
    When she started this, the Broadway world was turning/had turned into shows that utilized this mainstream style of music, hence why she found the need to teach how to audition and perform in these kind of musicals. As we can see, the traditional style is coming back again, but nevertheless, this is something that we still need in out arsenal...I ADORE this woman and she does (in case you hadn't noticed already ;)

    showbizdreamer 01/28/2015  11:55am

    Sheri is wonderful!!!

    Thia 01/28/2015  12:00pm

    I LOVE Sherri - I originally found her on StageBuddy. Here's a great video of her giving advise about what NOT to sing at an audition:

    stagebuddy.com

    Akt 01/28/2015  2:49pm

    Great link

    Signed 01/28/2015  3:15pm
  • NAB Headshot Inquiry 01/27/2015  5:51pm

    Hey,

    Just wondering if anyone has gotten their headshots taken with DirtySugar, Ted Ely, or David Noles? Do any of these people offer discounts for booking with a friend? Trying to keep my budget in check.

    Thanks.

    Actortime

    David Noles does offer a discount when booking with a friend. He is FANTASTIC. I highly recommend him!

    tutucute4u 01/27/2015  6:39pm

    I used Ted Ely. He was super nice to work with and got me exactly what I asked for.

    Roderick 01/28/2015  12:22am

    Go to Ted. I loved working with him. And not gonna lie the shots are great. He's dedicated to getting you in the shot.

    KingJoffrey 01/28/2015  12:30am

    I need new shots and will join as your friend for any of these photographers! I can't afford their usual rates, but perhaps I can with a friend rate!

    NapTime 01/28/2015  3:03pm
  • NAB: Keeping voice up and staying in the game 01/27/2015  1:28am

    Hey team. I've been feeling a bit down about my voice - I save up and I take as many voice lessons as I can, but I simply can't afford more than twice a month at most. I'm looking for opportunities to sing in some sort of class environment or group environment to keep my voice sharp that cost less than private lessons (I pay 85 an hour). I do practice at home but it would be great to sing in a situation where I can get feedback. I'd love any suggestions, thanks!

    crashtheparty

    I just spotted this new weekly group singing class - only $5!

    bellsvoicecoaching.com

    Akt 01/28/2015  2:59pm
  • NAB: Nerds Open call on Friday 01/28/2015  2:22pm

    Quick question, this Friday there's a backstage post saying there's an open call for "Nerds". Is it actually an open call or is it an EPA and I'm reading it incorrectly?

    Icanseeyou
    random8 01/28/2015  2:38pm

    Excellent, thank you!

    I didn't even think to check equity!!

    Icanseeyou 01/28/2015  2:41pm
  • Fabio Ciro? 01/28/2015  12:03pm

    Does anyone have any experience with Fabio Ciro or The Talentbook Management? Thank you!

    Chan

    I have a couple of close friends who have worked with him with and have had not great experiences. I don't want to go into details for fear of slander or starting rumors as I these experience are not mine personally, but from what I know I'd say proceed with caution and maybe don't sign.

    INeverGotToBeAnnie 01/28/2015  2:35pm

    OOF. Ignore all my typos. We need to get an edit button up in here.

    INeverGotToBeAnnie 01/28/2015  2:37pm
  • Special Equity Discount for Crossfit in Astoria 01/28/2015  12:44pm

    Hey guys,

    I almost NEVER do free plugs and or advertising on here, but my friends at Crossfit Dynamix in Astoria are offering a special deal for Equity members right now.

    I can not say enough good things about them. The owner and head trainer Justin is literally one of the best strength trainers in the country (he is the coach of the National Champion DC Brawlers in the Grid League) and the whole staff is great.

    Don't be fooled by my cookie-dough physique. I have been out of the gym for a while now with a medical condition, but when I was training with them, I was carved out of wood.

    I really suggest you check them out if you are serious about getting in great shape.

    "CrossFit Dynamix in Astoria, Queens is having an Equity Discount! With your equity card, you will receive FREE Foundations training as well as a 2 month UNLIMITED Crossfit Membership for $300.00. Limited to one per person, however, once your 2 month promo ends, we are offering an additional 10% off on any other package purchased!
    Get Started here:

    cfdynamix.com

    AuditionUpdate

    Hey Tom- how awesome!
    Is there a chance this includes EMCs too?
    I'm guessing not, or you would have mentioned.
    But I know some other organizations include EMC in discounts.
    Thought I would ask.

    Thanks!

    MaxiFord 01/28/2015  2:12pm
  • NAB- Standardized Patient 01/26/2015  11:37am

    Has anyone ever worked as a Standardized Patient before? And if so, what was your experience like? Any insight would be helpful- I have an interview next week and am not really sure what to expect. Thanks!

    cpardmore

    Each organization that hires SPs is a little different in how they interview/hire or how they run their cases once you work for them. Some interviews are just that, an interview. Some they might ask you to do a monologue, more likely serious than comedic :) or perhaps improv a scenario.

    When working as an SP you are usually given a basic case study of who you are, why you are coming to see the doctor and what your basic medical history is. You then are pretty much in an improv situation with the doctor or student doctor using all the facts you memorized. So the more natural you can be the better. Sometimes you are sick and in pain, sometimes you are just there for a checkup and sometimes you learn bad news and have to get all emotional on the student/doctor. There are truly all kinds of situations you might be required to play. Some SP work involves physical exams some not. Often part of your job is remembering everything the doctor/student dr did or did not do in the room and filling out checklists after they leave. So good memory and attention to detail is key. Sometimes you meet with them after the session to coach them on their "performance" and help them understand how they made you feel as a patient; what they are great at and what they could improve.

    It is very interesting and potentially rewarding work since you truly are helping people be better doctors in ways they might not otherwise get in med school.

    Most places pay around $25-30 hr. But unless you work for a lot of hospitals it is probably not in and of itself gonna pay the rent on its own -- usually you are not really full time at one place and you can go weeks without being used. Also the majority of SPs are actors juggling auditions and shows etc so the people who run the programs try to be flexible with scheduling, but each place has different policies -- so that is a good thing to find out when you are interviewing. What happens when you are booked as an SP, but you get a call the night before for a dream audition :)?

    The main thing is just "be yourself" These organizations are trying to have a pool of actors that fit each case they have to portray. So you are not trying to play anything charactery. It's like film acting in that respect. With the possible added responsibility of checklists and feedback/coaching!

    Good luck with the interview and have fun.

    goforit 01/28/2015  1:51pm

    My mom has done it for years and she absolutely loves it. It can be a lot at first when you have to memorize all the facts they give you, but she makes great money and the schedules are super flexible (at least the hospital she works for in Arizona is).

    Happybuddha 01/28/2015  1:54pm
  • Been offered contracts a few times, and Jeff seems like a nice guy, but I don't know how anyone can do a contract for $100 a week. No role is worth it. The production photos all look very amateurish.

    Fatniss_Neverlean 01/28/2015  1:27pm

    Oof! Thank you!

    bears 01/28/2015  1:34pm
  • What is your one piece of advice? 01/27/2015  1:01pm

    I am presenting this Saturday in Houston at the Texas Educational Theatre Association’s (TETA) annual conference. It is basically like SETC, but for all of TX.

    The topic on my presentation is “Going from Acting to Being an Actor: Transitioning from Educational Theater into the Professional World.”

    I am working on my presentation today and thought I would ask all of you, “As working actors, what is the one piece of advice you wish you had transitioning into your career that school never taught you?”

    And…go!

    AuditionUpdate

    These are the things I frequently want to tell the new grads that I encounter in the city:

    Take things off your resume that you can't play in the real world. That might mean your resume is pretty short, and that's fine. You're brand new.

    Your type might be completely different that what you thought. That's fine. It's actually probably great!

    You don't have to go to every audition, and you don't have to be willing to accept every job. Decide where your boundaries are, and know that they will likely change.

    Learn about creative teams, not just casting offices.

    kb 01/27/2015  1:16pm

    Take more initiative, and never underestimate the power of Electronic Submissions/Media. We have so much more branding power than actors approaching this career 20 years ago. Embrace that. Make sure you know who people know who you are, and what you can do. You're capable of that. You can be successful to some degree without living in a major city, because you have the ability to showcase your talents in so many different ways. But that requires time an effort, and a vivid sense of identity/type. Just going to auditions isn't enough anymore (for most at least).

    Fatniss_Neverlean 01/27/2015  1:17pm

    Focus on building a life in the city before you start auditioning. Get a job. Get stability. Make friends. Be a person. Take acting classes and voice lessons, sure; but if you build your life around the audition grind itself, you will burn the fuck out.

    There is no one right way to "be an actor," but the myth of the Struggle Bus is real and insidious. The people in the city I consider the most "career oriented" all have active and healthy lives outside the grind. We are not investment bankers, and spending every second of every day focused on our craft will not yield the results we want.

    The job of an artist is to express a personal truth about the human experience. How the hell are you gonna do that if your idea of being a person is waiting all day at an EPA, leaving at 4 without getting seen to go to a day job you hate, then coming home to an apartment full of roommates who you can barely tolerate, only to do it all over again the next day and the next day and the next?

    thejollyraja 01/27/2015  1:32pm

    Don't be afraid! embrace every opportunity and put yourself out there. Trust yourself and know if you exude positivity and confidence- people will be more likely to cast you. Drive means more than talent. Just show up!

    PingyZ 01/27/2015  1:34pm

    Being a nice and real person is just as important as being talented and right for what they are looking for. Be a whole person, with a personality, self regard for others, harder worker, and building others up instead of tearing them down. It sounds so simple but after being at school where they drill professionalism and that you have to do things a certain way, it seems to fall by the wayside.

    whatamidoingwithmylife 01/27/2015  1:37pm

    The worst advice given to young actors is "Follow your dreams."

    It's horseshit. You know what's good advice?

    "Do the shit you don't want to do."

    redredrose 01/27/2015  1:48pm

    1) Learn how to audition and love it. You may think that acting is your job, but in all truth and honesty, it's not. Auditioning is your job. And if you're good at it, then you get to act.

    2) Learn to "let go" after every audition. You cannot control what happens after you step out of that room. You may not get the job based on your eye color, or hair color, or height. Or they might be looking for a certain type, or a well-known actor. You just don't know. And if you can't let go after each audition, you will go crazy.

    3) Practice your art every day. For me, this means working monologues and songs, taking classes, practicing cold reads, etc. Figure out what it means for you, and then do it.

    4) Be kind. Everybody starts at the bottom, not knowing anything. Be kind to those who are just beginning and be kind to those who are veterans. You never know when it might pay off, and what's more, being kind often means becoming friends. And friends can make all the difference in your life.

    actingmusician 01/27/2015  2:13pm

    The profession is hard. If you aren't working hard, you are probably not working at all.

    Get a website. Get a reel. Get good headshots. Format your resume in a somewhat honest and intelligible way. - And keep all of those things up to date.

    Be honest with yourself and know your type. Not knowing your type is the single worst thing you can do for your career. Just because you want to be an ingenue doesn't mean you are.

    Don't be afraid to take a step back, or a side step. I decided after acting, and after an MFA, that I wanted to get married - and touring and regional gigs weren't going to let that happen. I started teaching and working low theatre admin jobs.

    Never forget that you have to get lucky. You have to get seen. You have to know people. You have to hope and pray that the right gig comes along.

    Lastly, no one will ever understand what you do.

    LaughingArtisticDirector 01/27/2015  2:30pm

    Oh gosh. I'm not sure I can boil it down to a pin point. But seeing me at my first audition - in a suit / crappy resume / crappy headshot - to me now is quite a change. There are just so many things you learn from going to auditions. So I would say hit the ground running and get the experience and don't expect immediate results.

    NYCActor 01/27/2015  2:37pm

    They probably won't let you say "shit" at TETA.

    redredrose 01/27/2015  2:47pm

    don't be a jerk because it will come back to bite you if you intend to be in the business for the long haul.

    people who I used to be audition buddies with are now major casting directors and agents.

    also one of my favorite stories to tell is how I was walking into a studio on the way upstairs for an audition. A man was holding the door and 5 people walked in and none said thank you. I said thank you as I walked by and he commented on it and we chatted in the elevator. 20 minutes later I walk into my audition, and who is behind the table? The man who held the door. I booked that job.

    I sing therefore I am 01/27/2015  3:19pm

    Don't tell friends your audition update user name. You'll regret that shit.

    PornFlakes 01/27/2015  4:11pm

    Fall down, get back up. Repeat.

    5AMwakeup 01/27/2015  4:38pm

    Have interests outside of acting and pursue them.

    Sometimes people in the industry can make you feel like if you have other interests and you're not at 17 auditions every day you don't belong in the business. It's horse shit. It doesn't make you less of an actor; it doesn't make you not a real actor.

    You do you. Explore all your interests fully because they are what make you a whole person and an individual, and that's what you bring into the room with you when you audition.

    jmf 01/28/2015  1:44am

    Think of graduation as the beginning of your education, and not the end of it! And don't assume that having a degree will magically create opportunities for you. It will certainly help, but resting on degree from a fancy acting school (as I did when I first got out) or even resting on opportunities garnered from said fancy acting school's showcase, is an easy way to lose several years to "waiting around." From the beginning to the end of our careers, we MUST create opportunities for themselves. Not only because it's smart from a business standpoint, but because creation is one of the only ways for artists to stay sane. If we are not given the opportunity to work for someone else (and everyone will have a dry spell at some point) then we need to be able to work for ourselves.
    Take class. I know, school was expensive and you want a break from classes... just shut up and take class. And never stop trying to get better at the craft AND the business.

    makeitwork 01/28/2015  10:21am

    Like some here have already said, it's hard to pinpoint ONE piece, since everyone's experience is so different, but I'll give my few for good measure.

    1. Do you best to find a balance between career/craft and social life. Funny thing is we must live life to be able to better our craft, but the work on said craft is also necessary, so strike that balance as best you can.

    2. Don't go to every audition just because you can/to be seen. Yes it's important to be seen and get used to auditioning but you also want to be seen for the things you are 'right' for and/or are truly interested in. Also you'll possibly suffer burn out. You still want to give good auditions. Pick and choose wisely which auditions to attend, and this art will come with more practice too :) Basically this moral is 'quality over quantity'.

    3. What you learned in college is NOT the end all to beat all. In fact, it's far from it (I'm bashing going to college here, it's still a good thing). College is more 'working on your skills' than anything, which in and of itself is good, but what I learned after college, and the experiences I had, have been far more useful to me than anything. Experience somehow is still the best teacher. Not everything comes from a book. Like one teacher of mine said "It's like throwing spaghetti on the wall. Take what you have, and sees what sticks'. Throw out what didn't/doesn't work for you and keep what does.

    4. There is no ONE perfect way to find success in this business. Everyone's definition of success is different, and since that's the case, everyone reaches that 'success' differently. Kind of ties in with my number 3 above. Find your niche and embrace it, and if somehow your niche changes or your definition of success changes, don't be afraid to listen to you gut/voice in your head saying this. Everyone's pace is different. Kind of like in Tangled, they both had a dream but, that dream (success), ended up changing ;) Don't feel like that's a bad thing if it does! "That's the good part I guess...you get to go find a new dream" Pardon my Disnerdiness ;)

    I know this more than a 'few' but these have come into my life so much these past few years that they've become MY number one pieces of advice, I can't help but share them all.

    showbizdreamer 01/28/2015  12:31pm

    I meant "not bashing going to college" because coffee hasn't kicked in yet

    showbizdreamer 01/28/2015  12:37pm
  • Music circus pianist 01/27/2015  3:43pm

    Anyone else have an issue today? I came in with 32 bars that I regulary audition with, went through the cut to show her a meter change (which was highlighted), and sang a bit for the tempo. After I started, she completely jumped a bar halfway through the cut.

    I mean I kept doing my thing but it's disappointing when you are auditioning for a high tier equity job and the pianist struggles with your piece. It was not Sondheim. It's actually from a fairly popular show that was on Broadway in the past 10 years.

    i have no idea what the team was thinking, of course, but this cut never stumps the pianist at other auditions. Just disappointed.

    Proto Zoa

    Without knowing the piece, the cut, and how your music is marked, its hard to really say anything except that everyone makes mistakes. Your description of the incident doesn't sound quite like she "struggled" with the piece, only that she mistakenly jumped a bar (hopefully she was able to get back with you).

    Audition pianists are not robots, or machines. The best pianists make mistakes, just as the best singers and actors make mistakes. The important thing is how the mistake is worked through collaboratively. The accompanist is (or should be, anyway) there to work WITH you, whatever happens. It is not likely she made the mistake without realizing it almost right away, and believe me when I say that making a mistake like that doesn't affect us as well. You are correct that it would not likely have an effect on the casting decision, and on the contrary can highlight your ability to work through a tough situation.

    MotherMonsterApproved 01/27/2015  4:54pm

    She never did get back with me again. I feel that most audition pianists would have.

    I do realize that people make mistakes but I know so many talented pianists and I don't understand how she had the job while others go empty handed.

    Proto Zoa 01/27/2015  5:36pm

    It is too bad she was unable to get back with you. Its unfortunate, but then the audition becomes about how you handle the situation on top of your performance. It sounds like you handled it well by getting through, so kudos on that! In the future, don't be afraid to stop and start again if it is going to not allow you the best possible audition.

    As for her getting the job over someone else, there are a variety of factors I'm sure. Availability of other accompanists, her rapport with the company, etc. As I said before, a mistake is a mistake and does not necessarily reflect the skill of the individual making it. I've sight read my way through any number of Sondheim pieces with precision, and flubbed on Hammerstein. These things happen.

    MotherMonsterApproved 01/27/2015  5:45pm

    *Rodgers and Hammerstein. The only thing more embarrassing than flubbing notes in Oklahoma would be listing Hammerstein as the writer of the music.

    MotherMonsterApproved 01/27/2015  6:02pm

    I had absolutely no issues with her, and my music had an awkward (but intuitive) cut, two key changes, and two molto rallantandi.

    thejollyraja 01/27/2015  7:56pm

    I also didn't have issues...BUT this has happened to me in the past on similar 'how the hell could you screw that up' moments.

    I always call it a silver lining...if it's not marked, mark it. If it is marked, highlight it. If it's all of the above, ALWAYS point it out at EVERY audition. Now you have the confidence it'll never happen again! :)

    AFTC 01/27/2015  8:35pm

    Multiple people had issues with the pianist. A couple of my friends who went ahead of me warned me about her. Even after going in optimistic, I didn't have the best experience with her either.

    stepintime 01/28/2015  1:24am

    Oh MotherMonster, I love how you always jump to the pianists' defense! That might have sounded sarcastic here on the bitching post, but I really mean it! It's good for us to hear perspective from the other side of the bench.

    That said...that accompanist was a full bar ahead of me for the first half of my song, and I was surprised at how long it took for her to catch it. Also overheard someone talking about how their piece was played much slower than she is used to. Not looking to bash her, it wasn't like she butchered my song....but rest easy that you weren't alone!

    Have2FinishTheHat 01/28/2015  12:31pm