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February 25, 2009

"Broken Windows" now available on DVD!

Help me celebrate the DVD release of Broken Windows.

Get yours at BrokenWindowsFilm.com (there's a great trailer there too). Yippee!

Congrats to the rockstar cast, including:

Larisa Oleynik
Sarah Thompson
Jennifer Hall
Sara Jane Nash
Corri English
Devon Gummersall
Jonathan Murphy
Jason George
Michael Gross
Kyle Brandt
Hayley Marie Norman
Cody Benjamin Lee
Mary-Margaret Humes
Charley Rossman
Dale Waddington Horowitz
Kirstin Benson
Sara Botsford
Julie Inmon
Keith Johnson
Patrick O'Sullivan
Carrie Chason

Huge congrats to writer/director Tony Hickman, exec producer Christophe Jouin, producer Tommy Rasera, DP Jason Cochard and the whole rockstar crew! :)

It was a blast working with y'all! XO

Posted by bonnie at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2009

2009 Cricket Feet Showcase Cast Announced!

Congratulations to our 2009 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase CAST!

We're kicking off YEAR THREE of the Cricket Feet Showcase. Welcome to our new, rockstar cast!

Adeye Sahran
Alejandro Mongalo
Alex Collins
April Audia
Ben Hensley
Ben Ryan
Brian Majestic
Caroline Timm
Chairman Barnes
Courtenay Taylor
Cristina Cimellaro
Darren Meekin
Elizabeth Mercer
Emily Churchill
Emily Moffat
Jackie Brechner
James McMahon
Jerry Jernion
Jewel Greenberg
Josh Fingerhut
Julie Weidmann
Kalimba Bennett
Kat Nevin
Keith Johnson
Kristin Arnold
Lissette Schuster
Liz Femi Wilson
Michael Naishtut
Michelle Gardner
Miley Yamamoto
Missy Hairston
Nicole Fitzgerald
Nikki Reyes
Rebecca Norris
Regina Virk
Robert Moffat
Ryan Basham
Sidney Franklin
Stephanie Thorpe
Tamika Simpkins
Tanya Perez
Tegan Ashton Cohan
Thomas Mann
Tristen MacDonald

Links to actors' official actor profiles (with resumés, demo reels, and all that good stuff) will be coming soon at the CAST page of the Cricket Feet Showcase website. Congratulations, everyone! And THANK YOU to all of the amazing actors who auditioned for our 2009 showcase.

See y'all at The Colony Theatre! You can RSVP now for April 22nd or 23rd. :)

Woo hoo!

Posted by bonnie at 4:11 PM | Comments (3)

February 17, 2009

Showcase Alumni on Good Morning America

So, late last year, the good folks at Breakdown Services asked me to bring over a couple of actors for a shoot with Good Morning America. Casting director Margery Simkin was being profiled for an Oscar Week segment, and they needed to shoot footage of casting sessions in progress, for B-roll.

I fired off a quick email to a half-dozen Cricket Feet Showcase alumni, and the awesome Alex Collins, Beau Wilson, and Camille Bennett were available on super-short notice and met us in the Breakdowns studio to put sides on tape for a project I will be casting later this year.

Of course, the segment is all about Margery and the casting process, but about halfway through, you can see the three lovely faces of some of our very first showcasers, right on Good Morning America. :) This aired yesterday, but you can watch it online here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6887811.

Congrats, superfriends! And thanks Gary, for inviting our crew in to be a part of this segment. :) Awesome!

Posted by bonnie at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2009

25 of My Jobs

My buddy Patrick O'Sullivan did this list last week and I thought it was pretty dang cool. So... here's mine! Not tagging anyone b/c I so detest getting tagged by dozens of people on the same dang meme. So, here's my list. If you're inspired, you make one too. :)

25 OF MY JOBS by Bonnie Gillespie

1. Hand Model. I think I earned more money as a hand model than as an actor. Yup, I made you buy stuff by executing the "stroke and hold" in print ads worldwide. My mother was consistently mortified when she would call me and ask, "What are you doing today?" and my reply would be, "Oh, I have a hand job this afternoon." Heh heh. I loved freaking her out like that.

2. Traffic School Instructor. And not just any "traffic school." The Improv Traffic School. I can still do eight hours of stand-up comedy on the topic of the 1999 California Vehicle Code. It's hilarious. (Not really.)

3. Assistant to the President of a Major Recording Artists' Management Firm. This was one of my only "real" jobs. I was 23, living in LA, and got a temp gig that turned--quickly--into an offer for permanent work. I didn't *want* a permanent gig, but the money was really good and there was all of this health insurance and shit I thought I needed as an "adult," so I said yes. I helped identify Richard Marx's stalker, ate Thanksgiving dinner with Meat Loaf, and delivered pot to John Taylor's house. It was a cool gig.

4. Instructional Technology Coordinator. Another of my very few "real" jobs. I spent a year as ITC for Athens Academy. My job included teaching sixth graders how to produce newscasts in the school's TV studio, creating the high school radio station and getting it FCC-licensed, doing staff development on computer literacy and technology classroom integration for the technophobic teachers at the school, and running the computer lab classes (everything from "How To Use Excel" to "Getting Down with Power Point" and from "Hard-Coding in HTML" to "Typing 101." I still type 85 WPM and hard-code my own web pages. The students--some of whom are my Facebook friends--still call me "Miss G."

5. Pet Sitter. One of my favorite freelance gigs before I inherited my mother's cats. I would stay over at other people's homes (usually really nice ones) and play with their animals for 35 bucks a day. As long as my laptop came with me, I could continue to do my other work there too.

6. File Clerk at a Hospital. My briefest stint. It was a temp job at the Athens Regional Medical Center. I went in, filed medical charts in accordion-wall shelving (totally shitty for my claustrophobia) in a tiny room next to the morgue. Said I forgot my lunch and clocked out after 1.25 hours and never went back.

7. Graduate Advisor for WUOG. Yup. The "Athens, GA," "REM," "B-52s," "Love Tractor," "Pylon" WUOG. I had been a DJ there in the late '80s and eventually became the Promotions Director to the station as an undergrad, but it was when I went back for grad school that I actually got paid to play at college radio. Awesome gig. My duties included overseeing the exec staff, reporting to student activities, and overseeing nearly $100K in renovations to the station as we upgraded from 10K watts to 26K watts in the mid-'90s. It was a great experience and I actually was named College Radio Advisor of the Year, 1997, by the National Association of College Broadcasters. The award was presented by the Sklar brothers in Providence, Rhode Island. I thought that was really dang cool.

8. Academic Tutor. I've had this job a lot. I was a peer tutor in high school, working for an SAT-prep facility, doing both SAT-prep classes and straight-up academic tutoring after school. I also worked in college at the UGA peer tutoring facility (called the Tutor House, which I thought was adorable). My specialty was math (my SAT math score was near-perfect; my language score was low, but my grammar score was 100%. When I took my GRE, I scored near-perfect on the analytical section. They wanted me to consider law school). In Los Angeles, I returned to SAT-prep classes and academic tutoring through a company called ACE (A Competitive Edge). I'm actually still friends with some of the fellow actors I met on that survival job. One of the kids I tutored in 1999 is now an agent who pitches to me, regularly. I love this town!

9. Animal Socialization. I worked at the Athens Animal Shelter helping abandoned animals be "more adoptable" by playing with them and teaching them not to fear humans (which, depending on how they were abandoned, could be a really big task). Also cleaned cages and did other dirty work. But it felt good.

10. Youth Theatre Mentor. I actually had this job both in Atlanta and in Los Angeles, with different groups. In ATL, I worked for Hands-On Atlanta to create a group called Atlanta Cares Theatre (ACT). We went into inner city schools and did theatre sports and improv games with the kids, then took them to plays in Little Five Points, where they could see the arts in action. In LA, I worked for Heart Of Los Angeles (HOLA) Youth Theatre, mentoring young actor/writers who wanted to cultivate their voice, turn their "stories from the streets" into plays. We produced the kids' original plays, playing to an audience of hundreds in East LA. This is some of the most gratifying work I've ever done.

11. Online Bookseller Shopping Cart Designer and Webmaster. Yup. I'm a geek. Up until 2007, I still had this "survival job" from back in my actor days. I worked for a small publishing company in Los Angeles--mostly from home, though--developing and refining the online profile for this company, interfacing with Amazon.com for publisher details on the couple hundred college textbooks this publishing company put out, and maintaining the online shopping cart for these books. I'm sure much of what I know about publishing I learned in the eight years I had this gig.

12. Corporate Chilihead Trainer. I worked at Chili's from 1988 to 1991. Very quickly, I went from server to cocktail waitress to bartender to corporate trainer. I was in college in Athens but would drive home to Atlanta every weekend to sling drinks and train new employees (because the money was SO much better than if I had stayed in Athens working some crap college town job each weekend). I also traveled to other Chili's that were having their grand opening prep, to teach the future Chiliheads how to do the Chili's thing. My nickname was "Susie Policy." I never saw that as an insult. I still drive the car I bought with the money I earned in that awesome job.

13. Weekly Columnist. Everyone knows this one, I hope. I wrote for Back Stage West from 1999 to 2003, interviewing casting directors each week. And I've written for Showfax.com since 2004. Writing weekly columns for actors has been my longest-term job and certainly one of the most gratifying things I get to do. I'd probably do it for free. But don't tell my bosses that!

14. Audience Tester for CBS. When I first lived in Los Angeles (1993-1994), I had a very cool job testing audience members' love of or hatred for CBS shows. Y'know, those recruiter guys on Hollywood Blvd. or at the Grove or wherever tourists gather? They convince you to come upstairs to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, sit in a dark room, watch a TV show, push buttons when you like or hate stuff, and fill out a survey, rewarding you only with a keychain-pen-doohicky? Yeah. I was the chick administering the tests, pulling out sheets of folks whose scores wouldn't be recorded due to disqualifying answers on questions when they arrived in the room (why put them through the tests after that? What a waste), and keeping the mood somewhat civil, after folks realized they were NOT going to a "show taping," which is how some of the recruiters would spin it. I remember writing a lot of letters home, during those show screenings. And I could live the rest of my life without ever seeing another episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Diagnosis Murder, or Bonnie Hunt's The Building.

15. Head Cashier. This job was funny. I had lied about my age on my work permit so that I could start earning money at an after school job before I was legally allowed to do so. Mom and I were struggling to get by, so we needed the additional income. No one ever questioned why I spent my whole first year working for Drug Emporium being driven to work by my mom. Heh heh. I started out as a cashier and was quickly promoted to head cashier, which meant I sat in a tiny mirrored room counting tens of thousands of dollars, wrapping bills, and rolling coins for the daily deposit. My fellow head cashier was a chain smoker and I was addicted to Diet Coke. To this day, I cannot get a whiff of a Diet Coke without smelling a dozen cigarette butts crushed in an ashtray commingled with the scent of MONEY. It makes me want to wash my hands.

16. Manager. Twice in my life, I tried my hand at management (and never while I actually worked for a management firm). In college, I managed a band called The Trenchcoat Club, booking them at a few clubs in Athens and sending out their CD to college radio stations and indie labels. In 2002, I managed 16 actors, a singer/songwriter, and a screenwriter. Cricket Feet hemorrhaged more money in the year I tried to manage folks than it ever has since. Luckily, I found casting was more my speed and I've been able to help more actors get jobs via my career as a casting director than I ever could have as a manager.

17. Peer Advocate. When a student at UGA would get busted for cheating, I was assigned a case, brought up to speed on both the charges and the letter of the law in the academic code, and then I would advise the student on how to handle his or her case in front of the campus judicial committee. So, I guess I was like a public defender? Nah. I was told not to say much, even if I could argue the case better. I was to advise well enough in advance that the student didn't feel alone, but even if I saw a hole in the case as the presentation happened, I was not to jump on it and defend the kid. Which sucked. Because a lot of times, there were some really good holes. Man... maybe I could've been a lawyer. Nah.

18. Babysitter. Standard pre-teen job. I started at the age of 11 and charged more than my fellow neighborhood babysitters because I could tutor the kids while I was babysitting. I also required that there be Pringles chips and Orange Fanta on hand for my snack.

19. Archivist. I worked for the Sundance Institute for a year as the head of their new archive initiative. The festival had been up and running for 20 years. UCLA had donated vault space and my position was created so that I could reach out to all of the past Sundance filmmakers, asking them to donate their film prints to the institution. Since most indie filmmakers were storing prints under their beds or in their closets, they were thrilled to ship their prints to me for our archives. I think this is where my love of indie film was born. I got to connect with some of the most obscure and prolific filmmakers of our generation and help them keep their babies safe. I also managed the box office at the Egyptian Theater during the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, as that was the venue in which the institute films were featured. Awesome experience, all the way around. And yes, Uncle Bob is that cute in person. Still.

20. Diet Counselor. This was hilarious. I was in college, I had lost 20 pounds on Jenny Craig, and I needed a job. So I went to Nutrisystem (yes, you read that right) and told them I had just lost weight and was so totally motivated to help others do the same. They asked why I hadn't tried to get a job at Jenny Craig. My response, "Um... y'all were the ones hiring." I think I lasted about a week.

21. Staff Development Instructor. After I wrote my master's thesis on the use of technology in the schools and disparity in technological savvy between the students and the teachers (specifically, the student-produced newscasts being created using Channel One-donated technology), I was hired to both produce a documentary on this situation *and* to teach staff development to the Athens-Clarke County teachers who were most technophobic. I had to create the curriculum and do a lot of demystifying. I actually really enjoyed watching these older teachers having "a-ha moments" about how much technology could help them do their jobs.

22. Technology Coordinator for the 1996 Olympics. Yup. I was the guy in charge of all technology at the Olympic soccer venue (the UGA stadium) during the '96 Olympics. This experience was so fucking gratifying and completely surreal. I got to do all of the computer junkie stuff that I love, *and* interface with people from all over the world, while enjoying first-class sporting events and tons of parties. Really dang cool!

23. Club-Level Bartender for the Georgia Dome. This was both an exciting and shitty job. I had to wear a tux uniform and sling drinks for MC Hammer in the executive suites for the Falcons games. Cool but not. I think I lasted about a month.

24. Phone-Order Taker. A holiday-season job for 1-800-FLOWERS. I answered phones, took orders for flowers, suggested upgrades, took credit card numbers, and processed the details for deliveries. Two or three weeks' work for extra Christmas money. I actually quite enjoyed this job, which is weird considering how much I detest the phone now.

25. Student Recruiter. OMG, I almost forgot this one. I was hired to fly around to other cities in Georgia (on a teeny tiny plane) to talk to "high profile juniors" at high schools, to get them to strongly consider coming to the University of Georgia when it came time to choose their school. I also gave campus tours at UGA several days a week (to prospective students and their parents). These walking tours were a blast and I still remember some of the bizarre "fun facts" I would share about the campus. Wonder how many of those "facts" were true.

Hope y'all enjoyed my list! I currently have the best job on the planet: Hollywood Hyphenate. Author, columnist, public speaker, casting director, producer, host of a really cool little video blog? ;) Yeah. I've got it pretty dang good.

(comments from the Facebook)

Michelle Zeitlin
a woman of many hats like me :) I get it! Michelle Z
February 13, 2009 at 9:59am · LikeUnlike ·

Jim Greenleaf
When I grow-up I want to be like you! Thanks for allowing us glimpse on how u roll.
February 13, 2009 at 10:11am · LikeUnlike ·

Bonnie Gillespie
Thanks guys. :) Yeah, Michelle. So many hats I could use a few more heads. ;)
February 13, 2009 at 10:24am · LikeUnlike ·

Jacquelyn Richey
I love that your 25 Things is a compilation of the many jobs you've had and gleaned information from! What a wonderful way to follow one's journey in life!! : )
February 13, 2009 at 10:26am · LikeUnlike ·

Bonnie Gillespie
Thanks, Jacquelyn. :) Patrick's list was so hilarious and inspiring that I decided to follow suit. I really have learned so much from each of my jobs. I'm glad to have had this journey. :)

(And I didn't even mention selling Michael Stipe all of those GAP T-shirts he wore--layered--at the music award show that year. LOL That was a hoot! I actually broke even working that job. Spent as much in clothes as I earned working there.)
February 13, 2009 at 10:29am · LikeUnlike ·

Brad Lee Zimmerman
Ah...one of the more memorable tag lines... "90.5FM has upped our wattage. Now up yours."
February 13, 2009 at 11:17am · LikeUnlike ·

Lee Beffort
Wow! That's pretty impressive, Bon.
February 13, 2009 at 1:15pm · LikeUnlike ·

Leah Cevoli
I will have to do this!! I lost 62 pds with Jenny Craig in '96--- and worked FOR THEM, for a few months afterwards. ;)
February 13, 2009 at 1:48pm · LikeUnlike ·

Amy Harber
And you got to play chauffeur for Hello Kitty!
February 13, 2009 at 2:54pm · LikeUnlike ·

Kerry-Ann Ellington
Fascinating list Bonnie. You're such an inspiration in any field you choose. Thanks for sharing... :0)
February 13, 2009 at 3:16pm · LikeUnlike ·

Patrick O'Sullivan
February 13, 2009 at 3:19pm · LikeUnlike ·

Janet Torreano Pound
you're not that old to do that much! ok, i also did hand modeling. one job was for a toilet accessory company. i had a hand job for a ball cock. NO LIE.
February 13, 2009 at 4:25pm · LikeUnlike ·

Austin Sloan
Lots of interesting experiences. And my students think they will go into one career and stay. I don't know too many people who have done that.
February 13, 2009 at 7:35pm · LikeUnlike ·

Deanna Casella Hunt
Love the list Bonnie. Did you really deliver pot to John Taylor??? My favorite member of Duran Duran?? Oh how I loved him.
February 13, 2009 at 8:44pm · LikeUnlike ·

Eric Mofford
is that a young Jon Bernstein in that picture? Wow, Bonnie I knew it. Our paths have crossed before.
February 13, 2009 at 9:07pm · LikeUnlike ·

Bonnie Gillespie
Brad--I had *forgotten* that one! Awesome!

Lee--Thanks. ;)

Leah--Do it! Do it!... See More

Ames--That was "DJ Kitty," baby. :) Bought for $30 at Sanrio at the Georgia Square Mall. Sold three years later on eBay for several hundred bucks. Heh heh! Loved having that big-ass kitty head in my apartment.

Kerry-Ann--Aw, thank you! :) I just have fun. (And when I don't have fun, I quit quickly. Hee!)

Patrick--Totes! You lit the fuse, baby. Loved your list and knew I had to do one too. :)

Janet--NO WAY! That's PERFECT! OMG! The PERFECT hand job! LOL

AJ--I think the dream of working in the same job for 50 years and retiring with a gold watch is long gone. Luckily, I've LOVED having the opportunity to do so many things. I've learned so much.

Deanna--Absolutely. It wasn't the biggest part of my job, but certainly one of the perks. :) JT was a dream to work for. Nick Rhodes on the other hand? WHAT a handful!

Eric--Really? Wow! Yes, Jon *swoon* was one of my favorite parts of ACT. We met at Cinegym!
February 13, 2009 at 9:42pm · LikeUnlike ·

Amy Harber
Nick is such a diva at times...hahaha.
February 14, 2009 at 2:07am · LikeUnlike ·

Posted by bonnie at 9:52 AM | Comments (0)

Feb09 12 of 12

Hello and welcome back to 12 of 12. New to 12 of 12? Visit Chad Darnell for all the info. Join us! It's ever so much fun.

12:26am: Starting off my 12 of 12 the way I spend so many hours: checking name actors' Ulmer Score rankings for producer casting grids. The way we determine which offers to make first often comes down to actor bankability (distribution, overseas sales, Netflixability, etc.).

7:16am: Ridiculously long day ahead, so I'm up after five hours and back to work. This photo is really a testament to how long I keep shit that's next to my bed. First, it's worth noting that the clock radio has been used neither as an alarm nor a radio since the late '90s. I've had a handheld device living by the bed since I got my first Palm Pilot in early 2000. Anyway, that clock radio was a gift for opening a bank account at Fulton Federal in Athens, GA, back in 1990. The little pot of lipgloss (peppermint flavored) is from Bath & Body Works in Athens, GA, purchased at Christmas season, 1995. The floweredy nail file was purchased in Sherman Oaks, CA, in 1999. And Lovingly, Georgia (one of my very favorite books) was purchased at the Oxford Bookstore in Atlanta on an outing with my lovely mother back in 1993. Seriously.

7:50am: The cute fuzzy socks I put on when it's 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, Hello Kitty. Just like the Hello Kitty blanket I keep draped under my desk. Geek!

10:39am: Have I mentioned how happy I am that Rice Chex is now gluten-free? Scheduling actors' auditions for the 2009 Cricket Feet Showcase on the spreadsheets below breakfast.

1:08pm: I've just spent the past 95 minutes in a meeting with producers on Glass Houses, the $5M feature film I'm casting. As the meeting wraps up, producer/actor Jennifer Fontaine and writer/director Mark Bernier cozy up at the Coffee Bean.

1:47pm: Back home for a bit more desk work before heading out to another meeting. Countersigning a release for a comedic scene submission for the Cricket Feet Showcase. Can't wait to read the scene!

3:01pm: Finishing a freelance article for SAG Actor Magazine (about the top three biggest mistakes actors make on their resumés) before sprinting out for the second producer meeting of the day.

3:46pm: Waiting for my lovely hubby to come back to the car after mailing books at the post office. These are my fancy pants accented perfectly by my old beat-up boots. Yes, I have cute new boots too, but there was going to be too much walking today for the heels. :) I opted for comfort.

4:56pm: Producer meeting #2 at a favorite restaurant. Yay! Lovely Joanie Fox (writer/producer) and I are going over plans for Arranging Mia (the $2M feature film I'm casting) as well as a web series we're developing together. So much fun! And Gloria's is a great place for meetings. :) Love it!

7:09pm: Class Rules! gathers. In this cute pic, Katie Swain, Lauren Dobbins Webb, Kathi Carey, and Lori Gundershaug. Let's get started!

8:44pm: More Class Rules! awesomeosity! Featured here, we have Keith Johnson, Erich Lane, Amelia Borella, and Jay Ruggieri. Yay!

9:21pm: Class Rules! February 2009 edition. :) This is the first time we've done a class pic. :) Hee! Left to right: Meline Tovmasian, Kathi Carey, Helenna Santos, Lauren Dobbins Webb, Joanie Fox, Katie Swain, Oren Rehany, Bonnie Gillespie (that's me!), Jay Ruggieri, Erich Lane, Amelia Borella, Lori Gungershaug, Julie Weidmann, Tanya Perez, Amro Salama. (Not pictured: Cristina Cimellaro, Dane Nielsen, Konstantin Lavysh, Angelina Hong, Melanie Merkosky, Keith Johnson.) Don't you LOVE the puce wall color? The bottom half of the wall is eggplant. So lovely! What's truly lovely is this class. I adore these actors. So smart, so talented, so damn fun to spend time with each week. :) Yay! Class Rules! :)

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. And thank you, Chad, for another lovely 12 of 12 experience. :) Kisses!

Posted by bonnie at 12:23 AM | Comments (4)

February 7, 2009

'80s Then and '80s Now

So, we went to an '80s party last night.

Click to enlarge.

We also went to an '80s party three years ago.

Click to enlarge.

Can you see the 55 pounds I've lost in the past year? Where'd they go? Hee! I love this. I'm gonna be the hottest 40-year-old ever!

Just 15 pounds to go 'til GOAL. And then I'll be back at my "actor weight."

Smokin' hot. So, check back for happy birthday photos in a few months. (No, I'm not turning 40 this year. I plan to reach goal weight by this summer and maintain for a year. Believe it.)

My secret?

Make good choices more often than bad choices. And make the good choices better than the bad choices are bad. Repeat. :) It's really quite simple. It's kind of like life.

Posted by bonnie at 2:17 PM | Comments (6)

February 3, 2009

Then and Now

So, last night was the book party for the 3rd edition of Self-Management for Actors.

And five-and-a-half years earlier, there was another. The first edition party.

While I appreciate every single one of the fans, friends, proofers, contributors, and supporters worldwide, the truth is, I just couldn't do it without you, Keith. I love you, baby.

Posted by bonnie at 9:31 PM | Comments (1)