Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Being Open to Help

I meet many, many people through my journeys as an actor and a coach, and a lot of those conversations revolve around business, marketing and motivation (I guess I'm a magnet for that kind of talk!) I have seen people at all levels of success and achievement, and everyone's story varies - where they grew up, how much support they had from their families, whether or not they went to theater school, what city they chose to ply their wares, etc, etc... Along with all of these differences, there's one element that was evident in nearly every successful person I've met:

The willingness to ask for help.

When I was growing up, my parents didn't have money to spend on dance classes or drama camp- the training I received was through the public school arts programs. After choir concerts or school plays, people often asked me where I had gotten my training, and they seemed shocked and enthralled when my parents said, "Nowhere- this is just her natural talent." I began feeling like my natural talent made me something special, in a way that training since the age of 5 could not. "After all," I thought to myself, "ANYONE can train, but not everyone can have natural talent."

But once I got to college, things got turned around a bit. All of the sudden, I was surrounded by people who had the same talent as me, and even (gasp!) MORE. Raw talent was no longer something that was unique- it was a given. People were now giving reverence to those who had solid training and industry references. So I, like every other good little college student, trained and studied and worked and walked away from school with a degree AND raw talent. And armed with my shiny diploma, I stopped asking for help. After all, I Had Made It.

Why do we stop asking for help once our formal training is done? Is there a rule that says we must figure everything else out by ourselves?

If you ask a successful businessman how they achieved their success, most will have gone to business school, yes. But most will also share a story of a mentor who guided them through their journey. Sure, they also read books and taught themselves through observation and practice. But the foundation of their careers was based on the support they received from the people around them. They asked for help.

They recognized that other people had paved the road with their mistakes and their discoveries. They understood that you can never truly achieve greatness without the help of others. They asked smart questions, eagerly gathered copious amounts of information, and were not afraid of appearing dumb.

I am here to challenge you to ask for help. No one said that you had to figure out this business all on your own. There are no medals to be awarded for, say, figuring out the perfect cover letter or building the best contact database from the ground up. So why martyr yourself that way? Someone out there has charted the course and if you authentically seek support, most people will give openly. That's not to say that you should leech off of people and steal their ideas without putting in the work. Instead, create a network of people you can trust and solicit advice from those above you whose position you are striving to match. Ask to take people out to lunch so you can "pick their brain" and think of ways that you can help them in return. Above all, make yourself available to those who are just starting out - mentoring others will give your career a little more shape and purpose.

As human beings, we are never done learning - and it is the same in our work as actors. You owe it to yourself to compete fully in this wonderful industry- so get out there and get the help you deserve!

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.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You like me! You really like me!

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Wanted to pass on this amazing message I just received in my inbox:
“Hello Erin- 

I wanted to send a personal note to say hello and to thank you for your post 'Market Your Career', it really resonated with me and the tips about prioritizing, scheduling and research are so great, I kind of can't wait to sit down and work it all out for myself. Figuring out this crazy acting world can be so hard sometimes! I'm slowly working my way through some more of your posts, and seriously what you’re posting about is exactly the info that needs to be out there. So keep it coming! 

Thank You!

Lilly”

I am so glad you are finding value in the posts I am writing - let me know if you have any specific questions you want answered!

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, August 26, 2010

New York Production Listings - 2010

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It’s that time again! Here is a list of TV shows in production in New York City this fall, or shows that have completed production but were shot or cast out of NYC. Information on casting is also included. If you have additions or updates, please add them to the comments section of this blog post.

TV IN PRODUCTION / AIRING THIS FALL -- NEW YORK CITY (and surrounding areas)


30 Rock: single camera sitcom for NBC. Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan", must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful TV show without losing her mind. Principals: Jennifer McNamara, NBC Primetime Casting, 30 Rockefeller Plaza Suite 1623E, New York, NY 10112. Background: Barbara McNamara Casting, 249 West 34th St, Suite 500, NYC 10001.

Are We There Yet?: Production wrapped, no present casting. Sitcom from TBS, shot in Connecticut. Stars Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) and Essence Atkins (Half and Half) as Nick and Suzanne, a newly married couple whose blended family faces the challenges of everyday life. Principals: Todd Thaler Casting, c/o Actors Alliance, 330 West 38th Street, Suite #507, NYC 10018. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

Army Wives: (South Carolina) Four women and one man share the common bond of loving someone enlisted in the U.S. Army. Principals: James Calleri Casting, 70A Greenwich Ave #162, New York, NY 10011. Background: cast out of South Carolina.

The Big C: a comedy for Showtime in which a suburban housewife's cancer diagnosis leads her to try to change her life for the better. Shooting through August. With Laura Linney and Oliver Platt. Principals: Julie Tucker and Ross Meyerson, Tucker/Meyerson Casting, 568 Broadway, Ste. 301, NYC 10012. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

Big Lake: Production wrapped, no present casting. Multi-Camera Sitcom for Comedy Central, From Writer-Producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay And Chris Henchy. Starring Jon Heder. Principals: Jennifer Euston Casting, c/o Post Factory, 233 Spring Street, 4th Floor, NYC 10013. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

Blue Bloods: an hourlong crime series for CBS. Shooting begins July 26. With Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, and Len Cariou. Principals: Bowling/Miscia Casting, 609 Greenwich St., 6th floor, NYC 10014. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

Boardwalk Empire: Production wrapped, no present casting. Period drama about the rise of Atlantic City and the related buildup of organized crime. Produced by Martin Scorsese and Tim Van Patten. Steve Buscemi stars. Casting: Boardwalk Casting, 330 W. 38th St., Ste. 710, New York, NY 10018. Premieres Sept. 2010.

Body of Proof: hourlong drama for ABC. Medical examiner Megan Hunt's unique approach to solving crimes puts her at odds with her superiors. Shot in Rhode Island. Principals: Rosalie Joseph, ABC Primetime Casting, 157 Columbus Ave, 2nd Flr. NYC 10023.

Bored to Death: Production wrapped, no present casting. For HBO. Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman), a struggling Brooklyn writer with a drinking problem, tries to cope with his recent breakup with his girlfriend by reinventing his life as a private detective and offering his services through an online ad. Principals: Goulder/Keller Casting, HBO, 1100 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor NYC, 10036. Background: Comer & Gallucio Casting, 336 West 37th Street, Suite 315 NYC, 10018.

Castle (Drama, ABC) Castle is a 1 hour witty drama based on a famous crime and horror novelist [Nathan Fillion] who helps the NYPD homicide detective [Stana Katic] solve crimes. Casting (based in LA): Kendra Castleberry, Donna Rosenstein.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Production wrapped, no present casting. A half-hour comedy for HBO. Shooting five episodes in the NYC area beginning the end of July. With Larry David, Cheryl Hines, and Jeff Garlin. Principals: Cindy Tolan Casting, 609 Greenwich Street, 6th Floor, NYC, 10014. Background: Grant Wilfley Casting, 123 W. 18th St., 8th floor, NYC 10011.

Delocated: a half-hour live-action mock reality show for Adult Swim. Shooting continues to Aug. 6. With Jon Glaser, Nadia Dajani, Jacob Kogan, and Eugene Mirman. Principals: Bowling/Miscia Casting, 609 Greenwich St., 6th floor, NYC 10014. Background: Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates Casting, 71 Park Ave., NYC 10016. AFTRA project.

Failure to Fly: On Starz. A group of people contemplate taking their own lives. Written by Eric Schaeffer and Jill Franklyn. Casting: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee, Barden/Schnee Casting, 150 W. 28th St., Ste. 402, New York, NY 10001. Premiered April 23.

The Good Wife: an hourlong drama for CBS about the wife of a politician who returns to her law practice after her husband goes to jail. Shooting continues to spring 2011. Principals: Mark Saks Casting, 1201 W. 5th St. Suite M160, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Background: Comer & Gallucio Casting, 336 W. 37th St., Ste. 315, NYC 10018 or candgcasting@gmail.com. AFTRA project.

Gossip Girl: an hourlong drama for the CW about young socialites, based on the novels by Cecily von Ziegesar. Shooting for the new season began July 7 and continues through mid-March 2011. Principals: Bowling/Miscia Casting, 609 Greenwich St., 6th floor, NYC 10014. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

In Treatment: a half-hour drama for HBO about a psychotherapist. Continues to Sept. 3. With Gabriel Byrne and Dane DeHaan. Principals: Julie Tucker Casting, 568 Broadway, Ste. 301, NYC 10012. Background: Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates Casting, 71 Park Ave., NYC 10016.

Law & OrderSpecial Victims Unit: an hourlong NBC drama. Shooting continues through April 2011. Principals: Jonathan Strauss, Lynn Kressel Casting, Pier 62, Room 304, West 23rd Street and Hudson River, NYC 10011. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

Law & OrderCriminal Intent: an hour long drama and the third "Law and Order" series, involves the criminal justice system from the criminal's point of view. Lynn Kressel Casting, Pier 62, Rm. 304, West 23rd Street and Hudson River, New York, NY 10011

Lights Out: an hourlong drama for FX about a retired boxer. Shooting continues to July. With Holt McCallany, Catherine McCormack, Stacy Keach, and Pablo Schreiber. Principals: Alexa Fogel Casting, c/o Beech Hill Films, 330 W. 38th St., Ste. 1405, New York, NY 10018. Background: Grant Wilfley Casting, 123 W. 18th St., 8th floor, NYC 10011.

Nurse Jackie (Drama, Showtime) A nurse struggles to find a balance between the demands of her frenetic job at a New York City hospital and an array of personal dramas. Starring Edie Falco. Tucker/Meyerson Casting (Ross Meyerson), 568 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10012

Rescue Me: Tommy Gavin deals with the fears of his job as a firefighter and seeing his ex-wife dating other men. Julie Tucker and Ross Meyerson, Tucker/Meyerson Casting, 568 Broadway, Ste. 301, New York, NY 10012.

Royal Pains: an hourlong comedy for the USA Network about a physician treating the rich and fashionable. Shooting now through the summer. With Mark Feurstein. Principals: Finnegan/Jacobs Casting, c/o Actors Alliance, 330 West 38th St, Room 507, New York, NY 10018. Background: Grant Wilfley Casting, 123 W. 18th St., 8th floor, NYC 10011. Seeking AFTRA members only.

Rubicon: an hourlong political drama for AMC. Shooting from March 29 until Aug. 10. With James Badge Dale, Miranda Richardson, Jessica Collins, Christopher Evan Welch, and Lauren Hodge. Principals: MelCap Casting, 260 West 44th St, 3rd Floor, New York NY 10036 Background: Amerifilm Casting, 151 First Ave., Ste. 225, NYC 10003 or amerifilmcasting@yahoo.com. Email submissions encouraged.

Running Wilde: a sitcom for Fox. A Beverly Hills goof falls for an environmental activist. With Will Arnett and Keri Russell. Principals: Jennifer Euston Casting, c/o Post Factory, 233 Spring Street, 4th Floor, NYC 10013. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.

Sherri (Comedy, Lifetime) Production wrapped, no present casting. Centers around a newly single mom, paralegal and part-time comedienne/actress who is trying to get back into the dating scene and move on with her life after divorcing her cheating husband. Principals: Rosalie Joseph, VP Casting, ABC Entertainment, 157 Columbus Ave. 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10023. Background: Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates Casting, 71 Park Ave., NYC 10016. AFTRA project.

Tremé: (New Orleans) Follow the lives of survivors of Katrina in New Orleans and how they are making their way through life trying to rebuild the city.. Principals: Alexa Fogel, c/o Beech Hill Films, 330 W. 38th St., Ste. 1405, New York, NY 10018.   (This show is shot in New Orleans but is cast out of NYC.)

White Collar: an hourlong drama for the USA Network about a con man and an FBI agent. Shooting resumes April 15 and continues through October. With Matthew Bomer, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, Willie Garson, and Natalie Morales. Principals: Julie Tucker Casting, 568 Broadway, Ste. 301, NYC 10012. Background: Central Casting New York, 875 Sixth Ave., 15th floor, NYC 10001.


DAYTIME DRAMA

As the World Turns (CBS). Mary Clay Boland (principals and day players), LaMont Craig (under-fives), Kate Martineau (background), 1268 E. 14th St., Brooklyn, NY 11230. Series is slated to end in September.

One Life to Live (ABC). Julie Madison (casting director, principals), Victoria Visgilio (day players & under-fives), Sheryl Baker-Fisher (background), 125 West End Ave, 5th Floor, NYC 10023.

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.

Losing Your Voice

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As a singer, I can relate to this comic! It made me laugh pretty hard...


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.

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