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FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH...

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  • Donise Hardy
    FOR WHAT IT S WORTH. Let s talk WARDROBE for commercial auditions! When you are invited in to audition for a commercial role (and make no mistake about it,
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 1, 2013
      FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.

      Let's talk WARDROBE for commercial auditions!

      When you are invited in to audition for a commercial role (and make no
      mistake about it,
      every audition regardless of the nature of it is an invitation extended to
      you by the Casting Director),
      that means you have already "beat out" a ton of competition because of your
      look and possibly,
      because of special abilities listed on your resume. Congratulations!

      You need to be on top of your game when you walk into the studio. It is
      imperative that you
      DRESS TO the role in any commercial audition.

      Think about it. If you are auditioning for a theatrical role, the script
      may offer 10, 20, 30 or more
      pages in order for your character to develop. A commercial script doesn't
      have the luxury of building
      up to whom you are. You have to be IT the instant you walk in the door.

      Don't leave it to the imagination of the decision makers as to how you would
      look as a construction
      worker, doctor, police officer, jogger, nurse, bride, cheerleader, etc.! Go
      looking like it!

      You can haunt places like Goodwill or Salvation Army for scrubs, fishing
      garb, cyclists' shorts, tennis
      outfits and so forth. These items are usually tax deductible as well, if
      they are not something you would
      use on a regular personal basis. (I'm not an accountant, so check with
      yours!)

      Just be certain to only wear items which bear no visible logo or slogans.
      Especially those who are
      competitors of the client!

      If the role is as a spokesperson or just a regular person on a regular day,
      then think in terms of solid pastels
      for a shirt or blouse with appropriate pants, slacks or skirt. Don't wear
      busy prints. Don't wear shinny
      jewelry. Don't wear anything that is going to upstage you! Leave the
      glitter and sparkles at home. That
      being said, analyze the script to determine whom you are, what you are
      saying and where you are. There
      are always exceptions to the rules!

      And it doesn't stop there. Make sure your hair and makeup are appropriate
      for the character and wardrobe
      as well. Leave the jewelry at home unless it enhances the overall look of
      the character.

      Young actors are usually seen right after school, so we expect them to just
      come casually dressed. However,
      if we are looking for a skateboarder, bring yours in! Or a football player,
      wear a jersey bearing a number but
      no name! Or anything that would be simple for a parent to just throw in the
      car for the audition.

      But always remember: Dress for success!

      Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to write about the monthly
      column. And, as always, thanks to
      Dan Eggleston for his approval in doing this and posting it to his various
      sites.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.

      And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD.
      Also, always keep in mind, that your
      agent has the final word on everything pertaining to your career, so listen
      to him/her!

      Happy August! Try and stay cool!

      Donise L. Hardy, CSA
      donise@...
      C August 1, 2013
    • Donise Hardy
      FOR WHAT IT S WORTH. Let s talk about working for free or for just a mere pittance! Each day while reading the various postings on industry-related sites, I am
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2013
        FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.

        Let's talk about working for free or for just a mere pittance!

        Each day while reading the various postings on industry-related sites, I am
        amazed at how many people expect you to work for free or just a few dollars
        and am stunned by some multi-million dollar corporations trying to get you
        to work for nothing or next to it! They just figure you don't know any
        better. And, unfortunately for many of you, you don't!

        Be very careful out there! Yes, it is great to work on a student film for
        one of the local colleges or fledgling film makers, but you need to be
        certain to see the entire script before accepting a role. Do your due
        diligence to be sure there is nothing contained in the script to which you
        object, i.e. smoking, drinking, cursing, sexual content, religious content,
        political content, etc.

        Performances in student films and shorts may be listed on your resume and
        can indeed help build it. BUT, always ask yourself, before accepting any
        job, "How is this going to advance my career?"

        Working for a few hundred dollars on a commercial can be very costly to you.
        As an example, let's say that you work on an IBM commercial. That will put
        you in conflict with Apple, Dell, Samsung, etc. prohibiting you for working
        for them. That can cost you not only a possible future SAG-AFTRA job with
        its union rates, overtime, penalties, etc. it will cost you residuals as
        well for as long as the first commercial is running! Always check and see
        what the conflicts are before doing any commercials. Agents will most
        likely not submit you on poor-paying jobs because they understand the
        ramifications.

        There are all types of conflicts: Fast Food Restaurants (McDonald's,
        What-A-Burger, Jack In The Box, Wendy's, Sonic, etc.); Casual Dining
        (Appleby's, Chili's, Olive Garden, Carino's, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, etc.);
        Soda (Coca Cola, Pepsi, RC Cola, Dr Pepper, 7-Up, etc.); and, Automobiles
        (Toyota, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Audi, Saab, Ford, Cadillac, etc.). These
        are just a few examples of hundreds of possible conflicts. As long as a
        commercial is running and you are being paid, you cannot do a commercial
        which conflicts with it. If in doubt, ask your agent. If you don't have an
        agent, ask the Casting Director. You can be held financially responsible
        for the re-shoot of a spot if you have a conflict! So you really want to be
        careful here. If in doubt, don't!

        The other thing you should understand is "perpetuity". When you sign a
        contract for a commercial project that is going to run "in perpetuity", that
        means the client has the right to use your image FOREVER. And you are
        FOREVER not able to accept a job which would put you in conflict. As a
        Casting Director, I refuse to work on any project that requires perpetuity
        because I personally feel that it is just short of highway robbery unless
        the client pays you an exorbitant amount of money. And they won't!

        "Stock photography" is another area where you must be very careful. The
        photographer owns your image (in perpetuity). They may pay the model $80 -
        $100 for the day and sell that image over and over and over possibly making
        thousands and thousands of dollars. Imagine driving down the highway 10
        years later and seeing yourself on a billboard!

        I understand that you just want to work, but your time, efforts and talent
        are worth something! If you are just looking for some "set experience",
        then fine, but be careful of what your commitment entails.

        Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to write about the monthly
        column. And, as always, thanks to Dan Eggleston for his approval in doing
        this and posting it to his various sites.

        Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.

        And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD.
        Also, always keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything
        pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!

        Happy Autumn! Here's to cooler temperatures and lots of rain!

        Donise L. Hardy, CSA
        www.acastingplace.net
        donise@...
        C October 1, 2013
      • Donise Hardy
        For those of you who may have missed any of the monthly columns, they are now available on my website: www.acastingplace.net The columns, which appear here on
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 25, 2014
          For those of you who may have missed any of the monthly columns, they are
          now available on my website: www.acastingplace.net

          The columns, which appear here on the 1st of each month, deal with
          auditioning tips, resumes, headshots, taped auditions, terminology and so
          much more! I hope you find them informative and helpful.

          As always, if you have any questions you'd like answered, please email me
          at: donise@...

          I'll do my best for you!

          Donise L. Hardy, CSA
          www.acastingplace.net
          donise@...
        • Donise Hardy
          FOR WHAT IT S WORTH. Let s talk about kidz in the biz. Texas is much more lax with its rules and regulations about minors on a set than most other states.
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 1, 2014
            FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.

            Let's talk about kidz in the biz.

            Texas is much more lax with its rules and regulations about minors on a set
            than most other states. That is both good and bad.

            I spoke to Jerry Ramos of the Texas Workforce Commission in conjunction with
            an upcoming project.

            I would suggest all parents visit www.texasworkforce.org in order to
            familiarize yourselves with the law. Chapter 817 of the Texas
            Administrative Code covers Child Labor Laws for those in the entertainment
            business.

            Some of the highlights of our conversation:

            . Children UNDER the age of 14, must have a Child Actor Card (work
            permit) in order to work in commercial and theatrical productions. The
            easiest way to do this is to visit that website and download the
            application. Please read and follow all the directions given.

            . You may mail it in or take it to their offices at 1117 Trinity,
            Austin, TX. You would need to also bring a birth certificate or other proof
            of age together with a passport photo. If you are in a rush, have it there
            at 9AM and it should be ready by Noon.

            . Children may only work a maximum of 8 hours a day. They are not
            permitted to work between the hours of 10PM and 5AM if the next day is a
            school day. If there is no school, they may work up until midnight only but
            not again until 5AM.

            . A set tutor is required if the child is of school age and missing
            any school. Parents should always bring their child's homework with them to
            the set so the kids will have something meaningful to work on.

            . Models (under the age of 14) are not required to have a Child Actor
            Card! There are no rules and regulations pertaining to that category but it
            is left to the parent to exercise good judgment as to hours, etc.

            If you have questions, feel free to contact Mr. Ramos at:
            jerry.ramos@...

            Some things for you to consider:

            Always arrive on set 10 minutes before your call time. Allow time for
            parking, walking to set and checking in with the appropriate crew member
            (1st AD, 2nd AD, etc.). Be sure and have the Child Actor Card with you.

            If you cannot take your child to the set but have asked a family member or
            trusted friend to do so, make sure that person has a temporary Power of
            Attorney allowing him/her to seek medical treatment for your child should it
            become necessary to do so.

            Parents should make sure that their children are well taken care of on a
            set. They should always be within eye-shot or ear-shot of their child
            without being obtrusive. Remember, there is only 1 director on the set and
            it isn't you. Let the crew do their jobs. If you have concerns about
            something that is going on, tell the 1st AD about it. If a crew member has
            been appointed to oversee the children, tell him/her.

            You need to be aware of your child's needs and bring them up politely if
            need be. The crew all have other jobs and they may miss essentials. Be
            sure your child gets to the bathroom before he/she is called on for their
            scene(s) as some children are afraid to admit they have to "go" once they
            are on set since there are a lot of people standing around looking at them.
            You may need to check with them quietly if they've been on set for a while.

            Don't be afraid to say no. If a situation arises that you feel would
            jeopardize your child's safety and it was not previously disclosed and
            agreed to, call your agent immediately. If you do not have an agent, talk
            to either the 1st AD or designated crew member.

            Contracts and releases may be given to you on the set. Be sure and read
            them. If any of the details agreed to have been changed, call your agent or
            talk to either the 1st AD or designated crew member. You should obtain a
            copy of anything you sign. Often all of this has been done before hand.
            You'll still have a voucher (time card) to fill out and sign.

            There is usually a table providing "craft services" either for everyone or
            separate tables for principals and extras. This is not a shopping or
            grazing opportunity. Please be respectful.

            If your child is on medication, make sure you have it with you. If your
            child has food allergies, make sure that production knows ahead of time so
            they may plan accordingly or bring your own food and snacks.

            Make sure your child is well-rested before reporting to set. It is always a
            good idea to have a healthy (sugar-free) meal before going to work plus a
            really good night's sleep.

            Take something to entertain yourself (puzzles, books, anything that doesn't
            make noise, etc.) while your child is working. These can be long days with
            little to nothing to do but sit around. Sort of like watching grass grow or
            paint dry.

            It is imperative that you and your child be polite! "Please" and "Thank
            you" are essential words on a set and go a long way! Thank anyone who helps
            you whether it is hair, wardrobe, caterer, crafts services, etc. All crew
            work extremely hard and very long hours, so a little kindness goes a long
            way.

            This should be a great experience for both you and your child. So have fun,
            be respectful and polite.

            Today is the one-year anniversary of this monthly column! Thanks to all of
            you who have been kind enough to write. And, as always, thanks to Dan
            Eggleston for his approval in doing this and posting it to his various
            sites.

            Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.

            And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD.
            Also, always keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything
            pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!

            Enjoy Mardi Gras! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Happy First Day of Spring on
            the 20th!

            Donise L. Hardy, CSA
            C March 1, 2014
            donise@...
            www.acastingplace.net
          • Donise Hardy
            FOR WHAT IT S WORTH. Let s talk about role definitions. The best way to know exactly how to list a project on your resume is to look at your contract. The
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 1, 2014
              FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.

              Let's talk about "role" definitions. The best way to know exactly how to
              list a project on your resume is to look at your contract. The contract
              will define your role as to category. The contract will also state how (and
              if) you are to receive screen credit and where (above the title, below the
              title, single card, shared card, end roll, etc.) Your agent will negotiate
              where and how credit is to be given.

              Keep in mind that many people have different definitions for the following.
              Resume terms which I suggest are:

              FILM:

              STARRING
              CO-STAR
              GUEST STAR
              SUPPORTING
              FEATURED

              Starring: The main character(s);

              Co-Star: A significant role; lots of dialogue and scenes that support the
              lead actors;

              Guest Star: A significant, but smaller role also supporting the lead
              actors;

              Supporting: A significant role; and,

              Featured: A smaller role that may or may not have dialogue.


              TELEVISION:

              SERIES LEAD
              RECURRING
              STARRING
              GUEST STAR
              GUEST CO-STAR

              Series Lead: The main character(s) in a television show who usually appear
              in almost every episode of the season;

              Recurring: A character who has a significant part in the storyline and
              appears in more than one episode;

              Starring: A character who has a significant part in the storyline and
              appears in multiple scenes of one episode and is there to support the lead
              actors;

              Guest Star: A character who has a smaller part in the storyline of one
              episode and usually appears in multiple of scenes and is there to support
              the lead actors; and,

              Guest Co-star: A supporting role who usually has less dialogue than a guest
              star.

              Other terms which are occasionally used:

              Cameo: Usually a smaller role in a film played by a well-known celebrity,
              and does get on-screen credit;

              Day-player: A small role that is usually shot in one day. Also referred to
              as a "U-5" (under 5 lines) and should receive on-screen credit;

              Featured Extra: An actor who does not have lines but is given special
              focus; screen credit is rare.

              Extras or Background Players: Never given screen credit; no dialogue and
              are there to fill in the background, i.e. patrons in a restaurant, fans at a
              ballgame, workers in an office, etc.

              THEATRE:

              On a resume, the name of the play should be on the left, the second column
              should list the name of the character portrayed and on the right is the
              theatre or venue and possibly city and state, where the performance was
              presented.

              Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to write about the monthly
              column. And, as always, thanks to Dan Eggleston for his approval in doing
              this and posting it to his various sites.

              Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.
              And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD.
              Also, always keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything
              pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!

              To view previous columns, go to: www.acastingplace.net and look under "News
              & Tips".

              Happy Independence Day! Remember, if you don't have a 5th on the 4th you'll
              live to see the 6th!

              Donise L. Hardy, CSA
              C July 1, 2014
              donise@...
              www.acastingplace.net
            • Donise Hardy
              FOR WHAT IT S WORTH. Let s talk about marketing. Congratulations! You are now the sole proprietor of your own small business: YOU! You are the President and
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 1, 2014
                FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.

                Let's talk about marketing.

                Congratulations! You are now the sole proprietor of your own small
                business: YOU! You are the President and the Janitor! Yay you.

                No one can market you like you can because who knows you better? A strong
                and thoughtful marketing campaign can become the difference between success
                and failure. You need to be known to decision makers and recognized by
                them.

                Agents market their agencies, but when you consider that they represent
                anywhere from 150 - 650 people, how can they be expected to market the
                individual actors?

                You must create a mailing list comprised of people who have hired you for
                previous roles; casters who have brought you in; casters who haven't brought
                you in; producers; directors; anyone you've met on a set with the potential
                to hire you; and, anyone else you can think of! This mailing list must be
                kept up to date so that you don't waste time, money and postage. Lots of
                decision makers are listed at the Texas Film Commission website:
                film@... See "Directory". Be sure and check out the credits
                people have listed because some are on there who haven't done anything in
                years. Skip them!

                So, how do you go about marketing you? First I'd suggest networking whether
                at an industry event or forum, a social event, a business meeting, a
                premiere, a play or even on a set! (Be mindful not to get in anyone's way
                while they are working!) Always ask for a business card! And then give
                them yours.

                You should always be armed with at least 10 - 15 headshots and resumes, just
                in case you unexpectedly run into someone who is producing, directing,
                writing or involved in a new project.

                Second, business cards are an excellent way to spread your picture and
                contact information. Business cards are not expensive and can be ordered
                through many on-line companies, i.e. Vista Prints. My personal feeling is
                that you should use the same headshot on your business cards that you are
                currently using. It helps with continuity and recognition. Have your
                headshot, name and contact information clearly printed. Remember, if you
                have an agent all personal information goes away and only the agent's
                information appears. The exception would be listing various sites where you
                have a presence, i.e. your own actor website, Actors Access, Casting
                Networks and/or Now Casting. Do not use "ACTOR" on the card!

                Third would be post cards. I urge my students to send a post card at least
                once a month to all persons who have hired them, may hire them or bring them
                in for an audition. Again, the same headshot and contact information should
                be utilized.

                You should definitely send a post card immediately to all your mailing list
                when you book a job, get a part in a play or do anything noteworthy in the
                industry. Let casters know if you have a new agent or have changed
                agencies. We want to be able to find you!

                Let us know if you have begun studying with a new coach or have completed
                sessions with an existing coach.

                Write thank you cards after auditions!

                And if you decide to send a thank you gift, holiday or birthday greeting,
                think in terms of note pads, "Things to do Today" pads or Post It Notes,
                with your picture and agency contact on them! You are on the recipient's
                desk all day looking at him/her!

                Some other thoughts include:

                Create your own website so that people can see all of your information in
                one convenient spot. Headshots, resume, demo reel, bio and any other
                pertinent data may be viewed.

                Go to a reputable school, i.e. State Theatre in Austin, and/or study with
                reputable coaches. Casting Directors look at your training on your resume
                to see with whom you have studied. If you have an agent, ask them whom they
                recommend. If not, talk to other actors about their experiences, both good
                and bad.

                Take a workshop with a casting director you would like to know.

                The whole point of marketing is creating relationships with those who can
                help you on your way to a very successful career.

                Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to write about the monthly
                column. And, as always, thanks to Dan Eggleston for his approval in doing
                this and posting it to his various sites.

                Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.

                And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD.
                Also, always keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything
                pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!

                Happy Labor Day! Happy Grandparents Day on the 7th! Happy Last Day of
                Summer/First Day of Autumn on the 23rd! Shalom for Rosh Hashanah on the
                24th!

                Hope to see you at the Network Austin Mixer on the 10th! We are presenting
                our First Annual Talent Showcase! An excellent marketing tool for those who
                signed up to appear!

                Donise L. Hardy, CSA
                C September 1, 2014
                donise@...
                www.acastingplace.net
              • Donise
                FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH… Let’s talk about performing on stage… One of the first things many casting directors look at on your resume is “THEATRE”!
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 1, 2015

                  FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH…

                   

                  Let’s talk about performing on stage…

                   

                  One of the first things many casting directors look at on your resume is “THEATRE”!  This is where you really learn the art of acting and the incredibly important art of listening!

                   

                  In the theatre, you only get one take!  So when we see various plays in which you have appeared, it says that someone out there thought you could act or would not have cast you in their project.

                   

                  Plays, regardless of the venue, are extremely valuable assets to you.  A play is a play is a play regardless of where it is performed.  Young actors have the opportunity to appear in plays through their drama class or drama club at their schools.  Plays are presented in various venues other than “legitimate” theatres.  Think about elementary school plays, middle school or high school; colleges offer amazing outlets for plays as do churches, synagogues, community centers and rental halls!

                   

                  This is a very demanding art form because of time; time to committing the dialogue to memory, table reads, rehearsals, fittings, dress rehearsals, choreography, music lyrics and then of course, all the actual performances!

                   

                  Several years ago several young child actors I knew very well, were cast in “The Sound of Music” being presented at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.  It was incredibly difficult for them because of the performances that would last until about 10 o’clock in the evenings, on school nights!  The major commitment was, of course, on their parents who had to sit patiently backstage while the children performed.  Then homework was squeezed in whenever possible.  So, it takes a very disciplined and dedicated person, whether performer or parent!  And a casting director will definitely take note!

                   

                  I strongly encourage you to watch for theatrical auditions available and get yourself booked in a play!  It will be a very rewarding, but challenging, opportunity!  And it offers instant gratification.

                   

                  If you have a long list of appearances that will overcrowd your resume, I suggest you pick 4 or 5 of the most well-known plays for listing individually.  Next to the word “Theatre” on your resume, you may add a number.  So, basically it would look like this:

                   

                  THEATRE (27 Plays):

                   

                  And then the list of the ones you’ve selected to highlight.  Also, on the resume you should name the play, name the character you portrayed and then the venue.  For example:

                   

                  ALICE IN WONDERLAND                        ALICE                     PALACE THEATRE, G’TOWN, TX

                   

                  Be sure and invite, as your guests, your agent to a performance as well as the local casting directors.  We all would love an opportunity to see your work, together with that of the rest of the cast. 

                   

                  Break a leg!

                   

                  Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to write about the monthly column.  And, as always, thanks to Dan Eggleston for his approval in doing this and posting it to his various sites.

                   

                        Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.

                   

                        And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD.  Also, always keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!

                   

                        HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!  HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY!

                   

                        Hope to see you at the Network Austin Mixer on the 11th!  Our panel this month features our second group of Talent Agency Owners/Agents.  Scheduled to appear are Jason Lee, Acclaim Talent, Erin Franklin, Agence Talent, Heather Collier, Collier Talent, Linda Alvarez, Condra/Artista Talent and Romie Szal, K Hall Talent and, possibly, one more last-minute addition!  Non-represented talent are encouraged to bring 7 headshots/ resumes to be given to the agents.  Be sure and visit www.networkaustinmixer.com for additional information.

                   

                        Donise L. Hardy, CSA

                        © February 1, 2015

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