Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

Welcome- I am so glad you're here! Bite-Size Business is a program created to help actors navigate the business in a way that is fun, empowering and educational.

Use the "Blog Topics" on the left to find hundreds of articles covering all areas of acting, or browse the archives for a title that sounds groovy. Feel free to leave a comment- and be sure to check each post to see if a comment was left.

And if you enjoy this blog...

• Subscribe (<--- look to the left!) so you can be updated when future articles are posted.
• You can also share this article by clicking on an icon below. Cheers!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Magazine for Theater Managers/Artistic Directors


Are you thinking about starting your own theater company or producing your own shows? You should probably be reading DramaBiz Magazine. I have been working with DramaBiz for the past two years helping give theaters all of the tools they need to run their businesses successfully (kind of sounds like what The Actors' Enterprise does for actors, huh?) This is a publication that gives you everything you need to know about running a theater, from management techniques to product features. Take a look at the articles online, or download a PDF version.

If you already have a theater company in existence and you are the primary decision maker, you can subscribe to the print edition for free.

DramaBiz Magazine is published 9 times in 2008. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Actors: Independent Contractor or Employee?


I saw a question posted on one of the many acting related websites that asked how actors are classified as workers: are they independent contractors or employees, and what are the implications of both?

Now, before I move forward let me say that I am not a tax or accounting professional- I am simply hoping to shed some light on these two classifications from my perspective as someone who has been on both sides of the table.

· Independent Contractor: Legally, this type of worker is defined as, "A person or business who performs services for another person under an express or implied agreement and who is not subject to the other's control, or right to control, the manner and means of performing the services; not as an employee." (Lectlaw.com). No federal, states or local taxes (income or employment) are taken by the employer- rather, the independent contractor is responsble for filing these taxes, as he is considered the owner of a separate business. The contractor is also responsible for the health and safety of himself- no health insurance, workers comp, or disability offered. For taxes, contractors receive 1099s from their employers.

· Employee: Legally, this type of worker is defined as, "A person who is hired by another person or business for a wage or fixed payment in exchange for personal services and who does not provide the services as part of an independent business; Any individual employed by an employer." (Lectlaw.com). Taxes are taken out, and the employer is liable for basic benefits- partial payment of employment taxes (Social Security, etc) as well as workers comp. For taxes, employees receive W2s from their employers.

· One vs the other? As actors, we normally don't get to choose which we get to be for each job. This is determined by the employer well before the project is cast. For most union jobs, actors are hired as employees through the producer, with contributions made to employment taxes, health and pension. There are some cases where union actors are paid as contractors- working with promotions, print work, and various industrials. At the end of the year, most actors will have a number of both W2s and 1099s to file when it comes to tax time.

As we head into tax season, it is recommended that you see a tax professional to find out the implications of each classification. It is also a good idea to know your legal rights in both cases, so seeing an employment lawyer is also a good idea.

With a background in non profit management as well as acting professionally, I can give you some real-world advice that can really make a difference. Contact me to set up your free consultation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Plan to be a Famous Actor?


Bonnie Gillespie has done it again, this time with an article about what to expect when your acting career shoots you into super-stardom. Take a look at it here:

The Actor's Voice

And if you are an actor, please, please, for your own sake, be sure to read her column every week. It is published, without fail, every Monday (possible exceptions are during certain holidays.)

Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Submitted question: Exclusive Contracts with Agents


Jennifer writes:

I am in LA and have an agent who is interested in signing me but I am not sure I want to sign an exclusive contract with her. Any advice on this?

TAE responds:

Great question, Jennifer. Even if you sign a contract you do have an "out" if things don't work out. Typically, contracts have a clause that states that if the actor doesn't secure work within any 90 day period while the contract is in effect, either party can back out without penalty. This is designed to allow the agent and actor to get to know each other and see how things go, but sets a limit of how much time is acceptable without work being found.

I'd ask to see a copy of the contract and go over it carefully to make sure there is a clause like this (SAG & Equity contracts have those clauses- I don't know if you are union or non-union but even non-union contracts should have a similar clause. If not, add one.)

You could also ask if they'll allow you to freelance for a certain amount of time (6 months, 1 year, etc.) Some agents do that here in NYC, but I have not seen many who do it in LA. Usually, an agent who freelances has far more clients on board than those who only sign exclusive contracts, and you run the risk of being lost in the shuffle. Having someone who wants to sign you is SUPPOSED to indicate that they have a place for your type and would work hard to get you work. But because there is no limit to the amount of people they can sign, and since there is a back-out clause for any 90 day period where there's no work, many agents are now signing people that they wouldn't have before.

Bottom line- you are hiring the agent to be on your team, so if you don't want to sign, then you shouldn't. But there are safeguards in place in case you do end up signing.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

Erin Cronican
The Actors' Enterprise

Have a question? Send me an email and I'll answer it promptly!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Great Glossary of Film Terms


If you ever wanted to know the how film positions and terms are defined, look no further! Bravo TV's "Project Greenlight" program has posted a fantastic glossary of terms in its website. Filled with humor, this is not just any glossary!

Project Greenlight: Glossary

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Handling the issue of Nudity

* Bookmark and Share

Rebecca writes:

I am planning on getting into acting, starting with some extra work because I know in order to break into acting I need to get my foot in the door by doing some small work. But I have some questions and I was wondering can I ask them here. I was wondering what if there is something that I as the actress am not comfortable doing? For example: nude/sex scenes. Do you know of actors/actresses that have decided not to do certain scenes or even movies that deals mainly on something or involves doing something that they are not comfortable with and still had a successful career? As well, can your agent force you to do a scene you are not comfortable with? I personally don't think so, but I want to make sure that I choose the right agent/manager for me. One that will work with me and respect who I am. Thank you for your time.

Hi, Rebecca, and thanks for your email. Nudity/sex scenes are obviously very personal for each actress, and different actresses will tolerate different levels of undress. No one can force you to do anything you don't want to do. There are clauses in both the SAG and AEA contracts that govern nudity (for example, when nude or in a state of undress, the set should be cleared of all non-key personnel.) Also, agents/managers will typically make sure that there are riders for each contract to specifically guard your wishes should they not be sufficiently addressed in the general contract. 

There are many well known actresses who have refused to do nudity in movies, and many who are very careful with how they are portrayed in love scenes. Oftentimes, a lead actress can add to the contract, stating that they have final approval over a love scene, and this allows the actress to feel confident that they will be shown tastefully. However, this type of power is typically reserved for big names- it can be harder to guarantee those protections when you are just starting out. As far as extra work, there is plenty of extra work available where you don't have to be nude or do things you don't want to do. 

The above also holds true for other types of scenes that you are uncomfortable doing- action sequences, scenes with dangerous animals, etc. Now, I would be lying if I said that refusing to do nudity or love scenes would NEVER hurt your chances of getting cast. There are some jobs you won't get because you decide not to do something integral to the script. I myself have been passed over by producers when their projects that required nudity or gratuitous lovemaking that I was uncomfortable with. 

Ultimately, you are the driving force behind your own career, and if you want it bad enough, there is no reason to betray your principles for this industry. You are well within your rights to have an agent/manager whom you trust and listens to your wishes. Just follow your instincts when you build your team- ask questions and weigh the answers. You will know what to do. 

Thanks for writing, Rebecca, and best of luck to you in this career!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

IATSE Strike

It's been a while since I have posted- more on that later.

In the meantime, here is an outstanding timeline about the IATSE Local One strike on Broadway:

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/112946.html

I will write my thoughts and opinions about this strike (as well as the WGA strike) very soon. Until then, please support these hardworking union employees. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Discrimination against plus-size actors

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to an article she wrote for Plus Model Magazine, talking about some recent casting calls requesting plus size women and the context of the casting. I think this article puts an important spotlight on the industry and here's my questions- at which point does comedy or freedom of speech turn into discrimination and keeping prejudice alive?

Jennifer Jonassen has an intimate style of writing which makes her an everyman's hero. Click here to read the article.

And click here for another article by Jennifer:

Now, if we could only get some writers out there to create GOOD roles for this type category!

For those who love Jason Robert Brown and musicals in general

Below is a link to an incredible step by step outline of how the musical “Parade” was re-vamped for a tighter, smaller revival production in London. This blog is hosted and written by Jason Robert Brown, the musical’s Tony winning composer, and the blog entry helps readers get a little closer to how a musical is conceived and written. Things like this inspire me to no end! Please do read and enjoy:

http://www.jasonrobertbrown.com/weblog/2007/10/revival.php

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Tracking Your Marketing: Websites

One of the most important facets of managing your acting business is tracking your goals. Tracking allows us to research the results of our marketing tactics to see how they measure up to our goals and expectations. For this article, I want to focus on websites. If you have a website, one inexpensive and valuable tracking tool you can employ is a web statistics (stat) counter. A stat counter is designed to track the habits of your website visitors so that you can have an up-to-the-minute look at what is popular and what isn’t.

Let's say you are doing online or email submissions to casting directors, and you are including links to your website. How do you know if these links are being used? A good stat counter not only can tell you if your website is being visited and by how many visitors, but also how many pages they looked at while on your website, how long they were at each page, and what links they clicked on while on your website. This information is incredibly valuable in tracking how your website is working for you. Do people log in and view your materials, then go to your “Contact Me” page? Great news- you should expect a phone call soon! Do people click to view your reel but leave the page after only 1 minute? Bad news- something in your reel turned them off and you might want to consider reworking the reel.

But let’s say you have the counter and you are looking at the stats- how do you know if the person looking at your website is actually a casting director and no, say, Great Aunt Helen? To maximize your marketing efforts, you could consider creating a web page that you ONLY give out to casting directors. For example, on my acting website, there are pages for Demos, Bio/Resume, Reviews and Headshot Gallery. These pages can be accessed by anyone who visited the website, because there are links on every page. But I could also have a page called, say, “Submissions,” which is not listed on my website and is only given to casting directors (this page includes all of my public links (bio, demos, etc) but the page itself has a name that is not public.) When I check my stat counter and see that this “Submission” page has been accessed, I can be nearly certain that the person listed is a casting director or producer. This is a smart tracking technique, and once you compare your results to your marketing goals you will be able to see very clearly IF and HOW your website is working for you.

The service I currently use for web stats, which is free, is www.StatCounter.com. This free service tracks the last 500 visitors to your website. To have a log size larger than 500 or to have them store the information indefinitely (rather than only keeping the last 500), you can pay a small service charge. One of the best services that StatCounter.com offers is the ability to see HOW someone finds your website- Statcounter.com will list the website they came from, along with the date and time. For example, let’s say a theater website has your bio listed for a recent show, and in your bio you included a link to your website. If someone is on the theater website, sees your bio and clicks your link, StatCounter.com will let you know that this person reached your website because they clicked on it from the theater’s website. Even cooler, this service also includes Web Searches- if someone looks you up on Google and finds your website, StatCounter will tell you exactly what search the person used to find your website. Very cool!

You can also check with your web host to see if they provide web statistics (most do for no extra charge). Some have the same functionality, others can provide even more detailed information. Contact your host for more information.

Remember that TAE does web design for actors, singer, musicians, directors and other solo artists. We can also do design for theater and film companies. Visit TAE's Design Page for more information.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Getting on their radar

Yet another great article by Bonnie Gillespie (and I love her analogies, too!) This week, Bonnie gives a great analogy about what it takes to be one of those actors that is among the first to come to mind when casting directors are setting audition appointments. It just plain makes sense. Read it here:

http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/

Through The Actors' Enterprise, I help actors create ways to keep in touch with industry professionals that are unique and personal. For more information about how I can help you, feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Special Skills "How-To"


All actors are aware of a section on their resume titled, "Special Skills." But what is the point of this section? And what kind of skills should be listing on there? First and foremost, the special skills section was created as a way to tell the casting director/agent/producer what skills you bring to the table that would be useful while on stage or on set. In addition, this section to allow actors to provide a unique snapshot (albeit a small one) of what makes them enjoyable to work with. After all, most of the time the resume is read before the actor is even met, so having a way to show one's personality is very important to help the actor stand out from the crowd (or the stack.) But how do we know what is appropriate to list? Here are some rules of thumb:

· Do make sure that the skill listed is something that can be demostrated on stage or film. For example: singing, juggling, stage combat. Do not list things like: drive a stick shift, have US Passport, etc. You'll rarely be driving a car on film (or on stage for that matter) and having a passport is not a skill. Moreover, that type of information if not usually a factor in casting- it is an logistical issue that is handled after the actor has been cast.

· Do make sure that the skill listed is something that you can execute flawlessly and immediately. Don't list an accent unless you are ready to improv with it on command. If you cannot do it off the top fo your head, but you are good with accents, list instead, "Quick study with accents." Often times, a casting director will ask you to perform the skill right in the casting session. Make sure you can do it, and do it well.

· Do include both theatrical and non-theatrical skills. List the ones that are specific to the industry first (accents, singing, dancing, etc.) and the list others afterward (sports, hobbies, etc.) You never know who behind the table might hare your demonstratable hobby (like crocheting or body building.)

· Do infuse some of your personality into the list. Do you have a "stupid human trick" like being able to touch your tongue to your nose, or that you can recite the alphabet backwards in 10 seconds? As long as it is something than can be demonstrated on set or stage, and it can be done flawlessly, why not list it? But just limit this to one or two skills, and list them at the end.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

How to get discounted tickets to Broadway shows

Most people know that in order to get discount tickets for Broadway and Off Broadway shows, you can go to the TDF Half Price Ticket Booth on the day of the show, wait in line, and see what tickets are available when you get to the window. There are also a number of websites that offer tickets at 25-40% off- Theatermania and Broadway Box, to name a few. But there are a few other options that audience members have to see shows at a good price: Rush, Student Rush and Standing Room Only (SRO).

Playbill.com has published an article explaining the ins and outs of these types of tickets. You can also head over to Talkin' Broadway to see an up-to-date list of shows and their SRO/Rush policies. In addition, many theaters, including Roundabout Theater Company and Playwrights Horizons have programs where people under the age of 30 can see shows at a discounted rate. All you need to do is visit the show website and check to see what rates they currently have available.

Hope you get out there and see some great, New York theater!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Article about Being Present

I just stumbled upon this great article about being present, yet focused, at an audition- check it out:

Now Casting: A Lesson to Remember: When Staying Focused And Listening Don't Compliment Each Other

Actor Blogs

* Bookmark and Share


For those of you needing a little bit of inspiration and a feeling of solidarity, I’d like to suggest reading the blogs of fellow actors and artists. There are thousands of performers blogging about their audition, show and “day-job” adventures that are heart-breaking, moving and downright hilarious. Sometimes when I need a little “pick-me-up“ I’ll go online and do a search for actor blogs (either through Google, various blog catalogs, or through Blogger or TypePad’s member directories.) I’ll discover how someone just scored an agent and learn what their tactics were. I’ll read about audition horror stories and how the actor persevered against all odds. Sometimes there will be an actor who is depressed over a lost role and I find that fellow actors have left encouraging comments to get them back in the game.

First off, here's mine:

The Erin Cronicals

Here are some others that I have come across that you might take a liking to:

The Green Room
Playbills vs Paying Bills
A California Hippie in New York
Adventures of an Actress
Gary Ploski
In My Mind
My Shining Palace: An Acting Journal
Actor Called Tim
One Happy Kat
New York Acting & Theater Blog
Diary of a Manhattan Actress
The Struggling Actress
Diary of an Aspiring Actress
Mavis and her Musings
Joy In Hollywood
Winona - New York

I have links to a few more on my Resource Page:

Sometimes, just knowing that other people are out there having the same triumphs and struggles is very comforting. So, I welcome you to do a search of your own to find like-minded actors who can give you a little bit of inspiration. Who knows, maybe you can start a little blog of your own? (... and then send it to me so I can post a link!)


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Salary Statistics for Actors: 2004

How much do actors make?

From the US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics:

"Median hourly earnings of actors were $11.28 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.75 and $30.76. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.63, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56.48. Median annual earnings were $15.20 in performing arts companies and $9.27 in motion picture and video industries. Annual earnings data for actors were not available because of the wide variation in the number of hours worked by actors and the short-term nature of many jobs, which may last for 1 day or 1 week; it is extremely rare for actors to have guaranteed employment that exceeded 3 to 6 months."

To learn more about salary, working conditions and union specifications, head to the BLS website at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos093.htm.

Click here about my blog on day jobs for actors.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Cover Letters


Every wondered what it takes to create a really good cover letter? There are all kinds of opinions out there about what is appropriate- some say it should be very short, others say it should fill one page. Some say it should stay very formal and professional, others say that it should be infused with your personality even if that makes the letter more casual. If you asked 10 different people you'd get 10 different opinions, so what is an actor to do?

This may seem like a coaching cop-out, but a cover letter is best created when it comes across as "you." Much like a phone greeting, it should give the recipient a flavor of what you are like, while also letting the recipient know what to expect from you. It needs to say, "I understand what you are looking for, and I believe I fit that profile." Or, to put it into business terms, "I know what your shopping needs are, and I think I am just the product you are looking for."

The more you can see yourself as a product or entity that needs selling and the agent/casting director/producer as someone who has a product they need to buy, the easier it will be to identify your strong suits that will align with their needs, which will help you get in the door. It will also help taking rejection a little less personally.

Click here to read my other blog posts involving cover letters.

With a background in advertising and marketing, I know exactly how to create a compelling cover letter to get you in the door. Contact me to set up your free consultation.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Q&A about Chorus/Ensemble Salary on Broadway

I just stumbled across an interesting breakdown of how much you can make as a chorus member on Broadway in relation to how much you need to spend on living in Manhattan.

Ask Playbill.com- Chorus Salary

For those of you planning the "big move" to NYC- don't let the numbers scare you. Like the article explains, plenty of people subsist here on much less money, or work a 2nd job to fill out their bank account. There are also affordable places to live in the outer boroughs, or the outer reaches of Manhattan. Trust me, if I could move her with a few boxes and my dog, you can too!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Incredible roundtable on the issue of race in casting

Just stumbled upon this article, which is a community effort to discuss common concerns regarding the experiences of non-Caucasian actors in the industry. With questions posed by Bonnie Gillespie, LA casting director, this article polls actors about their point of view and real-life encounters. A very important read:

The Actor's Voice- The Issue of Race

Great Casting Advice

* Bookmark and Share

There is a fantastic casting blog sponsored by Actors Access, which is written by Los Angeles casting director Mark Sikes. It is updated every Monday, and is a must read for anyone serious about their acting career. The blog tends to focus on film/TV, but the marketing techniques also apply to live industrials and stage work. So, bookmark it and be sure to check it out every Monday:

Casting Corner, with Mark Sikes

For other great advice, take a look at my other articles on casting. Happy reading!


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How to use RSS Feeds

There are lots of blogs out there that are worth following, but how can you make sure that you are catching new blog entries when they are published? One easy way to do that is to subscribe to the RSS feed.

I was pretty intimidated by this technology at first, but now that I have a basic understanding, it really comes in handy. Here's how it works:

Take a look at the menu/address bar at the top of your browser. On the far right side of the address box (where the web address is typed) you'll see a little icon that looks like this:



If you are on a blog you like, you can click the orange icon and the blog will be saved as a bookmark. But here is the cool part- your bookmark will appear as a folder and all of the blog entries are filed as separate bookmarks within the blog folder. Then, each day you can click on the bookmark folder and see if there are any new bookmarks available. When there are, they'll be listed as a bookmark in the folder, and your bookmark will lead you directly to that new blog post.

Try it, you'll see what I mean:

1) Go to the top of this blog and click the orange icon
2) Create the folder name ("TAE's Awesome Blog" is a good one)
3) Choose where you want the folder to live
4) Hit "Add" (or "Subscribe" depending on your browser.)

That's it! Then go to where you saved the folder in your Bookmarks and you'll see all of the blog entries I have written in the past two weeks. Now you can be sure to never miss a blog entry!

For more information about RSS feeds, go to http://www.press-feed.com/howitworks/rss_tutorial.php

** Was this blog useful? Feel free to leave a comment!**

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brand New Newsletter

Hello!

I wanted to let you know that I have started an official subscriber list for The Actors' Enterprise so I can make sure that communications are only being sent to those who would like to receive them. It's completely free, and there are two lists to choose from:

TAE Email Newsletter- For performers or those who like to live vicariously through performers! This newsletter is sent every 1-2 weeks and includes helpful hints and tips about the business of being an actor, success stories from current clients and industry professionals, and answers to questions that come up from list members. It will be fun, energetic, and will hopefully be a motivator for you to get out there and get some BUSINESS for yourself!

TAE News & Events- For anyone, performer or non-performer, who would like to keep in touch with The Actors' Enterprise (everyone should sign up for this one!) This newsletter is sent out once every 1-2 months and includes general updates about The Actors' Enterprise. It features information about charity events sponsored/organized by TAE, as well as major updates about the staff, clients or the community at large.

Here is the link to opt in:

http://visitor.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?m=1101786227134&p=oi


Thank you so much, in advance, for your support. Much love and success to you all!

Erin Cronican =)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some acting news...

I mentioned on my website that I am also a professional actor (member of AEA and SAG) and have been working pretty steadily since moving to NYC 2 years ago. Normally I would not post personal stories on this blog, but I've has a great week and I feel like it might offer some inspiration, proving that when you have a handle on the business side, there are times when things just fall into place...

On Monday, I feverishly prepared for the final class of a 4-week workshop with casting director Jamibeth Margolis. The final week is structured as a “mock audition”: Jamibeth assigned each of us a show based on our type and abilities (mine was The Pajama Game)- it was our job to research the show and decide which character we would be right for, then 1) prepare a song in the style of the show (but not from the show) to use as an audition piece, 2) learn a song or two by that character and be prepared to sing them if asked, 3) bring your audition book in case you are asked to sing anything else, and 4) bring in your headshot/resume and dress the part. We would come in to be evaluated by Jamibeth (casting), plus an agent and a musical director. The auditions were to last about 10-15 minutes depending on how many songs they had you do, and they warned us that they may give us immediate feedback and have us do the songs again. Detailed feedback would be given at the end of the class once everyone was done doing their audition.

I was absolutely thrilled with the process. This workshop didn't really focus on how to be a better singer or actor, but it focused thoroughly on what it takes to do well in the audition room, which is all business. They gave feedback on what we were wearing, how we entered the room, how we approached the accompanist, how our headshot/resume represented us, and gave feedback on how well we were able to tell a story in 32-50 bars of music. It really was amazing, and happily I got great feedback from beginning to end. I also got some great constructive feedback on what to do differently, and I look forward to putting it into action next time around.

Tuesday evening I got a call from Michael Cassara Casting, asking me to come to audition for a lead role in a show in the New York Musical Theater Festival. I have auditioned for Michael twice before (the first time at an EPA, the 2nd at an audition he asked me to come in to) so it was great to be called in again. Before we got off the phone, Michael said something incredible, "I really appreciate the notes you've been sending to keep me updated." 'Notes' being the thank-you postcards I send after every audition and meeting, and the monthly postcards I sent updating my contacts about my progress. What a validation for all of the marketing work I have been doing! (As I am writing this, I discovered something else about the postcards- had I not sent Michael my postcard stating that I was looking for new representation, Michael would have called my old agent and not me!) The audition went well on Wednesday afternoon. I left feeling like I had delivered for Michael and given them everything I had- now it was up to them to decide whether I was the right fit for the production. When you are as prepared as you can be, there can’t be any worries. Once I deliver a prepared audition, there is nothing left to be done- I know that I have done my job. Onwards and upwards.

The icing on the cake this week is that I got a call from the agent from Monday’s workshop, asking me to come in for a meeting next Monday. The great thing is that one hurdle has been jumped already- they have seen me perform 3 songs, they know I am direct-able, they know that I am easy to work with because he saw my audition process from beginning to end and saw me accept feedback easily. So now it is just a matter of finding out if our philosophies match, and if we think it would be a good partnership.

The moral of the story? This business is all about relationships, and marketing is all about maintaining the relationships. Get into class and work hard on your skills. Don't take for granted the relationships you are making with everyone around you. And most of all, have fun! Life is much better when you do...

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tips for picking headshots

When you pass your proofs on to your colleagues to help you choose, be sure to let them know what kind of roles you are hoping to use these headshots for. For example, if you are looking for the perfect commercial shot, tell your colleagues to pick their favorite picture which shows "a person who is likable, trustworthy and who you would buy something from." This will help your viewers to look at your headshots using your vision, which makes their comments far more valuable than if you simply said, "Tell me what you think."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

NY Filmmaking Permits: Update

As some of you may have heard, NYC officials had planned to set some guidelines regarding amateur filmmaking and photography on city property, proposing limits on the amount of time someone could shoot before having to get permits to do so. This produced an outcry in the arts community and prompted a petition to defeat the plan, which was signed by thousands of concerned residents and supporters. Here is an update, as reported by One on One NYC's BizBuzz:

After a city-wide outcry that included everything from letters and petitions to a rap music video, the city has agreed to re-work their proposal to vastly limit photography and filming in the city. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting said they would redraft the rules to address complaints that that they could be too broadly applied. Maybe those birdwatchers in Central Park won’t have to have insurance to take a photo of those birds, after all.

Katherine Oliver, the film office commissioner, said in a statement, “We appreciate the feedback and collaboration of the production community in the city and look forward to revising our proposal.”

In addition to the web petition circulated here on BizBuzz, there were some less traditional forms of protest in response to the legislation. Comedy troupe Olde English produced a rap music video and then submitted it as public comment to the film office and the civil liberties union. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

'Proposin’ new rules to try to get rid of me/A million in insurance just to cover liabilities!/From Little Italy all the way to Harlem/Bloomberg’s jealous ’cause our movies won’t star him.'



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Welcome!

Welcome to the TAE Blog! You have reached a place where you can learn quick tips and hints about the business of being an actor in New York City (though this information will certainly help you elsewhere!) To make sure you don't miss a post, I encourage you to subscribe to this blog using the RSS feed above or the Atom feed below.

For more detailed information about private coaching from The Actors' Enterprise, please visit our website at http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

For more information about me, TAE's coach and a professional actor, please visit my TAE bio or my professional acting website.

Glad you have joined us!

-- Erin Cronican
Executive Director, The Actors' Enterprise
THE FINE PRINT

This content is offered under a Creative Commons by-NC-ND License.That means you're free to share it, republish it, refer to it, include it in your wedding vows, whatever... - PROVIDED you

a) you don't change anything.
b) you don't use it to make money.
c) credit me (with my blog's name, and a link back to my site.)
d) it's not required, but it would be awesome if you'd email me to let me know you're using it, and then I can help promote your post!

If you are copying an article in its entirely, you MUST include the following acknowledgment at the top of the post: "This blog was pulled, in its entirety, from Bite-Size Business for Actors, a blog published by The Actors' Enterprise. To learn more, visit http://www.BiteSizeBusiness.org."

To view the license, click here. To learn more about Creative Commons, click here.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-
No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
.



Follow Bite-Size Business for Actors
Directory for New York, NY
Blog Directory
TopOfBlogs
TopOfBlogs
Arts
Blog Directory

Blog Directory & Business Pages - OnToplist.com