September 24, 2009
"Another Harvest Moon" -- Hollywood Premiere
The Hollywood Film Festival has not yet updated its site to reflect this information, but I can finally let the cat out of the bag (and truly, I felt like I was sitting on a bag of kittens) and announce that Another Harvest Moon will have its Hollywood premiere at 7pm on Friday, October 23rd, at the stunning Arclight Theater.
Please spread the word. Please join us on October 23rd as we celebrate years of writing, planning, list-making, and filmmaking come to life. Help us celebrate a TRUE independent film that is not only touchingly beautiful, but that carries with it an empowering message to us all: WE CAN SEE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE.
Congratulations to Greg Swartz and every single member of the Another Harvest Moon team. I am so proud to share this good news. Thank you, everyone, for the support and love surrounding this $600,000 feature film. What a success story!
Posted by bonnie at 2:39 PM
August 4, 2009
Casting Dream Come True
So, you do this job you love and you have a lot of fun with it.
You blog about the awesome moments that come when you get to "see the title of a film you helped create 'up in lights.'"
You pinch yourself as you do things like book travel arrangements for a film festival at which the film you cast will premiere, and at which its star will be honored for a lifetime of awesomeosity.
And then you hold in your hands Daily Variety and Weekly Variety, each with a full-page ad for a film you cast, and you think, "Oh, man. I need to stop and feel this. Really, really feel this."
So, this is me feeling it.
It's possible my life will flow a little differently after Friday night, when Another Harvest Moon premieres. Or not! But that's the beauty of this business. That's what's so badass about what we do in this industry. Everything is always just one matching lottery number away from being "it."
And it's all so much fun, regardless of the outcome.
When I decided to start living a process-focused life, rather than an outcome-focused life, suddenly my "outcomes" got a whole lot better.
Hmm. Who knew?
So, I'm feeling it.
I'm going to "live tweet" from the RIIFF premiere and after-party on Friday. I'm trying not to freak out. But I'm enjoying that I'm riding the edge of some really amazing feelings, while teetering between panic attack and state of bliss.
May we all be so lucky not only to live our dreams, but to really feel it as it all happens!
July 3, 2009
"Another Harvest Moon" TRAILER
Well, for those who like to SHARE THE VID, like I do, it's now on YouTube and that means you can share it, embed it, comment on it, help us spread the word about this amazing little movie!
What do you think? Not bad for a $600K indie film, huh?
May 14, 2009
Thank you, readers of Back Stage West for including me among the list of "Favorite Casting Directors" (again!) and--this year--among "Favorite Industry Blogs" (behind the awesomeness that is Nikki Finke, of course) in the 2009 Readers' Choice Awards for Los Angeles.
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:
Sara Jane Nash
Hayley Marie Norman
Cody Benjamin Lee
Dale Waddington Horowitz
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
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!
January 26, 2009
Two New Breakdowns
A third will go out tonight, for the Cricket Feet Showcase, but here are the two that are out right now, for two feature films:
Good luck to all! :)
September 19, 2008
Casting in 2008
So last week I was asked to cast a spec ad for the Obama campaign. Very exciting. The producer is one I've been working with for a few years on one of my top two favorite screenplays ever (will be casting soon, I promise) and the writer/director writes things like Bourne movies and the DP shoots Soderbergh's stuff, yada yada yada. Yes. This was a big YES project for me.
Yesterday was the first day of shooting and Keith was on set both as a casting liaison and an actor (they wrote in a role for him after meeting him at auditions last week). I was home working on scene assignments for the November showcase. Started the day with 57 top scenes to choose from and ended up having (loosely) cast everything by midday, then charged in to do formatting and punch-up with my producing partner. (Yes, even the most brilliant scenes need work, as they're rarely "balanced" for two characters equally, and once we know who's playing what role, we can work in things that really showcase the actors' strengths.)
I got a call from Keith mid-morning telling me that the guys had written in another scene to shoot today. They needed a _____ (insert type, age, gender of the actor, here) and wanted to know if I could find someone right then. Keith and I brainstormed for about 90 seconds on the phone and came up with a couple of ideas, but realized they were all just "off" in some way (not the right age, too white-collar-looking, not Midwest-looking enough, etc.), so I suggested that Keith use his iPhone to show the guys some showcasers we had cast in the past two years. Let them shop for what they want at our gallery!
So, Keith hung up and showed the guys various actors from the HISTORY links at the showcase website (their headshots are all there, even after the showcase term is over). He then called me with a short list and we discussed whether it was worth even reaching out to one of the actors because he was a huge pain in the ass to work with and did we want to subject these most awesome spec ad people we adore to someone who WE wouldn't want to work with again, etc., and the decision was made to go after this one guy and then this other guy if the first guy couldn't do it. That would be our list.
Instead of having me call and try and book the guy, I had Keith call him from the set, since he'd have much more detailed information about this new scene than I would, seeing as it materialized right there on the set during the shoot (God, I love creative people!) and I'd just have to relay and say, "I don't know. I can find out," a lot. So, I sent Keith the guys' numbers and he called me back a few moments later to let me know that this guy accepted and would be emailing me at an address Keith gave to him (an address you don't have for me unless I've cast you in something), so I could send him the contract, call sheet (pre-his-character version, of course), and get his info over to wardrobe so the process could flow through quickly.
In under an hour, we went from this scene not even existing to this guy cast and on the phone with wardrobe--contract and call sheet in hand--and it's all because of the iPhone and teamwork and creativity.
I love it!
Now, I don't cast commercials. (I cast a series of print ads for SAG Indie's 10th Anniversary campaign a couple of years ago and one promo for On Air with Ryan Seacrest about five years ago, but that's it!) So, maybe this sort of thing happens all the time with creative people making up new stuff on the set and having casting get actors locked in FAST. So maybe this isn't all that impressive. But I work on indie films, pilots, and the occasional 99-seat play (sometimes for MONTHS and MONTHS), so this all moved very fast for me and felt pretty dang bad-ass, when it was all said and done.
So, there's some casting in 2008 for ya.
In other news, none of my clothes fit anymore (Yippee!); we have our biggest showcase cast ever (Yippee!); we had the Self-Management for Actors 3rd edition bluelines proofer party this week and found only two changes to make before greenlighting the print-run, which began yesterday and soon thousands of copies of this most awesome book will be hurtling toward Los Angeles and our international distributor's warehouse (Yippee!); and I will probably be joining the Facebook this weekend (NO YIPPEE. I've caved in to peer pressure. NO YIPPEE. I am WEAK! So there. NYAH).
April 29, 2008
Good LORD, I love my job.
It is so filled with mystery and adventure and "what ifs" and "what could bes" and tons of creative, amazing, brilliant, AWESOME people who inspire me at every turn.
(Makes the whackadoos and wannabes so much easier to ignore.)
Just love it. Another film. ANOTHER another film. Good LORD, I love my job!
April 20, 2008
Everybody's Workin' ON the Weekend
I expected that the weekend would be filled submissions direct from actors, hoping to join the superstar cast already in place. Well, I've just logged on after 10 hours offline and another 28 agencies and management companies have submitted.
And WTF, places like Anonymous Content and Untitled Entertainment submitting at 10:30pm on the weekend? I love this! It's a new way of working! We're always ON! :)
That's just cool. Way cool. :)
April 18, 2008
A Big Week
So, the showcase was a HUGE success, and while I was in "the Burbank office" for the week, I got word that a film I cast last year got its funding restored and will be shooting in June!
More updates to come. I'm swamped. :) Lovin' it!!
March 17, 2008
I love it...
...when a plan comes together.
March 6, 2008
Tribute to Mali Finn
I know it's old news that Mali Finn passed away last year, but I just learned about this online tribute to her and had to share it. For several reasons.
One, it's amazing. It'll really show you how much Mali loved her job and loved actors, even in just a few minutes of footage.
Two, I'm always shocked how quickly the black-and-white headshots became outdated as "the norm." Most of this footage is from The It Factor and in just six years, the "saturation" of color headshots, if you were ever looking at that many photos at once, would be overwhelming by comparison.
Three, one of Keith's first Hollywood auditions was for--yup, you guessed it--The It Factor and, in 2002 (in fact, in that exact episode used for footage in the above tribute), Keith said the memorable words, "I met a girl on the Internet and she told me to move to Hollywood so she could make me famous," which of course endeared him to Mali and got him on TV (which was the goal). He would go in again for Mali on quite a few projects before she retired a couple of years ago, and she was always very good to him. We would joke that he'll see that footage come up in a few years, like on E! True Hollywood Story or something hilarious like that.
Four, that laugh of hers. Wow. Unforgettable.
We miss you, Mali. I'm glad I got to see this tribute today. Very nice.
March 5, 2008
It is a good day to be an indie film casting director.
So, I'm casting FIVE feature films right now. The two you know about, the one I'm exec producing, and the two that haven't been announced yet (which will take me into 2009).
Therefore, when the producer on one of these fine indie films (the $20M one--about as high-budget as you can get and still be an indie) sent me this article from The Hollywood Reporter, I danced a little jig.
SAG said Tuesday that it will offer guaranteed-completion contracts to indie companies that have projects in production past the June 30 actors contract expiration date.
"We are pleased to offer guaranteed completion contracts to independent producers who are such an important source of employment for actors," said Doug Allen, SAG's national executive director and chief negotiator. "These (contracts) will allow independent producers to continue their work and continue to generate job opportunities for our members even as AMPTP employers decide unilaterally whether or when to greenlight new theatrical productions."
The contracts would quash any threat of a work stoppage for those companies that qualify, enabling them to get the financing and completion bonds required to start filming. To qualify, the indie producers must not have any financing or distribution deals with AMPTP-represented studios or companies.
Business as usual, baby. And USUAL is very, very busy 'round here lately.
God, I love my job.
February 6, 2008
Scratching the Surface: More Casting Announcements
Mrs. Shifman (Talia Shire).
And Mr. Edelman (Dan Castellaneta).
(Very exciting) offer rolling out shortly on the role of Mrs. Westin. And we're going straight to callbacks on the role of MICK, coming up in a couple of weeks. Again, THANK YOU, awesome actors, for doing the YouTube Group uploads! (More on that in this week's column.)
Congratulations, everyone! I'm just so excited about this amazing film. Wish I could be there for the shoot. You KNOW it's gonna be FUN! :)
I so love my job!!! Hee!
January 30, 2008
Lily Did It!
Yes! It's here! The webseries I cast last year has launched!
Go check it out! LilyDidIt.com Send me a vCard so I know how much you love it (and send one to Anna and Laurel and Milissa too). Hee! AWESOME!
It's like I'm more in love with my job every day. What a gift!
Congratulations, ladies!!!!!! XO
January 26, 2008
Well, all right! It's been a great week, as casting is concerned. :)
Here are some great casting announcements for Scratching the Surface (with MORE to come SOON, baby). Hee!
Meet Jake (Jeremy London).
And Amy (Laura Buckles).
Shelley (Vanessa Branch).
Maggie (Jackie Geary).
Steve (Tristan Wright).
Jennifer (Ryan Angel).
And Rachel (Kathy Gardiner).
Several new offers rolling out shortly. We'll be going straight to callbacks on the role of MICK for sure (and, OMG, how many great candidates do we have for this one? Oooooh! THANK YOU for the YouTube Group uploads! They're great) and I'm just thrilled with how much awesomeness is overflowing on this precious film! Congrats, all!
More updates to come. :)
January 25, 2008
The Italian Job
By now, you've probably seen the breakdown for The Quest, the highest-budget indie feature film one could possibly cast without being affiliated with a major studio (and certainly the highest-budget indie feature film this chica has ever had her hands on thus far).
Well, in case this is news to you, The Quest is an amazing historical adventure shooting this summer in Rome. It's a script by Max Bartoli, Jeffrey Stackhouse, Sam Ingraffia, and Doug Burch; directed by Max Bartoli; produced by Brendan Davis and Blue Nelson for Tangible Entertainment and Max Bartoli for MaXaM Productions in association with executive producer AVT Shankardass for Victory Productions UK.
In addition to the nine roles on the public breakdown, we're going for major star names on another half-dozen roles and, I know regular BonBlogs readers anticipate--by this point in the casting process on most breakdowns I put out there--a slew of numbers to pour over (or obsess over, depending on your style). Hee! Well... here's why I've had no time to even calculate the numbers, let alone post about them.
Turns out--brace yourself--it seems that when you cast a project that is ten times the budget of the biggest project you have ever cast previously, you actually *do* get ten times the traffic in terms of phones, emails, faxes, drop-bys, etc.
< Craig mode > "I know!" < / Craig mode >
Um, I'm busy. And I'm also really thrilled with this gig. Not only is it a mind-blowingly COOL concept, outstanding script, and magical story told in stunning locations, the production team is dynamic, talented, brilliant--dare I say--visionary. And I'm honored to be on the team.
(Oh, and, OF COURSE, I'm thrilled to have to add to my "To Do List" that I need to renew my passport. Hee! I mean, a casting director must travel to Rome during shooting in order to "gather casting paperwork" or something, right?!? Hee!)
Ah... in the words of "Hannibal" Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together." ;) Amazingly, a random visit to the Improv to scout comics with fellow Atlantan Jonathan Walker Spencer one year ago would allow me to meet fellow gadget-lover and Atlantan Brendan Davis who would not only come to every single edition of the Cricket Feet Showcase but end up hiring me to do the coolest casting gig of my career thus far. That's cool-ass Hollywood, y'all. (And as Brendan loves to say, "We roll deep." Atlanta Posse, baby. Don't ignore it. It's the new Gay Mafia in Hollywood, yo.)
Oh!!! And speaking of the showcase and The Quest!! Brendan and his team scouted an actor at the November showcase who they adored so much, they CAST HER IN A ROLE in The Quest just based on her showcase performance! That's right... Anoush NeVart is playing the role of PINA and it was really cool to "announce" that bit of casting information right there on the breakdown. Enjoy the buzz, Anoush. Hee!
And, while I'm talking "showcase," I should mention that the breakdown for the April 2008 showcase is going out later today (yes, a little early; yes, before we've even interviewed potential directors--heck, we weren't anticipating over 100 resumé submissions on our "call for directors" from earlier this month--we have a lot of people we want to chat with). Hope you'll join us on the ride! :)
Back to The Quest! One little sad "thing" is how many (about a half-dozen, probably) of my coverage reps at "the bigs" (who were all assistants or sub-agents for the most part) are GONE due to strike cutbacks at their agencies. It's so weird. And sad. And I hope they will all come back when things are back in full-Hollywood-swing (or that they've already landed on their feet elsewhere and are happy for the new opportunity). *sigh*
Next casting-related post (hopefully) will include FIVE casting attachments for Scratching the Surface, the sweet, super-cute rom-com I'm casting right now as well. :) *beams* I'm really excited for the deals we're working out, but won't post about 'em 'til we're all set. You know how that goes.
Life is good, y'all! Moto bello! (I think that means something good. I like the sound of it, either way.)
January 17, 2008
Casting Numbers... Another Update
Just got home from a lovely evening of whispering at the SAG Foundation Casting Access Project. A couple of VERY talented actors tonight... and a head-scratcher or two (in terms of crossing the line with appropriate favor-asking). Always something baffling to balance out every something wonderful Hee! Life's like that.
So, right as I left for the night, an agent whose celeb client has an offer on Scratching the Surface called with a very enthusiastic reaction on the part of the actor, who has now read the script. I LOVE it when that happens! Stay tuned for an announcement soon. Hee!
Had to say no today to two casting gigs because it looks like a biggie is coming together, and that'll monopolize my time and energy in the best possible way for several months, here. Again, I say, "Stay tuned."
Deliciously fun production meeting for Blake Robbins Is Not Famous (the film I'm exec producing) last night before Tuesdays@9, then lots of paperwork today (egads, producing = paperwork). Tomorrow = shooting two test scenes for the Cricket Feet Showcase web-series. And, um, I'm supposed to send my head-honcho proofer home on her flight from visiting LA this weekend with a manuscript of SMFA3 and I haven't... um... put together anything close to "manuscript volume" to hand off. Eesh!
The breakdown for Scratching the Surface went out around 11am Monday. As of 11:30pm Wednesday (so, technically yesterday, but whatevz), here are the numbers.
Total submissions (on nine speaking roles): 10,738 (Amy = 1338, Jake = 1649, Maggie = 1291, Shelley = 1235, Mick = 1594, Mrs. Shifman = 420, Steve = 1868, Mr. Edelman = 893, Mrs. Westin = 451).
Number of agencies/management firms submitting (from California, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Washington, British Columbia, and Ontario): 478.
Number of actors self-submitting via Actors Access: 5157.
Number of "selects" (see previous entries on the way these numbers change, over the first week or so after the breakdown goes out--are ranked "1," "2," and "3" and those numbers now mean "name actors who can sell our film," "namey actors who we'd be happy to get, but who don't bring huge name value to our film," and "actors I can't wait to cast but who really aren't on anyone's radar more than a blip here or there, if at all"). And here's how many actors are "selects" anymore (not breaking it down into number of 1's, 2's, or 3's for y'all anymore): 1103 (Amy = 69, Jake = 101, Maggie = 71, Shelley = 175, Mick = 250, Mrs. Shifman = 128, Steve = 92, Mr. Edelman = 155, Mrs. Westin = 61).
Offers are out on three roles so far, with more offers to roll out next week. At this point, I'm not sure whether we'll actually hold sessions for this thing! (We may just go straight to callbacks, at this rate.) The combination of the number of name actors into this thing and the actors uploading their own audition videos at the Cricket Feet Casting group at YouTube is making straight offers--even on the supporting roles (for local hires especially) a reality. Is this the future of casting? Sure is cool, I can say that!
Oh, and as I sign off, let me just say that I have NEVER been so confused about my thoughts on an upcoming election. I almost always know exactly who I'm going to vote for WAY in advance of "the big day." And lately, I change my mind like EVERY day. I have NO idea who I'm going to vote for. Is that what "getting older" does to a person? Or is this field of candidates THAT dang confounding?
Thanks for the feedback on the Actors' Life interview, y'all. I really enjoyed doing it and I'm glad everyone is enjoying it too. :)
January 10, 2008
More Geeky Casting Numbers
Phew! I'm exhausted. And with good reason.
The breakdown for Scratching the Surface went out around 11am Monday. As of 12:30am today, here are the numbers.
Total submissions (on nine speaking roles): 9907 (Amy = 1241, Jake = 1517, Maggie = 1119, Shelley = 1111, Mick = 1472, Mrs. Shifman = 384, Steve = 1735, Mr. Edelman = 840, Mrs. Westin = 408)
Number of agencies/management firms submitting (from California, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Washington, British Columbia, and Ontario, so far): 449
Number of actors self-submitting via Actors Access: 4723
Now, you've probably already read about how I score the "selects" in the first day or two of casting.
This morning, the numbers are assigned a different value structure:
1 = name actors (their names will help us sell the film, get distribution, inspire investors to come up with even more money)
2 = actors whose work I know (this includes actors who, in Hollywood, are definitely "name" actors and certainly people we would all love to work with, but whose names aren't so weighty that you needn't do a little, "You know... the guy from that show..." in order to explain who the actor is to someone in the real world. It also includes actors I've cast before, actors who've come to callbacks with me before, actors whose work I've always liked even if we've never met at an audition, etc.)
3 = actors who included demo reels with their submissions, so we have one last chance to see their work and decide whether we'd like to have them advance further. We may or may not ever get to watching all of these reels, sadly. This is the "next-to-be-cut" group of actors, unless something inspires us to keep 'em in the mix (we're also looking at actors' self-submitted YouTube footage at the Cricket Feet Casting group on that site).
And numbers, right now, go like this:
109 actors ranked 1
1919 actors ranked 2
1416 actors ranked 3
Looks like we'll make some offers this week (or early next week) to top contenders/name actors pitched for the roles of Mrs. Shifman and Mr. Edelman (seriously, folks, if you could see the "OMIGOD YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME" level of pitches for these two roles alone, you'd be agog). Then we'll decide on some next round offers and/or name actor meetings to arrange, choose sides and audition dates, and then start deciding who gets invited to those prereads.
Yippee! It's way fun to be a casting geek! Hee!
Thanks for enjoying the ride with me (and for those of you who don't, well, um... I hope that my post's titles serve as "spoiler warnings" to keep you from reading and getting depressed. It's just not depressing to me. It's my JOB, baby! I love it).
January 8, 2008
Geeky Casting Numbers
You know how I loooooove my geeky casting numbers. :)
Breakdown for Scratching the Surface went out yesterday just after 11am. As of 4:30pm today, here are the numbers.
Total submissions (on nine speaking roles): 8799 (Amy = 1098, Jake = 1356, Maggie = 1058, Shelley = 1002, Mick = 1296, Mrs. Shifman = 332, Steve = 1542, Mr. Edelman = 755, Mrs. Westin = 360)
Number of agencies/management firms submitting (from California, New York, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Vancouver, and Ontario, so far): 419
Number of actors self-submitting via Actors Access: 4272
Now, in the first day(s) of marking "selects," I go through and score actors as follows:
1 = I know their work (so, that's anything from a "name" actor whose work we ALL know to an actor who included a demo reel so we can "know" their work in a click, and anything from actors I've cast before and can't wait to cast again alllll the way down to an actor on my "never, never, never" list, but at least I know their work, so they get a 1 for this first time through)
2 = I know them, but not their work OR I know and love their agent or manager, so they should be considered based on reputation alone
3 = Don't know 'em, don't know their work, but I like their look enough to not dismiss 'em just yet... but these are the folks who will, all at once, LEAVE the "selects" within the next few hours, unless one of the producers says, "Oh, I know her! She's great! Keep her in the mix."
And numbers, right now, go like this:
2380 actors ranked 1, 584 actors ranked 2, 4170 actors ranked 3.
Yup, so in another few hours, our number of "selects" will go from 7133 to under 3000. And then down to... well, eventually... one actor per role. ;)
Flyin' my geek flag proud! (Even with laryngitis, which is actually a nice way to not have to deal with too many phone calls.)
Thank you for submitting, everyone! I'm thrilled!! :)
December 27, 2007
So, in addition to the two films I've been casting (and that I'm assured are both a GO for 2008, which means smaller role casting now that a few name actors are attached) and the film I'm both casting and exec producing (news on that one next week or so), I've just signed on to cast a $1M feature film shooting in Louisiana in late March.
It's a super-cute rom-com and I'm very excited about it. Breakdown should go out mid-next week.
PS--Brr! It's chillycold!
December 10, 2007
SAG Foundation Events, Saturday & Monday
Just got contacted by the wonderful folks over at the SAG Foundation and I--along with my fellow Actors Access/Showfax columnist Mark Sikes--will be putting on a SAG Liferaft Seminar as a part of their PREP FOR PILOT SEASON series. We're going to focus on headshots and resumés, making sure actors are presenting themselves in their most marketable light.
If you're a member of SAG, you can sign up right now using the link below.
This event will take place on Monday, December 17th from 1pm to 3pm at the James Cagney Room at SAG. Please bring your headshots and resumés and check in early to get your materials reviewed by us in front of the whole group. :)
Very excited to do another seminar with SAG Foundation (I'm also moderating a talk with the entire cast of HEROES on Saturday the 15th, and you can RSVP for that event here: http://www.sagfoundation.org/cgi-bin/event.cgi?session_file=&site_category=conversations&date=20071215 if you'd like).
Thanks, everyone, for your support of SAG Foundation activities.
See you soon,
Cricket Feet, Inc.
November 27, 2007
Your Chance To See "Broken Windows"
Are you free Thursday night? Would you like to come see this movie I cast? (The Broken Windows' IMDB page is here.)
Please send an email to the amazing film's amazing writer/director Tony Hickman at tonhickman [at] hotmail [dot] com (spelling that email address out to keep the spam-bots away) and let him know the following:
1. Your name.
2. Number in your party.
3. How much you love the casting already. ;) Hee!
The screening is at 7pm on Thursday at AFI (Mark Goodson Screening Room) and space is limited, so you *must* RSVP.
Hope to schmooze with you fine people after the screening! Thanks in advance for your rockstar support.
November 15, 2007
Look at this GORGEOUS movie I cast!
Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow.
October 28, 2007
The Actors Voice, 10/29/07
Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.
Seems to be going around. There's an outbreak of bad manners intersecting with a heightened level of sensitivity. And it has caused my inbox to become filled with emails from actors wondering why casting directors are such meanies.
Well, here's the short answer: Most of us aren't. Most of us are actually really decent people who treat professional actors professionally and unprofessional actors politely.
But even decent people who almost always behave professionally sometimes have bad days. Now, that doesn't give anyone the right to be flat-out mean to someone who's just doing his best, but not everyone plays by the same rules.
However, in at least a couple of the examples that actors have been emailing to me this week, the "bad behavior" isn't actually coming from casting directors. It's coming from folks who are bypassing the casting director and putting out breakdowns on their own. Sometimes it's a producer doing her own thing. Sometimes it's an actor trying to bring together a project for himself, searching for a supporting cast. And sometimes, yes, it is a casting director. And, at least from some of the examples you've sent my way, I'd have to agree: We're dealing with some meanies.
That said, the "fix" for this situations is easy: Toughen up. (Oh, and in case you think I mean it's the actor who needs to toughen up, let me assure you that this goes for these "casting people" too. Bear with me. This will make sense in a moment.)
As always, THANK YOU for reading!
Be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV on Thursday for the final POV in a four-part series from Prague-based CD, Nancy Bishop.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.
September 30, 2007
The Actors Voice, 10/1/07
Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.
One of my actor friends mentioned that my columns had been heavy on the analogies lately. Yeah, that's definitely true. We've had a little football, a little high school, and a little cereal. So, I pledged to make this week's column very straightforward. I was going to enter an analogy-free zone. I promised myself. And then, as I drove to a speaking engagement the other night, I came up with another flippin' actor analogy.
So I bounced it off a group of showcasers I was meeting with. Could I go against my plan to have an analogy-free column? Was this one worth it? Yes, they assured me. So, here it is. I'm going to write about the A-List Playlist. To get into the mindset where this will work, I ask that you hop in the car with me, as I drive to this speaking engagement. But first, you have to understand the lengths I will go to avoid crossing the 405. (Yes, I am a Westside snob. And it's not because I think the Westside is better than anywhere else; it's because I really, really, really love living and working by the beach and I find it to be a "day trip" any time I leave the 310.)
One of the ways I make the trip to Hollywood bearable is through listening to really outstanding music. But I don't always start out with the iPod. I will generally give the six radio stations on my car stereo's preset a shot... until I can't handle the unpredictable, random, occasionally interesting but eventually less pleasing musical options coming through. And that's exactly like casting. Eventually, we all go to our A-List Playlist.
Be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV for the second POV in a four-part series from Prague-based CD Nancy Bishop.
As always, THANK YOU for reading!
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.
September 22, 2007
Perks of the Job
Okay, now this is way cool. Keith gets home and brings up the mail (from our "other" post office box, the one we only check like once a week). Inside? Among the headshots, postcards, and cool office supply catalogues?
An invitation to the champagne breakfast celebrating the Screen Actors Guild's presentation of the Award of Excellence Star on the Walk of Fame.
It would seem that these years of volunteering to talk to groups of actors at SAG is now paying off in some really cool ways. Last year, red carpet premiere and after party for Running with Scissors. This year, way cooler. Way. Walk of Fame, baby. Champagne breakfast before. Yeah. Totally cool.
I love my job.
Gotta go. The gym is calling! :)
September 7, 2007
November Showcase CAST Announced!
Congratulations to our November 2007 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase CAST!
Let's meet 'em, shall we?
Jenna Ann West
Matthew J. Cates
Links to actors' official actor profiles (with resumés, demo reels, and all that good stuff) will be coming soon at the Cricket Feet Showcase website. Congratulations, everyone! And THANK YOU to all of the amazing actors who auditioned for our November showcase. We hope to work with you in the future!
September 3, 2007
The Actors Voice, 9/3/07
Here's how today's The Actors Voice starts out.
I've recently been working quite a bit with a filmmaker I've known for just under three years. In showbiz, that's both a very short time and a lifetime. We've now worked as director (she) and casting director (me) on five projects (and another couple of projects on which we each had different jobs). Basically, at this point, she's my Ron Howard and I'm her Jane and Janet. And we're both really fine with the seed that relationship comparison plants.
During casting meetings on the most recent couple of projects we've done together, I noticed something really cool happening. Now, we always enjoy collaborating. We always have a blast working together (which is why we continue to do so). And now that we have this history of projects on which we've teamed up, we have created this sort of shorthand that we can use, when discussing options on our current projects.
"Y'know who she reminds me of?"
"Yes! I thought so too!"
"That was such a good call. She worked out great for the role, even though she was younger than we initially wanted to go."
"Wonder if we should go younger with this role too."
"We could. But only if we find the right actor."
"Yeah, because we learned the hard way that a non-pro can eat up way too much time on set and we don't have a lot of it, when working with minors."
"Right. So let's be open to going younger if someone with the right level of credits walks in and wows us."
"Like she did, when we first met her."
And on we go with our day. And this sort of conversation continues to happen several times over about all sorts of different issues, people, and experiences we've shared. Further, when we're not even in the same city, we'll have email exchanges, phone conferences, and instant messages flying back and forth in which we use the shorthand we've created on previous jobs to get us moving along faster and more efficiently in our current ones.
That, in short, is why people who like to work together like to work together. Call it favoritism. Call it nepotism. Call it a closed network. What it is is an efficient, familiar, easier way of doing business when every second counts (and costs a bundle).
As always, THANK YOU for reading!
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.
August 29, 2007
The Kitty Landers Show
We also re-released the breakdown (with revisions) for two remaining roles. VERY excited!
(Thank you for all of the amazing vibes about my big meeting with Mr. Superagent yesterday. It went extraordinarily well. Friday I will know if it went "just" as well as I already know it went--which is simply mind-blowingly awesome--or if it went even BETTER than that. Stay tuned!)
August 21, 2007
Casting Assignment List for 2007/2008 TV Season!
From the amazing Showfax Bob at Showfax.com:
Our CD assignments list for the 2007/2008 season is ready and will be released shortly but I put the file aside so you can get it now. :) It's free. (PDF file, requires Acrobat Reader.)
Yay! Thanks, Bob!!!!! :)
August 17, 2007
AWESOME Casting Day for LilyDidIt.com
Wow! Just wow.
Such an amazing day.
Regular readers of the BonBlogs know that I'm a big fan of the casting sessions. (Holy crap, do I LOVE seeing all of the potential options for our projects!! LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!)
But today was especially special.
See, we're looking for the LILY in LilyDidIt.com. This is THE FACE of our series. This is potentially way-damn-huge. And, due to stuff we can't talk about unless you've signed the non-disclosure agreement, the potential for hugeness is bigger than "just" finding a series regular for a pilot. We're not looking to invite someone into the world's homes each week... we're... well... doing something bigger than that.
And today was wonderful. WONDERFUL.
Yes, we had actors upload auditions to our YouTube channel. Yes, we reviewed those, plus headshots, resumés, and demo reels to get to this point. And now we have a really tough decision to make--and so many freakin' amazing candidates from which to choose.
Looks like we've gotten down to our "final three" and now we're gonna play on it for the weekend. (No, not sleep on it. Play on it. It's Anna's birthday and that means play. We'll decide after that. Hee!) And we're reaching out to our favorite dozen beyond that top three to see if they'll be interested in being "friends to Lily," which we'll certainly need, pending series pick-up.
Ooooooooh, I'm just so DANG excited. No matter what, this has been an amazing experience and I love love LOVE sessions because they remind me that actors are beautiful, wonderful, creative creatures with loads of brilliant instincts and passion for life... and they're dang funny too.
Just wow. Great day. GREAT.
August 7, 2007
New Breakdowns (THREE!) Posted Today
This is a repost from the Cricket Feet mailing list. (Busy day... consolidating the efforts, you understand.)
Thanks so much for being a part of the Cricket Feet mailing list! REALLY appreciate the love!
Wanted to give y'all a heads up about three new breakdowns that were posted today at Actors Access (WOO HOO)!
Yes, Another Harvest Moon (feature film starring Ernest Borgnine, Doris Roberts, Anne Meara, Piper Laurie, Richard Schiff, and Amber Benson) is still casting: Click for breakdown (although it looks like we may move the shoot to Philly--will know for sure by 8/15 or so).
Oooh, just really happy with casting lately. OH, and THANK YOU for your recent feedback on my columns AND on our NEW LOGO (thanks Communicatrix) ... we are SO PROUD of the new baby! Celebrating our fifth anniversary as Cricket Feet, Inc. THANKS for joining us on this ride!!
August 3, 2007
Woo hoo! Good casting day!
So, before we left the house to attend the cast and crew screening of Mark Apicella's Salvation, Texas (which, by the way, is STUNNINGLY beautiful), I put together bids for two casting projects I've been asked to consider taking on (this is two of FOUR requests that have come in within the span of SEVEN DAYS--I kid you not).
So, I email out these two bids, thinking, "Man, I'd love to cast these projects. I'd LOVE to work with these people. I seriously dig this whole she-bang! (And what a cool job do I have? So dang cool.)" Then we leave and I talk about how I'm feeling at a transition point in my career, and it's all wonderful stuff and blah blah blah.
Come home, and there's two emails waiting. Both bids have been accepted and I have two new casting gigs starting up next week. YIPPEE!!! (And yes, I still have two more projects' bid requests to field... and Another Harvest Moon, of course... and the breakdown for the November edition of the Cricket Feet Showcase. And... this super cool project that I've not talked to many folks about because it's one of those things that would be so life-changing if it happens that I'm kind of playing my cards a little close to the vest until we see what happens... and... and... and....
So, life is good. I'm ecstatic. (Wait... can you end the sentence "I'm ecstatic" with a period? I mean, it pretty much requires an exclamation point, right?) So, okay... I'm ready to hire an agent. Or manager. Or attorney. I can't field all of these offers and read all of these scripts anymore. Quality problem, of course. But I think the "mom and pop shop" days are coming to an end. Wow! Gotta love the come-truing of dreams! VERY exciting!
August 2, 2007
"Another Harvest Moon" Casting News
So, I'm way behind in updating y'all about the attachments we've made for Another Harvest Moon. (I'm giddy. Seriously. Would you LOOK at this cast?!?)
Um, hi. Can you say, "I'd like to thank the Academy," folks? Well... SOMEONE is gonna be saying that, about this film. Wow! Wow! Wow!
For those of you hankerin' to get to read on the minor roles we still have to cast, please note a couple of things: The film is now 85% likely shooting in Harrisburg, PA (in the hospital they used for Girl, Interrupted). That means we'll do a rerelease of the breakdown and seek ONLY actors who are willing to work as Pennsylvania LOCAL HIRES. Or... we'll simply cast those roles out of PA altogether (paging Mike Lemon).
So, I know the original breakdown said we'd start prereads in LA next week but, until the other 15% of the 85%-likely-to-shoot-in-PA thing either comes together or doesn't, we're not moving forward with those auditions. So, hang in there, wouldja? More announcements to come! Yippee! I'm all kinds of blissed out!
July 24, 2007
As if today couldn't get any cooler.
Oooooh, I'm just so flippin' ecstatic!
I love today. *beams*
June 25, 2007
First Casting Announcement
Whee! Very excited! We have attached our first two actors to Another Harvest Moon.
Congratulations and welcome, ladies. Very excited to have you on board!
Woo hoo! I love this job!
June 7, 2007
"Broken Windows" Blurb
Oooh, this is so cool! Love it!
From the piece at indieWIRE:
"Many times in films I feel that the women are there to show the men," [director Tony Hickman] says. "Like, if the man wasn't in the film the woman wouldn't have a role. I wanted to take some interesting characters, follow them, watch them, not really manufacture the drama just have them come from the characters," Hickman says about coming up with the stories.
They plan to have it edited in time for the Sundance deadline. Man, I have a feeling I'm gonna be LOVING January 2008, babe. Woo!
June 2, 2007
Congratulations to our July 2007 Showcase cast!
I am so excited about our cast!!!!
Ingrid Sanai Buron
J. Eddie Martinez
Vanessa Claire Smith
(Of course... as I'm sharing love and MySpace links, I should give shout-outs to our director Anna Christopher, rockstar intern-in-training Jennie Roberson, and ME... your cruise director... Bonnie Gillespie. Woo!)
(Links to other MySpace pages will come, when I learn them... heh; official "actor page" links will be up at the Cricket Feet Showcase website next week.)
THIS SHOWCASE IS GONNA ROCK!!!
Thank you, everyone, for your patience with me during this nearly impossible/certainly difficult decision-making process! I am thrilled with this new cast. Holy crap, just wait 'til you see these kids! Wow!
June 1, 2007
Casting Is Exhausting!
Let me be more specific. Casting for the showcase is exhausting!.
Y'know how--with every production of any kind--you have that one "hell day" that is just really "not right" (and once you have it, you're glad it's over with)? Well what I'm hoping was "hell day" for the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase July edition was yesterday.
Partner in the hospital. Director late. Session runner late. Forty actors early. Blah blah blah.
(Honestly, as hell days go, it was low-end drama; but it's not the way I like to get started, just the same.)
At one point, actors were shivering out in the alleyway waiting to come in and audition (for some reason, Keith wouldn't let them go wait in the hallway inside), and I figured, "Well, it may be really cold on May 31st in Santa Monica, but at least it's not like March 31st in Chicago or something!" I'm all about the glass half-full, baby!
Anyway, even the worst day doing this kind of job beats the best day in other careers, I'm sure.
Point is, Anna and I met before the auditions and then for two hours after auditions (which ran an hour over--thank goodness for the Cricket Feet checkbook, baby) to go over our casting choices. And we met with Eitan on IM for a two-hour meeting today to fight for our favorite actors in pulling the final cast list together. MAN! It's exhausting!
Anna said, "It's not like when we cast Queen of Cactus Cove and I could look at actors and say, 'She's Billie. She's not. She's got a Billie quality. She might work.' This is a totally different casting process!" True. And it's awesome.
I'm now officially exhausted. Check back for the *real* blog entry in which I list all of these amazing actors' names, link to their sites, display thumbnails of their gorgeous faces, and congratulate them officially. It won't be long now.
Man... I didn't think I could be this excited, exhilarated, and exhausted all at once. Phew!
May 30, 2007
AHM numbers (slowing down now)
If you've been paying attention, you see that the bulk of the submissions come in early. (Oh, but they'll continue for months. I'm still getting electronic submissions on breakdowns released *years* ago. Yes... for films that have been cast, shot, edited, screened, and sold into the Netflix system.)
Here's where the numbers stand now:
- submissions from 436 agents and managers, plus Actors Access' submissions
- total of 11,107 submissions
- 6,685 submissions came through Actors Access, the rest came through agents and managers
Here's how the numbers break down, by character:
4--THAT WILSON WOMAN
95--RECORDED VOICE (VOICEOVER)
Break a leg, everyone! I hope that seeing these numbers is encouraging to you! It just proves that, every time you get an audition, you have made it past a buttload of people just to get into the room.
So, welcome into the room. Make the best of that shot!
May 24, 2007
Numbers: One Week After AHM Breakdown Went Out
So far we have...
- received submissions from 432 agents and managers, plus Actors Access' submissions
- received a grand total of 10,910 submissions
- fielded 62 pitch calls
- made three formal offers
- sent copies of the script to another three "on-deck" folks who will receive offers if the stars align for them and for us
No more naked photos. Phew!
Here's how the numbers breakdown, by character:
4--THAT WILSON WOMAN
94--RECORDED VOICE (VOICEOVER)
We had one very persistent stage mother (I seriously forget, from project to project, some of what to expect) call several times every day because she wasn't sure that she "trusted Actors Access" to get her submission to us. Of course, if I had fielded the call, it would've included a smackdown along the lines of, "Do you think, if ten thousand people called--multiple times, daily--to be sure their submission made it, we'd ever actually get any CASTING done?" But instead, Keith took the call and very sweetly directed her to resources like my column, BizParentz.com, and PARF, encouraging her to get educated and trust the process.
(See, for as much as I am described as Oprah and Keith is described as Dr. Phil, when it comes to our temperament and dealing with the public, sometimes he is a big ol' softy and I'm a crusty bitch. Ah... so sweet.)
Um, so what else?
Oh! We rolled out appointments for the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase July edition. Woo! Very excited about this next round (and also sad to officially close off the last round).
I've also taken on a Midwest Intern (introduce yourself if you'd like, I'm not going to out you 'less you wanna be outed) who will be answering emails for me. YES! I'm serious! It's gotten that crazy!
One last thing... does anyone know anything and everything about JoBeth Williams? Seems I'm the new host of the "Conversations with..." series over at SAG Foundation and I kinda need to bone up on her, seeing as we're doing that whole "Inside the Actor's Studio" thing next week. Woo! So excited!
May 21, 2007
Casting Numbers (Minor Update... Busy)
This is a quickie. I've spent most of the day working on showcase stuff (emailing with July auditioners and potential auditioners, screening potential scenes, scheduling issues) and I am really impressed with these actors' credits. Wow!
Anyway, before I dive back into it (and go for a walk, then return to prep the outstanding offer we're making to a NY-based name actor tomorrow), here are the casting numbers as of 10pm four days after the breakdown came out.
- Total submissions: 10,501
- Number of agencies and management companies submitting: 419, plus Actors Access
- States in which agencies and management companies are based: California, New York, New Jersey, Texas... plus British Columbia.
Like I said, it's a minor update. Sorry 'bout that. Tired. Busy. Still much to do. XO
May 20, 2007
- Total submissions: 9729
- Roles with most submissions: Paul: 2495 and Gretchen: 2592
- Roles with fewest submissions: That Wilson Woman: 4, Ella: 26, and June: 30
- Number of girls between the ages of 6 and 14 with the names Taylor, Hailey, or Madison: infinite (okay, okay, more like 300 or so, but whatever)
- Number of agencies and management companies submitting: 399, plus Actors Access
Bob Brody totally got it right in his POV about submitting early. I cannot tell you how fast my eyes glaze over when we get to the dozenth actor of the exact same type, look, vibe for a particular role. And by then, I'm just saying, "Nope. We already have you in the mix." Damn shame that sometimes submission timing is the only thing that might keep an actor off that first list, but it's just how it goes. If I already have that type "covered" in my YES stack, I simply don't need to cover it again.
Oh, and to answer your questions about the naked photos via email, the sender said it was so she could "show what's real" about her and her hubby (who "would love a small part as well"). As for herself, she was submitting for the role of VICKIE. She suggested that Charlton Heston should be cast as her father.
As for emails I'm enjoying, those are like this: "Hey, I actually worked with so-and-so on a film a few years back. If it's okay with you, I'm going to suggest that his manager read this script, because it's really good and I think he'd be a great FRANK. Of course, you know that I would also love to be considered for RITA, but that's only part of why I'm writing. Hee! Anyway, you'll see my submission in the mix. Let me know if it's cool to nudge the manager or if that might cause problems with what you've already got brewing. Always good to see your breakdowns. You choose such amazing projects."
Right on. Playing by the rules and looking to help out. All good stuff. And no attachments! Woo!
If you want to read a bit about my casting philosophy and the challenge of getting name actors onboard for low budget indies, check out page three of this thread (actually the whole thread is interesting).
All right... time to write the column so's that I can take some time off tonight and go to this really cool screening party thing that this hot Oscar-winning actor friend has goin' on. ;) (Assaf, do you ever get tired of being called an Oscar winner?)
May 18, 2007
Casting Numbers: 24 Hours Since Releasing the Breakdown
- 8861 electronic submissions through the system as requested...
- (another 90 or so emails with and without attachments--some attachments including NAKED PHOTOS OF THE ACTORS--sent to *six* different email addresses I have, plus emails to the director, who is totally not amused)
- 32 pitch calls from agents and managers...
- 7 calls from actors wanting to be sure I saw their submission (some other calls to Keith's cell phone to check same, but I didn't keep count of those)
- 395 agencies and management companies have submitted through the system so far, plus actors submitting through Actors Access. I still haven't viewed nearly half of the submissions. They're coming in so fast! (And I'm still working on Showcase submissions and material, as well as our freakin' taxes. Ugh.)
- largest number of submissions from an "agent" was 143 actors (ah, yes, of course... from my favorite "spaghetti slinging, kickback lovin' company") and the smallest number of submissions from an agent or manager was 1
I am now officially ready for a wee break. :)
Phew! That was fun.
Now for a REAL break. ;)
More numbers to come, of course. I trust there are other geeks like me that enjoy this stuff. ;)
May 17, 2007
The Anatomy of a Breakdown
And we've already had 4398 submissions from 234 agencies and management companies, plus actors submitting directly via Actors Access.
(I'm not going to mention the agents' phone pitches--which are usually short and professional and therefore something I generally love--or the actors' sometimes wholly inappropriate self-pitches... via phone, via email to me, via email TO THE DIRECTOR--which tend to suck up our time and patient energy for actor-love.)
So, what happens when I hit the screen and see these submissions start pouring in?
I begin clicking on my favorite agents and managers. I open their submissions first. And I giggle with flat-out glee when I see electronic submissions from "the bigs" among my long-term favorite mom-and-pop shops. In fact, when I opened one of the biggest biggies tonight, I hopped up and down and squealed. "Keith! Oh my GAWD! They're finally opening my breakdowns over there! We have ARRIVED!"
Sorry to get all weird and school-girly about this, but there's something really amazing about having someone do coverage on you at an agency that previously wouldn't return your offer calls. It's just like... well... it's time. And apparently working your ass off, choosing exceptionally strong material, and surrounding yourself with the best people on the planet eventually leads to (funnily enough) more of the same.
And I still really, really, really appreciate the "little companies" that have been with me from the beginning. It is so much fun to "come up together" in this. And, you might like to know that I send thank you notes to a few of the managers who rep my FAVORITE people, thanking them for just always making me smile.
I haven't even begun to sort the bulk of the submissions received thus far tonight. I suspect tomorrow will be pretty intense, as the folks who left the office before 6pm will be seeing the breakdown then... and the pitch calls will start back up as we develop our gameplan for name actor offers that will go out based on some of these pitches come Monday.
I have to say, as much as I love love LOVE the audition process, there is something really cool about putting a "name" actor's name in a breakdown as a prototype and having that very actor pitched within ten minutes of the breakdown's release. And for those actors who really dislike hearing that there are roles out there that will go to "name" actors with no auditions whatsoever, all I have to say about that is this: Oftentimes the indie film is FUNDED due to these attachments, and it's because of that that we can then audition the future name actors of the world for smaller roles and help send them on their way to becoming the next round of name actors on the map.
Goodness, I love my job.
PS--THANK YOU Rockstar Intern Julie. I could not do this without you!!
Casting "Another Harvest Moon"
Go... submit. Details to come on my blog soon.
More info and a link to a PDF copy of the script at CricketFeet.com/Casting.
VERY excited! This is a great script.
April 30, 2007
Wow! I just love love love the level of work I am constantly exposed to lately.
I had the honor of being a judge in the first ever Tisch Actors West Monologue Slam tonight.
Holy crap, that's some talented folk! Congratulations to Dahéli Hall on her well-deserved win (and bonus points to her, Cricket Leigh, and Ruthy Otero for not only rocking but for having written their own brilliant material--also brilliant, but not confirmed as authors of their monologues are Sabah El-Amin and Arnell Powell). Heck, Alison White rocked too... and so did Amelia Borella (also cool to see her manager Paul Trusik for the second time in just days). Wow. Just everyone rocked. How do I begin to lavish appropriate amounts of praise?
Big thanks to Victor Williams for hooking me up with the Tisch Actors West gang. I'm just so very pleased to have shared such a fun night with my girl Twinkie Byrd (who loves loves loves the bio I wrote for her), new best friend Paul Dinh-McCrillis, super witty Eriq La Salle, and simply yummy Seith Mann.
Bookend tonight with the meeting I had this morning with the director of the next couple of films I'm casting, and you just can't whip up a better day. Yup. I just love my job.
April 25, 2007
I've been feeling for weeks as though I may have quite possibly tapped into a "company" of actors, via this Cricket Feet Showcase thing.
For the most part, it's seriously a group of people I'd work with again and again and again. In a heartbeat. Period.
So, today, among the many, many, MANY emails from industry folks giving me feedback on the showcase was the suggestion that this might just be a COMPANY.
I just LOVE that idea.
I'm just freakin' grateful. What fun!
April 4, 2007
"Hey, Bon! Y U No Mo' Bloggy?"
Because I'm so FREAKIN' busy, y'all! Seriously! WOW. Producing a showcase is some WORK.
But I'm seriously happy. But mainly busy.
And happy. Mainly happy. And seriously busy.
Yeah. All that.
March 20, 2007
Oh, how happy am I?
It's just about my favorite combination of gorgeous flowers EVER. Seriously, this is a BEAUTIFUL arrangement from Venice Flowers (well done, y'all. GORGEOUS, healthy flowers with so much style and beauty)!
Yup. As if the gift of working with MY FAVORITE PRODUCTION TEAM EVER (and that is REALLY saying something... I've worked with some superstars) weren't enough, the Broken Windows team sent me flowers today.
Seems they like their cast. ;) (Hee! I do too. I'm tickled pink at how wonderful these past four months working on Broken Windows have been. I cannot rave ENOUGH about how cool these guys are.)
So, in a year or so, when the buzz behind Broken Windows is about the level of Little Miss Sunshine, just know that I will really be blissed out. I remember seeing that film and saying, "Wow. I can't wait to cast such an amazing film."
And now I have.
Congratulations to the cast and crew. I know y'all have the bulk of your work stretched out ahead of you, as I hand off this cast to you and officially clock out, but I can't begin to fully express how wonderful this gig has been. I am a better casting director for having had this journey with you. THANK YOU for trusting me with such a beautiful script. And actors, THANK YOU for your love for this project and your faith in me to continue bringing you great material.
It has been my pleasure.
March 18, 2007
Welcome, Larisa! During 10 Things I Hate About You a few weeks ago on TBS, your name shot to the top of our list. And, yay! It's all come together now. Woo!
(Zzzzzzzzzzz. I'm exhausted. I've been doing showcase stuff NONSTOP. Feel free to pat me on the head and encourage me. Thankee.)
March 16, 2007
Back Stage West's BEST OF LA 2007
Like Blake, I was named in last year's readers' poll and didn't even know the dang thing was happening. And I gotta tell ya, it is a HUGE honor that still makes me blush.
Welcome to Back Stage West's first attempt at a "best of" issue, featuring a compilation of our readers' favorites and staff picks.
Um. Holy crap, right? Wait.
Best Film/TV Casting Director: Mali Finn. Runners-up were Deborah Aquila, Billy DaMota, Richard DeLancy, Bonnie Gillespie, and April Webster.
Wow wow wow wow wow.
I--with under FOUR YEARS of experience as a casting director--am named among CDs who have credits like, oh, I don't know... The Matrix; Titanic; LA Confidential; The Shawshank Redemption; Sex, Lies, and Videotape; Alias; Lost; and Knight Rider for cryin' out loud.
Seriously... 95 years of casting experience in that group. I am responsible for fewer than four of those years. I am humbled and amazed and floored and honored to be included in that group of CDs. And I guess, even on the toughest days, maybe I'm not so bad at this job.
THANK YOU BACK STAGE WEST! THANK YOU BSW READERS!
Okay, so on to this year's poll...
Take Our Los Angeles Reader's Choice Poll -- and Win!
LA Area Actors: Win a Free Headshot Package!
March 09, 2007
Back Stage West is giving away a free headshot package -- valued at $600! -- from photographer Alan Weissman.
All you have to do is take a moment to fill out our Reader's Choice: LA poll.
Simply click here to take online survey.
Your picks will help us determine who should be included in our annual "Reader's Choice: LA" issue, running May 10.
Deadline for submission: April 2.
So, go. Win some headshots. Share your love. If I'm in the mix again this year, YAY. But either way, let your voice be heard on all things "Best Of" by taking this survey. Woo hoo!
Thanks for the love,
Any time I see someone succeed I am happy, for it affirms my belief that I live in a world where success is possible.
March 10, 2007
Cricket Fee Showcase Cast Announced!
I am so excited about our cast!!!!
"Official" public announcement (and introduction to the rockstar actors) will come soon. But meanwhile, for the few readers of the Cricket Feet Showcase blog, I dropped a few FIRST NAMES with links so that y'all can do the rest of the math. ;) Hee!
THIS SHOWCASE IS GONNA ROCK!!!
PS--Can I OD on chocolate? I'd like to try.
March 7, 2007
Queen of Cactus Cove ONLINE
It's broken into four parts (and you can navigate to each from the right margin of this page) and, as I said the first time I saw it, it's just a freakin' great film! (Yeah, I'm biased, since I cast it, but MAN, it's good!)
Go. Watch. Lemmeknow what you think!
March 6, 2007
Head's up: new breakdown
This one is for an AEA 99-seat agreement stage play directed by Mark Wilkinson at the Elephant Space Theatre. It's called Scab and it's seriously cool. Script is already up at the Cricket Feet Casting site.
Auditions will be 3/14 (w/ callbacks 3/16) and the play will run 4/20-5/20. Members of the 4-A's will get $10 a show. Woo!
Electronic submissions only through Actors Access and Breakdown Services. (I'll update this post once the breakdown goes live so that you can link right to it and get to submitting.)
BREAK A LEG, EVERYONE!! :)
February 28, 2007
Didjy'all See This?
Be logged out of your IMDB-Pro account and click here for the real deal.
February 13, 2007
Judy Kerr's Interview with Casting Director Bonnie Gillespie
February 8, 2007
Cricket Feet Casting: Actors Showcase
I'm really excited! After years of planning (yes, years), I am finally producing the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase along with showcase coordinator Eitan Loewenstein and renowned director Richard Tatum!
The breakdown was just released on Actors Access and we're accepting submissions through 2/23/07.
Auditions will take place the week of 3/5 and the showcase dates are 4/23, 24, and 26 in Santa Monica. PLEASE visit CricketFeet.com/showcase for all of the details and submit ONLY through Actors Access.
So excited to introduce my industry contacts to the BEST and BRIGHTEST actors in town! (And while that exposure--and the mega consulting on marketing materials and working within your primary type--is super cool, there are also prizes from our industry sponsors for actors whose showcase performances score the highest in our industry FEEDBACK forms. Coooooool!)
Thanks for your interest and support in this NEW venture! Woo!
February 5, 2007
"Broken Windows" CASTING San Diego Local Hires
Just this moment released a breakdown for Broken Windows' minor roles--looking for San Diego Local Hires ONLY.
Please submit electronically using the link to Actors Access above.
Yes, we are still casting the lead roles out of Los Angeles. Five roles have been cast and there are offers out on a couple of others. We will also be doing callbacks for three roles in Los Angeles later this month.
THANK YOU for your interest! We're excited to have such a great cast already!
February 2, 2007
Welcome to the cast, Mister Keaton.
January 24, 2007
A NEW TOMORROW Premiere, 2/3/07 9am!
I know, I know. Saturday 9am is way early, but believe me, this is gonna be worth it.
A New Tomorrow (a SAG indie feature film I cast in 2005) is screening in Irvine at 9am on Saturday, 3rd February.
Hell, I'm thinking mimosas and Krispy Kreme donuts are in order!
RSVP early to email@example.com and we'll see y'all there! Woo hoo!
January 19, 2007
Music Video from THE MASQUERADE
Looks great, doesn't it?
Hee! *beaming happy casting director*
January 2, 2007
It's Quiet... Too Quiet
And I know why. (Click any image to enlarge.)
Within a few hours, agents and managers will hit their offices and start in on follow-up calls for the auditions 250 of their clients had with us before this town shut down at close-of-business on the 15th of December. (Yes, I too am shocked that people weren't working on the 18th, 19th, and 20th... but now I'm prepared that I *may* be wrong about today being busy, as I GET that the industry will take downtime whenever it can... and that could mean that today's Federal Day of Mourning could become an extra holiday for the industry. BUT!! I am prepared, either way.)
If today is light on phones, that gives me time to do some deeply-required organizing (as it looks like I may be taking on another $500K feature film casting gig this month) so that I can really focus as efficiently as possible.
Now... here's the part where I get brave. I think it may be time for me to have another intern. Yes, I already have THE MOST AMAZING INTERN ON THE PLANET, Julie Inmon. She is a rockstar and I will cry, cry, cry when she becomes too busy to help me out one day a week. BUT, 'til then, I will absolutely continue to rely on her for her amazingly happy disposition, joy of learning more about the industry, interest in the "silly little stuff" that has to get done in a casting office, tolerance for my geeky husband and nudgy kitties, and willingness to be here every week in exchange for a bite to eat and a lot of 90210 on in the background.
So... IF I ask a second intern to come onboard, I think it would be best to start out with that person coming on the same day that Julie comes--at first--so that we can get into a groove that everyone is comfortable with, certain that we are all on the same page as to what needs to be done (Casting Wiki updates, filing headshots, purging old files, fielding show invitations, organizing audition sides, categorizing postcards, archiving completed projects, etc.). Yeah... this is the really unglamorous part of it all. It's the part of casting that is NOT reading with actors at auditions, running camera at auditions, signing actors in at auditions, etc. (although I use interns for that stuff too).
BUT--as Julie can tell you--you pretty much get me, providing Self-Management for Actors seminar-like advice to you upon demand while you're here, between phone calls with agents, managers, producers, and directors. (I'll let Julie tell you whether that's worth the trade. I'm sure she's sometimes annoyed with my career advice, after nearly a year of it. Heh heh!)
Okay, so lemme hear from y'all. I'll be "taking applications" for a one-day-a-week (about six hours at a time) internship in Santa Monica starting now (let's say... apply by January 19th). Your application is basically this:
- Name, Contact Info, Whether We've Met Before and Where/When/Through Whom.
- Why you'd like to participate in a casting internship like this at this time.
- What you'd hope to gain from the experience/What you'd hope to provide me with, in terms of organizational brilliance, computer savvy (we're a Mac shop), sense of humor, etc.
- Anything else you think I should know!
Yeah, that's a lot more than Julie had to do to get the gig, but she came first and she rules, so you have a pretty high bar set for you already. ;)
If nothing else, please know that we have a lot of fun. We're very casual, we talk shop and talk trash, and every day is different. I have no requirement as to your GOALS (if you're an actor who just wants to see more of the indie film casting day-to-day stuff, that's fine. If you think you might be an aspiring casting director, that's cool too). I'm totally flexible, schedule-wise, as long as I know you've needed to make a change (for auditions, class, etc.), and I know you're working in exchange for the experience, so I'll always try to make it the best experience possible.
Heck, Julie, if you want to tell people what to expect, that'd be great! I know that one of my goals for the next few weeks is to get everything REALLY well organized (office supplies; non-casting files--like for writing books, columns, etc.; demo tapes--maybe get some of those back to their owners; etc.), so a candidate with a LOVE of shows like neat. would be extra-special, IMO.
Okay, it's getting time to call New York! Happy New Year, everyone!
December 30, 2006
Headshot Photographer/Casting Director Q&A
So, I get a lot of questions from folks at MySpace (heck, I get a lot of questions via emails, message boards, private messages, phone calls, in person at supposedly non-industry events) and I do my very best to answer questions when I can (as I know that if folks in the industry don't seek out my opinion, I no longer have a job as a columnist and author... yeah, I could "just" cast, but I really love writing too, so I'm grateful for the questions, even when I have answered the same ones a dozen times or more).
Well, after having a week off (with pay... THANKS, SHOWFAX!) from my column, I'm itching to get three columns churned out on Monday (The Actors Voice, The Actors Voice--Your Turn, and The Actors Voice--POV). What a great warmup I received in my inbox! A bunch of headshot questions from Zero Dean. (Oh, and I'm still going to do the follow-up requested at this earlier blog entry on headshots when I have time.) Now, I've answered headshot questions asked by actors many times. (In fact, here are the two most popular headshot columns at Showfax: Bad Headshots, Good Headshots; and Bad Headshots, Good Headshots II--from which the images in this entry are pulled.) But to be asked questions of a headshot photographer is new (and totally cool). It's kind of like when I'm asked questions about the auditioning process of producers rather than of actors. It's a different perspective, depending on the audience!
So, because lovely Zero is all about the "good toy share," we're doing this Q&A in blog form, and I hope that everyone gets a little something out of it. Yay! (Zero's words in italics.)
I know that it's important that the person showing up for a casting/audition actually look like their headshot. It makes perfect sense. You want to see all their features and get a good idea of what they look like and if you could see them in a role.
Without question, this is THE most important issue. An actor who shows up looking nothing like his or her headshot has wasted everyone's time. And, worse, that actor may have been PERFECT for a role we cast the week before, but because he or she submitted a headshot that got that actor called in on a role THIS WEEK (a role he or she is WRONG for, based on the in-the-room look), we never even knew to call that actor in for the perfectly-matched role the week before.
It makes perfect sense that we all want to choose photos that look flattering or that make us feel good about ourselves. But save THOSE photos for your family and MySpace. The headshot that is going to get you WORK is the one you should use as your calling card. Otherwise, you're basically giving out a business card with your name spelled wrong and a typo in the phone number. It's useless to us and it could cost you work.
With that in mind, I'm wondering what you would consider an acceptable amount of retouching in a headshot...or in which areas/cases it is acceptable (or to what degree).
First, I guess, are you totally opposed to retouching?
No, not totally. Sometimes it's necessary, as there are things that could distract us and make us focus on the "stuff" in an otherwise perfect headshot (flyaway hairs, a gloop of mascara, a shadow cast by equipment, etc.). So, certainly, there are times when retouching is appropriate and necessary.
If not, then:
Q. If a person has bad skin (acne or blemishes, but no "scar" damage that changes the surface of the skin), but their condition is either temporary or something that could easily be fixed with make-up, is removing or at least lessening the appearance of that condition in a headshot acceptable?
That depends. (Oh, "that depends" will be my answer on all of these questions, I'd bet.) Sometimes people are delusional. They actually believe their acne is temporary, but the truth is they ALWAYS have blemishes. So, there's a trap here wherein you (the photographer and/or retoucher) are left having to judge the seriousness of actors' skin conditions when they SAY they're having a flare-up that "never happens" when they may just not notice how their skin looks outside of the day they schedule headshot sessions.
If makeup can cover the blemishes, it's assumed that makeup in use for the headshot session will do just that! This is why a professional makeup artist (who is familiar with the photographer's needs, lighting techniques, and how their artistry will "read" in the finished product as created by that photographer) is so essential. If, after being made-up for camera, the acne is still reading through, I'd assume that means the acne would read through on a gig as well!
Perhaps you want to offer the actor the option of having the acne retouched, but with the caveat that if the actor shows up for the follow-up session with you and has the same acne situation as during the shoot, you gently suggest that a "real" headshot is going to serve them better.
Q: What about skin discolorations, moles, or spots?
I wouldn't retouch a mole, freckle, or anything else that the actor isn't already camouflaging with makeup. I have freckles and I have a mole on the side of my nose. I once had a photographer present me with retouched headshots (he had removed my freckles and the mole, figuring that's what I would want), and I was baffled. I said, "Thanks for going to the effort, but my freckles show up everywhere that my face does! I need the original version of this print." So, if it's something that makeup can cover (and the actor is also showing up to all auditions made-up to the same extent), that's one thing. Retouching those ever-present characteristics is not something I would advise.
Models can count on a career of being retouched before their photos ever see the light of day. ACTORS are human--flaws and all--and that means their individuality actually helps get them cast. The MAJORITY of actors who work every day are very normal-looking people with imperfections everywhere. Headshots should reflect that truth.
Q: Is removing minor scars acceptable?
I could see this being appropriate ONLY if the scars are NEW and the actor will be using the headshots when the scars are no longer new. I have an actor friend who has a pretty deep scar on her cheek. She showed me her new headshots and there was no scar! I asked why she'd had it retouched out and her reply was, "It's ugly." My response was, "So, what do you do with it when you show up for auditions?"
See, no one who sees her for an audition (based on getting an appointment off that retouched headshot) is going to think she's somehow gotten that scar between the day of her headshot session and the day of her audition. And if that scar is something that would keep her from getting cast, then the fact that it was REMOVED from her headshot is something that will serve to piss off the casting director who wasted a slot on an actor who had NO SHOT at getting cast in this role. Worse, perhaps there was a role for which her scar would've been "that thing" that helped her BOOK it--but she wasn't considered for it because she looked perfect in her headshot.
I cannot stress strongly enough the fact that headshots are more like BUSINESS CARDS than photographs, in terms of their PURPOSE.
If you misrepresent yourself, you're going to cost yourself work. Not every time... but often enough. And in an industry where every actor complains that they're not working enough, why would you want to be the one who creates an obstacle to your getting cast?
Q: Since wrinkles actually affect the surface of the skin, is lessening wrinkles acceptable or would you rather they be "full on" in a headshot?
Never, never, never remove wrinkles. (Hey, that's not even close to an "it depends" answer, is it?) We have plenty of 20 year olds from which to choose. Embrace your age range. Truth is, many people are MORE castable the older they get. Smoothing out those wrinkles could cause us to categorize you incorrectly (and again, get pissed when you walk into the room older than your headshot indicates you should be). One of my least favorite things to write on the back of an actor's headshot, during an audition, is: "She's ten years older than this." But I write it all the time. Sorting through headshots on the film I'm currently casting, my most common cry was, "Actors have no idea how old they are!"
See, now that I've met many, many, many of the 8000+ actors who submitted for this project, I KNOW what they look like in person, so their headshot becomes more of a placeholder for the in-person knowledge I have (rather than the ONLY measure of "age, type, look" I have for the actor). And MANY actors submitted for roles a decade or more outside of their age range. I'm not talking about actual age. (I don't give a poop about actual age. It's as irrelevant as anything else, in casting. You don't play 20 or Japanese or dumb blonde because you ARE 20 or Japanese or dumb blonde. You play 20 or Japanese or dumb blonde because you play 20 or Japanese or dumb blonde. It's called acting. All of it.) Anyway, a lot of actors suffer from thinking they're younger than they really could play. Their headshots shouldn't support that personal delusion (since that's all it is).
[eyes] Looking away from camera acceptable?
Q: As long as you can see the eyes, does it matter to you if a person is looking (with their eyes) directly at the camera?
It's fine with me for actors to be looking away! But remember, I don't cast commercials (and I think it may be an issue for commercial CDs who want that full-on smile and smiling eyes). As long as I get a sense of an actor's look, type, age, and VIBE, it's fine with me that the headshot be a bit more stylized... just not TOO much so. Headshots are about the actor's brand, not the photographer's brand.
[face] Looking away from camera acceptable?
Q: Do you prefer a face to be generally "squared off" (not necessarily perfectly, but close) to the camera, or is headshot with a face at an angle (more cheek facing the camera) acceptable?
Totally fine with me! Again, commercial CDs may disagree. I think I can handle the more stylized photos once I know an actor's work (again, the headshot becomes more of placeholder than the one and only reference point that I have for an actor's look, type, age, etc.). But an askance look doesn't cause me to eliminate an actor's headshot (irrespective of whether I know his or her work). Fine with me.
Q: Last question...and this one is just a curiousity of mine (and likely, even if you were to answer "yes" to this, I'm not sure you'd want to admit it, right?). From an artistic standpoint, does it really matter at all how "good" a photo looks or how it might stand up as a "portrait" as long as it accurately reflects what the person looks like? I mean, you're not really grading the photographers, are you? I guess what I'm asking is, can a bad photo still make a good headshot?
The answer is definitely yes. A bad photo can still be a good headshot (good headshot = representative of the actor's look, type, age, vibe). That said, anything that distracts us from the fact that it's a good headshot (such as the fact that the actor's forehead is totally cropped out, an actor's bare feet being the focal point of the photo, poor quality of the photo itself, bizarre lighting, use of props, "campy" photo staging that every actor who shoots with that same photographer ends up with) could be a reason we choose to eliminate the actor from the "good list."
Remember, we're looking for ways to cut down the numbers from the very beginning. We have thousands of actors from whom to choose and anything that can help us eliminate an actor, we'll use it (no matter how arbitrary). It can be the fact that the actor is repped by an agent we don't like working with, where the actor lives, how much the actor looks like our ex, or... yeah... poor photography! We may decide that means the actor doesn't take enough pride in his or her career to shell out more than $50 for headshots. Right or wrong, it may be used as a reason to cut the actor from the mix.
And an actor's goal, at this point, is to stay in that mix long enough to get the appointment, and then kick so much ass at that audition to book the role.
December 17, 2006
More Casting Numbers
• 51% of the taped preread sessions will not be viewed again (producers were there for prereads in the room, so they decided right then who they needed to see again)
• 49% of the taped prereads will go up on the server for producers to review and discuss, as we cut the list down further
• 20% of the actors we scheduled for auditions didn't show up (this is actually a really low percentage, among casting directors in Los Angeles)
• 48% of the actors who did not show up were unconfirmed no-shows
• 32% of the actors who did not show up left a message to say they couldn't make it
• 20% of the actors who did not show up were confirmed no-show, no-call (now blacklisted) types
We had one crasher.
The breakdown went out one month ago today. We have had 7804 electronic submissions from 384 different agents or managers, have seen 254 actors in person (including name actor meetings), and have cast three roles (yippee)! Of those three cast actors, two were submitted and one was a straight offer with no pitch. Ten actors have put auditions on tape from out of town (so far. I'm expecting a bunch of tapes Monday). Before beginning live auditions, we reviewed 588 demo reels online.
Okay, now the really geeky stuff.
Of the actors we saw at prereads, 75% use staples to attach their headshots and resumés, 12% do NOT attach them, 6% print the resumés onto the backs of the headshots, 3% glue them on, and another 2% brought no resumé at all (just a photo). Only eight actors didn't bring a headshot at all! Word's getting out!
About 3% of actors don't have contact information on their headshots and resumés. And 72% of actors trim their resumés to the size of their headshots. Only 13% of actors have horizontal headshots (another 8% do that cool horizontal on the vertical style I love so much). Color headshots came in at a whopping 92%.
December 16, 2006
Bless the bones of my right-hand man!
So, Keith shot a movie earlier this week. He also helped me with Hollywood Happy Hour, even though he was kind of over it (luckily, there were margaritas involved, and he somehow balanced the amount of help and the amount of tequila required to yield that help).
Then, we moved into high gear for prereads for a film I'm casting. We saw a total of 250 actors in two days. We've never done that before. Fewer no-shows than ever. More high-end actors than ever. And a few name-actor meetings thrown in the mix for good measure. It was a good week.
But here's the thing... Keith left Santa Monica tonight after having settled me in (yes, I've had about six hours of record-keeping/note-taking/replies to agents-ing and two hours of MySpacing--the latter of which is mostly for my personal enjoyment... but I still did my best to give some good feedback to actors we read this week--still owe myself a shower and some decent food) to go shoot ANOTHER movie tonight.
He just called from the set, reporting dry ice and smoke, wondering whether he should eat burgers or chicken. He'd been a wee bit moody around 6pm (when we'd seen the last actor and he was impatient with all things actor-related), but at 10pm, he'd had a chance to reflect, and he was actually really pleased with his experiences as my casting assistant and excited about the film gig. Again... bless his bones.
Also bless the bones of my lovely non-conjugal assistant types who work for lunch at PF Chang's (and occasionally a parking reimbursement) and the education that running camera (or working as a reader) can provide to a working actor.
I swear, I love my job a big lot. But I could not do it without the love of actors who crave "the inside POV," as they work for free (or in exchange of knowledge) and they really, really, really make my job a blast.
More casting announcements to come! thanks everyone, for the interest!!!!! It only gets better from here, baby!!
December 14, 2006
Third Casting Announcement
Saw 85 amazing actors read for three roles today. Will see another 199 actors (assuming everyone shows) for four roles tomorrow. Phew! I'm exhausted!
No time to rest. Gotta finish The Actors Voice: POV before midnight! Ack! Busy Bon. Happy Bon!
December 13, 2006
Second Casting Announcement
It was so much fun to attach our first actor to Broken Windows earlier this month. Even more fun to attach actor number two, today.
And because everyone loves "yesterday" photos too, here's Howard Hesseman (bottom right) in the '70s.
Ooh, I'm just so giddy! We start prereads for seven roles tomorrow with two roles already cast. I LOVE that! Yay! Break a leg, everyone. This is going to be an amazing cast.
December 8, 2006
Appointments Scheduled for Seven Roles
Okay, I've just rolled out appointments for seven roles in Broken Windows and here's how the numbers are shaking out now:
UNVIEWED || VIEWED || SELECTED || SCHEDULED || CALLBACK || ROLE
0.....15.....29.....0.....0.....WOMAN HIT BY CAR
As before, VIEWED + SELECTED = total submissions. The SCHEDULED actors are already counted within the number of selects.
I'm trying to move as many SARA, BETH, JOEY, and WALT selects to other roles as possible, as one of those roles is cast, another is looking VERY good (with regard to a name actor offer we have outstanding), and the other two are going to names on a short list without auditions, no matter how our current offers go. But there are still so many great actors within those selects that I want to try and get them in on other roles, if possible.
Anyway, that's the way the numbers look today! Woo! Glad to get the schedule built. That's always very stressful and having it done is a big relief. I need a nap.
December 1, 2006
First Casting Announcement
Congratulations to the first actor cast in Broken Windows!
It's Devon Gummersall.
Oh... don't recognize him? Sure you do.
November 30, 2006
The numbers... updated
I know you love those casting numbers! ;) Here they are, as of noon today.
UNVIEWED || VIEWED || SELECTED || SCHEDULED || CALLBACK || ROLE
0.....7.....29.....0.....0.....WOMAN HIT BY CAR
Remember to add 'em all up. ;) Oh, you'll notice my "selected" numbers went down... that's going to continue to happen up 'til the prereads in mid-December. We're doing a LOT of "pre-prereads" using the actors' online demo reels.
I love casting!! This so so so so rocks! Yippee!
November 25, 2006
Broken Windows and Blue Men
As of Saturday the 25th at 7:30pm:
2.....14.....16.....0.....0.....WOMAN HIT BY CAR
All of the numbers added together equal the total submissions. (I'll let y'all do the math.) Hee!
Anyway, that's submissions after one week and one day. Including days like Thanksgiving and "everyone is out of town" weekends. Pretty impressive. This is a big project. We have formal offers out to "name" actors on a couple of role. The pitches have been really dang cool. I'm excited.
I am LOVING the PBS special on Blue Man Group (Inside the Tube). I saw them in their original venue off-off Broadway in 1996 and I still can't imagine what their show must be like in such a large presentation (the theatre I went to had about 75 seats).
Anyway, migraine hell seems to be about over. I've done a lot of sleeping to try and recover from it. Still feel like I've been hit by a bus, but I guess I've felt much worse many times before. But coming that close to a "real" migraine for the first time in two years is scary stuff. Hate hate HATE that I had to miss Thanksgiving, but what'r'ya'gonna'do? When a migraine starts up, you hit the cold, dark, quiet room and stay put.
Back to work! Ooh! COPS is on! Yippee!
November 17, 2006
Happy birthday to my favorite ex-boyfriend!
Hope you have a delicious birthday celebration, rockstar weekend, and the best new year of Chip EVER!
Much love to ya, Chipper! XXOO
November 2, 2006
The Masquerade PARTY 11/4
I know you love to support movies I've cast, right? Okay, now's your chance to do so for The Masquerade... and to see clips before the rest of the world, party with the cast and crew, and help raise money for film festival entry fees.
When: Saturday, 4 November 2006, 8pm to 2am, baby!
Location: The Rec Center Studio (director/producer Natalia Garcia, DGA, says it's "moody like the movie... with a fire pit!"), 1161 Logan St. (at Sunset Blvd.), Echo Park, CA 90026.
Details: $7-$10 suggested cover charge gets you FOUR BANDS, hors d'oeuvres, and FREE PABST beer from 8-10pm! (Only $2 after 10pm.) Monster Energy Drink is $2 all night.
More from Natalia:
We're raising money for entry fees into Sundance, SXSW, Toronto, TriBeCa, LAShorts Fest, AFI, Cannes, Slamdance, a few more.
The party will showcase the behind the scenes:
- projections including portions of the EPK produced by The Nova Project
- framed production stills
- The Nova Project will also have different versions of the film's poster. You can vote for your favorite one and let us know which one you think is best.
Thanks for Brianne Davis and Natalia Garcia for putting this shindig together. It's gonna rock. Join us, won't you?
After the Ball, Ken (Chris Masterson) and Mary (Brianne Davis) head out to spend the night together only to discover they are not alone....
October 17, 2006
How'd I Do?
HUGE thanks to my friends at PARF; members of the HHH mailing list; bulletin re-posters at MySpace; my rockstar intern; visiting cousin; and the many agents, managers, and acting coaches in my contact list for helping pull this together so fast. Y'all rock. Thank you!!
October 10, 2006
Another Cool Film
I'm so busy I can't even see straight right now. But it's good. It's very, very good.
Finally got to see a pretty much final version of A New Tomorrow Sunday night (bizarrely, at the home of Heathers writer Dan Waters--the home Orson Welles died in) and it is REALLY good.
Very much This Is Spinal Tap meets Wag the Dog. I agree with Keith; it feels like a Slamdance film. *fingers crossed*
I just get so proud of the actors I cast, when I finally get to see their work on screen. Yes, I'm super proud of the ENTIRE crew, but something about watching actors DO the work we saw SO many people GO FOR during the casting process (reading those exact same audition sides) is just phenomenal.
More news when it's available, but I just have to say that the past few weeks have included some of the most jam-packed action my life has ever seen. If I were to list it all, you simply wouldn't believe me. Not even a little bit.
October 8, 2006
Some of the Finest Actors on the Planet
I had the great pleasure of witnessing an amazing read-thru of How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone last night. And the actors we put in place made me look like a BRILLIANT casting director.
They were passionate, professional, filled to the brim with talent and a sense of joy at simply BEING. And really, that's all anyone EVER wants an actor to be. Present, talented, committed, easy-going, and ready to share a story with the world. MAN, I LOVE MY JOB!
Thank you, amazing actors!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
September 30, 2006
Really Good Theatre
Keith and I went to see No Mercy at the 24th Street Theatre tonight. Awesome. That space is amazing and the cast was outstanding (and I know I'm biased, having cast it and all, but seriously, those were some kick-ass actors who did a fantastic job).
Really liked the staging and "choreography" of time shifts. Constance Congdon's script is phenomenal. I was truly moved by the message of hopelessness and faith, as chilling today as it must've been when written 20 years ago. Haunting stuff. WELL DONE!
I'm especially impressed with Matty Ferraro, Phil Ward, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, and Geno Monteiro. Ashley West Leonard and John Dennis Johnston rocked pretty dang hard in their on-the-air scene. Great space, lovely work. Congrats to Jay McAdams, Debbie Devine, Carolyn Palmer, and Larry Biederman on the celebration of live theatre and the 24th Street Theatre's 10th Anniversary.
So glad to have been a part of it, even in some wee little bit. Congratulations and cheers!! (LA Times listing here.)
September 29, 2006
*beaming happy casting director*
So, you say you like to see stuff I've cast, huh?
Well here's the latest, and it looks AWESOME!
Can't wait to help celebrate tonight at the wrap party-slash-birthday party for that director extraordinaire. Woo!
September 27, 2006
Ex Awes Ted
I am so so so so excited. Exhausted + Excited = Exhausxcited. That's me! Zzzzzz.
September 25, 2006
Y'know what rocks?
(I mean, besides my awesome life which seems to get better every single effin' day.)
That'd be having a four-and-a-half hour meeting with the dream team (Joel and Trevor) behind How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone (one of the two best scripts I have ever read in my life) to come up with our rockstar staged reading cast (no, no... we haven't cast the film yet... this is just a read-through for investors... don't panic, eager actors checking for an update) and knowing that we all feel really great about this project, the shared vision, and the team already assembled. Man, I dig these guys. They just so rock. Very laid back and easy to work with... and so much fun!
All right... so here we go. I have our first, second, and third choices for each role all listed up and the calls start going out in the ayem. *beams* I love moving forward even a little bit on this already amazing film. Woo. Life... she is good.
September 6, 2006
Bon (and a Bon-Cast film) at LAISFF
I hope y'all will come out and join me at the LAISFF this (and next) week. Very excited to be taking part both as a panelist and beaming-happy casting director of a film at the LAISFF for the second year in a row! Woo!
10th Los Angeles International Short Film Festival
Queen of Cactus Cove (Program 91, 3:30pm, Tuesday, September 12th, Arclight Cinemas #9).
The panel discussion is FREE--just show up! Tickets for the screening are $10 and are available at the Arclight Box Office or at LAShortsFest.com.
Arclight Cinemas (6360 W. Sunset Blvd., between Vine and Ivar, Hollywood).
September 2, 2006
Now I'm pissed.
Just found (thank you Google) a trailer for a film I cast up on a website. This is the film I was told (a few days ago) was dead.
Yes, it's possible they've only shot a bit of this film and it's just a trailer to shop around for money.
But the word I got was that it was OVER. And yes, I have an effin' back-end deal. Which is why its completion matters.
More later. Gonna bitch for the next few hours, thankyouverymuch.
August 28, 2006
Great Date Night
What fun! Keith finished up at his casting internship early today so we went for a walk to Houston's (where our waiter was very good at the gluten-free caretaking and the sushi was DELISH), browsed around the bookstore (and bought two books on podcasting), and then hit a movie we've been wanting to see.
And, I swear to you, if you like AMAZINGLY well-written and beautifully-acted indie films with nary a continuity error, goof*, or glitch (not that that's WHY anyone should love a movie, but DAMN does it make a good movie suddenly GREAT), Little Miss Sunshine is the one for you.
Fantastic work by the entire cast and crew! Really phenomenal stuff from the writer and directors, for sure! Michael Arndt is a scribe to watch (How the HECK is this his first feature film credit?!?) and Dayton and Faris... if you ever need me, holy crap give me a call. Kudos** to Kim Davis and Justine Baddeley for a fine job casting a quirky, heartwarming ensemble film.
BEST actor of the bunch (although this was a really tough call for me) has to be Paul Dano, whose character has taken a vow of silence. What a challenge for an actor to convey so much emotion and character depth nonverbally! Remind me to use his brilliant example when trying to explain the value in doing a non-speaking principal role to a reluctant actor. Simply beautiful work going on here!
And I think that's what is so fantastic about this film (a film sooooo much longer*** than the typical film I'll sit through... ever). It is simple. The characters and their circumstances are so very well-written that the talented actors couldn't help but bring them to life in such a way that we care very much what happens to each of them in every scene. But for me to credit the script (and then the acting) with this film's worth is to discount the fact that these directors clearly knew what they were looking for, in choosing this project and these actors. The stars aligned on this film... and that it only screened at Sundance (and wasn't even put in any award-yielding screenings there) is shocking.
At $8M, I figure the largest expense of this project was cast salaries. Even if everyone worked for scale (which I doubt), that's a pretty large chunk of an $8M budget at the full SAG basic codified agreement rates. I have not cast a film at this level (yet) and hope that, when I do, it'll be something that looks this good on the big screen (and that endures, upon reflection days later, which is the true test of a fantastic movie sometimes).
Got news today that one of the films I cast last year has officially hit the crapper. The director and writer (who were co-producers) have parted ways and dissolved their corporation, thus ending all hopes of getting this fully-cast and formerly-funded feature film back in gear before year-end. This is the third feature film of my casting career to get pulled off life support. And while that's not a majority by any stretch (especially when many of the films I've cast that DO shoot end up screening at festivals and winning awards), it's still one of those reminders that I am at the beginning of my casting career, still misjudging some projects from time to time.****
Anyway, a nice walk home after the film, a stop by the 7-11 for some Yellow Tail pinot grigio, and a little kissy-pooh from my honey and my date is just lovely.
Okay, so go see Little Miss Sunshine (or at least view the trailer and/or teaser here and go see the film tomorrow) and root for the best little pageant kid ever.
* Despite the fact that people behind us***** in the theater mocked the "10 East" sign in one of the shots, that particular item does not a goof make! Anyone who paid actual attention would've seen the ARROW beneath the sign, proving that the family's VW bus was on a road that had entrance ramps back to the 10 (presumably in both directions) after having experienced car trouble (and a meal) at some random exit on the way to the coast. Since no one TURNED in the direction of the arrow, the appearance of a sign marked "10 East" isn't a goof!******
** How, in three hours of Emmy awards*********, was not ONE single casting director thanked? Keith and I discussed this on our walk to dinner and he said, "Well, at the level these actors have reached by the time they're winning Emmy Awards, they're not really interacting with casting directors anymore." I said, "Fine! Thank the FIRST casting director who gave you a shot! Thank the CD who got you your SAG-eligibility! Thank a CD who cast you in a role that led to where you are today!"
*** I'm all about 82 minutes including credits. But on this film, I knew it was long. It felt long. But every time I thought, "Hmm. This film is long," I countered that with, "Okay, what would you have cut so far?" And the answer to that question was always, "Not a damn thing!" Usually, I can come up with many things that could've been cut, by the time I'm having that conversation with myself while watching a movie. Thing is, I couldn't even get that far into the "self-conversation" place because this film was just that good (and so well-balanced too... never got heavy-handed or too sad or too wacky, although it walked the line on all of that).
**** Hell, at least I got paid for casting the film that just crapped out. A producer on a feature film I cast nearly THREE YEARS AGO still owes me $300. I guess I should be glad I got *mostly* paid, but DAMN, producer! Write me a frickin' check, wouldja?!?
***** When Mary Lynn Rajskub showed up in her second or third scene (of four or five small ones), the lady behind us started squealing, "OMIGOD! It's Chloe from 24! OMIGOD!!!" And she couldn't stop saying it. Every time the actor came on screen for the next four minutes, this woman said, "See! See that! It's Chloe! OMIGOD!!!" and then some. I wanted to turn around to her and say, "Yes! And did you see that? Steve Carell is on The Office! And Bryan Cranston? He was on Malcolm in the Middle (and before that, on Seinfeld. Do you remember the "anti-dentite" episodes?!?)! And that Toni Collette, did you know that she's not really American, even though she sounds it?!? OMIGOD!! These are ACTORS and they're doing their JOB! Would you SHUT UP now?!?" But I did not.**********
****** Yes, at this point, I'm really OVER the people who were behind us at the theater.*******
******* And the people who were across the restaurant from us last night when we dined at Pacific Dining Car after Steve's Emmy party.************ Holy crap, there are some people in this world who believe that everyone else exists to please them, serve them, and thank them for the privilege of having been demanded to do so. I am so over seeing these people in my life lately. ********
******** Yes, I know that what we see is what we live (and it's all about what we choose to see), but I'm just venting about this stuff because truly 90% of what I see in my life is freakin' brilliant, amazing, wonderful bliss that makes me happy to be alive and living my dreams.
********* I have a review of that to come too... just not today.
********** Seriously. I need a drink. I'm really not in a bad mood even a little bit. I promise.
*********** Which was lovely. More on that later too.
August 27, 2006
Hall of Shame
Okay, so this is something I could never actually put in my column (nor is it something I could ever really do*), but I must rant.
Several actors in the past few weeks have done the unthinkable. No... not no-show an audition or turn down a role after having made me nuts with all of the "I MUST have this opportunity... PLEEEEEEEASE" crap. I'm talking (look at all of these steps): submit on a project, audition for a role, get a callback for the role, attend the callback, book the gig, sign the contract, rehears the part, AND THEN FUCKING BACK OUT, DROP OUT, FLAKE OUT (i.e., leave the project--and us--hanging).
That's always going to happen. You can't MAKE people stay true to their word or honor a commitment to a low-budget project when a better opportunity comes along. It's the nature of this business and--while it's not in tune with MY value structure--it's just something I'm going to have to get used to.
Okay, so what I want to do is this.
Y'know how I have a project gallery up at my casting website? And I put up all of these headshots of actors who are cast in these projects? I think I want to create a "secret" page that is basically a bunch of headshots of "actors who have screwed me over by punking out on a commitment after I have gone to the mat to get them cast in the first place, even though we had many other options--which now, of course, we don't have because they put us in a bind instead of turning down the project in the first place (or not auditioning to begin with)."
I cannot tell you how much WORK a low-budget indie film CD has to do in terms of RECASTING roles, when actors who can't honor their word get "better" offers.
And y'know what? Good for them. I'm glad they get better offers, b/c they sure as hell aren't going to be invited back to work on anything I'm casting. (Big talk... but of course, if the producer who hires me tells me he or she wants so-and-so and that actor is on my shit list, I'll have to suck it up and do my job, b/c that's what I'm paid to do, dammit.)
Okay. Rant over. Back to work.
*Or COULD I?
August 24, 2006
Busy Weekend for Films I've Cast
While three films I've cast are SHOOTING this week, I noticed there's a whole lot of activity surround four shorts I've previously cast.
In case you're going to be headed to the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films or if you're in Atlanta or Dubrovnik (!!!) you can catch these great little films as follows:
Friday, August 25th, 2pm, 2 Dogs Inside at the 12th Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films
Saturday, August 26th, 10:30am, Queen of Cactus Cove at the 12th Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films
Saturday, August 26th, 5pm, The Moor at the 12th Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films
Phew! That's a big weekend! Y'all have fun!
August 7, 2006
A-One... and A-Two... and A-...
What does it mean when you are such a pro and are so well-liked on the set that, the VERYNEXTTIME a paparazzo shows up in a script for the new season, you get the call?
Not the notice of the breakdown. Not the audition. Not the straight-to-producer session. THE. CALL.
Yup. My baby shoots his SECOND CSI: Miami co-star role on Wednesday. This one never went out on the breakdowns, never auditioned. Just came to him. BECAUSE HE GETS IT. (Oh, and this will be the 100th episode, so that means another kick-ass wrap party... this one right away.)
And, considering this news follows quickly on the heels of word that Keith is currently on avail for a frickin' Superbowl commercial, it's all just confirmation that IT WORKS. Showing up and being a pro WORKS.
(Review Keith's journey as an actor here.)
Again, honey, I am proud of you. Kick ass again. And again. And again.
August 3, 2006
Ode to a Great Intern
I have a great intern. Seriously. She's amazing.
And she's been coming up to Los Angeles from San Difuckingego every week or so to organize my headshots, purge the duplicates, make sense of my postcard files, and generally just hang out in the floor of my home office and do the stuff that is NOT fun about having a casting business.
She occasionally gets to do stuff like run camera, read with actors in auditions, and sign in a zillion actors while reminding them to have their headshots ready to hand off as they enter the room... and I've given her access to the What Were You Thinking file, which she seems to enjoy.
But for nothing more than a thank you, some gluten-free snacks, and whatever it is an actor can learn by seeing thousands of headshots and hundreds of auditioning actors, Julie endures my bizarre taste in TV shows, provides love to the kitties, and tolerates Keith's Ninja obsession. AND she lets me sit around in my jammies doing my job like I always would (whether it's fielding pitch calls on a new breakdown or checking interest and availability on a name actor... or something much more boring like meticulously organizing my audition sides).
I am so thrilled with how much more organized my casting files are now, and a MAJOR part of that is Julie. So, thank you, Julie. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You have been so very awesome to spend time with--and that's just a way cool bonus!
PS--Casting announcements on Three Poems within hours. Woo!
August 1, 2006
Wow. Is it really August already? Holy cow, this year has flown by. (I know, I know... people always say that sort of thing. Blah blah blah.)
Found this cute thing on Toothpaste for Dinner. Hee. Cute.
Casting is almost finished on Three Poems. Whew! Also almost finished with No Mercy casting. Name offers are all that's left on that one, really. And I think we're almost finished with The Masquerade too. Woo! It's been an exhausting few weeks, doing all of these projects at once. Definitely ready to get back to the "calm" life of only working like a small Jamaican family.
I sometimes forget to notice that my life is very different than it was this time last year. I used to have to spend quite a bit of time introducing myself to agents and managers, giving an oral resumé before they'd even look at a project I was working on. Now I have coverage at all of the agencies and I get pitch calls at a surprising volume. And I know more about the industry than I did a year ago. Sometimes I forget to notice that and be grateful for all that I've learned. AND I need to remember that there will be that much MORE stuff I know next year that I don't know right now.
That's all pretty dang cool.
Thanks everyone, for playing CLIFF! It's fun, no?
July 29, 2006
Sometimes, your job (your = my)
is telling someone with money... that there is a wee bit bad news.
Nothing personal. Just sayin'...
Sometimes there is just WAY. BAD. NEWS.
And you still clock in and do your best. And sometimes you're told you're BRILLIANT b/c you created an option where one did not exist moments ago.
And sometimes bad news is good news. Just sayin'.
July 25, 2006
Too Hot To Blog
I'm sure you understand.
PS--Leslie Jordan is my NBF.
July 21, 2006
I had a rough day of prereads. Rough. More no-shows than I've ever seen in my casting career. A room that was way too hot for me by the end of the day. Communication glitches that were just annoying. It was a long day. But I love casting, I ADORE actors, and getting to see all of the possibilities is always a thrilling thing. So, I came home exhausted (and a little ready to retire from casting... which I think is a good sign of a hard day's work) and went to bed by 8pm.
Awake by midnight, I checked my email and had a "Spam Summary" from an account I no longer use. One of the items looked to be from a former coworker from my days as a columnist for Back Stage West. So, I clicked to view more. And I am so fucking shocked I don't even know what to say.
Welcome to Back Stage West's first attempt at a "best of" issue, featuring a compilation of our readers' favorites and staff picks.Um. Holy crap, right? Wait.
Best Film/TV Casting Director: Mali Finn. Runners-up were Deborah Aquila, Billy DaMota, Richard DeLancy, Bonnie Gillespie, and April Webster.Wow.
Wow wow wow wow wow.
I--with under FOUR YEARS of experience as a casting director--am named among CDs who have credits like, oh, I don't know... The Matrix; Titanic; LA Confidential; The Shawshank Redemption; Sex, Lies, and Videotape; Alias; Lost; and Knight Rider for cryin' out loud.
Seriously... 95 years of casting experience in that group. I am responsible for fewer than four of those years. I am humbled and amazed and floored and honored to be included in that group of CDs. And I guess, even on the toughest days, maybe I'm not so bad at this job.
THANK YOU BACK STAGE WEST! THANK YOU BSW READERS!
July 20, 2006
So, in a few hours we'll start seeing a BUNCH of actors for a BUNCH of roles in what has quickly become a pretty major production.
It's so weird how the industry treats projects once "name actors" express interest in being attached. Suddenly you're being pitched actors by agents who previously would've scoffed at the idea of their clients doing a short film.
And the phone calls from actors with auditions they can't make get really frantic. It's no longer, "Hey, I can't make it to the preread. Any chance you can see me at callbacks?" but instead it's, "I did everything I could to try and be at prereads but I just can't get my schedule to work out. Can I put myself on tape doing the material and bring it to you before the end of the preread day? I really want you to have me in the mix, as you're making your callback decisions."
A subtle difference, maybe. But definitely a difference.
Sessions are pretty much my favorite part of the casting process. Faxing offers to "name actors" and setting up meetings to "discuss the project" are certainly a part of casting... but it's the sessions I love the most. It's when there are infinite possibilities for how the film is going to turn out. And it's when every actor has a shot. I love that. (Of course, I'll be freakin' exhausted in about 16 hours, but for the next six of those, I'm really excited about what's to come.)
Break a leg, you amazing actor people! Thanks in advance for showing us your magic.
July 14, 2006
I'm an A-Hole
Generally, I'm a big fan of me. (Of course, I have my low-self-esteem moments.) But especially lately, I've been a real Bon-lover. (It's just been a really good life these days.)
But I think I may be a pretty big A-HOLE. (I'll let y'all tell me.) Now, I don't know if being an a-hole makes me like myself less or just causes me to be a little more aware that casting will, eventually, take its toll on a perfectly nice human being, causing her to be almost completely intolerant of clueless actors. (And then I realize that I have never really been "perfectly nice" in my life. Even at my most charming, I'm still a pretty sarcastic brat.)
Anyway, it seems as if I'm on a roll. Last week, I wrote about actors who can't read. Today, I put out audition appointments for three of the short films I'm casting and, without any sugar-coating, made it VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY clear that actors who cannot meet requirements as listed need to DECLINE THE AUDITION.
This isn't because I don't love actors. This isn't because I'm not thrilled to see actors bring this amazing material to life. This is because I am serving the needs of a producer and THREE directors in one day of prereads, and with thousands of submissions, if actors can't make it through the list of required elements, GOOD. That helps me filter out more people.
But I feel like a total asshole because, for the first time, when an actor comes back to me with an, "I can't make it at the assigned preread appointment time. Could you perhaps see me another day?" I'm replying with a, "Nope. Sorry. We'll get you in on the next one." (I usually would bend over backwards to try and make it work out, regardless of the increase in my own stress level to do so.)
I'm predicting that it's only going to get more difficult to see every actor I want to see for every role, the farther along I get in my casting career. I guess I'd better get over this feeling now, huh?
July 6, 2006
'tis the Season!
This is classic. Pretty much the definition of cray-cray. I can only hope that the photos do it justice.
Okay, so we leave tonight for our walk and I notice that our neighbor has put some weird little doll thing up against her window. It's either crying or playing hide-and-seek or simply creeping me out in some way.
I'm in shock, as I don't really understand why this thing is here... but neighborlady has lots of crap on the patio, so I guess it could just be one of those things. (I seem to have a karmic path that puts me near neighbors who have the need to store broken wicker furniture and dead plants in abundance on our shared patio area.)
Okay, so I ask Keith as we leave the garden area, "What is that doll ABOUT?!? What is she doing with that?!?" Keith says, "Maybe she's preparing for Halloween." I say, "It's too early for Halloween!" To which Keith replies, "Well, it's never too early for cray-zee."
Excellent point from my beloved.
PS--Breakdown for three short films went out today. Breakdown for a play goes out Friday. Holy bejeebus, I'm a busy bee. Woo! I am technically about six hours behind on all obligations thus far, but I think that's still considered acceptable, considering the pace at which I usually deliver and the expectations "normal" people seem to have.
PPS--Is the rule at MySpace that you should change your photo like every other day or something? Are we supposed to ignore all bulletins? I'm really having trouble keeping up with the rules over there.
HAPPY MERCURY RETROGRADE, Y'ALL!
June 29, 2006
It's a New Day, FURSHUR
Seeking Stardom, Actors Flock to YouTube, MySpace
June 29, 2006
By Lauren Horwitch
Casting directors, producers, and even network execs are also waking up to the talent on the sites. CD Bonnie Gillespie of Cricket Feet Inc. said a New York actor who regularly posts his audition videos on YouTube told her about the site last year. "He can't fly in for auditions but always wants me to see him for films I'm casting," she wrote via email. "I think it's a great use of a free resource. Most online audition footage services are very expensive for actors. For example, one upload of an actor's two best takes of an audition can cost $50.Rock on!
"As fun as video-surfing is on YouTube," Gillespie added, "I think we've yet to unlock its full potential for actors and electronic auditioning."
In other news... I have a phoner later today for another potential casting gig, plus gotta set up some meetings between directors and name actors to take place over the next little bit. It's funny, I remember this time last year being my busiest as well, yet somehow I hear everyone talking about how "dead" it is. Yeah... okay... if you say so!
Gotta get my names list together for the new Wild Card Productions project (so so so freakin' cool, this one), since the breakdown will go out on Wednesday and we have our phoner tomorrow.
Meanwhile, gotta attend
FOUR FIVE kiddo parties in THREE FOUR days, while Keith bounces around town with STILL MORE auditions. Wow! Summer break, indeed!
June 26, 2006
Little bit of this and a little bit of that.
If you drive by our place and see something like this, that's okay.
That's part of why we changed the timing of our trip. Woo!
When we return, casting begins on three new short films for the folks who brought you the award-winning Queen of Cactus Cove and 2 Dogs Inside. Breakdown goes out on "The Project" July 5th, followed shortly by the long-awaited breakdown for the brilliant feature film How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone on July 10th. Yippee! It's on, y'all!
June 19, 2006
Congratulations to the actors cast in leading roles in the... get this... 35mm SAG short (yes, Kodak loved the script so much they provided matching funds if we would bump from 16mm to 35mm) Salvation, Texas!
Woo! Busy casting day. Oh, how I love this job!
June 11, 2006
This is funny. Click on the image to get the full experience (with pop-ups that explain why each actor landed where on the Full House Career Pyramid. Hee!
Reminder: tomorrow is Chad's 12 of 12 photo day. Finally, I have some exciting stuff going on during the appointed day. Hee! Fun stuff! Bonus photo this month is one taken at the same exact moment, all around the world (7am PDT). Ooooh! Between this and the collective creative energy of the 14 Day Screenplay Challenge, you'd think the planets were surely trying to align. Still on page 18 over here, but today is column and screenplay day... then I schedule callbacks for Salvation, Texas. Yippee!
June 8, 2006
Casting My Ass Off
Well, lookee here! They've added my name to the poster for Salvation, Texas. *giggle* So cool!
We're in prereads all day tomorrow, which should be loads of fun. I can tell the director is a wee bit nervous, having never worked with a casting director before. He's used to putting out a breakdown in Back Stage West and having loads of no-shows. I assured him that actors don't no-show on me (believe me, if they want to get in on the bigger-budget stuff, they kind of just CAN'T stiff me on the little things) and, from the looks of the day's schedule, he's going to be WAY impressed with these amazing, professional, performance-ready actors I'm bringing to him. Oh, I love sessions! It's when the possibilities are endless. These rich characters will only begin to take shape tomorrow, in the 3-D. I love it!
On Friday, the director of The Masquerade and I have a coffee date with the "name actor" we hope will be the star of her film. She is so so so nervous (she's never done a name actor meeting before), so I sent her to read "Taking the Meeting" and told her to relax, she'd be fine, charming, and wonderful. And he'll accept the offer and so will the other "name actor" we went out to today. And life on the festival circuit will be grand.
The meeting for How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone yesterday was beyond rockstar. Looks like the guy I scouted last month for the lead role may be the actor we go after, now. He's not a name (yet), but he's perfect for this and I know he would rock it beyond our wildest dreams. Of course, I cracked myself up realizing that I didn't think of one of my actor-friends (who is a "name") for one of the roles, because, y'know, she's my friend. So, when her manager sent over her tape, I came off as brilliant and now we're going to set up a coffee with her and the director. AND, I got to make an offer to one of my favorite big time character actors today for a minor role. He and Keith and I are going out for pie next week. Yippee!
I'm just so glad we're moving forward on HILMMAKS. Breakdown will be released July 10th and cast will be locked by Labor Day. I love that. A timeline! And I adore Joel and Trevor. They're such fucking rockstars. It's awesome to spend time with them. Loads of energy, creative passion, and vision. Man, people like that are a blast to share the planet with.
In other casting news, I now have FOUR offers pending for new gigs. It is time to start saying my least favorite word: "NO." When projects are amazing and people are wonderful and you LOVE a challenge... how do you say no? I know... you just do. I will. I must.
June 4, 2006
Other 14-Day Screenplayers
In my seemingly unending quest to procrastinate, I've decided to link to the blogs of other good folks out there who are taking the 14-Day Screenplay Challenge. (Notice their progress bars are actually MOVING.)
Go check on, encourage, poke, or otherwise worship AM, Chalkie, Dave, Delora, James, Lee Thomson, Matt Courtney (our
enabler sponsor), oneslackmartian, Optimistic Reader, Pei, Robert Hogan, Robin Kelly, Twixter Scripter, and the brilliant Babes McPhee. Also worship Anna, who is using the 14-Day Challenge to do something so so so so so freakin' cool and brilliant (GO, girl)!
Now I'm going back into Moshi's world (yes, Jodi, I *did* name her Moshi) and not come out 'til I've hit page 20. Oh, crud. No. Not just yet. I have to do some casting stuff first. In case anyone tells you it's EASY to cut the list from 2800 actor submissions to about 75 actors you'll actually bring IN for auditions, they are dirty rotten liars and not to be trusted.
Pretend You Teach Art
And if you teach Art, your goal in life is to put this image in front of as many kiddos as possible.
No, it's not me being all 6.6.06 or anything. It's all about Snakes on a mofo plane. Word.
Still only one page into my screenplay BUT way far ahead in my (so unexpected) network deals, so that's a better balance. ;) Yo.
June 3, 2006
14-Day Screenplay (Hour 11)
Eleven hours into the 14-Day Screenplay Challenge and I have written ONE page.
So, in addition to writing another 19 pages before midnight tomorrow (my goal is 10 pages a day for nine days and then lots of cleanup), I shall create audition sides for Thursday's Salvation, Texas prereads, write this week's column, send panel topics to my Hollywood Black Film Festival panelists, pare down producers' lists for all three films I'm casting since we have meetings on all three this week, and have a dinner-slash-casting meeting (tonight) with a NBF couple I met at lovely Anna's last month (THANKS, ANNA--maybe I *can* cast a TV series)!
Blog break is over. Gotta get that progress bar (bottom left) moving up. How's your first 11 hours of the 14-Day Screenplay Challenge going? Sound off, folks!
June 1, 2006
Could you use that in a sentence please?
I am mesmerized. (Did I spell that right?)
PS--What do the casting associate for the number one most-watched TV show on the planet and an up-and-coming indie film casting director talk about over dinner? Milk-enduced projectile vomit, Snakes on a Plane, the Pinehaven Mental Institution fire on DOOL, and Stick It (the best movie EVER), of course. Thanks, Keith. I like your new girlfriend. She's way cool.
May 30, 2006
New Casting Gig
Yup. Looks like I've found a way to make the 14-Day Screenplay Challenge even *more* stressful.
And no, I don't know why my column hasn't posted this week. I turned it in Sunday night. *shrug*
Okay, time to put together the breakdown. It rolls out tomorrow. Woo! I'm 'cited!
May 15, 2006
Okay, so they didn't ask me to be a part of the radio show, but it might still rock (kidding... it will totally rock, I just know it... because I don't cast non-rocking actors). Tune in as follows!
Filmmaker and cast members of A New Tomorrow (one of the BEST feature films I cast last year) will take over the airwaves Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 9pm: The David Lawrence Show (Sirius, XM, podcasts-a-go-go).
Tune in, babies! Woo!
May 14, 2006
Ethics in Journalism
Okay, so I have this great topic for tomorrow's column about mistakes actors make in choosing their headshots. Believe me: they make LOTS of mistakes.
But this week's column idea troubles me for a few reasons. Identifiability: Do I want to do the black bar over the eyes thing like they do in "Fashion Don'ts" in the back of Cosmo? Yes, sure... but part of what MAKES a headshot work, even if it breaks ALL of the rules, is that it captures SOMETHING (and usually that's all about the eyes).
How about a big blur or pixilated dot like they use on COPS or Cheaters when someone doesn't sign the release? Okay, that works, but then no one is going to be looking at the POINT I'm making (about obnoxious cropping, odd character poses, overall BAD composition) if they're looking at something right out of The X-files, right?
There's the scorned ex-girlfriend technique, wherein I "cut" the face out, but if I'm doing that in examples of ALL headshots (the ones that WORK and the ones that DON'T WORK), can you really tell what it is that I'm saying WORKS about one and what doens't about another? Ugh! I'm so frustrated over this!
I already know I'm going in with a big couple of paragraphs about how effin' frustrating this topic is to begin with, as I'd much rather NOT write it, do a column on something "safe," and not risk having actors pissed that their headshot--even if only THEY recognize themselves--was used for something other than the reason it was submitted to me in the first place.
I totally get that. And I also know that I write a lot about my experiences in casting and never does a producer contact me and say, "Hey, I want to hire you to cast this movie, but I don't want you to write about anything that you observe about actors or how they can better their chances of making it in Hollywood during the process of casting this film." It is a part of hiring ME to do a job: I'm going to glean information from the work *I* do and turn it into a column or book or topic at a speaking engagement and help actors with it. It's just how I roll.
Do I go "balls out" and just write the column, use the photos unretouched (except by the photographer, of course) and explain my reasoning, knowing that more people will LEARN from this than will be BURNED by this? Or do I edit the photos (which will be presented at the exact size as the samples you see, above) to protect (or at least somewhat mask) the identity of the subjects and explain my reasoning for that? Those are my two least-icky options. The ick-filled option is to write about something else altogether... and that's a way wussy move.
I guess yet another option is to write about the issues without having the visual examples. I know I can write up a storm, but can I really explain well enough what I'm talking about when saying that a headshot in which the actor's forehead is cropped down to her eyebrows AND the tip of her chin is cropped out does NOT serve the actor AT ALL? I mean, I can bitch about it... but until you see the absurdity of it, will you really GET what a bad headshot choice it is?
My job is hard today.
May 8, 2006
New Casting Gig
The Masquerade. Very very cool SAG short film with a rockstar production team that I'm proud to be a part of.
Breakdown goes out this week. Woo!
May 2, 2006
List-Making for Nervous Girls
I just had to perform a task that has way filled me with confidence for my meeting. I had to make a list.
Rockstar SAGIndie head Paul Bales called me and asked me to come speak to actors at a SAG LifeRaft event Thursday afternoon, since I specialize in casting SAG low budget indies. He asked me to make a list of films I've cast under the various agreements. I also listed the fate of some of those films (screen cap, above) in terms of festival screenings and wins.
Man, that feels good.
Gotta go! Heeeeeeee! Suddenly less nervous and more excited. Woo!
April 28, 2006
I just saw the BEST MOVIE EVER.
In addition to it starring a gal I cast in the last feature film I worked on (YAY! Go, Tarah Paige! You rule!!), it was also just freakin' GREAT!
Oh--and as we left, we got free samples of the new flavor of Dr Pepper AND celeb-spotted both Nolé Marin (sans puppydog-on-princess-pillow) AND Robet LaSardo (another actor I *tried* to cast in the last feature film I worked on).
Major blog entry coming soon with reviews of all things. First, I have to go practice my dismount.
April 20, 2006
Need advice from NY actors.
Hey, y'all. Happy Thursday. Any NY actors out there who read my blog, could you do me a favor?
I've been asked (several times, actually) to recommend a Self-Management for Actors that is more NY-based. Having never spent more time in NY than a few weeks at a time, I'm certainly not the one to write such a book (and that's not what these folks are asking), but I'm wondering if there isn't already something out there like my books, but NY-based.
Is there? Lemmeknow. Thanks!!
PS--Meeting about the next feature film I'll cast later today. Woo! Will share details when appropriate. ;) Hee!
April 7, 2006
Request for Info
Quick request of those of you in the industry who've been through the process of courtship by an entertainment attorney. Could you make contact with me, let me take you out for a cocktail, and allow me to pick your brain about what to expect from a "let's do lunch" meeting at a pretty freakin' high level? That'd rock. Thanks.
April 4, 2006
Is It Just Me?
Or does everyone still do the "A-B-C-D-E-F-G..." twist of the stem before biting into a yummy apple, using the letter of "break off" as an indicator of the initial of future spouse? I mean, I've been married for ten months now (almost) and I still twist the stem off to find out who I'll marry. This morning: G is the magic letter. Sorry, Keith.
Okay, so this is going to be a way catchupy post. There is so much going on.
Apparently, my talk at SAG was pretty rockstar. Now, I've done a lot of talks at a lot of places for a lot of actors. They're always good. (That's not me being obnoxiously over-confident, it's just true. I'm a generally fantastic public speaker.) But this one was just pegged-to-the-wall perfect on about every level. No idea why, but the group assembled (170 RSVPs, plus waitlist) was just READY to laugh. READY to learn. READY to be inspired by something I said at some point. It was really awesome.
I started my time on Miracle Mile with a lovely solo dinner at Marie Callender's: a tuna melt 86 all bread-type stuff and a glass of Ferrari-Carano. Yum! My waiter saw me reading (and annotating) a script and asked about it. Natch, he's an actor and will be submitting on the film I'm currently casting (which is not the script I was reading at dinner). That's always fun. That's twice in two nights I've chatted up a waiter type about coming in for something I'm casting. It's LA, right?
Well, one of the items on my plate at dinner that I didn't eat AT dinner was a lovely little red apple. I just had it for a wee-hours snack. Yum!
Okay, so... I didn't want to scoop KiKi about our IRL meeting (and dinner with Keith and KiKi's PAM), but he's blogged about it now so I can say: WHEEEEEEEEEEEE! It was so cool! And he TOTALLY wore one of the red shirts (still not sure which one). We really were all over each other with giggles and comments and crosstalk and tangents. He's right, it'll be even better when we meet up again and have a little more focused energy on... well... just about anything. ;) Focus was just NOT our priority. What fun!
Y'know what else is fun? Receiving an email from the director of one film I cast, who was in Florida for the film festival screening and Q&A for said film. She also happened to catch screenings of other films at the festival, including another film I cast. She didn't know it was a film I cast until my name came up in the final credits, at which point she said, "Of course. Another great Bonnie Gillespie cast." And she emailed me to say so. What fun! Maybe I'm competent as a casting director after all. Yay!
Okay, back to work. Oh, but first, a comment I made over at an actors' web board that was met with much love and applause:
If you play the odds, there's no reason to attempt this career.< Ali >Word.< / Ali >
If you live your dreams, there's no reason NOT to give it a shot.
If you like to analyze your chances... well... that's actor mind taffy, plain and simple.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
March 18, 2006
Yippee! Screenings are fun! Dates with cute boys are fun!
PS--Keith has dates today too, so don't feel sad for him. ;)
March 16, 2006
A New Thing
So, I totally forgot about this, but in the spirit of my NBF KiKi and his Year of New Things, I made a note of a new thing I did while in San Diego.
Ready? This is actually very exciting. The new thing I did while in San D (or, at least the new thing I NOTED doing while in San D) was... *drumroll, please* eat at Outback Steakhouse.
PS--Thwok is back on her trip of licking all of the glue stuff off the unsealed envelopes around here. What IS that?!?
PPS--Holy crap, that was fast. I just put the word out that my SAG LifeRaft Seminar was up for RSVPs before we left for the SAG CAP event. While there, I learned that we already had 75 RSVPs. Now... the event is FULL. We had 160 at last year's event. Yikes! And... cool.
March 10, 2006
Oh my, my, my, my, my. Busy gal. But I did want to come by and say HOWDY!
Taxes got pushed back 'til I return from San Diego next week (subbing Billy Cowart's classes there) and I'm seriously grateful for that. Even after a couple dozen non-stop hours of working on our financials, I still had/have work to do. Should finish it all up today. Phew.
Made offers to two name actors for HILMMAKS today. That is seriously so much fun! Yippee! The other feature film I'm casting is on hold while producers get some legal stuff together (they weren't as ready to begin casting as they'd thought at our meeting earlier this week), which is good b/c it gives me a bit of breathing room to (hopefully) get some deals made on HILMMAKS before issuing the next breakdown.
Spoke to Billy DaMota's class at the Strasberg Institute last night. That's always such fun! Really talented kids over there. And catching up with Billy is a blast. He has a new book that we may publish through Cricket Feet. Stay tuned on that.
Keith is at an audition, then off to CSI Miami casting for his intern gig. I'm hoping to get our financial statements to a good "finishing point" before he gets home, so that I can then get my column written (early) and do some Roxbury work before leaving town. I'm very much looking forward to being entirely offline for a few days. There's something very comforting about that sort of break from the daily noise.
Let's see... other things to catch y'all up on...
Books are selling remarkably well. I'm so very pleased with how happy folks are with Self-Management for Actors. In fact, it's in stores now, so the numbers should continue to increase this month. Yippee! More important than sales, to me, is that people like the revisions. That's a big ol' happy. Otherwise, as long as we don't lose money on the printings, I'm just fine and dandy.
When I went to update the Cricket Feet site with some more screenings for Queen of Cactus Cove, I did a little poking around to see what's up with some of the other films I've cast. Holy crap, y'all! Hombre Kabuki also got into a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards, which means it is entirely possible (though certainly not probable, but a girl can dream, right?) that TWO FILMS I cast will be up for Best Live Action Short Film on Oscar night, 2007. HOLY CRAP, RIGHT?
Also, I learned that Chandler Hall will have its world premiere next weekend at The Other Venice Film Festival. I don't know anything about the fest, but I'm so freakin' excited to get to see how the film turned out. The film's website has a trailer and stills. Looks great! And honestly, I've been so busy that I haven't even had a chance to add a link to that site from the Cricket Feet site--nor have I edited together MY casting demo reel, which includes clips from all of these films that are (all at once it seems) starting to become available.
Hmm. Maybe I'll do some of that here, and y'all can go see the trailers on the sites where they currently live, and I'll use this post as a reminder to myself to come back and do all of this linking from the Cricket Feet site when I have a chance.
I haven't even gone blog-reading all week for the most part. Eesh! I am one busy Bon! Okay, I'm going to go ahead and post this entry even though it's really boring and then I'll try to come back before I head south in order to link up some trailers. Man, I need an assistant.
BACK: Okay, here are some links to trailers, if you'd like to see some of what I do for a living (outside of writing, which you can see every week).
Queen of Cactus Cove trailer.
Chandler Hall trailer is available here.
Hombre Kabuki trailer. (Hombre Kabuki came out of casting for Each To Each which is in post right now.)
The Moor trailer is up at the Cricket Feet site.
March 7, 2006
Get Ready for Blast-off, Y'all
So, there was the great news from Saturday, which has made casting How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone an incredibly surreal experience. Then, there was the amazing dinner with the Damn Skippy Pictures gang (such wonderful people) last night! Today...
rockstar meeting with the Visualize This team. Yup! Initial (private) breakdown will go out on Friday for Wanderers of the Wasteland. I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM CASTING TWO 7-FIGURE FEATURE FILMS AT ONCE! Any advice on how not to freak out over reaching a career level you only ever dreamed of would be greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile, the script-leaking process begins this week. Such fucking amazing stuff. Truly outrageously synergistically great experiences happening right now. Bummed I had to miss out on the tea with Tovah this afternoon, but I had my own meeting scheduled and that one was seriously kickass enough. I'm sure Joel and Trevor did just fine without me. ;)
Oh! Also got news that Queen of Cactus Cove has made it into yet ANOTHER film festival. Holy crap, we may actually have a shot at the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar in 2007. I can't even wrap my brain around what that would mean/how that would feel.
And maybe that's why all of this stuff keeps happening. I stop leaving room for negativity, I no longer fear saying NO to what isn't working, and I'm not questioning whether it's POSSIBLE to get what I want. Could it really be that simple? Wow. YotL.
March 5, 2006
CoCo showed up bearing gifts last night. Not only did she bring my favorite vodka to the party, she also brought amazing news.
Why is this a big deal? Well, when Julia Stiles and Tom Welling have been pitched for the lead roles in a film that's fully funded at the $200K level (because the script is so rockstar brilliant), it's already a good day in the life of a casting director. When the writer/director of that film (How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone) wins an Independent Spirit Award for writing/producing another film (Conventioneers), suddenly funding at a much higher level becomes guaranteed. And my phone calls to managers and agents tomorrow morning become filled with energy and excitement. We're at a whole new level of awesomeness now. It. Is. On.
And after what will certainly be a rockstar casting day tomorrow (interrupted only for a three-hour series of talks at the drama department at St. Monica's Catholic school across the street), we have a delightful dinner meeting with producer/director/writer/actor friends, followed by a big casting meeting on Tuesday for Wanderers of the Wasteland. Also speaking at Strasberg and teaching in San Diego this week. Busy. Awesome.
PS--Go read My Cousin Joni's Oscar Picks post. She's really smart.
February 26, 2006
My Wish for You
Is that you will, at some time in your life, know the joy that is coming up on a movie theatre and seeing the title of a film you helped create "up in lights."
I also wish that you will see your book in the window at the biggest bookstore in Manhattan. And that you will sing, speak, and/or anything else you really love to do and be met with standing ovations, even flowers. If it's the kind of thing that gets you off, I also wish for you to be stopped in the street by fans asking for an autograph.
And I hope that, like me, you realize that all of these things are really cool while you're still young enough to enjoy them all--and you're not at all bitter about any of the road you walked (or people you encountered or risks you took or choices you made) to get those things to come true for you.
And if you've not had a dream come true for you yet in your life, get to it. From the greatness of 90210, remember what Val said to David on the cliff at the Santa Monica bluffs (yes, where we got married), "Either get busy living, or get busy dying."
I have some personal goals for the rest of age 35. My professional goals continue to be met, and bettered, and met again. I'm gonna work on me for a bit more right now. And that excites the hell out of me.
Two more things, before I sign off and get some sleep for a bit (jeebus I scared myself, thinking it was MONDAY 3am instead of SUNDAY 3am just then... phew! I still have a day! Phew! Okay, anyway):
1. Do you like great music? Do you like great music by British guys who write great witty blogs and help edit books about actors written by online friends on other continents? Yeah. Me too. Go listen to "Boathouse Row" and learn the greatness that is Cliff.
2. That was some way long blog entry I wrote a few days ago, no? Eesh! Anyone finish reading it yet? Keith said it was "too scary." Pff. Actors!
EDITED TO ADD: OMG! Have you seen this blog entry about a guy who lost out on a job b/c of his blog/hobby? OMG! That's a HOOT! And sad. Thanks for posting that, Chip. I find that just FUNNY! And sad. And FUNNY! Poor guy. *giggle*
February 20, 2006
Let me take a moment to tell you about the Year of the Leemer.
I have this friend. He's my musical soulmate. He's a somesucher. He's a GMF and all around cool person. His last name is Leemer and I call him Leemsy. He has declared 2006 the Year of the Leemer (that's YotL, yo).
At his blog, he explained it like this:
What started out as a little mantra to myself, to make me realize what I am truly capable of, took off with a life of its own. And I love that. I mean, I really love that. The original intent was to make me get off of my ass and follow my dream, whatever that may be. However, I have found myself to be content living through the triumphs of others that are close to me who have embraced the YotL concept.And YotL is definitely embraceable.
While I've been sick in bed this past week, I've received three messages from producers wanting to hire me to cast a pilot, a play, and a film. Yup. I've also received calls about covering acting classes at several very cool studios, guest-speaking all over the place, and even a pitch for another book... from a financing writing partner type. Yup. That's on top of the super-terrific "new" (additional, not instead of; existing MAJOR publication, not new rag) venue for my weekly column that's in the works.
Best yet, while I'm catching up with what's going on in the lives of my friends and colleagues, I notice that many (perhaps MOST even) of them have seen very big advances in their professional lives already in this short year. Cooooool. Just like Leemsy, I'm thrilled to see others basking in success they've so well earned. There is nothing so exciting as celebrating successes with dear friends. To all of you, I want to explain that, without knowing it, you've embraced the spirit of the Year of the Leemer.
It rocks hard.
And so do you.
In other news...
I am starting to feel better. Thankee for all of the good vibes and love. Keith made me take today off too, which I think was probably smart, but I'm still getting lots done. (Heeeeeee!) Drinking lots of water and trying to just flush out whatever might be left in my system. OUT!
I've gone and created a Cricket Feet Mailing List , since I've been told that a few of the wonderful members of the Hollywood Happy Hour Yahoo Group really only stay subscribed so that they can keep up with announcements I might have about the industry, notes about upcoming column topics at Showfax.com, information about upcoming networking events, details on screenings of films I've cast, book signings, and various speaking engagements around the country.
Volume of mail should be relatively light. I'm thinking a weekly blurb about my column (I've been asked to do that, as a reminder when new articles are posted) and periodic announcements about events that I would normally either post at HHH or forward to Judy Kerr for her awesome mailing list.
Remember, Queen of Cactus Cove screening FREE on Thursday. You're coming, right?
Let's see... what else?
I've taken some quizzes. I'll post those results later.
I'm going to do some organizing now. I have a cool teenage helper coming over later this week (she's in town from NY for Pilot Season) to help with my headshots, scripts, and demo reels. Before that stage, though, I have to get stuff to a manageable level.
Okay, I think that's it for now.
Oh, one more: last night was seriously intense on the celeb factor at dinner. Very bizarre to see such a high concentration of industry folk at one time on one night. Dress rehearsal for upcoming Oscar parties? Maybe. Anyway, champagne and lobster always makes me smile. It was a good date. The Saturday industry "underground" thing was amazingly good fun too. *giggle*
Time for a shower. Yay!
Remember, embrace the YotL, yo.
February 14, 2006
Queen of Cactus Cove SCREENING
The World's Shortest Film Festival website also has more information about the festival and a link to RSVP. That site ALSO has the trailer! Woo! So cool!
I am just so excited about the festival life this little film is having. It's all over the place!! Getting such great reviews everywhere it screens! And the METHOD FEST?!? Heck, that's all about performances, right? So... I'm really excited about the casting of such amazing actors in this wonderful film. Very pleased to be able to share the joy at this particular screening.
February 13, 2006
Click here to read what another CD says about some monologues you shouldn't do. (Guess which monologue, of those listed, I used to do.)
Click here to read about the difference between Hollywood trade publications (with blogs) and amateur bloggers who write spoilerific posts. I must admit, I feel mighty high-and-mighty, writing professionally with the backing of two journalism degrees sometimes. It's like I hold myself to a higher standard of sharing, having been schooled to journal. ;)
Today's meeting? Effin' rockstar. I'm sooooo exhausted. Can't keep my eyes open. That's what busting ass on a casting meeting and having gotten no sleep while gearing up for the meeting will do to a gal. Details later. Short story: ROCK. STAR.
Oh, also: new desk arrived. Happy Bon. G'nite!
February 12, 2006
So, I've been stressing out all weekend about how on Earth I'm going to get everything done for my meeting tomorrow, what with another meeting today--one that's going to take a big chunk out of my day and therefore my ability to get prepped for tomorrow's meeting--and a column due.
Then, in the style of something CoCo wrote about last month, this morning brought a cancellation for tonight's dinner meeting. Awesome.
Not that I didn't want the meeting to happen--we've actually been working to schedule this for MONTHS--but the timing will be better later. Today, I shall write my column and prep for tomorrow's casting meeting. Phew! That's plenty of work, believe me!
February 7, 2006
I'm taking a moment to get out of the sun that shines on my "work seat" during this time of day and, from the floor, share some long-overdue updates. It only makes me more giddy that the actor I want THE MOST for one of the roles in HILMMAKS is on TV right now! Hee! It's a sign!
Okay, so the updates.
First, Pamela Newlands (AKA Sassy McLassie, and a contributor to SMFA2) shared this goodie with me. It's an interview with her that ran in the East Kilbride News (and that was subsequently picked up by the wire and run throughout the UK) in which she pimped out my new book.
And if that's too large for you, just click here to see the "all about Bon" part of the piece. *giggle*
Oh, and so it doesn't get buried in comments, I'll share a share from super proofer Julie-O (who has scored a righteous gig recently--ask her about it) a link to Swingline Tot50 staples, though you'd better buy in bulk, with that $8 flat shipping fee. Thanks, Julie-O! Happy stapling, proofers!
Okay, so, for the other giddy, giggle-filled info that I can't technically share with the world yet. Remember that post in which everyone tried to guess stuff about the starfucking namedropping I did? Okay, well, I can't say what, but I can add some names to the collection. Oh, but maybe that's too much. I know! I'll be a link-sharer instead of a name-dropper. How's that? Kiki, does that make me a starlinker instead? Hmm.
Okay, so the links for my *giggle* start here: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Yes, I've woven in non-names with names, plus earlier-posted names with new ones... just to make it fun. And because everyone loves a good
boost in the starmeter ratings, click this and this too. *giggle*
PS: the word of the day (per this post) is OKAY.
PPS: not telling, Ed. But it's not what you think it is. I'll tell you later. No one knows. Really. Honest.
~2 d, 23 h
February 2, 2006
What do Scott Foley, Julia Stiles, Tracy Pollan, Judith Chapman, Leslie Charleson, Chris Coppola, Jenna Von Oy, Christopher Masterson, David Anders, Andrew Bowen, Jessica Hecht, Richard Riehle, and Harriet Sansom Harris have in common?
I CAN'T TELL YOU!
I just so so so so so so so so so so love my job.
That is all.
January 31, 2006
Hiya! Been awhile. Busy. Office is looking gorgeous (photos to come) especially thanks to a stunning new lampshade with crystals hanging from it (beautiful present from the Lindsays). New fax machine "system" is really cool. Next, we're going to put up a stunning curtain to divide the "office" and "living" spaces. Oh, and I'm going to finally get a desk. (Did you know that you can't buy a desk like I want anywhere in person in Southern California?? Yeah. Gotta go online. Drat.)
Meeting tomorrow with Gary about a new joint venture with a major trade publication. Eeeeee! I'm quite giddy. Also finally got paperwork done for another casting gig, which means I'll be releasing some info in an official capacity soon (on several projects at once). I'm just blown away that it's already almost February. Wow.
Oh, man, I haven't even mentioned the fact that the second edition of Self-Management for Actors reaches our warehouse TOMORROW! Ack! I so kept thinking I had more time to prep--and now it's almost here???? Ack! I had a dream that it was a huge bomb and no one bought it and I cried and cried. And then I went over to Deb's house and slept on a leather couch, took drugs in my sleep, and woke up with Christmas lights strung all over me. When I woke up, I was craving a Sloppy Joe. Do you think that's normal?
More catch up later. I need a shower.
January 26, 2006
On This Day In Casting History
I received my letter of intent for casting Wanderers of the Wasteland (FKA Swirl) from the amazing Visualize This team;
three directors who are reviewing the script for Retribution (the crime drama shooting in Upstate New York) have come back to me with interest;
the morning has been filled with final messenger deliveries for casting suggestions from the "big agencies" on How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone in anticipation of my meeting with the Hyphenate Films guys this afternoon.
And the new office looks AMAZING. Surprisingly, I think the "new den" is going to be my new favorite getaway. It's like a library. Little TV for DVD/VHS-watching, speakers from the household sound system (so we can do the whole XM, CDs, radio thingy), all of our non-industry books for pleasure reading, windows on two sides of the room, the lovely ceiling fan, and all of our TOYS! Yeah, that's going to be my new favorite in-home getaway.
One casualty from the redesign: our fax machine. No biggie. I bought it in May 2001 for $30. It's time to upgrade.
Thanks for all of the comments, everyone! I'm so glad to hear from y'all! More updates when I have more than a moment's break. Ack! There goes my SixHundy alarm--letting me know it's time to structure today's A-list actor casting presentation. Woo!
January 21, 2006
OMG. I finally get it.
So, today was officially the castingest day EVER. I spent hours importing footage from films I've cast* in order to edit down my official casting demo reel. Lots of editing still to do, but what a happy job that is!
Meanwhile, I am putting final notes together for the next several casting gigs, details of which should be available in the next couple of weeks. Rock ON!
Okay, so where's the "I finally get it" stuff coming into play?
Well, as I watch the rough footage from these films I've cast (for the umpteenth time), I see imperfections. Typical. Same as when I reread my columns and get bummed out to find a typo or misplaced modifier or (*shudder*) split infinitive. It's just ugly. But it's human.
Okay, so at one point, I take a (well-earned) break. I'm looking at the cover art from one of the films' DVDs. It's gorgeous. And, reflecting back on how I felt the VERY VERY VERY first time I saw footage from this film, I felt truly flutter-filled with joy. I then thought, "Aw. It's a dayum shame that, the more I've looked at it, the more of its flaws I somehow see."
wheels turn... smoke pours from ears...
Wait a sec. What have I seen more of IN LIFE? What have I spent MOST OF MY LIFE focused on, simply due to the fact that I've had the most constant exposure to it?
That'd be ME.
Holy crap. Is a big part of the reason I see so many flaws in myself the very fact that I keep LOOKING? And perhaps those who consume only a fraction of me truly do have a much more balanced perspective on what my WHOLE is?
Just a load of thoughts, on a Saturday. Next time I get hyper-self-critical, perhaps I can just remember to take a dose of ANYTHING ELSE long enough to shift my perspective. Then realize, hey, I'm not that bad.
< Ali > Word. < /Ali >
* Have I mentioned how happy I am to finally have footage from even a FEW of the films I've cast by now?
January 20, 2006
First the rant. I get the need for the whole word verification thing on blog comments. I really do. But for the love of all that is holy, shouldn't the word (read: the jumble of letters put together and somehow *called* a "word") be, oh, I don't know... readable?
WTF was that supposed to be? Believe me, I tried several things... none of 'em allowed me to comment.
Now the rave. I have a new favorite thing (man, lots of new favorites so far this year). Our Pavillions is selling a new brand of foods called "O Organics." Um... yum. We always have to go to stores not-so-convenient as the right-up-the-alley open-24-hours Pavillions when we're buying my gluten-free goodies (other than produce and basic meats and such). Forget buying any yummy snacks or processed things. Until now.
Okay, way way way yummy: "O Organics Cheese Curls" (white cheddar). Yeah. Good stuffs. Yum.
And with that, I'm to bed.
PS--Sis, want another casting job? I think I have one more for you.
January 19, 2006
Lookee what Keith made for me.
Big day in casting. Just signed on to cast a feature shooting in NY. Brings total feature film casting gigs for the first half of 2006 to FOUR. And, passed yet another casting gig off to my sis. Yup. Big day. I need a nap.
Oh, and thanks, folks, for the head's up on comments being wonky. I've changed some settings. Please try to comment now, if'n you please.
January 18, 2006
I LOVE So Much!!
So, I've spent two solid hours importing my RSS feed links (which were categorized as "RSS feeds" and "Lazy RSS feeds"), plus my good ol' fashioned non-feed blog links and links to things I would NEVER bookmark as feed-food (until NOW, baby) into the greatness that is Rojo. I am so so so so so so so so so happy already. LOVES me some Rojo! It is my new TiVo. Thank you, Beffers!!!!!
And then, the greatness that is Tony emails me a link to this: Seth Green as Chris Griffin reading from Star Jones' new book on the Adam Carolla show. Holy Hell, that's some funny stuff. Wow. I'm just more in love every minute today.
Spent the morning listing and re-listing my categories and subcategories for the new home office "system" (and I cannot WAIT to get this project off the ground), plus fielding calls and emails from producers in--get this--England and NY (plus FOUR more in LA) about upcoming casting needs. AND I officially handed off a project I don't have time for to another amazing casting director, my sister Deb.
* = disclosure to come. Stand by.
January 13, 2006
So, I saw the Brokeback Mountain movie yesterday with Dawn. Then we went to the El Cholo (yes, I know that's two times the "the" there; extra "the" is as cool as adding an S to the end of store names, like The Krogers), where we met up with Keith and my favorite Hollywood couple. We had fun. *I* had too much to drink. Yeah, yeah... I know.
Anyway, really liked the movie. Will review it at Monitoring the Culture tomorrow or so. Gotta get ready to go to the screening of Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall now. Yippee! I LOVE getting to see movies I've worked on, finished. That's rockstar cool. Jesse gave me a rough cut of a few scenes from the film in which I cast him and Shanna last night. Can't wait to watch it. The rough clips I've seen so far are amazing. I'm finally going to put together a casting demo reel here soon. Woo hoo!
PS--Have I mentioned that the director of How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone is up for an Independent Spirit Award? Yeah. Way way way way effin' cool. It's just that kind of a year so far. Blissful!
January 11, 2006
Just got this email from Anna Christopher, rockstar director of Queen of Cactus Cove.
Great news! Queen of Cactus Cove just got into the Florida Film Festival! This is the fifth festival we've been invited since we finished in November but this fest is by far the most important ! The Florida Film Festival is a top ten festival in the US and a qualifying festival for the Oscars. What does that mean? I'll tell ya! The winner of the Grand Jury Prize Award for Best Narrative Short will automatically qualify to enter the Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards. Yeah!
I spoke with the festival director today and he told me how much the selection committee loved our film. They got around 600 shorts. They ranked 'em, put the top 60 up on a wall and debated them for 12 hours. Queen never got questioned. He said everyone just loved it for its heart, simplicity, universal appeal, unique setting/characters, strong themes and high quality of filmmaking. Wow! He also said that no one had to champion the film because it was an all-around favorite. Aw, shucks!
Our film will screen twice--once for an audience with 'audience ballots' and once for the Grand Jury and Special Jury. The festival is March 24-April 2. We'll keep you all posted on how Queen does!
Roadtrip, anyone? Effin' awesome news! *beaming happy casting director*
January 9, 2006
Too Busy To Blog
Holy Bejeebus, did the new year start off with a kablammo or what? This town is on FIRE!
I am seriously so freeeeekin' busy casting and prepping for the next (and next and next) gig that I don't even have the time to talk about it all. Suffice it to say that I just found out I now officially have coverage at the biggest talent agency on the planet. That's so effin' cool.
January 6, 2006
The "Queen" has done it again!
Meanwhile, the revamped casting site has gotten some pretty high-profile attention. I'm now in talks for THREE MORE FEATURE FILMS, all of which will shoot mid-2006. Oh, and that's NOT including How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone, about which I'm already so freeeeekin' excited.
2006. Rockstar year.
Now, if we could get rid of these pesky Santa Ana winds, I'd be über-blissed out.
January 3, 2006
Great news about a few films I've cast.
Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall will have its first public screening on Friday, 13 January 2006 at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood. I can get a limited number of guest passes. Lemmeknow if you want to join us for the screening of this awesome dogma film.
Queen of Cactus Cove, after being named Best Live-Action Short at the LA International Children's Film Festival, has been invited to screen at the San Diego International Children's Film Festival between April 7th and 9th. Before then, however, we have a campaign for which YOU can help! While we didn't get into the Cinequest Festival, we have been invited (as a "high scorer among programmers") to screen at Cinequest Online. They have a Viewers' Voice Competition in which visitors to the website can register, screen films, and VOTE in February 2006 to determine which films will then screen between March 7th and 12th in San José. Check back for a direct link. Our film's not up there yet.
More cool stuff going on with projects for 2006, details of which will be shared when appropriate. ;) Hee hee. Life, she is good.
December 18, 2005
All Hail the Queen!
Congratulations, Queen of Cactus Cove cast and crew (*giggle*)...
Here's to many, many more awards in 2006!
December 16, 2005
There is something so beautiful about the way life works sometimes.
We make a casting decision late today on Still of the Night and I call the actor's agent. The voicemail has already been switched on, indicating the agency (one of the biggies) is closed until 4 January 2006. I don't HAVE to have this guy's contract locked today, but I sure as hell need him to know the offer has been made, get at least a verbal yes, and move forward in good faith with letting the non-cast actors' representatives know status.
I go to IMDB-Pro to look up this actor's manager info. Nope. Wrong info. Call the management company, whose employees have never heard of him... obviously outdated info. Fine. Call the attorney of record (for no reason other than to be SURE that someone, somewhere knows an offer is coming over). Leave a message with assistant.
Exhale. This may be as far as I can get with this deal this year.
Couple of hours later, phone rings... it's the attorney. I give him all of the info about the project, he says he'll do his best to get the info to his client, just so that we can know if he's even going to be available to do it (he's a series regular on a hot new show right now), we joke about how we're still busy at work at dark on the day when everyone in Hollywood left town at noon for the rest of the year. Hee hee, ho ho, good convo. Six minutes, tops.
One of the things he says, at the end of the conversation, is that he's very well-versed (surprisingly) in indie film deals, seeing as he reps a few producers and has built more than a few distribution deals, writer packaging, blah blah blah, and maybe we should get to know each other better.
Let's do that. I tell him I'm just about to hit my three-year mark with casting, the next film I've got on my plate is a $2M feature film that I'm just really excited about, I'm movin' on up, yada yada, and it might be a good time for me to take a meeting at this level.
Why NOT have someone who is PAID (commission) to read scripts and negotiate my casting deals for me? Why NOT?!?
I'm sooooo in.
Oh, and a footnote... the owner of the big-deal agency that had been closed a few hours earlier just called me on his cell to give me a verbal yes on the deal, let me know how much his client loved auditioning for me and specifically for this project, and that we'll do the paperwork in the new year, "Tell Gary Marsh that I love him when you have dinner with him next week," and so on.
Life... she is goooooooooooooooood.
AND--Keith is on his way home with well-reviewed gluten-free pizza crust so that I can have something I've been craving (but finding unsatisfactory) for the year I've been gluten-free. Yippee! I just LOVE it when it all comes together! Thanks, universe! You rock!
December 12, 2005
Happy Casting Director
So, y'know I love to brag about the amazing casts I bring together for such GREAT films, right? Well... this one is different. Last night, I attended the World Premiere of Queen of Cactus Cove with the cast, crew, and our families.
And I cried.
Yes, I always cry when I see a film I've cast (and that's been four that have actually had public screenings thus far--another four not yet filmed, the other nine still in post), but this film was BEAUTIFUL. I am in awe of the cinamatography, the brilliant direction, perfect writing, and natural acting. Hell, to single elements out is unfair to the whole film--which is PERFECT. I was so giddy after the screening. I hugged the actors who turned out for the screening and gushed about how they made me look brilliant for casting them. Man... this is EXACTLY why I do this job.
And today I spoke with a friend/filmmaker/writer/actor who told me he is paying his casting director $10K to cast his film. Yeah. Y'know what... I'm going to start getting paid better in 2006. Starting up with HILMMAKS is a good launchpad. Man, the feedback on this script is amazing. I'm so happy to be casting it.
In other news, MCJ was here for a visit and it rocked. We had friends over for fun, drinks, games, and loads of gossip. And some emotions... Yeah. Did you know that when I drink I'm emotional? Oh, wait... did you know that when I breathe I'm emotional? Damn Cancer-the-Crab stuff. Oh well, in the company of good friends, it's all okay.
Okay, so I wasn't able to make the final casting offers as scheduled for Still of the Night, so I'll do those tomorrow (I hope). The book is at the printer, and that's a big sigh of relief. Keith is averaging about six national commercial auditions (and one callback) per week lately. It's just a matter of time. Rock on!
December 4, 2005
Swiped from John, my musical soulmate.
PS--Casting offers on Still of the Night go out tomorrow. The script for How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone is up at CricketFeet.com. Rock on, casting director!
December 1, 2005
A new casting gig. Woo hoo!
'member the guys who did the brilliant Al Keyda short from the Bush In 30 Seconds days? Well, they've hired me to cast their next feature film. And it's seriously one of the best scripts I've read. Ever. And I've read a lot of really great scripts lately.
This one's like Se7en meets Fight Club meets Pulp Fiction, with all of the twists in time and perception and from whose frame of reference/POV we live the experience, etc. I love it!
Anyway... final offers for Still of the Night will be heading out next week (another effin' rockstar film with a nice, big cast) and more news on the next one (How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone--great title, eh?) will always show up here or at Cricket Feet's casting site (which is due a redesign shortly).
November 18, 2005
Queen of Cactus Cove NEWS
Oh, I'm so excited! Just got news that my third 2005 film-I-cast screening experience has been scheduled.
Queen of Cactus Cove has been accepted to the Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival.
From the site:
At 5:15pm [December 11, 2005] we feature the Teen Gumbo program, short films highlighting the modern US teen experience. We are proud to present the world premiere of the short film Queen of Cactus Cove, directed by Anna Christopher. In attendance will be the star of the film, Alia Shawkat, co-star of the popular television series Arrested Development, along with co-star Alex Frost, who appeared in the Gus Van Sant film Elephant.
Heeeeeeee! I'm just pleased as punch. *beaming, happy casting director*
November 15, 2005
How To Fix a Sucky Mood
Step one: Go to bed way early and sleep as long as possible before you have to get up to start your exhaustingly long day.
Step two: Check email before dashing out the door and read all of the awesome, brilliant, loving, funny, and supportive comments left at your blog from when you bitched about being rubbed the wrong way so much you feel like a new hooker's practice dildo.
Step four: Baby-talk kitties and have them show bellies off as if to say, "If you wanted to stay home all day and play with us, that would be okay too."
Step five: Ask hubby to print out directions to the two locations for the day's casting activities and don't notice 'til you're in the car that he used the little memo field that MapQuest provides to type love-notes.
Step six: Drive your kick-ass sixteen-year-old car really fast and zippy-like, showing all of the SUVs and Beemers how the twists and turns on Sunset west of The 405 are *really* done.
Step seven: Find a run of like five great songs in a row on various morning radio stations, all worth singing along to. Loudly.
Step eight: Have a good day of casting in which everything runs (mostly) without a hitch and after which your taste is praised and all of the BS that looked like it might go another way has washed down the RIGHT pipe after all.
Step nine: Stop by Whole Foods on the way home and pick up a salmon steak and grilled asparagus for $10.
Step ten: Blog it all up while digitizing and uploading video files of the day's sessions (and sipping a really neat little wine you found before leaving the store).
There you have it! Blood no longer boiling (for now... ). Gotta love those emotional roller coasters. Good thing to know they continue well into your 30s and sometimes it's just a matter of having a few big ol' sucky days.
Followed by a great one.
November 12, 2005
Here's What's Funny to Me
(and, yes, this has something to do with my upbringing and personal connection to numerology and astrology):
Personal Year 8: Attainment and capital gainsSo, what's the funny?
2006 is a number 8 personal year for you. This is your power year, a period when you can make important strides in you life. Coming after a very slow and introspective period (the personal year 7), you may start feeling some stirrings of ambitions. This is a year of big decisions and major achievements. Activity is your keynote now, and you will find yourself very much involved and occupied. Opportunities for advancement and recognition for past and current work is likely to come about during this year. You have things going for you so long as you take advantage and act. It is easy for you to branch out and expand in a businesslike manner. If you are at all inclined, this is the time to exude self-confidence and authority, because others will tend to be receptive to your leadership and control. Your power and status potential is at a peak of the nine years personal epicycle that concludes at the end of the next year.
That'd be the idea that 2005 was "slow and introspective" for me. Certainly, I learned a buttload about who I am in 2005--but really, when do I NOT learn a buttload about who I am? And we're thinking 2006 will be when I have "advancement and recognition" for my work? Wow. That's just effin' rockstar launching upward, IMO.
I was emailing with someone recently and said (re: my value-added service of casting sessions being uploaded to the Cricket Feet server within 12 hours of preread sessions for producers in other cities to evaluate in near-real time), "I went from having cast 12 projects in two years to casting another six in four months, so it's definitely making me a more efficient casting director."
But man, it's a buttload of work. Point is, if we're launching into my POWER year, per numerology... well... should be interesting.
Okay, and... I've been casting my ass off this week. In case you didn't believe me when I mentioned I'd be scarce... well, I've been BUSY! And happily so. I have so many more favorite actors added to my short list.
Finally, I've been asked to "leak" the script for the next feature film I'm casting. This is a seriously wonderful script and the budget is over $2M, so I'm feeling pretty dang happy to be onboard. The goal, in the, "Hey, Bon, leak the script," idea is that folks will begin spreading the word and the pitches will begin before the breakdown goes out. Hey, have you ever doubted that Hollywood is a system? Just wonderin'. Heh heh.
BTW, there's something really really really rockstar fun about having a regular (regular = on a schedule, set your watch by it) call from the "big" agencies to check status. I swear, I don't want to be a star-f**ker and act like that stuff matters, but I've gotta say that level of interaction makes paying the bills a way innovative and different type of endeavor (puns intended).
November 8, 2005
That's what I get for commenting on how soundly I've been sleeping since going on the thyroid supplements.
|Your Birthdate: July 11|
You're very sensitive to what's going on around you, yet you remain calm.
Although you are brilliant, it may take you a while to find your niche.
Your creativity is supreme, but it sometimes makes it hard for you to get things done.
Your strength: Your inner peace
Your weakness: You get stuck in the clouds
Your power color: Emerald
Your power symbol: Leaf
Your power month: November
Now I'm all up... and buzzy. Good thing I have a bunch of casting stuff to do. Damn the shiny object that is the quiz (this one, from Ames, who is having a really great week already)!
November 5, 2005
Let's find out just how clever you really are.
First Question: You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?
Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely wrong!
If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second!
Try not to screw up in the next question.
Second Question: If you overtake the last person, then you are...?
Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST Person?
You're not very good at this! Are you?
Third Question: Very tricky math! Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.
Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000 Now add 10. What is the total?
Did you get 5000?
The correct answer is actually 4100.
Don't believe it? Check with your calculator! Today is definitely not your day. Maybe you will get the last question right?
Fourth Question: Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?
NO! Of course not. Her name is Mary. Read the question again...
Yeah. That's all good fun. Damn, I wish I'd been able to contribute good photos (read: any photos) to the cause.
Good news: had a kick-ass meeting for the film I'm casting AND a rockstar dinner with the leads in a film I cast earlier this year (yeah, they're dating now... I'd say that means I'm pretty damn good at spotting chemistry and casting romantic leads). Yippee!
November 2, 2005
So Proud of Myself
I'm seriously proud of myself. Starting at 6:30pm PST yesterday, I began my 24 hours of documentation of "A Day in the Life of Bon" per instructions at Chip's blog.
I remember the results of this challenge (which I did not take on) in February 2003 to be quite delightful and insightful. So, this time, I took it on. And I did gooooood. I took photos of my work, my kitties, my Keith, my phone calls, my headshot files, my cantaloupe-eating, and even my looking for grey hairs in the mirror-ing.
And now it's time to upload.
The card reader for my digital camera doesn't work on *any* version of OSX. Since I got the Chicklet in early 2003, we've been uploading photos using Keith's ancient ThinkPad and then FTPing them to me for sharing from there. That ThinkPad (Stinky) officially died a few weeks ago after a bout with chronic fried-insides-itis. Had I mentioned that? Yeah. So, Keith's on the Chicklet, I'm on the as-yet-unnamed gift from Joseph Montana, and no one can upload photos from the hand-me-down digital camera my dad and SM gave me in December of 2000.
Oh well. My photos were really good. I promise! And I was so damn proud to have finished the assignment, ready to upload, crop, and caption while watching ANTM. Grr. Suckola. Chip, I know you mentioned we could send you the photos for hosting. Does that mean I can snail mail you my 16mb media card for a six-year-old Olympus 1.3mpxl camera?
I crack myself up.
Back to casting.
PS--Ask me to tell you all someday (in person, no papertrail) the things I've learned in casting this particular film re: submissions and pitch calls. Quite ethnographically titillating.
November 1, 2005
New Casting Gig
Still of the Night, an ensemble dramatic SAG ULB feature film, to shoot January 2006.
Watch for breakdown later today. Woo hoo!
Losing My Touch
This is what happens when an HTML junkie begins to age...
She can't fix code on a page she's been maintaining for over six years. Yup. Something went wonky and I can't fix it. Can't. Don't even have the right headspace for the analysis. I usually can line up an old version of the code and a new version and find exactly where something went wrong and put it back in order. Or AT LEAST I can pull one of Keith's old Java Script books down and figure it out from there. This time? No way.
I'm officially getting too old to code.
Meanwhile, still finishing edits on the book and still having a LOT more to do than I'd imagined I would, this close to Mercury going Retrograde. Looks like a new breakdown will go out this week for the first of three films to cast before year-end. And what I really need is some paid time off to get everything organized so that I can actually do all of the things stretched out before me and hire someone to help.
Oh, y'know what hurts? Microwave popcorn bag-induced papercut on the pinky. Yeah. Ow.
Happy November, all!
October 28, 2005
One of those days.
Y'ever have one of those days? You know the kind.
Birds are singing, sun is shining, you're well fed, in love, and have received so much praise for doing good work that you have the glow of happiness all around you--just ready to hug you with the realization that you truly have the most AMAZING life...
and you couldn't be more miserable?
Yeah. I'm having one of those days.
Happily, though, I did receive the poster art for Queen of Cactus Cove, which is simply gorgeous. I'll share that, as maybe sharing something beautiful will improve my mood. I mean, if getting an offer to cast yet ANOTHER (yes, that's three) low/mid-budget feature film, learning I'm personally responsible for a talented Scotish actor's move to Hollywood to follow her dreams, and reaching the final-edits stage on the book isn't enough to make me happy, maybe at least the soothing blue poster will help.
Somedays, it's like you can't catch a break, what with having EVERYTHING going for you and all.
Yes, I'm really really really really really going to try and remember this: Even when life rocks, there's "down." It doesn't mean a damn thing and you might as well enjoy the low spots, since they come no matter how much life rocks. Blah blah blah blah blah. Self-indulgent bullshit. Blah blah blah blah blah.
October 26, 2005
Quite a Loss
I just learned that the dear, sweet, talented Sue Ozeran passed away last week (after having survived pancreatic cancer for seven years) due to stomach cancer. Her friends Muriel Minot and Terrence Beasor wrote a loving tribute to her at the SAGActor.com board (you may have to register to read it).
I was fortunate enough to have been able to cast Sue in Queen of Cactus Cove earlier this year, after she'd made it to final callbacks on FIVE of the films I had cast prior to that one.
It is always tough to lose a talented performer who loves life and thrives on sharing her gifts with the world. Even tougher when that amazing person is a friend. Rest in peace, dear Sue. My prayers are with Bud and the rest of your sweet family.
October 22, 2005
I am exhausted.
Casting takes a lot out of a gal. Think I may sleep a bit. But MAN, do I love my job! Zzzzzzzzz.
October 20, 2005
...because I love my sister* (and she says I don't blog enough lately), I am sharing this.
(Not sure where that came from. Email?)
*=she's not my sister, she's my heavy. Oh, wait... that's not right either. Well, either way... she said I don't blog enough... so, here!
Oh, and just b/c it's funny...
(That one came from the greatness that is BrYan.)
PS--SAG CAP rocked. Loved the actors. 95% amazing. Casting for Two Dogs Inside is rocking hard. Shrinks is doing a half-off weekend, if you use code 008 at this link (and you should). Finally, our top-secret wedding reception is Sunday, 2pm. We're in charge of the hooch, which means you will be well-plied. So come. ¡Por favor!
October 18, 2005
SpyNotebook's control panel tells me this is entry number 888. Cool.
I have so much to say but no time to blog, seeing as I am still behind my list of things that MUSTGETDONE before I can safely say I'm ready for my loooooooong day tomorrow.
Prereads for Two Dogs Inside tomorrow at waytooearly ayem. I'm so excited about this project!
After prereads, I'm off to SAG for the Casting Access Project. That'll be fun. I've spent the past couple of hours matching up headshots with appropriate sides for the cold read night.
Oh, and I'm crazy in love with TV lately. This is such a good Fall Season and I'm really happy to have so many shows I enjoy on while I finish the edits on the book.
Started watching Commander In Chief to support Jasmine Jessica Anthony, and I've stayed around, loving the whole dang show.
Watching Everybody Hates Chris and loving how much it's like my childhood (being the outcast in the school, being the poorest in the neighborhood, y'know... being voiced by Chris Rock as I go about my day). This is seriously the BEST new show of the year.
A very close second is My Name Is Earl, another for-a-friend tune-in for which I've stuck around. Good news is Deb Cresswell's character may be coming back soon. Woo hoo!
Started watching Surface for a back-home friend, Louanne Cooper, who's getting some great camera time lately. Again, fell in love with the show and there you have it (of course, I can't tell Keith about my secret crush on the brothers Pate).
Not a new show, but one I'm so addicted to that I could watch it non non non non stop: Nip/Tuck. That's another friend-involved-so-watch-it thing that turned into a love affair. I am so dang proud of Greer Shephard for having such amazing taste--oh and is Bruno Campos sooooo the Carver? Duh!
Okay, I'll come back later and put links together for this entry, so that the blog actually does its job, tracking back to the right places. No time for love, Dr. Jones. I'm still miles away from that shower and nap I've been promising myself. Oh, and I haven't read most blogs lately, so if anyone's doing anything exciting and I should know about it... well... I will. Later. Promise. Have I mentioned how much I love love love both of the scripts I've been sent by filmmakers I met at the LA International Short Film Festival? I seriously have some amazing projects coming up. Man, that's cool! Okay, for real... bye!
October 15, 2005
Color Me Happy!
The first review for Shrinks is here!
The script, in fact, moves a lot like one of those staccato black-and-white 300-page-screenplay '40s romps....
[Maria] Jenson does not shy away from the precarious, she engages it head-on, and walks away clean almost every time. There's a sustained white-on-black Afrocentric exchange between [Lorin] McCraley and [Christopher] Grossett that unfolds in an entertainingly excruciating manner; it's like a Curb Your Enthusiasm improv where Larry David commits as many racial faux pas in as short a period as possible. Part of this play's appeal is the way it flirts with danger, inviting fantasy and cliché, Latinate diction and psychobabble, Brecht and Aristotle, all into the same room. So many ideas, so many demands on talent! Like her play, Ms. Jenson...only gets better and better.
*sniffle* I'm just about the happiest damn casting director on the planet. So proud! Opening night... sold out. We'll be there shortly. Woo hoo!
October 14, 2005
Home Sweet Home
Copperwynd was heaven... a lovely honeymoon-slash-Nonaversary celebration with lots of special everythings. Came home to three fat cats, a couple hundred emails, and a wedding present waiting for us. Heeeeeeeeee.
I'm beat. But, MAN, we both feel GREAT!
Shrinks opens tomorrow night. So excited!
Much to catch up on, but must sleep first, methinks. Ahhhhhhhh.
October 9, 2005
So, I've pulled a major all-weekender and gotten bootyloads of work done on the updates to the new edition of the book (woo damn hoo), and that means it's time to get to the proofing!
I think I've sent invitations to all of the proofer patrol members who re-upped for this edition to join the new let's-keep-it-all-in-one-place Yahoo group. If you're in for the proofing but haven't received your invite, click and join, please. Updates are happening FAST (got that Nonaversary trip coming up).
Yes, five-weeks-to-printer was ambitious. It'll be more like seven. It's gonna be okay... still out just before we sell out of the first edition (by like a dozen copies, if the math works out).
PS--THREE new scripts this week for casting, each with a budget near $2M. Rockstar!
Posted by bonnie at 10:22 PM
October 4, 2005
Well, That Was Fun
So, I just got off the phone from an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
We've booked our Nonaversary trip (yippee)!! And life, she is good.
Meanwhile, if anyone has a print subscription to THR and sees the blurb, could you save a copy of that edition for me? Thanks!
Edited to add: looks like Steve Tom is also in this episode. (He's contributing to the new edition of Self-Management for Actors. Hee.)
Posted by bonnie at 9:43 PM
October 2, 2005
Two Dogs Inside
New casting gig, y'all! Woo hoo! Two Dogs Inside is the title.
This is going to be a very cool, edgy little film--produced by those amazing Queen of Cactus Cove people I worked with earlier this year. Woo damn hoo!
PS--Got word that the producers-only screening of Trees Grow Tall... and Then They Fall was rockstar and that we'll be having the big screening soon. Awesome. I like October better already!
Posted by bonnie at 9:30 PM
September 24, 2005
My Work, In Public
Some cool opportunities to see my casting work out there...
The opening night party should be really outstanding! Buy tix here. (Yes, I will be there on the 15th.)
Yeah, I'm like a proud big sis or something. It's cool to see my work comin' around in public. Neat-o.
Posted by bonnie at 3:52 PM
September 17, 2005
1. Working on the book helps calm panic attacks.
2. Watch the pre-Emmy Emmy Awards (Creative Arts version) tonight on E! to see Kathy Joosten pick up her Emmy (plus casting directors April Webster, Mandy Sherman, Alyssa Weisberg, and Veronica Collins Rooney for Lost; John Papsidera for Lackawanna Blues; and Scott Genkinger and Junie Lowry-Johnson for Desperate Housewives). That's so cool! Maybe someday, the Oscar people will do an award for casting. *sigh*
4. Book stuff: anyone who's read Self-Management for Actors have an opinion about a chapter I'm on the fence about keeping? That'd be the STAND-UP COMEDY one. I mean, I cover SOAPS and EXTRA WORK and HOSTING, so there's room for it... but I don't cover VOICEOVER. I can't cover everything, of course, but I'm just wondering... did the STAND-UP COMEDY chapter stick out as out-of-place? Should I keep it and add in VOICEOVER and LOOPING? Hm.
5. Blogging seems to recharge my panic levels, so I'm going back to book edits. Wish me luck! Watch the Emmys tonight and tomorrow night too. Congrats to my friends and colleagues!
Posted by bonnie at 1:36 PM
September 14, 2005
Well, starting next Monday (the 19th), you can see her every week at 8pm on UPN! Woo hoo!
You may recall that Camille is featured in my book Acting Qs. Hee hee! Yay! Speaking of the little book: co-author Blake Robbins will be on The OC for the next two weeks *and* the wonderful Bob Clendenin (along with his wife Erin, of course) has welcomed his second son into the world! Woo hoo! Further, Jill Andre (who smoked up the screen in The Moor Sunday night) will be joining me and Blake on the 21st at Brentano's for a talk and book signing.
Oh, how much I love bragging on my friends!!
'member when I was all airheady a few months ago? Well, I'm there again. I really hate it. Anyone recall how that ended up leaving my life, after having been such a pain in the ass for me? Really hate feeling all out of sorts.
And, as if my blog is in retrograde, both my Google ads *and* Blogpatrol are now broken. WTF?
Okay, back to the good stuff: congrats, Camille, Blake, Bob, Jill, and everyone else in my life who's doing some really cool, amazing work! (Even spied Subhash on TV today!) Me? Gotta get my head grounded and then I can get these book revisions going. HUGE THANKS TO THE PROOFER PATROL AND CONTRIBUTORS ALREADY ONBOARD!!
Posted by bonnie at 11:45 PM
September 12, 2005
Congratulations to Kathy Joosten for winning her first Emmy!
Posted by bonnie at 7:39 PM
Love, Love Me Do...
...you know I love you! I'll always be true. So, please... love me do!
There were many wonderful films at this screening, which made me way happy (and there were many way cool actors, producers, directors, writers, and other Bon camp folks). Also, there were actors I love in the house, who I'll cast any time--plus some potential love connections. I hate that some of the people we were most excited about hanging with ended up having to go home, but it was still a great night. Real life happens. What can ya do?
More than that, it was a great MORNING. I met with many filmmakers who are at that amazing "gotta hire someone to cast my next film" stage. And maybe they want me. That could be cool.
Still, I must focus on the book before I find room to cast more films.
Damn you, time management! ;)
Good night. Good times. I cried like a baby for the first two minutes of The Moor and said that it's that whole, "Everything relies on my ability to do my job right," thing. I think I was just really, really proud.
Ah, it was way gratifying, all the way around.
Oh, and... you should read this...
No politics. Just what it is.
Posted by bonnie at 1:59 AM
September 1, 2005
More Film News
Okay, so I did the big email inviting folks to the screening for The Moor and got replies back from the producers of several other films I've cast, sharing status updates. Yippee!
Looks like Each To Each has spawned Hombre Kabuki, which is screening on 9/9 at the Breckenridge Film Festival! How cool is that?!? Two films screening in one weekend, both at festivals! I'm such a proud casting director!
In other casting activity, I got word that there was need for a recast on one of the roles in A New Tomorrow, so I hooked 'em up with some help today. Also, still heavy on phones with Teenage Dirtbag casting activities. We should have cast locked by late next week.
Looks like Trees Grow Tall... and Then They Fall will have a cast party/screening in September and a cast member of Queen of Cactus Cove emailed to say she finished ADR today, so that's almost finished too. Ooooooh, I'm so excited to finally get to see so much of my work on screen. Yippee!
Sorry I haven't had a lot of updates lately... just not much time. Let's see what I can address quickly. The book event at Brentano's is now an Acting Qs' event on 9/21, with guests from the book (Yay! Like Inside the Actor's Studio, but in a bookstore). The CD panel for young actors is now in a new location on 11/19. And... my rock-n-roll brother is coming in town tomorrow night. We'll go to Keith's staged reading of a screenplay, then play for a day 'til he has to fly home. Fun!
Posted by bonnie at 12:50 AM
August 29, 2005
The Moor: Los Angeles Premiere
I'm so very excited! I hope you'll all be able to join me in celebrating the Los Angeles premiere screening of The Moor at 8pm on Sunday, 11 September 2005 at the Arclight as a part of the LA International Short Film Festival.
Woo hoo! This is only the second public film screening of the 15 films I've cast thus far in my career. I'm very proud of this one and I hope everyone enjoys the beautiful story as much as I do. Russell Banks wrote the story and his daughter Caerthan adapted it and directed the 35mm film with an amazing cast and crew!
You can view the trailer here: The Moor (QuickTime 1.9mb).
As usual, with film festivals, there are no free passes, so I'll understand if you can't make it to this one. Still, wanted to get the word out. Also, on that same day, Gary Marsh of Breakdown Services and I will be doing a panel ("Producing Your Film from A to Z") with a few other wonderful people who help steer filmmakers through the indie production process.
Since I'm in an updatey mood, here are some other things coming up in the next few months:
- Sunday, September 18th, 1:45pm, guest-speaker at Actorsite
- Wednesday, September 21st, 7pm, FREE Self-Management for Actors seminar at Brentano's in Century City
- Thursday, September 29th, 6:30pm, prepared scene showcase at AFTRA
- Saturday, October 15th, 8pm, opening night of Shrinks at the Hudson Backstage (purchase tickets here)
- Thursday, November 3rd, 7pm, guest-speaker at Emerson College LA Center with Brad Lemack
- Sunday, November 20th, 4pm, Youth Actors Expo panel moderator ("Insight from Casting Directors in TV, Film, and Commercials")
- Tuesday, December 6th, 7:30pm, guest-speaker at the SAG Conservatory at AFI
Fun stuff, fun stuff, fun stuff! Yippee!
Posted by bonnie at 7:04 PM
August 27, 2005
Be careful when you say something bold out loud, okay?
Case in point:
Tuesday night at Dan Tana's, I boldly said to Brody that I would NOT be casting a film in September, since I must use the month to write the next book, due out November 15th.
Arrived via messenger today:
Feature film script with SEVENTY ROLES TO CAST.
See? Saying things out loud just never works out right! How am I supposed to say no to getting to cast 70 roles?!?
Good thing I don't sleep. Maybe I can do both.
Posted by bonnie at 3:09 AM
August 23, 2005
Scout Taylor-Compton: Still Missing
"Other stuff" below. But first, this update on Scout Taylor-Compton.
In my email exchanges with Scout's mom in the wee hours of Monday morning, I have been reminded what strength and grace exists. Everyone, please know that your prayers, your vibes, your willingness to hit the streets with the flyers (wherever you live) help. Truly.
I wanted to share this photo of Scout as a blonde, in case her hair has been changed since she was last seen on the 12th.
Please, if you have seen Scout, call 1-800-THE-LOST immediately.
Final callbacks were bittersweet (since Scout was not there), but fantastic. Teenage Dirtbag casting information will come out soon. I am such a fan of so many amazing actors in this town. What a blessing their creative energy and passion is to us all! Brilliant work!
My big brother Bill loves me so much! He recommended a chiropractor IN MY 'HOOD (which rocks, since my chiropractor of six years retired last month) after reading my last blog entry. Awesome. Thanks, bro. I'm calling in the ayem.
I am questioning my sanity at enduring Inside 9/11 on the National Geographic Channel. Keith told me that he would NOT be watching, as it angers him to "kill" levels. Marines with combat experience get like that, so I don't question it. But I have to watch. So, last night (while emailing with Chairman at E! and Lylith about Scout) I watched the first half of the documentary. I'm watching the last half tonight. I'm shaking and quaking with pain, grief, disgust... Thank God they've edited this documentary to include tales of righteous heroism between steady doses of tragedy or I wouldn't be able to take it. I'll report more about this at Monitoring the Culture momentarily.
I simply keep trying to understand the world we live in. Isn't that all any of us can do? I have to constantly remember the millions upon millions of miracles I witness every day to try and balance the sadness I feel right now. It takes my breath away.
Get Scout home NOW. NOW. NOW.
Posted by bonnie at 1:30 AM
August 22, 2005
So, I've been sick (in bed sick) since Wednesday night. Finally started feeling better Saturday evening, but then my lower back started aching as though I'd pulled, pinched, or otherwise wrenched something.
How, when I've been in bed for days, I do not know.
I tried to "get a good night's sleep" by getting in bed before midnight, knowing I've a big, bad casting day ahead of me for Teenage Dirtbag with producers. Can't sleep. Up and down to the bathroom. Flip-flopping with back pain. Fever in my back. Am I having kidney issues? Am I so stressed out about Scout and casting and a zillion other things that I'm psychosomatizing stuff?
Whatever it is... I'm up. God help me get through seven hours of casting and meetings that follow. Seems so silly a wish compared to, "get Scout home safe."
Posted by bonnie at 3:44 AM
August 21, 2005
I will continue to blog my silly-little-life stuff when time permits, but I wanted to get this update to you, regarding my last post on Scout Taylor-Compton.
What follows has come from Scout's family:
Scout Taylor Compton, a good friend to many kids in the biz, is MISSING, and the family is requesting help. They are asking everyone not to speculate on why she is missing, but to concentrate on helping to find her.The flyer, in PDF format, is available here. Most copy service companies will print missing children flyers for free (B&W) and reduced cost (color).
Please print out the attached poster and hang it up anywhere and everywhere. Banks, grocery stores, retail stores, malls, library, etc. Print extra copies and have them in your car, available to hang up if you are visiting somewhere, or in a town other than yours. Please HELP!
Prayers continue here, Lylith and family. We know and trust Scout will make it home safely very soon.
Posted by bonnie at 9:15 PM
August 19, 2005
A Little Freaked Out
So, after sleeping for 30 hours (with a total of three hours up; one to cancel my day's plans and take some medicine, two to watch bad TV, take more medicine, and blog), I finally dragged my arse out of bed to get the callbacks for Teenage Dirtbag scheduled for Monday.
First check of the email brings this from a manager friend about Scout Taylor-Compton:
It's a poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for an actor we have been looking at for the lead in this film (heck, I've looked at Scout for the lead in four films so far this year).
Usually, links in emails about missing kids turn out to be hoaxes, so I'm conflicted even putting this up here, but I'm so very concerned that it's true--see, Scout had to put her audition for me on tape from out of town because she was on location for a film, staying with the director's family. She was scheduled to be back in LA within days of the "MISSING SINCE" date on the poster.
I'm just really freaked out here. Please, if you're into prayer, pray that Scout makes her way home safely. If you'd prefer sending good vibes, that's cool too. I'll be sure to post an update as soon as I get one.
9:14pm edit: a message from Scout's mom.
First of all, let us just say that we are overwhelmed with the response from the acting community concerning Scout's disappearance. So many people have offered to help in any way that they can, and it's truly appreciated.
At this time all we can say is that the authorities are investigating the issue. The classification of Endangered Runaway was given to get her into the system immediately. As soon as they have all of the information needed, the classification will be upgraded.
Those of you who know Scout, who know our family, know deep in your hearts what to believe. It saddens us that such horrible rumors could be generated and spread at a time like this.
I can tell you, that this is the hardest thing we have ever been through. As a friend stated to me this morning... the worst thing in the entire world must be not having your child around. Unfortunately we can tell you first hand that this is true. Hug your children.
If anyone has any information regarding Scout, please call the National Center for Missing Children at 1-800-THE-LOST, or the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department at 760-245-4211.
Please email Scout's family with information you may have at Scout_Taylor_Compton@yahoo.com.
Posted by bonnie at 3:21 AM
August 15, 2005
Did I share this with y'all yet?
And, it seems that my friend Brad sees this in my future:
Still editing tape for Teenage Dirtbag producers to watch online in Idaho. Callbacks next week. I'm exhausted. Very busy week, here.
Posted by bonnie at 7:31 PM
August 7, 2005
Just gotta keep braggin' about my friends!
And, as I get this news via email, I catch two of the fine actors we interviewed in Acting Qs on tonight's Cold Case. Danny Pino (of course, since he's a series regular) and the amazing Baadja-Lyne Odums.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't praise the sexy and wonderful Keith Johnson, as he has his first ever callback for a national network commercial tomorrow. Rockstar! Break a leg, baby. Kick some ass.
Posted by bonnie at 8:41 PM
August 4, 2005
Okay, so, in a world where I have cast 15 films, but only TWO have held public screenings thus far, it's pretty cool when one has its premiere within a couple of weeks.
Hey, not bad for a day's work in casting!
See y'all at Hollywood Happy Hour tonight!
Posted by bonnie at 5:01 PM
July 28, 2005
Surreal Moment of the Day
(I'm noticing that I seem to have quite a few "Surreal Moments of the Day" when casting.)
While on the phone with an agent...
Seriously, I was stunned and am not sure of what I said, exactly.
Agent: "Oh, wow. Listen, Tim is *very* critical. He came in here with the DVD for The Moor and said, 'This is one of the best projects I've done.' He was really proud."
Reminds me... I haven't shared the trailer for The Moor yet, have I? Enjoy. It's a 1.9MB .mov file.
Posted by bonnie at 12:22 PM
July 21, 2005
My New Favorite Wine
In case you're interested...
Almost time to leave for Missouri.
Did I mention the stack of scripts in the "to read" pile? So so so much going on! Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll try to blog from the SixHundy. XXOO
Posted by bonnie at 11:46 PM
July 20, 2005
New Casting Gig
Really excited about this feature film, shooting in September in Idaho under the SAG Ultra Low Budget Agreement.
Teenage Dirtbag, an amazing drama written by Regina Crosby, produced by Seth Caplan and Christopher Aagaard for Sky Castle Films, director: Sean McQueeney. This is a great group of guys and I'm really excited to be a part of this project.
Huge thanks to Anna Christopher and Brenda Weiermair (from the AFI 35mm film I cast a few months ago, Queen of Cactus Cove) for the referral. I so love my job!
Breakdown will go out tomorrow and I'll start scheduling when I get back from the casting gig in Missouri next week. I'm sooooo excited about all that's going on! Awesome!
Posted by bonnie at 2:05 PM
July 15, 2005
This'll Be Fun
This afternoon, Keith and I are going to an invitation-only taping of Disney's That's So Raven.
(a couple Keith dubbed "Shodi")
...are co-starring in this episode. After the taping, they're going to be doing a little celebration of Emmy nomination variety, plus producer/writer meet and greet, reception, schmoozefest, etc., so this is pretty dang cool. Jodi's comment to me?
"Keith would make a GREAT Disney Dad!"
Keith has never been to a network taping before. I warned him it's cold, they'll throw chocolates at him, and it's a long day. ;) Very excited to see Shon and Jodi working. It's going to be a blast!
Oh, and, got word that the reason my CSA application was denied was that I don't have enough credits yet. Okay. If casting 13 films, one play, and working in casting on four TV series in two and a half years isn't enough credits, I tell ya what... y'all just come get me when you're ready. Pff. Whatever.
Posted by bonnie at 11:41 AM
July 14, 2005
Here's the best news about always having a few pots simmering on the stove at all times.
When you need to focus more attention on another dish, you can turn the heat down on one eye, up on another, stir in other ingredients, and end up with a magical feast.
Now, I don't cook, so I know that's probably a way sloppy analogy, but here's the point:
Keith and I always have so damn much going on at once that when one of those things doesn't quite work out, it's not like we throw up our hands and exclaim that dinner is ruined! What we do instead is turn the heat up elsewhere and keep on cookin'!
Called all of the actors (and agents of actors) cast in Shrinks (cast webpage will be added later for your viewing pleasure), discussed the next casting gig with that project's director (a feature film), met with the principals of a wonderful Hollywood startup about further deepening our relationship (press release to come next week), attended the SAG Indie Contracts Workshop, and left there having committed to a new column for actors plus another SAG LifeRaft event (this one for kid actors and their parents).
Sure as hell doesn't feel like the same day it started out being.
Keith and I toast tonight with the champagne Maria and Kevan bought me for my birthday (and giggle over the rest of the gift, which was brilliant and private). We drink a toast to COOKING. Always cooking.
Oh, and Wayne, you'll probably NOT be surprised by this, but I had delicious salmon for dinner tonight after the SAG event! You are ON, man!
Thanks, everyone, for the lovely vibes and well-wishing and hugs. It's cool. As I tell actors all the time: focus on the WORK, not the GIG. Right on.
Posted by bonnie at 10:59 PM
Just got word I didn't get accepted to the Casting Society of America.
My board member friend tells me I didn't meet the "two years in casting" requirement.
Um. If I worked as casting coordinator of a TV show in February 2003, another in May 2003, and cast my first feature film in June 2003 (and have cast another dozen films, worked in casting on two more TV shows (one as full CD, mind you), and just finished casting a play), isn't that at least two years in casting?
I'm so blue.
I know this is sooooooo not a big deal (and my friend on the board told me that she had the same issue when all she had on her resumé were indies and AFI projects), but I'm sad now. :( I don't like being sad.
Good thing it'll pass.
Note to self: resist temptation to be a brat and get all anti-joining. Although... hm.
Posted by bonnie at 10:25 AM
July 9, 2005
Where to begin...
Where do you begin when you have so so so so much going on that you can't even begin to STOP and organize thoughts into words (much less organize thoughts into words that accurately represent the non-stop goings-on)? Whew! I am spinning!! LOVE IT... but it's a LOT of swirl. I feel like I'm in the center of a kick-ass Spirograph design with lots of color. It's gorgeous, complex, and thrilling to behold. But, man, is it a lot to wrap my brain around!
We've finished up prereads for Shrinks. Wow. Some of the most amazing (and also some of the most baffling) actors I've seen, for this one. I'm thrilled with the actors we'll be bringing to callbacks (once we are able to cut down even further; we currently have too many actors on our short list). As for what was baffling... well... let's just say I actually WISH there were a Hollywood Blacklist so that I could make sure one actor is on it. *shudder* I have written (for the first time, ever): NEVER AGAIN across a headshot. I'll explain why over drinks somewhere, sometime... later.
Just got back from the Chandler Hall table read (I didn't stay for any of the read itself; just went at the start to get the last two actors to sign off on their SAG contracts and to get *my* final check for casting services). It is so very cool to see all of the actors cast in one place at the same time. Casting directors never really get to do that. We may see two or three together during chemistry checks at callbacks, but it's so neat to see a dozen confident, CAST, happy actors gathering, meeting, ready to begin the journey that will result in a feature film a year from now. Very gratifying.
Happily completing my essay (to go with my application) for joining the CSA. Received a copy of the letter Michael Donovan wrote on my behalf. It made me cry. What a wonderful man! And truly, he has been a mentor for me since the very beginning of this road (heck, even before I had any idea it was a path)! Wonderful letter. Wonderful man.
In fact, Michael was one of the first people Keith called with the good news. Yup. Keith Johnson, just three years after his first acting gig in Los Angeles, has signed with Origin Talent. That's right. THE Origin Talent. That's Origin Talent of JP Manoux, Katie Stuart, Patrick Malone, Susan Wood, Rodney Rowland, Kate Flannery, Christa Campbell, Suzanne Krull, Patrick Bristow, Jf Pryor, Will Wallace, Sean Bell, Rusty Joiner, Lindsay Hollister, Jake Hanover, Jessica Lancaster, and *ahem* Bob Clendenin fame. Awwwwww, yeah! That's a working actor agency, baby!
Fucking rockstar development. Abby Casey is the best manager on the planet and Keith Johnson now has a manager and TWO agents. Kathleen Schultz for print (signed earlier this week), and now Origin frickin' Talent. So so so so so amazing. Just unbelievable and delightful and perfect. Congratulations, my working actor baby. Oh, and break a leg at your THIRD producer callback session for Big Love. Nail it to the fucking wall!
*ahem* Sorry 'bout the f-word all over the place. I'm just really happy.
Okay, so in a week full of amazing developments, I get this email from someone who has read my advice in a new book published by the UGA Alumni Association.
Seems my advice to 2005 UGA grads is on page 35. You can download the whole PDF by clicking that phrase. If you just want to see my passage in If I Only Knew Then..., click here (also PDF, just smaller). I shared advice that was shared by my aunt Jean, back when I was in crisis over my decision to move back to Atlanta and go to grad school. I couldn't believe I was actually considering leaving Hollywood. It was my PLAN. She taught me about Plan A and Plan B... well... read the passage. You'll see. Cool to have already gotten email about it.
And, I sent a note to Aunt Jean to thank her for the advice and to show her the impact it obviously had on me. I'm guessing she doesn't even recall that particular conversation, but it certainly helped me, in those tough early-20s (when you're so sure you know how your life is going to turn out and think it's WRONG to not know (vs. how blissful it is to not know, which you eventually learn)).
I love living in Santa Monica. We're almost at our anniversary here. So blissful. Being so close to the beach, being able to walk everywhere, the cool weather, the friendly people. Ah, people laugh about, "Never wanting to go east of the 405," but Keith tells them I try not to go east of 26th Street! The temperature drops there, when you're coming back from "the rest of LA" to the Westside. It's not just that, though. It's also the vibe. My pulse actually slows at that point. I relax differently. It's awesome.
And while I love my digs... man, doesn't this place look cool?
It's almost that time! I'm really excited about this birthday. It's been an outstanding year.
That's Ash in last weekend's LA Times. (Click it to see the whole article/scan--very large.) Go, girl. You are definitely the breakout star of MTV's The '70s House. Win! Win big!
Okay. If you haven't already, shame on you. And go NOW. Read the brilliance that is (collectively) Colleen Wainwright's "Searches, We Get Searches" blogs. Of course, every bit of her blog is brilliant, but it's the SEARCH stuff that makes me *snork* (snort-laugh). So much, in fact, I asked her to teach me how to track searches to my blog so that I could try to be so funny.
So far... here's what I've got. In seven weeks of tracking, the most interesting searches that have come my way have been (and my lame attempt at comedy follows each):
Eva Longoria Golden Globes (Yes, yes she does. Mmmmmm.)
Greer Shephard dress (She does, too. Probably once or twice every day!)
Miata touch-up paint Miata (That's catchy! I could sing that.)
photo of Kevan Jenson (Hm. I don't have one, but I'll see if I can snap a pic on the SixHundy on Wednesday, if you'd like.)
star caps (Tooth-coverings for famous people? Headgear for celestial bodies? Five-point bullets? Nah... just a bright-orange, garlic-smelling herbal drug thingy.)
How'd I do, Coco? You say the searches will get better with time, right? ;) Hopefully the comedy will too.
Just transition artwork, above. It says my name. Cool, huh?
Okay, so we took a vote in the Gillespie-Johnson household. Best Hunter: Thwok. Sexiest Vixen: Salema. Sweetest Oaf: Archie (although Keith was close on that one... he's not as sweet).
Oh, and Lily, here's my blog!
'Til next time!
(reminders to self: blog about why a special agent from the ATF stopped by on Thursday, the cat that meditates to the Stones, Fantastic 4, and cool sofa repair guys. also look up the date's for Joni's vist, find out if the casting gig in MO and the trip to Tahoe are mutually exclusive, roll out a SMFA seminar press release, and consult the SixHundy for the rest of the scary to do list. that is all. back to work. stop with the blogging and trust that you'll remember all the other shyte you want to write about when the time is there to do so. seriously. go now. now.)
Posted by bonnie at 11:41 AM
July 5, 2005
Such Super Cool Press
Got a cool little gift in my inbox today.
It's coverage by the ATAS (those cool Emmy people) of the panel I moderated back in May. Rockstar cool.
Posted by bonnie at 1:53 PM
July 3, 2005
SAG Indie Rocks
For all the times I've wished the SAG Indie agreements were available online (and not just the wee summaries), I think it's finally happened. (Of course, I'd still love love love to see the TALENT contracts online!)
Great dinner meeting with the producer and director of Shrinks last night, after an amazing day with the PARF gang. Such wonderful kids--and cool parents too. Great weekend, all around.
Happy exhale that my computer isn't dead, despite the fact that all maintenance software tried to tell me it was. Ah. Seems none of that software works on Tiger. Okey doke. Time to buy new software, not buy a new hard drive. Phew!
Have to get a script read, pronto, as there's another casting gig on the horizon, if I decide I like the project. Just a really instant-casting job, though, as they shoot their first scene 7/25. Ack! So much going on. Love it, though.
No sign of that day off. Hm...
Posted by bonnie at 7:26 PM
July 1, 2005
Reasons I'm Sad/Reasons I'm Happy
1. (Sad) . Honestly, Luther (and one of the Tonies from Tony Toni Toné) was one of the best-smelling guys I ever worked for, back in my Left Bank Management days. As much as I loved taking weed over to JT's house, catching Richard's stalker, making the world believe the '93 album was the second LP from Meat, making the last contract offer ever made to Nirvana, chilling with the brothers G, or helping Joey with his folks, I have to say that it was Luther Vandross who was loving, sweet, genunie, and just a big ball of love-to-hug. What a loss! Too soon. We'll miss you.
2. (Sad) . Are you kidding me? You couldn't wait an effin' three years to help us out? Ugh. I remember when you were brought onboard, Ms. Sandra Day O'Connor. I'm feeling as old as you must feel. I just feel mad at you for handing the keys of freedom over to that rat bastard W. Grr.
5. (Happy) . Did my application for the CSA and asked for reference letters from my favorite casting mentors. Very happy. *fingers crossed* for approval, seeing as the vote for new members takes place on my birthday (that can't possibly be a bad sign).
6. No pic. Just love. I'm a happy happy happy gal. Cast is near-locked for Chandler Hall (even received flowers from the actor we cast in the lead; a lovely note saying, "I didn't know what your favorite flowers were, so I sent you mine. Thanks for everything! Your Jimmy Bravo," (SUCH A CLASS ACT)), auditions are scheduled for Shrinks, and... best for last... Keith has signed with his first AGENT. Yup. My cute boy now has a PRINT AGENT in Los Angeles. It would seem "NFL-lovin' grill dad" is big biz in the sale circulars! Cool deal!
Big weekend. Big love. Woo damn hoo!
Posted by bonnie at 11:22 PM
June 29, 2005
Okay, so last night's callbacks were BEYOND ROCKSTAR (and I do mean BEYOND ROCKSTAR). I've spent the day making offers to talent, negotiating billing (and extras like dressing rooms), and setting up audition sides for the next project I'm casting.
Simply AMAZING day with loads of great phone calls (and, I know... I always hate the phone, so it's kinda weird) and then Keith brings up the mail.
Phone rings. What's that? Oh, cool. I've been hired to cast a short at the American Academy of Art's Indie Filmmaker's Bootcamp at Stephens College! Yup! Thanks to a referral from a manager friend of mine, I'm off to Missouri in late July! Woo hoo!
And... I think today's the day I apply to join the CSA. Yup. Feels like that kind of day.
Next? Nosotros' American Latino Talent Showcase, of course! What better way to celebrate? Woo damn hoo!
Posted by bonnie at 4:35 PM
June 24, 2005
It's Just Damn Funny To Read (RIF)
Reading *is* fundamental! Really!
I come home from a super amazing dinner party with old friends and new (Lily, you have the BEST friends EVER and you *must* hurry back to LA so I can cast you in something) and check up on the blogs.
What's cool, hip, and now?
Chip found some self-heating coffee that scares me a bit.
Jocelyn showed me a photo of like my favorite yummy Chick-fil-A food ever. Damn you, gluten!
Question... am I all about Becca's Michael, b/c I quoted Fox News Network?
Okay, seriously need the bed. Director coming over mañana to watch preread selects with me here rather than doing the high-tech thing I spent 20 hours making available for him to view. *sigh* Someday the world will be all the geeks like me.
Posted by bonnie at 11:38 PM
Fun Day Fun Night
Got the SAG contract faxed over to our first cast member (woo), breakdown went out on the next project (woo hoo), pulled an all-nighter to edit all preread selects onto a CD for the director in prep for callbacks next week (woo damn hoo).
There are some seriously amazing actors who read for this film. Wow. Such a great experience, casting.
And tonight, we head out to see Lily Mercer, who comes to town to visit from NY every year or so. She was the director of the Christmas play I did at the Attic Theatre in 1999 (tiny grainy photo above of me with a castmate) and is an outstanding actor. I'm so so so much a fan! Always a blast to get to hang out with her and my fellow former Attic Theatre Company Members. So much catching up to do!
In other news, Keith had yet another agent meeting (set up by his rockstar manager) and just received his contract for a SAG film shoot. Good Friday.
Posted by bonnie at 5:30 PM
June 23, 2005
This just in:
The results of the NLRB-sponsored election are in.
More than 96% of the Casting Directors and Associates who took part in the election voted to be represented by the Teamsters. 96%--an overwhelming majority. In addition the NLRB representative said that, in his 25 years, this was the smoothest mail ballot that he had ever overseen--a testament to our willingness to work together with the AMPTP representatives to make this happen efficiently.
The next step is to sit down and negotiate a contract. Steve and the Teamsters will be in touch with the AMPTP to set a date to begin formal talks. We will let you know as things progress.
Thank you to EVERYONE for their hard work in getting us to this point. Thank you all for believing it could be possible and following through on the work to make this happen. Your trust in the essential notion that together we are capable of great things has led us here.
Your NY/LA Steering Committees
Nice to come home to such big news after an amazing day of prereads for Chandler Hall. Man, what a great cast this is going to be!
Breakdown for Shrinks is going out next, then a nap. I'm exhausted--and with good reason.
Keith is too. Producer callback for Crossing Jordan (AGAIN! Third time!) and second agent meeting for commercial rep. Whew! What a day!
Posted by bonnie at 5:26 PM
June 22, 2005
Welcome to the cast of Chandler Hall...
Ben Savage! Woo hoo! How much do I love this kick-ass job? Prereads all day tomorrow for the other roles, then back to offers next week. LOVE it!
Posted by bonnie at 4:01 PM
Real World Austin
Holy crap, that's a good show.
So, I got home from the SAG LifeRaft talk (which was effin' rockstar) and from taking Keith and Quinn to the airport (Quinn was VERY excited about taking the red-eye home) and found that Kris' boyfriend TiVo had saved Real World: Austin for me. Holy crap, what a good show! I don't remember such an exciting first episode ever.
In other I-love-TV news, I've noticed a whole buncha cool stuff coming up for my summer TV viewing. More on that later.
I've got to tweak the schedule for Thursday's prereads, plus finish the breakdown for Shrinks. Man, I should be sleeping! Oh well...
PS--There is a much more agile version of Archie who lives outside these days. What a panic attack seeing him run through the courtyard tonight gave me! Thought the oaf had escaped Casa Gillespie-Johnson. Nope. Still sleeping, right where we left him. Ha!
Posted by bonnie at 2:25 AM
June 21, 2005
1. Got the prereads for Chandler Hall scheduled (sides out, top actors for each role scheduled, etc.).
2. Got A New Tomorrow final cast list handed off to production (just need to get the cast webpage updated now).
4. Sent out MOST of the comp copies of Acting Qs. Got an amazing thank-you note from Tom Fontana, as well as super feedback from actors interviewed. I'll share soon.
5. Quinn had his playdate with Drake (that's Drake on set, above). They really enjoyed themselves. Turns out Puzzle Zoo is like the coolest store EVER. Will post photos from Quinn's visit when I can. I promise!
6. Got someone at SAG to agree to fax over the Limited Ex talent contract (even though it's only good for another couple of weeks--then we go to Ultra Low Budget contracts for SAG). Bless you, Paul Bales, for the fax!! (Will pick up a copy of the AEA 99-seat Code while in the building tonight, thanks to Nancy Daly.)
7. Got Quinn *mostly* packed, though he'll leave without his memory book completed this year, for the first time (bummer. I just could NOT get it together quickly. We'll mail it later). LOVE the drawings he's leaving behind. Perfect fridge material!
8. Confirmed that tonight's SAG LifeRaft event is over-booked with a waiting list--which means it will fly by (and we're taking 150 copies of Self-Management for Actors to give away). C'mon DayQuil! Hook me up!
9. Got Quinn's "LOVE QUINN" scrawled on all of our thank you notes from this week's 1/2-birthday gifts and treats. Seriously, Quinn had an amazing time! (I'll get 'em out in the mail later.)
10. Purged a few thousand pages of sides from previous projects' auditions, which felt good in a major way. Amazing the little things we can do when sick that happen to improve the general spirits, without taking too much out of us physically.
11. Slept. That was the biggie. Still not 100% (and Keith is worse), but enough to get the talk done tonight, get Keith and Quinn to the airport, and then get back home to write the breakdown for Shrinks, do Rox work, update the business-hours list for tomorrow, and get all of the email-based contact work possible done before Wednesday rolls around. Ack. Exhausted just looking at all of this.
So, I'll stop. Time to get on the road soon anyway. Thanks for all the good vibes, everyone! They feel GREAT!
Posted by bonnie at 2:25 PM
June 17, 2005
New Casting Gig
This time it's a PLAY! Woo hoo!
Huge thanks to Judy Kerr for the referral! Awesome! I absolutely adore Kevan and Maria Jenson. This is going to be an amazing play. It's co-produced by Visualize This and Hudson Theatricals. They've already hired a publicist and everything! Hee hee! Amazing script, dense dialogue, rich characters, and fantastic concepts. I'm eager to cast this play under the AEA 99-Seat Agreement!
Look for the breakdown next week. Woo hoo!
Posted by bonnie at 3:48 PM
June 16, 2005
A Little Help?
Anybody out there in blogland happen to have a copy of the SAG Limited Exhibition TALENT Contract I could borrow?
I have the PRODUCER Contract (and, of course, the TALENT Contracts for SAG Experimental and SAG Modified Low-Budget weekly and daily performers) but somehow don't have a sample copy of the one I need in my handy SAG Indie sample folder. Grr.
Posted by bonnie at 2:07 AM
June 15, 2005
I've crossed everything off my list, plus subbed to every RSS feed (of interest) I could find (though I'm not *quite* sure what that RSS thingy means), and I've sent all of the potential local hires on to the director of the feature film I'm MAINLY casting right now (not finished with everything just yet).
(Yes, I'm having to learn what it is to cast three projects simulatneously and how to decide which is the "leader" in every call I make. Oh, and... I'm reminded that people at this point hire ASSISTANTS, for cryin' out loud!!)
View this, this, and... well... there is no three. Judge me now. It's not my fault! AND... if you're free, join us Thursday 7:30pm-ish for a little gathering. Hit me with a comment ASAP if you're free and want to head west for a glass-raising of some sort. SO much to celebrate! And... there's meeting the brilliant, beautiful Q-man!!
Oh, so, I get a call from Keith and learn that Quinn has taken a face-dive into the dock on the way to Catalina. My response, "Can you clean him up?" Answer, "I can clean HIM up better than *I* clean up!" Well, duh! I mean, I love ya, Keith, but we ALL admit that Quinn is parented better than we were! LOL
Such such SUCH a good kid! Kudos to the moms for taking such good care of him! I love how generous, loving, and affectionate that boy is!!
Photos will come! Hang in!
Posted by bonnie at 1:19 AM
June 14, 2005
How Cute Are We!
What say he?
I am really enjoying the book. While I was on set Saturday, I showed it to the actress I was working with and she started reading it like it was hers. I was hoping to read in the "hurry up and wait" time. It’s pretty addictive. The stories are great!
Yay! Thanks, Stephon! And THANKS for sharing YOUR story!
BTW... the upgrade to Office 2004 (when it has become fried by your effin' Tiger upgrade on a Mac [yeah, laugh it up, folks who love it the once every NEVER that a Mac does something PC-like and craps out]) is basically painless, although it does take about THREE HOURS.
Further BTW... Quinn is learning major strategy in Hello Kitty Uno. Or, well, he WAS. Right now he's in Catalina with his dad. So cool! Me? Casting meeting tomorrow. News to come. Yippee!
Posted by bonnie at 7:14 PM
June 13, 2005
And here are today's updates, as of this moment.
a script to read, offers to fax, feedback to provide [still dragging feet on this one], bills to pay, books to sign [ended up chatting, instead], books to pack [ditto], books to mail [yeah, yeah, yeah], headshots to open, headshots to sort [still in progress], headshots to purge [I think this one is a forever-in-progress deal], a screen to put back in a window [waits for Keith], three websites to update [ugh. dragging feet], a font to install [actually can no longer use Word. major problems since the Tiger upgrade. Ugh], and dayplayers to enter into the Breakdowns system to email to producers [not urgent].
Wow, and I also did about ten things that weren't on the list. That's fun. Still more to do (always)... but I'm super-intimidated by the items I saw in last month's Real Simple (just got to read it) called "This Clean House." I'll post that insane list later. No WAY I could keep up with THOSE standards. *shudder* I'm supposed to wash my lamp shades every six months?
PS--I love Fight for Fame. Is that wrong? Should I lie? (Ooh, it's probably due to the high number of people in each week's episode that I know. That would explain part of the appeal.)
Posted by bonnie at 5:19 PM
June 12, 2005
List Thus Far
Updates to the list thus far:
I have a script to read [read enough to know I'll accept the offer to cast it tomorrow],
a column to write, offers to fax [got authorization for dollar amounts on three of them, holding on one more], feedback to provide [this is going to take forever and I always worry I miss something and end up just not doing any, which I hate, since I know it helps the actors to get feedback], bills to pay [that's the very next item, I promise], books to sign [can do that with wine, later], books to pack [ditto], books to mail [pack 'em up for Keith to take after he and Quinn return from NoCal], headshots to open [ugh, that's forever in the making], headshots to sort [this list is still way overwhelming], headshots to purge [I thought I'd gotten so much done today], a screen to put back in a window [waits for Keith], a shower to take, litter to scoop, dishes to wash, three websites to update [coming soon], a font to install [having some bugs with the Tiger upgrade... must research], and dayplayers to enter into the Breakdowns system to email to producers [later].
Holy bejeebus. I thought I'd gotten so much done already. Lists are evil. (No, they're not. I know that.)
PS--I cannot watch ten minutes of television without seeing an actor I know. That's kind of cool.
PPS--It seems I will get to officially make an offer to one of the most talented actors I know tomorrow (and someone I count as a friend) to star in one of the movies I'm casting. I'm so so so so so freakin' excited about this film. Can't wait to make it official!! Rockstar!
Posted by bonnie at 6:10 PM
June 3, 2005
Theory of Car Drama and Showbiz
Okay, so I've always had this theory (and it seems to pan out, according to most actors I've talked to) that if you get a parking ticket while you're at an audition, you will book the gig.
Well, yesterday, Keith's car was towed. And he had a rockstar meeting (over 90 minutes) with an amazing agent, after his rockstar manager hooked him up with a week filled with agency meetings. Have we mentioned how much we love Keith's manager?
So, if a parking ticket during an audition means a booking, I think it's safe to say that a tow-away the morning of an agent meeting means you're going to get signed. We shall see.
In other news, A New Tomorrow is almost fully-cast. I'm doing some offer letters to name actors on Monday for this film *and* for Chandler Hall, based on some wonderful pitches we've gotten since the breakdown went out Wednesday night. Excellent progress.
Quinn and the book arrive next week. I'm teaching four classes next week plus attending an amazing CBS/TMA event. It's just an amazing, kick-ass life. Period.
Posted by bonnie at 11:10 AM
May 31, 2005
Booked! Giddy up!
So, tomorrow and Thursday, we're in callbacks for the feature film political mocumentary A New Tomorrow. I'm so damn excited about the cast we've already assembled, I'm hoppin' out of my skin.
Just came home from a two-hour casting meeting for my NEXT gig... Chandler Hall for Pollack Pictures. This is a seriously amazing feature film with a nice, healthy budget. Ooh, how happy am I!! Yippee!
Posted by bonnie at 11:11 PM
May 27, 2005
Happy Girl/Saturn Return
Okay, I'm a super happy girl!
We're now finished with prereads for A New Tomorrow and I'm going to be able to cast a half-dozen or so roles this weekend, based on the rockstar job the actors did for the minor roles at prereads. Awesome. Callbacks next week! Yippee!
I'm putting this here to remind me that Saturn Return is kicking my ass until mid-July. It's very easy to forget that and to get really really down on myself about things that aren't working. So... last night, I got out the grease pencil and drew Saturn on the mirrors in the house. Now I can't forget to let myself off the hook for the hell that is living sometimes, when things get too overwhelming.
Saturn, the planet ruling lessons learned and realities faced, is now traveling through the very last degrees of Cancer. You have had Saturn pressing you since June 2003, a time that you may have begun to see your responsibilities noticeably increase. Saturn is now moving at unusually swift speed, and in a matter of weeks will be completely out of Cancer. Your end date will be July 16, 2005. No matter how you look at it, you are entering a far better phase. Best of all, Saturn always leaves a gift by the door after he has exited, as thanks for having dealt with the rigors. You will see this to be true in the weeks that follow July 16. When this reward is given, you will know when it arrives. In the meantime, the gifts of strength, wisdom, insight, and maturity have already begun to grow within you, and you have earned the respect of others around you. You have grown in stature and authority, and you see life with far greater clarity.
See? It's not "just" me! It's a huge planet pressing down on me at its hardest. Thank goodness the gift is almost here.
Hopefully, I won't need the reminder to let myself off the hook anymore, now that I have artwork on the mirrors. AND... I have the film 1/2 cast! Woo hoo! Casting meeting for the next film?? Tuesday, baby! It's just rollllllin' in now! Woo hoo!
Posted by bonnie at 10:36 PM
May 24, 2005
So, today we had the first day of prereads in Santa Monica (the first time I've held auditions outside of Hollywood and on the Westside).
The wreck that happened just before prereads started had people late all day long.
Other than that, prereads rocked. I love my job. More casting later this week. Tomorrow, I'm guest-speaking at the St. Monica School across the street. Rock on.
Posted by bonnie at 10:31 PM
May 20, 2005
When in doubt...
...believe what the universe shows you.
Yeah. Today was good. Got a call from a producer on the film I'm currently casting, asking if he could send me the script for the NEXT film he's producing--one with a big budget--so's I could consider casting it, seeing as the director on this current film raves so. Rock on!
Best news of the day: El Cholo's seasonal Green Corn Tamale: gluten free, y'all! Woo damn hoo!
Posted by bonnie at 3:21 AM
May 17, 2005
Now THAT's Cool!
You release a breakdown. You start looking at submissions as soon as you get back from renting audition space (it's like an hour after the release of the breakdown). Who's been pitched for one of the roles?
This guy! Man, that's damn cool.
Posted by bonnie at 4:07 PM
May 16, 2005
New Casting Gig
Remember that intense casting phone meeting I had last week? Booked the gig. Yowza! Watch for a breakdown mid-week.
Posted by bonnie at 5:00 PM
May 13, 2005
Big-Ass Casting Meeting
Just had a big-ass casting phone date with some cool-ass filmmaker types.
I was hoping to end the call with a, "You're hired!" and I certainly may get that phrase from them next week, but they have some budget snags to work out first.
BTW--did you know that SAG Indie's contracts are being revamped July 1st? Whole new set of rules to learn! Yippee! I like what I've seen so far.
Man, that was one hella long/intense phone call. Phew! Hope I get the gig.
Posted by bonnie at 3:16 PM
May 11, 2005
It's official. See y'all there. And yes... that's how "y'all" is spelled. Don't punk out.
THE FIRST ANNUAL ACTORS CASTING/AGENTS PANEL AND BOOK FAIRE
THE ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES and the Performers Peer Group "Road to Success" Series presents NAVIGATING THE NEW HOLLYWOOD LANDSCAPE FOR THE WORKING ACTOR
Casting Directors: Richard Hicks, Jane Jenkins, Ellie Kanner, Sonia Nikore, April Webster.
Agents: Chris Barrett of Metropolitan Talent Agency, Glenn Salners of Stone Manners Agency, Robin Spitzer of Origin Talent Agency, Mitchell K. Stubbs of Mitchell K. Stubbs & Assoc., Jeff Witjas of APA
Produced by: Conrad Bachmann & Alex Georgiev
Moderated by: Bonnie Gillespie
When: Saturday, May 21 2005
Where: CBS Studio Center, 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City. Please park in the structure (Gate A) north of the main gate on Radford. Pre-registration and photo ID required to enter the studio lot. Security guards will direct you to the commissary and event location.
Gates to open at 9:30am
Book Faire: 12:30pm-2pm
Come for the Seminar, Stay for the Book Faire.
Actors Access and Showfax members are invited to attend a FREE seminar sponsored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. If you have already RSVP'd through the Academy, you are set. If you haven't, just go to:
Click here to RSVP and fill out the online form to secure your reservation. Only attendees with valid confirmations will be allowed to attend this free event. If you want to just come for the Book Faire, be at the CBS Radford gate at 12 noon.
After the seminar you will have the opportunity to meet and greet authors who have set the standard for books for and about actors. Meet Terri Apple, Bonnie Gillespie, Margie Haber, Ellie Kanner, Rob Kendt, Judy Kerr, Brad LeMack, Nancy Rainford and other signature authors.
This is an exciting must see event at CBS Radford. Topics will include how technology has changed the way agents and casting directors work and how actors can take advantage of this new work flow.
Posted by bonnie at 11:49 PM
May 3, 2005
Many New Things
So... what up, G?
Buttloads. That's what.
Sheesh! I'm seriously blogging now.
Politically incorrect observation #1: There is much more traffic on surface streets these days. Why? Someone who wants less traffic on the freeways is shooting people to get the road to himself. Mission accomplished. We're all taking Wilshire now.
Politically incorrect observation #2: What kind of society do we live in where a fallen child star (Danny Bonaduce) can pull himself together, get clean, get a top-rated radio show, do voiceovers and guest spots on prime time TV regularly, often admit that he had his "major addict" days... and then manage to slide, publicly, back down off that wagon (and saying so, regularly), yet be supported in his work environment... and THEN get ridiculed when he puts himself back in rehab?
I mean, really... if you SAY you're slipping, if you OWN that you are boozing it up... how can ANYONE decide to judge your arse once you do the RIGHT deed, which is signing up for help? Fuck! If they're going to bitch about you, they should do so when you're boozing in front of them and trying to hide it. That's what I expect, when I'm off-wagon-falling. At the very least!
There is no politically incorrect observation number three, as there is never a three (which really should be some other number) based on the reality created by somesuch-whatnot and the good folks there.
Not politically incorrect, but amusing... Chip took this shot at the Twilight Criterium. Oh, how I remember the bliss that was our WUOG Sports Director living in the pace car for that in '95! Ah, memories.
Further not politically incorrect, but perhaps self-aggrandizing, is the observation that I no longer am capable of casting a "small project." It started when the first actor arrived at the audition location today. He said, "This must be some good production company with a healthy budget, to get you on board!" I laughed and said, "Oh, honey... I'm very affordable--I'm still at the beginning of my casting journey and that means I'm doing the same thing actors do, at the beginning of their careers: working cheap and choosing great projects with wonderful people."
Typically, one out of every ten actors says something about my books, my columns, previous casting visits, my online presence, speaking engagements, etc. This time? One out of every TWO.
I can usually count on 30 no-shows out of 150 scheduled appointments. This time? NONE. Not ONE no-show. And I am so terribly sad that some people had to leave, after waiting for so long, and/or that people just waited and waited and waited so more. I ALWAYS HAVE ON-TIME SESSIONS! It really bummed me out to suddenly NOT. But then it occurred to me (and Keith said it out loud) that I'm suddenly not a CD who people think is casting one or two little projects here and there--but I'm someone who people know (in an: "if it's not this project, it's the next" type thing) will soon be casting something else they want to get on my radar for... and they show up. THEY SHOW UP! Even if they aren't confirmed, they show up.
Crap. I've just bumped up a tier. I've steadily increased my day rate for casting indies and I continue to get offers. WTF?? I increased my rate to cut down on the number of projects I got, and it's not happening. Sure enough, it's a sign that I'm right where I'm supposed to be and doing it right.
But now I have to schedule far fewer actors for auditions than I'd like to. That sucks. But, I guess it's a quality problem.
Looking forward to the day when I can hire MCJ (My Cousin Joni) to be my full-time assistant and get loads more work done with the sense of efficiency that only a Virgo can provide.
BTW--I love actors! Everyone rocked today. Amazing, how wonderful and confident so many actors are. I love that. I am such a fan of so many wonderful people!
Posted by bonnie at 8:39 PM