Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hello World--It's a New Day!

I'm in a really great mood today for many reasons.

1. I talked to the Houston/Dallas Actor's Equity Liaison yesterday for my research project. She was awesome! Let's call her L. L was not only extremely helpful, but possibly the nicest person I've ever spoken to on the phone. She gave me so many great answers to my questions, as well as a pep talk about my future. By the end of the conversation she was offering to take me to auditions and introduce me to all of her friends (who are all extremely important people in the acting world of Houston, Texas). Of course, L is the kind of person that would do this for anybody, so I'm not the special person in this situation--she is. She told me to keep in touch, and if I'm ever in Houston she would love to meet up with me and do all the things she promised.

She also e-mailed me some great resources for the area for auditions and for renting audition spaces to produce my own work in. Some facts she told me:

* 96% of actors in Houston have a full time job. This means, it's incredibly hard to live on an acting salary, and not many of the theatres pay a high enough salary to live off of.

* The main full time position actors have is teaching! What a coincidence. And, if I were to get my MFA, I could teach college level and get paid more. Guess who went to the renowned Houston Graduate Acting program? That's right, L did. And does she known the head of the program very well? You bet she does.

*Other positions to be had in the area are: running your own business, computer techinician, and working in a theatre office position.

*Since most actors work full time jobs, all rehearsals in the area except at the Alley Theatre and Theatre Under The Stars take place at night to work with everyone's schedules.

All things to think about. She also told me many more positive things about the area, and especially concerning Dallas. Dallas ended up sounding more like the place I'd like to work in. More work seems to go through the area, I think. L gave me the names of the top agencies (which all her friends work for) and told me that they hire a lot of work out of Dallas. And home is right between Dallas and Houston. How convenient.

2. I had a great Warehouse Board meeting yesterday. We're looking into some new opportunities that I can't disclose yet since they haven't been approved, but suffice to say they will be extremely beneficial for the students at school!

3. I had my 'mock' interview with Profesor D today. He was acting as Michael Kirsten from Harden-Curtis Associates. I prepared well. I looked up all the current projects and actors he's working on and with. I worked out all the answers to the regular questions and decided how I was going to present myself. It was odd because I know Professor D, so it wasn't like a real interview would be--but I was just as nervous. Of course he video taped us, so this way we can watch it and know the things we need to fix such as our physicality when walking into the room or if you say 'um' too much.

Some of the questions asked:
*Where are you from?
*What was your college experience like?
*What kind of roles can I send you out for? Right now?
*Where do you see yourself working in 5 years?
*What do you do for fun?

They seem easy, but it was really hard to think of the roles I could be sent out for. It's so easy to think that we can play anything. We've all been taught here that we're versatile actors. But out there, agents look at us and put us into types: quirky best friend, mental case, leading lady, young lover, ingenue, witty side kick. We walk into a room and they know what they want to send us out for--the interview is just a test to see if your personality fits your image.

So I had to really think about how people percieve me and the kind of roles I could feasibly be playing once I graduate. I settled for young strong female lead such as Raina in Arms and the Man and the odd girl such as Prudence in Beyond Therapy. I told 'Michael' that I was interested in abstract pieces by Pinter, Albee, and Durang. He asked me why I hadn't been in more comedies, and I expressed an interest in those as well. I also talked about how I hope to have started my television career in 5 years, and we spoke on that some.

It was a good interview, and I got some positive feedback on it. Professor D told me I can watch the tape when I get some free time.

4. I cut my hair. I wanted a new look. It's just shorter. And I have bangs! Exciting, but it needs to grow out some.

5. Mom's coming tomorrow!!! And I only have 1 class tomorrow!

So--Good Day.

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