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Monday, January 28, 2008

A Meeting with Mark Sikes

I wanted to share with you all a great thing that happened over the weekend. I am an avid reader of Casting Corner, a blog put out by LA casting director, Mark Sikes, every week through Actors Access. In December, he had this in his column:

"Just when you thought The Casting Corner couldn't get any more interactive, I break down that final wall! For those of you who are still hanging in there this year and reading the column every week or those lucky enough to have popped in this week, you'll be glad you did. I'm going to conduct several generals with readers of my column! I want you to write me an email and tell me why we should have a general. I will read them all over and select a few people who really convince me we should meet. But there are a couple of guidelines.

1) You must be someone I've never auditioned!
2) Please limit emails to 100 words or less total!
3) Please attach a pic and resume, not a link, but an actual attachment!
4) Live in Maine? No problem! I will consider actors from all over the world and we can do our general over the phone!"

So, I immediately sent an email submission requesting a general, and I got it! I could not have been more excited. First, I was excited because based on my materials I look like someone he wants to know more about. And, second, because I would get to ask all of the questions of this CD that I have always wanted answers to.

The phone meeting was done this weekend. Though we had slated 10 minutes to talk, we ended up speaking for over 40 minutes about trends in the business, and how I can best promote myself to casting directors and production companies on the east coast. Towards the middle of the conversation he commented that he found me to be very enterprising and to have great business savvy, and he said that this was not common among actors who are notorious for putting most of their energy into the creative side. He especially liked the fact that I was giving back to the community by providing solid coaching to actors through TAE. We talked quite a bit about what an East Coast actor can do to be considered for film and TV, especially those shooting outside of NY and LA. I feel like I learned so much, and I also received validation for many of the things I am already doing (for example, he loved the fact that I am a member of IMDB Pro, and that I subscribe to the RSS Feed of Production Charts so that I know what is in development in my area.)

So, take this as an inspiration- there are many people out there who want to help you succeed. Mark Sikes is one of them, and I am another. Take control of your career- no one can make things happen except for you, and it is a lot easier than you think! Just reading a blog as a method of research, like I do with the Casting Corner, can yield big returns. If I can do it, so can you.

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