Bitching Post

It's ok to get it off your chest.

  • NAB - The Secret Theatre 11/26/2014  5:44pm

    Can we add The Secret Theatre (in LIC) to the Gig & Tell? I couldn't find that thread asking for theatres to add to the site.

    In the meantime, anyone have any experience to share?

    Thanks!

    Bento Tinderbox

    I haven't worked for the Secret Theatre, but I have done a show there. This place often rents out to other companies - hopefully people will be really clear on Gig & Tell / in response to this post.

    Mercutio 11/26/2014  10:28pm

    Got offered a show but turned it down because I got offered another show. They're great people. Super sweet, super nice. I still talk to some of them to this day.

    I mean, it's still a no-pay, high time commitment kind of thing (which isn't my thing), and I didn't see the production so I can't speak for quality.

    AudraLupone 11/27/2014  2:00am
  • Audition Videos 11/25/2014  7:37pm

    Whenever I record an audition video using my iPhone, the quality is really pretty great. As soon as I upload to youtube, it is CRAP. Any suggestions?? Thanks!

    ShantiShakti

    I always use my iPhone for videos, and I've learned that great lighting goes a LONG way. I have this floor lamp with strong light bulbs and I position it near me. Works great!

    attheballet 11/25/2014  8:10pm

    attheballet - Right...I'm saying it always looks great on my phone, but youtube messes with the quality.

    ShantiShakti 11/26/2014  12:50am

    It depends on the size of the file you load on there. I always choose large and high def... it still isn't as great as it is on the phone... but its better

    DorothyMichaels 11/26/2014  2:33pm

    I have found that if you or a friend has a newer model of Ipad, it comes out much better than on an Iphone if the lighting is good.

    Icanseeyou 11/26/2014  11:53pm
  • Who you really want... 11/26/2014  4:03pm

    We actors at least the good ones sometimes forget we have a fair amount of power in our presentation, passion, professionalism and our great work through the stage, in bookings, at auditions etc you all get it. There are many agents, mgrs who subsist through maybe one to three big bookers on their roster. Other agents talk a great game, but blame us when they can't get us out. News flash...it is their job to not only submit, but to get us appropriate auditions. It is not our fault when we do not get appts through representation. It is either no fault, or let's face it..the responsibility rests with the agent. At the end of the day, know who we are, and go with the agent/mgr who sees our work, and offers to submit us because they are moved by what we bring to the table. We need to thank ourselves frequently, and believe we are worth good representation that helps us; not ones who blow us off, are not effective, are bullshit artists, and who are lazy. Thank us for a great Thanksgiving.

    Philotimo

    I...I'm not sure I understand your point here. I've read this five times and I got nothing.

    thejollyraja 11/26/2014  6:01pm

    ?????????

    eatthefish! 11/26/2014  8:34pm

    a bit of a rambling post......but from what I can get out of it, I guess this person is frustrated that their agent doesn't get them more auditions? In any case, it also sounds like the OP doesn't understand that the actor bears some responsibility in the actor-agent relationship.....you can't just sit back and wait for your agent to call. You also have to be doing your 90% of the job, networking, working on your craft, doing your own promotional mailings, etc. in order to maximize your agent's efforts

    dopplegang 11/26/2014  10:04pm
  • NAB-Where is your line? 11/24/2014  11:19pm

    I am just curious to ask this lovely community of actors about how some of you go about determining your moral line with material you may be asked to perform. Ex. Nudity, Extremely Offensive Material,etc. How do you determine what you will or will not do? Is it based on the financial compensation? A faith conviction? Necessity of the material to the storytelling? I'd just love to hear any and all thoughts some more experienced actors may have.

    singerguy999

    The "artistic merit", I would say. I played Jill in Equus and took off my clothes in front of hundreds of people every performance, but at almost the same time declined to do nudity in a silly "frat-boy" low budget comedy film.

    Thia 11/25/2014  12:10am

    What Thia said.

    redredrose 11/25/2014  12:26am

    I think it depends on the quality of the production. I wouldn't do nudity or anything of that matter in a non-equity production because there is no protection, no rules.

    AudraLupone 11/25/2014  1:21am

    I've never yet found it necessary for any production I've been in, but I would agree with Thia. If I felt the story and the art would be better served without clothing, I would most likely be up for it... But I'd be doing way more crunches than I do now!

    Mercutio 11/25/2014  2:58am

    I've been thinking more and more about this lately. Nudity I'd be fine with, though male nudity is usually played for laughs and is almost never "just for decoration" like it is for women. But the one storyline that gets a pretty automatic no-sir from me is a teacher/student romance (my main side job is tutoring). I'm not saying I'd never do it, but the project would have to be unbelievably prestigious, brilliantly written, and virtually guaranteed to "make me a star." Ethnic comedy stuff I'm 50/50 on, but as long as the character isn't just there to make someone else look good, I'm down to clown.

    thejollyraja 11/25/2014  7:54am

    I mean, it's kind of strange to ask other people's moral compass about this kind of thing... It's so personal. I'm not one to do a porno, but if you're comfortable with it and enjoy that sort of thing, go to town. If you're worried about how others will judge you for it, that's your own thing to deal with. Everyone feels differently about this sort of thing. Would I get naked for a non-paying student film? Probably not. But some people would, and I don't think less of them. It's just whatever you feel comfortable with. It's your body. Do with it what you will.

    BruuuceHead 11/25/2014  9:49am

    Personally I think it's easiest to draw your line before the various situations come up--like for me, I have decided that I don't want to do nudity regardless of what project it is (who knows if that would change down the line but that's what I'm comfortable with now). So I've already made that decision before coming up against the problem. I think it's easier to be objective that way

    gryffindor 11/25/2014  10:23am

    Actors are shy exhibitionists who seek safe environments in which to blaze and theory generally defers to practicality if the money's good. Professionally I've done one full frontal/full contact nude scene with an actress similarly attired, and two others visible from the back; it's just a question of getting on with the job while thinking of death, garbage and horrible automobile accidents, although surprisingly as I found out for the first show the normal male reaction is not a problem and does not occur. (I was 22 for that one and didn't know whether to be relieved or worried. Same for the other two shows but it was no longer a novelty.)

    Ron Gielgud 11/25/2014  10:46am

    "Actors are shy exhibitionists who seek safe environments in which to blaze and theory generally defers to practicality if the money's good."

    Maybe the worst over-generalization I've seen about actors, ever.

    thejollyraja 11/25/2014  10:49am

    Does what they are asking me to do drive the story and is it a story I am invested in telling? We all know that there are jobs we take for the sake of the job but are not really invested in the message (if there is one). But If I am part of telling a story that I truly believe in, and am asked to do something outside my everyday comfort zone in order to tell that story, then I will. That may mean something as serious as shaving my head and shouting all sorts of racial slurs at people to play the antagonist, or something less serious like taking my dick out. The latter of the two I actually have no problem with. You can pretty much just go ahead and ask. Sometimes you don’t even need to ask. But that’s a story for another time.

    AuditionUpdate 11/25/2014  11:48am

    Well, Rajah, to reply respectfully and reasonably to your statement above, it's simply an opinion garnered over many years in many different companies working on many different plays on many different tours and in many different theaters and film/TV sets, talking to many different actors of many different sexes and persuasions about a subject dear to the hearts of many performers and shared by the overwhelming majority of those somehow surviving in the business:

    Why in heaven's name are we actors, and how is it that a salary sanitises the outrageous behaviour and situations we portray in public as part of our profession, yet would not and indeed could not bring ourselves to behave as such in our private lives.

    After decades it's still a mystery to me and most of those with whom I've discussed it.

    Ron Gielgud 11/25/2014  3:17pm

    I once booked a role on a major cable television show, and one scene involved explicit nudity. While I wasn't thrilled about telling my parents, my Dad's reaction was incredible- "You bare much more than your body as an actress." I love my dad.

    But yes to all of the above- for me, the artistic merit of the project and the importance of nudity (or anything similar) to the storytelling are the big deciding factors.

    makeitwork 11/25/2014  3:24pm

    I have an actual response coming, but just to clear one thing up: it's spelled "Raja" ("Raj" is also acceptable if you're feelin especially chummy). There is no 'h' at the end of my name.

    This is Rajah:

    media.tumblr.com

    thejollyraja 11/25/2014  3:26pm

    @raja Could we connect through email? Some of my concerns come from the fact that I am going to be graduating college as a certified teacher in May. I'm sure, like you, my side jobs will involve teaching and tutoring and, at least for me, I think that does have an impact on what I am able to portray in my acting career. I'd love to pick your brain about that if you are willing.

    singerguy999 11/25/2014  5:41pm

    Absolutely! Shoot me an email. Thejollyraja [at] gmail [dot] com

    thejollyraja 11/25/2014  7:41pm

    Thanks! I emailed you!

    singerguy999 11/26/2014  9:42pm
  • NYT article about union vs. non-union tours 11/26/2014  9:54am

    To me, what stands out in this article is Martin Charnin saying there's no difference between Equity and non-Equity. Personally, I think THAT'S a big part of the problem: Broadway creatives working on non-Equity tours. There should be solidarity among Broadway professionals, IMO.

    www.nytimes.com

    actorsmom

    The cold, relentless drizzle outside is mixed with icy bits and is slowing becoming all snow. It's an unsightly mess.

    That well may be a metaphor for the Equity vs Non-Equity situation.

    It's the part in the middle, that "vs" that seems literally to be the problem. That "versus" is a bone in the throat.

    Why is this situation always "versus?" Why is there a hostility between Equity and those who are not (yet) Equity. I have gotten a s**t storm of abuse when I ask the next question but I have never heard, and would love to hear, a rational, productive response.

    What does Equity do, aside from EMC, to facilitate making non-Equity aspirants into members of the union? Please let me explain the kind of relationship I am speaking of.

    I was, for about 8 years, an elected member of the board that managed the NYC Chapter of the National Writers Union (UAW - AFL/CIO). We had programs to encourage and help non-members join the union. When non-members had problems with copyright or getting paid by publishers, a staff member (and all staff were themselves writers) explained their rights and offered to help them get secure those rights IF they became a member.

    Many new members joined and remained members because of that. I am not suggesting that specific service is right for Equity. I am only saying, there are ways other than the stonewall, adversarial situation embodied in "vs."

    Plumbers, carpenters, electricians and other trades have active, valuable apprentice programs that bring in qualified new members and offer the prospect of success to others outside. It's a fair assumption that most people, even those hostile to unions, recognize that the way trades people are qualified by their union, results in them being the very best you can hire, while non-union hires are a risk.

    Again I am not saying that is a useful approach by AEA. I am only pointing out, there are ways to build mutually beneficial bridges that benefit everyone from non-member to member to employer.

    I'd love to see something positive from Equity other than the unapologetic hostility we non-Equity perceive from the organization that we are supposed to consider our future.

    By asking these questions, I am not attacking the union. I think they are reasonable questions that deserve reasonable answers.

    Nor am I demanding answers. I am only trying find a one way of removing that "versus" from the equation.

    These questions are not intended to provoke the anger and ad hominem reactions I've experienced in the past and I will ignore any such responses.

    But if someone from the union would offer an open discussion of these questions, even if anonymously, I like to have that dialogue. I think it would be welcomed by the many non-Equity members of this forum.

    BTW - Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    nevertoolate 11/26/2014  2:02pm

    To me, it shouldn't be about pitting actors against actors, and I'm sorry if it came across that way. In NO way am I saying that non-union actors are less talented OR that they shouldn't take those jobs. And I absolutely agree that there should be some kind of "apprenticeship" system to join the union.

    But I also think "an Equity production" should MEAN something. I don't have a problem with non-union tours existing; I DO have a problem with them being advertised as "Broadway tours", charging Broadway prices, and having Broadway creatives like Martin Charnon on board. I don't think it's fair to have a tour that's classified as "Broadway" in every aspect EXCEPT the actors. If you're not using Equity actors, then you shouldn't be allowed to use "Broadway" anyone/anything ELSE, or to charge Broadway prices.

    That's all I'm saying. It should be clear that non-union tours are a lower tier than Equity tours. And non-union actors absolutely can and should do them to build up their credits and experience, but it should be a stepping stone to ultimately becoming Equity.

    I just feel like there should be a very clear and obvious demarcation between Equity tours and non-Eq, not just the union status of the actors involved. That's all.

    actorsmom 11/26/2014  3:18pm

    I totally agree with your point about so-called Broadway tours that are not of the quality that deserves that name. And I do not think you are saying that Equity tours, are by nature, better than non-E tours.

    Yes, it is possible that non-E tours in general are not up to the quality of Equity. But, as I understand it - and I apologize if I am wrong - nothing in a Equity contract protects a show from bad direction, bad casting and poor production values.

    I think it unfortunate that the article is framed that way while ignoring the back-story that Equity does not seem to have a welcoming and encouraging attitude and policies towards its future members.

    On a positive note, I think that a more mutually supportive situation would be of enormous benefit to the union, non-union, the shows and the audiences. Articles like this, and the situations they arise from, would be less likely to exist.

    nevertoolate 11/26/2014  3:35pm

    I think its be awesome if the directors union got behind AEA so that the creative teams would be union or non as well - I know its a different union but solidarity on the issue would be nice.

    emuhe 11/26/2014  4:22pm

    yeah... equity makes itself seem like a mean girls club that we're not allowed to join until we go through a series of ridiculous hazing rituals. i've heard numerous people on the board tell me that equity cares about every actor regardless of their union status, but the actions of some of them and their members says otherwise. :(

    vickynipples 11/26/2014  4:25pm

    "I totally agree with your point about so-called Broadway tours that are not of the quality that deserves that name."

    But that WASN'T my point. At all! :(

    My point was that Broadway professionals should be in solidarity with Equity. Whatever their union is (directors, choreographers, etc.), it should stand with Equity. So if a tour is non-Equity, then it shouldn't have a Broadway director, a Broadway choreographer, or use the original Broadway creative team.

    To me, it just isn't fair that a tour is using tons of Broadway professionals, yet NON-union actors. I think that if you're not going to use Equity actors, then you shouldn't get to use Broadway ANYTHING. And I don't think it's fair that a director that works on Broadway is free to work on a non-Equity tour, whereas actors who work on Broadway cannot work on that tour.

    Is that clearer?

    actorsmom 11/26/2014  7:25pm

    Emuhe, thanks - that's exactly what I'm saying!

    actorsmom 11/26/2014  7:26pm

    I'm sorry to triple post! I just need to make one more point. The reason it bugs me that Martin Charnin says it doesn't matter if it's Equity or not is this: on an Equity tour, the actors are protected by the union. They're working under a union contract with set minimum wages, specific benefits (like money being put into their health insurance and retirement account), and specific protections (like a certain standard of accomodations, and not having to travel more than X hours on a show day, and not working more than X days per week without a day off, and not having to load sets in and out, etc.) So when Charnin says "it doesn't matter if it's Equity," the problem is not about talent - it's about whether the actors are protected. He doesn't care if the actors on his tour are making a fair wage or if they're working under union protections. THAT'S the problem.

    The whole point of the union is to have fair wages and protections for actors. I do agree that ALL talented, well-trained, professional-level actors should have a clear path into the union, so they ALL have those fair wages and protections. But it really bugs me to hear "Oh, it doesn't matter if it's union or not, because the actors are equally talented." They may be equally talented, but they're not being equally compensated or protected. And that SHOULD matter.

    actorsmom 11/26/2014  8:40pm
  • anti-desperation deodorant 11/25/2014  12:12am

    I feel like a problem I've been having lately in auditions is that I reek of desperation. Now, I know EXACTLY what I'm doing ITR (I am actually an audition coach myself) and am very confident in my abilities, but you know what? I AM desperate. I really want to work! And I feel like that especially comes through during appointments and auditions for projects I have a great shot at. I recently got a callback from an audition for a show I couldn't see myself in, and went just because I was already in the neighborhood and wanted to get seen by that CD. So, how do I trick my brain into thinking that way for every audition and letting go of the desperation?

    bwaylvsong

    I feel you... Every big job I've ever booked was because I didn't give a shit if I got it or not. But everytime I really wanted a particular show, I never even get a callback. Go fig. I guess people behind the table like that "I don't need this job, I could give two shits" attitude. Unfortunately, that's a difficult thing to fake.

    BruuuceHead 11/25/2014  9:52am

    This...is...everything. Truest thing ever...EVER. Everything I've ever gotten (and I mean literally everything) was because my audition went SO well because I was totally relaxed BECAUSE I didn't care how it went either way...mostly. Frankly I don't know how anyone gets shows like Wicked or B and the B because EVERYONE wants those jobs, but like everything else, auditioning is somehow it's own art. To 'not care' so to speak I think is also learned. I've learned/still am learning to not raise the stakes so high, mostly because I'd rather give a good and memorable audition. Of course there will always be those auditions in which we want to that job but can't get past the nerves due to that 'want', that's just life. So the only advice I can really give is just keep learning to not raise the stakes so high. It's only something learned by auditioning consistently.

    showbizdreamer 11/25/2014  7:03pm

    Thanks, you two :-)

    bwaylvsong 11/26/2014  3:58pm

    I think showbizdreamer hit the nail on the head. When I first moved to the city I put so much pressure on "booking the job" that it almost paralyzed me in the room because I had the stakes built up so high. After a while you realize putting the emphasis on "making a good impression" is a much more obtainable feet to achieve during an audition. There is so much that is out of our control that all we really can focus on is creating good memorable and interesting work, and leave the rest to the powers that be. Stay strong everyone! :)

    Curiousmindwants2know 11/26/2014  4:15pm
  • NAB: Booty shorts 11/26/2014  9:59am

    What's the NY opinion wearing shorts for dance calls? I was taught (Way in the midwest, keep in mind, so maybe it's totally off from NY) just leotard & tights but where I'm from "booty" shorts aren't really a big thing, even in classes. Can you wear them to dance calls?

    youngactress

    Is it appropriate for the audition? If yes, go rock them! I rarely see a basic leotard and tights unless it's for something like A Chorus Line (I know Baayork prefers ladies in leos and tights). You can put thought in to your outfit but don't overthink it; presenting your best self is most important no matter what you wear.

    troybolton 11/26/2014  2:28pm
  • NAB: Hudson Valley Shakes EPAs 11/25/2014  10:59am

    Is it impossible to get seen as non-eq at these EPAs? I would imagine that the likelihood of getting seen as non-eq before 2pm is extremely low. I am debating whether I should take off work so I can stay the whole day and hope to get seen.

    Would love any insight from non-eq actors who have attended in past years.

    lacomedienne

    Not sure, but that user name is GENIUS

    Fatniss_Neverlean 11/25/2014  1:41pm

    You may have to wait to be seen, but non-eq's have been seen in the past AND I know several non-eq's who have been cast in the apprentice company after attending the EPA.

    makeitwork 11/25/2014  3:16pm

    Last year, after not getting seen at both days of EPAs (which were in late October and on weekdays, not a weekend in December like this year), I submitted and got an appointment for their local audition in Cold Springs. You may have a better shot this year, with the call being scheduled for when it is, but this is a very sought-after contract, and has been very busy in past years. But if you don't go, it's an automatic "no".

    Mercutio 11/26/2014  2:17am

    also FYI it's a new artistic director this year

    dopplegang 11/26/2014  11:22am
  • Help from my blonde friends! 11/26/2014  7:40am

    Blonde ladies, where do you affordably get your hair done in this crazy expensive city? Momma needs a touch up.

    littleeagle
  • This is so unbelievably inappropriate. Why does it even matter?

    redredrose 11/25/2014  12:00pm

    Gay and so hot.

    (You're posting on a forum called "bitching post". Lets stop pretending like formalities are a thing.)

    Fatniss_Neverlean 11/25/2014  1:40pm

    Oh, good. I'm glad this is the place to gossip about the personal lives of our peers and comrades in this business. For a second, I thought it was for professional use. Don't mind me, then.

    redredrose 11/25/2014  1:49pm

    Again. "Bitching post" a place quite literally designed for you to "bitch". Professional use?

    Fatniss_Neverlean 11/25/2014  1:56pm

    Listen, if we were talking about how HOT a female CD was, and OMG is she STRAIGHT? Cause I wanna
    DO HER (that is the subtext here, no?) This shit would blow up.

    Same principle.

    redredrose 11/25/2014  2:10pm

    Not cool. Not OK. Not the place for this discussion.

    thejollyraja 11/25/2014  2:53pm

    whoa. RELAX! I just have a mini crush

    Aussielover 11/25/2014  3:42pm

    With all the tension on my Facebook feed today, (seriously, anyone else realize there are some straight up racists in their extended family. Anyone? Just me? Great.), I don't want to see anymore fighting.

    Let's all relax. Scott is aware of this post and thought it was hilarious. He gets the final word.

    AuditionUpdate 11/25/2014  3:51pm

    If Scott's cool with it, I rescind my complaint.

    thejollyraja 11/25/2014  4:02pm

    If Scott is cool with it, then I won't bitch about it any more. But as a woman who deals daily with objectification, I'm still very much uneasy with the general tone of this type of conversation.

    redredrose 11/25/2014  4:29pm

    Even if Scott is cool with it, I still think this is inappropriate. Commenting in how nice he is is fine, but curiousity about his sexual orientation on a public forum? Not cool.

    CantaloupeOak 11/25/2014  9:14pm