January 4, 2010

Cricket Feet Showcase: on hiatus!

Apparently a bunch of LA actors made "Do the Cricket Feet Showcase" a resolution for 2010 because I'm getting bombarded with emails and Facebook messages about our beloved showcase.

(My ode to what the showcase started out to be, to what it became, and to what it might be is here. Read it. It's a good post.)

So, let me just put this here so it's clear (and I'll cross-post this at my fan page, over at Facebook, so folks can easily bump into the info).

For now, there's no more showcase. :) We reached our five-year goal for talent level, attendance level, and results in actors' careers level in just over two years. Unfortunately, we did not reach our five-year goal for getting corporate financing, and we went out of pocket $5K for the 2009 showcase. We can't afford to keep doing that, and our five-year goal was to have the showcase be free for actors.

Since we couldn't afford to lose another $5K in 2010 and because we were having to turn away industry because we were so full at our 2009 shows, we were going to have to add another show, and that meant printing more programs, renting and insuring the space for another night, hiring the tech crew for another night, paying for booze and catering for another night... and because we're not yet corporately financed (our five-year goal, again), that meant we were actually going to have to raise the price of the showcase to keep doing it at this level.

And that's the opposite direction we wanted to go, within five years.

So, rather than continue to produce the showcase--which we clearly have learned how to do at a rockstar level, having changed the game for what the industry expects of industry showcases--while losing money and raising the cost for the actors, we chose to go on hiatus and go back to producing showcases when we, as a corporation, can fully fund them ($30K) and invite our favorite actors to participate or when we get the corporate backing we had hoped to attract within five years.

So, bummer for those who were hoping to participate in 2010 or beyond, as there's no telling when we'll be back to producing showcases, but keep an eye on the showcase website for updates and of course, know I'll blast the word out at Facebook when we're in a position to do them again. Very hopeful that many of the projects we have brewing for 2010 will be such good money-earners that we are told by our tax guy that we, as a corporation, have to lose a bunch of money each year. :) Then we'll be set! :)

Much love to you fine folks who are into doing rockstar showcases. Please, produce your own! Rent some space, choose some original material by great writers (please, don't show folks the same old tired scenes we've seen a thousand times), hire a director, and make some noise! That's how we started out, and we grew to the biggest, highest-attendance, most critically-acclaimed, results-getting showcase in town... in just over two years. Awesome!

Posted by bonnie at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)

November 8, 2009

Eeeeeeee! Australia!

Okay, so in just over a week, I board a big-ass plane for a long-ass time and travel into the future to arrive a day earlier in Sydney Australia.

I've never been. I'm so freakin' excited I can barely stand it! Luckily, there are LOTS of details to deal with, and that keeps my freaking-out-mind busy. :)

I'm going over (along with fellow rockstar casting directors Matt Barry, Lisa Beach, Lisa Fields, Joseph Middleton, Monika Mikkelsen, Paul Weber, Gary Zuckerbrod, and a "secret guest" who is pretty dang major at the studio for which he casts) for two weeks with the Australian Institute for Performing Arts. This is the group that hired me to teach in May, when they brought over a group of wonderful actors. This time, we're there. THERE. In Sydney! Ack! So excited.

I have to say, the handiest thing in the world is having an ex beau living in Sydney. He has been so helpful, as I plan the logistics of my stay. Also amazingly wonderful is rockstar casting director Marci Liroff, who so sweetly introduced me to rockstar casting director Matt Skrobalak, who has been introducing me--pretty much daily--to some of the top agents and managers in Sydney, so I can meet up with them while I'm in town.

Awesome. I love this business. I love that I get to have such an adventure! I'm trying not to be nervous, but I am just so freakin' excited! Eeeeeeeeee! Luckily, Sydney looks a lot like Santa Monica to me. ;) So maybe I can pretend I'm home. Hee!

Posted by bonnie at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)

April 22, 2009

The Anatomy of a Showcase

It was January 2007. I had just come home from a network diversity showcase and lunch with my intern and an actor friend. We spent the whole post-showcase meal talking about how the acting was good, the material was played out, and the overall production value was less than you'd expect from a network. Cheap, cold sandwiches and lukewarm coffee. Folders with actors' headshots crammed in all out of order. Resumés with typos and formatting errors that anyone at the producer level of this showcase could've and should've noticed. I noticed. I sat in the audience with the intention of shopping for actors, learning the work of actors not yet on my radar, enjoying an afternoon of laughs... and came away with more notes about how the showcase could've been better than about how much the actors rocked.

I knew it was time.

I had danced around the idea of producing a showcase for several years. Had even met with several different potential producing partners to brainstorm about how and where and when and with whom and for how much and... then that would be it. Three years of meetings and sharing ideas and starting then stopping. I just couldn't produce the showcase I wanted to produce by myself. And I hadn't met the right producing partner.

Actually, I had. I just didn't know it until that afternoon.

I came home from that network showcase and posted to a thread in a MySpace Group discussion board saying how I really wanted to produce showcases. Eitan Loewenstein, an actor I had first met back in 2003, at a book signing for Self-Management for Actors (after having known him online for a year or more before that), said, "Let's do it!" And we did what we do in Hollywood. We did lunch.

And the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase was born.

That was January 2007 and here we are just 27 months later and the showcase has grown beyond our wildest dreams. In a few hours, 39 amazing actors will take the stage in front of a standing-room-only industry crowd, do two original comedic scenes each, and then schmooze with more heavy-hitters than I've ever seen turn out at a single showcase. Even at the network level.

Thanks to the initiative of showcase participant Cristina Cimellaro, we have potential buyers checking out our showcase. Yep. We're hoping to sell this puppy off. Our five-year goal was to create the best showcase in Hollywood, and make it free for actors. Under Cristina's guidance, we have a corporate proposal that's simply stunning. If I had a few grand laying around, I'd invest in us! And if next year we become "Coca-Cola presents the Cricket Feet Showcase," so be it! Every actor will sip a tasty beverage during his or her scene. Done. If it makes it free for the actors, we'll park a Buick on stage and act all over it. Whatever!

Keith Johnson is my partner in all things, as most folks know. His unwavering support has made my efficiency in producing this showcase outstandingly sharp. When Keith and Eitan and I first met Chil Kong, we knew we had our showcase's director for the long-term. He had directed a few network diversity showcases in the years before we met him, and his ability to bring comedic material to its highest potential is simply astounding. I get thank-you notes every showcase from actors who feel privileged to have worked under his direction. That's impressive!

This year, Alex Collins joined our team, which includes the amazing Tamika Simpkins and the brilliantly creative Shelley Delayne. We're growing! And that's what feels both exhilarating and terrifying. As Keith and I walked home from dinner last night, I said, "It's almost over." He said, "I know." "This might be our last showcase," I said. "I know," he replied. And it's not because we are feeling done. It's because we've taken some very big risks this time out.

Each actor is doing two scenes. Could be brilliant. Could be a trainwreck.

We're doing the most offensive material we've ever done. Could be brave. Could be a career-killer.

We've invited press to cover arrivals. Could be festive. Could be sad.

We have nearly 900 RSVPs for two nights of shows in a 268-seat venue. Could be an amazing, standing-room-only, industry-buzzing-for-the-rest-of-the-year experience. Could be a logistical clusterfuck.

And at the end of this whole production term, we could either sell our showcase off to the highest bidder and be asked to remove ourselves from the production process or we're no closer to corporate sponsorship and right back at this again in 2010, producing it ourselves.

But how is that possible? We've gone so big this time that it's either the end of the showcase as we know it or the end of the showcase. And I think we all feel that, which is why it's been so incredible a process these past few weeks, bringing everything together.

There is now nothing to do but to do it.

And I couldn't be more proud, more excited, more terrified, more gratified, and more grateful than I am right now. I have the most amazing team and I am so lucky to have had the experience of building this showcase from the ground up in such a short period of time with the help of the most wonderful people I know!

211 actors doing the original material of 71 writers under the direction of 4 amazingly talented directors. Growing from a 68-seat venue to a 268-seat venue (and outgrowing that one in just over a year). Actors refining their marketing materials, learning their most castable type, taking meetings, signing with new representation, booking studio feature films, developing pet projects, winning awards, building international fanbases, getting married, starting families... living LIFE. And calling the showcase family a part of that life.

I am truly humbled. And proud of all of us. Thank you, everyone, for having walked with me upon this road. I will never forget you.

Posted by bonnie at 1:10 AM | Comments (3)

March 31, 2009

CARE Awards 2009

So I keep forgetting-slash-not-having-time to post about the BizParentz.com CARE Awards, which Keith and I were honored to attend a couple of weeks ago.

Well, since the beginning, we have been sponsors of the event, donating either copies of Self-Management for Actors or Acting Qs, the latter of which I co-authored with the awesome Blake Robbins.

But this was the first year it actually worked out that we could be there! And WOW! What an amazing experience!

The organizers have put together a really outstanding, lovely, inspiring event. And the cool thing is, it's not just about being a kid actor. These kids write essays, do artwork in competition, and have academic requirements that go along with "being biz kids." It's all about balance! I love that.

So, among many wonderful things we saw and heard and experienced that lovely Sunday, there was this--Keith's favorite pic off to the side of the red carpet. No, not us (above). The gaggle of girls (below). How cute is that?

Anyway, we made our way inside and were greeted by the sponsor table, featuring the over $400 of goodies each of the 150 kid actor honorees received. :) Yay!

I loved that someone caught this kiddo going through his bag, with our book right there in the pic. Hee! That's fun.

We found our way to our table (note the lovely product placement of Coca-Cola. Heh heh. I am a stockholder after all. And since I don't drink the stuff, I gotta at least represent somehow)!

And look at these awesome awards that all the kiddos got! So dang cool! (Oh, most of these photos are by the amazing and talented Allie and Cathy McCall--the latter of which was our wedding photographer a few years back.)

Lunch has been served and it's almost time for the awards event to begin! Loads of surprises and treats and laughs (and a few tears)!

Our buddy Gary Marsh braved the green glitter-coated chocolate bonbon (using his trusty pocket knife, of course). Hee! He gave glitter kisses the rest of the day!

Loved getting to hang out with the Casting About guys and Holdon Log folks too. I swear, we're a goofy bunch!

Anyway, there's a day in Hollywood. :) Congratulations to Anne, Paula, and the whole BizParentz.com group for putting on such an amazing event! Congrats to all the young actors who RULE! Looking forward to working with you all!

Posted by bonnie at 5:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2009

Reel Festival for Women Interview w/ Bonnie Gillespie

Interview posted at Reel Festival for Women, conducted by Iva Franks for Reel Festival for Women.

1. How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be in the Film/TV industry?

I had a very early love for performing and storytelling. Did the whole dress-up, put-on-a-show for family thing. Actually would "sell tickets" and seat people in the living room and have one of my cousins do a warm-up act. I wrote songs, wrote plays, wrote short stories, and performed everything I wrote for anyone who would watch. When did I learn that all of these childhood activities could be parlayed into a career? Probably around the age of six, when I went to see a "real" play. By intermission, I knew I wanted to have a job where I could affect people like I had been affected so deeply in such a short period of time. The very next play at that theatre, I had a role. Yes, I started out as a child actor (and survived).

2. Who was your greatest inspiration and how did they inspire you?

My mother has always been my greatest inspiration in all things. She was amazing. Brilliant on so many levels while being so very simple on other levels. Of the many things she taught me that I certainly use every day, what's probably most applicable to a career in show business is that there is no one way of accomplishing anything. Everything is an option. There is no "absolute" in this life and therefore anything is worth trying, if it makes your heart sing. That's pretty badass.

3. How long have you been casting and mentoring?

I started casting in February 2003. I had cast a play or two a few years prior, but that was just me--producing a play--being sure that I could cast without a casting director. Turns out a lot of newbie producers feel that way. They soon learn they'd rather hire a pro than try and "cast it themselves." Heh. I get that now. Anyway, one of the casting directors I had interviewed for Back Stage West (one of my actor survival jobs) asked me to come work with her on a few shows for Fox. I was reluctant but once I got started it was clear casting was a very good fit for me. Between shows one and two for Fox, I wrote Self-Management for Actors. Between shows two and three for Fox, I cast my first indie feature film. That was July 2003. I left TV casting behind soon after that, so I could focus on indie film. I had worked at the Sundance Institute in 2001 and 2002, so I knew I had a passion for indie film and indie filmmakers. Much better fit for me than network TV!

As for mentoring, I guess I've always been doing that. When I was a kid, a teacher saw that I was bored in some of my less-challenging classes and she gave me a "job" as a tutor for Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees who were new to our school. They spoke no English, so my job was to sit with them for an hour a day using a beginning spelling book and just start teaching the language at the very basic level, so they could follow anything going on in the classes. All through school, I was a peer tutor for many academic subjects. I was a peer advocate for the college judicial system. I currently mentor young writers for an organization called Write Girl. It's just kind of in my hard-wiring to share what I know with those who crave the knowledge.

4. Is there a particular project that you consider your favorite and why?

That's like asking me to pick a favorite baby! They're all favorites for various reasons. I learn something new on every project I cast and I reach another tier of my career on each project as well. I've started taking on the role of associate producer on many of the films I cast and that's been incredibly rewarding (and challenging, of course). But there's one film that broke my heart, another that allowed me to Taft-Hartley an actor for the first time. There's one film that led me to another dozen films with the same team, another that taught me there's not enough money on the planet to work with some people. There's one film that made me weep when I saw it on the big screen for the first time, another that I can't bring myself to watch. Certainly, I have favorites for various reasons. But because I approach my career as a means of learning more about the world and about myself, I could never truly pick one favorite. They have all enriched my life in some way.

5. Have you ever played a role in a project you cast?

Absolutely not. I retired from acting in 2000 when my mother passed away. I had taken a hiatus to go take care of her back in Georgia, but she died quickly and when I came back to LA I just stayed on hiatus. My agents were very understanding and supportive, and six months later (at the end of the timeline I had given myself to get back to acting), I was so completely gratified by my career as a writer (remember, I mentioned that writing survival job) that I decided I didn't need to or want to go back to acting. Then writing led to casting which led to producing... and honestly I have no interest in acting right now. The good news about this industry is that if you decide you want to do something, you just go do it. And if you're successful, you're encouraged to do it again and again. So you don't have to "earn" the right to be anything in this business. Have a story to tell? Tell it. Want to act? Do it. Produce? Great. Have at it! And if you're good at what you do, you'll be given many opportunities to do it. I like that about this business. If I should ever want to try my hand at acting again, I'll do it. But it's not what makes my heart sing, and I'm too focused on the many things that do make my heart sing. That's fun for me.

6. What are some bad habits that you've seen actors develop that you've had a hard time dealing with?

I don't have "a hard time dealing with" anything, so this is a difficult question for me. Everything is "deal-with-able," in my book. You just have to be open to the best way to communicate with the person bringing his or her blocks to the experience. Bad actor habits are all over the map. There's little stuff like a tick or a trick an actor does in the audition that distracts us from seeing the work. Then there's big stuff like becoming bitter or staying friends with poison playmates and energy vampires, and thinking you can still have a career because you've "earned it, dammit." No such thing. No one earns anything in this business. There's nothing linear about it and there's no recipe of "doing X number auditions yields Y number roles." Nope. No way.

But my point is that actors who do have bad habits (and that's not all of the actors out there, by any stretch) have bad habits that range from very tiny and manageable all the way up to soul-sucking, career-killing, miserable HUMAN BEING type habits. I'm not a therapist. I'm a casting director. So if an actor is in his or her own way when he or she comes in and auditions for a role, it's not my job to fix that. It's my job to get the role cast. Now, hopefully the work I put out there as a writer (my weekly columns at Showfax, my books) can help actors get out of their own way and do better when they're in the room, but if an actor is coming to me on an audition and is blocking success at every turn, I may feel sorry for that person, but the way I "deal with" that actor is to say, "Great. Thanks. NEXT!"

7. Have you ever written any projects and if so did you cast them as well?

I'm constantly writing, but the bulk of what I write is non-fiction actor-focused content for my weekly column and for my books. I've written a few comedic scenes for the Cricket Feet Showcase (most came out of a spec script I wrote a couple of years ago) but if I ever were to write a pilot or film script that I wanted to produce, I would probably hire another person to cast the project. While I'm a big fan of the hyphenate lifestyle, I am acutely aware that--especially where creative endeavors are involved--a project needs more than one filter through which it passes in order to be a success. I call it "the island syndrome." When the same person is the writer, producer, director, and star of a project, it's far less likely to feel real. It's only going through one filter and while the ego of that person getting to wear all of those hats is swelling, the project itself is usually suffering for the lack of collaboration.

I'm a big fan of surrounding myself with other really wonderful, creative, brilliant people. So, if I were to write and produce a project, I'd probably not also cast it. And if I were to write a project and not produce it, I might consider casting it. But I would also trust the producers who bought this hypothetical project I had written to hire the right person to cast it. And if they thought that person might be me? Fine. Also fine if not. ;) I know this business well enough to know better than to be emotionally attached to what happens to anything I create. All I can do is put my best stuff out there and surround myself with brilliant people who can take it to its best level.

8. What is your philosophy on the profession of working within the industry?

I'm not sure I understand this question. What's my philosophy on my profession? What's my philosophy on working within the industry in general? Yeah... this question doesn't make sense to me. I'm sorry. Not sure how to answer, since I can't tell what you're asking. Not sure how to have a philosophy on a profession. Or on working within the industry.

I mean... you like what you do and you do it. My philosophy on life is fairly simple: Have fun. Do what you love. Surround yourself with people you enjoy. Repeat.

9. Was there ever a project you felt was miscast after the fact? If so how did you deal with this?

There have been many times a director or producer went with the actor I would have not preferred they use in the role. My job is to bring choices to the decision-makers, and that means everyone who is considered is going to be talented, right for the part, and someone I'd be happy to see cast. So, while I'll have a favorite, in the end it's not my money, so I can't really push my will upon anyone else. I'll share my thoughts, but then I let it go. None of the choices I will have brought to this point in the casting process is a bad choice or a wrong choice. It's just a choice! And in the end, it's not my choice to make.

Now, there have been times a producer or director will insist a role be filled by his or her spouse or lover or best friend (or himself or herself) and there's not a whole lot I can do about that. This is a business filled with healthy egos and that means there will sometimes be a conversation that involves, "Trust me. This will work. She's perfect for the role," from someone who doesn't have a clue how very bad that person is for that role. Ah well...

What I do in that case is prepare for working with that person the next time. He or she will absolutely have learned that I was right and there was a better choice for the role. And we'll either have a much easier time with the trust issue the next time I say, "Trust me on this. This is the best actor for the role," or this director or producer will be so ready to move on from that bad call that we'll never speak of it again. ;) But we'll both know and have a better run next time. When the goal is "to serve the project" it gets very easy to stay focused on what casting tells the best story. No one wants to make a bad film, so we all know that we're expressing our opinions to make the best possible project.

10. What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the industry?

Relax. Have fun. Do research. TONS of research. Take it seriously but don't be rigid. Read everything you can get your hands on and really immerse yourself in the community. See plays, read plays, write plays. See films, read scripts, write scripts. Go to TV show tapings, read spec scripts, write spec scripts. Be ready to be a hyphenate but get very clear on your main goal, your primary brand, your most bankable angle. Don't scare anyone off by being too desperate or too "everything everyone needs every time." Don't be afraid to be a beginner. That's when all of the possibilities exist! Realize that most folks never come anywhere close to getting to live a life of their dreams, and you should be thrilled to have made a bold choice to go for it! Enjoy the pursuit, because that's what you'll spend most of your time doing: pursuing the work. Relax. Have fun. Do research. But I already said that. Yes. Because it's important.

11. How important do you feel film festivals are for anyone who wants to work in the industry?

The right film festivals are vitally important. There are so many "little festivals" that spring up every year and--while I absolutely applaud folks on creating new opportunities for up-and-coming filmmakers to have their work exposed to the public--it becomes necessary for filmmakers to do a very good job vetting the festivals. Some are just a way for organizers to make their rent through collecting submission fees. Really pay attention to what else you're getting, with any festival. Are there panel discussions and lectures by experts in the field? Is the judging process transparent? Is your work getting in front of the buyers you want to access? When you look at past films from the festival, are you honored to be within their company or is your film far better than anything they've screened before? If the festival is getting more out of your involvement than you are getting out of being involved, you may have to write it off as a mentoring opportunity (and you know I love mentoring, so this can absolutely be a good thing) and try to make the festival better for future participants.

Obviously, the "biggies" are essential for indie filmmakers to experience. Getting in even the smallest of the "biggies" can make the difference between your film only ever being seen by a few friends and your film getting major distribution. But it's never only about the immediate opportunity. It's the cumulative impact on your career. You're building relationships at every festival. Your name is getting out there with every submission and every screening. You're building your brand as a filmmaker or writer or actor (or casting director!) and as long as you stay focused on enjoying the process more than anticipating any sort of immediate rewards, you'll have fun and get a lot more out of every festival than you might have ever anticipated!

Bonnie Gillespie is an author, producer, and casting director. Her books include Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews, Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business, and Acting Qs: Conversations with Working Actors. Bonnie specializes in casting SAG indie feature films and regularly produces the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase. She is co-founder and co-host of Hollywood Happy Hour. Her weekly column, The Actors Voice, is available at www.showfax.com. Bonnie Gillespie has been named a Top Film Casting Director in Back Stage West's "Best of Los Angeles" Issue; was interviewed on BBC Breakfast, on UTV-Ireland's Gerry Kelly Goes to Hollywood, and for the E! gossip column The Answer B!tch; and hosted Inside Casting and The Reel Deal for Virtual Channel Network--the Breakdown Services and The Hollywood Reporter's website for industry insiders. For more information, please visit www.cricketfeet.com.

Posted by bonnie at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2009

2009 Cricket Feet Showcase Cast Announced!

Congratulations to our 2009 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase CAST!

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

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

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

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

Woo hoo!

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

October 28, 2008

RSVP for the November Showcase Now!

Cricket Feet Casting ACTORS SHOWCASE
November 5th & 6th, 2008 -- 8pm -- FREE
The Colony Theatre, Burbank

produced by: Bonnie Gillespie
directed by: Chil Kong

presenting: Adeye Sahran || Adrian Gaeta || Ahmad Russ || Alissa Bica || Allyn Rachel || Anna Lane || Annette Reid || Barbara Suiter || Carey Linnell || Cassie Ramoska || Courtney Jones || Cristina Cimellaro || Edelyn Aubrey || Eitan Loewenstein || Elizabeth Straus || Erich Lane || Hunter Huston || Jackie Koppell || Jennifer Holloway || Jon Gale || Joy Walker || Julie Eastland || Julie Inmon || Kami Koren || Keith Johnson || Kelly Jenrette || Kim Stinger || Kristen Herbert || Lauren Dobbins Webb || Marc McTizic || Miley Yamamoto || Noora Albright || Patrick Carlyle || Patrick McCullough || Paul Tigue || Rachel Kanouse || Rebecca Sigl || Rick Steadman || Ricky Faust || Roslyn Cohn || Stephen Twardokus || Tamika Simpkins

A fast-paced, professionally directed, comedic showcase of 42 carefully screened and appropriately cast actors in just over an hour.

Did we mention that we've chosen a location where *free* parking is a breeze? And that we're rolling out yummy munchies and adult beverages before *and* after the show? Awesome, right? Yeah. We thought so too.

Two chances to see it:
Wednesday, November 5th *and* Thursday, November 6th
8 pm -- FREE

The Colony Theatre
555 North Third Street
Burbank, CA 91502

directions/venue info: http://colonytheatre.org/directions.shtml

reservations/showcase info: http://cricketfeetshowcase.com

RSVP is a must!
To reserve your seats, click here --> http://cricketfeetshowcase.com/rsvp.html NOW! :)

Yay! See you soon! Thanks for the love.

Posted by bonnie at 8:08 PM | Comments (0)

October 1, 2008

The Secret to My Success

I was asked tonight (at my most amazing talk at SAG--seriously, it was one of my best-ever speaking engagements and it just so happens they taped it and will be putting up online. Oh, and I looked seriously cute too) what my secret is.

How I get so much done.
How I'm always working.
How I'm so damn happy.

I answered with my usual, "I don't sleep," response, which got the room laughing. And the audience member who asked the question said, "No, seriously. How do you do so much?"

And I said something about loving what I do and that makes it easy, and the not sleeping thing really does help and I'll probably try sleeping more in my 40s, and blah blah blah.

But on the way home, I said to Keith, "Honey, thank you. I couldn't do my job(s) without you."

And I'm sorry I didn't think of this answer before, because it really is the secret to my success and happiness.

I surround myself with the most wonderful people on the planet, we love to work together, we have fun every day, and it makes everything we do look fun (because it is). And that makes us all more productive and wonderful to be around.

My partners are the secret to my success. I trust my husband and could not--would not--do this career/these careers as well, as happily, as productively as I do if not for his support.

So there. I've said it. And next time I'm asked that question, I know the real answer and will share it. (But I'll probably still use the joke answer too. Just because everyone likes to laugh. I do. Every day. And that's a big "thank you" to Keith, as he's hilarious. Yes, really.)

Posted by bonnie at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)

September 9, 2008

November 2008 Cricket Feet Showcase Cast Announced!

Congratulations to our November 2008 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase CAST!

Note: This will be our last showcase of the three-showcases-per-year schedule. Starting in 2009, the Cricket Feet Showcase will take place only ONCE per year!! So, help us celebrate the end of YEAR TWO by welcoming the new cast!

Let's meet 'em, shall we?

Adeye Sahran
Adrian Gaeta
Ahmad Russ
Alissa Bica
Allyn Rachel
Anna Lane
Annette Reid
Barbara Suiter
Carey Linnell
Cassie Ramoska
Courtney Jones
Cristina Cimellaro
Edelyn Aubrey
Eitan Loewenstein
Elizabeth Straus
Erich Lane
Hunter Huston
Jacqueline Koppell
Jennifer Holloway
Jon Gale
Joy Walker
Julie Eastland
Kami Koren
Keith Johnson
Kelly Jenrette
Kim Stinger
Kristen Herbert
Lauren Dobbins Webb
Mallette Lamy
Marc McTizic
Miley Yamamoto
Noora Albright
Patrick Carlyle
Patrick McCullough
Paul Tigue
Rachel Kanouse
Rebecca Sigl
Rick Steadman
Ricky Faust
Roslyn Cohn
Stephen Twardokus
Tamika Simpkins

Links to actors' official actor profiles (with resumés, demo reels, and all that good stuff) will be coming soon at the CAST page of the Cricket Feet Showcase website. Congratulations, everyone! And THANK YOU to all of the amazing actors who auditioned for our November 2008 showcase.

See y'all at The Colony Theatre! You can RSVP now for November 5th or 6th. :)

LYMI,
-Bon.
(on behalf of Chil Kong, Eitan Loewenstein, Tamika Simpkins, and the whole showcase team)
MySpace.com/CricketFeetShowcase
Follow Bon on Twitter

Posted by bonnie at 9:57 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2008

Long Overdue Long Update

Phew! Okay, so.

I have been working on the edits for the 3rd edition of Self-Management for Actors since August began. I got my first seven chapters to proofers on August 4th. The book has 46 chapters. I continued to get chapters to my awesome proofers daily through the 15th and had all of their feedback by the 18th.

I've been entering changes and trying to cut content (the book was originally going to be 368 pages but looked like it would be 630+ pages as of the 15th) since then and--today--the 520-page *near-final* manuscript was FedExed to the final team of proofers who do the cover-to-cover read and get notes to me by the 29th.

And then this lovely book hits the printer on September 1st. And will be in stores everywhere by Thanksgiving (if not sooner).

Our international distributor tells us we've already sold 800 copies. Yay! But also: Oops. The book is now 150 pages longer than originally listed (and it's now also eight bucks more per book). Wow.

It was the last couple of days that were the most intense. I woke up at 6am Wednesday and said, "Today is the day I call failure on my SMFA3 goals." I just knew there was no way I would have everything ready in time. No way. But when I went to bed at 5am Thursday, I had logged in 22 hours of work on the book, 45 minutes nap time, and 10 minutes on Wii Fit.

I slept for four hours this morning and then finished up everything to have Keith take the manuscript to Kinko's to copy and then FedEx out. I was back in bed at 4pm and up at 7pm. So, my sleep patterns are wonky (and the heat works well with that... bleh) and now I'm feeling all buzzed and antsy. I've found that opening three weeks' worth of mail and paying a few bills has helped calm me down. Soon, I will listen to at least a week's worth of voicemails, as I've not even had the phone volume UP for at least that long. Book mode is serious focus, y'all.

In other news, the breakdown for the November 2008 Cricket Feet Showcase went out on Monday. Submission deadline is the 25th. Auditions will be held on September 8th. I'm so looking forward to meeting our new cast!! And to working with Chil and Eitan and Tamika and Keith again, as always.

I can't believe what a great couple of years it's been, doing this showcase. Just awesome.

I'm being interviewed by Spun Gold TV next week. This will mark my third televised UK interview in 18 months. First was for BBC Breakfast. Second was for UTV in Ireland. This is another London-based outfit and they're sending an actor to Hollywood and following her as she meets with people. Apparently, it is now known in the UK that I give good, "cheeky" TV in a very fun, biz-savvy manner. Cool. That'll help when we're ready to take the roadshow abroad.

News on that: We're going to try and do some LA-adjacent tours and speaking engagements in the last two months of 2008, and then we'll head to other cities and states (and countries?) in 2009. Very much looking forward to this. Haven't been on the road in a long time.

Saturday is my 20th high school reunion. I will not be there. Two main reasons: 1. August. 2. Atlanta.

I mean, c'mon! October, I could do. But Atlanta in August? Dunwoody Country Club in August? In formalwear? Really? Nah. I'll have more fun hearing the stories, I'm sure.

Let's see... what else?

The four-week class I was supposed to teach at the Hayworth got pushed to November.

I've lost 40 pounds since Christmas. (And five inches off my waist, thankyouverymuch.)

I get to hang out with the director of Another Harvest Moon next week and catch up on all the tales from the set and plans from here.

I can only imagine the tales will be outstanding (the ones I've already heard are hilarious and touching and inspiring).

And that the plans for this film are... big. I got chills looking through the photos at the website just now. Dear GAWD, this film is going to be amazing.

I still need to read a script that's been sent to me for a casting bid. It's a $2M thriller and looks good from quick skim of a couple of pages. (Honestly, I've been so busy with the book, there's been no time to do other stuff.)

I've learned I'm really good at compartmentalizing. (I mean, I knew that already, but it's become VERY clear with all of this work on the book this month.) When I go into book mode, I'm a machine. It has been nearly three years since I've had this experience, but it really is like riding a bike. It all comes back to you and hopefully you've given yourself enough empty road to not bump into anything at first.

As with the 2nd edition, I have both the HUGE worry that I've messed up whatever was good about the book by making changes to it AND the certainty that it might possibly be the best book for actors ever written.

This "sure you suck" and "sure you rock" simultaneous opinion is pretty tough to maintain, but somehow I find a way. ;)

Okay. Not sure what's next. So much got set aside in the past three weeks that I just need to start on something... but I also need to just CHILL. Perhaps I'll play computer solitaire for about five hours straight. That'll be fun. And maybe a walk to the beach when Keith gets home, just to remember what that's like. Oooh! Or a midnight trip to the gym. A good sweat in an over-air-conditioned facility might feel REALLY good right about now.

Or maybe I need to just sit here for a minute. :) Just be.

OH!!!!! HUGE thanks to the actor who sent me free passes to the Magic Castle (I've never been!!) and also to the actor who sent me half-off passes to Glen Ivy Hot Springs (I've definitely been!!) as encouragement for working so hard on the book. :) I love you guys. Also love my friends who made me take playdate breaks once a week or so while all of this was going on.

Man, I've got it so damn good it's just ridiculous.

I hope you can say the same, everyone. I've missed keeping up with you all. Catch me up! What's going on in your world?

XO

Posted by bonnie at 10:46 PM | Comments (7)

July 4, 2008

Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase

Not sure how long it'll take for this to show up, but I've just uploaded the amazing promo video created for the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase by Montage 3 Films.

Pretty flippin' badass, yeah? ;)

Let me hear from y'all.

*beams*

Posted by bonnie at 5:11 PM | Comments (5)

July 3, 2008

Cricket Feet Showcase! RSVP Now!!

Cricket Feet Casting ACTORS SHOWCASE
July 9th & 10th, 2008 -- 8pm -- FREE
The Colony Theatre, Burbank

produced by: Bonnie Gillespie
directed by: Chil Kong

presenting: Alyson Weaver || Annie Weirich || Beau Wilson || Britni Karst || Camille Bennett || Daniela Melgoza || Eitan Loewenstein || Elena Zaretsky || Ellen Etten || Gray Stevenson || Jennie Roberson || Jeremiah Peisert || Joel Johnstone || Jordan St. Jean || Keith Johnson || Kevin Kelly || Kimberly Demarse || Kirstin Benson || Laura Buckles || Lauren Dobbins Webb || Lony'e Perrine || Megan Greysmith || Michelle Ehrman || Michelle Flowers || Patrick Carlyle || Peter M. Karlin || Rick Segall || Rick Steadman || Shanna Micko || Tamika Simpkins || Tim Astor || Todd Johnson || Tracy Dillon || Vivian Gray || Xan Stevenson || Yoyao Hsueh

A fast-paced, professionally directed, comedic showcase of 36 carefully screened and appropriately cast actors in just over an hour.

Did we mention that we've chosen a location where *free* parking is a breeze? And that we're rolling out yummy munchies and adult beverages before *and* after the show? Awesome, right? Yeah. We thought so too.

Two chances to see it:
Wednesday, July 9th *and* Thursday, July 10th
8 pm -- FREE

The Colony Theatre
555 North Third Street
Burbank, CA 91502

directions/venue info: http://colonytheatre.org/directions.shtml

reservations/showcase info: http://cricketfeetshowcase.com

RSVP is a must!
To reserve your seats, click here --> http://cricketfeetshowcase.com/rsvp.html NOW! :)

Yay! See you soon! Thanks for the love.

Posted by bonnie at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2008

Inspired.

So, earlier this evening, I moderated a panel discussion for the SAG Foundation.

Now, I've done these before. I've interviewed one-on-one style for the Conversations DVD series (JoBeth Williams, Greg Grunberg, and Dixie Carter were favorites).

I've moderated many, many panel discussions with working actors, filmmakers, contracts experts, screenwriters, showrunners, even full-on celebs.

But this one was the most inspiring.

And that took me off-guard. Why? Because of the panelists. I'm not saying I didn't expect a lot from them. Usually, the panelists are well-spoken, confident, and endlessly entertaining as they speak candidly about their careers and their lives as performers.

But when your senior panelist is 18 and your youngest panelist is 12, well, you figure it's going to be fun and cute and silly and sometimes charming without meaning to be (like when one of the panelists commented on acting coaches who are "really just fluffers"... of course, she meant "people who fluff up your ego or stroke your self-esteem," but I heard a few parents in the audience chuckle).

And when, instead, it makes you believe that there's a real future for this industry when its kids are this brilliant, this grounded, this head-on-straight about both doing their jobs and the place their jobs occupy in the real world, I'd say that's a damn good couple of hours.

Kudos to Kay Panabaker, Zach Mills, Devon Gearhart, and Malcolm David Kelley. Y'all really rocked my world tonight. And hopefully the collective world of a room filled with future and current kid actors (and their parents) too.

Posted by bonnie at 11:36 PM | Comments (4)

June 11, 2008

Tonight, tonight!

Ah, I can't think of the last time I so NEEDED to spend time around approximately 40 brilliantly talented, wonderful, beautiful people as right now.

Tonight is the Cricket Feet Showcase "First Looks" (which is when we get to see what the actors have come up with on their own, before they work with the amazing Chil Kong to bring the comedy and brilliance to its fullest potential in each and every scene, in prep for our showcase next month.

It's not terribly formal. I mean, there's a plan. There's a system (of course. I'm involved; there has to be). But it's not a "show" as much as a "show and tell" and that's actually a lot of fun.

Followed by a production meeting over cocktails and then--for those actors in the cast who stick it out and socialize with one another during our production meeting a booth or two away--a true round of social drinks and chats and laughs (usually up 'til last call).

And considering that June 2008 has officially been the most craptastic of months ever (yep--another big scary "issue" yesterday--and this one is one I've been sworn to blog secrecy about. Dammit. Can't even lean on the Internets for specific support on this one), I just have to say that I am really, really, really, REALLY looking forward to seeing 36 brilliant, amazing, talented, funny, COOL people doing comedy for a few hours tonight.

And then the adult beverages. I'm looking forward to those too. But the people more. Right now, I really need these good people. Thank God I have them.

Posted by bonnie at 4:07 PM | Comments (1)

May 30, 2008

Well, that was cool!

So, this will be a long rambling story with a not nearly exciting enough punchline, but it's one of those great "feel goods" that we all need sometimes. So, here it is.

Back in 1999, I was still an actor. My fellow actor friends and I used to do karaoke every week (at least once a week, often twice) and every few months, we would even brave the Farmer's Market for their legendary, loud, large, all-day karaoke and booze-fest on a Saturday. So, on one Saturday we were there and so was TLC, casting for A Dating Story. Being actors, we had to figure out a way to get on that show (on ANY show) and so we decided that I was friends with two of these people and they didn't know one another and I wanted to set them up. Perfect. Me: the yenta. She: the hotty from down south. He: the good guy you really wanted to see win.

The truth: they had dated in college and I had only met him once. But whatevz! Who cared? It was only reality TV and we wanted some face time!

Cut to: The producer and crew from TLC are with us at Amy's apartment, shooting the setup segment. The producer is who we'll follow from here (because the rest of the story isn't relevant).

The producer and I stayed in touch for a little bit after that, but only a little bit, since I was no longer acting--so why would I need to stay in touch with a producer for TLC? But then I put out a breakdown at some point in either late 2005 or early 2006 (can't recall) and I got submissions from a new management company showing up on Breakdown Services and the manager's name was very familiar.

Ring! Ring!

Me: Casting!
He: Is this Bonnie Gillespie?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Is this the Bonnie Gillespie who was once an actress?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Well, this is the Kevin Kahn who was once a producer for TLC and Pie Town Productions.
Me: Holy shit! I just saw your name on Breakdowns.
He: Yup. And now I'm calling to pitch my clients.

And on from there.

So, we've formed a new relationship as CD/manager, which is very different than the actor/producer relationship, but still cool because obviously we go "way back," as they say. Kevin has pitched his awesome clients. I've seen 'em. They're good. He specializes in comedic people. Awesome. He comes to our first ever showcase. Loves it. Writes a great testimonial. Meets with people. All good.

But now I haven't heard from him in awhile. Weird. And then Tuesday night, Keith brings the mail from our Hollywood PO Box and there's a postcard advertising the April showcase that's come back undeliverable. To Kevin. Boo! He's no longer at that address and I've not kept up with him enough to know that. Bummer!

Cut to: yesterday, and I get an email from Kevin. Totally out of the blue. He's producing a package on casting and wants to know how the hell I do this crazy job. I reply that it takes a special balance of being crazy, tolerant, and totally incapable of taking too much too seriously while also behaving as though everything is so serious that it could cure cancer. By the way, I just got mail back from your old address, where the hell are you now? I have a new showcase coming up and you have to see these awesome people.

Turns out he's no longer managing talent, but is back to doing packaged stuff for TV. Cool. Here's the new address. Let's stay in touch. If you ever need anything, blah blah blah.

Ring! Ring!

(It's now today and the phone rings.)

Me: Casting!
He: Is this Bonnie Gillespie?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Is this the Bonnie Gillespie who was once an actress?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Well, this is the Kevin Kahn who was once a producer for TLC and Pie Town Productions.
Me: Well, hello there!
He: I have no time... I'm on the red carpet producing a package right now, but I had to call you.
SFX: Red carpet goings-on. Very exciting.
Me: Ooh!
He: So, there's this guy on the team next to me, the on-camera guy, and between interviews and stand-ups, he's reading this book. He finally takes a piss break and puts the book down, face down, and whose face is staring up at me from the back of this book? Yours! And it's your headshot from your acting days! He's reading this performing arts book between bullshit on the red carpet and it's YOURS. You're out there, baby. People are buying your book!
Me: And reading it! Yay!

Anyway, it goes on, but the point is, this was one of those very silly things that just reminds me how very silly, random, and AWESOME this whole business is.

Just. Like. That.

PS--The 3rd edition of this awesome book will be out in October. I swear it will be done.

Happy weekend, y'all. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 6:29 PM | Comments (4)

May 26, 2008

Congratulations to our July 2008 Showcase WRITERS!

As you may know, we now have an ongoing "call for comedic material" for the Cricket Feet Showcase.

Yay! We love that these rockstar writers want their material showcased, just as much as the actors want to be showcased doing great, comedic material!

(And, hey, if a talent agent in the showcase audience is inspired to go back to work the next day and tell the head of the literary department about this fantastic scene and amazing writer they should scoop up for their roster, that's not so bad, is it?)

So, THANK YOU to ALL who submitted material for the July 2008 Showcase. (Those scenes not selected will remain on our list for future showcase consideration.)

We're thrilled to announce the line-up of writers for this showcase (and THANK YOU for helping with the whole "meta-showcasing" experience)!

Aaron Pruner || Amy Heidish || Anna Campbell || Anna Christopher and Abby Miller || Annie Wood || Bonnie Gillespie || Bren Hill || Brooke Stone || Christina Bunner || Cole Stratton || Eitan Loewenstein || Jason Allen || Jennifer Betit Yen || Josh Peterson || Natalie Sutherland and Marcus McGee || Retta Sirleaf || Rick Segall

We hope you reap many benefits from the industry exposure you'll receive for having penned a great showcase scene (or two). Last showcase, we actually had a showrunner approach a writer at the networking/showcase afterparty about writing for his show! Your amazing words are now in the hands of our kickass cast and superstar director, Chil Kong. Hope you'll come check out the finished results in July!

Congratulations and, again, THANK YOU!!

LYMI,
--Bonnie Gillespie, cruise director
Cricket Feet Showcase --> July 9th and 10th (RSVP now!)
Showcase on MySpace

Posted by bonnie at 7:16 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2008

LA Film Racing

So, a few days ago, David Markland (of Metroblogging LA--now LA Metblogs--fame) asked me to be a judge for The Los Angeles Film Race. (Visit 'em on the MySpace too.)

Basically, it's a 24-hour filmmaking competition (and you KNOW how I love time-controlled artistic challenges, if you recall my column on the topic) taking place next month. Audiences will get the first votes, then we judges will have our say. (Yes. Of course I said yes. You know how I loved judging the Reel Actors Film Festival [another column].)

I'm joining Kent Nichols (Ask A Ninja, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!) and Sam Harper (Cheaper by the Dozen, Just Married, No Place Like Home). Other judges will be added soon.

David tells me that LA's top films will be judged against those in other cities and the winners receive cool stuff like AVID software and $2500 in cash. Registration is now open (with a $20 break in the per-team price if you click here).

So, cool! Looking forward to seeing your best work, y'all. :) And thanks, David. Glad to be a part of this cool thing.

Posted by bonnie at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2008

July Showcase Breakdown, Call for SCENES

Today, the breakdown for the July 2008 Cricket Feet Showcase went out on Actors Access. We've brought back Chil Kong to direct again (since he kicked so much ass with our April 2008 showcase) and we're back at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, which is simply stunning, as venues go. Hope to see a bunch of you in the mix (and, again, submit electronically and leave a NOTE... we love that). Auditions will be the week of 5/12 (submission deadline is 5/2). Showcase dates are 7/9 and 7/10. As always, tons more info at the Cricket Feet Showcase website. Thanks and break a leg!

Today, we also announce our official call for comedic SCENES for the Cricket Feet Showcase. The submission period is always open, but this is when we push for July-specific submissions (with a deadline of May 16th for this round). We are specifically seeking two-person comedic scenes that come in at around four minutes. We are not offering any pay at this point, but you do retain all rights to your original material and may feel free to sell and resell it to as many buyers as you can find! All submissions MUST be accompanied by the two-page scene info and writers' release (PDF) linked here. Material received after 5pm on 5/16/08 will be held for future showcase consideration. Thanks so much for your interest! We look forward to reading your work!

Thanks for the love and keep kickin' ass everyone!

Posted by bonnie at 2:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2008

Cricket Feet Showcase! RSVP Now!!

Cricket Feet Casting ACTORS SHOWCASE
April 16 & 17, 2008 - 8pm - FREE
The Colony Theatre, Burbank

produced by: Bonnie Gillespie
directed by: Chil Kong

presenting: Andrea Russell - Brooke Stone - Carey Linnell - Christina Blevins - Cole Stratton - Craig Pearman - Cristina Cimellaro - David Boyd - Doug Dezzani - Edelyn Aubrey - Eitan Loewenstein - Elena Muntean - Etta Devine - James Jolly - Jennifer Betit Yen - Jeremiah Peisert - Jonathan Strait - Julie Inmon - Karen Forman - Keith Johnson - Kimberly Demarse - Lauren Aboulafia - Lindsay Katai - Louie Millican - Marc McTizic - Mark Wood - Mary Passeri - Nia Jervier - Regina Palian - Renee Spei - Shawn Lockie - Sheila Daley - Shelley Delayne - Stacey Healey - Tamika Simpkins - Yoyao Hsueh

A fast-paced, professionally directed, comedic showcase of 36 carefully screened and appropriately cast actors in just over an hour.

Did we mention that we've chosen a location where free parking is a breeze? And that we're rolling out yummy munchies and adult beverages before and after the show? Awesome, right? Yeah. We thought so too.

Two chances to see it:
Wednesday, April 16 - Thursday, April 17
8 pm - FREE

The Colony Theatre
555 North Third Street
Burbank, CA 91502

directions/venue info: http://colonytheatre.org/directions.shtml

reservations/showcase info: http://cricketfeetshowcase.com

RSVP is a must!
To reserve your seats: http://cricketfeetshowcase.com/rsvp.html

Posted by bonnie at 1:40 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2008

I love college kids.

Two speaking engagements today. One at Pepperdine, the other at UCLA. I just love college kids. They really have fun and, perhaps more importantly, they have the whole world of their lives stretched out ahead of them, infinite choices and possibilities. Not a whole lot of crap piled up in the way.

And when I speak with them about acting and showbiz and this whole career thing, it reminds me that we all have the whole world of our lives stretched out ahead of us, infinite choices and possibilities.

Badass.

Posted by bonnie at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2008

April 2008 Cricket Feet Showcase Cast Announced!

Congratulations to our April 2008 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase CAST!

Let's meet 'em, shall we?


Andrea Russell



Brooke Stone



Carey Linnell



Christina Blevins



Cole Stratton



Craig Pearman



Cristina Cimellaro



David Boyd



Doug Dezzani



Edelyn Aubrey



Eitan Loewenstein



Elena Muntean



Etta Devine



Haskell Vaughn Anderson III



Jackie Joyner



James Jolly



Jennifer Betit Yen



Jeremiah Peisert



Jonathan Strait



Jordan Liddle



Julie Inmon



Karen Forman



Keith Johnson



Kimberly Demarse



Lauren Aboulafia



Leila Perry



Lindsay Katai



Louie Millican



Marc McTizic



Mark Wood



Mary Passeri



Nia Jervier



Regina Palian



Renée Spei



Shawn Lockie



Sheila Daley



Shelley Delayne



Stacey Healey



Tamika Simpkins



Tim Worley



Yoyao Hsueh

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 April showcase. We hope to work with you in the future!

See y'all at The Colony Theatre!

LYMI,
-Bon.
(on behalf of Chil Kong, Eitan Loewenstein and the whole showcase team)
MySpace.com/CricketFeetShowcase

Posted by bonnie at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2008

The Biz

Rockstar Beau Wilson invited me to join The Biz over at Variety.com, and I did it. So far, pretty cool.

Lemmeknow if you want an invite (not sure whether you can just sign yourself up for an account without an invite, so there's the offer if you want it/need it. Otherwise, just go sign up and I'll see ya' over there).

Here's my profile. :)

Posted by bonnie at 1:28 PM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2008

Introducing our April 2008 Showcase Director!

I am very excited to announce our new director for the April 2008 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase, Chil Kong! (I mean, c'mon, can you have a more badass name than that?!?)

Chil Kong (no, I don't think I'll ever be able to say his name without saying his WHOLE name) has served as the artistic director of Asia On Stage in Boston, the director in residence with the San Diego Asian American Theatre Company in San Diego, the artistic director of the North West Asian American Theatre Company in Seattle, and the co-artistic director of the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles. He has also directed the NBC Diversity Showcase, which is way damn cool for us.

Oh, and if you're thinking of submitting and haven't done so yet, you have 'til 5pm Friday the 8th. Here's the link to the breakdown. C'mon... what are you waiting for? Have you seen our new venue?

Um, hello! Colony Theatre, baby! Yeah!

Congrats, Chil (yay! I did it. First name only)! And huge thank you to all of the amazing director candidates who expressed interest, submitted, interviewed, and rocked our world. This was a really tough decision and we're so very pleased to have met so many awesome directors for our future showcase directing pool.

It is ON! :)

Posted by bonnie at 4:10 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2008

So

I tuned in for about six minutes (maybe five) of the 2008 Golden Globes thingy

(and if you know me, you know that the Golden Globes' ceremony is my all time favorite of ALL Hollywood award bullcrap that takes place each year. It brings TV and film together, it is festive, cable and broadcast, studio and indies, above and below the line folks hang out out party... it is good)

and my only thought, after consuming that 300 or so seconds of mediocrity was this:

"Oh my GAWD, this is exactly the way they were watching 'stuff' in that horrible future version of life as depicted in Back to the Future II. I'm pretty sure I saw the fake-old Michael J. Fox scanning this version of the Golden Globes on his big screen in his future sterile living room while 'now-real Michael J. Fox' watched from the closet."

So

The future is now. That's what I've learned.

Posted by bonnie at 1:56 AM | Comments (1)

January 3, 2008

Have You Met My New Boyfriend?

His name is Craig.

I love him. I adore him. I will replay his opening monologue on an endless loop and laugh with glee constantly.

Awesome.

Super-tight runner-up position goes to Dave. Next is Conan (assuming his "schtick" was designed to show how much he needs his writers). Then Jimmy. Then newly-anointed asshat Jay. Then reigning douchebag Carson, cleaning up the dung left behind by those who had at least a couple of weeks' more class.

That is all I have to say at 2am.

Posted by bonnie at 1:59 AM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2007

Why We Write: another must-read

I loved Greg Garcia's "Why We Write" essay (see where I posted about it here).

Well, now I see that Charlie Craig and Thania St. John have a dedicated site for these posts and I wanted to send you there for more wonderfulness. (Yes, that's totally a word.)

whywewrite.gif

Today's offering is by Steve Levitan (Just Shoot Me). Just awesome.

Again, I urge you to go. Read. Be inspired. Remember why we love these brilliant, creative people.

Posted by bonnie at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2007

My Heroes.

So, I did this thing over at the SAG Foundation with the cast of Heroes this weekend.

Clickee for biggiee.

Hee!

L-R:
Me: Having a total "dear diary" moment.

Noah: The most together, mature, brilliant person in the room. I love balanced kid-actors. They really should be more of a focus than the out-of-balance ones that get most of the press.

James: Of course, James and I have known each other forever, so it was really fun to catch up on all that's happened since we last saw each other (pre-Heroes).

Jack: I love this guy. He was great last time and this time too. Just so giving and wonderful and FUNNY.

Dana: She actually arrived before *I* did! Really sweet and happy to be playing someone older than 16 for the first time in her career.

Dania: Gorgeous. Like, stunningly, distractingly so. And so gracious and happy to be there. Lovely.

Sendhil: Sweet, quiet, enjoying the prep for arrival of his new baby (and taking a ribbing over the name choices he's considering).

Rachel: Fun SAG Foundation rep. Also having a good time. Always. ;)

Adrian: Wow. He's way hot. And political. I love that combination.

Masi: So nice and happy to be alive.

Milo: My new favorite person. Ever. Seriously, this guy is so "livin' it right" that I adore him that much more. Awesome.

David: Ah, you know I've tried to cast him three times now (and it almost took, one of those times). So, this was an especially fun meeting, filled with jokes and laughs and knuckle-touches. This guy is always on... and I love it!

Jesse: Rarely photographed and often under-appreciated Jesse of SAG Foundation. She and I have known each other for YEARS and she just rocks.

Not pictured:
Hayden: Wow. Talk about "head on straight." This girl is seriously smart, savvy, and a total pro. Great perspective and simply lovely.

Zach: Such a cutie! Like a little kid: wide-eyed and happy and filled with smiles. Love his storytelling too! Cute!

Not in attendance:
Greg: My fellow lefty-born-on-7/11 friend. He was awesome last time but woke up sick for this event. Boo!

Ali: We knew she wasn't coming prior to the day of, due to another professional commitment. Bummer. I'm a big fan.

Kristen: Another actor I've tried to cast before! She called in unavail the day of. We'll have to catch up later. ;)

Clickee for biggiee.

The most-repeated word in this blog post is HAPPY for a reason. This cast really, really, really is filled with love and gratitude and joy for the process and their place in it. You meet some casts and can feel the undercurrent of "not good." Not with these folks! That's a happy set, and I think THAT--as much as the brilliant writing and commitment to genuinely fine storytelling--is the recipe for the phenomenal level of success this show is finding.

Posted by bonnie at 11:18 PM | Comments (2)

December 2, 2007

The Actors Voice, 12/3/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.

===========

Rookie Orientation

For our first anniversary, my husband and I went to an amazing spa/resort place with his precious son (my precious stepson). (Don't worry. It was located near a really cool amusement park, and the boys had multi-day passes while I got wrapped in goo and rubbed and pampered for hours on end, each day bookended by family meals and activities.) When we checked in, we were made aware that our neighbors in the bungalow we'd rented were NFL players. More specifically, they were seasoned NFL players brought in to do talks and sessions during a week of "Rookie Orientation."

Now, I don't know about you, but I'd never heard of Rookie Orientation, and the idea of some NFL hero next door to us for a few days was endlessly amusing to me. Turns out, after players are recruited to NFL teams, they go through an intense process of being groomed for the non-field parts of their lives as pro ballplayers.

What a great idea! Before experiencing the first game of your first pro season, you train physically, of course. You study the playbooks. You learn about everything that will impact your time on the field. But before you do press, before you begin fielding offers from throngs of sponsors wanting to have you endorse their products, before you find yourself faced with adoring fans who have no limits to how much they'd like to express their worship for you, you have Rookie Orientation. I love it! Now, how can we create such a thing for the future pros in showbiz? And what should that Rookie Orientation include?

===========

Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn request for help on an upcoming series about kid actors at Showfax.com.

And!!

Be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV for a POV from demo reel editor Robert Campbell.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Woo hoo!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 9:51 PM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2007

I'm Huge in Ireland

So, this was a nice treat.

A couple of months back, I shot a segment with Gerry Kelly of UTV (that's Ulster Television, for those--like me--who don't really keep up with Irish television).

The "doing of it" was fun and funny and cute and I hoped the finished product would be too.

And it was. I just finished watching the DVD they sent and it is just so dang cute!

Click me and Gerry to watch a little snippet.

I love that Jackie Collins warns him not to trust anyone who says she wants to "do lunch" with you... and then I say, "We'll do lunch" to Gerry.

Love it. Love it, love it, love it.

The whole thing is just so cute. The hour includes bits with me--Bonnie Gillespie, y'all, Judy Kerr, Geraldine Hughes (who, in the smallest of small world senses, I cast in a play I directed seven years ago), Roma Downey, Lily Tomlin, Mary Kay Place, John Amos, and of course Gerry Kelly and Jackie Collins.

Kelly Goes to Hollywood Friday 9 November

Gerry heads off to Hollywood. At a time when everyone wants to be famous, Gerry decides to try his hand at making it as an actor in La-La land!

Along the way he attends an acting class and meets with a casting director to try and work out what type of character he could play.

Gerry also gets some top acting tips from a couple of Northern Irish actresses and a certain British born novelist who have all achieved huge success in America.

So, there you have it. 2007 included an appearance on BBC Breakfast (and I totally need to dig that DVD out. I was so busy when it arrived that I haven't even watched it, much less done any screen caps) and UTV's Kelly Goes to Hollywood. What fun!

Posted by bonnie at 1:29 PM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2007

The Actors Voice, 11/26/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.

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The Human Element

As I write this, I'm watching Cars on Thanksgiving morning. I've seen this movie at least three times before, yet I'm crying--again--because the car learned a lesson and took care of his friends, respected his elders, stayed true to his sponsors, and got the girl. Hang on. Let's get it straight. I'm crying because the artists who drew the cars and the actors who voiced the cars and the music supervisor who chose the particular sound that I would hear during the precise moment that the cars were drawn and voiced to elicit this emotional response got it right.

And I know how this works. I understand storytelling. I spend my days breaking down scripts, auditioning actors to interpret scripts, dealing with the negotiations required to attach actors to projects, and--when I'm not casting--demystifying the casting process for actors everywhere. So, why is it that I can--even while noting the inciting incident, a non-traditional casting choice, the transition into act two, the decision to edit a scene away from its originally-scripted destination, an actor's inflection on a particular word--fall for it and end up weeping?

Because storytelling is powerful. So powerful that we all love it, when it's done right. (And, seeing as we don't all agree on what makes "good" storytelling, we are lucky to have seemingly infinite choices and all find something satisfying to consume.) Here I am watching the end-credits roll. Hundreds upon hundreds of people brought this film together, and I believe they all contributed to the film's overall ability to move me. Ah, and then there's the Walt Disney card. And the Pixar card. And I'm thinking about the strike and how I'm supposed to be mad at The Man. How corporate greed is bad and the individual artist is good.

But The Man--with all its flaws--also employs creative artists. Hires individuals to bring our art to these "big" projects. And the reason there is art at such a large scale available to most occupants of this planet is because the suits at the corporations know there is money to be made in the mass production of stories. So, they commission our voices and we are suddenly able to reach a broader audience than with which we could connect on our own. But the bottom line remains: They need us. The world needs storytellers.

===========

Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn request for help on an upcoming series about kid actors at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Woo hoo!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 5:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2007

The Actors Voice, 11/12/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how today's The Actors Voice starts out.

===========

The Strike

I wasn't going to write about the strike. I really wanted to write about anything else. So much so that I had scribbled a list of a half-dozen perfectly good topics (and another dozen decent ones, perhaps three rockstar great ones too) and convinced myself that I would--that I could--write about anything other than the strike this week.

But when it came right down to it, I had to face the fact that I couldn't not write about the strike this week. Hell, it's been the better part of my blogging for the week. It's certainly been the focus of nearly every conversation I've had since Halloween. And reading about, discussing, viewing, participating in, and crying about the strike has become such a way of life this month that I guess I need to expect that spillover into my column was an inevitability.

I think the final nudge came in the form of an email I received this weekend, thanking me for my personal, emotional blog posts about the strike. I had already been receiving comments at both the "real" and MySpace version of my blog that were encouraging, then the Google Alerts started up, letting me know I was getting linked quite a bit lately. But the email thanking me for spelling out how very conflicted a hyphenate like me feels at a time like this caused me to realize that maybe this is a good column topic after all. Certainly, my wonderful readers must be feeling somewhat conflicted too, right?

===========

Continue reading this column shortly, along with a Your Turn follow-up on the "Jingle Singing" piece at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Woo hoo!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 2:08 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2007

Oh, and this...

As I picketed "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" today it occurred to me that Ellen was on strike longer for "Iggy the Dog" than she was for her own writers. -- Greg Fitzsimmons

Posted by bonnie at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

Virtual Picket Line

Walk the Virtual Picket line for the WGA

A lot of you have asked how you can help the WGA during the strike.

1) Inform yourself and your friends why the WGA is striking by sharing the video WGA: Why We Fight

2) Sign the petition. United Hollywood has created a Petition for you to be able to voice your support of the WGA! Go sign it, then pass the word around to everyone you know.

3) Change your profile picture into a virtual picket sign. This is going to take all of us showing support to critical mass.




1) Right Click on the image above.
2) Save to your desktop.
3) Upload the photo to MySpace
4) Make it your default picture on Monday.


And then send an email blast, a bulletin, announce in a blog/or post on your page that MySpace is going to illustrate the force of the internet by asking all those who support the WGA to please turn their profile page image into a virtual picket sign for the duration of the strike.

Imagine for just a second what a great visual it would be for studio execs and multi media congloms to see the images on the news in the papers... and on their computers of all those MySpace faces picketing in the virtual world in solidarity. Pretty darn powerful stuff, right?!

Various news outlets will be running stories on WGA members utilizing viral marketing techniques in the next several days. World News Tonight already featured such a story on Thursday evening.

Let's make the most of this future coverage!


The communities at Facebook will also be helping in this effort through the virtual horn honking application that is presently being programmed. They are also being asked to replace their pictures with picket signs!

The multi media congloms say the internet is experimental.
LET'S SHOW THEM JUST HOW EXPERIMENTAL IT IS!

Posted by bonnie at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

One of these days, I'll blog about something other than the strike.

But that day ain't today.

My goodness, it's just all that's on my mind when I show up to blog lately. And that's not to say that it's all that's on my mind in my daily life (HELLO--I received TWO feature film scripts within three hours of one another on Thursday. Time to write up more bids. Getting offers to cast films based on casts of previous films I've been able to bring together... and that's only gonna get more common, as these latest films hit the festival circuit or even *gulp* distribution). But even when I'm thinking about my potential and current casting gigs, I'm thinking about the strike because I'm thinking about the writers of this material... and how the hell do you cast anything, film anything, continue forward with anything when there are tens of thousands of people losing jobs right and left while the producers refuse to come back to the table and negotiate anything?

(And then of course I think about the concept that the producers don't want to negotiate anything right now because they're absolutely thrilled with the idea of letting the writers be the bad guys who shut down Hollywood right now, knowing that if the strike continues for months as it's predicted it will, they'll then come right up against DGA and SAG contract ends and, welp, let's let them strike too and make everyone living outside of Hollywood believe that creatives are a bunch of spoiled brats who don't care if you--the viewer--is subjected to an overdose of reruns and reality TV.)

*sigh*

Just hurts my heart.

And I feel worst for people like my friends on shows that are heavily improvised or at least punched up on the spot (which is anything comedic, basically) because even if they can continue to "honor their contract" as actors by showing up for work, they can't "do their jobs" because if they change a word, they've crossed a picket line for the part of themselves that wears the writer hat.

As a hyphenate, I feel bad for these friends.

And as an observer, I have to say I'm learning a fuckload about character. There are those who will say it's business as usual because dammit, they need to pay their rent, and then there are those who have enormous balls and get themselves fired from their non-union jobs because they want to stand alongside their writer coworkers. I'm a non-union worker from a union family (ask me about my grandfather's federal imprisonment for blowing up powerlines in protest of union busting activity in the copper mines of Tennessee someday--yes, I'm a descendant of a member of The Ducktown 8) and most of my friends in casting--most of them, Teamsters--have had to move away from their regular offices so that actors can come audition without crossing picket lines. I, of course, am married to a SAG member and was not accepted into the CSA when I applied two years ago. And I earn a good living as... a writer.

How conflicted can ya get, right?

But I'm not conflicted. I support this strike.

This strike cut into our showcase attendance (yet we still packed the house each of FOUR performance nights) because agents and managers can't really "shop" for new clients when they can't be sure there's anything on which to send out their current roster. Casting offices are closing up because there are no new scripts to shoot, but why would a CD want to go out and scout when she's trying to figure out how she's gonna meet her staff's payroll next week? Unsure of when she'll be hired to come back and cast the rest of the season?

Ah. I'm so over writing about this because it's all just so frustrating. And others say it so much better, elsewhere. Watch the videos. Read the posts. Read the least producer-funded strike coverage. Join the MySpace. Sign the petition (I'm number 1841, y'all). Walk the line with your fellow creatives and feel that powerful surge of solidarity intersecting with that desperate fear of "How long will this last?" to really get it.

The showcase was outstanding. I have a LOT to blog about the showcase (this whole year of showcasing) here before too long, but not tonight. I also need to blog about our nonaversary, the third edition of Self-Management for Actors, and the next half-dozen films I'm casting.

I can't believe it's November. I can't believe it's double-digits in November already. Good lord, this year... and thank god, y'know? Those of y'nz who follow numerology will enjoy knowing I'm in my "9 year" and that means endings, closing off things, weeding out what's not working to launch into the next nine year cycle with a new perspective and focus. Hell, these past nine years? Wow. Just wow. I had The Age 28 Epiphany, sold everything I owned on eBay, dropped out of my PhD program, and moved to LA to give acting "one last try." That "one last try" lasted 18 months and then Mom was dying and I was writing for a living. "My daughter, the writer," finally came true for her. And I never went back to acting, after having gone home to help her pass away in peace.

That's another blog post for another day.

Tonight, I'm sipping the Bailey's the wonderful showcase cast presented me with last night. It's sweet and warm as it goes down and I guess I need that hug from the inside right now.

When darkness turns to light
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Just a little insight won't make this right
It’s too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends when darkness turns to light
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Just a little insight won't make this right
It’s too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Tonight,
When darkness turns to light,
It ends tonight.

PS--Not trying to be cryptic or deep, this is just the song that's on my mind right now.

Posted by bonnie at 3:15 AM | Comments (1)

November 8, 2007

My Nightly Routine

It's quite simple.

Sunday: Showcase dress/tech and preview performance. Come home, read up on the strike, cry.

Monday: Tisch Arts West monologue slam. Come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, cry.

Tuesday: Showcase opening night. Come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, cry.

Wednesday: Showcase. Come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, cry.

And tonight we'll close the showcase. I'll come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, and cry.

I can't not cry.

I watch this footage, I read this coverage, and no matter how funny those writers are, no matter how much solidarity I see among actors and writers and show runners, no matter how much pride swells up in me when I see people fighting for something so damn simple as a tiny percentage of profits (so no one is being asked to give up a slice of something without that "something" already equaling a healthy studio and network paycheck), I am left feeling so very sad for how long I fear this thing is going to last.

I hear that outside of Hollywood this is being spun in such an ugly way. Writers are selfish. Writers don't care about their audiences. Writers are greedy.

Dear GAWD, with as much time as I've spent around creative, brilliant people in the past few days alone, I can assure you that writers want to write. We want to create. We love to create. We absolutely would do it for free (and usually do) simply for the joy of it all.

So, the fact that members of the WGA want to protect themselves and future WGA members by having protections put in place for new media that were skimped upon during negotiations for video delivery systems 20 years ago (because it was all "too new" and producers "needed every advantage" to help VHS and then DVD technology launch without being "hobbled" by paying pennies to writers on each sale or rental) to such a great extent that they'll NOT WRITE right now should tell you something.

This is a big deal.

Oh, and starting Friday my schedule will change. The showcase will be over and Keith and I will join the picket lines.

It's just the right thing to do.

Maybe I'll feel less like crying, being out there "doing something." Because right now, even with all of the amazingly brilliant creativity swirling around me each day, I feel completely powerless over what's happening in Hollywood. Two filmmakers for whom I'm casting feature films were at the showcase and our conversations turned to rewrites and new shoot dates. Even casting has to stop when scripts are in limbo. (At least when the filmmakers are also writers... and they wouldn't dare shoot a frame without the ability to tweak a line during the filming process. And since that's the kind of filmmaker with whom I work, well, you get the picture.)

I guess my optimism was short-lived.

Posted by bonnie at 4:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2007

The Strike Is Where You Pick-It

Goodness at the emotions that have flown all over me in the past few days! Just... goodness.

There's the showcase. Which is beautiful. Beautiful actors. Beautiful scenes. Beautiful experience. Again. And that's just based on the rockstar, standing-room-only preview. Goodness, what a delightful ride producing a showcase has been!

There's the feature film casting job on which I passed. Eesh. That's a toughie. I want to work; of course. But I want to work on projects about which I am passionate (and, if I'm not passionate about 'em, I'd better damn well be getting paid well enough to make it balance out somehow).

There's the strike. Oy, there's the strike. And as a working writer who has never been eligible to join the WGA (but who certainly hopes to do so, someday), I am both relieved and distressed. I want to believe there can be a quick resolution to this work stoppage. I want to believe the producers will relent, will walk toward the writers in the same way the writers were walking toward the producers by late Sunday night. But I also know that these are the same people who would have you think that no movie has ever made back its investment ever, thereby never requiring a full payout of back-end to talent who agreed to work for low-budget scale plus points.

Then there's the amazing small-group collectives like Naked Angels' Tuesdays @9 and Tisch Actors' West Monologue Slam. There are groups of writers and actors coming together to produce something--anything--because they simply must do so. It feeds their souls. It feeds mine too.

That makes me forget about the new wave of Bonnie-haters in this town (and yes, if I shared with you some of the Bon-Backlash that's out there now, many of you would prickle like Keith does when he wants to beat someone to within an inch of his life--and you know he could and would if I would let him--and you would be very protective of me. And I appreciate that. But it's exactly what this year has been about, in large part: Going from A Mom and Pop Shop to A Serious Force comes with both loads of good and a bit of bad. Haters are coming out of the woodwork. And they're good at what they do. Luckily... so am I. Even luckier, I am not afuckingfraid. Not even a little bit. Bring it, bitches. I'll go chest-out to you any day. And my tits are damn fine).

If I let my emotions run my life, I'd be all over the map these past few weeks. Instead, I've been doing a lot of observing (hence the lack of blogging). My rockstar intern left here Sunday night--after a conversation in which I revealed the reason I couldn't make eye contact with her was because it would make me cry--and said, "Blog, okay?"

So here it is.

The blog post in which I say that I am at once proud, aware that I'm growing, filled with complex and conflicting professional and personal emotions, inspired and motivated, and so completely ready to kick ass that I wish I had more feet.

Posted by bonnie at 1:39 AM | Comments (4)

November 1, 2007

Call Me a Cockeyed Optimist

I really thought we could make it through. No WGA strike. No work stoppage in Hollywood. I had hope. I had optimism. I had delusions.

Man. What a bummer!

Here are some really good predictions and tips for actors from Jack at ActorSite:

Thriving During Chaos... a primer...

It looks like the WGA will be going on strike as soon as next Monday, November 5.

Here's what it means for you:

Commercials won't be affected, so PUSH FOR MORE COMMERCIAL WORK!

Voiceovers won't be affected so PUSH FOR MORE VOICE OVER WORK!

Feature films will be less affected so PUSH FOR MORE FEATURE FILM WORK! There are over 500 completed scripts for films that must be finished by April 30 or so, so post-production can be completed by June 30, when the SAG contract expires.

Pilots are less likely to be affected, depending on whether it is half-hour or hour. Most pilot scripts have already been written and there are about 25 pilots out there now for an early pilot season. FOCUS ON auditioning and BOOKING A PILOT! It's great for your career!

TV drama is unlikely to be affected for about two to six weeks, so KEEP PUSHING for bookings on TV DRAMA shows. This will vary from show to show. Most have one to five scripts already written, so they will continue filming until they run out of scripts.

TV comedy is the most likely to be immediately affected! Comedies need tweaking on a daily basis and comedy shows may shut down first.

I've already addressed how you can help the WGA during this work stoppage. In other words, If you book a role, then arrive early and walk the picket line to show your support before you honor your booking contract and go to work!


I don't know about you, but I'm going to remain optimistic.

Got a call from a pretty big deal production company wanting to talk with me about casting some of their next films. (Yes, that's on top of the now NINE feature film scripts I've yet to get back to anyone about, with bids. Between that backlog and my goal to get Self-Management for Actors, 3rd ed. started, I would kind of like things to slow down a little bit in Hollywood.)

But I don't see that happening. Everyone likes to work. That's for damn sure.

Posted by bonnie at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2007

Cricket Feet Showcase: RSVP now!

Hello *Industry Friends who read the BonBlogs!

We'd love to see you at the third 2007 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase next week. To meet the cast and download a PDF of the invitation, go here and then click CAST.

Here are the basics:

The Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase
produced by: Bonnie Gillespie
directed by: Annie Wood

presenting:
Alex Collins || Alexandria Fierz || Amy Crofoot || Anna Campbell || Anoush Nevart || Beau Wilson || Christopher Haro || Constance Hsu || Courtney Andresen || Darren Meekin || Eitan Loewenstein || Eli Bildner || Ernest Monroe || Ethan Flower || Etta Devine || Gabriel Diani || Glenn Keogh || Jenna West || Jennifer Boarini || Jim Gleason || Katie Swain || Keith Johnson || Kimberly Crandall || Matthew J. Cates || Megan Hollingshead || Michael Proctor || Pamela Newlands || Paul Vroom || Sheila Daley || Shelley Delayne || Stephen Pollak || Tamika Simpkins || Tim Astor || Victor Fischbarg

A fast-paced, professionally directed, comedic showcase of 34 carefully screened and appropriately cast actors in just over an hour.

Free show.
Free food and drinks before *and* after the show.
Free industry kit with DVD compilation of the actors' demo reels.
Free industry parking.

Last chance to see us in Santa Monica before we move to our 2008 location (bigger, better, Burbank-ier)!

You have THREE dates to choose from:

Tuesday, November 6th
Wednesday, November 7th
Thursday, November 8th

All shows begin promptly at 8pm! :) Seriously. We're prompt. :) And funny.

Promenade Playhouse
1404-8 3rd Street Promenade,
Santa Monica, CA 90401

directions/venue info: http://promenadeplayhouse.com
reservations/showcase info: http://cricketfeetshowcase.com

Please RSVP using the handy form at our website. Thanks!

Thanks, as always, for your support! Add the Cricket Feet Showcase as your MySpace friend!

Cheers,
--
Bonnie Gillespie
Cricket Feet Casting

* Industry = someone who can lead (directly) to a job for our showcase cast. That means a director, producer, casting staff, agent, manager, or other VERIFIABLE professional in the industry. Non-industry = someone who has maybe cast one thing, but it was a short film starring himself. Someone who has maybe directed one thing, but it was a play starring herself. Intern in a casting office whose career track is "working actor," not "future CD." Basically, we love the hyphenates, we love the people who are out there doing it for themselves, but unless their butts in the seats = more opportunities for our cast, they're not likely to be let in as industry.

Bottom line, we're not gonna turn away the head of theatrical at Buchwald because some actor friend who randomly shot a self-starring video that went viral on YouTube wants to sit in his seat. Right? Right.

Y'all can still come, just be prepared to do so on a stand-by (or stand-up) basis. K? Thanks!

Posted by bonnie at 4:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2007

The Actors Voice, 10/15/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how today's The Actors Voice starts out.

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Life as a Series Regular

Last week's Your Turn kicked off with the following email from a reader:

The question I have found myself wondering about lately is what the actual day-to-day life of an actor who is a star or series regular on a television show is like. We hear so much all the time about what life is like while chasing work but what about once you have gotten a really great job? I know it is hard to generalize because no two jobs are the same and each show is different, each role is different, each actor is different, but is there any way to get a good sense of what a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly schedule is like?

Well, just like we did with the popular On the Set column, I'm turning things over to the experts in this area: some of the most amazing actors I know--all of whom were willing to take the time to share a bit about what the series regular life is like. In addition to acknowledging the expertise from a few anonymously-participating network and cable series regulars, I need to extend a huge thanks to Twink Caplan (Clueless), Bob Clendenin (10 Items or Less), Sean Hankinson (Prom Queen), Valery M. Ortiz (South of Nowhere), Brian Palermo (Thank God You're Here), Anna Vocino (Free Radio), and Victor Williams (The King of Queens). Also, I'm ever grateful to Lindsay Hollister and Kathryn Joosten, whose contributions on regularly working in support of the series regulars rounds out this week's Your Turn. All of you, THANKS for bringing together such a wonderful collection of first-hand information and practical advice for actors everywhere!

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Continue reading this column NOW at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

And!!

Be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV for the third POV in a four-part series from Prague-based CD, Nancy Bishop.

Woo hoo!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 12:57 AM | Comments (0)

September 9, 2007

The Actors Voice, 9/10/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.

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Suzanne and the Football Players

My old high school is now a Performing Arts Magnet School. Let's just say that wasn't the case back in the '80s. In fact, when I arrived at North Springs High School as a sub-freshman ("subbie," 8th grader, y'all), there was no drama club. It (along with other non-sports-related extra-curricular activities) had been cut. But there was chorus, if you were into performing. (No, I have no idea what the folks who couldn't sing well were supposed to do. Debate team, maybe?) Anyway, by the time I graduated from North Springs, there was a thriving drama club with loads of young actors being tapped for the Governor's Honors Program and headed off to top-ranked performing arts programs at kick-ass colleges. But that's not what this column is about.

It's about a girl named Suzanne (and, oh, for the life of me, I wish I remembered her last name) and a show we did in the spring of 1986 called "Music Through the Ages." (Note: that may not be what the show was actually called. It was 21 years ago, for cryin' out loud. I'm lucky I even remember that we did this show, which may have been called "Memories" or "Musical Memories" or "Timeless Music" or something similarly clichéd. Point is, it was a musical theatre piece wherein we each were cast in two or three "decades" of music, and a very non-musical trip to the attic with grandma was the story that wove together all of these decades of music, which those of us who could carry a tune presented between each "discovery" in the attic's boxes.)

In case you are wondering, I was cast as one of the Andrews Sisters, Karen Carpenter, and Cyndi Lauper. Yeah. I had it pretty dang good. Suzanne--a lovely musician who could sing well but would only ever really be in the chorus--scored supporting roles in the backup singers' area for the Beatles medley and the Beach Boys medley, as well as a nice little backup portion for the grand finale ("We Are the World"). As did the football players who signed up for "general chorus" to get an easy A. Suzanne, who took her music very seriously, was not amused by this casting. She was actually quite pissed off. "They don't even CARE! Why are they doing this? Why is Ms. Simpson giving them these parts?!?"

===========

Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn filled with MORE reactions to last month's Issues of Race piece at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

PS--Just got home from seeing SuperBad. Eh. Can someone explain what all the hype's about?

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 7:05 PM | Comments (1)

August 23, 2007

Hee! Good day!

Okay, so, a good day. A very, very good day.

I start out by calling back the man I hope will be my new agent. He is so awesome. Asks if I want to do lunch, stop by his office, or run off to Vegas for our meeting next week. I choose option B, as his office is on the way to SAG, where I will be hosting another 200 audience member talk about resumés and online casting for iActor (SAG's new thingy). I figure: bonus. He can come along if he'd like to see me doing that public speaking thing.

(I am seriously simultaneously freaked out and thrilled at the idea of having an agent again for the first time in... er... something like seven years. Yeah. I loved the serendipity that was signing with an agent over Thanksgiving dinner, 1999, and then was sad to make the call to her that I was leaving "the acting thing" behind after having spent a quarter-life making it "the only thing." But, MAN, have I *never* regretted retiring from acting. Not ONCE.)

Anyway, as I laid out five--yes five--new scripts, outlines, and treatments to begin the "review process" (meaning, I gotsta decide if I'm even writing up a BID to cast these things--and then I have to figure out what that bid might be), I thought, "How cool is it going to be to just change out the Producer Query Form on the Cricket Feet Casting website and have it say, 'for inquiries about Bonnie Gillespie's casting services, please contact Mr. Superagent at blah-blah-blah.' And then know, when the script comes over from HIM, that the deal memo has already been put together and all I have to do is cast the damn thing? So cool. That's how cool."

But, hey, if he's not the ONE, that's okay too. I now know I have the kind of self-pitch email and relationships with agents at the "right level" for me that I can go right back out and tap the next one 'til I'm in a gooooood partnership with someone who's gonna rock for me (and in whose pocket I'll put loads of commission dollars).

Anyway. It's a good day.

In fact, I got a cool little ego boost by checking out the Mayor Sam blog today. Seems that Joseph Mailander was in the house last night (the house being Tangier) for the little LA Bloggers Live event.

Here's part of what he had to say:

I went to a blogger reading last night at Tangier and listened to some younger and largely distaff LA voices read narratives about themselves. (A highlight for me was Bonnie Gillespie, who has a comedienne's timing.)

Well, YAY! (Distaff, yes. Younger? Ooh, thanks! And with the timing? Well, now, I may just have to kiss you! *giggle* *blush* *curtsy*)

You KNOW I love the good reviews! Hee!

tnLABloggersLive.jpg
Click it to big it.

Anyway, wanted to take a moment to also upload the program from last night. Especially because it not only features my favorite ex-boyfriend's Spy Notebook, but also his favorite anagram of my name. Hee! Thanks for getting me set up to blog, Chip! Yay!

And thank you, Leah, for letting me join in the fun. Huge thanks to Colleen for the ever-present support and love.

Bonus shout-out to my rockstar intern Julie because, well, sometimes chocolate isn't enough. {{hugs}}

Oh, and thank you, LA weather. I'm chilly cold. And that's yummy fun! Whee!

Posted by bonnie at 8:57 PM | Comments (1)

August 22, 2007

Big Yeah OMG

Yeah.

Wow.

Where do I begin?

So I did something REALLY brave today before I left the house to do something else pretty brave. (Yes, when you do something REALLY brave, suddenly the other thing you *thought* was really brave becomes only PRETTY brave, and OMG, they're all still really freakin' big deals and, um, yeah... YEAH.)

I come home.

Basking in the afterglow of the pretty brave thing (which went well. Some would say it went better than well. Whatevz. It went. I'm glad I did it. I'll make Keith upload my seven minutes at The Comedy Store and everyone will enjoy the time I really went balls out).

Anyway...

Home.

Play messages. Check the caller ID to see (before messages start playing) who they're from.

Um... wow... is this really the ID I'm seeing?

No. Couldn't be. I like seriously JUST did the brave thing like HOURS before leaving the house. And I talked the whole way out about how it'll feel to get to the: "there's no reply gonna happen here, move on" stage in a week. And... um... there's a reply.

And it's not just a reply.

It's a, "Um, hi. You are a STAR, baby!" kind of reply (and I know that reads way smarmy, but, that's pretty much EXACTLY what he said... and it's soooooooo HIM!!!!!!!! OMG... do I now have an agent?!?

Really??????????

Um... so I guess casting directors need to be repped at some point too. And when they reach out to their, um, dream agent, and say, "Hey, what do you think?" and are met with a, "I think LET'S TALK" reply... um... that's a damn good day.

So, yay.

Moral of the story: See something that scares the bejeezus out of you and DO IT. And then do it again. Bigger. And then MOVE ON.

It WORKS.

That is all.

Posted by bonnie at 11:56 PM | Comments (1)

August 1, 2007

Showcase News: Director HIRED, Call for SCENES!

It is with great yippee-filled glee that I announce our November 2007 showcase DIRECTOR, the inimitable rockstar hyphenate: Annie Wood!

annie3.jpg

Annie Wood is an actor/writer/director who co-founded the theatre company Actorworks, directed her play Hiatus (while on hiatus from BZZZ! -- the WB TV game show she hosted and co-produced), and founded DoGoodStuff.org. Go show her some love, wouldja?

aananim.gif

Also, our official CALL FOR COMEDIC SCENES is open!

In April 2007, the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase launched with a cast of 35 actors in 17 comedic scenes. Representatives from agencies, management firms, and casting offices filled the Promenade Playhouse for three nights of fast-paced laughs (and dinner and drinks too)!

For our July 2007 showcase, we decided we wanted to use all original material rather than the combination of original and road-tested comedic scenes we produced our first time out. This turned out to be not only a huge success but also a wonderful opportunity for our writers—whose talents were showcased right along with our 32 fabulous actors' comedic skills!

So, we're doing it again for our November 2007 showcase! And this is our official call for comedic writers to submit original material. Yippee! We are specifically seeking two-person comedic scenes that come in at around four minutes. We are not offering any pay at this point, but you do retain all rights to your original material and may feel free to sell and resell it to as many buyers as you can find! (Meanwhile, if you do happen to hear from a literary agent or other cool industry contact who saw your work at our showcase, we do hope you'll let us know, so we can celebrate with you!)

Please note: All submissions MUST be accompanied by the two-page scene info and writers' release (PDF) linked here. DEADLINE for scene submissions for the November 2007 showcase production term is 5pm, Friday, AUGUST 31, 2007. Material received after that date will be held for future showcase consideration.

Thanks so much for your interest! We look forward to reading your work!

Posted by bonnie at 1:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2007

The Actors Voice, 7/30/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.

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The Big Lies

Well, this always makes me nervous but it also almost always turns out to be a good decision. My column was 80% finished and then I came up with a new idea... so I tossed out the old column (don't worry, it'll get finished up and used later, I'm sure) and here I am with loads of enthusiasm and very little time to churn out a piece about Hollywood's biggest lies. No, I'm not talking about the ones like: Sylvester Stallone is 5' 10" or Joe Pytka is a pussycat or Lindsay Lohan's rehab is working. I'm talking about the lies actors are told every day as they pursue their dreams.

Well, call me The Myth Buster, because I'm goin' in. And I'm taking no prisoners.

===========

Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn about whether an actor should terminate her contract with a manager before it's too late at Showfax.com.

And!!

Be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV on Wednesday for a POV from a Sacramento-based casting director.

Woo hoo!

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 5:33 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2007

Good LORD, this is COOL!

We currently have 273 RSVPs for three nights of the Cricket Feet Showcase. Last night, we had to email 92 people to let them know there's little chance they'll get seated.

Why? Well the theatre seats 66. AND 181 OF OUR RSVPS ARE FROM FULL-ON INDUSTRY. (Even William Morris, y'all.) And, if last time was any indication, we'll have MORE RSVPs for Thursday come in tomorrow because folks who saw the show tonight will go to work and talk about it...

Sheesh, I am sooooooooooo excited! Yippee!

Gotta go. Still tons to do. I'm just way way way happy. Holy cow!! Six months ago, producing a showcase was just a DREAM!

Posted by bonnie at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)

July 8, 2007

The Actors Voice, 7/9/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how this week's The Actors Voice starts out.

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The First Thing an Actor Should Do in LA

Over the course of the next few months, I'm going to be bringing some of the chapters from my first book--Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews--here to The Actors Voice. Why? Well, it's a sad time for Casting Qs. It's going out of print. Yup. We did a lot of research before deciding to not create a second edition of my first baby and came to the conclusion that the amount of work required to get its existing interviews updated--not to mention interviewing the new generation of working casting directors in order to really create as useful a book as we'd want the second edition to be--was simply not do-able for me anymore.

Why? Well, when I conducted the interviews for the first edition, I did so as the casting columnist for Back Stage West. It was my job to meet with a different CD each week and compile these interviews to run in the paper over the course of several years. I wasn't yet a casting director. I didn't have a busy calendar of speaking engagements. I hadn't authored several books. I wasn't producing showcases. To publish a book filled with CD interviews when I'd been collecting these columns each week wasn't a tough start-up, really. To update the existing interviews (some of which are as much as seven years old, now) and conduct new interviews, I would have to--for no pay--return to an interviewer lifestyle and stop casting, producing, and speaking, as well as ceasing to write this weekly column, The Actors Voice: POV, and my next book.

Frankly, going back to the interviewer lifestyle while leaving behind the very cool stuff I love doing every day just doesn't seem like much fun to me. I'd rather help get casting directors to share their thoughts with you as contributors of POV, as guests at my various speaking engagements, even as co-hosts of my various podcast and web-based TV projects that are currently in development. Am I sad that there will be no more Casting Qs for folks to buy in stores or browse at libraries? Yes. Very. I'm especially sad because it has become a required textbook at many colleges and universities, and that's the kind of thing that I know would've made my mother so very, very proud. And maybe there will be a time when I can take an unpaid three months off from everything else and go around collecting new interviews and publish a new version of Casting Qs. Until then, I'm going to do what I can to bring some of the content over here, to The Actors Voice, so you will be able to search out and read the information when you no longer have the option of getting the book.

Thank you all for indulging me! We're going to start out with a revamped version of The First Thing an Actor Should Do in LA--a chapter in which 15 casting directors originally participated, a few years back. I've added in content from other previous casting director interviews to really round this piece out. So, the eight key ingredients to success in this market are: Stay Focused, Be Prepared, Get Training, Have Great Headshots, Work a Survival Job, Do Theatre, Find Good Representation, and Network. Let's get to it!

===========

Continue reading this column, along with a Your Turn follow-up on last week's piece at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 10:37 PM | Comments (2)

June 24, 2007

The Actors Voice, 6/25/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.

===========

Authenticity vs. Type

Last week, I touched on the whole "authenticity vs. type" dilemma that many actors face. You hear so much about the importance of knowing your primary type and marketing yourself accordingly that you might lose sight of the fact that what we're actually asking that you do is really simple: Know who you are and get on our radar as exactly that essence. That way, when we need your type, we know who to call.

Everything you put out there should "sell" your primary type. When we started Cricket Feet, Inc., five years ago, we created a little "placeholder" logo that didn't really mean anything, just so we would have something. This year, we decided that it was time to hire a graphic designer to create our "real" corporate image. I am so freakin' excited to roll it out next month that I'm beside myself! But coming up with that image required money, time, and research into what our "brand" is. What we did is what I'd advise you do (and try not to wait 'til your fifth anniversary as a business to do it).

Ask yourself, "What am I?" Write your own breakdown. You know how those go, right? They're about 20 words in which a character's essence is described. This is not the time to think about all of the many flavors you can bring to any role. This is the time to get very specific. What is your brand? What are you selling? Once you know the answers to these questions, it becomes rather simple to make sure that your marketing materials fall in line with your business plan, with your mission statement as a provider of a service. I'm talking about getting your website, headshot, resumé, postcards, business cards, even the font that you use on these items all in line with that brand you've decided on.

===========

Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn about whether an ex-agent could blacklist a former client at Showfax.com.

Woo hoo!

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 7:27 PM | Comments (1)

June 17, 2007

The Actors Voice, 6/18/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.

===========

We're All Fans

Let's talk about Paul Potts. In just under a week, he went from shy sales rep at Carphone Warehouse to opera-singing superstar winner of Britain's Got Talent. On message boards and in blog entries worldwide, this inspiring underdog story has brought people to tears and created opera-lovers out of previously Top 40-only types. Even when the news hit that this "non pro" had actually spent years performing with the Bath Opera and had even studied under Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Potts still had our hearts, as everyone loves a success story.

When I first saw Paul's audition footage, I cried. Having worked in reality TV casting, though, I also wondered how much of the timing (this clear winner of a candidate being brought into the mix in the absolute last possible slot prior to finals) had to do with the producers' need to create buzz (check: at the international level, even), to form a feel-good story (check: Average Joe has a voice like an angel), or to prevent the "real" story from hitting before votes could be counted (check: he won the show, and the story hit). I got mad at myself for being such a cynic. "Just enjoy the performance, Bon," I said to myself. And enjoy, I did, as Paul continued to advance through the process.

Funny thing is, even after learning more about his professional training and experience, my enjoyment of his story--my enjoyment of his performances--did NOT diminish. Sure, I was disappointed in the reality show culture for its seemingly insatiable need to dupe its fans (even when authenticity is often good enough material to score viewers), but I still really enjoyed listening to Paul Potts sing. And that's what makes this issue a good column for actors: When it comes right down to it, we are all fans. We all love a good show. And that simple truth should empower you to nail every audition you get!

===========

Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn about billing at Showfax.com.

Woo hoo!

Also, if you haven't already done so this weekend, be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV for an amazing POV from indie film producer Brendan Davis.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Cheers,
-Bon.
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 9:58 PM | Comments (3)

May 2, 2007

Cricket Feet Casting: Actors Showcase

Hey everyone,

I'm really excited! After a great inaugural showcase last month, we are now producing the second version of the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase under the direction of Emmy Award-winning director Anna Christopher!

The breakdown was just released on Actors Access and we're accepting submissions through 5/18/07.

Auditions will take place the week of 5/29 and the showcase dates are 7/24, 7/25, and 7/26 at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. PLEASE visit CricketFeetShowcase.com 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! Woo!

Cheers,
Bonnie Gillespie, cruise director
Add the Cricket Feet Showcase on MySpace!

Posted by bonnie at 6:23 PM | Comments (1)

April 29, 2007

Our First Showcase (Some Photos)

So, we've put on our first showcase.

We did Self-Management for Actors in the park, to make sure everyone's marketing materials were up to snuff.




We had rehearsal at the illustrious director Richard Tatum's place.




Dress/Tech took days. (Okay. A dozen hours over the course of two days, but whatever. It felt like days. Many. Days.)













We bonded. Hardcore.





It's really hard to come out of "showcase brain" and get back to everything else (three columns due in a few hours, meetings about two feature films I'm casting in the next two days, a script to read and bid to write up for yet another film, plus the breakdown for the next showcase... er... when am I going to get this year's book written???), but I kind of don't want to stop basking in the afterglow of this amazing showcase experience. I ADORE THESE PEOPLE! Holy cow, it really works! You surround yourself with the best people you know and the world just feels like a better place, every moment.

*contented sigh*

Thank you to rockstar intern Julie, plus rockstars in training: Beau, Camille, and Jennie!




Biggest thanks of all to my partner, Eitan Loewenstein.

The Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase wouldn't exist without you, buddy.

Photos thanks to Eitan, Keith, Chris, Jennie, Amy, the actor backstage who grabbed Amy's camera, and whomever took that cute photo of Beau and Camille that I nabbed from her MySpace page. THANKS, y'all!

Posted by bonnie at 4:44 AM | Comments (3)

April 27, 2007

Yup.

I love 'em.

I'll miss 'em.

I can't wait to work with 'em again and again.

I am so totally and completely blessed/lucky/loved/happy to have had such a great experience with the first ever Cricket Feet Showcase group.

And even though we took a vote on who is the most kissable in the showcase cast (way to instigate, Camille; way to win, Annie), I could kiss you ALL. I'm just so so so very happy to have had such an amazing experience.

What do you do when the bar is set so damn high? How can next time even come CLOSE to being this damn good?

Matters not.

I'm basking in the afterglow. Life, she is GOOD.

Posted by bonnie at 2:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2007

Big Time = No Time

So, since my last blog entry, I learned that two more films I've cast made it into festivals; attended a screening of three short films that I cast; hired the director for the next Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase; set a meeting with the director of the next two features I'm casting; agreed to speak at three more industry events before month's end; wrote two weeks' columns (but had no time to promote 'em); promoted the showcase like mad; and put out the call for comedy writers (to amazingly overwhelming response).

And tomorrow, the outstanding Broken Windows team hits the set. I really really really really really want to do a set visit. Such a phenomenal crew. Such a gorgeous cast. Hope I can work it out. Just the same, I wish y'all SO MUCH success and joy!

(Gosh, I don't even have time to post links or images in this blog entry. I just couldn't imagine going a week or more without a post, so here 'tis. MISS Y'ALL! More updates when I can make 'em.)

Posted by bonnie at 9:58 PM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2007

I smell a RAT!

Oooooooooooh, it's rat season.

You KNOW how I hate the actor-scams. HATE.

Well, I found a DOOZIE and I am mad as HELL about this one!

In fact, I am SO mad that I'm TABLING the Bad Headshots, Good Headshots IV piece (I know, I know... I'm sorry... I have to) to do an exposé on this a-hole who is really costing actors some money AND their reputations/relationships with CDs, agents, managers, directors, and producers.

I have to do this before he knows I'm doing it and changes his business model or takes down his site (Don't worry, I've already saved the whole site--every file--in anticipation of his "packing up and going home" act anyway.) and definitely before any more actors spend money on this "service."

Grrrrrrrr.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE actor-scams? Have I?

Okay... gotta go. Need to wrap up some business here before heading out for the next 12 hours to do a bunch of casting stuff. Love, love, love my life. Love UMA! Love YOU!

Posted by bonnie at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 5, 2007

Oh, Aaron...

You come here to me.

aaronsorkin1.jpg

You come here to me and let me give you a big hot wet sloppy tongue kiss right now.

Thank you Mr. Sorkin. Or however many writers it is that you have on staff writing under your name. Thank you all.

Posted by bonnie at 11:43 PM | Comments (1)

January 28, 2007

CHAD: You're the One That I Want!

Okay, I wasn't going to get sucked into NBC's "GREASE: You're the One That I Want!" but then I saw Chad (the Long Beach "soccer coach") in the mix. (For those who don't know, I cast Chad in a feature film two years ago and have been eager to find the next opportunity to cast him. He rocks. Serious future superstar.)

Well, tonight's performance on "GREASE: You're the One That I Want!" sealed it for Chad. He is THE DANNY TO BEAT!

And all he needs is your vote: Call 1-888-I-VOTE-12 or visit NBC.com and choose CHAD as your favorite Danny! He'll be Broadway bound!

For more info on Chad, visit his MySpace page, his MySpace music page, his IMDB page, his NBC bio page, and his official site.

Woo!

Go, Chad!

Posted by bonnie at 8:42 PM | Comments (3)

Media Training Is Worth Every Penny

Watch the red carpet arrivals for the SAG Awards on E! Watch the interviews with cast members from Grey's Anatomy. The answer to EVERY question is a perfectly-crafted (and rehearsed) response provided by a high-paid expert in "doing publicity."

ABC invested VERY wisely.

Posted by bonnie at 3:28 PM | Comments (1)

January 9, 2007

I'm Sorry...

I'm sorry. I can't help it. I am so grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr over stupid scammers who really want to exploit aspiring actors by selling them bullshit that the scammees could totally avoid if they just GOOGLED for a minute!

Yes, this was this weeks' column, but I'm mad about it for a much bigger reason. Why why WHY is it that people will plunk down ca-thousands of dollars on stuff that they could avoid spending if they would just effin' GOOGLE the company name "+ scam."

Augh! I just want everyone to be so much smarter!

Grrrr. But maybe no one would read my columns or buy my books if they all started out at a higher baseline.

Still. Scammers suck.

Posted by bonnie at 6:21 PM | Comments (1)

December 12, 2006

HHH was awesome!

I did not do 12 of 12 this month (I know, I so suck), but I do have some photos from last night's rockstar Hollywood Happy Hour. Yay! If you want to see 'em all, visit August Young Photography (click on Menu, then Client, then Hollywood Happy Hour).

Hope y'all had as much fun as I did! Woo! (Click to enlarge.)

Aren't we cute?!?

Posted by bonnie at 10:35 PM | Comments (3)

December 5, 2006

Damn you, Aaron Sorkin!

I'm ready for a nice "night off." I pour an adult beverage. I unhook the phone. I fire up the TiVo and think, "Ah... Nip/Tuck is starting up. No... wait... let's watch last night's Studio 60 first and THEN have some basic cable-approved porn. I'm sure Studio 60 will be 'just fine.' It's not been terribly world-rocking lately."

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

How the HELL am I supposed to:
a. watch Nip/Tuck...
b. continue coding web updates to the HHH site...
c. send Christmas cards...
d. just chill out and do nothing...

after having been hit by that meteor of emotions like that?

MAN, I love that show. Love it, love it, love it, love it. Frickin' awesome.

Posted by bonnie at 8:10 PM | Comments (3)

December 4, 2006

Hollywood Happy Hour, 12/11/06, 6:30pm ONE WEEK AWAY!!

Are you getting excited?!? Ooh, we are!

If you've RSVP'd, you should've received a confirmation email from the lovely Laura Lock, and that means you're all set for next Monday's event. Woo hoo!

That's Monday, December 11, 2006 for our next Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

What: Hollywood Happy Hour filled with more fun than you could fathom! It's news, reviews, schmooze, and interviews!

Who: We'll chat with über-hyphenate Luke Yankee (seriously, we're talking actor-director-producer-teacher-casting director-author-playwright, here) and dish with rockstar agent Janet Tscha, head of adult commercial talent at Origin Talent. Julie Stevens is going to share tales from Life After Tomorrow with casting director Bonnie Gillespie)!

When: Monday, December 11, 2006, arrivals: 6pm; program starts at 6:30pm SHARP; schmoozefest from 7:45pm 'til they roll us out of there!

Where: Casey's, 613 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017. Check out the photos at their website. We'll be on the gorgeous patio!

How Much: $5 CASH plus two items at the bar and/or restaurant (yes, sodas and food items count)!

What Else: goodie bags from our FANTASTIC sponsors for winners of our business-card drawing (make sure to bring your card) and trivia questions, lots of freebies (see below for complete list of awesome goodies)! Bring headshots for Janet and Bonnie!

Parking: well, it's downtown, which is complicated... but here's the good news: We have $5 parking after 5pm at 624 S. Grand (with $6.50 after 4pm parking just next door), plus $6 parking all day at 737 S. Grand. Bring cash and stay for the long haul! Wilshire dead-ends at Grand... freeway directions are at the venue's website. You can also take any Metro Line to the Metro Center at 7th and Broadway (it's only $1.35 each way and you're within a block of Casey's... no designated driver needed).

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any suggested questions for the Q&A segment to rsvp@hollywoodhappyhour.com ASAP. We WILL run out of space and cap the RSVPs at this venue.

Introducing event photographer August Young! Be camera ready, y'all!

Hope we'll see you there... and also on the HHH Mailing List/Yahoo Group and/or the HHH MySpace page 'til we see you next Happy Hour!

Feeling nostalgic? Everyone's uncle, the amazing Uncle Bob, has put our shows on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay!

Free! Goodie Bags loaded with fun California Poultry Federation stuff, cosmetics and aromatherapy treatments from Pampered People Spa, memo boards from Showfax, goodies from BizParentz.com, and fun AquaHooks custom-made for HHH!

Free! Entry into the Hollywood Happy Hour raffle for all--just bring a business card to drop in the fishbowl!

You could win:
*Free headshot printing at Argentum Studios
*Free photo shoot with Kyle Clicks Photography
*Tickets to shows at The Ark Theatre
*Card Packs from Acting Outside the Box
*Three months free with MyActingSite.com
*You Must Act! version 2.0 CD-Rom from Bob Fraser
*Free seminars from Abundance Bound
*Free and discounted demo reel editing services from Lippincott Films
*Private session with Commercial Break
*Discounted headshot sessions from New Face Photo
*Discounted voiceover sessions from Absolute Voice
*Entry fee waivers for the 2008 Flickering Image Film Festival
*Tickets to shows from Theatre District at the CAST
*Discounted headshot sessions from About Face Headshots
*Free soundtrack from The Wedding Video
*Promo DVDs with deleted scenes from A New Tomorrow
*Acting Is Everything by Judy Kerr and Acting Out by Stuart Stone
*The Actor's Menu and discounted acting classes from Bill Howey
*Let's Dish Up a Dinner Party by Nelson Aspen
*Casting Qs and Self-Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie
*Acting Qs by Bonnie Gillespie and Blake Robbins
*Casting director labels from Landall's ActorDrops
*ActorTrack software and organizational books from world-famous Holdon Log

...and so much more!
(You must be present to win, natch.)

See you next happy hour!

Posted by bonnie at 7:08 AM | Comments (2)

November 20, 2006

Hollywood Happy Hour, 12/11/06, 6:30pm

Hollywood Happy Hour, 12/11/06, 6:30pm

Please join us on Monday, December 11, 2006 for our next Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

What: Hollywood Happy Hour filled with more fun than you could fathom! It's news, reviews, schmooze, and interviews!

Who: International entertainment reporter Nelson Aspen will chat with über-hyphenate Luke Yankee (seriously, we're talking actor-director-producer-teacher-casting director-author-playwright, here) and casting director Bonnie Gillespie with dish with rockstar agent Janet Tscha, head of adult commercial talent at Origin Talent. As usual, there will be a few surprise industry guests stopping by as well (I hear Julie Stevens is going to share tales from Life After Tomorrow)!

When: Monday, December 11, 2006, arrivals: 6pm; program starts at 6:30pm SHARP; schmoozefest from 7:45pm 'til they roll us out of there!

Where: Casey's, 613 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017. Check out the photos at their website. We'll be on the gorgeous patio!

How Much: $5 CASH plus two items at the bar and/or restaurant (yes, sodas and food items count)!

What Else: goodie bags from our FANTASTIC sponsors for winners of our business-card drawing (make sure to bring your card) and trivia questions, lots of freebies (see below for complete list of awesome goodies)! Bring headshots for Janet and Bonnie!

Parking: well, it's downtown, which is complicated... but here's the good news: We have $5 parking after 5pm at 624 S. Grand (with $6.50 after 4pm parking just next door), plus $6 parking all day at 737 S. Grand. Bring cash and stay for the long haul! Wilshire dead-ends at Grand... freeway directions are at the venue's website. You can also take any Metro Line to the Metro Center at 7th and Broadway (it's only $1.35 each way and you're within a block of Casey's... no designated driver needed).

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any suggested questions for the Q&A segment to rsvp@hollywoodhappyhour.com ASAP. We WILL run out of space and cap the RSVPs at this venue.

Hope we'll see you there... and also on the HHH Mailing List/Yahoo Group and/or the HHH MySpace page 'til we see you next Happy Hour!

Feeling nostalgic? Everyone's uncle, the amazing Uncle Bob, has put our shows on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay!

Free! Goodie Bags loaded with fun California Poultry Federation stuff, cosmetics and aromatherapy treatments from Pampered People Spa, memo boards from Showfax, goodies from BizParentz.com, and fun AquaHooks custom-made for HHH!

Free! Entry into the Hollywood Happy Hour raffle for all--just bring a business card to drop in the fishbowl!

You could win:
* Free headshot printing at Argentum Studios
* Free photo shoot with Kyle Clicks Photography
* Tickets to shows at The Ark Theatre
* Card Packs from Acting Outside the Box
* Three months free with MyActingSite.com
* You Must Act! version 2.0 CD-Rom from Bob Fraser
* Private session with Commercial Break
* Discounted headshot sessions from New Face Photo
* Discounted voiceover sessions from Absolute Voice
* Entry fee waivers for the 2008 Flickering Image Film Festival
* Tickets to shows from Theatre District at the CAST
* Discounted headshot sessions from About Face Headshots
* Free soundtrack from The Wedding Video
* Promo DVDs with deleted scenes from A New Tomorrow
* Acting Is Everything by Judy Kerr and Acting Out by Stuart Stone
* Let's Dish Up a Dinner Party by Nelson Aspen
* Casting Qs and Self-Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie
* Acting Qs by Bonnie Gillespie and Blake Robbins
* Casting director labels from Landall's ActorDrops
* ActorTrack software and organizational books from world-famous Holdon Log

...and so much more!
(You must be present to win, natch.)

See you next happy hour!

Posted by bonnie at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2006

Forget the Hot List

I've been spending so much time updating the wiki with "hot list" actors that I'm finding this to be a really nice break.

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It's the cold list. Hee! Go, Film Threat. Very funny.

Sorry for the lack of blog contact. My life keeps redefining "busy" and that's really fun... but, uh, busy!

Posted by bonnie at 2:16 PM | Comments (0)

November 7, 2006

Hollywood Happy Hour... sneak peek of news!

Okay, so the actual news-news will roll out shortly, but I wanted to ask y'all to save the date for Hollywood Happy Hour coming up on Monday, December 11th, 2006. Yeah, baby!!!! Mark your calendar now!! I know you've been waiting for the next big event! I sure have!

Details will come soon, but you can go ahead and add Hollywood Happy Hour at MySpace for an advance peek at the low-down.

Woo!!!!! So excited! Yippee!! What a great way to end the year!

Cheers,
-Bon.
HHH Yahoo Group

Posted by bonnie at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2006

Lessons from Star Magazine

Okay, so less than two weeks ago, I was contacted by a reporter from Star who wanted to use me as an attributed source for a story about actors who get too thin to be realistically considered for leading lady roles. I had her email me the photos she wanted me to review, I spent hours writing up my way diplomatically-worded and impossibly-taken-out-of-context thoughts on the issue (having been a columnist for nearly a decade will make you a bit cautious, your first time out with any reporter) and sent the reporter my interview and bio, as requested.

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She called me back the next day to revisit a couple of quotes, get a little more context on some of my comments, and hopefully find something a little dishy in my words (and that just didn't happen. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I said it, dammit). Again, she thanked me for being willing to go on the record with my words, as that would carry much more weight for this piece (no pun intended), and told me it would run in a week or so.

It ran today. My source alerted me to the fact that the piece was in this week's issue, so Keith ran to the store to buy a copy of the rag. Um. Wow. Where do I begin?

Was I misquoted? No.
Were my words taken out of context? No.

Here's what happened instead: Approximately two dozen of my words made it into the piece and I was credited as "a casting agent."

Dude. There is NO SUCH THING as a casting agent. Normally, I'd let that go, but when a REPORTER uses BOTH "casting director" and "casting agent" interchangeably in the piece, something's wrong. And I can guarantee you, on those little bits of quotes from "another casting agent", no casting director EVER would refer to herself as a casting agent, which has happened in this piece.

Whatever.

Since I worked so hard on my contribution and was actually a little proud of it, I'm going to share it here. And consider the rest as LESSON LEARNED. When you're asked to go on record for Star Magazine as a casting director, be ready to come off as an unnamed "casting agent" in the final product... and have a fraction of your contribution used. Fair enough.

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Since I wrote all that stuff up and Star ain't gonna use it... here it is for your reading pleasure.

Here are my thoughts on your piece about actresses and their weight.

In general:

If I have learned anything in casting, it's that CONFIDENCE is what's castable. What is sexy is confidence. What is castable is that X-factor--and it usually has less to do with body type and more to do with self-assurance. As far as the conversations between producers and casting directors go... believe me, no actor should ever want to hear those discussions. The conversations that take place about an actor's box office draw (based on arbitrary things like the size of her butt or her nose or her left elbow) MUST remain confidential. The sad part is, most actors feel they need to adjust their body weight down without ever knowing that perhaps the reason they didn't get cast had everything to do with their accent or hair color or the fact that they look just like the producer's ex-girlfriend (and that had nothing to do with their weight).

Comments about the specific photos you sent:

Re: Victoria Beckham

Here's what I love about Victoria Beckham's body: It's healthy. It's athletic. Sure, she's thin, but her muscles are toned and she doesn't look hungry. She's got the build of an action hero. Ain't nothing wrong with that!

Re: Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson has a rockin' body and she pretty much always has. What I respect most about her--aside from her acting, which is outstanding--is that she hasn't let Hollywood change her body. She's healthy, she's strong, she's slim, she's sexy. This is pleasing to producers, filmgoers, and probably also tolerable for her! She's not torturing herself with some insane fad diet.

Re: Nicole Richie

The concern most producers have with someone who appears unhealthy or overly skinny (or, heck, extreme in either direction) is the insurance issue. A film shoot is not a small investment of time or money. The thought of losing a week or two on a shoot because an actress is dehydrated or suffering from exhaustion isn't just about the issue of a performer's health. It's about liability. And we're talking about blockbusters. Not reality TV. As a casting director, my job is risk assessment. If I see an actress I'm worried about, I'm going to recommend the next person on the list, just so the film gets made on time, and within its budget.

Re: Mariah Carey

Recording artists have different standards than feature film stars. The average consumer will watch a music video star for minutes at a time, whereas they'll see a film star on screen for two hours at a time. Apples and oranges.

Re: Nicole Kidman

Consistently healthy. Consistently castable. She has staying power and doesn't bend to body-image trends.

Re: Jessica Biel

Jessica got a following when she was young and that fan base will remain loyal. She has a very "normal" body. Her path is similar to that of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, whose fanbase developed when she was a teen and sustained through adulthood.

Re: Jennifer Lopez

Confidence is castable. Jennifer Lopez has always been confident. She enjoys living in her own skin. That's huge in Hollywood. Just the FEELING that she's going to be incredible to watch on screen is a safer investment for producers. Sure, she may have body-confidence issues, but the viewing public would never know it. And THAT'S the illusion that really sells in Hollywood.

Re: Kate Bosworth

The unfortunate thing about young actors choosing to lose so much weight is that their success as actors--which may have nothing to do with their body size and may instead have everything to do with their talent or industry connections--is somehow seen as a result of their weight loss, and that sends a really scary message to young women who already have a tendency toward obsessive body issues.

Final thoughts:

Even "normal" girls growing up in small towns are going to worry that they aren't thin enough. When an actress who earns millions of dollars a year endorses and embraces that worry, it's just a reinforcement for something that exists on its own. When--instead--there are actresses who enjoy their bodies and embrace the work, they are providing a service to the world.

Posted by bonnie at 7:50 PM | Comments (7)

October 12, 2006

Reviews

I know I've already mentioned how much I love love love Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but I have to say it again. I love love love Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. What an awesome friggin' show!

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The INSTANT each episode ends, I want another one to begin. RIGHT THEN. I'm like a crack whore for this show. I've had several conversations with folks who feel the same way. We also tend to agree that this show can't possibly last (and that we'll all buy it on DVD and just enjoy the brief time we shared with such quality television).

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So, anyway, as I tune in each week and see another actor friend guest-starring on the show, I get ever happier. It's awesome. And what a showcase for the actors in roles as "cast" on the show within the show! They get to show us glimpses of characters they'd play if they were on MadTV or Saturday Night Live, but in such tiny snippets that we want to see more more more (something that rarely happens on the senior sketch show). I could honestly listen to Sarah Paulson's character Harriet Hayes doing a dead-on Holly Hunter for hours.

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Prediction: Emmy. Man... as much as I love working in indie film and small theatre casting, I have to say that this show makes me wish I had anything to do with the series. I'll just have to settle for being a rabid fan. Good thing I'm not alone.

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Next, my NBF Milissa and I went to the premiere of Running with Scissors on Tuesday night. It was way fun. We were way under-dressed. That's totally my fault, as I thought I was just going to a SAG screening, since I had been invited by the SAG Foundation folks who wanted to give me a little thank you for all of the guest-speaking that I do. Well... oops. There was a red carpet, there was media, there were superstars. Good thing I was in a, "I yam what I yam" state, and had fun in my jeans just the same. (Besides, sure everyone looked stunning in all sorts of eveningwear, but in the end you're still sitting in a movie theatre for a couple of hours and you should be comfy.)

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So, this movie felt like American Beauty meets Requiem for a Dream meets The Royal Tenenbaums. Very edgy and cool. Lots of screamingly uncomfortable and so inappropriately hysterical moments scattered throughout full-on jaw-droppingly "this cannot possibly be based on a true story" scenes. And I know I've gushed about Evan Rachel Wood before, but dear GAWD I cannot wait to cast this woman. What a rockstar!

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Beautifully acted (and brilliantly cast, although it simply pisses me off to have a director stand up in front of the audience, thank BY NAME many members of the cast and crew--having quite a few stand up and take little bows from their seats--and not even MENTION that he's grateful to his casting director Mali Finn). The music was amazing (and yes, probably worth the $1M over-budget they had to go to secure the rights to it all) and the production designer (Richard Sherman) deserves an Oscar for the YELLOW scene alone. Gorgeous work!

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I was mildly amused to see that Ryan Murphy and Augusten Burroughs look somewhat alike (it's how I feel when I watch Ryan's EP's other show's lead actor and consider how much she looks like her; and Jessica said something about this last month when we had tea. Directors often seem to cast actors who resemble them, so why not adapt a book by an author who looks like you, right?).

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Anyway, this was a wonderful date night with my new actor friend. Thank you to SAG Foundation for the gift. It was great fun to schmooze with casting friends, manager friends, actor friends, former co-worker friends, and basically the entire supporting cast of Nip/Tuck. Kate Mantilini beforehand was a great choice. God, I felt so dang Hollywood after this night it's no wonder I needed a day of work on the Casting Wiki to remember that it's NOT the Entertainment Tonight version of Hollywood in which I work and live every day.

PS--You're doing your 12 of 12, right? Get on it!

Posted by bonnie at 5:51 AM | Comments (6)

October 7, 2006

Favor

Um, can anyone out there who subscribes to Star Magazine let me know when a particular issue comes out?

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I'm looking for one (maybe as early as next week) in which Hollywood casting directors talk about actresses' bodies and whether skinny gals are more likely to get cast in lead roles.

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I'll, um, tell you why I'm looking to pick up this particular issue after I see how I came across in the interview. Yeah... thankee.

Posted by bonnie at 5:45 AM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2006

When Andy Dick Arrives, It's Time To Go

Maybe everyone else in Hollywood knows this, but I'm pretty new to The Big Hollywood Private Party thing. So, you have to understand, when Keith and I arrived at the Stone Rose and my name was *actually* on the list, I was already thrilled and amazed. (No, it's not that I thought Jessica was "just being nice" -- heck, she'd invited me even before I'd interviewed her -- it's just the usual nervous doing something new for the first time thing.) But there are pretty much always random famous people at industry parties.

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First up, Greg Grunberg. We'd been at the party for about an hour. We'd done the cool schmooze with most of the film's stars and crew members, plus a few of Jessica's best friends (all of whom were really thrilled with the article I had written) and a couple of actors she's hoping to have "break out" with my help (hey... if I can help, GREAT! I'll try). We'd had a couple of cocktails and a few nibbles of the yummy food they kept putting out, and found a great little spot to sit on the awesome patio. Soon, another couple leaned over, introduced themselves (I think we all joked about the shrimp or something), and when Greg came over to join them, he was introduced to us as well. Shake hands, all cool, blah blah blah. So, he's not really involved with this project but he knows the people. Same as me at this point, right? Right. No weirdness.

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And then there's Kevin Sorbo. Kevin Sorbo? Really? Hmm. Well, that's kind of cool. I can't figure what his attachment to this group might be (nor is it any of my business to do so, really), but he's enjoying himself and people are enjoying him, so I figure maybe there's some other project in the works and that's just how this town works. Or, heck, maybe people are just friends with famous people and invite them like anyone else. It's just that it's a little odd somehow. And it shouldn't be (and it isn't, when I know the celeb... but it's weird when I don't).

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So when Alfonso Ribeiro shows up, it's getting a little late. We've now had more than a few cocktails, Keith has told "the luckiest man in the world" story, my DVD cover has been autographed by a half-dozen members of the cast (and Jessica, of course), and I've been pegged as "and guest" in a handful of photos by random photographers. Fair enough. Alfonso is working the room. Keith approaches him to remind him that we know people in common (Alfonso directed an episode of a TV show our friend starred in, and we went to a taping, blah blah blah) and it's clear the man has women on his mind (and Keith's in his way). Very funny watching someone who shouldn't have to work at it having to REALLY work at it (it's like being at a college bar at last call and seeing the BMOC doing whatever it takes to go home with someone... even though he should be able to go home with anyone anytime anyway, right?).

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Enter Andy Dick. Now something happens. Most of the crowd has gone by now. The servers are clearing off the tables to make room for these enormous cotton candy platters and other yummy dessert items. Everyone is hugging Jessica and her publicist goodnight and saying thank you and congrats. Most importantly: The tab has been closed. It's like Andy Dick walks in and The National Anthem plays on an old-timey TV station (sign-off 'til morning). But it gets louder, more frenetic, and bizarrely more "Hollywood" all of a sudden. I feel like I'm at a rave. Still, I head over to Andy to ask whether his recent emails to the director of a film I'm casting are actually coming from him (and I should be approaching him about doing the project) or not. "Yeah, I don't really DO the online thing. If she's hearing from 'me' through MySpace or something, it's my web guy, not me." (Note to self: Never have someone think they're hearing from "me" when it's really "my people" doing the correspondence. At least be true in that respect.)

So, maybe the rest of the world knows that when Andy Dick arrives, it's time to go. I learned it for myself on Monday. So, we left the Stick It DVD party and went to Dan Tana's, where I spent the rest of the night groping my friends, slamming too many free drinks, and talking about Oliver Freaking Stone.

(And, apparently, where I lowered my tolerance to the point that, come Wednesday morning, I was laid out with some sort of flu that I'm still fighting. Bleh. Oh well... well-earned, I s'pose.)

Posted by bonnie at 4:21 AM | Comments (5)

September 14, 2006

Hollyweird

This town is... odd. It's complex. It's very, very interesting. Yeah. Let's say that.

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I mean... I guess it's nothing surprising in this town that someone who, three years ago, made it VERY clear that you were pond scum in her book doesn't hesitate to make contact now, leading off with, "Wow! You've done so many wonderful things in such a short period of time. I always knew you had it in you! Hey... could you lend a hand? I'm hoping to make some headway in the industry and I really think you would be a great person to mentor me," without so much as a, "I know we didn't end on the best of terms," or, "I was a real dick after that whole thing went down."

Nothing surprising, maybe.
Ballsy, hell yeah.

Oh, and will I help? Of course! *I* don't burn bridges. I just blog about them. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 6:20 PM | Comments (12)

September 12, 2006

Equal Opportunity

Visit Dot Comedy and support Equal Opportunity (starring my friends Assaf and Camille). Camille says: The film is only 6:30 including the (fun) credits which are probably half the film. Please vote for your favorites (hopefully EQUAL OPPORTUNITY) at DotComedy.com and pass it on. THANK YOU! We have high hopes of making it into Sundance and the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival, and more...

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EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
Strong Work Ethic. Attention to Detail. 80WPM. And a Racist.
Directed by Howard Duy Vu
Written by Sameer Asad Gardezi
Produced by Camille Mana
Casting Director Freddy Luis
STARRING
ALANNA UBACH (Legally Blonde 1&2), SKYLER STONE (Comedy Central's Con), TOM LENK (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), ALDIS HODGE (CW's The Game), CAMILLE MANA (UPN's One on One), ASSAF COHEN (Flightplan), JOEY GNOFFO (Benchwarmers), MICHAEL GOLDSTROM (Comedy Central's Porn 'n' Chicken), FELIX PIRE (Phat Girlz).

Great example of actors going out there and making it happen for themselves! Way to rock, gang! Hope you WIN!

Posted by bonnie at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

September 9, 2006

LonelyGirl15 Exposed

I'm sure most visitors to the BonBlogs have already seen this news (or figured it out before the official word came down today), but the latest attempt at cyber-marketing (ala The Blair Witch Project or even Snakes on a Plane) has been exposed just a month before the film was to be released (if you believe the coded messages that 10, 12, and 06 mean anything).

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The latest confession to stun the entertainment world is an unusual one: "We are filmmakers." The team behind the lonelygirl15 YouTube mystery has come forward, claiming that lonelygirl15 is part of their "show" and thanking their fans effusively for tuning in to "the birth of a new art form." They are not, they insisted, "a big corporation."
Article in today's LA Times with the admission of involvement as high up as CAA here.
Lonelygirl15 appears to be an innocent, home-schooled 16-year-old, pouring her heart out for her video camera in the privacy of her bedroom. But since May, her brief posts on the video-sharing site YouTube and the social networking hub MySpace have launched a Web mystery eagerly followed by her million-plus viewers: Who is this sheltered ingenue who calls herself "Bree," and is she in some sort of danger — or, worse, the tool of some giant marketing machine?
Yesterday's piece here.

Honestly, I think it's brilliant. And while I totally understand the emotional turmoil of those who got suckered in (it happened to me two years ago while watching The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan and I have not forgiven the marketing geniuses (and yes, they're geniuses and I respect them) behind that, despite having befriended one of them in the time since I got punk'd), I think it's brilliant and wonderful and it just reminds me why I taught Media Literacy at Athens Academy nearly a decade ago. Kids (and adults too) need to learn that media is all about manipulation. That's the only way they'll ever harness its power for themselves (which is the goal).

Make media work for you. Don't get pissed when it suckers you. Learn from it, build on it, let it propel you to greatness.

Posted by bonnie at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2006

Faith's PRI Show Announced

Phew! It's official. And it's been renamed (it was "The F Word," with the F standing for Feminism). (That's another show. Still in play. Nevermind.) Press release is here.

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MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 7, 2006--Public Radio International (PRI) announces the creation of "Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie," a high energy, interactive news and entertainment program produced by PRI and based in New York. Slated to premiere nationally this fall, "Fair Game" is hosted by the irreverent Faith Salie, Harvard alumna, Rhodes Scholar and star of "Significant Others," Bravo's critically acclaimed improvisational sitcom. With "Fair Game," PRI again moves the industry in a new direction, designing the hour-long weekday evening program as a hybrid of the satirical news and late-night variety show for a young, culturally connected, politically savvy demographic.
Congratulations to my dear cousin Faith Salie. We will miss you here in LA, but NY is lucky to have you (and yes, I will visit). Kick ass with "Fair Game." Public radio never looked so good.

Posted by bonnie at 9:14 PM | Comments (1)

August 30, 2006

So Unnecessary

Seriously.

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Why why why would this be an important edit to the original photo?

(From LA Observed: Maybe it's just me, but she looks more credible already.)

Man, this world is so effed up sometimes.

Posted by bonnie at 11:17 AM | Comments (9)

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.

Posted by bonnie at 11:47 PM | Comments (10)

August 24, 2006

So Cute

I have been trying to post this entry for like 12 hours. (But it's been a way busy day, strangely.)

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So, I woke Keith up at 6:30am (after having paced the floors for like an hour, jonesin' to get out of the house and exercise) and made him walk a mile with me to Denny's (for a reward made of eggs) and then, of course, a mile back. Uphill. Awesome. (Love this energy I have lately. Whatever.)

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When we get home, Keith checks his email and has an audition for Medium*. New CD. New experience. Detective. One line.** Go get 'em!

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So, I go to bed eventually. I lie in bed, doing Sudoku puzzles ("saving the world" as I call it, when I'm trying to turn my brain off and get tired enough to seal up***), and I hear Keith flipping through channels, sure he's clearing his mind of crud while reviewing the sides for his role.

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At some point I begin recognizing dialogue coming through the TV and floating into the bedroom. "People put you down enough, you start to believe it." "I think you are a very bright, very special woman." "The bad stuff is easier to believe."

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OMG. My beloved Marine Republican Badass**** is relaxing/prepping for his audition by watching a ROMANTIC COMEDY! Oh, I love him so much more just now.

*I promised myself I wasn't going to make fun of her teeth. But, OMG, can I at least make fun of her wardrobe? WTF?????

**At Industry RSVP earlier this week, an actor asked about the purpose in saying yes to one-line roles (and, of course, how to move up to bigger roles). I said, "What's the purpose to saying YES to an offer of a one-line role on a series? Um... it's a co-star credit on your resumé, a blip on your demo reel, and a couple grand once residuals are paid out. Duh!" Man! Actors can be sooo shortsighted sometimes!

***Back in my WUOG grad advisor days, I hung out with a good many cool kids (undergrads) who had lots of fun sayings, one of which (at last call) was, "I'm sealin' up." It was accompanied by hand gestures mimicking the closing of the inner eyelids cats have, displaying a severe need to go home and get to bed.

****If you'd like to see Keith's latest rockstar headshots, clink here. HAWT. Yeah, baby!

Posted by bonnie at 9:30 PM | Comments (5)

August 20, 2006

Compare and Contrast

Deep thoughts while I'm doing the "brain work" behind this week's column...

This isn't news. Everyone says Bruce Vilanch resembles a Fraggle. But check this out.

Separated at birth, no? (That's Sally Struthers, BTW.)

Okay, and I've realized that Ant and Mario Cantone are totally the same guy.

(Seriously. Listen to them with your eyes closed.)

But far more disturbing, in my search for these images was this:

These photos were taken in 2004 and 2006. STEP AWAY FROM THE BOTOX, ANT. Wow.

*shudder*

Posted by bonnie at 1:26 AM | Comments (4)

August 18, 2006

Let's Go Again!

Do you know that feeling? When you've heard about a new rollercoaster opening up at your favorite adventure park and you stand in line for days so that you can be the first one to ride the new rollercoaster?

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And then you get into the rollercoaster's front car, strap in, and nearly piss yourself over how very very very excited you are that this moment has finally arrived?

And then the rollercoaster ride begins and you scream, laugh, and hop up and down in your seat the whole time, simply giddy over the experience?

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And then the ride comes to an end and you want to go again... right away?

Do you know that feeling?

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That perfectly describes Snakes on a Plane. I am totally not kidding. Fucking greatness.

Big thanks to Rockstar Susan Lee for the photos that aren't the one of the poster, which was captured by Keith's phonecam.

Posted by bonnie at 12:48 AM | Comments (9)

August 15, 2006

T-Minus 67 Hours

It's almost time.

Snakes on a Plane opens in Santa Monica in just 67 hours. I'm so excited.

And why is that? I mean, clearly, this movie is going to SUCK.

(I mean, how could it not?)

But you have to go, right?

It's a flippin' MOMENT in history we're witnessing.

And EVERYONE will talk about where they were the first time they saw the film that WILL BE the next Rocky Horror Picture Show.

(Hell, there's already toast.)

They've even been doing a terrorism cross-promotion thingy on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC since last week!

The fans have already created a sequel.

(Or two.)

EVERYONE will be talking about this amazing film. Including me.

The lovelies Susan and Rose will be joining us on the Promenade for the 10pm screening Thursday. (Feel free to join us if there are still tix, which as of this posting there are.)

We shall start out at Barney's Beanery or some other alcohol-serving establishment within staggering walking distance of the theater.

I couldn't be more excited if I were Samuel L. Jackson himself*.

*Serious epiphany post to come about how much like SLJ I am and how Babes McPhee made me realize that on Saturday.

Assorted sources for the above-displayed brilliant artwork (in no proper order): here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and especially here.

Posted by bonnie at 3:00 AM | Comments (11)

July 7, 2006

This Week's Column

Okay, let's vote. Will this week's column be "Actors Can't Read," "It's Just a Job," or "How To Get Off the Blacklist"?

Holla!

PS--All of these will be column topics, eventually. Which one is Monday's?

Posted by bonnie at 11:29 PM | Comments (6)

July 6, 2006

On Air

Woo hoo! I'm going to be in the studio with David Lawrence tomorrow night.

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Go to his show's website to get all of the info on how you can listen, but basically it's like this:

XM Open Road 171
Sirius Stars 102
or by podcast subscription through his website.
Woo! I predict much fun and silliness. Tune in at 8pm Pacific, yo!

Posted by bonnie at 6:57 PM | Comments (5)

June 30, 2006

Yay, Camille!

How much do I love this piece that Camille Mana wrote for Back Stage West? SO MUCH!

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(And it's not just b/c she mentions me in it, bringing the grand total "my name in print" instances to THREE in as many weeks at BSW, although that's just giddy-making fun.)

This is a wonderful article by an articulate and brilliantly talented young lady who is going to OWN this town before she's 25. Count on it.

Posted by bonnie at 10:48 AM | Comments (4)

June 14, 2006

Brilliant

So, if The Apprentice is moving to Los Angeles next season, it's clear that Trump isn't "all about New York" and is willing to look into other locations for his hit show in which applicants perform a series of tasks in a competition to be hired at the end of the season.

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Next stop: New Orleans. I think it's brilliant.

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It needs rebuilding and The Apprentice could channel the energy used to create ad campaigns, sales plans for burgers and cars, and even bogus audition meetings in "mobile casting facilities" to rebuild New Orleans.

Do you agree? Sign this petition, sponsored by the brilliant Jen, who blogged here about how she developed this idea.

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Awesome. Happy 60th birthday, Trump. Now, do something GOOD with reality TV.

Posted by bonnie at 4:49 PM | Comments (5)

June 4, 2006

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.

Posted by bonnie at 12:20 AM | Comments (3)

May 29, 2006

How To Get off the D-List?

Okay, so Bravo has been running ads all weekend about Kathy Griffin's quest to get off the D-List.

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From the website:

I want OFF the celebrity D-List. I want off now. So here's the plan: you get to vote which A-Listy thing I should do to get myself off the D-List and I'll do it. It's as simple as that.
What are the things she's willing to do? Well the list includes joining Scientology, canoodling with Ryan Seacrest, and going to Namibia, but in the commercials, she says, "I'll do anything!"

Okay, Kathy. Here's my vote. You want off the D-List? Take an acting class. There ya go.

Posted by bonnie at 10:30 AM | Comments (7)

May 26, 2006

14-Day Screenplay

Fun Joel made it look so cool that I'm going to do it.

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Yup. I'm in. I'm gonna write a screenplay in 14 days. And I'm gonna hold my feet to the fire through blogging.

Who's with me?

PS--As if I needed a sign that this would be a great day for me, it started out with an email from my NBF, the writer/director of THE BEST MOVIE EVER. So, in the spirit of always always always sharing your bliss, being public about your passion, and squealing with glee like the kid that you are, I encourage all of you to SHARE WITH THE WORLD what it is that makes you happy. You just may get a thank you note from someone who likes knowing that HER passion brought you such joy.

Posted by bonnie at 3:28 PM | Comments (14)

Best and Worst Movies Ever

Next to Stick It, which is just totally the best movie ever, there is what will certainly be the BEST movie ever-ever, coming out in a couple of months. But first, I'll talk about the worst movie ever.

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That'd be X-Men 3. Yes, Keith and I went to the midnight showing, thinking this movie would rock as hard as the first or second... and dammit to hell if that wasn't just a big ol' ball of suck! I mean, EVERY actor I cared a bit about watching got like a total of four minutes of screen time. Fine, fine, fine to bring on the newbies, but PLEASE could Sir Ian at least try NOT to do the schmacting thing? Could we get more than a SECOND of The Piano girl? And when Halle Berry has a "me-off" with a mirror image actor... well... no, there was way too much Halle on screen, really. Nowhere NEAR enough Hugh Jackman, though. But that's a given. Oh, and can anyone see Famke as anything other than her character on Nip/Tuck? Oh well... at least the WORST actor from the first two films was dead early on.

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But there was a glimpse--just before the worst movie--of what surely will be the BEST movie EVER EVER... and that's Snakes on a (Mother Fucking) Plane. Without question, this film has the most pre-opening-weekend buzz of any film EVER. Bless the blogs. Bless the concept. Bless the TITLE. I mean, c'mon!!! Greatness!

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Now, about two months ago, the brilliant Sassy McLassie sent me this link, where I first learned of Snakes on a (Mother Fucking) Plane. Without question, this was going to be a gorgeous film, just based on such entries.

But now that I've seen the ACTUAL trailer just before midnight in a dark room full of comic book junkies and virgins, I know for sure this WILL be the best movie EVER EVER EVER.

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In fact, as we walked home from the theatre, the most FREQUENT topic of conversation among the leaving-the-theatre types was NOT the bad movie we'd just seen. No, no... it was Snakes on a (Mother Fucking) Plane. Ahhhhhh, life is good. Hollywood takes care of us, even when we are sure we don't love such film candy. And my goodness, if you DIDN'T know how badly you NEEDED a film like this in your life, you simply haven't been paying attention.

Posted by bonnie at 2:49 AM | Comments (8)

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.

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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).

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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?

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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!

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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.

So...

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?

*sigh*

My job is hard today.

Posted by bonnie at 12:42 PM | Comments (11)

May 5, 2006

Leave Town, Book a National

Most actors know this rule: Leave town and you'll get that big phone call. And you'll have to make a big decision: Return home for this shot at something big or keep your plans in place. Yup. Keith booked out with his agents and manager earlier this week... his cell phone rings today... and he's headed to the airport right now. THAT's a professional actor, baby!

Keith's current headshot
So, let me do a little bragging about my professional actor hubby.
Keith's first headshot, 2002
There's a reason Self-Management for Actors is dedicated to him. He was the test subject for its contents. Four years ago Monday, Keith began his career as a professional actor. He had spent the six months prior to that taking classes, working as a PA (to learn set protocol), saving up some money from his day job, and getting starter headshots. He began auditioning for student films and plays, and on his second anniversary as a working actor (May 1, 2004), he celebrated on the set of his 30th indie film.
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Keith's CSI: Miami trailer, 2006
One week after his fourth anniversary as a working actor (that's this coming Monday, May 8th), he'll celebrate his primetime network debut as a co-star on CSI: Miami, one of the most-watched shows on the planet. Now, it's a tiny role (as most first network co-stars are), but it's his first... and just like his first cable series gig (as a co-star in Murder Trial: The Nightstalker) led to his first STARRING role in a cable series (as Detective Steve January in Scene of the Crime) within a few months, we know this gig is a big deal because of where it could lead.
Keith's first cable series lead, 2003
Keith jokes about how he's found success in Hollywood (landing roles, joining SAG, getting a manager, getting an agent, getting another agent, being put on avail for national commercials, booking union work that will pay residuals for years to come) by doing everything I've told him to do. It's always very funny when he says that to a group of actors, but it's also true. I told him not to get caught up in all of the Actor Mind Taffy crap that actors put in their own way. I told him to see the audition as the job and the booking as the paid vacation. I told him to get in an amazing series of classes that would improve his craft and to intern in casting offices so that he could learn exactly what it is that separates the pros from the non-pros.
Keith's last non-union indie film, 2003
What he brought to it that has nothing to do with me is raw talent, the most BOOKABLE look in Hollywood (I know, you'd think that'd be the buxom blonde 20-something, but it's not... it's the middle-aged average Joe white guy), an attitude of "What can I do to make your life easier?" on set, and absolutely no attachment to any outcome from any audition whatsoever. Keith said, when he first came to LA, that he didn't know what he'd do if he ever actually EARNED MONEY as an actor. The fact that anyone was letting him even show up on a student film set and ACT was baffling to him--having been a computer guru whose life fell apart at the age of 35.
Keith's first play, 2001
The fact that he has seen every gig as some winning lottery ticket that he was lucky to find is a big part of what makes him so cool to work with--and why producers want him back. When you set out to live your dreams regardless of whether they pay, you find nourishment in the DOING... not in the paycheck. And that's something far more valuable anyway.
Keith's second headshot, 2003
Thank you, honey, for helping me live MY dreams too. We're a good team. And it's not just because you do everything that I tell you to do. (*snork* Anyone who knows us knows that's not true anyway... it's just funny. And, well... only partially true. -ish.) I'm so proud of you. And I'm excited to watch you take photos of pretty girls with wardrobe malfunctions on the red carpet in the opening segment of Monday's episode of CSI: Miami. Excited and proud and thrilled. *beam*

Posted by bonnie at 12:06 PM | Comments (17)

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.

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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!

Posted by bonnie at 11:38 AM | Comments (7)

May 1, 2006

*ahem*

So, we have to get from Point A (home) to Point B (USC) through Point ¡Sí, se puede! for an industry event this evening. Ack.

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How shall we attempt this?

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Hmm. I guess we'll leave, like... now.

Oh, and I have no time to BlogTip today, but you should do it if you do have time.

(Seriously, I'm so sorry to have had so little time to post/respond to comments/read others' blogs lately. I'm the most blissfully busy ever... quality problem, of course.)

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Big BIG meeting tomorrow. Very excited!

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And much less nervous now, thanks to majorly helpful advice and reminders about what exactly is expected of me (which is: "Be yourself"--and I can do that) at this power lunch. Woo! THANKS, BRILLIANT FRIENDS!

Posted by bonnie at 3:41 PM | Comments (8)

April 28, 2006

Best Movie EVER

Okay, actually this was more than the best movie ever. It was like the best late morning/early afternoon date ever. But first the important part: THE BEST MOVIE EVER! (That'd be Stick It! Duh.) NOTE: SPOILER-FILLED POST (you've been warned).

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Now, you know I've been looking forward to this movie for a while now. Def Jam Becca MC, KiKi Longpost, and Babes McPhee and I have all been talking about the greatness that we knew this movie would be. And being the best movie ever, it did not disappoint. Like a Christian kid on December 24th, I went to bed early (read: 6am) so that I could get up at the earliest possible moment after Santa had delivered my goodies (read: 10am, to get goin' for the 11:10am showing at the Promenade) and begin tearing through the wrapping paper.

Keith said, "Wake up! Time for your movie." I replied, "This is not just a movie. This is the beginning of my professional teenage gymnastics career." But wait... first there were previews (and really cool commercials).

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Did you know that TLC is running a brilliant series of ads that depict life lessons such as the importance of NOT becoming the Crazy Cat Lady, why you should read instructions before using power tools, and how merlot and email don't mix? (Note: I've just realized that movie theatres are like the only place to see commercials anymore, what with TiVo and all. Hmm.) You can even order these figurines (like the one above) or customize them online like I did, below (seriously. That little one below. Click it. Read it. It's so me). Coolest part, in the Crazy Cat Lady PSA they screened before the movie, is that she leaves to go on a date and says, "Okay, you're in charge," to one of the cats. I so totally do that to whichever cat I see last, as we leave the house. Heh.

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Okay, so there was also a really great commercial for Coca-Cola (woo) that must've cost a bazillion dollars. This kid is riding his bike through the city streets during an incredibly intense and beautiful parade of many eras and worlds. It's a gorgeous fantasy world that exists as long as he's drinking his Coke. Rockstar. Up my stock, kids. Thanks.

Oh, and before we go into the review of THE BEST MOVIE EVER (Are you totally feeling like you're sitting through trailers for this review? I am.), let me just say that in addition to the must-see Wordplay about which I blogged yesterday, now there's The Heart of the Game. Yup. It's now the documentary time of year for my moviegoing pleasure. I'm in. Totally.

Now, for greatness.

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You've been to the movie's site, so you know the story. Hell, you've seen Bring It On, so you know the story. Well, sort of. Seems the film's writer/director (Jessica Bendinger--love that name, like she's a bending-er, like all of these flippy kids she writes about) is also making a political statement about the arcane rules of judging in the sport of elite gymnastics. She does it quite effectively, too.

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But not as effectively as she writes coolass lingo. Holy hell, that's some great stuffs. My favorites:

*Dude! Why you always gotta bite my moment? It tastes good?--Poot, when Frank marshes his mellow or kills his buzz
*Well if it isn't Pariah Carey.--Joanne, upon seeing Haley's unwelcome return to the gym (BTW, I totally think we need to just refer to Mimi as Pariah from here on out.)
*Come here, rebel without applause.--Coach Vick to Haley, on one of many of her walk-off-in-disgust attempts
*I'm so sure I'm practically deodorant.--Haley about how positive she is she'll nail a particular trick
*(Q): What's a corsage? (A): It's the universal symbol for "whipped."--exchange between Poot and Frank, when facing a prom purchase (No, we don't get to go to prom in this movie, but we do brilliantly, gorgeously, gloriously shop for it.)
*(Insult): Diva! (Comeback): Dee-vil!--our heroes upon entering the gym before Nationals
Oh, but it's not just the quips I love!

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No ma'am! It's also the New Miss Malaprop on the block! Rock it. This girl has the most lazily written character (she's so NOT the juicy wonderful villain we got to know and love in Bring It On or any other decent movie of its ilk), but it's totally worth falling in love with her just for the malaprops. Wow! Greatness. Just a sampling:

*If you do that, I will have a cardio-vasectomy!
*Can we get rid of the long-sleeved leos? We have a constitutional right to bare arms.
*I earned my spots. I'm practically a Dalmatian!
*I don't appreciate your instimulation.
*You got a GED? What does drunk driving have to do with school?
I mean, COME! ON! That shit is OUTSTANDING!

I predict lots of happy fun drugged-up movie-goers really enjoying the phenomenal prescription drug dream sequence and super-imposed bodies flipping and tricking simultaneously. The fun soundtrack includes a song entitled "I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me." The sense of humor throughout this whole film is just rockstar. It never takes itself seriously, even when it has its "O Captain, My Captain" moment featuring my favorite flipper: Tarah Paige.

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I cast Tarah as Cupid in Still of the Night last year. She's amazing. Her brastrap moment is only one of a few really unforgettable, scene-stealing offerings. That so rocks. Well done, cutie! You GO!

Other favorite items include Polly Holiday (I feel shame that I was certain she had died not too long ago) delivering a great line: "There are a lot of great people who had jerks for parents. We've gotta stick together;" and the Buttahara, probably my new favorite trick.

In the "we're going to nail the point of this movie home" line, Coach says, "Floor it." Keith leans over to me and says, "I thought the movie was called 'Stick it,'" to which I reply, "This movie is all about the subtlety." Keith then snorked. Luckily, there were only a dozen of us in the theatre, so I don't think many people heard.

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As we left the theatre, glowing with delight (okay, maybe that was just me), we crossed paths with the "noted" Nolé Marin from ANTM, sans puppydog-on-princess-pillow.

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And then we were given free samples of the new Dr Pepper Berries & Cream flavor. My review of that? The creamy stuff is really amazing... and the berry stuff is probably just kind of normal for the nectar-of-the-gods that is Dr Pepper... but there's some little aftertaste. Or perhaps it's just that I don't drink soda, so it's always a big trip for my tastebuds. Not sure.

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Finally, after a quick stop into the bookstore for two books that should prep me very well for my big meeting next week (bought on a gift card I'm FINALLY redeeming, even though it was given to me almost a year ago as a thank you for a casting gig), we crossed Wilshire in front of the great Robert LaSardo, whom I wanted to cast in the above-mentioned Tarah Paige movie last year (but he was too busy with a soap opera gig). Anyway, big fan (me). And a great guy (he).

I'm still basking in the afterglow that was my morning with Stick It. I am certain that I will remain inspired to be the best professional teenage gymnast I can possibly be. Training began today. My rips have rips!

Posted by bonnie at 7:47 PM | Comments (7)

"Stick It"

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.

Posted by bonnie at 2:05 PM | Comments (4)

April 27, 2006

"United 93"

I'm not going to get very deep into a post about this film here, but I just have to say that EVERY TIME I see the ad for United 93,

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I bawl. I cry and cry and cry. JUST BY SEEING THE 30-SECOND AD. Say what you will about the zillions of things people seem to need to say about this film, but that's some brilliant effin' trailer-making.

Posted by bonnie at 11:52 PM | Comments (4)

April 25, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

Do I blog about the brilliant, amazing, talented, wonderful, charismatic actors I met at today's showcase and industry panel discussion...

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...or the certifiably insane unstable paranoid obnoxious a-hole actors whose messages were waiting for me when I returned home?

Hmm...

Posted by bonnie at 7:13 PM | Comments (9)

April 24, 2006

People are weird.

I know, that's not a groundbreaking piece of information, there, but it's just so very strange to me how obsessed people get about things...

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...and then excuse them away as "a part of the creative soul that I am," since--see--without the drama, they wouldn't be able to be as brilliant, as artists. So it's a trade-off.

Mind you, I'm talking about myself here (or at least my younger self). Something really neat about being mid-30s-ish is that I now find it terribly entertaining (and a little sad) watching creative types self-destruct, blame failure on everyone outside of themselves, and then assure you they've got it all under control and will take the world by storm... next time.

I guess watching it is more fun than it was BEING that person, back in the day.

Ah, hell... maybe we're all just a bunch of delicate princess jaggoffs anyway.

Pff. Hollywood!

Posted by bonnie at 11:23 PM | Comments (7)

April 21, 2006

Gift Basket! Yay!

Last night, I went to dinner with the producer of a film I'll be casting later this year. One of the themes we came up with, in discussing the project, the reaction actors have when we give away free copies of my books at speaking engagements, her excitement over getting free software in exchange for a contracted service was: PEOPLE LOVE FREE SHIT. It's seriously true.

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Click for big.

Well, look at what showed up here today! Wow! I'm in shock! This is soooooo cooooool! I did my little guest speaking engagement over at Argentum (as a part of their Fireside Chat series) and this was their thank you. Wow! So totally unexpected! I am in heaven!! There are even gluten-free goodies in it, so I don't have to give it ALL away. ;) And what a cool picnic basket!! Yay! I'm so so so happy! Giddy even! Yay! Thanks, Argentum! Y'all rock!

Posted by bonnie at 1:27 PM | Comments (6)

April 17, 2006

Predicting TV Show Success

Most of y'all know that I write a weekly column for actors called The Actors Voice. Well, I wanted to specifically mention this week's column for those of you who (like me) enjoy a little behind-the-scenes calculation about which TV shows will be given the best shot each season. Yes, I'm a big ol' math geek. I embrace that truth.

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Ever wonder why some shows (Emily's Reasons Why Not) will be given only one episode to prove themselves while others (Joey) are kept on life support far longer than ratings should allow? Well, there's actually some measure of predicting you can do this time of year to get an idea of what the fall season will look like.

I hope you'll enjoy the piece and share your comments here. Thanks.

Posted by bonnie at 6:12 AM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2006

Wrap Party

Keith's wrap party for season four of CSI: Miami was wonderful. I loved getting to meet his friends from the casting office (and one keyrayzii boss... wow), listen to the interns joke about goosing Bruckheimer (and how much he'd like it), schmooze with TV people, and connect with Sunil Nayer (who wrote a great testimonial for Acting Qs, but whom I'd never met 'til last night).

The best part was--as is a "best" at most TV wrap parties--the gag reels and best-of-season video. The gag reel was effin' brilliant (the kind of thing that would be in heavy rotation on YouTube--with all of the pranks and jokes among cast and crew) and the best-of-season video rocked mainly because Keith's scene made the cut!

When they started the video, I whispered to my finally-no-longer-nervous hubby, "Hey, maybe you'll be in this," which was met with, "No. I didn't shoot with any of the series regulars; just the episode's bad guy and dead guy." So, when his mug was up there on the big screen, I squealed (and I think Keith kind of teared up a little bit).

It was a great night. Congrats on your first network co-star wrap party, honey. You done good! (Tune in for the show May 1st.) Woo!

Posted by bonnie at 4:56 PM | Comments (8)

April 12, 2006

Elitist: The Video

Okay, gang. You asked for it. You got it! Rebecca Romijn as skewered by David Spade, after her appearance on The Tonight Show.

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Click to launch QuickTime MOV

Enjoy!

For context of this moment with Rebecca Romijn, read here and here.

Posted by bonnie at 2:36 AM | Comments (4)

April 11, 2006

Corey, Corey, Corey

Okay, seriously, I'm blogging as if I have no life of my own. Believe me, there will be news here before too long. I've been doing a casting consultant gig, I'm gearing up for the next SMFA seminar, and How I Lost My Mind and Killed Myself is about to take off in the major way that most actors are looking forward to (read: shifting from the name-offer status to actual casting sessions). But not today.

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Today, I must share another of the ridiculous Corey quotes (Can YOU count the grammatical errors?) and let you know that tomorrow I shall post about a raccoon, a shrimps, and a link to video of the Romjin interview. Yeah, baby.

The evolvement of my career has always been kind of a wonder and a mystery to even myself.
Seriously, kids. Stay in school. And hopefully a school where the teachers know something. Wow.

Posted by bonnie at 1:31 AM | Comments (6)

April 10, 2006

Revisiting Rebecca Romijn, the Elitist

Holy bejeebus has my blog traffic spiked since I posted the transcript of the Rebecca Romijn interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as brilliantly interpreted on The Showbiz Show with David Spade! So, here's some info you may like, searchers...

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While Rebecca Romijn's appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (originally aired on Friday, 31 March 2006) has likely already rerun in that lovely 2:05am slot that features week-old episodes on NBC, I noticed that she will be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC tonight. That's 12:05am tomorrow, technically.

Let's see... will she extract her foot from her mouth or cram it deeper inside? Place yer bets, folks!

Meanwhile...

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The brilliant episode of The Showbiz Show with David Spade that I transcribed at this earlier post is rerunning TONIGHT on Comedy Central at 7:30pm/10:30pm and 9:30pm/12:30am (check local listings). Sooo... perhaps some wonderful person who loves to YouTube will grab it like this guy did with the previously brilliant bit David Spade did on Vin Diesel's talk show appearances. If you haven't seen it, go enjoy. And remember, actors... you should TRY to sound natural and unrehearsed when you do your big talk show visits.

Ah, showbiz. I love it so much!

Posted by bonnie at 5:13 PM | Comments (6)

April 7, 2006

Elitist

Of course, David Spade makes this topic screamingly funny on his brilliant Showbiz Show with David Spade, but in case you missed it (or can't catch it in reruns on Comedy Central), I'll do my best to capture the moment.

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David: Promoting her new show "Pepper Dennis" on "The Tonight Show," Rebecca Romijn made the unfortunate mistake of telling the "I'm too good to eat lunch with regular people" story.
Rebecca: They broke us for lunch and I'm like, "Okay, so which way to the catering tent?" And they were like, "Yeah, you're going to have to get your lunch over there," and they point at the commissary--which is a fancy word for cafeteria.
David: Hmm. Is it just me or is this story coming out wrong? Hopefully she'll turn into the skid.
Rebecca: And it was crowded. It was like all the crew members and the background artists which is another fancy word for extras.
David: Oh my God, you had to eat with your co-workers? I did that once. It was effin' horrible. What a nightmare!
Rebecca: I ended up in the fajita line, hoping that I would make it to the front of the line before they ran out of the dried-up meat that they were cooking.
David: Y'know, I'm sure the guy serving your lunch will make sure your food is nice and moist from now on.
I think the thing that makes that whole sad story from Ms. Romijn so screamingly sad/funny is the way she cupped her hands around her mouth like she was whispering something like "cancer" near someone who would freak out upon hearing the word... and she did it twice.

The words she "cup-whispered"?

CAFETERIA
and
EXTRAS

Nice.

Careful, honey. You don't get to BE an actor who eats at the "cafeteria" without enduring the "extras" who make it look like your shows and films take place in some real world (yes, even X-Men employs background artists). And I think that "crew" you're so offended to eat with... yeah... they really aren't the people you want to piss off with your elitism. They're Teamsters.

Posted by bonnie at 2:15 AM | Comments (11)

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.

Posted by bonnie at 1:02 AM | Comments (1)

April 6, 2006

Save Our Shows

Have you voted in the annual "Save Our Shows" campaign? Please strongly consider shows with which my buddies are involved: "Commander in Chief" (Jasmine Jessica Anthony, Steve Tom), "Sons & Daughters" (Fred Goss, Alison Quinn, Greg Pitts, Dee Wallace-Stone, Nick Holly), "The King of Queens" (Victor Williams), "One on One" (Camille Mana), and "Reba" (Melissa Peterman).

Vote here!

Thanks!

Posted by bonnie at 6:41 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2006

Randy Quaid, are you kidding me?

I mean, just because your agents didn't work a good back-end deal (no pun intended) for your work in Brokeback Mountain, you NOW want to sue for $10M in damages?

Quaid said in the lawsuit that he originally was approached in 2004 by director Ang Lee, who told him, "We can't pay anything, we have very little money, everyone is making a sacrifice to make this film." Quaid charged in the lawsuit that he was the victim of a "movie laundering" scheme.
Look, every time you do a low budget feature film (and yes, a film like Brokeback Mountain, shot for around $15M, IS considered a low budget indie, EVEN IF a studio backs it), it is the job of your AGENT to be sure you have points on the back-end in case the film gets wide release (good lord with the double entendres), especially when you work below quote on the project.

Sue your agent. Not the filmmakers.

Posted by bonnie at 11:39 AM | Comments (6)

March 10, 2006

Howdy!

Oh my, my, my, my, my. Busy gal. But I did want to come by and say HOWDY!

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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.

Ha!

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.

Posted by bonnie at 3:10 PM | Comments (4)

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...

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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.

Posted by bonnie at 8:36 PM | Comments (2)

March 5, 2006

Bustin' Out

CoCo showed up bearing gifts last night. Not only did she bring my favorite vodka to the party, she also brought amazing news.

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Yup. Conventioneers won at the Independent Spirit Awards last night. Read an interview with director Mora Stephens and then read a review of the film.

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.

Posted by bonnie at 3:52 PM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2006

Two Days of Driving

Well, actually it's two days of guest-speaking, but there's also the driving to get there.

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That's from mi casa to Moorpark College. It's way far. Way. But it's not the far I dislike. It's the traffic. I'm going super early and taking my iPod and a script I'm supposed to have read by now, in case I'm so ahead of traffic that I have to park and chill 'til showtime.

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And that's from mi casa to UCLA. Dude. I could walk in as much time as it'll take for me to drive to Moorpark. Oh don't worry... I WON'T... but I could. ;)

If you want to receive emails about when I'm out and speaking and such, sign up for the Cricket Feet mailing list and you'll be all set. OH! By the way... WOW! Am I getting a buttload of email about this (and last) week's column! Woo! Controversy, baby! Woo! LOVE IT! BRING IT ON, BITCHCAKES!

Finally, had to share this (from a blog that scooped this info off another blog):

Avoid message boards unless you have a major dilemma. A lot of the people on message boards have serious complications and they will inevitably scare you to death.
*giggle* Totally out of context, I really like that. I've been limiting my message board time lately and I'm definitely healthier for it.

Enjoy the rain! Be safe! Rainy days and Mondays always get me off (no, that is not a typo). I LOVE 'EM!

Posted by bonnie at 6:45 PM | Comments (3)

February 13, 2006

Zzzzzzz

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!

Posted by bonnie at 7:56 PM | Comments (5)

January 23, 2006

Well Earned Break

Because some of the best "downtime" after a day of building office furniture and moving stuffs all over the place--we are sooooo going to have the BEST home office on the planet--is a quiz, I took two! Yay!

This one from Chip:

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Which Rock Chick Are You?

From Suzer:

You are the Universe card, sometimes called the World card. The Universe is the complete, perfect whole. The spiritual path has come to an end and enlightenment is reached. Events have reached completion. The different facets of your life are well-integrated and harmoniously balanced. This is an ideal state in which to rest and feel the true state of your vibrant physical being. Your creative potential is maximized and you have achieved goals that you have set for yourself in the past. After enjoying the pleasure of this state, a new cycle can begin with new challenges and triumphs that will keep you feeling alive and keep building on the foundations you have planted thus far. Image from The Stone Tarot deck.
Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Finally, I'd like to give a big BREAK A LEG to my honey, who has several rockstar auditions tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'll be continuing my work on the home office and the casting lists for the meetings coming up this week.

Oh, and if you want to see the face of evil, go here. Yes, she worked for me, three years ago. Yes, she knows EXACTLY as much about Hollywood as she tries to make it seem as if she does. Truly. And that should tell you plenty. *snark* :\

BTW--cubbies ROCK!

Posted by bonnie at 10:36 PM | Comments (2)

January 19, 2006

SAG Awards

As Bob said over at SAGActor.com, "Brilliant performances, filmed in the US, and they send me a screener? You got my vote." Right on.

Our copy of Crash arrived today. Greatness.

Posted by bonnie at 6:36 PM | Comments (3)

January 18, 2006

God Bless Hollywood

Fairly typical conversation at dinner.

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"Hey, that guy (referencing someone in a commercial we're watching at the bar) has auditioned for me three times in the past six months. He's on my shortlist! He's not only in this commerical, but also in the X commerical."

"The X commercial that co-stars Y? Y is in my class! That's a GREAT ad!"

"Yeah! Yeah, that's the one. He's been booking commercially like crazy--and I've had him on my list quite a bit lately. That feels pretty good."

"Cool."

Pass the yummies. It's an average day in the 'wood. And who'd we spy, sis? Patrick Stewart or somesuch? Yeah. Good night. As per usual. (PS--all drama resolved on the ride home, as you'd expect. As I told teh Ash, there's enough drama in life. No need to have drama at home.)

Posted by bonnie at 11:18 PM | Comments (1)

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.

Speaking of Deb, it is now time to go. Showcase* production meeting, Keith's audition, then early dinner with sis at the Tana's. Awesome. Lobster time, baby!

* = disclosure to come. Stand by.

Posted by bonnie at 3:14 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2006

Good TV

Anyone else watching Anything To Win on GSN? Fascinating television!

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Tonight, I learned how to count cards at MIT. Layst week, I learned how to win the Boston Marathon. Awesome.

Posted by bonnie at 7:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2006

12 Minutes in...

...and already I'm over the Golden Globe red carpet coverage by E! and the whole Ryan/Isaac dynamic. Leave it to Giuliana and Debbie, please.

And tech difficulties-a-go-go too? Did y'all fire your A-team crew while you were canning the other red carpet gang?

Running commentary will be at Somesuch, as usual. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 3:12 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2006

Movies

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.

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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!

Posted by bonnie at 3:59 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2006

Queen Oscar?

Just got this email from Anna Christopher, rockstar director of Queen of Cactus Cove.

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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*

Posted by bonnie at 12:45 PM | Comments (3)

January 5, 2006

Thank you, Santa

The long search for an Oscar host is over, with an official announcement from the academy expected to come early Thursday morning.

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More here.

Posted by bonnie at 2:25 AM | Comments (2)

January 3, 2006

Film News

Great news about a few films I've cast.

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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.

Hombre Kabuki (AKA Each To Each) has been named an official selection of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and will screen between February 2nd and 14th. More details when available.

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.

Posted by bonnie at 6:59 AM | Comments (1)

January 2, 2006

Flickering Image Film Festival

Please join us Saturday, 7 January 2006 at the AFI Mark Goodson Auditorium, 2021 Western Ave., Hollywood 90027 for the screening of the ten winning films for the 2006 Flickering Image Film Festival.

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I'm pretty dang happy--having co-founded this li'l festival a few years back. This year, I'll be moderating a panel featuring Gary Marsh (Breakdown Services), Nick McCarthy (*Alpha 60), and Joel Viertel (Hyphenate Films). The panel discussion begins at 5pm and the winners' screening is at 7pm.

There is a requested donation of $2 admission at the door. Reservations are not required but seating IS limited. For more info and a map, click here. Hope to see y'all there!

Posted by bonnie at 4:52 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2005

Synchronicity

There is something so beautiful about the way life works sometimes.

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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.

Yes.

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!

Posted by bonnie at 5:59 PM | Comments (1)

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!

Posted by bonnie at 6:59 PM | Comments (0)

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.

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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*

Posted by bonnie at 1:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2005

New Casting Gig

Still of the Night, an ensemble dramatic SAG ULB feature film, to shoot January 2006.

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Watch for breakdown later today. Woo hoo!

Posted by bonnie at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)

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.

It sucks.

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Click to enlarge.

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.

Ugh.

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.

Posted by bonnie at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)

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.

Posted by bonnie at 10:25 PM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2005

888

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.

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Prereads for Two Dogs Inside tomorrow at waytooearly ayem. I'm so excited about this project!

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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.

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Started watching Commander In Chief to support Jasmine Jessica Anthony, and I've stayed around, loving the whole dang show.

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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!

Posted by bonnie at 11:56 PM | Comments (1)

October 15, 2005

Color Me Happy!

The first review for Shrinks is here!

Click to enlarge.

Martini Republic's review of the play included such lavish praise as this:

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!

Posted by bonnie at 5:54 PM | Comments (1)

October 6, 2005

Amy's Blind Date

Woo hoo! Unlike MY episode of Blind Date, looks like I'll actually get to SEE Amy Harber do her thang tomorrow at 11am on KTLA.

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Yup, I never did see my bonzai tree-trimming, dart-throwing episode from November 2000, though I hear it was good. Ever so excited to watch Amy cat it up on the air.

PS--it's hot and dry. Nose bleeds-a-go-go (guess they're better than migraines, though). Ugh.

Posted by bonnie at 3:14 PM

October 4, 2005

Well, That Was Fun

So, I just got off the phone from an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

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Meanwhile, enjoying watching the amazingly talented Kim Estes and Jasmine Jessica Anthony (two actors I cast in A New Tomorrow) on Commander in Chief.

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

Mitchell Fink on TV

Okay, so once upon a time, I met a guy online (yeah, that seems to happen a lot in my life, but that's not what this is about).

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Well, turns out, Mitchell Fink would end up moving to Hollywood and taking this town by storm. Watch the rockstar at work, all this month.

CSI on October 6th, The OC on October 13th, Cold Case on October 16th, and Still Standing on October 19th.

MitchellW (VIP) posted 01-07-2003 03:48 PM
I know I have never met you, but when I get to Los Angeles this summer, you will high on the list of people to meet.

I got the book last night and read a pretty good chunk of it and I am so impressed!

Great content, great insight and it's so nice to break down the wall of fears associated with CDs.

Love it...keep up the great work!

Mitchell
CastingQs (Administrator) posted 01-07-2003 09:42 PM
Yay! Love meeting new people!!

I am SO glad you like the book! Yay! That makes me very happy. That's the goal: for the whole "meeting-the-casting director" issue to be demystified. I'm glad it's giving you some good ideas for your approach, once you get to meet with some of these folks.

Thank you very much for the feedback. Do good work--and we'll meet soon!

-Bon.


Yes... I'm a wee bit proud. ;)

PS--Camille Mana, you were smokin' in the bathing suit on One on One tonight. C'mon, girl! You work it!

Posted by bonnie at 12:34 AM

October 2, 2005

Two Dogs Inside

New casting gig, y'all! Woo hoo! Two Dogs Inside is the title.

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Six speaking roles, shoots four days in November, SAG Short Film contract, copies, credits, meals, etc. Breakdown will go out tomorrow morning on Actors Access and through Breakdown Services, natch.

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

Quite a Loss

Rest in peace, Mr. Wilson.

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You will be missed.

Posted by bonnie at 6:57 PM

October 1, 2005

And because you loved it...

...there's more.

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Click on Maria for a fright!

As if the feel-good romantic comedy of the year weren't enough, now there's the terrifying suspense thriller slasher horror deathromp called West Side Story.

Poor Jets. They never knew what hit 'em.

Article from NYT on the guy who done it Shining style: Robert Ryang. More on blog, maybe. Rock it, editor. Rock it indeed. Uku.

Posted by bonnie at 11:57 PM

September 30, 2005

Effin' Brilliant

It's the feelgood movie of the year! See the trailer!

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click to launch MOV

What is it? Well, a post-production house organized a competition where assistant editors recut trailers from famous movies to try and make them seem like completely different movies...

This was the winner. Brilliant!

Posted by bonnie at 12:52 PM

September 24, 2005

My Work, In Public

Some cool opportunities to see my casting work out there...

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Click for the big version.

The opening night party should be really outstanding! Buy tix here. (Yes, I will be there on the 15th.)

This weekend (and no, I'm not healthy enough to leave the house yet), there's a cool cast/filmmaker Q&A and screening of the first film I ever cast (A Dull House) at Film Society tomorrow night.

And, a reminder to my east coast peeps, The Moor will be screening at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October.

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 21, 2005

Acting Qs Book Event 9/21/05

Blake Robbins (co-author and working actor) and I will be doing a book signing and talk with Jill Andre and Stephon Fuller (both working actors we interviewed in our book Acting Qs: Conversations with Working Actors) at Brentano's, Century City, on Wednesday, 9/21/05 at 7pm.

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Brentano's is located at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. 90067.

Woo hoo!

PS--Camille Mana may also stop by!

Posted by bonnie at 1:25 AM

September 17, 2005

Couplathings

1. Working on the book helps calm panic attacks.

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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*

3.

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

Congrats, Camille!

So, last week, Keith and I went to a taping of Camille Mana's new TV series, One on One. Very cute.

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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.

Def Jam Becca MC got me a wedding present: a link to a way cool Gluten-Free blog. Thanks, Becca!

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

Congrats, Kathy!

Congratulations to Kathy Joosten for winning her first Emmy!

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Coverage of the awards-before-the-big-awards event here.

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!

So, the beautiful film The Moor screened tonight at the LA International Short Film Festival--which rocked like a cradle!

BTW--The Moor is hitting the Hamptons Film Fest next. Rock on, rockstar film! As CoCo said, it's the feel good romantic comedy of the year, yo? ;)

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 9, 2005

New Favorite TV Channel

You know me. I don't sleep on any "normal" schedule. So, around 4am when I've emptied the TiVo and need to have something on while I work, I now go to Google Current.

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This is what I think "reality" TV should be. Really brave, self-produced and submitted POV "pods" with on-screen status bars so you know, going in, how long the pod is and how far along in the story you are.

I first saw a pod about Katrina (and the warnings that came years ahead of time, graphic depictions of land loss, timeline of evacuation and rescue activities, all set to Flood by Jars of Clay*) last week and was hooked.

Last night, I watched for hours... further hooked. THIS is what TV is coming to. Wikipedia-like self-correcting viewer-scored user-submitted pods on everything. So long, CNN. Rock on, Google Current. I'm in.

*Lift me up--when I'm falling
Lift me up--I'm weak and I'm dying
Lift me up--I need you to hold me
Lift me up--and keep me from drowning again...

Posted by bonnie at 1:27 AM

September 4, 2005

Sunday Morning Search Party

Haven't done a search party in awhile, and I'm already ahead of myself in my To Do List this weekend (amazing), so let's have some fun and analyze the words and phrases that brought people here recently.

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One on One: Camille Mana: of course! My friend Camille (from Wolfesden days and in Acting Qs) is a series regular now! Woo damn hoo!

Trashelle funny: yes, yes she is. Often in the way that Tara Reid funny or Anna Nicole Smith funny. Although, I must say that Katie out-Trashelled Trashelle last week on Kill Reality. Man, that show was such a great idea!

Bonnie pink: I like that one!

Blake Robbins: The OC: yes, my writing partner booked a recurring character on The OC but I can't tell you what he does. Just know, if you've seen him on everyothershowlately you know what his characters always do. *evil grin*

Tru-Fan Eliza: I think I got on their radar from casting the amazing Shawn Reaves as Kliner in Chandler Hall, but there has been so much turnover in that cast that I'm afraid to ask if he's been shooting lately.

Scout Taylor-Compton MISSING: yeah, a big spike in traffic over that one, as it seemed my blog was the only thing leading people to info, early on in her missing days, before the family went public. What's odd is that my blog drew the attention of (and led to phone calls from) the media... and lots of it. When the NY Daily News calls... well... it's just a little surreal.

girls upset tummy: aww. I have no advice for such. I got some advice for mine, but little of it was gluten-free, and I'd settle for an upset tummy over a migraine any day!

that hot dress: well, if it's one I've had on my bod, it MUST be this one. I mean... come ON! Hot, yo?

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Kathy Griffin: ew! Don't look here for her (well, except above, I guess). Deb, I think I thought of someone who elicits in me the Renée Zellweger response you have. It's Kathy "Botox" Griffin. *shudder* (Oh, and upon looking over RZ's IMDB, I have actually seen FOUR movies she was in, but in two of them, she only had one forgettable scene each, so yeah, I guess I really only have seen two of HER movies. Ironic to see the most recent title, considering our Friday night experience.)

Definition: Work In Progress: that's me, baby. That's me.

PS--My nails are so long that I can't type without fat-fingering everything lately. Gluten-free eating has proven sooooo healthy for me. Love it!

PSS--My confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement with FOX is still in place from my Paradise Hotel days, so I can't say much, but OMG are the producers LYING in their interviews during Paradise Hotel Revealed on the FOX Reality Channel. Holy bejeebus, are they lying their arses off!! I'll tell you specifically where around May 2006, when I won't get sued for doing so.

Posted by bonnie at 1:52 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!

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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:

Fun stuff, fun stuff, fun stuff! Yippee!

Posted by bonnie at 7:04 PM

August 25, 2005

Scout FOUND

Going public was a hard decision for Lylith and family, but I'm sure they're glad they did it.

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Within 24 hours of issuing a statement, they were given the gift of Scout Taylor-Compton's SAFE return HOME!

And really, that's all anyone wanted! Blessings galore!

As one friend said:

They will still need our prayers and support as they put this behind them and move forward.

Thank you, EVERYONE, for your support and legwork in helping get Scout home safe! May we live in a world where all news stories about missing children end so very happily!

Posted by bonnie at 1:29 PM

August 24, 2005

Media Coverage: Scout Taylor-Compton

Stressful day. But the word is out and that will help.

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Links to stories (with photos) about Scout Taylor-Compton:
Yahoo! News
Zap2it
E! News Live
AccessHollywood

I'll keep updating. I have footage of Scout from her taped audition for Teenage Dirtbag as well as her demo reel, but I want to speak with Lylith about that material before sharing it. Check back.

Meanwhile, a thanks from Lylith for everyone's willingness to post flyers and spread the word while letting her (and Scout's excellent publicist, Laura Marks--with whom I did a panel discussion for Showfax's Actors 101 series two years ago) deal with the media.

Posted by bonnie at 8:35 PM

August 23, 2005

"What can I do?"

The most asked question of late is, "What can I do to help bring Scout Taylor-Compton home?" The answer is: "Put up flyers (wherever you are). Link to the flyers. Use passive spread-the-word techniques like including a link to the flyers in your everyday emails and posts. Put a flyer in the window of your car."

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And in the spirit of "if a picture paints a thousand words, a video must paint a million," clicking on the above screen capture of Scout will launch a 2.4 MB QuickTime video file (scout.mov) of an outstanding PSA Scout did last year.

Bring Scout HOME.

Posted by bonnie at 4:38 PM

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.

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Please, if you have seen Scout, call 1-800-THE-LOST immediately.

Other stuff...

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

Ow.

Latest Scout Taylor-Compton post linked here.

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.

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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."

*sigh*

Posted by bonnie at 3:44 AM

August 21, 2005

Scout Taylor-Compton

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.

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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.

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!

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).

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:

scout.jpg

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 18, 2005

Hold up, hold up!

I think I've found my non-workout cure to feeling better (if not healthy).

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It's Battle of the Network Reality Stars. Thank you, Bravo, for always going there.

Posted by bonnie at 5:23 PM

August 17, 2005

Grammar Police

Why why why why why can't the ad agency create a commercial in which proper grammar is used?

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The line in the new Staples back-to-school ad is: "Wouldn't it be nice if there was an easy button for school?"

COME! ON! SUBJUNCTIVE, anyone?!?

Oh, the irony that it's a back-to-school ad! Auuuuugh!!!!

PS--Welcome to LA, Franny. And congrats on nailing your first network TV audition right off the plane and getting a callback within five hours of landing. Rockstar!

Posted by bonnie at 4:47 AM

August 16, 2005

Power Is Sexy

This is true. I find power so effin' sexy. Many women do. *melt*

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There is something so gorgeous about the pompous, arrogant, articulate, brilliant posts Keith is making over at the SAG Actor board lately that I just want to throw myself at him.

Oh wait... I can do that! *giggle*

Posted by bonnie at 4:54 PM

August 7, 2005

Cool Stuff

Just gotta keep braggin' about my friends!

Congratulations to Caerthan Banks and all of us involved with The Moor as we have our Los Angeles premiere at the LA International Short Film Festival next month!

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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

Casting News

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.

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See the film.

See the press.

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

August 2, 2005

Support My Friends

I think I'm actually going to start a regular post category of "Support My Friends," where I'll try to get the word out about my friends' gigs and how everyone can help us ALL get to the Hollywood A-List faster.

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From the greatness that is Paul Bales of SAG Indie...

As most of you probably know by now, I directed my first film last October, which will be released on DVD a week from today.

I would really appreciate it if you would rent the film when it comes out and tell everyone on your mailing list to do the same (even if you've already seen it).

The details are as follows:
Title: Legion of the Dead (It's a mummy movie...)
Release Date: August 9, 2005
Where: Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video (Nationwide), various independent video stores, Netflix, the Internet

You can learn more about the film here and here. The film is rated "R" (violence/gore, nudity, language), so it's not for kids (or my mom).

The distributor tells me that, like theatrical box office, the prospects for the film are usually determined in the first week of release... so please try to rent the film as early as possible.

Thank you so much for your support. I hope you like the movie.

By the way, there was another horror film with the same title released a few years ago... so if you watch the movie and everyone is speaking German you picked up the wrong one...

Good luck, Paul! Hope it's a great first week for you.

Posted by bonnie at 1:28 PM

July 31, 2005

Coolness!

Got this email today:

Was loafing doing an extra gig for Malcolm in the Middle last week and someone had your Acting Qs book prominently atop a pile of books on the AD's table in holding all nite. Seemed like a clever mode of getting its name out there. Did not find out whose it was though.

How effin' cool!

Posted by bonnie at 2:32 AM

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...

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Agent: "I want you to consider a wonderful actor named Timothy Carhart. He recently did this great little film called The Moor and I know you'd like his work."

Me: "I *cast* The Moor. I *cast* Tim in The Moor. That was one of my first films."

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."

*tear*

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 27, 2005

A Show You Must Watch

If you're not already hooked, give it a minute. You will be.

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I saw Sean Hayes interviewed on the early morning shows while I was casting in Missouri and I knew I'd have to Season Pass the new Bravo show Situation: Comedy.

Brilliant. If you have any interest in the business of show creation, pilots, pitches, and show running, you must tune in. A pair of the finalists remind me of The Jeffs. Care to guess which pair, Jojo? ;)

Posted by bonnie at 11:31 PM

July 22, 2005

Hollywood Happy Hour presents Talent P.I.M.P. Live!

GREAT news! Hollywood Happy Hour is proud to present Talent P.I.M.P. Live on Thursday, August 4, 2005! Woo hoo!

For those of you who've already taken advantage of the free six-month HHH deal with Talent Pimp, you're already aware of the cool networking, headshot typing, and discount opportunities for actors. If this is new to you, well, Talent Pimp is Your Pipeline Into Motion Pictures! Get ready to get involved! What: This first LIVE event for Talent Pimp is brought to you by Hollywood Happy Hour and is filled with entertainment, industry networking, actor-goodies, and exciting giveaways! Who: Your host Patrick Keane brings you the brilliantly funny standup comedy of Henry Philips, Matt Dwyer, Blair Butler, Melissa Paull, and Bob Oschack. Now THAT's a great lineup! Industry guests scheduled to attend for the schmoozefest include casting director Jami Rudofsky, agent Tony Martinez, casting director Bonnie Gillespie, Couch Potato Corner writer Kris Burtt, and a selection of actors interviewed in the new book by Bonnie Gillespie and Blake Robbins: Acting Qs: Conversations with Working Actors.

When: Thursday, August 4, 2005, 10pm!

Where: The World Famous Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood

How Much: $5 if you RSVP to info@talentpimp.com in advance; $10 at the door otherwise. Two-drink minimum in the club.

What Else: Goodie bags from our sponsors and lots of freebies (see below for complete list of awesome goodies).

Feeling nostalgic for old Hollywood Happy Hour events? Everyone's uncle, Uncle Bob, has put our past shows on "tape" for our audio archives ... Yay!

===========
Goodie Bags for winners of our trivia contests loaded with...

*fun California Poultry Federation stuff
*cosmetics and aromatherapy treatments from Pampered People Spa
*cool AquaHooks custom-made for HHH
*card packs from Acting Outside the Box
*tickets to shows at The Ark Theatre
*tickets to the legendary 15 Minutes of FEM shows (and the NEW 15 Minutes of HIM series)
*tickets to shows at Theatre District at the Cast
*host coaching session with Kris Burtt
*acting class from Fawnda McMahan
*Acting Is Everything by Judy Kerr
*Acting Out by Stuart Stone
*Let's Dish by Nelson Aspen
*Casting Qs and Self-Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie
*Acting Qs by Bonnie Gillespie and Blake Robbins
*headshot photography session with RadStar Photography
*Holdon Log Audition Organizer and Booked Projects from Holdon Log
*Agent and Casting Director mailing labels and guide books from Breakdown Services
*Subscription to Showfax.com sides and Actors Access services
*annual membership on ActorsBone.com
*DVD directing/cinematography $500-value course from Hollywood Camerawork and narrator Julie O'Malley
*membership on Talent Pimp
*acting classes at the Actors Creative Workshop
*discounted headshots from Deborah Vancelete
*discounted registration for Building Your Wealth Cycles with Abundance Bound
*headshot session from Karen Somers Photography
*tickets to Take Command of Your Career workshop and a Charmed Life Coaching book from Morgana Rae
*headshot drops-offs by Landall's Box Office

and so much more!

You must be present to win, of course. We're going to have so much fun! Can't wait to see you next Happy Hour--where we present to you: Talent P.I.M.P.!
--
Bon
News, Schmooze, Reviews, and Interviews!
Yahoo Group for HHH
Talent PIMP

Posted by bonnie at 1:16 AM

July 21, 2005

Two Things

1. Had to cancel my social plans for the afternoon and evening (dinner with Nelson and a rockin' good time at Fluffy Bunnies before it heads to New York for a run there) due to the fact that I am totally overwhelmed by all that I have to do before leaving town for a few days.

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2. Learned that the best way to stay cool in a non-A/C environment when the temperature soars is to soak a tank top in ice-cold water, wring it out, and wear it like a sorority girl on spring break in Daytona Beach. Niiiiiice.

Posted by bonnie at 2:04 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.

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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 19, 2005

Good News/Bad News

Not in my life... I'm swamped and therefore too busy to evaluate what's happening as good or bad (though it seems all good, upon skimming).

But here's today's news that impressed me as awesome and not-awesome.

Super cool gig for performers without health insurance (just perform for hospitalized patients and receive $40 per performance hour in credit toward your own healthcare).

Health insurance on the barter system--a hospital in Brooklyn is offering free health care to dancers, singers, and actors in exchange for performing for patients.

Read the story at WABC* for more info.

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And further proof that I was right when I chose NOT to get a MySpace account...

News Corp announced on Monday that it has bought Intermix Media, owner of the popular MySpace.com social networking site, for $580 million.

Yep. That's the evil Fox News Network people, buying up all of the pseudo-Friendster bloggy kids. Have fun with that!

*Eff you, ABC World News Now, for making a story so completely impossible to find on your website. Why, when I see the story on YOUR overnight show and write down the key information that should make it easy to find the show on your website, do I have to resort to checking your many ABC affiliates' websites before finding said story? You RAN the story... you should LINK to it. Grr.

Don't mind me, I just spent a serious half-hour looking for something that should've been available in like 90 seconds and three clicks. Effin' Internet.**

**Not you, Internet. I love you. I'm just mad at the media.

Posted by bonnie at 12:30 PM

July 16, 2005

Definition of Friendship

What's a friend? I mean a true-blue, love-ya-forever, amazingly-good-people level friend.

That'd be friends like Shon and Jodi.

Why?

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Well, here they are, guest-starring on That's So Raven, having graciously invited us to see them work (which rocked; they were both really amazing and very funny), watching a scene or two in playback between live scenes (at which time the pages were handing out slices of pizza to the members of the audience). Okay, so these great actors *should* be basking in the glow of their accomplishments, enjoying watching their own work on the monitors, gearing up for their next live scenes, or simply enjoying the downtime schmooze with Disney execs (who were all over the set, for damn sure). What are they doing instead?

Noticing that pizza is not gluten-free, and therefore their friend Bonnie will not be able to eat a snack during this break in taping. Not only did they NOTICE this, but they grabbed a bowl, visited the craft services table, loaded up mixed raw veggies and fruits, and snuck the bowl up to us in the audience!

If THAT is not the very basic underlying principle to friendship, I don't know what is!

Now, outside of that particular moment (which was sincerely touching), this was one of our favorite nights out in awhile (and that's among a whole bunch of seriously amazing nights out of late). Turns out tonight was Shon and Jodi's manager's birthday. So, there was celebration both on the set (Emmy nominations and the first live shoot back this season) and off (congrats to Jodi on the recurring role, to Shon on the guest-star gig, my birthday, John's birthday, and Keith's signing with Origin), which we took care of with champagne at the ArcLight (my first time there; very cool).

Great night. Great talent. Great friends. That's really the best part of it all.

Posted by bonnie at 1:17 AM

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.

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How'd we get the invites? Dear friends (both of whom I've cast in films before) Shon Little and Jodi Shilling...

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(a couple Keith dubbed "Shodi")

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...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!"

Hee hee.

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

Onward!

Here's the best news about always having a few pots simmering on the stove at all times.

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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'!

To wit:

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.

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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

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)).

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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.

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And while I love my digs... man, doesn't this place look cool?

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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!

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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.

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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 6, 2005

Go, Blake!

Wouldja look at this? My friends are poppin' up all OVER the place lately!

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Click here to read the review at Variety.com (not sure if you have to be a member or not. Lemmeknow, as I'll post the relevant text here if you can't go see it for yourself).

His best four words were: "Robbins is impressively committed." Ah, reminiscent of the day that LA Weekly said "Bonnie Gillespie is excellent." Sigh. But we all know that LA Weekly ain't no Daily Variety. ;)

Go, Blake! So awesome! Keep kickin' ass, partner.

Posted by bonnie at 9:11 PM

July 5, 2005

Well Done, Niecey Ash!

Just watched your series regular debut on MTV's The '70s House. Very well done!

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Just keep saying "groovy" instead of "awesome," "dy-no-mite" instead of "excellent," and "let's boogie" instead of "drop it while it's hot" and you'll do just fine. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 8:05 PM

Such Super Cool Press

Got a cool little gift in my inbox today.

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Click to download PDF.

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!)

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from the SAG indie blog

In fact, they had a fancy big roll-out for the DGA last week. More on that here. Very excited to attend the contract workshop on the 14th. That'll rock.

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) luther.jpg. 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) sandra.jpg. 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.

3.

4. (Happy) tnfontanaletter.jpg (click it to read it). Cool mail from Tom Fontana, who wrote our kick-ass foreword. It seems he enjoyed the gig too. Right on.

5. (Happy) tnbonimdb.jpg. 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

Amazing Day!

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.

What's there?

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Freaks and Geeks, the complete series! This has been on my wishlist forever and Keith ordered it for my birthday. Yay! Early happy birthday Bonnie gift! Woo hoo! I cried. Seriously. I CRIED with joy!

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!

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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?

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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!

And...

Chip found what is probably the best FREE KATIE conspiracy theory article ever!

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 22, 2005

Welcome, Ben!

Welcome to the cast of Chandler Hall...

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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.

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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 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?

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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.

Any help?

Posted by bonnie at 2:07 AM

June 14, 2005

How Cute Are We!

First feedback from an actor interviewed in Acting Qs... none other than the amazing Stephon Fuller:

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Click for big.

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

How Excited Am I?

Super-duper excited. Look at the present GSN is getting me for my birthday!

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From the press release:

[GSN] has picked up repeats of all seven editions of the show that have aired on CBS, plus rights to the eighth edition of the game, which debuts in the fall, and an option for the ninth and 10th cycles. Episodes will air nightly at 9 p.m. ET, beginning Monday, July 11 with the show's first episode.

The conventional wisdom is that because they have serial stories and fans already know the outcome, they won't work as repeats. "The Amazing Race," though, may have an advantage in that regard. Although its popularity has taken off in the past year, its first few seasons didn't capture very big audiences.

That would be me. I didn't start watching TAR until the summer of 2003, when my assistant at the Fox show I was working on told me Keith and I were MADE for that show. Of course, I had to watch. I was soooo sucked in, wishing I'd listened to Chip all along.

No worries. I can start watching next month from the beginning. Yippee!

Gotta go. Have a date to play Hello Kitty Uno with the Q-Man. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 12:05 PM

June 8, 2005

Obsession

Have you ever been so totally and completely obsessed with something that you cannot fathom NOT thinking about it, even for a second?

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Yeah. I've been obsessed with 1990 Mazda Miata touch-up paint.

*sigh*

Not well.

See, when you have a nearly 16-year-old car, you need to touch up the paint in places from time to time. And when you pack to MOVE, you put things like the touch-up paint you bought ON THE SAME DAY YOU BOUGHT THE CAR in one of several boxes that (after the move) may not get completely unpacked--or even ones that may get put deep into a closet for storage, since you haven't needed anything in the boxes for months--and God help you if you think you can begin to find said touch-up paint when you realize there's a little fleck-off going on after the TicTac had a visit to the carwash.

Worse, give up EVER thinking you could find the damn thing, if you just looked ONE MORE TIME inside EVERY FREAKIN' box, drawer, closet, storage unit of EVERY kind... but please do go ahead and LOOK one more time (scratch that... not ONE more time... try a dozen more times). But don't you DARE stop THINKING that you *could* possibly find it, if you just looked ONE more time.

Again.

*sigh*

I told you I was NOT WELL.

Yes. I finally broke down and spent the FIVE BUCKS plus shipping to order the dang thing from a Miata shop online. Do you think *maybe* I could stop obsessing about where the damn thing is now?

Place yer bets, folks!

PS--I realized that the producer callback Keith had today was for the same show he's gone to producers for once before during pilot season. Effin' rockstar!

PPS--Just got home from a great industry thingy hosted by the TMA, Breakdowns, Barefoot Wine, and the Hollywood Reporter for the CBS fall season roll-out (preview, keynote, and panel). Way cool. Awesome giftbags! Swag is goooood.

Posted by bonnie at 12:05 AM

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.

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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 30, 2005

Here's Some of What I Do

Panel things.

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Click image for bigger.

(You may remember the announcement of this event, made right here.)

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Click image for bigger.

Yup. It's fun. Me likee.

Posted by bonnie at 9:50 PM

SAG LifeRaft Seminar Announced

It's official! My Self-Management for Actors SAG LifeRaft Seminar is on the books!

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Register soon! These things fill up fast! See y'all at SAG on the 21st! Woo hoo!

Posted by bonnie at 12:30 PM

May 29, 2005

How To Work the Media

Note to Tom and Katie: try the Christopher and Adrianne route.

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I just watched The Surreal Life 4 reunion show. A Brady and a supermodel are co-habitating. They behave very much like people with an age difference in Hollywood who are dating.

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You, Tom and Katie, don't. Shades of Michael and Lisa Marie, anyone?

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Of course, Tom, you know how this goes, having sketched out the gameplan for this little media blitz months ago.

Props to Rachael Harris and the crew at Best Week Ever for one of the best sketches on the subject of *shudder* Holmes-Cruise love thus far.

Posted by bonnie at 4:27 PM

May 22, 2005

Best Things on TV

Best things on TV tonight?

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That'd be Tina Fey doing the Risky Business spoof on Saddam Hussein in his BVDs and Keegan Michael Key doing "Man Up" stomp on MadTV. God bless TV that doesn't get cancelled. Ever!

WB Shows Cancelled
NBC Shows Cancelled
Fox Shows Cancelled (What???? Life on a Stick? Cancelled? Noooooo!) *rolls eyes*
ABC Shows Cancelled
CBS Shows REMAINING
UPN Shows REMAINING

Huge bummer-meter on the Joan of Arcadia cancellation in our household. That was a Season Pass for Keith. :( And, bigger bummer that our friends' pilots didn't get picked up. Still... I believe it'll happen. There's really good material there... and SOMEWHERE, there is an audience for stuff THAT good. 'Til then... we watch the bad and wish network TV fed us better morsels. :\

Oh, and as if I needed an extraction team to get me out of the house on Thursday nights... there's Hit Me Baby, One More Time, which seriously must be worse than that ballroom dancing show on UPN ABC (thanks, Ames).

Posted by bonnie at 12:24 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?

patrickduffy.jpg

This guy! Man, that's damn cool.

Posted by bonnie at 4:07 PM

Good Upfront Coverage

here, at TV Squad.

Posted by bonnie at 12:07 PM

May 16, 2005

Announcing: SMFA Seminars

Self-Management for Actors
Course by casting director and author Bonnie Gillespie

Bonnie Gillespie's new small-group seminar on Self-Management for Actors provides an inside look into the business of acting and helps you identify your primary type, create your best self-marketing plan, and give you confidence to navigate the Hollywood landscape without personal drama.

Remember: Drama Costs Extra!

First seminar: Monday, 6 June 2005. Click here for more information.

Wish me luck!

Posted by bonnie at 3:57 PM

Cross-post: Upfronts

Keep up with the upfronts.

C'mon... NO WHAMMIES!

Posted by bonnie at 3:33 PM

Page Six: Extras Fired

Oh, wow! This is a doozie.

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From the article:

The union extras-—who were playing cops, reporters and rioters-—refused to work unless they were paid more. The job action didn't end until a production manager gave an impassioned speech.

"He threatened us," said another extra. "He said, 'We'll never bring any more movies to New York if you hold up shooting here. We'll let everyone in California know about this.'"

Along with the stick came a carrot. "They compromised and said they would pay us," the extra said, "and then turned around and canned us. We finished that night's shooting, and then everyone who had complained was told not to come back. We're blacklisted."

Yikes!

May 16, 2005--UNION extras upset by smoky fires on the Yonkers set of Freedomland staged a sit-down Thursday night that disrupted filming of the Samuel L. Jackson/Julianne Moore movie reportedly for nearly an hour.

The "background performers," who are members of the Screen Actors Guild, demanded extra pay before they would continue filming a riot scene in the nearly abandoned Mulford Gardens housing project, which is slated for the wrecking ball.

"SAG rules say the actors are supposed to get paid extra for hazardous conditions," said one extra. "Steam is okay, technical smoke is okay, but you can't burn cardboard boxes. The smoke is toxic."

The union extras-—who were playing cops, reporters and rioters-—refused to work unless they were paid more. The job action didn't end until a production manager gave an impassioned speech.

"He threatened us," said another extra. "He said, 'We'll never bring any more movies to New York if you hold up shooting here. We'll let everyone in California know about this.'"

Along with the stick came a carrot. "They compromised and said they would pay us," the extra said, "and then turned around and canned us. We finished that night's shooting, and then everyone who had complained was told not to come back. We're blacklisted."

Freedomland is based on the brilliant book by Richard Price, which was inspired by the case of Susan Smith, who drowned her five children and told police they'd been kidnapped by a black man. Jackson plays a police detective who is helped by a newspaper reporter, played by Edie Falco. Moore is the homicidal mother. The movie is being directed by Joe Roth and produced by Scott Rudin.

A Freedomland spokeswoman said shooting was disrupted for no more than five minutes and denied rules were broken.

"We're a union shop. If there are grievances, there are ways to resolve them," she said.

The spokeswoman also denied anyone had been fired: "We had 275 extras on Thursday night. We needed only 175 on Friday night."

The pampered extras also complained that they were cheated out of their "meal penalties" (overtime for missed meal breaks) and that they weren't provided with enough toilets and a space to wait between scenes separate from the non-union extras.

"They've been breaking every rule in the book. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it," groused one extra, who said he was fired.

Posted by bonnie at 3:15 PM

May 13, 2005

Big-Ass Casting Meeting

Just had a big-ass casting phone date with some cool-ass filmmaker types.

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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

Book Faire

Enjoy.

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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
Seminar: 10:30am-12:30pm
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

Upfronts

Let's send loads of good luck, break a leg, show-get-picked-up vibes to New York for the Upfronts.

Bob's new show, Nobody's Watching, is going up for the WB.

Jeff's new show, Loved Ones (And Other People We Hate), is going up for NBC, though it looks like it may have been pushed to midseason. Hm.

Either way, way to go, two of the tallest guys I know! Kick ass. Have fun! Get those pilots picked up!

PS--Looks like Rose took me to the TWOP TAR-Con last night. Fun! Got to meet TAR6 castmembers Joe (of Joe and Avi) and Lori and Bolo (and Bolo tells me I must find a way to Taft-Hartley him for this next movie I'm casting. Hm. Could happen). Hee hee. Fun night. Lots.

Posted by bonnie at 1:42 PM

May 7, 2005

Ya Gotta Love Hollywood

Breaking news: Jennifer Garner, confirmed pregnant.

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They break into regular programming for this stuff around here.

Posted by bonnie at 4:36 PM

May 3, 2005

So People Love the New Book

Rock on.

Not yet on Amazon... but there's bureaucracy there.

That said, you can read advance reviews from totally unbiased book-loving readers here and here. Tee hee! LOVE THIS!

Sell, little book, sell!

Posted by bonnie at 11:41 PM

Many New Things

So... what up, G?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

And.

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

May 1, 2005

Freekin' Sweet!

Unless you live under a rock, you've heard the news that Family Guy is back!

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And bigger than ever! Damn, I'm so excited! Life, she is good today.

PS--Freakin' exhausted. What did I choose to do all weekend? Work. And work hard. Thank goodness for the happy present that is the greatness of this show... soon! Yay!

Posted by bonnie at 3:02 AM

April 28, 2005

Proofers Speak!

Hey, now that the book is at the printer (Woo hoo!), it is now totally cool for you--my lovely wonderful amazing proofer patrol--to tell the world. ;)

I have seen a few "hints" at the proofing gig on some blogs, and I want to thank you for having been so discrete throughout the editorial process. I owe you all such big thanks and so much alcohol.

Meanwhile, since it's time to get the PR machine cranking and do some major advance sales of Acting Qs: Conversations with Working Actors, feel free to brag about the awesome proofing job you did, the inspirational things you read, and the excitement you feel about this cool new book (in stores everywhere mid-June). Hee hee.

Now, as for that happy hour to celebrate the proofing work you did... we're on for mid-May, once I finish this casting gig I'm doing right now (and before I start... hopefully... this wicked cool next one). Yee haw! And THANKS, Super Proofers!

Posted by bonnie at 3:16 PM

April 1, 2005

Updates to the Book's Site

So many goodies added to the book's website (especially check excerpts from the actors' interviews).

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I'm seriously fried from all the work, but so incredibly proud and happy. Hey, proofer buddies, shall we plan a big night of food, drinks, and cheer for after the book goes to the printer? And out-of-town proofers... wanna fly in? ;)

G'nite.

Posted by bonnie at 11:16 PM

March 30, 2005

Workin' My Arse Off

I'm here. I'm alive. I'm working my arse off on the book.

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Remind me, when I go, "Whee!" over checks arriving in six months (and say stupid things like, "Look! I'm getting money for just having written something!") that I actually busted total ass in order to make that happen.

PS--Got hired Monday to cast another film. I can't even think about that yet. But it's SAG and it's way campy. Woo!

Posted by bonnie at 6:43 PM

March 19, 2005

Excited Casting Director

The film is now cast. Yay! And check out the indie film cred brewing in Cactus Cove.

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Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as BILLIE.

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Alex Frost (Elephant) as ACHAK.

Yeah. That's pretty dang cool. I'll update the film's casting page shortly, but I wanted to get the word out. Also, got word last week that two of the films I cast last year are in post (almost finished) and another of the films I cast last year has been accepted into the Seattle Film Fest. I need to update all of the films' casting pages to reflect this awesome activity.

I'm just one blissed out casting director! Yay!

Re: writing the book--the transcription machine came today, so I'm going to be pulling some much more efficient all-nighters now. Yippee!

Posted by bonnie at 8:03 PM

March 14, 2005

Hollywood Happy Hour, 4/5/05

Press Release:

Please join us on Tuesday, April 5, 2005 for our next Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

What: Hollywood Happy Hour filled with more fun than you could fathom! It's news, reviews, schmooze, and interviews!

Who: Nelson Aspen will chat with Collateral and Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Stuart Beattie, Bonnie Gillespie will speak with talent manager Abby Casey, and Kris Burtt will charm us all with her inimitable Couch Potato Corner!

When: Tuesday, April 5, 2005, 6pm SHARP!

Where: The Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 209, Hollywood 90028

How Much: $5 at the door and two drinks.

What Else: Goodie bags from our sponsors and lots of freebies (see below for complete list of awesome goodies).

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any questions you have for our guests to info@hollywoodhappyhour.com ASAP.

Feeling nostalgic? Everyone's uncle, Uncle Bob, has put our past shows on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay!

===========
Free! Goodie Bags loaded with fun California Poultry Federation stuff, cosmetics and aromatherapy treatments from Pampered People Spa, memo boards from Showfax, and fun AquaHooks custom-made for HHH!

Free! Entry into the Hollywood Happy Hour raffle for all--just bring a business card to drop in the fishbowl!

You could win:
Tickets to shows at The Ark Theatre
Card Packs from Acting Outside the Box
Tickets to the legendary 15 Minutes of FEM shows
Acting class discounts from legendary James Hong
Passes to shows and private instruction from Theatre District at the Cast
Acting Is Everything by Judy Kerr and Acting Out by Stuart Stone
Let's Dish by Nelson Aspen
Casting Qs and Self-Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie
Headshot session with RadStar Photography
Full demo reel packages from SpeedReels
ActorTrack software demos--and one grand-prize FULL-version--from Holdon Log
Agent and Casting Director mailing labels and guide books from Breakdown Services
Subscription to Showfax.com sides and Actors Access services
Annual membership on ActorsBone.com

and so much more!

You must be present to win, natch.

Posted by bonnie at 4:52 PM

March 11, 2005

New Favorite Blog To Watch

I had visited before and was enchanted by the excellent writing, snarky comments, and life-cannot-be-taken-seriously take on all things relating to the culture pop, but now I'm hooked.

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Why? It's this entry on the parallels between ANTM* and RW/RR. You had me at hello (or whatever first word you wrote).

Click away, readers. A serious hoot! Believe it.

*Anyone else notice how they're no longer called "seasons," but instead are "cycles" now? :\

Posted by bonnie at 12:01 AM

March 6, 2005

Name Dropper

Next week, I'm going over to this guy's house.

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Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee.

Posted by bonnie at 12:31 AM

February 28, 2005

February: Coda

I have significantly enjoyed the spoken word vignettes airing this month on TV Land.

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They're well-done, meaningful, and memorable. I have learned quite a bit while being moved by the messages.

And isn't that the best of what television is about?

Posted by bonnie at 3:34 AM

February 25, 2005

How Could You, Hootie?

So, this commercial has been bothering me for a few days now, and I wasn't going to comment on it since I'm sure someone else has (yes, in fact, many someones have addressed this evil ad). But just now, I snapped.

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It's just WRONG. Cheese bricked streets? Carmen Electra on a swing in her Daisy Dukes? Darius Rucker in a bolo? What is the world coming to?!? Well, maybe this is all normal stuff. Having never invested more energy into the Blowfish universe than whatever I'd happen to hear on the radio (and the use of the word "Hootie" as a code when we'd call Susan Hines at Turtles [or whatever corporation that took over Turtles around 1995]) I can only assume that this is not a Hootie-type message: pay me enough and I will sing country-western jingles in a purple shirt and white cowboy hat.

*shudder*

Posted by bonnie at 4:18 AM

February 23, 2005

Time To Cast

In just a few hours, the film will be cast.

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Yay!

This remains the best casting gig I've had. Open communication, right-on decision-making, very similar taste, and fun! No drama! I love that!

After we finish callbacks tonight, I'll head over to Dan Tana's to meet up with Keith, his sister Liz, and her coworker Constance. Liz has heard our tales of Tana and wants to have the experience for herself. This will be fun! Can't wait! Lobster with Liz! Yay!

Posted by bonnie at 1:12 PM

February 22, 2005

New LAST Interview

Well, we had done the last interview for the new book, but when James Hong calls... you add a chapter, baby.

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Yeah. That's a big OKEY DOKEY.

I've been seriously working my ass off all day on the book and this is a delightfully gratifying button to put on a day of hard work.

Lovely! Thank you, universe!

Posted by bonnie at 11:30 PM

February 20, 2005

Half-Cast

You Are Now Leaving Cactus Cove is now half-cast.

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(Not sure what that company does, but the image fit the bill for this post.)

I have cast the minor roles and have scheduled callbacks for the major roles. Awesome.

As of this moment, this is the most low-maintenance, easy-going, we-are-absolutely-on-the-same-wavelength casting gig I've ever had.

Rockstar cool. More like this one, please.

Posted by bonnie at 11:21 PM

February 14, 2005

Free Seminar for Parents of Young Actors

Hope you'll join us. I'm very excited to be speaking with the wonderful people who head up the non-profit BizParentz.com Foundation for young actors (and parents, of course). For more information about this event, please email BizParentz.com.

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"The Reel REAL Truth of the Business" with BizParentz Foundation (Paula and Anne, who are parents of child actors for over 10 years and are parent advisors to the SAG Young Performers Committee, as well as BizParentz founders) and special guest, Author and Casting Director, Bonnie Gillespie.

We'll sort out the facts and fiction of pilot season...what are your odds? How much do you make? Who's trying to rip you off? What business facts do you need to know?

It's FREE....and open to parents outside of Oakwood (the location).

Sunday, Feb. 20 after brunch--12:30PM in the North Hollywood Room, Oakwood Apartments, 3600 Barham Blvd., Los Angeles, 90068

Very excited. See y'all there!

Posted by bonnie at 12:48 AM

February 8, 2005

New Casting Gig

Wow. I've received 297 electronic submissions already (that's in three hours since releasing the breakdown), including a NAME for one of the roles for which we'd hoped to APPROACH a name (so much easier when they approach US).

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The filmmakers are amazing. I had a great meeting with them this morning (followed by another rockstar book interview) and we really connected. That's delightful. This is a thesis project for the MFA program at AFI. The film will be shot 35mm under a SAG contract and its working title is You Are Now Leaving Cactus Cove.

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The entire breakdown is available at Actors Access and linked from the casting section of CricketFeet.com.

Huge thank you to Robin Gwynne for introducing me to the film's producer, Brenda Weiermair. She rocks, as does Anna Christopher (writer/director).

Very cool gig!

Posted by bonnie at 8:30 PM

Gratitude Lost?

Well, that's just a lovely idea, Gil.

It seems silly enough to want to present awards to winners IN THEIR SEATS. This encouragement included in the news story takes the proverbial cake!

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From the story filed by the Associated Press:

[Award show producer Gil Cates] also urged the nominees to keep their acceptance speeches short if they win and focus on saying something meaningful rather than reading a list of names unfamiliar to the viewing audience.

Yes. Let us always remember to be quotable (good TV) but neglect to mention all of the little people (boring). No one cares that you were inspired by your childhood drama teacher. We want you to scream, "I'm the king of the world!"

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Posted by bonnie at 2:08 PM

February 7, 2005

Super Duper Happy Bonnie

Just scheduled our LAST interview for Acting Qs. We'll do a chat with this young man:

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(That'd be Tom Everett Scott, folks.)

Wooooooo hooooooo! It's almost a wrap, this one. Yeeeeeeee haw! *happy dance* (Oh, and yeah, I'm so super swooning about this particular interview... I will always love "Shades.")

When was the last time you were decently kissed? I mean really, honestly good and kissed?

*swoon*

Posted by bonnie at 2:20 PM

February 6, 2005

Okay, seriously...

That was like the most boringest show of Super Bowl commercials ever.

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Good news: won a buck (on who would win).

Bad news: lost two (on who would score first and who would win the coin toss).

Yes, I chose the same team all three times. Yes, if the little kid had done more than toss a coin into the air with NO spin, I'd have been the big winner.

Or not.

Whatever. The commercials were way boring. Except for the Ameriquest ones about not judging too quickly. Brilliant.

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Oh, PS--gooooooo Crista! You rocked on MadTV last night. Do it again! (Did I call it or what?)

Posted by bonnie at 11:26 PM

February 1, 2005

Great New Commercial

It's for the new Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper (why is there no DOT after Dr in Dr Pepper anyway?).

This chickie is sitting across from her beau who is talking about having won the lotto and being crazy about her and all that. She takes a sip of her drink and suddenly everything he says is...

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MAHNA-MANAH

followed by

DOOT-DOOOOOO-DOO-DOO-DOO

from everyone else in the commercial.

MAHNA-MANAH
DOOT-DOO-DOO-DOO
MANAH-MANAH
DOOT-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO
DOO-DOO-DOOT
DOO-DOO-DOOT
DOOT-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOOT-DOOT-DOO-OOOT-DOOT.

Those of you who watched The Muppet Show as religiously as I did will immediately recognize that and have the song stuck in your head forever, as have I since seeing that ad.

Good goin' Dr P.

Posted by bonnie at 11:36 PM

January 31, 2005

We Love Keith's New Manager

As I type this, Keith is reading for a role on a kick-ass series.

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Think that could work?

I do! I do!

Go get 'em, baby!

Posted by bonnie at 3:20 PM

January 30, 2005

Chicken Soup for the Whole Shebang

Y'know what makes me feel better when I'm blue? I just found out.

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Transcribing an interview with Cold Case's Danny Pino. What an inspiring story and wonderful reminder of what's so right about this world!

(contented) *sigh*

I'm so happy to be working on this amazing book. Wow. It's really good. Already. I'm inspired. Gotta remember that work feeds my soul.

Posted by bonnie at 11:53 PM

January 29, 2005

Show Your Support

Awesome site to read the letters of support from the industry for the casting directors' movement toward unionization...

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CastingUnion.com

...and post your own support.

Big meeting with the AMPTP on Tuesday, followed by a mandatory casting director meeting to discuss resolution or job action. Stay tuned!

Posted by bonnie at 1:38 PM

January 26, 2005

More Casting Director Ink

Excerpts from Lights. Industrial action! from The Economist.

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Is Hollywood...about to indulge in a hardball labour dispute? America's 500-or-so casting directors and associates--the unsung people-brokers who select actors for a film's director or producer--are threatening to strike if the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) refuses to grant them union recognition and health and pension benefits.
Since the AMPTP represents the big studios and, by extension, big corporations such as General Electric and Viacom, it might seem an unequal contest--except that the Casting Society of America (CSA), representing 368 of the casting directors, has the backing of the 1.4m-strong, much feared International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters represent some 4,100 studio drivers, location managers and location scouts, and their refusal to cross picket lines would be hard to ignore. In other words, the AMPTP has a bit of a headache....
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Even so, the studios are not about to admit defeat. In an informal meeting with the CSA last week, the AMPTP offered to provide health and pension benefits ("the studios are very sympathetic," says one studio insider), but remained adamantly opposed to unionisation.
Yet virtually every other group in Hollywood, from scriptwriters to costume designers, belongs to a guild or union that negotiates working conditions. Moreover, as the CSA pointed out late last week in an advertisement in the trade press, "almost all other groups, including actors, directors, writers, drivers, location managers, production office co-ordinators, grips, electricians, editors, costumers and craft services" receive health insurance and a pension plan. Steve Dayan, of the Los Angeles Teamsters, says bluntly: "Forget the legal issues. Morally and ethically the studios should be taking care of these people." The studios may be ready to agree benefits, he says, but without a union to protect them, how can the casting directors be sure that the agreements will be kept?

BTW, we (casting directors) have a mandatory meeting next week. That can't be a good sign, eh?

Posted by bonnie at 6:27 PM

January 24, 2005

Big Nom Day

No, silly. Not the Oscar nominations. That's tomorrow. TODAY is the BIG day.

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It's Happy Razzie Time.

And, of course, I am rooting for Dubya in the Best Actor race. However, when I noticed the final nominee in the list (and that BODY of work), I had to laugh. Aloud. A lot.

WORST ACTOR, 2004
Ben Affleck: JERSEY GIRL and SURVIVING CHRISTMAS
George W. Bush: FAHRENHEIT 9/11
Vin Diesel: CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
Colin Farrell: ALEXANDER
Ben Stiller: ALONG CAME POLLY, ANCHORMAN, DODGEBALL, ENVY, and STARSKY & HUTCH

Damn those Razzie guys are funny.

Posted by bonnie at 3:09 PM

January 23, 2005

Tonight's the Night

Remember that job that took me out of town for a few weeks last year? Well... the resulting show airs tonight on E!

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Yup. There's my boss, Wayne. ;) Looking forward to seeing how the final show came out.

As for my contribution, the ONE and ONLY cast member from my two-city recruiting is the one they're calling "The Country Girl."

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Sarah Darling is so much more than that, though. You'll see.

Anyway, I'm eager to see whether they used any of the footage E! shot of the casting process or if it goes straight to the "show" in Vegas. Should be interesting. I did notice on Larry King Live (thanks, Suesie, for the head's up), they did use clips from our Atlanta location (of auditioning actors). You can see the comedy/tragedy masks on the wall behind auditioners at that location (and the Molyneux logo on the wall at the Nashville location).

I'm excited. This will be the first TV casting gig of mine to hit the air since Paradise Hotel, they eye-candiest of Fox's reality shows. Hee hee.

Posted by bonnie at 2:57 PM

January 20, 2005

Industry Support

More support. This time, from Woody Allen.

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Casting Directors are certainly as integral to the success of a film as the Costume Designers, Editors, Location Managers, etc. They are responsible for the one element that holds audiences in thrall more than any other... the cast. How can they not be afforded the health and retirement benefits the rest of the community enjoys? I support their unionization effort.

Rock on, Woody.

Posted by bonnie at 10:43 AM

January 17, 2005

CD Unionization Support

Cool support from Mike Nichols.

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I was shocked to hear that Casting Directors aren't provided with the basic benefits that many others receive automatically. So many casting directors have worked tirelessly over the years to provide the best acting ensembles for our films and TV shows. It makes no sense that they be treated any differently than any other key crew members. I support their unionization effort.

I knew I liked that dude.

Posted by bonnie at 3:59 PM

Reflections on the Golden Globes

Ah, the joys of TiVo and watching, commercial-free, in the wee hours! THAT's the solution to stupid tape-delayed broadcasts! Woo hoo!

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1. Claire Danes, EAT SOMETHING. Jesus!

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2. Gooo, Greer Shephard! Way to rock that hot dress, Nip/Tuck EP-momma!

3. No three. Not now, not ever.

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4. Gorgeous dress, Teri Hatcher. I think you may have put your bizarre days as Radio Shack whack job behind you. Ah yes, you won. Surely, that means you're forgiven.

5. Very cool to see awards take place on TV in a space we've been many times (for the CSA Artios Awards). Speaking of which, the casting unionization effort folks asked us to tell anyone we knew who was going to the awards to please mention their solidarity for the casting director unionization effort on the red carpet or at the acceptance mic. Didn't notice any of that. Oh... wait! There's a "thank you" to Phyllis Huffman by Hilary Swank. That was nice. (Hey, even a thank you is big news, to casting directors.)

6. Jamie Foxx, if I didn't love you before (which I did), I sure as hell love you now. 'nuff said.

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7. Nice job by Star Jones-marriedname on E! this time. Much better than her Emmy gig. (Oh, and was E! doing the hardcore promotion on The Entertainer or what?!? Woo hoo!) Kathy Griffin? Seriously. You HAVE to go away. And Eva? You may be America's Next Top Model, but you need a good on-camera class before anyone hands you a mic again. Ever.

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8. In what hotel do these stars stay, when they speak of having come from the hotel? I know they get in limos to be dropped off at the Beverly Hills Hilton... aren't they just staying there? Ah. Who knows? Oh, and Kathryn Eastwood... wow. BAD dress for you.

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9. Jason Bateman won the "best spouse" award with his shout-out to his wife and how she makes his life better than anything showbiz could ever provide. (Think she coulda cracked a smile of appreciation, maybe?) Mariska Hargitay won the "make Bon bawl" award with the outpouring of love to her dad, who came with.

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10. What is Peter Bart doing sitting with Oliver Platt? Weird.

Other quick hits: Oh, and I now love Eva Longoria and Emmy Rossum!

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Eva is FUN! And, since I've never watched her show, I'm guessing I'm late getting on that bus.

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As for Emmy, she's just classy and lovely and wonderful!

Go Shatner!

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Are Kimmel and Silverman at prom or what? Precious!

My crush on Javier Bardem has not lessened. *sigh*

Congrats to the amazing Alysia Reiner and her friends in Sideways. Fun seeing her photo in WireImage!

Oh, and am I the only one bothered by Patricia Arquette's teeth?

Non-Golden Globes Stuff

I'm still really feeling withdrawal symptoms. Ugh. Sleeping a lot more than usual. Feeling awful about agreeing to go to shows and showcases and staged readings and then having to back out due to feeling so cruddy. I know, I know, I'm supposed to listen to my body and take care of myself while I'm transitioning out of stuff, but I just hate disappointing people. I think I need to work on that. Why does it matter, in the end?

Augh. I know. It doesn't. I just make it matter. Silly.

I got some gluten somewhere in the past couple of days. WAY sick over that. It's amazing how quickly that illness comes on, once you've gotten something out of your system and then have it. Ick. Yuck. Don't love it.

Eh. Whatareyagonnado? Just keep doin' what works, baby. That's all I can live right now.

Posted by bonnie at 4:28 AM

January 13, 2005

New Gigs

On Tuesday, Keith, Shauna, Kendall, and I went to speak to a group of students from Atlanta Workshop Players (my teen-years' acting school) who have come out for pilot season. The event was at ACME (which it seems Sweeney has recently sold) and it was rockstar good. Lots of fun.

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While there, Lynn Stallings (school owner and my childhood acting coach), hired me to come back to Hotlanta to teach at the AWP Summer Camp. Of course, I fondly recall my days as an attendee of camp in 1985 and a camp counselor just before I moved to LA in 1993. What fun to go back 20 years after my first time at AWP Camp and teach Self-Management for Actors!

I'll have a "class" ready by then as I'm teaching in March at LMU and (thanks to the greatness that is Jane Edith Wilson) I might be teaching the same sort of course at The Acting Corps before long.

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Yes, I'm still also developing the showcase for professional actors (I've already scored our director) and Blake and I have gotten another two interviews done for Acting Qs: Conversations with Working Actors. We're seriously almost done with interviews. And the buzz is already pretty amazing.

Received today an offer to cast another staged reading for a feature film. Looks like a hoot of a project and the referral is from way high-up in my list of cool people I've worked with thus far. I can't believe I've not even been casting for two years yet. Wow. Anyway, yes... I'll be taking this next project on too. I just love what I do so dang much.

I'm loving the daily exercise, gluten-free eating, and whacked-out sleep cycle. It's all good stuff. I'm just taking care of whatever my body says it needs. Have to. We're rebuilding from the inside, it seems. Not loving the vertigo. Not sure I understand it. We're so weird, we chemical beings.

Keith drops 150 headshots off with the new manager in a few hours. He's got a lot going on before heading north for a few days. But, man, what a great way to kick off pilot season!

Ooh, I'm tired. That's an interesting development for this hour. Hm.

Posted by bonnie at 4:57 AM

January 10, 2005

Showcase

You'll recall that I was raving at Hollywood Happy Hour about a wonderful group of actors, led by director Adam Marcus, that will be doing a showcase on Wednesday.

Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to see some of the most talented actors in Hollywood doing a professional showcase for industry guests.

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If you've never done an industry showcase--do one!
If you've never seen an industry showcase--see one! Then do one!

I'm always impressed by the number of industry guests I see in attendance at these showcases. Casting directors, agents, managers, directors, producers, publicists all come to scout talent at professional actor showcases... and no one pays them a DIME to be there. This is really about the WORK and the amazing actors who get out there and DO IT.

Obviously, priority seating will go to industry professionals scouting for pilot season. Please feel free to pass this invitation along.

And, to the amazing actors who will be a part of this marvelous showcase, I wish you all the best for continued good work. Break legs!

Posted by bonnie at 3:05 AM

January 9, 2005

GMTY

Well, isn't that a little bit of good news?!?

Old friend Jeff Greenstein (yes, the one who taught me how to play poker in 1987) has a pilot for 2005.

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Loved Ones.

Cooooool.

Go, Jeff! Rock it, darlin'!

Posted by bonnie at 9:52 AM

December 15, 2004

Executive Decision

I've decided that I will start watching Lost now. Everyone keeps talking about it like it's the best new show of the year and the pilot is on tonight with reruns the next couple of weeks. Okay, fine. I'm in.

We'll see.

Posted by bonnie at 7:57 PM

Indecisive Stance

Can you take an indecisive stance?

The big casting director meeting is tonight. It's a bicoastal CD meeting with the Teamsters to determine whether we will conduct a pilot season work stoppage in order to gain recognition by the AMPTP. Our formal request to be recognized as a work organization was rejected last month and therefore CDs have no health and pension benefits, despite the fact that all other crafts, unions, and guilds in the entertainment industry DO have these things. We have no standardized rate of pay, no contract dispute backing, and the Teamsters have agreed to strike with casting directors, should that be the decision that is made at tonight's meeting.

I attended a unionization meeting a year ago and voiced my concerns about the plan as it then existed (only CDs of feature films with a budget over $1M would qualify--that leaves me out, thus far in my career; no commercial, voiceover, industrial, or music video CDs were included in the plan--meaning those types of CDs could come in and work our film and TV casting gigs if we were to strike, etc.). I told them then that I would not back a plan that didn't have representation for ALL casting directors, since creating a union that only covered a fraction of the CDs is like going in knowing that (for example) an actors' union would be FAR more powerful if it were a combination of ALL performers, yet choosing to split the types of people covered and hoping they'll still all stand together. I just couldn't understand how anyone on the steering committee could expect commercial CDs to stand with film and TV CDs in a work stoppage when the goal was to get a union of CDs recognized... but that same union wouldn't recognize or cover commercial CDs! Silly!

I attended that meeting a year ago and voiced my concerns and explained what would need to happen before I could feel that I would support THIS casting union plan (just like with SAG and AFTRA mergers... some plans are better than others, and you can't simply support a single goal of a larger plan that doesn't quite cut it on every level). I suggested that the CSA work to create a standardized contract that would be agreed upon by producers (similar to what the legit stage CDs in NY had done, last year) and, once they had bargaining success with producers here in LA, consider using that newfound producer-level support to fortify the request to become recognized as a union.

Anyway, I haven't decided whether I'm going tonight or not. I'd like to think it would be an informative, educational, well-organized presentation of facts and options. Based on what I've experienced before, though, it's more likely to be a rally with lots of fear-based conjecture and empassioned demands for health care and retirement funds. I'm passionate about that stuff too, but I run my own business and have made inroads to getting coverage the same way any small business owner does.

I spoke with a fellow "new" casting director at a showcase last week, and as she expressed: "I'm concerned that a strike will simply cause producers to say, 'Okay. Back to the studio system! We don't need casting directors!'" She's certainly right that that could happen again. Casting directors serve the purpose of middleman in the industry. Without casting directors, casting can still take place.

And it saddens me to not be hugely pro-union about this, right now. My grandfather was a huge player in the very beginnings of the AFL-CIO and United Steel Workers. He is in history books as a part of the Ducktown 8 and I feel a great sense of duty to the union life.

But as casting directors are FORMING a union, we simply MUST look at the mistakes others have made in forming their unions and PREVENT OUR UNION from repeating those mistakes. The fact that I, as a CD of low-budget indie SAG films (the largest budget I've cast thus far was $750,000), am considered unworthy of protection under this proposal... yet I'm asked to NOT work with the directors and producers who've come to me for their low budget projects for two years... well... it's a little bit of a slap in the face.

*shrug*

It's an emotional issue for a lot of people. I'm still totally on the fence and have no idea what I'm going to do tonight (re: attending the meeting) or what I'll be doing when the order to stop work in casting comes down (I'm almost certain that will be the outcome of tonight's rally). Thing is, I'm in "book mode" right now anyway and have said NO to casting jobs since finishing casting the feature film I just handed off to production last week. So, in a way the timing supports my indecisive stance.

If there is such a thing. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 2:56 PM

So Dang Inspired

I swear, there are so many amazingly talented, wonderful, connected people in this world and I am so truly blessed to cross paths with so many of them on a daily basis.

What a wonderful class we just attended! Great actors. Wonderful instructor. Delicious work. And such warmth. Man... actors are brave people. And when they are kick-ass talented, they're brave AND BEAUTIFUL. And it has nothing to do with beauty like Hollywood likes to define it. It's just awe-inspiring.

Awesome.

I love my job.

Posted by bonnie at 1:07 AM

December 13, 2004

Hollywood Happy Hour Press Release

HHH January 4, 2005... NEW LOCATION!

Hey, Gang! Hope you can make it to our big Pilot Season kick-off version of Hollywood Happy Hour. It's going to be a hoot!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 4, 2005 for our PILOT SEASON Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

Who: casting director Michelle Morris-Gertz talks about how pilot season impacts even feature film casting directors like herself and return guest and TV Guide writer Craig Tomashoff dishes all of the early dirt on the up-and-coming, soon-to-be-hits (or cancelled) new TV shows. Bring headshots, bring questions, bring a friend!

When: Tuesday, January 4, 2005, 5:30pm arrivals, 6pm program start, 7:15pm schmoozefest

Where: Pig & Whistle, 6714 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028

How Much: $5 plus two drinks... full menu available and lots of goodies for HHH-ers!

What Else: goodie bags from our sponsors for winners of our business-card drawing (make sure to bring your card) and trivia questions, lots of freebies, and everyone's uncle, Uncle Bob, will be putting it all on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay! And if you don't see Aunt Diana poke her head out to wave hello, it's because she'll be cozied up to a small TV to keep tabs on her USC bowl game. ;)

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any suggested questions for the Q&A segment to info@hollywoodhappyhour.com ASAP.

All details will soon be available at http://hollywoodhappyhour.com (we're constantly updating the site). SEE YOU IN THE NEW YEAR!!!

Woo hoo! Have a delightful year-end! Hope 2004 has rocked for you all.

Posted by bonnie at 5:57 PM

November 22, 2004

And now... the callbacks

Just like that, we have whittled down the list of actors to our 16 called-back candidates for casting in Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall.

For those of you who like numbers (like I do), here's how the weekend shaped up.

Actors Scheduled for 11/20: 81
Actors Seen 11/20: 71
Actors Called Back: 8
No-Shows with Call: 2
No-Show/No-Call: 8

Actors Scheduled for 11/21: 79
Actors Seen 11/21: 61
Actors Called Back: 5
No-Shows with Call: 9
No-Show/No-Call: 9

Actors Coming to Callbacks WITHOUT a Pre-read: 3
Actors Offered a Role WITHOUT a Callback: 1

Total Scheduled for Callbacks: 16

Yes, next week's column at Showfax.com will be about actor no-shows. Grrrrrrr.

This week's, however, is about gratitude. Truly... I love my job!

Posted by bonnie at 11:23 AM

November 15, 2004

So Cool

I just spent the last few hours participating in a fun online chat for actors with ten other CDs over at Canadian Actor Online. What fun!!

Oh, and I'm super excited to learn that The Amazing Race is coming back WAY sooner than usual for a new season. Like... next week! Yay! I don't have to wait 'til summer to watch that awesome show! Go Emmies, go!

Casting is still kicking my ass. It's good... but man, I'm exhausted!

Posted by bonnie at 8:35 PM

Oy, this film!

I am seriously working harder on this film than any I've cast so far. It's just got so many elements to it that aren't typical in casting that I'm pushing harder than ever to find the right people. It's good... prereads will be more interesting than anything I've ever seen, what with all of the Method play and whatnot, but man... screening candidates is big time work. NO HOLLYWOOD TYPES... that's the biggie, here. In the morning, the offers go out to the NAMES. GREAT list. Very excited to hear the reaction to the offers.

Oh, and tonight, Keith and I walked to the beach to watch the sun set, then expanded our walk beyond... oh... I so love living here. Really amazing. Just wonderful!

Posted by bonnie at 12:39 AM

November 13, 2004

Casting My Ass Off

Wow. Had a meeting this morning with the principals of this new film and I've been casting my ass off ever since. Man. Lots and LOTS of work. Wow. Seriously, I love this job. It is a LOT of work... but it is sooooooo gratifying. Awesome.

Posted by bonnie at 5:35 PM

November 9, 2004

"Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall"

Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall
SAG Limited Exhibition feature film

Casting Director: Bonnie Gillespie
Producers: Tim Everitt of Flash Film Works and Verna Everritt
Director: Tim Everitt
Writer: Verna Everitt
Prereads: Late November
Callbacks: Early December
Shoots: Mid-December in Los Angeles
Pay: Deferred Scale

Headshots and Resumés to:
Cricket Feet Casting
P.O. Box 1417
Hollywood, CA 90028

This is a dramatic feature film inthe dogma genre of filmmaking (reference Dogma 95 for more information). There will be no audition sides. Please download the PDF of the short story on which the featue film will be based and be prepared to embody the character in Method play at the audition. Storyline: A young girl rescues a brain-damaged lumberjack from a nursing home.

Character Breakdown:

Hilly: female, 30s, tan, weathered, skinny, a beautiful schlub, Debra Winger type, LEAD; name actor preferred
Mitch: male, 30-40, taciturn and pathetic, oily sidekick, Steve Buscemi type, LEAD; name actor preferred
Ellen: female, 18 to play 15, kind but tough, uncomplicated but independent, a young Jena Malone type; LEAD
Dave: male, 18 to play 16, cute and serious, hardworking and sincere, a young Benjamin McKenzie type; LEAD
Flo: female, 80s, sincere but comic nurse

Posted by bonnie at 11:42 AM

November 5, 2004

Two New Films

Casting two new films before year-end. Rock-n-roll! Both came from referral.

While in Atlanta, I was asked to partner up with the owner of an acting studio who wanted exclusive rights to any casting gigs that would bring me to Atlanta again in the future. He said, "And you know, when you bid for a casting job, you can mention that you have space to cast in Atlanta." I said, "I've only been casting about two years, but I've never bid for a job before."

I think it's cool to get work through recommendations from those with whom I've already worked. That's the way Mom always got work. I like it just fine.

Anyway, more info on the two new films to come (both dramas, both feature films, both SAG contracts) as soon as we're GO.

Meanwhile, you must now REGISTER in order to post a comment to the BonBlogs. That's something you should only have to do once, and then you're good. THANKS, CHIP, for taking such good care of all of these words.

Posted by bonnie at 3:45 PM

November 3, 2004

Free CD Panel at LMU 11/30

And in the interest of moving forward, onward, upward... I shall promote this cool new thing I'm so thrilled to be a part of. More info as available.

***********
Free Casting Director Panel at Loyola Marymount University, Tuesday 30 November 2004, 7pm, St. Roberts Hall. Brought to you by Diane Benedict and the Department of Theatre Arts.

Panelists: Chemin Sylvia Bernard, CSA; Michael Donovan, CSA; Michelle Morris Gertz, CSA
Moderator: author and casting director Bonnie Gillespie


Chemin Sylvia Bernard, CSA, has worked in casting for more than 20 years. Currently, she is casting a new Nickelodeon series called Head to Toe (about a girls' soccer league). In April, she completed casting the feature film Fat Albert for 20th Century Fox Features. Other recent feature films include Biker Boyz and Chasing Papi. Past films cast were Cool Runnings, Deep Cover, and The Inkwell. Her previous television credits include several hit UPN series: Moesha, The Parkers, In the House, Martin, and Homeboys in Outer Space. In addition, she cast Where I Live and Tall Hopes. She cast Jamie Foxx on In Living Color. She is the owner of Chemin Bernard Casting, a company whose signature of excellence, integrity, quality, and vision is stamping a lasting impression on the entertainment scene.

Michael Donovan, CSA, has cast 40 films, nine television series, over 1000 commercials, and numerous critically-acclaimed productions for the theatre. Michael is proud to have cast the most recent Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle winner for Best Production, Raisin, at ICT in Long Beach. A double nominee for the Artios Award (given by the Casting Society of America for Outstanding Casting), Michael has cast for the Falcon Theatre, the Colony Theatre, Arkansas Rep, the Theatre at Boston Court, Shakespeare Festival/LA, and many others. Michael is currently casting two independent films and several theatre projects, including an upcoming tour of the musical Aida.

Michelle Morris Gertz, CSA, has over 30 movie credits to her name, in a career spanning comedy, drama, action, and children's genre. Some of Michelle's film credits include The Bourne Identity, American Pie, American Pie 2, Legally Blonde, Big Fat Liar, and Donnie Darko. She was also part of the first season of HBO/Live Planet's Project Greenlight movie, Stolen Summer, and she recently worked on the third season of the show for Bravo with Project Greenlight 3, and cast the film Feast, a Dimension horror flick. She has won a variety of casting awards and nominations for her projects. She previously served as Director and VP of Feature Casting for Universal Studios. She most recently completed casting Mr. & Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Bonnie Gillespie is an author and casting director. Her books include Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews, Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business, and the forthcoming Actor Qs: Inspiration from Working Actors. She has cast the SAG indie films A Dull House, Consider As True, Perfect, The Moor, and Each To Each. Bonnie recently wrapped Nashville and Atlanta casting for The Entertainer starring Wayne Newton for E! Entertainment Television. She provides career consulting services to actors and is a frequent guest-speaker at universities across the country. Bonnie is co-founder and co-host of Hollywood Happy Hour and co-founder of the Flickering Image Short Film Festival.

Posted by bonnie at 8:47 AM

October 31, 2004

Saw "Ray" Last Night

Wow.

Just wow.

"...and the Oscar goes to...

Jamie Foxx."

And well done C.J. Sanders. Your young Ray was stellar. We haven't heard the last of you, for dang sure. Wow.

Extra special to have seen the film in Atlanta. I saw Ray Charles perform here at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in December of 1992. Awesome. Wow.

Posted by bonnie at 6:13 AM

October 25, 2004

Leaving Nash-Vegas

I'm at gate B3 at the Nashville airport... will soon fly to my hometown (Hotlanta). I'm excited about all of the great people we found for this show in Nashville. Hope Atlanta is just as fertile ground for major talent. Damn my confidentiality agreement for preventing me from gushing about some of my favorite people here. Oh! I CAN tell you how much my dayplayers ROCKED. Suesie, darling, your daughter is the BEST! Thank you so much for the hookup. I'll work with Shannon ANY time!

Okay... thumb-typing is tedious. I'll blog again from the ATL.

Posted by bonnie at 6:19 AM

October 21, 2004

Nash-Vegas

On a quick break between auditions here in Nashville. Having a blast, finding great talent, really excited about some of the potential greatness for this show. Bummer is, we received confidentiality agreements today which means I can't say much of the really juicy stuff anymore. ;) Oh well... there's still plenty I can say and it's all grand.

Except for some inevitable personality clashes on my little "staff" here (and that's predictable stuff, due to travel, lack of sleep, and wholly different work ethics and communication styles), life is way wonderful here. Our day-players (local Nashville helpers) are great and super eager about the process and the show itself.

Tennessee Mornings with Charlie and Kelly on Fox 17 this morning went well. I think one of the day-players taped it, so we'll soon see how well. ;)

Can I just say how frickin' cool it is to audition a Grammy-winning accordion player who sings and polka dances while playing? Now THAT's Vegas, baby!

Posted by bonnie at 1:24 PM

October 18, 2004

The Publicist Called

Just got word from the E! publicist that I will be a guest on "Tennessee Mornings" at the Fox affiliate in Nashville Thursday morning. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Helllllloooo, Regis!

Anyone in Nashville willing to set a VCR around 7am Central Time and keep it running 'til 7:30am? I'm supposed to be on-air for five minutes starting at 7:15am, but who knows with live TV! Oooooh, this will be FUN! Yay!

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Posted by bonnie at 11:13 AM

October 14, 2004

In with Producers...

...I'm in a meeting with a bunch of producers from E! and the whole casting staff for "The Entertainer" (some of them via phone from New York and Chicago). This is going to be REALLY fun. Getting very excited! It's a total vibe w/ these other CDs. This IS different than recruiting was for the three Fox shows I worked on. Those folks were recruiters. E! has hired full-on CDs in each city. I'm suddenly more impressed with my job.

We're going to have FUN!

NOW... I need to hire my day players. Any volunteers to do sign-in work and crowd control in Nashville and Atlanta?

More later!

Posted by bonnie at 3:07 PM

October 13, 2004

Revised Breakdown

Note: Open Call in Nashville is 10am-6pm, Saturday, 23 October at Molyneux Entertainment and the Open Call in Atlanta is 10am-6pm, Friday, 29 October at Professional Actor's Studio. See y'all there!!

THE ENTERTAINER
Reality Drama
For E! Entertainment Television, Kandor Entertainment, Live Planet, and Wayne Newton!
Atlanta/Nashville Casting Director: Bonnie Gillespie
Interview Date(s): 10/20-10/30 in Nashville and Atlanta
Shoot/Start Date: mid-November 2004
Location: Las Vegas
Pay Rate: TBD

Additional Personnel and Production Info:
Exec. Producers: Lee Brownstein, Howard Barish, Larry Tanz
Casting Assoc.: Jonathan Walker Spencer
Director: TBD

Submission Instruction:
Mailed submissions ONLY.
NO DROP OFFS!!

Submission Address:
"The Entertainer" Casting
c/o B. Gillespie/J. Spencer
5757 Riverside Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30327

NO PHONE CALLS/NO DROP OFFS

Special Notes:
This is for Nashville and Atlanta appointments/auditions ONLY. There will be other casting directors for Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York. Submissions should be from talent local to the Southeast ONLY for this address.

NO DROP OFFS!

Show Description:
The King of Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, leads the search for Vegas' next star performer. Las Vegas is a town like no other. A 24/7 grown-ups' playground with hotels, casinos, and non-stop world-class entertainment. Vegas performers are some of the highest-paid, inveterate entertainers in the world. Making it in Vegas takes more than just talent. It's about determination, drive, discipline, stamina, charm, organization, and just plain physical energy. Mr. Newton will show us what goes into the making of a Vegas star--how and why the top talent makes it--and what keeps them on top. "The Entertainer" will bring together a diverse group of undiscovered talent who believe they have what it takes to be the next Las Vegas star!

Character Descriptions and Notes:
Seeking talented performers over the age of 21, any ethnicity. Vocalists, dancers, comedians, illusionists, and other exciting specialty performers that have what it takes to compete for an opportunity to appear in a major Las Vegas production.

Looking for people who have what it takes to become a Las Vegas STAR: entertainers who are multi-talented, charismatic individuals to perform in Las Vegas with Wayne Newton!

Posted by bonnie at 3:25 PM

October 12, 2004

Here's the Breakdown

THE ENTERTAINER
Reality Drama
Atlanta/Nashville Casting Director: Bonnie Gillespie
Interview Date(s): 10/20-10/30 in Nashville and Atlanta
Shoot/Start Date: mid-November 2004
Location: Las Vegas
Pay Rate: TBD

Additional Personnel and Production Info:
Exec. Producers: Lee Brownstein, Howard Barish, Larry Tanz
Casting Assoc.: Jonathan Walker Spencer
Director: TBD

Submission Instruction:
Mailed submissions ONLY.
NO DROP OFFS!!

Submission Address:
"The Entertainer" Casting
c/o B. Gillespie/J. Spencer
5757 Riverside Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30327

NO PHONE CALLS/NO DROP OFFS

Special Notes:
This is for Nashville and Atlanta appointments/auditions ONLY. There will be other casting directors for Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York. Submissions should be from talent local to the Southeast ONLY for this address.

NO DROP OFFS!

Character Descriptions and Notes:
Seeking talented performers over the age of 21, any ethnicity. Vocalists, comedians, illusionists, and other exciting specialty performers that have what it takes to compete for an opportunity to appear in a major Las Vegas production.

Looking for people who have what it takes to become a Las Vegas STAR: entertainers who are multi-talented, charismatic individuals!

Posted by bonnie at 3:45 PM

October 7, 2004

Update to New Job

Okay, so I've had the job all of one hour and now I'm going to Atlanta and Nashville instead of Atlanta and Chicago.

So... anyone got Nashville tips for me?

Posted by bonnie at 6:29 PM

New Job

Okay. It involves Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Wayne Newton, and E! and it's taking me to Chicago and Atlanta by month's end.

I haven't signed my start paperwork, so I don't know how much more I can say right now. But expect me to be very scarce 'round these parts for a few weeks while I find every singer, dancer, comedian, magician, contortionist, and fire-eater in those two cities.

Wheeee! I've never BEEN to Chicago before!

Any tips for cool hotels, great clubs in which to scout, and must-eats... lay 'em on me (as well as the names of the best agents, managers, and CDs in the area).

Oh YAY! This will be cool!!!

I'll miss you, everyone.

Posted by bonnie at 6:06 PM

August 31, 2004

How Awesome Are My Friends?

So awesome!

The staged reading for Crossing the Bridge was rockstar good last night and I'm very pleased with the amazing, committed work that everyone brought to the project. Wow!

The staged reading for this dramatic screenplay (which had some very cool comedic moments, much to our surprise) by Scott Vance took place at the Fountain Theatre with 100 people in attendance (some standing in the wings, back stage, or in the booth to observe). My kick-ass helpers were Debra and Ashley McCarthy and Rachel Scheer, without whom I couldn't have sat down even once during the evening. THANK YOU.

Awesomest actors on the planet, all but one of whom hail from Dalt's Gang, included the biggest broad I know, Alice Ensor; the non-Chinese cutie Amy Harber; brilliant brother Bill Lippincott; plays-so-young David Lindsay; ever-cool Eitan Loewenstein; mack-daddy mensan Eric Halasz; lovely lady Etta Devine; non-Spock (for this night, anyway) Gabriel Diani; ever-so-versatile Hal Perry; brilliant future super-star (and it won't be long, folks) Jillian Henry; gorgeous perky Jodi Shilling; superman Keith Johnson (also in the role of associate producer for this project); the most givingest narrator Laura Lock; smokin' hot dead girl Pamela Newlands; no-granny-panty-wearin' Robin Gwynne; expert-at-all-things Shon Little; funny every time he opens his mouth Subhash Mandal; very cool Susan Schramm; hysterically funny Tracy Eliott; and flat-out excellent Weston Walls.

Directors, investors, producers, and development execs in attendance all had great things to say about the script and the actors... oh, and a few agents and managers in the audience did a little scouting! Excellent! I love it when great people get together!!

The script is available in PDF for anyone looking to talk with Scott about directing (timeline is December 2004 in NoCal). I think he'll lock down a director by mid-September and then we'll move forward with the casting process. Woo hoo! I LOVE THIS!!

Thanks, everyone who attended. Your feedback is so very appreciated!

Onward!

Posted by bonnie at 12:14 PM

August 20, 2004

Rest In Peace, Dear Friend

Sad day in Hollywood.

As I said at DaltsGang.com about the passing of Lawrence Parke...

I've already cried twice today over this loss, and I'm sure I will cry again. My heart hurts for the gift that newbies forever more will NOT receive now that dear Larry is gone. I knew his health was failing and I treasure the many times we got to swap stories, hug, and raise glasses together in toasts to this crazy business and our blessings for being a part of it.

Some of the most generous, loving things that have ever been said about the industry and the people in it--as well as about life itself--came from Larry's mouth. I am so grateful to have shared a portion of my LA years calling this man my friend. And I am so touched to recall the last words he ever said to me: "I love you, Bonnie."

What a gift I get to take with me!

Rest in peace, dear friend.

Posted by bonnie at 8:59 PM

June 9, 2004

Hollywood Evolution?

It's gotten to the point where I spend more time "taking meetings" and "doing lunch" than doing traditional "work" things. Of course, there is very little that is "traditional" about how I make a living, but I've never done so very much "meeting," "mealing," and planning/building toward the next big thing with others as I have been doing this year. Wild.

Love it.

Oh... a bit of heartbreaking news for my single/hopeful guy friends: cousin Faith is engaged. :) Hee hee! So happy for my precious button cousin! Congrats!!

Okay, that's enough thumb-typing from the SixHundy. Still pet-sitting at Nelson's... so much fun!

Cheers!

Posted by bonnie at 10:58 AM

June 8, 2004

Hollywood Happy Hour, July 6th!

Please join us on Tuesday, July 6, 2004 for our next Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

Who: Emmy Award Winning vet to celebrity pets Jeff Werber (bring all of your pet questions--but NOT your pets) and head of the commercial department at Conan Carroll & Associates, Stella Archer (bring those headshots)!

When: Tuesday, July 6, 2004, 5:30pm arrivals, 6pm program start, 7:15pm schmoozefest

Where: Alessi Ristorante & Bar, 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood (corner of Highland; valet parking available)

How Much: $5 plus two drinks... also, plan to take advantage of the half-priced Hollywood Happy Hour appetizers and pizzas! Yummy!

What Else: goodie bags from our sponsors for winners of our business-card drawing (make sure to bring your card) and trivia questions, lots of freebies, and everyone's uncle, Uncle Bob, will be putting it all on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay!

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any suggested questions for the Q&A segment to us ASAP.

All details available at HollywoodHappyHour.com. Woo hoo!

Posted by bonnie at 11:28 PM

May 7, 2004

A Wee Bit Freaked Out

Wow, that's pretty dang cool.

I visited my little books on Amazon.com and found that Self-Management for Actors has a sales rank of 8,187 and Casting Qs has a sales rank of 9,145. Now, considering the fact that I nearly lost it when each book ONCE hit below 100,000 in sales rank, this was a pretty freaky discovery. Not one that I minded, mind you. Tee hee.

Since that visit earlier (seeing as I'm the "gotta check back and see if that's really real or if I dreamt it" kinda gal), Casting Qs has dropped down to a much more likely sales rank of 329,245, but for cryin' out loud, that was a cool couple of hours there! Yeah... I take it where I can get it.

Spending lots of quality time over at Dalt's Gang lately, which is way fun.

It's been a big week...

Got invited by the SAG Casting Committee to be the first CD of the month at SAG's May 12th Casting Director Workshop. If you're a SAG member and want to try and be there, you'll have to call the Seminar and Showcase Hotline at 323.549.6435 between noon and 1:30pm on Monday the 10th. I'm very excited!

Also got invited to speak at the SAG Conservatory at AFI in July. Kick ass! That is so gonna rock!

And, received a letter today asking me to moderate a panel on Promoting and Marketing Yourself as an Actor at the 6th Annual Hollywood Black Film Festival in June. Again, that is going to rock, big time!

I am just one super-excited gal right now.

Doing career counseling in a few hours. That's always lots of fun. It seems as though everyone has decided that, since pilot season has ended, it is TIME to get that consulting session done! I got seven calls/emails THIS WEEK from new clients. Wow! Okay, universe... I HEAR you!

My life is just a very happy place right now. I'm so very blessed. Just really, really happy. What a good thing!

Posted by bonnie at 3:39 AM

May 5, 2004

*sniffle*

I'm so proud, I can't even stand it... and I know it has nothing to do with me (or, at the most, it has very little to do with me).

I just came from the AMDA Graduate Industry Showcase (yes, there will be many-a-detail at my Shows I've Seen blog, once I get off my arse and update the dang thing) and saw so much good stuff from these kids, ready to enter the scene here in LA. Of course, some of them are headed right back to NY after having their senior year in Los Angeles, and others are going "home," wherever that is, to be big fishes (I get that), but I really saw some chops that are top-notch, and that makes me happy. All the kids were glad to see me (I'd visited a few months ago, before they even had headshots) and many had chosen material that showed they GOT the whole "type" thing.

Feels good. Regardless. I'm proud to know these kids--and I'll definitely be calling some of them in. No doubt.

In other news...

The rescheduled "big casting meeting" is tomorrow (well, in 12.5 hours) and we're still babysitting Angus (who is doing MUCH better). Gonna hook up with a dear friend from my casting days at Fox tomorrow night over a bottle or four of wine and then Thursday is the hook up with my HHH cohosts for a pow-wow. Always love those.

This weekend, of course, is my debut at Actorfest (tee hee) and the big reveal of my new weekly column over at Actors Access. It's also Mother's Day, followed closely by my mother's birthday. I'll happily be spending Mother's Day with the latest member of the "Dead Mother Club," sweet Debra McCarthy (my sis). Her mom's birthday is a day after my mom's birthday, so we both have the double-whammy. We'll grab onto each other for a good many hours on Sunday while the boys play "Cosmic Encounter." Happily, we'll have booze. And each other. And more of each other. Sucks being mom-less.

But...

There was a hummingbird scene in my film (that first one I cast that screened the other day). And, at the moment Deb was reading my blog, she saw a hummingbird HANG OUT at her window. Yeah. I'm going to try to work a hummingbird into every film I cast from here on out. Hey... it could happen!

Aside from that, feeling way down about my weight (which is up), despite the fact that I KNOW I was told by my doc to expect to gain before losing, on this new plan. Still, I HATE tipping the scales like I do these days. Ugh. Vanity, ego, and self esteem... y'all's a bunch of bitches!

Okay, there's more, I'm sure... oh, in fact, here's one: I've been asked to be the CD du jour at the SAG Casting Committee's monthly CD Workshop next week. Woo hoo! I'm way excited. That so damn cool.

Aside from the whole "size of my ass" thing, I'm loving this life. Truly.

Quinn comes to visit soon. Can't wait. If you have kids and are in my life and want to make sure we intersect while Quinn is here, you'd better hook up with us now. Plans are being made and it's a way full social calendar for that 5.5 year old cutie-pie!!

Cheers!

Posted by bonnie at 12:23 AM

April 9, 2004

Casting Casting Casting

Wonderful meeting today for my next casting project. I'm very eager to get started on it, but there is another round of production meetings before we'll get into casting (those meetings will determine my budget for casting, our timeline, and my rate, so I just have to wait). Will disclose what that film is once we have the official go-ahead and are moving forward in public.

We completed casting on The Moor except for one role, which we'll have decided and announced by Monday. Great film. Wonderful group of people. I am absolutely thrilled with how all of this came together and that I was able to be a part of it. Awesome.

We lost a cast member on Perfect, which really pisses me off; mainly because I went to bat for the actor we cast in that role and pretty much got dicked over and without apology. Luckily, I have faith that we'll end up with a better actor for the role and have an even better project because of this. Everything happens for a reason.

And, the big news... yesterday I was hired by Breakdown Services to write a weekly column about casting for actors for Actors Access. Woo hoo! I'm so frickin' excited. This is going to be a very "reader-driven" service, so get your questions in via email now! Yay! ;)

Good week. Really really really good week.

Tomorrow, another casting meeting. This film, a $1M project with names attached already. Tonight... celebration with the Ladies of the Gimlet. Life is good.

Posted by bonnie at 1:55 PM

April 7, 2004

Hollywood Happy Hour Rocked!

As usual. Man... GREAT night. I'm so exhausted, but in that really wonderful, overworked way. Callbacks today, then a little rest. Big meeting tomorrow, SAG contracts workshop tomorrow night, casting meetings Friday and Saturday... it's just amazing how much is going on.

Photos from the photographer Hollywood Reporter sent out are already up on WireImage.com. Thumbnails only, unless you register. We'll have our official photos back in a week or so, if you'd prefer to wait for those. ;)


That's me interviewing Fred Goss, star of Significant Others and Perfect. Tee hee.

Read a GREAT interview with TiVo's Mike Ramsay in this month's Business 2.0 while I was in the bubble bath this morning. Some really exciting stuff going on in the TiVo Revolution. Yeehaw!

Okay, back to work. Callbacks in just a few hours. Woo hoo!

Posted by bonnie at 6:31 AM

April 5, 2004

Giddy Up!

Time to get very busy... VERY busy... this week. Tried to get some sleep and ended up succeeding for about four hours and have since been organizing everything for the sessions while watching a bunch of cool stuff I'd saved up on TiVo. Goodness, I'm so in love with A&E's Airline. OMG, it's a hoot! Could be I love it because I'm a Delta Brat, but man, that's some good TV.

Also loving Biography's Action! and AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout. These shows are giving me lots of good overnight viewing alternatives (in addition to all of my RR/RW Challenges I've saved up to tape for Dawn). LOL

Saw a great show last night and I'm very excited about prereads starting in a couple of hours for The Moor. Just consuming lots and lots and lots of actors' work and really enjoying it. Nice work!

Lots to do for lots of days in a row. I'm about to have to start saying NO to jobs. That's sad, because of course I'd love to cast all of these great movies. But I guess that's how working for a living goes... eventually you have to select your work and say no to some things. Either that or hire an assistant. Heck, that could be a closer eventuality than I'd imagined. Hm.

Posted by bonnie at 4:25 AM

April 4, 2004

Time Change

Ooh, that was cool. I was sitting at my computer when the time jumped forward an hour. LOL I'm so easily amused.

Faith and Fred, plus other Significant Others friends, are in this week's New Yorker Magazine. Or is it a monthly? Man, I need to read more.

Staying up working for Roxbury tonight. Keith and I went to a show earlier tonight. I'll talk about it in my Shows I've Seen blog when I have a chance. Going to another show Sunday night, then start two days of prereads for The Moor on Monday. Hollywood Happy Hour after prereads on Tuesday, callbacks on Wednesday, SAG Indie contracts workshop Thursday evening (after a career consultation session that morning), and Friday is a lunch meeting for one of my next casting gigs, followed by Gimlet Night. And then Saturday is cocktails with another production group for another casting gig, Sunday is another show, and... from the looks of that week or so, I'd say I'll sleep all day Monday the 12th. Good Lord.

No time for foolishness or negativity. I'm all about sharing toys and getting work for everyone. It had become time to peel away a layer or two of foolishness in my life. Done. Sometimes others make it very easy for you to make a clean break. Very easy.

'nuff said!

Posted by bonnie at 2:15 AM

April 1, 2004

A Day I Generally Dislike

So today is April 1st, traditionally one of my least favorite days. And what did I receive via email? An invitation to a breakfast celebrating what is a friend's most favorite day. Weird. I guess I just had pranks and jokes played on me way too much once I started going to public school--and even before I left Montessori, now that I recall--and in dance class. Yeah, pretty much all through my childhood, I got all manner of on-pickings and I really hated it.

Wow. Weird way to start a blog.

So, I'm casting another film. This one's a short--an adaptation of an award-winning short story by Russell Banks, writer of the stories adapted into Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter. Pretty dang cool. No idea whether you have to have an account to see this but, here's the breakdown. It's also at Cricket Feet.

It's called The Moor, but of course a friend reminded me that that's a misprint and it's actually called The MooPs which is now the only thing I can think of, even when I'm in serious conversation with the filmmaker and agents. *snicker* I am SO 12.

Anyway, auditions Monday and Tuesday with callbacks Wednesday and of course there's Hollywood Happy Hour on Tuesday night as well. Going to shows tonight, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night... which means I pretty much have today and tomorrow to get everyone scheduled for the prereads... AND still have to work out the deals with three remaining actors for Perfect.

Wow. I love casting. I really really really do.

Next week I'll meet with an actor who also wrote a screenplay I really like. He wants me to cast it, so we'll meet with his manager and discuss timeline, budget, etc. Very cool.

And another script I'm looking at is one that's going to be done for well over $1,000,000. And they want me. Wow. It's amazing how all of this has built from working as casting coordinator on Mr. Personality in February 2003 and taking on my first indie solo casting project for $300 after that.

HOWL!

Two messages on the machine yesterday. A Canadian production company looking at hiring me for casting several films here, plus that first director who hired me for that above-referenced $300 feature film casting gig last year. That film is now complete and it's time for the big screening in Hollywood.

I'm just so frickin' pleased with how my life is going.

Okay... too much to do to keep acting like this is a day I have to stay in bed in order to avoid pranks. Gotta call New York about a "name" we have an offer out to so that I can get the official yes or no by tomorrow and move to our next choice, if that's a no I get when I call. Actually, that would be a good thing, as I really like our next choice AND it frees up a ton of money for another name we want for another role, which we need.

Toodles!

Posted by bonnie at 7:16 AM

March 22, 2004

Hollywood Happy Hour

Hollywood Happy Hour is here again! Woo hoo!

Please join us--Nelson Aspen, Bonnie Gillespie, and Kris Burtt--on Tuesday, April 6, 2004 for our next Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

Who: Jewelry designer to the stars, Jonathon Arndt, will join us for some hot dish! His dazzling gems bejewel everyone from Queen Latifah to Beyonce! Now he'll "shine" at the HHH on April 6! Also with us are the stars of the new NBC Studios improvised sitcom for Bravo, Significant Others, Faith Salie and Fred Goss! How did a "favor job" on a short film turn into a series gig? Find out at HHH!

When: Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 5:30pm arrivals, 6pm program start, 7:30pm schmoozefest

Where: Alessi Ristorante & Bar, 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood (corner of Highland; valet parking available)

How Much: $5 plus two drinks... also, plan to take advantage of the half-priced Hollywood Happy Hour appetizers and pizzas! Yummy!

What Else: goodie bags from our sponsors for winners of our trivia contests and grand-prize business-card drawing (make sure to bring your card) and lots of freebies from the good folks at Showfax, Breakdown Services, ActorsBone.com, Theatre District at the CAST, Pampered People Spa, E! Online, California Poultry Federation, Goblin Gifts, AquaHooks, Holdon Log, 123 Headshots, ARK Theatre Company, Bleeding Edge Goths, 15 Minutes of FEM, FreshProduct... and books from Judy Kerr, Stuart Stone, Nelson Aspen, and Bonnie Gillespie too! Welcome our newest sponsor: Dealights Candles!

And don't forget that everyone's uncle, Uncle Bob, will be putting the whole show--interviews, news, reviews, and the hysterical Couch Potato Corner segment--on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay!

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any suggested questions for the Q&A segment to info@hollywoodhappyhour.com ASAP.

See you next Happy Hour!

Woo hoo!

Posted by bonnie at 3:21 AM

March 21, 2004

Shows Every Night

It seems I'm going to shows pretty much every night, even though casting is pretty much wrapped up for Perfect now (BTW, some REALLY cool offers out).

Last night, we went to Colleen's amazing show #1 and #2 and got to hang out with Jonna a bit (always a joy) and went to Foxfire after with Eric, Jonathan, and Hal. Keith happily watches me play with these boys and laughs when people comment that I have NO girl friends. LOL I have girl friends. They're just male.

Tee hee.

Tomorrow night (or, technically tonight) we're going to Fluffy Bunnies again. That's a VERY good sign of a very good show.

Spent most of today dealing with the SAG Modified Low Budget contract paperwork, which is cool. I am just so very astounded that more of that good stuff doesn't live online somewhere. I s'pose I'd be breaking some kind of rule or something to link to the agreements and forms I've uploaded somewhere. Hm. We'll have to see what kind of resource center I can put together without getting into trouble. Hm...

Also today, I attended the AFTRA Senior Showcase. Pretty cool. Saw some very talented actors and met some folks I'd only known online before. That was fun. Glad to do it.

Now watching the tail-end of Some Kind of Wonderful on TNT. I've said it before and I'll say it again: God bless Ted Turner.

Sleep soon. Yes. I think so.

Posted by bonnie at 3:23 AM

March 11, 2004

"Perfect" Is Becoming More Perfect

Wow. So awesome. We had prereads for Perfect on Tuesday. Rockstar. Of course, there were the random double-confirmed NO SHOWS that I KNOW people who have worked their asses off to get in front of these agents would like to throttle. Of course, there were one or two unprofessional freakshows. But overall, the group of people we saw Tuesday was just OUTSTANDING. Some very talented people. And, without question, my wonderful actor/friends who came to help out with the preread process are some of the BEST people on the planet. Mitchell, Pamela, Rachel, Debra, Ashley... and OF COURSE Keith; thank you!! Wow. I am so blessed.

As I always say, when casting, it's an embarrassment of riches, how much talent is out there. (Credit where credit is due: I learned that term, applied to casting, for the first time in an interview with casting legend Jane Jenkins in 2000.)

I was able to make a couple of offers today, plus do some follow-up with star-names who already have offers on certain roles. Good stuff. All really, really good stuff.

We'll do callbacks next week, offer a handful of roles after that, and hold on three roles 'til May. I am very excited for what lies ahead. Some really happy, splendid stuff going on.

Of course, I got overheated in the casting space we rented (what is with this 90-degree heat wave in March??) and had to go on migraine watch for a day or so. I was able to attend the viewing party for Significant Others, which was amazing (both the show and the party. Could have some very cool stuff brewing with an executive producer for a show in development at Showtime I spent some time with. Will follow up at a standup/scouting thing on Friday that a small group from that party will be attending. Shall be rockstar. No question about it.

Came home to a follow-up email from the King of Queens costar I hung out with last week. He is definitely interested in negotiating for casting at his new theatre company. Another email was from a producer/director who said the good folks at SAG Indie recommended me to cast his feature film.

I now have too many casting options to handle. I'm going to have to turn something down. Wow. Whodathunk it?

Salema Update

She-kitty is much better, thank you! She wishes we would stop with the every-12-hours dose of liquid antibiotics thing, but the pain has obviously waned, so we've stopped with the pain-killer dose. She appreciates that. Her brother has resumed pounce-attacks on her when she's bathing, so he must sense that we're in the clear too. Love those kitties!!

Online Friend

We finally get to meet, in person, Mare from Somesuch-Whatnot. Rose and I will be headed out to do some touristy things with Mare and her friend Cindy on Thursday. I think this now makes Rose the person on the Somesuch-Whatnot list who has met the most other Somesuch-Whatnot list members. Tee hee.

Back To Work

Hope that's a sufficient update for the next few days. Busy busy busy, which is good... and so damn excited about so many things.

Oh! We've announced the lineup for the next Hollywood Happy Hour. Get those reservations in! We're all-systems-GO for April 6th, 6pm. Woo dang hoo!!

Okay... now... signing off. Really. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 12:40 AM

February 21, 2004

Posting from Hotlanta

So, I'm now posting from Newnan (I'll just call it Hotlanta for those unfamiliar with the geography of the metro area and beyond).

Athens was rockstar. Actually went really really well. In addition to having a great speaking thingy at UGA's drama department, I got my second tattoo "refreshed," as the color was fading. Pretty dang cool. Also flirting with the idea of taking the UGA folks up on their offer to have me come back each semester for a couple of weeks of teaching. Mom would be so proud. Wow.

While I'm here at Dad's getting some Internet access, in addition to finding that it may be way way way difficult to get on a plane to NY Monday, I'm checking out Wolfesden and therefore finding something amazing like... a cool quiz.

What Oscar will I win? Animation? Yeah, that's what they say. Why? Because I like to wear jeans to work. Hee hee.

Okay... time to conquer the Delta thingy. Wish me luck!

Posted by bonnie at 6:23 AM

January 8, 2004

Well, Now...

That's just funny. Funny in that you have got to be kidding me kind of way.

I have not worked for Back Stage West for nine months. We did not part ways on the most pleasant of terms. Still, they are--and always have been, per our contract--able to republish my work forever and ever without paying me for it.

That's cool. Whatever.

Well, today I get this email from the Managing Editor of the paper. She's been sent a copy of the [get this] CHAPTER I CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR FORTHCOMING BOOK along with some editorial guidelines passed down from New York, asking me to do the edits and get it back to them this week.

Um, what?

So, I call her. I recognize the article, of course. It's one I wrote for the paper itself in the course of my regular gig as a columnist for those three years.

I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD ABOUT THIS BOOK, MUCH LESS CONTRIBUTED TO IT WITH MY KNOWLEDGE!

And now they'd like me to edit the piece?

OMGTTFFTIHERIMEL!!!

Wow. That's a hoot!

Tell ya what... I'll edit the piece for you. My rate is $500/hr. and I'm sure it'll take me at LEAST ten hours to do. HOWL!!!!!!!!!

Posted by bonnie at 2:51 PM

December 21, 2003

Announcing 1/6/04 HHH

Woo hoooooo!!!!!!!

It's time to make it all offical! The first Hollywood Happy Hour for 2004 is set!

All Details: HollywoodHappyHour.com

The Basics: Hollywood Happy Hour is BACK!!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 for our next Hollywood Happy Hour with special guests, industry news and reviews, networking, loads of great prizes, yummy food, and adult beverages!

Who: Executive Producer of many ground-breaking television shows including the current Golden Globe nominee and FX smash Nip/Tuck Greer Shephard and former Outfest manager, former supervisor of graduate film production at AFI and, Award-Winning indie filmmaker JD DiSalvitore with hosts Nelson Aspen (whose new book is on its way to the printer), Bonnie Gillespie (who is casting a feature film), and with a triumphant return to Los Angeles, it's Kris Burtt with her Couch Potato Column... LIVE!

When: Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 5:30pm arrivals, 6pm program start, 7:30pm schmoozefest

Where: Alessi Ristorante & Bar, 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood (corner of Highland; valet parking available)

How Much: $5 plus two drinks... also, plan to take advantage of the half-priced Hollywood Happy Hour appetizers and pizzas!

What Else: goodie bags from our sponsors for winners of our business-card drawing, lots of freebies, and everyone's uncle, Uncle Bob, will be putting it all on "tape" for our audio archives... Yay!

RSVP: with your name, number in your party, and any suggested questions for the Q&A segment via email ASAP.

The Details: Free! Goodie Bags loaded with fun E! Entertainment Television and California Poultry Federation stuff--plus cosmetics and aromatherapy treatments from Pampered People Spa, memo boards from Showfax, and fun AquaHooks custom-made for HHH!

Free! Entry into the Hollywood Happy Hour raffle for all--just bring a business card or headshot-postcard to drop in the fishbowl!

You could win: Free passes to the legendary 15 Minutes of FEM shows; Naughty T-Shirts from Freshproduct; Hand-crafted soaps and bath teas from Goblin Gifts; Website package and headshots from 123Hollywood; Passes to shows and private instruction from Theatre District at the Cast; Casting Qs and Self-Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie; Sacred Blood and Let's Have a GAY Dinner Party! by Nelson Aspen; Acting Out by Stuart Stone; Acting Is Everything by Judy Kerr; ActorTrac software demos from Holdon Log; 15% Discount at Take One Film Books; Agent, Manager, and Casting Director mailing labels and guide books from Breakdown Services; Subscription to Showfax.com sides and Actors Access services; Annual membership on ActorsBone.com; and so much more!

You must be present to win, natch.

Nelson, Kris, Uncle Bob, Aunt Diana, Keith and I can't wait to see you there, everyone! Yay!!!

Posted by bonnie at 8:34 AM

December 14, 2003

Announcing

I'm pet-sitting for sweet Nelson's dog and cat and don't have a ton of time to play online, but I did want to go ahead and happily announce the following new joint venture:

Currently Casting, a partnership between me and Michelle Foumberg, one of my favorite people on the planet. What a wonderful time we shall have, rocking the known casting universe!

Woo hoo!

Okay, back to work. Much to do. Much. Yay!

Posted by bonnie at 1:32 AM

December 5, 2003

Futile

Y'know what's impossible? I mean really, truly impossible. Finding out how tall actors are using the Internet. Geez, this is frustrating!

Posted by bonnie at 1:04 AM

November 30, 2003

Made for Me

It's like this show--Big in 2003 on VH-1--was made for me. Well, except for some of the kids today who I just do NOT know [*shaking my head* When DID I get so old?] it was really great. Got to see some of my old faves from casting Mr. Personality and Paradise Hotel (which Kathy Griffin called the seventh sign of the apocalypse), which is fun. And the Michael Jackson jokes were especially juicy. One question: who the eff are the Hilton Sisters and who the eff gives a crap?

Keith's sick in bed. Since he's a good four days behind me in the full-swing of this thing (I think), he should stay there for at least four more days. Today was my first day out of bed more hours than in, and that's only b/c I didn't want to disturb Keith by being restless in the bed while he's sleeping. Poor kid. Theraflu has knocked him out, but he's not big into drugs, so he's fighting it.

I can hear the helicopters and such from the Hollywood Christmas Parade going on down the street. Ah... I recall ten years ago when I lived here (well, four blocks from here, but near enough) and worked for Joey Lawrence who was in the parade that year. Totally different experience than sitting here in my PJs, watching TV, finishing Christmas cards, and dragging a string along the floor for the kitties. Ah... so good to be 33.

Tomorrow I will be healthy. Dammit!

Posted by bonnie at 8:19 PM

November 25, 2003

Tonight's Meeting

Also a huge success. Wow. We are so sooo SO on the path. Another great meeting. So big yay!

Posted by bonnie at 8:46 PM

November 24, 2003

Meeting

The meeting was a huge success. Huge. Success.

Wow.

Posted by bonnie at 9:47 PM

November 23, 2003

Happy TV Stuff

One thing I've done while sick: watch lots of TV. I think.

Bless VH-1 for I Love the '80s Strikes Back and Comedy Central for rerunning the entire series Action starring the greatness that is Jay Mohr. Man, I loved that show. Keith said, after seeing half an episode, that he could see why I loved it and why it was cancelled (two things that generally do intersect at the same quality).

No special occasion to it, but FX continues to air Beverly Hills, 90210, which is never a bad choice on TV.

Other than that, I am prepping for tomorrow's meeting for Perfect (getting lots of headshots together to present my top picks list for each role) and Tuesday's meeting for Hollywood Happy Hour. Prepping includes resting up, since I still feel like death not-quite warmed over. Keith feels worse than that. Poor guy. Ugh... to be the kitties!

Posted by bonnie at 10:53 AM

November 1, 2003

November?

Wow. Is it really November? Man, I'm so glad this year's almost over. It's been rough, to say the least. Yes, it has also been wonderful and filled with miracles and blessings and gifts for which I will forever be grateful. But I'm glad the year is drawing to a close. I wish I could close my eyes and open them up in January. December brings not only a lovely Mercury Retrograde period, but also the anniversary of my mother's death. Is this why bears hibernate?

So, I'm set to cast a new feature film. And this is one of those things that I have quite a bit of lead time on (shoots in June 2004) as well as being one of those projects that I don't get to talk much about just yet. But, MAN, am I excited! I'm putting together the "dream cast" list right now, as well as preparing for a presentation (10 to 30 actors per role) for the executive producer and writer/director, so that they can let me know in which direction to go, based on those options. THEN I get to put out the breakdown. We should have a final budget by then, so I'll know under what SAG contract we'll be operating. That means I'll know what kind of deals we can make with talent. *sigh* This is fun!

Oh, I forgot to share: a photo of (R to L) Kamali Minter, Rob Kendt (my former boss at Back Stage West), me, and Jeff Lam at the dinner for the Casting Society's Artios Awards.

robbonnie.jpg

Yes, I realize my eyes are closed. Eh? What are you gonna do? ;)

Posted by bonnie at 2:44 AM

October 2, 2003

Effin' Exclusive Bee Ess

So today at work it was established that there is, in fact, a Paradise Hotel wrap/cast party. Yeah... tonight (okay, just a few hours ago really) and with no one from casting invited other than the head honchos (from whom I've learned oh-so-much about how NOT to run a business recently).

Here's my thing: when I'm head honcho, I invite my underlings to the ber-cool happenings. And we're partners; not boss and underling. Yesterday bossy lady number one said, when we were all (including her) listing office supplies we need, "Uh! I'm not an order-taker!" Of course, the cool-ass PA came around the corner right after that and said, "Yeah. She's not an order-taker. That'd be ME."

A-frickin'-men.

I realize there's a difference between me and the class of people--and I had this issue back when I was pet-sitting at very wealthy people's homes a couple of years ago--who see everyone else on the planet as servants of some sort. I don't need someone to schlep my crap around. I don't need someone to order my lunch. And I certainly don't need someone else to make sure I get my life taken care of. When I do have an assistant--like I do right now on this job--I say things like, "Would you take a sick day? You're working too much."

Eff.

Maybe that's why I still buy lottery tickets and roll coins to make rent payments.

Whatever. I like me better. That has to count for something.

Posted by bonnie at 12:35 AM

September 23, 2003

So cool!

Today, in the mounds of the headshots and resumés, I received a postcard from Dr. John Martin, yeah... that's Donna's dad from Beverly Hills, 90210. Oh, wow! I sooo love this job!

Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee.

Posted by bonnie at 9:02 AM

September 22, 2003

Oh my my my my my

I haven't mentioned that we have received quite a few submissions for Consider As True at our post office box with a note written on them: TUB INSIDE ON FLOOR. What does this mean? We've wondered this quite a bit.

I theorized that perhaps some casting company (one of those places that charges actors a fee in order to do submissions on their collective behalf) had a sign up for my casting, and if someone came after hours, he or she put his or her headshot envelope under the door with a note on it to get the folks to put it in the "tub inside on floor" or something.

Yeah. I come up with elaborate tales.

Keith went to the post office today to (finally) collect the delivery we'd gotten a notice about (23 cents postage due, meaning it was some silly actor who mailed a headshot with only a 37 cent stamp, not with the added 23 cent stamp for the extra size). When he was at the counter, he asked the clerk about the "tub inside on floor" note, since... here again today... it was on something from inside our box. The clerk looked at our box number and said, "Hang on," and walked away.

She then came around to the door on the side of the counter and brought out four (yes, FOUR) mail tubs of submissions for this film. Yes... that's nearly 120 pounds of headshots and resumés Keith had to haul home. Hundreds and hundreds (hell, surely over a thousand) of submissions for a little indie (non-paying) feature film.

And, of course, pre-reads were this past weekend.

Oy.

What the hell am I supposed to do with all of this MAIL???

Posted by bonnie at 8:33 PM

September 21, 2003

Much Better

Today I saw 50+ actors for Consider As True and I'm, again, very impressed with the number of talented people I know. Wow. Humbling experience.

Next, I named nine out of 12 candy bars by their cross-sections. Pretty good, considering I'm currently enjoying a low-carb truffle.

Love casting. Love actors. Love writing. Love seeing people read the written word and bring it to life. Yeah. A lot to love.

Posted by bonnie at 12:16 AM

September 18, 2003

So...

I watch this show and I see my colleagues being interviewed, some in shadows and with digitized voices, about their experiences in casting and producing reality TV. I never thought of these people as my colleagues until today. I knew I knew them from work (when I work my day job, doing risk management for casting of AFRS*), but suddenly, today, I realized I'm one of them.

Today, I was on the phone with a poor gal from wherever, convincing her there is *no* twist to this show other than the one she already knows about, "because why would we have another twist when this one is already so good?" I hear myself saying the things on the phone that I've been trained to say. I recall my confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement, which calls for something like a $6M fine for letting out any of the trade secrets about this show or its twist(s), and I continue to feel my nose growing like Pinocchio's as my co-workers gather 'round to hear me do what I do so well: convince someone they are special when they are really only a pawn for some network muckity-muck's greed-induced goals and dreams.

Hell, I guess that does make them special, doesn't it? And what does that make me?

My co-workers and I, when I hang up the phone, almost say in unison, "[I'm] going to Hell." Yes, there is one co-worker swearing up and down we won't... we're only doing our jobs. Then I look at my paycheck and wonder what my soul is worth. And then I'm treated badly by my bosses and wonder further what the heck I'm buying into here... and then remember that my bosses' alliance nets them major buckage per week and that will always be a stronger alliance than the one I provide. I can be replaced. And by someone cheaper and with less of a conscience.

Y'know what? I don't care. My production, whatever that may be, is so much more valuable than any of this shit. There's a heart and soul in here that doesn't get bought by some network paycheck. I'm done.

* = another fucking reality show

Posted by bonnie at 10:58 PM

September 14, 2003

So Very Exhausted

I'm not allowed to complain about my job-job, as it pays for the printing of the new book. Period. No bitching. I can't. But, man... I have a lot to bitch about. I'm sooooooooooooooo done with this crap.

And then there's the feature film I'm casting. And loving. And the... uh... high maintenance actors I'm encountering who make me change their audition appointments three times after having specifically requested the first appointment time (a request which was honored, of course). I realize: an actor who has "special requests" up front is far more likely to then change those requests and change them again and then never even show up than someone who just, up front, says, "I'll make it work," and does the job.

Also, I'm shocked at the questions actors ask when called in to audition. Shocked. No one would ask such things upon being contacted to have a job interview in ANY other industry. "Do I have to prepare all three pages?" "Is there any way I can come later? 11am is just so early for me." "There's no dialogue on this page. Only facial expressions. Do I have to do that for the audition?" Wow.

And, on the other end of the spectrum, there's the actress who called back to say she actually couldn't confirm her audition appointment for next week due to the fact that she's currently in labor and isn't sure how "up to auditioning" she'll feel once she has a six-day-old child. Wow. Now, THAT's a pro!

Okay... back to work. Not a day off in sight for weeks and weeks... and there hasn't been one off since the migraine days. That can't possibly count. The book is still due in a few weeks. That's what keeps me going, when I have to do this horrific job-job every day. This is my last of this nature. No doubt.

Posted by bonnie at 7:46 PM

September 7, 2003

New Project

Here is the PDF version of the breakdown for Consider As True, the new feature film I'm casting. And here it is posted on the 'Den. Excuse the trigger for LOL caused in the name LOLA. Hee hee.

I'm tired. Working several jobs has always been big fun for me. Exhausting, but fun. And big fun. Yes.

Posted by bonnie at 12:22 AM

August 21, 2003

Archie, Movie, and the Race

Got Archie out of hock today for $902.51. He's on special food for a few weeks, plus pain pills and antibiotics, and Salema cannot have any of his special food, as it could lower her pH too much (which is also unhealthy).

Ugh.

He's in pain, sad, and his fur is all messy. He smells funny and Salema hasn't decided he's actually her brother yet.

Today we went to the premiere of a film in which Keith played Joe the Bartender. His scene was GREAT. Amazing tape for his demo reel. He was definitely a shining star in the film.

I'm exhausted. I'm not yet doing my "real job" for Fox. Instead I'm doing the job I turned down three weeks ago "until it's time to start the real job." There's a reason I said no to that job. Ugh. I was in tears today.

Actually, this is a happy Blog. I'm home, kitties are home, Keith was great on the big screen, and we bought fudge (peanut butter fudge for me) at one of those "cut it off on a slab" places before we left Old Pasadena to head home. I'm in major sugar shock now. That feels good. Tee hee.

Oh! The dish damn froze again and TiVo couldn't tape the season finale of The Amazing Race. Anyone wanna school me? THANKS.

Posted by bonnie at 10:55 PM

August 18, 2003

Ah... Look:

Here it is... the site for the show I'm a part of, this time around. *insert eye roll here* but don't tell my boss!

Posted by bonnie at 10:39 PM

Leave Paradise Forever

Oh, how I love Paradise Hotel! Sad thing is, I'd love it even if I hadn't worked on the casting team for it.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that Stompy Stomperson is gone from upstairs? Man... there was a part of me that thought, perhaps, I was just way too sensitive to the sounds of an upstairs neighbor and that I would never ever be able to live under anyone. Well... how glad am I that he's gone and I have learned that is NOT the case! I actually do just fine with a non-Stompy upstairs neighbor? VERY.

And... sad and scary, must share this: Archie Kitty, the big fat oaf of a Maine Coon I inherited from my mom, is in the kitty hospital... has been since noon today and will be until Wednesday at least. :(

When we came home from Joshua Tree, he was especially vocal, and he only usually "mearks" (as opposed to "meows") occasionally. This morning, he was trying to tinkle in the litter box and kept meowing very loudly and sadly... and never could pee.

Turns out he [Do not read if you are especially squeamish about tee-tee parts.] has some crystallized something in his bladder and, since the male feline urethra is so very very narrow, the only way out is... anesthesia, catheter, and time.

And $700+.

Ouch.

Started the new job today. Love it. Will love it even more when payday rolls around. Also love talking with fellow Paradise Hotel employees about the twists and turns going on as they bring on "retread" contestants and disregard people we'd slated for them to bring on board. Eh... whatever. I'm proud of the folks who've come and gone. Miss Beau. Can't wait to hear from "Seacrest" again soon. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 9:14 PM

August 11, 2003

Booked!

Okay... the book is on its way to the printer this week.

Click the banner to see the book's site.

Once I laid the sucker into PageMaker, it became 248 pages, which is now a total of 12 pages over the original estimate. Not bad, if you ask me. The release date is also off by six weeks. Had I known about Mercury going into Retrograde in late August, back when we declared the release date, I'd have said October 1st to begin with.

Kind of nice, though, since the release party for the book will coincide with our October 2nd Hollywood Happy Hour. Woo hoo!

I slept for four hours this morning. Outstanding! Phew!

I start up my job with the Fox show Project X (again) on next Monday. It'll be nice to make some money again. It looks like we may have some investors lined up for help with printing the book, though. Pretty dang exciting to have this thing come together. With or without the money my brother owes me. It's almost better to do it without any relatives' (note I did not say "family") fingerprints on it. Feels damn good.

And no, we did not win the $91M lottery. This time.

Oh! I did get a call from "Mr. Purple Mask" of Mr. Personality the other day. Seems he and the "psycho crazy NFL Mascot guy" from the show are painting the town red (the latter is here on a visit--the former and I have stayed in touch and hung out a bit since the show was cast) and want to meet up. Surreal life I've got going on, here. Can I just say that the lobster at The Palm is some of the best food I have EVER put in my mouth? Yes. I can say that. Thank you thank you thank you to Bob Brody for what has now become one of my favorite dinners EVER in Los Angeles. I don't recall having such fun in public!

Okay, so go buy the book. I have life stuff to catch up on while we wait for final word from each of the peer-proofers I've got out there. Also, one last paragraph to add in. Once that happens, the book... she is published! For those of you who expressed regret that you weren't able to help with this one, worry not. Casting Calendar: An Actor's Datebook and Action Log is due out in the Spring of 2004. Sign up now to help. Hee hee. And to everyone who did help with this one, like I said... I owe you something pretty. I hope you like free copies of the book.

Cheers, everyone. I'm loving life and thrilled to share it!

Posted by bonnie at 10:32 AM

August 3, 2003

Queer and Lovely

Having been burned by TiVo grabbing Queer as Folk instead of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy last week, tonight I am finally getting to see my first episode of the latter.

I have not been so bouncing-up-and-down-happy over TV since the 90210 Reunion Show. Oh, happy happy me.

What a GREAT show! Don't know from Bravo? Well, at least go visit the Fab 5 online.

Next note: I am feverishly editing the final few chapters of the new book. I need the following: a volunteer to agree to read the entire book (240 pages) in just two days, and provide me with notes (edits of content, format, grammar, spelling, punctuation; suggestions for removals, additions, resequencing; and general comments on the book as a whole--its place in the world of "the business of acting" texts) by Wednesday morning. Anyone up for it? Shoot me an email toot sweet and we'll work out a deal for me to get you something pretty when the book starts selling.

Back to the book... Have to get the dang thing indexed and into PageMaker and none of that can happen before the final chapters are done!

Posted by bonnie at 6:14 PM

July 30, 2003

Okey Dokey, Smokey

I'm considering sprucing up the Blog using some links and anchors and hooks and whatnots... but I have no real idea how it is that people do these things, nor do I have a lot of time to investigate. I may just join one of those pay services (oy) in order to have the cool things. But then that involves paying. Hm.

Last night, we went to see Faith in a screening of NBC's Significant Others, followed by a Q&A with the show creators and the cast. Very cool. I'm excited. This is going to be a huge hit, whether it airs on NBC or Bravo. NBC gets first rights, since their studio is producing it in conjunction with Bravo, but either way, it'll hit the air in January and the world will be a better place for it. Dang funny. It's the kind of show about which you would say, "It's really well-written," except that it's done in improvisational form. So, I guess that means, "It's really well-cast and the actors are all brilliant." Yes. That's true.

Moving forward with the new book this week. Looks like we're going to have to do some fund-raising, though, in order to get it printed. Dangit. But, I guess knowing we've already sold (through pre-orders, at least) more copies than Casting Qs sold in its first six months this year means that really we're asking for investments, rather than donations. I just hate being in debt to anyone, y'know? Sucks. I'm going to have to see about creativity. Ooh... lotto! 40 million, eh?

Tonight is the benefit performance of Our Funniest FEM, again starring Faith, plus a handful of other gals I was able to bring in for auditions during casting of A Dull House. Very exciting! Meanwhile, I'm working like mad on finishing the book before heading back into the office for casting on the Fox show (I declined the job offered for the period between the three-day stint I did last week and the start-up date for the six-week job I've already accepted, starting in August, BTW). Still doing the web work over at Roxbury and working to get Keith on one of these upcoming cop shows. Still doing career consulting here and there. I really love that. It's a delightful experience.

Oh, I must say... major thank you to dear Jamie Caples for all the proofreading work she's doing on the new book. Wow! So very very very helpful. I owe you, sugar.

Speaking of sugar... still on Atkins. Still down 30 pounds. Started a new exercise routine today, which should help me jumpstart another 30-pound loss. *fingers crossed*

The Shorts Fest is still cooking. Thrilled to have a lot of great screeners lined up to help out. Hollywood Happy Hour is still on hiatus. Wow... what else? I feel like I'm catching up on a lot of stuff. Hm.

Okay, that'll do for now. Next time I post, Keith and I will have won the lotto, funded the book and the purchase of my new car, plus start making our plans for the big home purchase. If we don't win, we're still moving forward with all of that... just on a little slower climb. But, it's still movement in that direction. I LOVE my life! Truly!

Posted by bonnie at 1:37 PM

July 22, 2003

Okay, so...

This is what I just posted on the Somesuch-Whatnot group. Reposted here to get the word out, as I'll be out of touch for a goodly bit, it seems.

...it shall be quite a long while before I post again with anything more than a hit and run, methinks.

Today was the last day of our first casting sessions for the feature film I'm casting.

Yesterday, I was asked to provide services as casting consultant for a short film by the end of this week. I have a tape, a script, and a list of roles and candidates for them. I need to give my assessment by week's end.

Tomorrow morning I start my job with Fox for the Brady reality show. Four weeks of work on that, then six weeks on with Project X. That's ten solid weeks of casting work, in an office, in Burbank.

Oh... and today, I was approached at IFP West (where we were doing our casting sessions) by a director who is having trouble casting a role for her feature film. She wants my help.

We have callbacks for this feature on Friday (so, I have that day off from Brady) and then my job will be done. Unless they bring me on to help cast bit parts later, which I would gladly do, as time permits.

My book is nowhere near done, though I do have a few chapters out for proofing (thanks, somesuchers... especially Jamie, the fastest proofer in the USA). I haven't yet listened to the Hollywood Happy Hour audio files in order to determine which clips will make it to the Best Of CD we're supposedly fashioning during hiatus. [So, if anyone wants to listen to them and email me some feedback, I'd sure love to read it.] Oh, and the film festival I co-founded has put out its call for entries. I am both the location for entry deliveries and the screener wrangler.

I am now, officially, booked out of my brain.

And I love it.

I'll miss the daily (or so) contact with y'all, but I will also be thinking of you all very regularly (despite lack of contact). Please know that I love you all and thank you for the overwhelming support you've not only provided ME but that I've witnessed you providing to one another, time and again.

You are what family means.

Thank you for teaching me that.

And with that... I say...

"Woo Hoo!!"

and

"Tee hee."

;)

XXOO

-Bon.

Really not much else to say in the Blog either. Just... wow. I'm so totally living my dreams I can't even stand it! Pretty freekin' cool. Thanks, Mom.

Posted by bonnie at 9:22 PM

July 20, 2003

Redefining Popularity

If I had known how popular going into casting would make me, I would've done it in high school.

My phone has been ringing off the proverbial hook for four solid days now. I have been able to bring in some incredible actors for this project and I am so very, very pleased. Y'know, I've always known that I know many talented people in this town. I mean, you can't really be in LA and in the entertainment industry for more than a couple of years and not know some really talented people. Well... I guess I just didn't realize how many talented people I've come to know. Wow. I've had the pleasure of seeing so much talent--and getting to know NEW actors I hadn't met prior to these casting calls has been a real treat--that I'm humbled and grateful and thrilled to just have this whole experience. Getting paid to do it is a big fat bonus.

Today, Faith called me and said that she was at Border's Books in Santa Monica and noticed my book in the Acting/Performing Arts section. She called to say, "You forget how great you are. You want to put a book out, and you know what? You just DO it. Do you GET that?" I guess sometimes I don't get that. It really is pretty cool.

It's been a great year so far. I'm only a week or so into 33. Liking it fine. Did career counseling today for a young lady who has been--get this--a fan for the past three years, while living in Paris and reading my column and my book from afar. She's now moved here and is ready to do the acting thing for real. I'm so glad I can help her.

Today has been fun also because I get to call all these actors and congratulate them for booking a callback! Ahhh... it's the little things. Cheers, everyone!

Posted by bonnie at 5:42 PM

July 17, 2003

Casting

Yup. I've been hired to cast a feature film. I've been going non-stop since booking the job on Tuesday evening. Calling actors, meeting with the crew, scheduling auditions, answering a zillion questions...

This is sooo much fun!

Oh, I did get a little break to have lunch in Marina del Rey with Chip, James, Sara, Susan, and Sean. It was GREAT to see the Athens gang in LA. Of course, Chip promised all sorts of postings by now... and I haven't seen a dang new thing at his Blog. Coolest of cools: I received a two-year-old birthday present. It's a customized keyboard! The letters spell, "Happy Birthday Bonnie!" It so rocks! Thanks, Chip!

Okay. Back to work. Loving it!

Posted by bonnie at 9:44 AM

July 3, 2003

Box Office Gross

I do not see movies.

Except for when they're brand new. Brand new. BRAND NEW.

See, it's already too late for me to go see Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. I wanted to go early in the day on Wednesday at Mann's Chinese Theatre, but the day got away from us and the date never took place. And now it's too late.

I've now read reviews and heard reviews and, even though no major plot twists have been given away, I now feel as though I cannot see the movie. I mean, I can eventually... just not now.

So, if I ever do see a movie, which sometimes I do, it will always be on opening day, before I've had a chance to hear the buzz that differs from the studio's spin before the movie is out. Once I know what others think of the flick, I know I won't enjoy the movie as much. I'll always watch with a little bit of a nod toward whatever it is I've learned from those other sources, and then feel the need to argue points or to defend things that I, for whatever reason, didn't see the same way the reviewer or well-meaning friend may have.

Since movie-going is supposedly escapism, you can see where that burden of having to defend my likes and dislikes or a movie-maker's intentions does nothing to help me escape. It's just another assignment... and I'm full up.

Posted by bonnie at 4:06 PM

May 29, 2003

Reality, a Third Time?

With the potential for a fourth, non-reality (or hybrid, more like it) show to follow, I think I will accept an offer to work in casting for... if there has been a reality show I've been looking forward to... Who Wants To Be a Superhero? for the WB.

Press...

E! Online
CHUD
TV Rules

Yes. That would be fun. But first, must get through this week (one more day to hand-off), then, this weekend, shoot an Internet feature called May Cause Swelling. I worked with several of the principals in this group back when I was doing improv, so when they asked me to do a couple of sketches for the new series... well... yeah, sure. Why not?

After that, a week of working on the next book (holy shit, what do I do when it's actually already showing up on Amazon??? Guess I have to finish writing it), then sweet Quinn comes for a visit for a whole week!! Yay! Keith's 4.5 year old son will be with us through Father's Day. I can't wait!

Then... the new job. Yeah. That's a good deal.

Posted by bonnie at 8:23 PM

May 18, 2003

A Special Day

According to JARUSA, it is my 12,000th day on this fine planet. How did you celebrate?

I took a nap, chose NOT to go to The Matrix with Keith, and did another ten hours of work on Paradise Hotel. It's getting harder (details here), but I still love the job, love the people, love the pay.

Last night's Mr. Personality party at the Barfly was chez chic and tres trendy. I was way too old for the kind of fun others were having, but I had a great time, nonetheless.

12,000 days old is quite "up there," y'know.

I feel like a cad (can a chick be a cad?) for not responding to fellow Spy Notebook types. THANK YOU for the encouragement. Yes, I knew about The Woggles being The WUOGgers in their first year. I'm excited for all the cool things happening in the worlds of married life, job interviews, and continued finding-one's-self quests.

I must pay some bills. Happily, Casting Qs has already paid for itself (on paper... we don't get the money until six months after the sales started; meaning we just got our first check from the distributor last week) and made a nice little profit. Seeing the cover art and promotional material for the second book, Self-Management for Actors, in the distributor's fall catalogue has me quite eager to see it published. Of course... I must write it first. If I keep up this casting thing, that ain't bloody likely.

Interesting twists and turns this li'l life-path takes. Looking forward to seeing where the next 12,000 days take me.

Posted by bonnie at 11:11 PM

Reality Revisited

This time, casting a reality show is a little different. I'm realizing that there can be a lot of life-changing going on (obviously, for those who go on the shows, there is all the post-show fame to deal with), even for those who aren't chosen to appear on TV.

We have a medical situation with one of our contestants that actually has potentially changed the lives of six people--in terms of their own health and lifespan. It's the first time this has ever happened in 2000 contestants screened by our network doc. And all this person did was show up to an open call for a new summer reality show. Obviously, our open call didn't cause the health issue--but it's part of the dominoes falling thing.

I've spent more time on the phone with contestants for this show than I'd imagine possible. Lots of hand-holding going on. I've been assigned the task of talking a couple of people into doing the show who may not really want to do it... and I've also stepped up to the plate to take care of some people who are jumping out of their skin, they want to do the show so badly. And of course, production has been pushed back a week... and they just have to hold on another few days before they hear some cool news. I hope I get to make those calls. Those are the good ones.

Last night was the cast and crew party for Mr. Personality at the Barfly. It was my first time at this very "velvet rope" club on the Sunset Strip. Rich and I weren't so sure how we felt about being "up-and-down" inspected for dress code and being on the guest list... then Coach Chris (AKA Mr. Green from the show) came over, gave big hugs and kisses, and ushered us into the club for free drinks and such. Very nice.

I think one of the funniest aspects was having "fans" of the show see me talking with the four guys who were there (Chris... green mask, Will... silver mask, Jim... purple mask, and Joseph... light blue mask) approach me later and ask if I could please introduce them to the guys (or one guy in particular for whom they'd developed a crush). Of course, I understand. These are all very crush-worthy guys, which is why they earned spots on the show. But the whole fame thing... it's just very bizarre.

E! is airing a show on May 28th called Your 15 Minutes Are Up, profiling reality show "stars" and how participating in reality shows has impacted their lives (vastly different, depending on whether said participant had training and ambitions for acting prior to the appearance or was just living a normal life and hopeful to get back to that). Speaking of which; a guy from MTV's Road Rules was there, as well as "Dr. Sean" from the first Survivor. It was a reality show room.

The coolest connection was with David Ury, an online friend who was cast as "the ugly guy" unmasked in all those Mr. Personality commercials before the show actually aired. He said, when we met, "Oh! I'm so glad you're here. I wanted to introduce you to a man who has just cast me in his feature film; shooting this summer. He needs another eight people in the cast and I told him he should hire you as casting director." So, a little impromptu interview took place between me, the writer-director, and the producer for this cool, black comedy feature film.

Should be interesting.

I just have to get through this week of notifying a person about the worst possible combination of health issues... and oh, yeah, not getting cast on the show.

Sick and twisted. And a whole new culture. These reality show people have a very interesting club they join. I'm glad they have each other to lean on. And network therapists.

Posted by bonnie at 1:57 PM

May 14, 2003

Sad News

One of my favorite Athens bands, The Woggles, has suffered the loss of a 31-year-old member. Story here.

Manfred, who is interviewed in the article, was Graduate Advisor to WUOG a few years before I took on the position; and he remained on staff while I was Grad. Advisor. He was always a cool guy and fun DJ to hear. I know he's not the one who died; but I'm saying it makes me sad to know the band--and its members and fans--have suffered such a loss. Those are some great guys and it's just a damn shame.

In Other News

I really like the "kids" we've brought in for the show. Tomorrow we'll get some cuts and some definite ins. That makes me happy (the latter). We save the joy of cutting people for this chick in our office who actually LOVES telling people they're no longer in the running, if they call in to check status after a first callback. Hey... takes all kinds, right?

What else?

My back is totally jacked up and I have no idea why. Very tense, tight, and painful. Not loving it. Yesterday's bubble bath did not help. Ugh.

Keith's play opens this weekend. We have to miss the screening of his big feature film (in which he gets his head blown off) because he'll be on stage at the time of the screening. Bummer. I believe this production company will be good about getting him a copy of the tape, though.

Oh, shoot. I forgot that I'd told Will (silver mask from Mr. Personality) that I'd watch him on American Idol tonight. Oops. Maybe he'll appear in the second half. I was watching Family Guy instead. Anyway; big party Monday night with the cast and crew of Mr. Personality. It's nice to get a personal invitation from a member of the cast. A little perk! Tee hee.

Okay... back to work. Just wanted to make a quick update and also take a moment remind myself of what's going on in my life. XXOO, all.

Posted by bonnie at 9:15 PM

May 13, 2003

Happy Fun Time

We've already seen 40 of the 60 called-back kids for Paradise Hotel. These are some really great people. I'm having a lot of fun getting to know them. Twenty more tomorrow and then we present to network on Friday. Unless they want to see another round of people... then we do this all again next week. Oy. I hope we're done. Not because I don't want to do another week of callbacks, but because I hope they like the folks we've brought in so far. Really cool people.

Ooh... I've just become distracted by a shiny object: a bubble bath. Ahh...

Posted by bonnie at 9:19 PM

May 10, 2003

So far...

Casting Qs has made $8303.64. Cool. It's now more than paid for its own printing cost.

Of course, we haven't seen any of that money yet, as it comes through the distributor. Our first check was due 5/5. Damn, Mercury Retrograde... let it come on through!!

BTW, I'm spending the weekend on the phone with all sorts of singles age 21-30 from all over the country who we're flying in starting tomorrow for producer callbacks on Paradise Hotel.

I like that I'm able to do this part of the job from home.

OMG, since I started typing this at 7:29pm, I've now been on the phone with another contestant about what to expect, doing a pre-visit interview. I still really really really really like this job. A lot.

Hectic, crazy, busy, but so very gratifying.

Keith's play opens next week. He's a happy actor.

OH!! Watch Dragnet on Sunday for Faith Salie (best friend for 20 years). Keith's next TV appearances will be two episodes of Scene of the Crime on June 5th. Yay! Me? Well... my name can be seen in the credits of Mr. Personality for another couple of weeks. ;)

Happy Mother's Day, you mothers!!

Posted by bonnie at 9:04 PM

May 4, 2003

Lengthy Update

Wow wow wow wow and wow. I love my new job. LOVE it. LOVE it. And I'm not kidding. I was so sure that I'd be needing to remind myself that I did take this job of my own free will, etc., by now. And I don't need any of that pep-talk. I LOVE this job! How is that possible? I don't do job-jobs! How on earth can I love this so much?

Well, it's the people. Great crew. Really amazing team assembled to put together this show, which makes me very happy. It's sort of like they were able to assemble a dream team and I'm so proud to be on it. Great gang.

Beyond that, I love what I'm doing. Back with Mr. Personality, I was learning the job as I was doing it. And, we've now established, I was doing the job of four people. Yes. Four. It's sort of nice, seeing three other people in the office, sharing the duties I once had heaped upon me, while I "just" do my job. And get paid more. Yeah. I like that. A lot.

It seems as though everyone is also really happy to have me back, since I said no to NBC's Who Wants To Marry My Dad casting between Mr. Personality and Paradise Hotel. I think saying no is a really important element of getting what I want out of life. Leaving Back Stage West was a form of saying no. When I think back to times when I was treated with such extreme disrespect (this is beyond the public recent stuff that everyone knows about and is really awful private stuff that I never told anyone about, as it would make people say, "Why on Earth would you ever stay at such a job??") at the paper, I am really proud of myself for walking away and making what feels like a complete shift in the LEVEL at which I work and am rewarded for my work. The respect I'm getting now is� well� it's about damn time. Let's just say that.

So, yesterday was our big LA open call. Two of the guys who were called back for Mr. Personality came in for it and were given immediate callbacks. Another dear friend's son came in and got an immediate callback too. I'm beaming with pride! So happy for my guys! I also got a few emails from my Mr. Personality guys, asking if they can do this show. Sadly, probably not. Next time, my buddies. Next time!

Blog Responses

Chip: I cannot believe that the Blue Laws even still exist in Georgia. I guess, having lived in Los Angeles for nearly five years, I've gotten really spoiled to the whole "no booze available" on certain days or at certain times. Very odd. But I'm glad they may be on their way out. That's nice!

The Real World: Boston ROCKED! Who told you it didn't? OMG, it was quite possibly the best season ever! Man!

We went to Mann's Chinese Theatre on Friday night for X-2 and it was greatness. I always love seeing an opening night BIG film there, as there are invariably people who worked on the film in the audience. Our screening was shared with at least three people in the closing credits for the film, which was just really cool. Of course, there are a kajillion people in the credits for the show, so the odds are for something like that happening anyway. LOL. As for the film, it was too long for my tastes. Of course, you know me and my lovely inability to sit through any film longer than 82 minutes plus credits. So, for me to say it was only 20 minutes too long is a big deal. I usually will "live with" a film that's ten minutes too long and not say anything about it, but with this one, I started re-editing the film in my mind to make it the length it should've been� while we were still watching it� and that's a sign that there was some stuff that could've been spared. Now, all that said, let me state for the record: this was a really awesome film. I really really really loved it.

I won't bother reviewing it. Surely everyone on the planet has seen it anyway.

Okay, so a trailer I saw that has me really excited is The Italian Job. Didn't think I'd want to see it from the posters, but from the trailer� yeah. I'm in.

Of course, we'll be at the opening night at Mann's for Matrix: Reloaded and T3 in July. Much excitement. That's more movies than I saw at all last year. Hee hee.

I'm amused at the idea of Freshmen living on campus, Chip. Since they'd been threatening that since before I came on campus as a frosh, I'm surprised they're actually going through with it for the 2004 kids. Hm.

You asked about BBS for SpyNotebook. I registered a little EZBoard for Cricket Feet and have never used it, if you want to go poke around and see what you think. My favorite BBS seems to be the one with threaded responses and all posts visible by title. Check the links in the right margin of my Blog for all the BBS places I visit. You'll be able to see lots of options. Good luck deciding. I'll like it, whatever it is. Tee hee.

Okay, can I just say that "April 29th, Inaugural Chicken Day at Athens Academy" is one of the most amusing things ever! Of course, I never forget that Mr. Lee McKay taught us all that there is no such thing as a "first annual" anything, as it must be the "inaugural" version first, and THEN it becomes "annual." Now, if only I can teach my dear cousin that "its = possessive" and "it's = contraction for it is." Sigh. One conquest at a time, right. Hee hee.

Love that my Georgian friends and family got to have an earthquake. One of the PAs at the office is from Georgia and, when I told her about the quake (Joni had sent me an email), she called her family and said (mock panic in her voice), "Why didn't you call me?!? You could be dead!!" When her mom said, "Honey, it was just a little shaking," Amanda said, "Yes. Exactly. Now stop calling me in a panic after every little quake we have out here!" LOL It was great.

Courtney: I am so impressed that you are knitting a scarf. That's just really cool. I have so little patience for such things, and that would be such a nice craft to undertake. Sigh. Someday.

Thanks for the congrats on the Mr. Personality screen capture. That was pretty dang cool for me too. I'm such a geek like that, but it's the kind of thing that my mom would've loved (she'd have paused the tape right there and made everyone that came to the house watch it). So, the capture was sort of a shout-out to her too.

Mike: Good goin'! I'm really impressed that you're at a "finding your place in life" kind of stage. Who says you have to figure it all out on any kind of timeline? I make new stuff up all the time. And I love my life. Enjoy, man! It's hang time!

Other Catching Up

Atkins: I've been on Atkins since December 15th, though I really only "mildly" do it when I'm working at the office. There just aren't a lot of low-carb options brought in, and I can't leave to get my own lunch. Still, I'm doing my best, and I'm certainly burning a buttload of energy in this job, running around all the time. So, I've lost, since December 15th, 25 pounds! Woo hoo!! Yesterday at the open call, Rich (who has known me for well over four years and sees me pretty regularly) asked how much I'd lost, saying, "Damn, you look good, girl!" Love that. So, still 30 to go, for my tastes, but I LOVE that I'm actually succeeding at this! Yay!

Observation: Y'know who gets really nasty when you let your subscription lapse? TV Guide. I'm getting all these nasty "Final Cancellation Notice" warnings and I'm like, "Yes. Please. I hope it is final. I'm sick of hearing from you." I'm sure they're losing a lot of subscriptions due to DirecTV's on-screen info, TiVo's program guides, and online access to program grids. Oh well.

So, TiVo, yes� I have become reacquainted with the greatness that is Family Guy. Wow. What a great show! I knew it anyway, but I'm really loving it this time around. The Boomtown marathon on Bravo is outstanding. I am so very happy that FCC regulations on syndication sales into cable channels don't hold anymore. This instant rerun thing has been such a pleasure with the current season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA and now Boomtown on Bravo� wow. I want to write for Boomtown. I think I'll save a few more eps and do some research. I'm probably nowhere near qualified to do crime drama writing, but I sure do love that show's writing. I'm really impressed with a script written by Mykelti Williamson about a child who was molested by a coach and grew up to pass that same legacy on to other children. I'm actually going to write to him, to see about some joint venture action. I've learned, based on some very recent connections with industry folk, that it is highly appropriate to reach out to people whose work you admire, say so, and then move forward with some collaborations. I have a few things going on right now about which I'm very excited. It's just a really, seriously, really good time these days. 'Nuff said.

Bummer: 90210 skipped a season. Dangit. I'm getting Kelly post-fire, Val with Dylan in Mexico hunting down his money, and Andrea in love with some med student. Last week, Brenda was cast in the play and Laura hadn't even tried to kill herself yet. Grr. How dare the skip the whole evolution of David and Clare's relationship or the departure of Brenda and the reveal that Val's a pothead! Grr, indeed.

TicTac: My baby car passed the Smog Check! Woo hoo! I was worried, since it failed a few years ago when I had it tested the first time, and it's� well� older now. Nearly 14 to be exact. "Bless its widdle heart," as Mom would say.

Chicklet: That's the name for my baby G4. It's so great! And it's earning a living too. Just learned I get $50/wk. for allowing the production company to use it (via me) for the show. So, we're both on the payroll. Nice. Problem is, it has a wobble. Any other PowerBook owners having this issue? And what are your thoughts on it? Should I just deal?

Dreams: My daytime ones are beautiful. My nighttime ones are deception, anxiety, accountability related stuff. Weird. I think it's all the carbs.

Check the Cricket Feet Calendar for goings-on I won't have time to email out with any regularity, and make sure you visit the Hollywood Happy Hour site for the recap of May 1st's event and scoop on the June 5th event to come. I should have it updated shortly. I hope. It was great fun, as always!

'Til my next day off�

Posted by bonnie at 2:21 PM

April 24, 2003

Employed Again

So, I said yes to the new job with the ol' Mr. Personality gang to return as casting coordinator for Fox's Paradise Hotel.

Even though I first heard of the show (and the job offer) on Sunday, it seems as if the show was already in the press within just a few hours.

The Guardian
Reality TV World
Zap2it
Movie Poopshoot
Kasa
E! Online

I've already begun working on some preliminary parts of the job, but the gig officially starts Monday, 17% raise and all.

Being unemployed ain't such a bad gig for this gal after all.

Oh! And there's this, from Monday:
mrpcredits.jpg
--
Bon
The Book Is Here!

"Yup. Kids are growin' up too fast and it's all because of the Dairy Council." - Dale Gribble, King of the Hill

Posted by bonnie at 12:36 PM

April 20, 2003

Another job in reality casting?

Just got an email about another casting coordinator job in reality show-land. I'm going to meet with the casting directors. We'll see.

Posted by bonnie at 9:45 PM

Oooh, Mr. Personality drama today!

Scandal! Yep, one of our "also-ran" guys has decided to parlay his "I got flown to LA and interviewed" status into Minnesota-level fame.

I believe, at this point, Fox will step in with a lawsuit. Hee heeeeeeeeeee.

Posted by bonnie at 6:46 PM

Getting excited!

On Monday, we'll attend the wrap-slash-premiere party for Mr. Personality. I am very excited to think that the cast will be there (tight-lipped though they must be, for another few weeks). It's going to be wonderful to see everyone again and to finally see how this thing turns out, on screen.

Fox spared no expense in promoting the dang thing, that's for sure. I'm having so much fun trying to figure out which set of lips belong to which of my favorite guys (yes, I do have favorites, but I'm not disclosing that info, just yet).

Ah... Hollywood.

Posted by bonnie at 4:28 AM

April 19, 2003

Photographic Evidence

New photos available from our March 6th and April 3rd Hollywood Happy Hour events over at the Yahoo Group, if you're so inclined. Good fun.

Okay, time for a nap.

Posted by bonnie at 8:05 AM

April 9, 2003

TiVo gripe:

"It's part of your service."

Okay, so, I have this TiVo, right?

Well, lookee here... day ten or so I start receiving ads on my message/menu screen.

Ignore it and it will go away?

Nope.

Check some box to opt out?

Nope.

Click through the message, view the ad, then have the option to delete (as with viewed messages regarding customer service or lineup changes)?

Nope.

Call the 800 number to say, "Um, if we're paying you $13/mo. for this service, why are you throwing ads at us?"

Ready?

"Oh, it's part of your service."

"I want to opt out. I'm paying you for a service and you're including something I never agreed to receive, something I have no power to delete, and something I cannot keep from coming to my TV message/menu screen."

"It's a part of your service."

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

BAD service, TiVo. Not liking this.

In other news, I did vote to save and dump some shows (thanks Chip), and really I chose to save shows I either like (very few of those) or that cast friends of mine in roles this season, and therefore should be rewarded.

Oh! Congratulations Shelley and Trevor, for getting un-screwed by the landlord. Excellent news!

In other, other news... ugh... the job stuff. So very very very hard.

Okay, so... casting directors have been called and have received a letter from my former boss (distancing from me in true corporately-owned entity fashion) and, lo and behold, they're repairing relationships and deciding to move away from the stand they took with me last week... and do the panel after all. Of course, they say something really nice like, "But only if Bonnie comes back and moderates," and then, when they're told that there is no way that will happen, they go ahead and agree to do the panel just the same.

Politics. Ugh.

Of course it's the casting community that really matters to the publication. I'm a writer. They get 20 resumés a week from people who want my job. I'm totally and completely dispensable, and there is no reason they'd need to patch things up with me in order to have the panel go on.

Honestly--I don't mind not working for the paper anymore. Will I miss the money? Sure. Will I find something else that pays better quickly and not really notice the difference? Most likely.

I forced my boss' hand by making my resignation letter public. I get that. I made that choice and it got me out of what others are calling an "abusive relationship" so that I can now do the work I'm really supposed to do with this notoriety.

I had no other choice. None. I know that. Well, I'm told I did have another choice, but not one that would ever mesh with who I truly am.

I cried last night about all of this. My tears were not tears of regret. Just sadness over the end of a long-term relationship.
---
Bon
The Book... buy now more than ever!
NEW! Cricket Feet Calendar Lemmeknow if you love it.

"In one of my more condescending voices I said, 'It's the Beets. From Doug.' He said, 'Wow, Mr. Woods. You're not as old as I thought you were.' I assured him that I am certainly that old, I just watch a LOT of TV." -- Chip, on SpyNotebook, October 2002

Posted by bonnie at 3:38 PM

April 2, 2003

Le Sigh

A day of transition, of change, of a little bit of fear, and a whole lot of drama.

My resignation letter.

I truly believe that something bigger and better is on the horizon and that I've made the right choice in this situation.

integrity

\In*teg"ri*ty\, n. [L. integritas: cf. F. int['e]grit['e]. See Integer, and cf. Entirety.] 1. The state or quality of being entire or complete; wholeness; entireness; unbroken state; as, the integrity of an empire or territory. --Sir T. More.
2. Moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive; -- used especially with reference to the fulfillment of contracts, the discharge of agencies, trusts, and the like; uprightness; rectitude.

I believe the definition of integrity should also include this bit: when your actions match your words.

I feel good. Considering.

Say a little prayer, friends. Thank you.

Posted by bonnie at 11:33 PM

Bonnie Gillespie's Resignation Letter to Back Stage West

Bonnie Gillespie
Cricket Feet, Inc.
P.O. Box 1417
Hollywood, CA 90028

2 April 2003

Steve Elish, Publisher
Back Stage/Back Stage West
770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Re: Resignation

Dear Mr. Elish:

Regretfully, I am writing to tender my resignation as casting columnist for Back Stage West. What follows is a detailed chronological accounting of the events leading up to this decision, thus ending my affiliation with Back Stage West—a publication I have been proud to work for since October of 1999.

In the week of February 17, 2003, while covering for Casting Assistant Cassie Carpenter in-house at Back Stage West, I was asked by Rob Kendt (Editor-in-Chief/Associate Publisher), Marjorie Broder (Marketing/Advertising Director), and Suzy Starling (Marketing/Sales Assistant) to create and moderate a panel of casting directors for the 2003 ActorFest, taking place Saturday, April 26th.

By this time, I had conducted several highly successful free casting director panels in conjunction with Back Stage West at Take One Film Books in West Los Angeles. Each of these panels (taking place about once every six weeks since November 2002) had well over 100 actors in attendance, filling the aisles and sitting on the floor to be a part of it.

My reputation for being an excellent moderator was beginning to become known. I realized that moderating a panel of very different people with sometimes totally contradictory opinions on subjects relevant to the acting community was a skill and that I should be pleased that I am always able to bring out the best in these panelists and get useful advice to actors who so crave this information.

When Rob, Marjorie, and Suzy invited me to construct a panel for ActorFest, I was thrilled. I knew that would mean an audience of up to 500 actors and the opportunity to bring back some of the top casting directors I've had serve on panels before—as well as a few people who I'd only interviewed and not yet had appear on panels. I was told, in repayment for my services, I would receive a $115 discount on the cost of a booth on the trade show floor, meaning Cricket Feet, Inc., could get a booth for $450 to sell Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews as well as other Cricket Feet titles, and my actor consulting services.

I immediately began booking casting directors for this panel with the one guideline, "Someone from television, someone from film, someone from commercials, someone from theatre, someone from reality. We want the top people from each type of casting." That directive came from Marjorie and was the only limit put upon my ability to contact and book casting directors for the ActorFest panel. My panelists would not be paid, nor would I—which is also standard practice for my free casting director panels. We all donate our time.

By the end of the day on which I was asked to do the panel, I had already booked three casting directors: Michelle Foumberg, Twinkie Byrd, and Michael Donovan. I also handed Suzy Michelle and Michael, who were willing to do Focus Sessions that were, as of that time, unfilled by casting directors. It was my pleasure to help Suzy with the task of filling those slots, as I knew, when I called in favors to get these casting directors to agree to the panel in the first place, I could also ask them to come for one extra hour to help Suzy for a $100 honorarium.

By the end of the week in which I was asked to do the panel, I had secured two more casting directors: Bob Morones and Kimberly Hardin. All five of the casting directors I had contacted at this time were eager to be a part of ActorFest and sit on a panel I would moderate. We began discussing plans for the questions I would ask, the types of questions that would likely come from the audience, and what to expect from the experience as a whole.

In that same week of February 17th, I was contacted by casting director Katy Wallin regarding a new show for Fox she had been hired to cast. She needed some out-of-town recruiting done and wanted to know if I knew of casting directors who would be willing to do such work. I made some calls and connected a few people to one another, as this is a very typical "side-effect" of my work with casting directors. It is known by all that I know casting directors—as a community—more than anyone else. I also refer people to one another on a regular basis for jobs and projects, CSA recommendation letters, etc. I love connecting good people to one another. It is a passion!

After helping Katy with a few leads for out-of-town recruiters, I was again contacted by her—this time because she needed a casting coordinator for four weeks. I explained that I am not looking for full time work, nor do I want to parlay such a job into a career, but that I would like to meet with her and her partner, Sheila Conlin, for an interview. That interview took place on February 24th and I was hired that day.

During the four week assignment, I got to see two amazing casting directors—one who has spent 15 years growing her production company, casting company, and acting studio; the other with major reality TV credits—navigating the casting process for a lightning fast assignment for Fox. I realized that either of these women would be an asset to the ActorFest panel. Since I already had booked a casting director with reality TV show credits (Michelle Foumberg), I looked to Katy to fill the sixth slot in the panel.

I let Rob know that Katy was my pick for the sixth panel slot and his response, via email dated March 18th, was, "Just make sure Katy doesn't say a word about AIA." I assured him that her acting school was quite a separate venture from her casting company and production company. I told him that I'd seen, first hand, how separate those companies are, in day-to-day operation, and I also mentioned to Katy the need to keep AIA out of the panel discussion. "Of course!" She responded, adding that she thought the panel was about casting, not acting schools. We were all on the same page.

A few days later, my fiancé and business partner Keith Johnson called me at the casting office for the Fox project and told me about a phone call he'd just had with Rob about Katy's space on the panel. The basic information was, "Marjorie has vetoed you and Rob. Katy is off the panel." According to Keith, his conversation with Rob was brief and conveyed information about Marjorie's displeasure over the inclusion of Katy, as one of her companies is a major advertiser in Back Stage West and her appearance on the panel would be considered a conflict of interest. I decided to discuss this matter with Katy when we next spoke about ActorFest, after the end of our casting job, which was quickly coming to a close.

Meanwhile, Suzy had emailed me to let me know that Lila Selik had offered her services as a panelist when Suzy had contacted her about putting flyers for ActorFest in her casting office. Based on the recommendation from Suzy, I contacted Lila on March 28th and offered her Katy's spot. I also set up a "Casting Qs" interview with Lila for March 31st, at which time we would further discuss the details of ActorFest.

Also on March 31st, I called Katy to let her know she would not be on the panel. I left a message conveying my apology for having her plan to be a part of it and now canceling, but that Marjorie pulled rank and Rob had delivered the news to Keith, who delivered it to me.

Katy called me on the morning of April 1st to speak with me about other business as well as to ask about Marjorie's objection to having her on the panel. I told her that I suspected the issue was based in the fact that AIA has been a booth-holder on the ActorFest trade show floor in years past and that the upcoming AIA Career Festival has been discussed as a "competing" event to ActorFest, despite the fact that it is free.

Katy decided to call Marjorie, stating that she would like to keep relations between Back Stage West and all of Katy's companies as positive as possible. Katy also wanted to ensure that Marjorie felt welcome to attend the AIA Career Festival on April 5th in order to invite actors to ActorFest.

Marjorie called my home around 1:30pm on April 1st and left a message. I called her back around 2:30pm. She told me that she had, "no interest in talking to this person," and wanted to know why Katy had left a message for her in the first place. I speculated that Katy wanted to clear the air about the back-and-forth on the panel, but Marjorie said she did not intend to call Katy back, as the matter was closed.

I assured Marjorie that the panel was now set with six panelists—not including Katy—and that promotion was continuing forward as planned. She felt the need to explain—at length—the long-standing policy (which she attributed to Rob) of seeing panels as editorial (meaning: no advertisers or service providers allowed) and all else in ActorFest as advertising (meaning: no conflict for participation). She proceeded to yell "at" Rob through me on the phone. I calmly suggested that Marjorie leave me out of any of her issues with Rob and his enforcement of policy and let me know what I could do to soothe this situation and have the best panel possible.

Marjorie assured me that I had done everything by the book and that my panel was going to be great, that she was very grateful for my work at the paper and for ActorFest. She also continued to blame Rob for not having contacted Katy himself to cancel her for the panel. I assured her that everything was fine—that Rob had called Keith, who called me, who canceled Katy. Marjorie wanted to know exactly what Rob said. I put her on the phone with Keith, as he was the one who spoke with Rob, and I could only speculate.

Keith and Marjorie spoke for a moment about Keith's conversation with Rob and then Keith got quiet for a while. When he next spoke, it was to debate Marjorie's logic in saying that policy states that no one who makes money off of actors can appear on an ActorFest panel. Keith disagreed. He presented the fact that I make money off actors with my book and my consulting services—so how can I moderate the panel under that policy? He presented the fact that most casting directors who are not employed fulltime by a studio do some sort of supplemental work such as teaching, participating in workshops, authoring books, owning schools, partnering in production companies, producing music, acting, etc. Quickly, Marjorie changed her train of conversation over to the difference between these examples of supplemental work and one of Katy Wallin's companies, AIA. She then mentioned all of the money they were making off of selling booths to advertisers at their upcoming free Career Festival. Keith, who had recently written the check for Cricket Feet's booth space at ActorFest countered with, "Yes. For $250. You're selling them for over $500." Marjorie then hung up on Keith abruptly.

An hour later, Suzy called me to let me know that I would need to contact the casting directors on my panel to find out which ones are teachers or owners of companies that provide services to actors. I explained that I was not willing to do that. I had set this panel—with most casting directors—six weeks earlier and was not going to start making changes on a roster that had been approved by Rob and had been seen during its early development (the week of February 17th) by Suzy and Marjorie, with not a single mention of this policy to exclude panelists who earn money off actors.

I explained that I didn't want to get into a "pissing contest" with anyone about it, but that I considered the panel set, as is, and that I would not be making any changes to it. Suzy asked if I could ensure that there would be no discussion of classes or services during the panel, no distribution of literature about the casting directors' wares, etc. I was insulted. "Obviously, Suzy, that request is coming from someone who has never seen me moderate a panel. Talk to Rob. Talk to [office manager] Rosa [Fernandez]. The two of them have attended my free panels and know that they are all about helping the actors learn and nothing else," I insisted.

Suzy assured me that nothing she was saying was coming from her decision-making process, but that the policy would be carried out. I restated, "If you're removing panelists, you're also removing your moderator." We hung up and I then emailed Suzy the following, "Please don't take it personally. I have worked very hard putting this panel together and feel very strongly that it is a good mix of people that everyone will enjoy. As I said, if you ask anyone who has ever attended a panel discussion I've moderated, you'll learn that it is never an opportunity for panelists to pitch their services as a coach, a consultant, or anything else. I'm considering the panel set, and this matter closed."

I also emailed Rob, even though he is out of the office, to let him know what had transpired and where we now stood with the issue.

An hour later, I received another call from Suzy. This time she said, "I'm just the messenger," and proceeded to inform me that the casting directors who teach are being called—by her—and removed from my panel. Also, that I was being relieved of my duties as moderator.

I let her know that I understood the decision but that, since my relationships and reputation are what got those panelists to agree to participate in ActorFest to begin with, that I would be contacting them as well, so that they would know that I was no longer moderating the panel. I do not feel it is professional to have someone these casting directors have never spoken to call and inform them there have been changes—when their last contact has been with me about the format of the panel and the questions, parking arrangements, time of arrival, etc. Suzy agreed that I had the right to call these colleagues and we hung up.

I immediately began calling my panelists. The only person who was contacted by Suzy prior to being contacted by me was Lila Selik, who called me the instant she hung up with Suzy, livid that she had been removed from the panel due to the fact that she teaches classes to agents and managers on the art of the pitch. I assured her that this issue has me upset as well and we discussed the options that Lila was considering: filing a discrimination suit, writing an open letter to the major Los Angeles publications, mobilizing members of the CCDA against Back Stage West, etc. She later faxed me a draft of a letter she is developing, as well as calling me several more times throughout the evening to get information about her fellow panelists and the personnel at Back Stage West.

While Lila's reaction was the most extreme, it was certainly not the only one of its tone. Every casting director I spoke with was very disappointed in the fact that the panel would not exist as it had been established—as long as six weeks earlier in some cases—and assured me that their favor was to me, not to Back Stage West.

We all bank on our relationships in this business, and I have—over the past three years—developed relationships that go beyond the strictly business level with many casting directors. I consider these industry professionals to be my friends. They are a selfless group of people who—for a living—work to help other people fulfill their dreams. They don't mind being in the background while others receive praise for the work that they do. I find those qualities to be the same qualities that teachers possess. They are thrilled more by their students' successes than their own.

It stands to reason that nearly half of all casting directors do some form of teaching, workshop, or guest-speaking engagements on a regular basis. These are people who enjoy sharing their knowledge. And, yes, some of them do that for a fee.

That, in itself, is not a conflict of interest that should prevent any casting director from appearing on a panel discussion. I always try to include a diverse selection of casting directors on my panels so that actors may benefit from information provided by all of the various types of people who make up the casting community. I do not discriminate against those casting directors who earn money from actors. My rule is: you get actors jobs, you qualify for my panels.

The fact that this arbitrary policy was suddenly enforced after Marjorie blew up on the phone with me—and then with Keith—about her anger at Katy Wallin for having the AIA Career Festival three weeks before ActorFest is not disputable.

Had anyone ever, in the week of February 17th or thereafter, mentioned to me that there was a policy to which my selection of casting director panelists must adhere, of course I would've followed that policy or—if I felt I could not do so—declined the offer to create, promote, and moderate a panel in the first place. This eleventh hour stunt is disrespectful of me and my panelists, as well as the actors who were sold—at $40 a pop—a ticket to ActorFest, banking on the fact that they'd be able to attend this well-advertised panel. I understand that it was the most popular of the three panels offered this year, and was already well on its way to selling out completely.

Throughout all of this, Rob is out of town and therefore unable to settle the matter. Had the call from Katy come a week later, when Rob is back, I am certain that he would've handled the call, told Katy how to deal with Marjorie's issues with AIA, and that would've been the end of it. Instead, this has become an issue over which many casting directors are up in arms. I suspect, once actors begin to learn about it, it will become an issue of demanding refunds for a panel to which they'd bought entry, since it no longer exists.

After having left a message for Rob on his home answering machine, I received a call from him (from Kentucky) late on the evening of April 1st. Rob asked what it would take to get the panel back on track. I told him that, even if I wanted to, I didn't think I could unring this bell and get the casting directors back. They are not happy with Back Stage West or this sudden policy enforcement. It would be rude of me to go back to them and even suggest that we could patch things up and go on with the show.

At this point, I am becoming aware of what this experience means, with regard to my relationship with Back Stage West as the freelance casting columnist.

I have been penning the weekly column "Casting Qs" since June of 2000 and I very much enjoy interviewing casting directors for actors. However, after having been used as a pawn in this political strategizing by Marjorie against Rob, I do not feel as though my role, my reputation, my relationships, and my readership have been respected whatsoever.

I bring a great deal of good will to Back Stage West through my regular appearances at free casting director panels, speaking engagements, book signings, my countless hours spent answering reader email and questions on the Career Chat forums, etc. I am always an advocate for Back Stage West, and my column is clearly one of the most popular features of the weekly paper.

I take all of that very seriously.

Without the respect of those people above me at Back Stage West, I do not see how I can continue forward as a weekly columnist and not feel that I am betraying my readers by staying silent about the horrific injustice that was committed all in the name of Marjorie Broder's in-office politics.

As of this time, I will not be contributing weekly "Casting Qs" to Back Stage West.

People talk all the time about the importance of loyalty and integrity in relationships in this town. I do more than talk. I live by my word. I did everything I was asked to do in this situation and I got burned. Some people I care very strongly about got burned too. That's not something that gets fixed with a band-aid.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Gillespie

cc: Rob Kendt, Editor-in-Chief/Associate Publisher
Marjorie Broder, Marketing/Advertising Director
Scott Proudfit, Managing Editor
Gary Marsh, Breakdown Services
Bob Brody, Showfax
Twinkie Byrd
Michael Donovan, CSA/CCDA
Michelle Foumberg
Kimberly Hardin
Bob Morones, CSA
Lila Selik, CCDA
Katy Wallin, CSA
April Webster, CSA
Beverly Long, CCDA
Billy DaMota, CSA
Bonnie Zane, CSA
Brett Benner, CSA
Cathy Henderson, CSA
Cathy Kalmenson
Cathy Reinking
Danny Goldman, CCDA
Debby Romano, CSA
Debra Zane, CSA
Dino Ladki
Elisa Goodman, CSA
Francene Selkirk, CCDA
Gary Zuckerbrod, CSA
Jackie Briskey, CSA
Jane Jenkins, CSA
Jenny O'Haver, CCDA
Judy Belshé
Julie Selzer, CSA
Kate Brinegar, CSA
Lawrence Parke, Acting World Books
Linda Phillips-Palo, CSA
Marc Hirschfeld, CSA
Mark Paladini, CSA
Mark Sikes
Mark Teschner, CSA
Matthew Barry, CSA
Melissa Martin, CCDA
Michelle Gertz, CSA
Mike Fenton, CSA
Patrick Baca, CSA
Paul Bennett, PB Management
Peter Golden, CSA
Phil Brock, Studio Talent Group
Robin Nassif, CSA
Steven Nash, Arts & Letters Management
Stuart Stone, CCDA
Terry Berland, CCDA
Tracy Lillienfield, CSA



Messages In This Thread
Bonnie Gillespie's Resignation Letter to Back Stage West
Bonnie Gillespie -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 9:28 p.m.

XOXO I'm VERY confident that the loss of that nonsensical drama in your life ...
Sterling Wolfe -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 9:40 p.m.

You were the reason to check in at BSW , You will be missed but am glad I can find you here.
shawn cowam -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 10:08 p.m.

I agree! Bonnie, BSW just shot themselves in the foot! *nm*
Anna M. Kumor -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 7:32 a.m.

The Paper is not called "B.S. West" for nothing. *nm*
Sterling Wolfe -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 12:50 p.m.

If you feel that way, then please CALL BSW and Tell them so!! *nm*
Keith Johnson -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 2:36 p.m.

Bonnie, Sad News for the Real Talent in LA. Best Wishes to YOU! *nm*
Galen B. Schrick -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 12:44 p.m.

WOW. It amazes me the nonsense some people try to pull.
Corey Klemow -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 10:40 p.m.

A "moral" stand at forty bucks a head, Corey. LOL *nm*
Dea Vise -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 10:49 p.m.

The one who loses the most is BSW for losing the megatalents of Bonnie G. :( *nm*
Brad Slaight -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 11:42 p.m.

Agreed!! *nm*
Laura Lock -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 12:19 a.m.

:( I'm shocked at BS's stupidity! Better things ahead for you...but you know that! XOXO *nm*
Kathryn Johnston -- often lurks, sometimes posts -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:46 a.m.

Bon, you have my love, my respect, and my total support. Godspeed, baby sister. thumbs up *nm*
Debra McCarthy -- Wednesday, 2 April 2003, at 11:56 p.m.

clap, clap, clap Ditto - and Tritto!!! clap, clap, clap *nm*
Eric Halasz -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 7:49 a.m.

...and the kiddo makes a sexto (& if you've ever had toes... nah, fergit it). *nm*
- N. Barry Carver • FlickeringImage.com • -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 8:10 a.m.

Bonnie, your integrity has always been impressive. What a sad, stupid ordeal for you. Love & Support *nm*
cindy koellisch -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 8:35 a.m.

Oddly, under "integrity" you'll find a picture of BSW chiefs!
- N. Barry Carver • FlickeringImage.com • -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 9:48 a.m.

Miss you already! *nm*
Christopher Behrens -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 9:58 a.m.

Huh. I thought it was under the word "waffle." Maybe both words, I guess. *nm*
Sterling Wolfe -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 12:18 p.m.

I prefer the term "tergiversational" but I like 'em big.....er, words, that is. *nm*
Kyle \/ogt -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:58 p.m.

Cool. I had to look that puppy up! LOL *nm*
Bonnie Gillespie -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 2:06 p.m.

oh, Kyle... Eschew obfuscation. ;) *nm*
shelley delayne -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 11:12 a.m.

But... but obfuscation is Kyle's hobby! LOL *nm*
Elizabeth Tindal -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 2:51 p.m.

Ahh, but the guerdons of it.... *nm*
Kyle \/ogt -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 5:07 p.m.

you guys should be using your way with words at googlewhack.com! *nm*
Billy DaMota -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 7:13 p.m.

Wow! That's some messed up stuff!
Melanie Dale -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 10:21 a.m.

I'm a bit confused with Foumberg's participation in the "focus session."
Sterling Wolfe -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 12:17 p.m.

Just asked her to come post for herself, but...
Bonnie Gillespie -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:05 p.m.

I LOVE Michelle! Welcome, girlie! *VBG*
Dea Vise -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:16 p.m.

Hi DEA!!! You're so sweet! :) *nm*
Michelle Foumberg -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:46 p.m.

thumbs up thumbs up for Michelle, and thumbs up thumbs up for us behaving badly, LOL *nm*
Sterling Wolfe -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:19 p.m.

I have removed myself from the Panel!
Michelle Foumberg -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:25 p.m.

Fantatistic, plus congrats on CSA. thumbs up thumbs up *nm*
Sterling Wolfe -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:33 p.m.

Thanks, doll. See you at AIA's Career Festival Saturday. Big hug! *nm*
Bonnie Gillespie -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 1:40 p.m.

I call Bonnie the matchmaker! LOL
Dea Vise -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 3:04 p.m.

Hi, Michelle! Welcome! *nm*
Billy DaMota -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 4:57 p.m.

HI Billy!! My fabulous sponsor!! :) *nm*
Michelle Foumberg -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 11:12 a.m.

So proud of you getting your first chip. LOL
Billy DaMota -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 12:14 p.m.

Michelle's name is still being used to sell tickets geez
Sterling Wolfe -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 1:22 p.m.

Don't throw your new Tivo up against the wall... That's all I ask :) Sorry for your situation :( *nm*
Jim Brownfield -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 12:37 p.m.

Your column was the 1st thing I looked for!
Laura Graul "marylousmom" -- Thursday, 3 April 2003, at 7:38 p.m.

Bonnie ," cream rises to the top". ; ) *nm*
Fred Dresch -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 9:06 a.m.

Congrats Bonnie for standing up to your convictions: pedal to the metal and bury the speedometer! *nm*
Ho-Kwan Tse -- Friday, 4 April 2003, at 3:39 p.m.

Too bad they didn't appreciate you.
Jennifer Bishton -- Saturday, 5 April 2003, at 8:25 a.m.

Posted by bonnie at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2003

Free Casting Director Panel

More updates to come, but for now... a press release:

March 26th, Wed., 7:30pm

Take One Film Books, 11516 Santa Monica Blvd., 2nd floor

Featuring:
Robin Nassif, CSA (of Nassif Baca Casting, having cast LA Law: The Movie, Gentle Ben, Halloween: Resurrection, and oversaw casting of over 250 pilots while at ABC);

Cathy Kalmenson (of Kalmenson & Kalmenson Voice Casting, having cast the Budweiser Frogs, auditioned over 21,000 actors in one year, former voice over agent for Abrams Rubaloff, Tisherman, and Special Artists); and

Mark Sikes (casting director for LA Heat on TNT, dozens of Roger Corman's films, 30 films for PM Entertainment, and master teacher)

moderated by Bonnie Gillespie, owner of Cricket Feet Management, author of Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews and the forthcoming Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business, fresh off her four-week stint as casting coordinator for Fox's Mr. Personality.

RSVP: Take One

Woo hooooooooo! Bring headshots and resumés and show up early!

See y'all there!

More later...

Posted by bonnie at 9:32 PM

March 16, 2003

Who Wants To Cast a Reality Show?

Is it still "casting" if we're doing reality? Yes. Most definitely. There are Polaroids tacked to the wall for all to see... compatability checks... chemistry checks... height issues... availability issues... geographical issues to consider.

But, what exists in a reality show's construction that doesn't factor into populating a scripted show is risk management. My job, for the last couple of weeks anyway, has included a lot of paperwork. For every candidate in whom we're interested, there are complete background investigations, medical exams, psychological exams, and mounds and mounds of paperwork. In addition to producer callbacks, which actors endure when they're close to network, these fine folks also have their lives uncovered prior to hitting the set. One guy asked me whether he'd be disqualified if I discovered he is a psychopath.

"Heck no!" I insisted. "Fox just wants to know about it up front. That's all."

Hee hee.

I'm having a good time. I have my favorite candidates and I see who the producers favor. I'm happy when that matches up. When it doesn't... well... I have to remember that I'm not the target market for this type of show and that these execs got where they are by making unpopular but highly-rated choices more often than failing at that task.

The other day, I figured that anyone watching our office from the parking lot would think, "Wow. They must do something really important in there. They show up early, stay really late, don't take days off or lunch breaks whatsoever, and they're always stressed out and running around. I bet they're working to cure cancer!"

And it's just television.

Reality television.

For the Fox network, for cryin' out loud.

And I'm laughing all the way to the bank. Or... will be when I get some time off to go there. LOL

Posted by bonnie at 2:20 PM

March 15, 2003

Here's what I have to say...

Hardly a damn thing.

My non-disclosure agreement with the Fox network prevents me from saying publically all the things I want to say about what's happening in the world of casting Mr. Personality. Let's just say there are some front-runners from Georgia and I am way the happy gal.

Beyond that, I got a whole lotta nothing. I'm working 14-16 hour days, seven days a week, and we start shooting in ten days. So, I should be retired from this li'l job soon and ready to decompress at least a little bit.

'Til then, my favorite Hotlanta candidate swore he'd bring me a Chick-fil-A and then called the casting office to say he wouldn't be able to do so. That right there should get him cut from any callback list. Tee hee.

Thinking we may go visit the boys tomorrow at the hotel where callbacks are taking place... just to say hey. We'll see.

Meanwhile... having a blast, glad the thing will be cast soon, and ready to go back to my life of working for myself. For now. But MAN... the offers are dayum enticing.

Posted by bonnie at 9:45 PM

March 7, 2003

What a wonderful night!

Thank you everyone!! The inaugural Hollywood Happy Hour was a smashing success and we are just so very proud!

Huge huge huge big thanks to Uncle Bob and Aunt Diana for the audio tech; to Brasserie des Artistes for the locale (and the $85 gift certificate); to Showfax and Breakdown Services for the best actor gifts of the night; to Actor's Bone, Pampered People, Aqua Hooks, Back Stage West, and most especially E! Online for all the awesome goodies in the goodie bags; and to our amazing assistants: Heather and Keith for their tireless efforts in pulling this together.

Thank you to our guests: Cindy Margolis and Michael Donovan. And of course, I must thank my lovely co-hosts and cohorts Nelson Aspen and Kris Burtt for being such total rock stars and dear friends.

Great time, great people, great info, and just all around great experiences for us all!

Glad to have our first event behind us, and happy to have shared it with you all.

Next up: Craig Tomasoff from US Weekly and Stacy Kumagai from Braingasm.com. April 3rd, 6pm. See you there!!

Look for updates on the website soon. I know that some of our guests will be writing up reviews on the night's events and we'll feature a few audio clips courtesy of our awesome audio tech friends!! Have I said thanks to Uncle Bob yet??

Cheers, everyone! And thanks for joining in this first Hollywood Happy Hour!
--
Bon
The Book Is Here!

"The fact that Susan and Sean were drinking Pepsi leads me to believe that there was at least one person trying to annoy another. On the positive side, it wasn't in Ottawa." - David's brilliance in SpyNotebook, Oct. 2002

Posted by bonnie at 11:13 PM

March 2, 2003

At Today's Open Call...

we put about 50 people on tape after prescreening a bunch more. We'll call back about 1/3 of this group we taped. Tomorrow, the tapes start coming in from Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Tampa. In another day or so, they'll be in from five more cities. And so on. Wow.

Today, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and Extra all visited the open call. I wasn't interviewed, but you should be able to spot me checking people in, taking Polariods, and prescreening applicants' paperwork.

A good day. A hard day. Tomorrow is Keith's birthday. Tell him Happy Birthday for me. I'm not sure we'll run into each other during the day. *sniffle*

Posted by bonnie at 7:35 PM

February 27, 2003

According to Jay Leno...

(thanks, Joni), our show is called Joe Paperbag Head. Hee hee.

Time for more details: We're populating the series in just the next two weeks, so a nationwide search is on for one "princess" and 25 suitors.

The suitors will be masked in every encounter with the princess, while they live together in a castle, go on dates, and learn about one another... without the guys' looks being a factor.

The viewers will get to see the suitors in their on-camera interviews and all that good stuff.

The series begins shooting March 24th, so we've hit the ground running.

Open calls are taking place starting tonight in the following cities (through March 9th): Atlanta, Tampa, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, Boston, Austin, Dallas, Tucson, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, San Diego, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

The first LA open call is Sunday, 3/2, at 1918 W. Magnolia Blvd., Ste. 206, Burbank, 91506, from 11am to 5pm. Applications are available on the website, but if you're coming to an open call, we'll give you the paperwork to fill out there. Videotaped submissions are accepted through March 8th at the above address and must be accompanied by an application form and video release.

Casting hotline: 1-800-813-CAST.

LA singles... I'll see ya Sunday! And any of you who like to do the host thing, if you want to gimme your host reel, we'll need one of those types too!

Posted by bonnie at 8:57 PM

February 26, 2003

Details on my new job...

At TV Guide.com. Also got press in today's Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and USA Today, from what I hear.

Audition information (including the application I designed... tee hee) at the Fox website and hotine at 1-800-813-CAST. Things will calm down a bit after I get a couple of recruiting crews on airplanes in the morning. And then things will wind back way way way up when tapes start coming in.

Our LA open calls are Sunday and the following Saturday. I'm pretty dang psyched. But exhausted. I'm working my booty off!

Posted by bonnie at 10:10 PM

February 25, 2003

Well, holy bejeebuss

Guess who's the new Casting Coordinator for the latest Fox Network reality show... ala Joe Personality... even?

Yeah... that'd be me.

Be ready to not see me around for a bit. Four weeks of ass-off working to coordinate the nation-wide search for 25 men and one faboo fem for the show... I'll be busy. But I'll still host Hollywood Happy Hour with Nelson and Kris on the 6th. Amazing how one (me) is able to negotiate a deal around the schedule that already exists somehow.... Tee heeeeeee.

To RSVP for HHH, email info@HollywoodHappyHour.com and you'll be all set. To get on the big Bon's got an effin' mailin' list mailing list, email info@CricketFeet.com and you shall be there!!

Okay... time to get an hour or so of sleep before starting a new JOB. God help me!!

Posted by bonnie at 12:06 AM

January 25, 2003

So, so, so much fun

Went to 15 Minutes of FEM tonight after dinner at Micelli's with Richard and Tracy. Very much fun, all the way around. Keith and I had scouted Crista at Comedy Union a few months ago and told her that she MUST apply for FEM. She did. She made it in. And tonight she was up... and amazing! I'm sure she won, but they won't reveal the results on the website until the morning. My friend Jonna of "Jonna's Body, Please Hold" fame will perform next month and then the big ol' Best of FEM night will be mid-February (I'm an industry judge... way cool).

Anyway, it's always so nice to see such talented people all in one place doing what they love. It really puts all the other moments of life, in which we feel resistence or frustration, into perspective.

For me anyway.

Posted by bonnie at 1:09 AM

January 13, 2003

The Little Film Festival That Could

A few months ago, a few folks began posting on an actors' web board along the lines of, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!"

Now, this sort of thing happens all the time here in Hollywood, and even more often online than in the flesh. There's that whole, "Hey, yeah. What a great idea! Let's get that plan together." And then there's that whole, "Um... where'd everybody go?" thing when it comes time to put the work together.

Not this time.

This time, the principals were N. Barry Carver, Paul Molinaro, and yours truly, and we have this work ethic thing that, when combined, is truly staggering to behold.

To wit: Barry, in the last year, has produced a short film, a radio game show, a book of touching short stories, and... oh yeah, a baby boy. Paul, our own ActorsBone site owner, is a parent, a doctor, and is currently in his first year of law school (3.4 GPA intact) because three careers are never enough. Me, I've written that book on casting directors, am running that management company, and have started ramping up for Hollywood Happy Hour.

We like to work.

We really like to bring talented people together and help build relationships between all sorts of people who'll end up working together for years and years to come.

This weekend, we did just that.

With just two months of web-board posting and email forwarding to let people know about our festival--which distinguished itself from other major festivals out there by being one in which every short received airtime with three screeners, and each screener provided feedback to the shortsmaker--we received 100 entries (and from as far away as Australia, for heck's sake)!

Our screeners worked to get feedback to us in short order, so that we could quickly come up with the top 25 shorts for our judges screening, which took place in mid-November. Wow. What amazing talent! And the winning shorts were all just amazing. The budgets ranged from next to nothing to a whole heck of a lot, and the shortsmakers were from Los Angeles, Canada, Massachusetts, Ohio, the UK... well... we were impressed.

Turns out our audiences were too. We got going just a wee bit after 7pm each night and wrapped up (after the reception) by 10:30pm. Tons of happy shortsmakers in the room, shaking hands, exchanging business cards, and congratulating one another on jobs well done. The diversity was really grand. Our corporate sponsors, who donated membership to Showfax sides service, Breakdown Services' casting director mailing labels, and other goodies, were all pleased to see their corporate considerations going to good use.

And the best part? We ended up in the black. We decided, "Hey, let's put on this festival," put out the call for entries, actually put on two days' of screenings, put out a congratulatory display ad in Daily Variety (hitting newsstands just in time for Sundance opening parties), and have enough cash left to pay ourselves back for the expenses we're out. Not bad.

In the land of air-kisses and "let's do lunch" mantras, we made good. Real good. That's not bad at all.

Posted by bonnie at 3:32 AM

December 26, 2002

Big News

Just learned that Casting Qs has made it to Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Please feel free to [*ahem*] go write a review if you are so moved.

Wow. It's really real.

I. Published. A. Book.

Wow.

Thank you so much for joining me on the journey.
--
Bon

More greatness: "Speaking of which, I am against advertising prescription meds to patients. The Purple Pill is not my business anymore than Bebe shirts are." - Stephanie W., on SpyNotebook, Nov. 2002

Posted by bonnie at 5:29 PM

November 24, 2002

Love for Theatre

The 2002 Ovations were wonderful. Theatre LA did a great job putting the gala event together, and Alfred Molina was pure genius, calling out to the audience of 800+, "Are there any theatre people here tonight?" The love in that room was something only theatre people could "get." And man, was it good love!

Major shout out to my dear friend Faith Salie and the rest of the Colony Theatre ensemble for kicking ass with The Laramie Project. Also, kudos to Taper's Flower Drum Song, for taking several awards and Road Theatre Company for its multi-award-winning Napoli Milionaria as well as Deaf West's Big River.

Amazing night filled with joyful actors who may happen to have TVQ, but--much more importantly--who love theatre. Period.

Yay! Faith!!!! Yay! Theatre!!

Posted by bonnie at 11:35 PM

November 8, 2002

Fix It

Ah, the pleasures of living in an old building in the Hollywood Hills!

As I type this, I have no Internet access (so, I'll be copying and pasting into the ol' Blogger template at a later time). See...it's raining. Yup. First rain since, oh, July...and it's been constant for 24 hours or so. I LOVE it. LA does not. Old wires do not. I guess that's why we're offline. The phone line is working, though, intermittently, while the Pac Bell dude walks around with his hardhat and tool belt. Eh. It's probably good for me to get some non-computer work done for a minute. Just addressed postcards to 20 of the casting directors in the new book, letting them know I'll be sending a copy over and confirming their addresses, etc.

Now I'll offline Blog and then do some more book work.

Oh, back to the pleasures of this building. I did say pleasures right?

Yesterday, 8am, I am awakened by the sound of rain. In our bathroom. No, it's not raining...the maid upstairs has put something into the drain that has caused a blockage below us...and the whole building's water flow is headed up through our toilet and our tub, filling the room with not-clean water...fast.

Ugh.

I was on such a high from Wednesday's event (details below) that I couldn't get to sleep at a decent hour, so by the 8am flood wakeup, I was really soundly sleeping. So, I spent the morning trying to do phone interviews with three different casting directors while plumbers and landlord types traipsed through the apartment, having to step over Archie, who decided that right in the middle of everything was the best place to flop. Oh, to be a cat!

It was an interesting challenge, but we survived the morning. My poor bladder was so angry by Noon. You do the math. ;)

Okay, so about the Take One Event. Wow. Wow and more wow. Tim and Keith counted 130 people (standing, sitting on the floor, leaning against walls) in attendance. Wow. The panelists were charming and witty and well-spoken. It was just delightful! So nice to meet many of my readers. They were so generous to say thank you to me for putting the thing together, and also to say thank you to me for writing my column each week. That's a really nice confirmation that I'm doing the right thing.

The casting directors were just great. They stayed and answered questions for a half-hour beyond the scheduled time. They chatted with actors who ignored my request that they NOT rush the table and did so with smiles. I did finally have to provide extraction services to the casting directors who were less-likely to say, "Hey, I gotta go. 'Bye." Such a great mix of casting directors: broad experiences, great backgrounds, styles, casting projects, just really good mix. And they didn't mince words. That was really nice.

I hope actors learned a lot from the experience. We'll do another one on Wednesday, December 11th.

There was a moment when I thought to myself, "Hm. There's a lot of this information that I take for granted that actors (should) know. I think, having been inside the offices of these--and 150 other--casting directors, I have a visual picture of what they mean, when they advise actors of their process. Then I realize, that for an actor who has never been inside that office, some of what I assume they know, they haven't a clue about.

Here's what I mean: Actors focus so much on the tiny little things ("Will a casting director care that I only used three staples to attach my resumé� to my headshot, rather than four?" "Is the clasp envelope better than the adhesive-sealed one?" "Does font size matter, on my resumé?") and I think it's because they want to control what ever tiny thing they can, since so much of an actor's journey is outside of her control. Honestly, if these actors could just SEE how these offices work, really, they'd realize that it doesn't matter A BIT what sort of font they use; that no casting director cares about the type of envelope they use (why? Because no casting director has to open the envelopes... ask the assistants and interns which types of envelopes THEY prefer); and staples, glue stick, printing directly on the back of your photo... whatever! None of that is what wins an actor a role.

So, I think that's given me a little clarity on the focus of my second book.

As for the second edition of the first book, I'm already getting excited to do it. I have done so many interviews since the cut-off point for this book, that I really do want to share those articles with a wider audience. I wonder if anyone outside of the entertainment industry finds casting directors as fascinating as I do. I just really think their work is amazing. Their passion and their courage and their entirely behind-the-scenes work goes unrecognized by so many people.

Oh! Here's a mainstream look at some casting director work (though this piece will be about casting director workshops, which are being called "pay-to-play" illegal by the state of California, rather than about the actual work of casting directors): ABC's 20/20 will air an undercover investigation of these workshops tonight. Their website has a really cool article already...I have no idea what to expect from this show's coverage. But the pro-workshop folks have already begun to mobilize; trying to get people to go on record in support of workshops. It's just a really complicated issue.

Technically, casting directors do NOT hire actors. Therefore, the law that's supposedly being broken (potential employers receiving money for job interviews) doesn't technically apply. However, thousands of actors spend millions of dollars (yes, millions) to see these casting directors, associate casting directors, and assistants; hoping this exposure will increase their chances of getting cast.

The sad thing is: the TOP casting directors have NOTHING to do with these workshops. They are far too busy to attend workshops to see actors who, frankly (by majority), are NOT ready to be seen. However, their assistants and associates "advertise" that they have the ability to bring actors into their offices...and when I interview their bosses, I learn that this just ISN'T true.

The people who are really making money off of all of this are the workshop owners. Actors pay $30-$50 a night in order to get in front of casting directors. That's 20 actors at a time (minimum). The casting directors get a $150 honorarium for their time, and the workshop owners keep $450-$850 per night for "expenses." Now, keep in mind that MANY of these workshops have three and four classrooms, in which workshops take place simultaneously...and this stuff goes on five nights a week in most cases. So...doing the math JUST on the MINIMUM end of the scale: we're talking $450,000 per year (conservatively) for the workshop owners. No wonder they are desperate to keep workshops in business!

Listen, before anyone gets upset with me for being anti-workshop, let's make this clear: I did workshops, as an actor, a few years ago. I paid for access to casting directors (and their associates) who I knew I couldn't get in front of via my agent at the time. Did I book work this way? Hard to tell...as this business is all about relationships and some were established during workshops. Who's to say what caused the end result of a job? The issue is, as the labor law is written, workshops where no instruction takes place are in clear violation of the law. But they still operate.

So, I think the ABC show will be a big eye-opener for a lot of people. I look forward to seeing it.

Okay, so enough of that, for now. Bottom line: if you're a workshop supporter and want to stand up and be counted, email Kathryn Joosten. If you want more info on the campaign to shut down workshops, check DoNotPay.org.

On to the quizzes!!

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what f***ed version of Hello Kitty are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Oh, so so so much fun! ;)
--
Bon
The Book Is Coming!

"Welcome to the humiliating world of professional writing." - Homer J. Simpson, food critic, to Lisa, his ghost writer

Posted by bonnie at 3:20 PM

October 14, 2002

I attended a really wonderful show tonight.

Yes, I'm biased, b/c several members of the cast/crew are clients of Cricket Feet Management, but DANG, On the Verge was smartly written, well acted, and superbly directed. If you're in LA... GO. It's a very good show.

Still feeling sick as a dog, but happily woke up from my day-of-sleep to be social, now home and back to bed. Of course, when I try to sleep at night, I sleep for two hours. I rest my head for a minute during the day, and I'm out for HOURS. Still worth a shot. I'll see if I can catch a few Zzzs, now that I've taken care of some business with the awesome screeners of the Actors Bone Shorts Fest and prepped my schedule for the day ahead, I can rest a bit.

Wish me luck!

Posted by bonnie at 12:27 AM

October 12, 2002

Hiya

I cannot believe it has been SO long since I Blogged. Well, Chip's going to un-password my Blog, which will give me an incentive to keep it up a little more, as I'll use the Blog to keep up with a whole bunch of everybody, not only SpyNotebookers (but I'll always love y'all the most...shh). Hm. Wonder if I need to go through and edit out anything incriminating from the archives. Nah. Anyway, this will now be the main source for news and updates and links of interest, rather than trying to keep all of that in different places on the bonsite.

Boys are so forgetful. I'm not talking about things like dates or silly emotional things that chicks get so caught up on guys remembering. I mean big things. Big, stupid, he-said-he-did-it stuff. Urgh.

I got pissed at the powers that be at the paper this week. They pulled my piece from this week's issue. I'd only put about 30 hours' worth of work into it and it was of the theme of the whole issue, per their request several weeks ago. Bastids. Response: "Yep. That's the price of freelance living. You're not in here pitching for your story to stay in with all the staff writers." Theory: the muckity mucks above are pissed that I own the rights to my work and am going to get rich ("Rich! Rich, I tell you!") from the sale of my book. Keep pushin', punk-ass suckas. I welcome the walking papers!

Ah, don't mind her. She's just venting. ;)

Santa Ana Winds are killin' me! Ugh. My poor allergies. Broke down and took drugs today. I don't care if I wind up addicted to this sinus medication. It's better than the not-breathing option.

Finished the edits on the casting director's book (woo hoo) just five hours before deadline. Pulled all-nighters the ENTIRE weekend. It was rough, but worth it. It's a happy dance-inducing thing, finishing a big project like that. I must say, though, it sure is a hell of a lot more gratifying, editing your OWN work, than editing someone elses.

Let's see... what else to tell?

I've been doing way too much posting over on Wolfesden with this dink who owns a casting director workshop and actor database website thingy. He's sent shills over to pitch on his behalf and stand up for his services. I finally broke it all down for him, since he's clearly not getting it. The board to which he's pitching his wares is filled with cynical, skeptical, seasoned veteran actors who know a turd when they step on one. This guy is definitely one. Anyway, the most recent thing is that he's been publishing a Casting Director Guide that is written by one name (his pseudonym) and edited by his legal name. Smarmy guy. I say run from anyone who has the need to pretend he's more people than he really is in order to make money off people.

The illness that wouldn't die had me sick in bed for a full week, feeling better for two days, and back sick in bed (but editing) all weekend, then dragging hard for the rest of the week. Keith got it and was done with it after five days. Lucky guy.

Today, the 12th, was supposed to be our wedding day. If you're looking for news on how that went, then you missed the announcement of the big postponement decision. Oh, it's nothing dramatic. Keith and I were so overwhelmed by the drama of planning a wedding and all of the chaos involved that we chose to back burner the whole thing and stay blissfully engaged for as long as we can stand it. We'll run off to Vegas and do the hitching thing... or perhaps do the deed at the Beverly Hills Courthouse one Thursday (thanks for the tip, Judy)!

'Til then, you can continue to weigh in on the dress, the ring, etc. over on the bonsite, and I'm sure someone, somewhere, has started a pool for predicted dates. Keith's one-year anniversary in LA is upon us. That's a huge celebration, as he has accomplished SO much in no time, really. Ahh. We're so happy! Being engaged rocks. Really!

It's official. Cricket Feet Publishing's inaugural title Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews is at the printer! Expect it out just in time for Pilot Season, January 2003. You'll be able to buy the book online at CricketFeet.com/CastingQs. Further titles in the works: Casting Director Stuart Stone's new book, Acting Out (due out Spring 2003, edited by me, see above); and my two other titles Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business (due out Summer 2003) and Casting Calendar: An Actor's Datebook and Action Log (due out for Pilot Season 2004). I'm currently looking at a couple of other manuscripts that have come my way, from folks who have some cool stuff to say.

While the book has been my main focus right now, I'm still collaborating on a few other writing projects. Most recently, I've been asked to contribute to the 10th edition of Judy Kerr's top selling book, Acting is Everything. I'm really excited about that! I'm doing the section on casting directors and on acting in Atlanta. And Keith's headshot will be featured in it, as well as his story on starting acting in his mid-30s. Other writing projects include a series of articles posting to The Actor's Bone. I'm answering questions in the Career Chat area of the BackStage.com site. That's amazingly gratifying. I've also started dispensing advice on ActorPoint.com. Guest lecturing here and there on the business of the business (next up, I'll be moderating a panel on successful women in film at Take One! Bookstore in West LA.

Here's the press release.

Take One Bookstore, 11516 Santa Monica Blvd. (five blocks west of the 405) 310.445.4050 Wednesday, October 23, 7:30pm, FREE OF CHARGE.

Back Stage West Casting Columnist Bonnie Gillespie will moderate a panel discussion featuring documentary filmmaker Mollie Gregory, author of Women Who Run the Show: How a Brilliant and Creative New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood and several special guest panelists (women profiled in Gregory's book, other women who have made their mark in film).

Review of her book from Publishers Weekly:

Documentary film producer and director Gregory interviews over 100 powerful women who've made their mark in film in this hefty book. She organizes it by decade; thus, the 1970s chapter is called "Beachhead," the '80s is "Securing the Perimeter" and the '90s is "Breakthrough." She investigates the barriers women like The Sting producer Julia Phillips came up against and lauds the accomplishments of Mimi Leder, who directed The Peacemaker. Dense and very thorough, Gregory's work will be important to those in the fields of film studies and women's studies. Photos.

Getting started back up with the management company, slowly but surely. For those of you just tuning in, when I started managing Keith's acting career earlier this year, I had no idea things would take off so quickly for him. I decided I must know what I'm doing, so we decided to start up a little management company. On July 1st, we launched Cricket Feet Management. Keith's been working on two series (one for the Discovery Channel, one for the Learning Channel--check back for when they will air), as well as indie films, student films, commercials, plays, staged readings, and two Spanish-language videos. Amazing!

Have a short film burning a hole in your pocket? Enter it in the ActorsBone ShortsFest (inaugural fest, January 2003). If you're interested in being a screener for the shorts, shoot me an email. I'm the co-founder in charge of that element. We'd love to have your help! The deadline is fast approaching (November 1st), and I am so happy to have such an amazing team of professionals in the industry helping out with this entire process. Wow!

Radio show Back Stage Live kicked off in September on KRLA 870am. I've been the in-studio guest a couple of times. Download the evil listening tool, then go here to listen, and then call 1.866.870.KRLA between 6pm and 7pm Saturdays with your questions about acting and casting. Woo hoo!

A quick response to some Blogs before I sign off (oh, and you'll notice I'm not responding to some of the more intimate issues in SpyNotebook-er's Blogs, now that this puppy's going public.

Chip: Thank you SO MUCH for killing the evil letters. Now I KNOW I love you. I love the idea of an anthropological study based on the contents of a school's Lost & Found. Maybe someone has done this? Don't worry that you missed me on the air last week. I'm on again today (see above). Ironic that I had my return to the air for the first time in five years on the same day as the WUOG 30th anniversary. Greatness. Did you listen to the alumni DJs? Any good? Is long red-haired Blake the guy from punk band Balrog? We studied acting together at UGA in the early '90s. Tell him I said hi.

Trevor: Interesting dialogue on copyright issues. I'm sure, if I had the energy, I could come up with actual percentages, but let's just look at the professional writing I'm doing these days, as opposed to the gazillion pages of academic writing, personal creative writing, and other expressions of creativity and angst I've penned or otherwise let escape from me somehow. As for the stuff I get paid to write, the % that is owned by me is 100. That was by design. I get low pay to write freelance, but I do retain my rights. So, it was a trade off, and based on how the book sales go, I'll get an idea of how great that trade off was. The money I get for my column each week is minute, and considering the paper is $3 and goes out to 30,000+ weekly, I ain't getting much of a cut. No royalties, but no reprint without renegotiating the contract either. % of the pieces I've written sold? All of 'em. In fact, even if I broaden the scope to include other works (photography, art, acting, creative writing), I've scored a very unusually high ratio of sold works, compared to most creatives. I absolutely understand how incredibly lucky that makes me! I think, as to your last question, that the work is the same for me, whether I'm paid to do it or not. Obviously, a deadline and someone else's money changes the vibe attached to getting a piece done, but I think the creative joy is the same. At least I hope it is. I think I would stop writing for money if I didn't enjoy it.

Courtney: Big ew on the blood spatters thing. I have so much more I want to say to you about other stuff, but want to respect your privacy on this now-public Blog. Wanna email me?

David: Your string of Braves game, Chick-fil-A, and Steak-n-Shake posts just got me SO homesick. Dang. See the post to Trevor above about item five in the copyright discussion. I don't know that you would feel more creative if paid to write. I think the bliss of it comes from the doing it and the pay is just a huge, unexpected bonus. At least that's the way I see it. Perhaps because I know it could all as easily dry up as it has flooded in. That's the former actor in me, I'm sure. We're always prepared for the downtime between paying gigs. And we still go do free theatre and stuff for the love of it.

Stephanie W.: I am so impressed with your boot camp thing. Wow. Y'know, I don't think I'd ever get anything done if I had Trillian. It's probably for the best that I'm not even going to explore whatever that is. Oh, in software news, Keith used something called Hijack (or somesuch) to record my radio show off the Internet last week. He then used iMovie to edit it down and will burn it to a CD when we have enough tracks to make that worth doing. Then (total side note here) we'll shop that baby around for some other interesting opportunities. Woo hoo!

Tina: Thank you so much for looking for pix of Hello Kitty slippers for me. I'm bummed you didn't find them, but I think I can gather a pretty good idea of what they look like, from your description. I have Power Puff Girls socks. Is that close? ;)

Jocelyn posted! Yay! I must be rewarded for my optimism of checking the "tardy" Blogs by getting to see your story about the blind date and the guy winning bible trivia at church camp. Reminds me of something that happened to my friend Deb when she was living (and dating) in Athens. She was set up with this guy who turned out to be a real bible thumper (which was so not her thing). He had on purple socks and Deb mentioned that. He said, "I wear purple in honor of our King." Deb asked, "Elvis' favorite color was purple?" Of course, all I could think of was Donny Osmond (shows the generation gap) and his saying, "Cute Marie. Real cute."

I am SO obsessed by these online quizzes, I finally made a page just for sharing the experience! More new quizzes just added... again (oh, it's so dangerous)!

Some Interesting Name Statistics for Bonnie Gillespie:

* The Girl's Name Bonnie is shared by ~314,000 people in the USA.
* The Last Name Gillespie is shared by ~41,300 people in the USA.
* The First Name, Last Name Bonnie Gillespie is shared by ~50 people in the USA (there's me, a stripper in Hotlanta, a gym teacher in the midwest, and some really well-published academic).
* The First Name, Last Initial Bonnie G is shared by ~11,270 people in the USA.
* The First Initial, Last Name B Gillespie is shared by ~1,900 people in the USA.
* The First Name Athene is not common in the US and if it exists, the shared population is less than 1,000 (damn straight).

Terribly cool, is this product name random description generator. Here's what it came up with for me.
bonnie is a screwdriver! It waters your plants! (Which is ironic, since I kill plants.)
keith is like a normal key-ring, but it can be used on the move.
cricket feet is a billboard! It weighs anything you put on top of it!
casting qs is a small plastic pyramid that's made of solid gold! It is also available in white and detects harmful gases. (Me likee that.)

Had to do the cats.
archie is a new type of vegetable that looks bigger than it really is! (So true!)
salema is like a normal suitcase, but it sticks to the skin. (Hee hee.)

And a reintroduction, of sorts. Ah, yes... the greatness of Babelfish. Shoulda figured! Thanks, Panj.

or (english to portugese and back to english)

Ampere-hour, yes... greatness of Babelfish. Shoulda appeared! Gratefulness, Panj

Okay, that's gonna have to be it for tonight. Back to work I must go. Or sleep. Not sure yet. Decisions, decisions. XXOO all!
--
Bon
"Welcome to the humiliating world of professional writing." - Homer J. Simpson, food critic, to Lisa, his ghost writer

Posted by bonnie at 6:56 AM

August 22, 2002

Rubber Necking

Okay. I'll admit it. I have watched The Anna Nicole Show.

I actually was quite looking forward to its premiere. How could I not have known about the show? With the full-on media blitz that was the advertising campaign for what the E! Entertainment Television networked hoped would be their "The Osbornes," there was no way to not know this show was starting up.

I tuned in on that first Sunday night, champagne at my side (I knew, just from the promos, that there there would be no way to enjoy this show without some sort of libation of my own), half-hoping that Anna Nicole would crush her poor little dog in an early-on-in-the-episode stumble/tumble.

Within four minutes (yes, I was generous), I knew I could not possibly invest another second in this show. This vapid woman seems to be drunk with power, drunk off her ass half the time, and medicated with some delicious Valium-based sedative the rest of the time. I can see why. I would need to be too, were that my life.

Honestly, I went in thinking I would root for this poor underdog of a Playmate or at least have fun giggling at her cluelessness. Instead, I am just saddened (nearly sickened) by her every choice. She sits, makeup-free, in the interview segments (shooting for intimacy, I guess) and I wonder, how metaphorically naked can one be while adorned with fake nails, fake boobs, bleached hair, and the facial track marks associated with botox injections.

I realize I am feeling sorry for this woman. That can't be what the executives at E! had in mind when putting this show together. Or is pitty-viewing a draw that people have begun to hope for? I realize that there are very few new ideas hitting the tube these days, and perhaps the train wreck syndrome was destined to be the new stab at Must See TV.

After watching one episode, I was ready to soak my eyeballs in acid. But then I found myself tuning in again. Why? Perhaps I'll never know. Perhaps I can blame my interest on that catchy theme song. And, of course, any TV show that has its own drinking game within two weeks of its premiere deserves at least a second look. I suppose, as long as I'm cultivating a TV-based drinking problem, I might as well let Anna Nicole be the one who drives me to drink.

Posted by bonnie at 1:37 PM

February 22, 2002

For X-philes holding your breaths... Mulder will return for X-File finale

Posted By: Elizabeth Tindal

Entertainment - Hollywood Reporter
Thu Feb 21, 2:02 AM ET

Duchovny will reprise role for 'X-Files' finale

By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- The Mulder mystery is solved: David Duchovny has cut a deal with Fox to star in "The X-Files' " two-hour finale and to direct an upcoming episode.

"X-Files" creator Chris Carter said that recruiting Duchovny for the series' May 19 finale was crucial in order to give the show a proper send-off on the small screen and to set up the story threads for the next "X-Files" feature. Duchovny left the show last season after settling a lawsuit he filed against Fox over his share of the syndication profits from the 20th Century Fox TV production.

"He sees that it's the right thing to do, given all that we've done together, and it fits in with where we are taking the show" in the future, Carter said. He wouldn't discuss plans for the theatrical. "Everybody wants to do it, including the studio, but right now I don't want to get ahead of myself. I just want to finish the series," Carter said.

Carter wouldn't offer any hints about the story line of the finale, which he is writing and which will be directed by co-executive producer Kim Manners. It will reunite Duchovny's character, Agent Fox Mulder, with Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully, who has had a new partner for the past two seasons, Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick).

Duchovny also is set to direct the April 28 "X-Files" episode, based on a story idea he co-wrote with Carter and executive producer Frank Spotnitz. "It's an interesting story because it involves the return of Mulder or someone we believe is Mulder," Carter said.

Duchovny helmed two episodes of "The X-Files," one of which guest-starred Jesse Martin and was written by Duchovny. The other featured his wife, Tea Leoni, and Garry Shandling.

Duchovny, who co-stars in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh film "Full Frontal," is represented by CAA and Melanie Greene Management.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

Posted by bonnie at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2002

Ah... another great episode of BH9

I usually don't bother watching them unless they're from The Brenda Years, but this one was the one where Hillary Swank says good-bye and Val is cleaning toilets at the Wyatt Clinic as a part of her probation. David just sold a song to Jasper's Law. Oh, life is good -- except for Brandon, who cheated on Kelly with Emma. No, I am not at all troubled by the fact that this has spawned an intense conversation on the difference between men and women and monogamy and genetic predisposition with my fiancé.

I'm ramping up for a big day. There's an Open House at an acting school. Keith will be attending as an actor type and I will be attending as a guest speaker slash industry professional. Dear GAWD, I'm getting nervous. I don't know why... as I'm just going to be saying to a group the same things I say in my column each week or to actor type friends of mine about the business-end of the industry... I guess it's just that whole "something new" thing. I know I can do it, just have to go do it.

After the open house, we'll go feed Cleo the Wonder Cat and Woody the Cockatiel (these are Rose's parents' animals, and they are all up north at a wedding). After we do the feeding and litter box scooping, we'll call D to see if she wants company. D is my friend who had the double mastectomy last week (why I haven't been Blogging--been playing Nurse Bonnie) and she got her pathology report yesterday. More cancer. More surgery. Definite chemotherapy. If anyone has information on how we could get her hair made into a wig, please let me know. So far, I'm only finding info on how she can donate her hair to Locks of Love for kids. Also, a sad tidbit: it takes ten heads of hair to make one wig, so she can't really get a wig made out of her own hair only. Anyway, coming on the heels of having lost Mom to cancer, this is a pretty emotional experience.

But, I am encouraged by the happy feelings I get when I read the SpyNotebook blogs. There is just something so right with the world that is inhabited by Chip and his technology.
--
Bon
Barry's book

Psychoism: Interim general manager Dave Wallace has made it clear that he doesn't want the job, but will stay in the position for as long as it takes for them to find an actual qualified replacement. Just one step on the way to making things right with the world. [Rose, on The Psycho Ward, 4/19/01]

Posted by bonnie at 12:11 PM

February 3, 2002

Oh... movies to look for... ones I saw at Sundance:

- One Hour Photo (starring Robin Williams). It's a creepy suspense thriller. I loved it. Totally bought him in the role. Most criticism of this non-violent (but potentially very violent) psycho story was that viewers couldn't get past Robin Williams being anything other than Robin Williams. Well, I went on the journey. Except for some third-act exposition I could've lived without, this was a good film, for sure.

- Human Nature (starring Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans). Fun, campy, low-brow sex farce with singing and a French research assistant. This one will hit wide release, I'm sure, so go if you like well-written (but below-the-belt) humor.

- The Kid Stays in the Picture (documentary; Bob Evans' life story, from the novel). I like Hollywood history, so for me, this was a really good movie. Also, some of the artistic technique (turning still photos into moving pictures by freezing certain elements and moving others) was really nice. Cool old school studio stuff. I liked it.

- The Jimmy Show (starring and directed by Frank Whaley). This was hard to watch. Human drama, the sad stuff that goes on in a life that's going nowhere. Great performances, especially by Ethan Hawke, but such a hard-luck story, I had a hard time enjoying myself in the journey. Whaley plays an everyman with a hard life who goes to Open Mic Night everywhere in town, trying to get through his issues by making them jokes. He is an awful stand-up, which just makes his sadness more... sad.

- I Lost 20lbs. in Two Months (Ask Me How). Wow! This was, by far, my favorite Sundance film, and it was a seven minute short. Brilliant. It's one long sentence from a guy who is obsessed with his former girlfriend. One of the pounds he lost was from cutting off all of his facial hair and mailing it to the ex with a letter reminding her how she once said she loved every hair on his head. Another pound was lost running from the dogs her mom set loose on him after he stood in her lawn with a boom box oveer his head, poised to play "In Your Eyes" (but the tape was cued up to "Shock the Monkey"). With a great bass-beat soundtrack and sense of humor that doesn't quit, this is a film that I'm recommending to everyone I know. Of course, there's no info on future screenings available at the film's website. For what it's worth.

Posted by bonnie at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2002

Well...

I posted this whole thing about three other films...

1. One Hour Photo. I loved it. Others couldn't get past Robin Williams being anything other than Robin Williams but I totally bought him as a creepy non-violent clean-freak in a violent suspense thriller. Very intense.
2. Human Nature. Very good low-brow sex comedy with Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette, and Rhys Ifans.
3. The Kid Stays in the Picture, from Bob Evans' same-titled autobiography.

I think that's the sum total of what I wrote that got eaten by my lame attempt at code. Whaaaaaaah! I need a glass of wine!

Posted by bonnie at 3:52 PM

December 13, 2001

How Actors Define Commitment

I'm working on a set right now where a couple of our actors have had national commercials "come up" during the run of the shoot.

One of them told us the day before that he suddenly got the spot (I'm thinking... he must've been put on avail prior to this day... AND he must've known he was up for something that would conflict with our shooting schedule). We did everything possible to rearrange the day so that he could join us by 2pm (he was sure he'd be finished with the commercial shoot by then). So, at 4:30pm on a day we MUST wrap and vacate location by 6pm, thirty people are standing around waiting for this guy to park his car and get up to the set.

Totally unacceptable.

The other actor told us four days before that he was on avail for a national commercial and that he would accept it if offered the job. Knowing that, we were able to reschedule the shoot date on which he did not work that week into the slot of the day he may not be available. Granted, this did not come without inconvenience, but it was all done, in advance, and on the day of his job, he was not on our set, not trying to get to our set, and not holding up the cast and crew while making us think he could make it for a fraction of the day if everything went well.

Much better.

Now, here's another situation that came up with a third actor on this same shoot (all three guys are leads, BTW).

His agent had scheduled several auditions for an afternoon in which his scheduled out time was 2pm. He'd told the agent that he might not be out by then, but that he'd like to do the auditions, if at all possible. One of them was a producer call back for a series regular role. On the day of the call back, he was in touch with his agent every hour with status reports, and, when not wrapped by 2pm, he called with the sad news that he would not be able to make the audition. He never once even attemted to make a way out to the audition. The only reason I even knew about the call back was because he'd asked me to run lines with him. I was also there when he had to make the agent call at 2pm.

Now, he felt like crap for having to miss the auditions, and really felt bad that his agent had worked so hard and that he'd, by not going to the call back and potentially booking the role, cost his agency several thousand dollars on the deal. BUT... he stayed on set, did his job, and did it well, never once complaining.

Which one of these actors do you think works more?

Yup... it's actor number three. He's the "name" of the bunch, and the reason he works so much, besides the fact that he's talented and handsome and amazing to work with, is that he keeps his word. "You don't get anywhere breaking promises in this town," he said.

He already has tons of work lined up for after we wrap. The other guys? Back to temping. They are all very talented, so don't misunderstand me on that account. I just think that keeping a promise is far more respect-worthy than dumping on one project when another, "better" one comes along. Actor number three basically embraces where he is RIGHT NOW. The other two are looking toward where they'll be if they just get the RIGHT JOB.

The right job is the one you're commited to first. Then comes the next one. And so on.

Posted by bonnie at 6:09 PM

September 23, 2001

Recommended Reading for ActorsBone.com

Before even heading to LA to give acting a go, aspiring actors should skim, if not memorize, the chapters of the following essential books and guides.

Acting in Commercials: A Guide to Auditioning and Performing on Camera - by Joan See If you're planning on doing any commercial acting, and you're coming to LA from a market where commercials aren't where you're getting work already, you'll need to check this book out for its tips including on-camera acting techniques, the difference between commercial and theatrical auditions and bookings, and ad copy as scene work.

An Actor Succeeds: Career Management for the Actor - by Terrance Hines & Suzanne Vaughan
I like this book, even though it's a bit out of date, because it is the first of its kind, featuring Q&A formatted interviews with casting directors, agents, managers, a writer-producer, an attorney, an accountant, and a publicist. When I first read this book, I was amazed that there was no "industry standard" when it comes to sending unsolicited headshots, demo reel formatting, or audition etiquette. It's nice to know that every CD is different, when it comes to likes and dislikes. That way, as a self-marketing actor, you can do what makes you comfortable and know that there will be CDs with whom your methods click. Much of the work I do in Casting Qs came from the early influence of this book.

The Actor's Encyclopedia of Casting Directors: Conversations with Over 100 Casting Directors on How to Get the Job - by Karen Kondazian Another book of Q&A formatted interviews with casting directors in LA, but this one includes photographs. I'm a big fan of knowing what CDs look like, as I think we often place too much value on schmoozing the "stars" at parties, when we should be chatting up the CDs, perhaps. Karen wrote The Actor's Way for BackStage West in the 1990s.


The Agencies: What the Actor Needs to Know
- by Lawrence Parke
This guide is so regularly updated that anyone seeking representation would be just plain silly not to keep buying it. It has the most current contact information for agencies, plus union affiliation status, and a list of what "types" are being targeted by each agency.

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity - by Julia Cameron By now, everyone has seen some version of this book, which includes daily and weekly exercises to nurture your inner artist. If you have any creative blocks whatsoever, or find that you don't spend nearly enough time in the pursuit of your craft, this book has practical (although a little touchy-feely) advice on putting healing in motion so that you can be free to create with passion.

Be a TV Game Show Winner! - by Marla Schram Schwartz
An often overlooked way to get TV exposure, and make some good money while you're at it, the game show has long been a popular outlet for aspiring actors. There's more to booking a game show than just sending in a headshot and resume. While game shows encourage actors to apply (union status doesn't matter), the producers will want you to not "technically" be an actor. This book includes information on how to be chosen, how to win, how to handle the IRS, and how to be chosen again and again to appear on game shows and win fabulous prizes!

Breakdown Services' CD Directory
Updated quarterly, this is a great resource for the most current contact information on CSA and CCDA members, as well as independent casting directors in LA. I use it every day.

Breaking Into Commercials: The Complete Guide to Marketing Yourself, Auditioning to Win, and Getting the Job - by Terry Berland & Deborah Ouellette A comprehensive guide to working in commercials, including information on the headshots and resumes best suited for commercial actors, audition protocol, details of the commercial shoot, plus specific information on voiceovers and crossing over from modeling to acting using commercials as the path.

CSA's Casting By...
This is sort of the IMDB in book form; a list of which CSA members cast what projects and who produced those projects as well.

Extra Work for Brain Surgeons - by Hollywood OS This guide did something amazing when it hit the scene; it broke down the part of the business in which so many actors participate without really understanding. We know doing extra work is a popular way "in" - a way to get SAG vouchers, a way to learn the nuts and bolts of set etiquette, a way to make a little money for just being in a crowd - but most actors know little else, unless they pick up this hip, useful, entertaining and informative guide. A good book, even if you have no aspirations for extra work. The basic information about vocabulary, unions, pay rates, and a truly comprehensive list of extras casting services is useful to anyone entering this business
The Film Actor's Complete Career Guide: A Complete, Step-by-Step Checklist of all the Things Actors Seeking Professional Film and Television Careers Can and Should Do, When and How to do Them, from the Very First Steps to Top Starring Careers - by Lawrence Parke This book includes essential information on where to live, traps to avoid, where to study acting, resources, interacting with those who've seen and heard it all by the time you've just learned the vocabulary, unions, promotion, resume formatting, and blank forms for your own record-keeping. A must-have, for sure.
Getting the Part: 33 Professional Casting Directors Tell You How to Get Work in Theatre, Films, Commercials, and TV - by Judith Searle Another collection of those great Q&A formatted interviews with casting directors in LA and NY. Anyone who plans to get in front of CDs regularly needs to do as much homework as possible to learn who these people are.
How to Make It in Hollywood: Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Managers, Lawyers, Chutzpah, Schmoozing, the Casting Couch, Godfather Calls, Rhino Skin, Handling Rejection, How to Be Lucky, and All the Steps You Need to Take to Achieve the Success You Deserve - by Linda Buzzell This book includes... well, everything. The author is both a psychotherapist and career counselor who has held many industry jobs. Featured sections include The Game, Who You Are, Industry Jobs, Niche Targeting, The Pitch, The Action Log, Your Team, Survival Issues, Luck, and A Glossary of Hollywood Terminology. Absolutely, without a doubt, a must-read for anyone planning to do the acting thing.

How to Make Yourself (or Anyone Else) Famous: The Secrets of a Professional Publicist - by Gloria Michels
This book may be out of print, but I like it because it includes checklists for fame-making formulas, ten commandments for dealing with the media, and recommended reading. Any book along these lines would be a nice addition to an actor's bookcase.

How to Work a Room: Learn the Strategies of Savvy Socializing for Business and Personal Success - by Susan RoAne If you have any problems talking with strangers, acting is going to be a tough profession. Well, maybe not the acting itself, but the schmoozing that you're going to have to engage in may really turn your stomach until you learn how to overcome roadblocks to making new contacts, make the right impressions, know when to use humor, and how to circulate with ease and confidence. I couldn't remember names when I started reading this book. Now, I never forget anyone or anything that was said in an exchange with anyone. Working a room is a skill you can develop and one that you will enjoy having, once you've overcome the reluctance to schmoozing. You're going to have to do it, so get prepared.
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre - by Keith Johnstone I'm a huge fan of improvisational acting, so I'd like to see this book included in the core acting curriculum of any acting instruction. It's important, yet often overlooked, as a tool to enhance traditional acting techniques. This book includes craft-specific information, as well as exercises and techniques, from the former Associate Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre.
The Los Angeles Agent Book: Get the Agent You Need for the Career You Want - by K. Callan Although this book's listings are often outdated by the time each new edition is published, I like it most for its interviews with many, many agents, which give a glimpse into the personality and business ethics of these usually inaccessible folks.
Survival Jobs: 154 Ways to Make Money While Pursuing Your Dreams - by Deborah Jacobson I cannot say enough good stuff about this book. Wow! It basically details amazingly innovative ideas for how to make money without having to take a 9 to 5 job in LA. This book reshaped the way I pursued income and is the best non-acting book for actors I can recommend. I currently have six freelance jobs (and have had as many as ten different ones at a time this year) and I love the flexibility, financial stability, and freedom to be creative that this lifestyle provides. Not for everyone, but if you're tired of the "golden handcuffs" that a full time job can be in this town, this book will open doors for you, big time!
The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle - by Amy Dacyczyn A great guide (in fact, a series of books) to practical, easily-integrated lifestyle tips for saving money at every turn.
Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want - by Barbara Sher Another in the line of The Artist's Way style books, this one includes strategies to overcoming fear, goal-setting, progress checklists, and exercises to improve the speed of your manifestation. If you lack focus and are good with journal-based activities, this is a great tool.
Your Film Acting Career: How to Break Into the Movies & TV and Survive in Hollywood - by M.K. Lewis & Rosemary R. Lewis The book that many people in the industry have called "the actor's bible," this one includes nuts and bolts information on living in LA and taking care of the business of acting (and being a working actor).

Posted by bonnie at 4:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2001

Staying SAG-Eligible

Okay, so... I have a couple of reasons for staying SAG-eligible right now.

1. $$$$$ (lack of).

2. I went on a self-imposed acting hiatus after my mom passed away, as I didn't think my emotional health could take the acting biz's ups and downs for a few months. During that time (didja notice my absence from the board *and* The Boards?), I was hired by Sundance, booked a great long-term voiceover gig, and saw my various writing projects pick up significantly. I've found that I am completely fulfilled by this life.

3 (which is 1 + 2). I only became eligible just prior to that hiatus, so why rush to get the money together when I felt, for my mental health, I needed to *not* act for a bit?

I've just recently accepted a couple of acting gigs in an attempt to ease myself back in and see if my passion is still there.

I think, in light of the fact that I've had any doubt of that (or rather, in light of the fact that I wanted to be sure there was no doubt of that) delaying the transition from SAG-eligible to SAG has been a wise choice.

Still haven't made up my mind, and I'm not rushing to do so.

Posted by bonnie at 10:44 PM

March 29, 2001

Oscar Wrapola, Baby!

Okay, so here's how I won the Oscar Pool for the second year in a row. I didn't bet the list I'd made for my column here. Just moments before the award show began, and after hours of watching Joan toss it to Melissa, I jotted down who I thought would win. Not who I thought should win, not who I'd heard would win, but who I thought would win. I beat out my friends and managed to make notes along the way. Now I'll share them with you.

Pre-show's best moment was seeing Joan kiss the ass of the new E! CEO. Worst, was hearing her say, "It's great to see the Asians here." It's like she's at a party, going, "Oh, look, there's the Goldsteins. Oh, and the Johnsons came. Oh, and I'm so glad the Asians made it." What an idiot!

E! had this thing going called a Sizzle Meter, and you could go online and rank whomever Joan was interviewing. It was in poor taste to leave the graphic up when Sting's final score was revealed (a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10).

I do want to thank Joan Rivers for wearing a dress with netting across her back. Since the camera angle takes in more of her back than anything else, I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for covering that skin well.

Winona Ryder... what were you thinking? Your hair's a mess, your eyes are all black and smudged... oh, I get it, she'd just watched "Edward Scissorhands" and got all nostalgic.

I'm very glad to know that Ellen Burstyn won the Independent Spirit Award Saturday night. That makes it okay that she didn't get the Oscar.

Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson... what a cute couple! They did Goldie and Kurt proud.

I saw Siguorney Weaver autographing someone's bottled water. That was sweet. Loved her dress. She actually looked quite classy... for an old broad.

Speaking of old broads, Judi Dench was just gorgeous. You go, girl!

On the red carpet, I'd said, "Oh, thank God Jennifer Lopez covered up her breasts with this dress. Then I saw the twins. Now I know what J-Lo stands for.

My epiphany of the night: I live my life like an interviewer on the red carpet. I'm listening to you. I'm asking (somewhat) intelligent questions. I'm right there with you. But I'm constantly looking just over your shoulder, in case someone better is coming up the path. Now, that's deep.

Um, Juliette Binoche, uh, Madonna overdid the pearl thing in the mid-80s. And what bad hair! Matched only by those scary gloves. Wow! What a fashion don't!

Marcia Gay Harden - gorgeous! And right behind her, there's Joaquin Phoenix, jumping up to give high-fives to the folks in the bleachers. Pretty cool. I feel really bad for the stars who start arriving at 3pm. But, the chaos at 4:50pm is way too much. I wonder if they could have the actors take numbers, like at a deli, and arrive in that order. Sounds fair to me!

Okay, James Coburn, are you doing your own private tribute to "Shadow of the Vampire" or do you just want to look worse than your tin-foil wrapped wife?

Angelina Jolie looked great. She dressed like a grown-up and she left Billy Bob and her brother at home.

Faye Dunaway, on whom I usually bag, looked great. Good for her! But Frances McDormand, put on some makeup when you go to the Oscars, for God's sake!

Willem Dafoe is such a cutie pie. Casey and I watched "Wild at Heart" Saturday night, so I'm in a good mood toward him even more than when I wrote up my predictions.

Ashley Judd with some bad hair -- oh, man, she got dressed with Juliette Binoche!

I liked how unflappable the older stars were, when interviewed by various media types. Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, just too cool.

Chris Connally? Who knew you could go from being on MTV to landing a big gig on... oh, wait, it's just ABC. Never mind. Lateral move.

Julia and Benjamin are a royal couple. Wow. They just look like movie stars. Casey tells me a story about seeing Ben and his brothers in a head shop in San Francisco last Christmas Eve. Then he asks me to edit the story so that it's clear the head shop is also a place to buy hippie bracelets and hats and things. So there.

The awards begin. Steve's already cracking me up. I'm sorry, but Russell Crowe is still a dang sourpuss. Get a sense of humor! Steve Martin is funny!

Oh, here's that Pepsi commercial everyone is talking about. The consensus at the party is that every girl under 16 will now want her navel pierced just like Britney. Oy vey!

Okay, what's the facial hair thing? Ben Stiller, you're at the Oscars, wash your face! Leni tells me it's cool, it's indie, it's rebellious. Whatever, it's unshaven Ben. Clean it up and comb your hair while you're at it.

Sting looks like Celine Dion whilst he sings. Have we gotten that old?

Dustin Hoffman, is that a rug on your head? If so, can't you afford better?

Sarah Jessica Parker, for the first time, has lovely hair. I've always bagged on her stringy hair. Now, instead, I'll bag on her dress. It was fine, but where was the rest of it? This ain't HBO, sweetheart. Cover up those bowlegs.

Next Pepsi commercial. As a stockholder in the Coca-Cola company, I must protest the idea that people who work for Coke would ever drink Pepsi. It's just not true. People who work for Coke have been brainwashed since birth and will burst into flames with just one sip of that Pepsi swill. Pepsi, stick to making tacos and chicken and pizza and leave the beverage market to the professionals. Of course, I don't even drink soda, but I still have a vested interest, dammit!

Bob Dole makes a comment to his dog, upon seeing Britney, "Easy boy!" Leni suggests he's talking to his Viagra-assisted penis and not to the dog. We laugh about this for the rest of the commercial break.

Oh, shit, I didn't know Billy Barty died. He was so great in "Foul Play."

Augh! Another Ben with a micro-beard. The worst part of it is, they work to get their facial hair to look like that. What a waste!

We notice that Jennifer Lopez is in a camera shot that crops her tighter than other presenters. Hmm... why is that? Leni comes up with another quip: "Elvis' hips, J-Lo's nips!" More laughter.

Casey deduces that Danny DeVito wants better eyesight, since he's wearing shades and eating carrot sticks. We're an intellectual group at this Oscar party, lemme tell ya.

Hillary Swank! Oh my God, where did those boobs come from? And those hips? We decide she's pregnant. I'd bet money on it!

Russell Crowe wins? Oh, shit, I didn't take into account the fact that he should've won last year for "The Insider." Oh, they were feeling bad. I totally didn't add that fact into the mix. Oh well, at least I still won the pool.

Thank you, Julie Andrews, for having had no work done. It's so nice to see a woman look her age. Especially in this town!

Okay, Paul Newman could be 100 and I'd do him in a heartbeat. He's just that damn sexy.

Casey makes a comment here about how a Hollywood exec can make a producer feel "like he's got an endless supply of jelly beans in his underwear." No one knows what this means, but Casey made guacamole, so we think it's brilliant (or maybe it's because we had cheap wine).

I'm so proud of my fellow Georgia gal, Julia, for showing all those teeth and being giddy and happy. We southern belles know how to share our joy!

The screenplay adapter from "Traffic" looks like David E. Kelley, no?

Oh, I'm so glad I was wrong about the Best Director winner. Go, Steven! That's a well-deserved win.

Look at those "Gladiator" producers. That's a bunch of rich, white, impotent republicans if I ever saw any. They were financiers, not artists! Boo, hiss!

Considering only 5600 voters make up the Academy, I'm surprised there weren't more surprises. Okay, so besides the fact that the night ended with a big downer on Best Picture, I still collected my money with the proper amount of gloating, promising to continue my streak at next year's Oscar party, wherever that may be. Of course, it is my intention to attend an Oscar party thrown by the studio who put out my next film. That may put a cramp in my betting, but I bet it'll be a hell of a lot more fun to be catty about everyone else when I've got my own dose coming up from Joan and Missy. Do you think I can pull off wearing jeans?

Posted by bonnie at 2:05 PM

March 22, 2001

Oscar Picks, 2001

Okay, so we're gearing up for the event that was so much cooler when it fell on a weekday. Yep, up until a couple of years ago, Oscar Day was an official day off from work. So, now it's on a Sunday, Billy's not hosting, and every employer knows to expect hangovers and Oscar Pool Collections come Monday.

Last year, I won the Pool at the party I attended. I'd seen exactly one of the nominated films. I passed out before hour one of the award ceremony. But I knew how to vote. Mainly, I know how to do this because of my secret weapon: My Cousin Joni. The reason my Oscar Picks are Subject to Change, at this point, is because Joni's predictions don't come to me until much closer to the witching hour, like on Oscar day.

Until then, here's what I'll predict on my own.

PICTURE
Oooh! I've seen two of these. Can you guess which two? I think the winner will be "CT,HD," even though it's already going to win the Foreign Language Film. If something really amazing were going to happen, I'd say "Traffic" would win, but Best Director would go to Ang Lee.

ACTOR
Wow, I would so love to see Javier win, just because he's so damn hot. Russell Crowe can suck a fart out of my ass for being such a bad sport at the Golden Globes. I doubt he'll do too well, being considered the Official Homewrecker of 2000 (and that's a tough race to win in Hollywood). However, just like Norm McDonald used to say on SNL, "Germans love David Hasselhoff," I think "people love Tom Hanks." It's weird, but they just love him! And he gained and lost all that weight, that hair, and had some sort of sporting equipment as a costar, right? All that aside, my pick is Ed Harris, because he's gone overlooked far too many times - and he really worked his ass off on "Pollock." Of course, I haven't seen any of the nominated performances.

ACTRESS
Please, oh, God, please, let Ellen Burstyn win! What a goddess! And, I'm pretty sure Oscar's not into boobs, so Julia's will have to rest on either side of her Golden Globe instead this year. Of course, when I interviewed Christian Slater's mom, who cast "The Contender," she predicted Joan Allen would win. I think she's probably right - and not just because she called to say her son loved my column.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
As much as I love [to look at] Benicio del Toro, I think Willem Dafoe will win this one. What a stud!

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I adore Judi Dench, and I actually saw "Chocolat," so I can also say I really liked her job and not just her body of work. I think Goldie Hawn Junior got her goods on Golden Globe night, and sharing the category with Marge from "Fargo" won't help her. I wonder if the Academy will reward Julie Walters, simply because "Billy Elliot" is under-nominated. There's always one really nice shocker, and this may be the one. I'm going to place my bet on Marcia Gay Harden. How 'bout that?

DIRECTOR
Steven deserves it for "Traffic" but he won't get it. The night belongs to Ang Lee. Hope he has as much fun as Roberto Benini did.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Oscar doesn't like Cameron Crowe, so even though that was probably a better script, I'm thinking Lee Hall, for the under-nominated reason mentioned above. Gladiator's going to be shut out (and thank God). Besides, scripts with more than one screenwriter tend to be more like "Get Over It" or any other crappy teen movie that'll be forgotten before the trailer ends.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
I'd love for it to be Robert Nelson Jacobs, because I met him at the screening for "Chocolat" and thought his responses to people who doubted some of his choices in adaptation were honest, intelligent, and well-justified. I'd love to see the Coens win, just because I know they'll liven up the acceptance speech portion of the night. "Wonder Boys" has gotten good press. "Traffic,"
I'm sure, is worthy. I just see a "CT,HD" sweep - forget my earlier rule about multiple screenwriters. It's an action flick and it's a foreign film. All bets are off.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"CT,HD." Thanks, everyone else, for playing.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
I think "CT,HD" could do it, but I also think "Gladiator" will get a few pity votes, this being one of them.

FILM EDITING
"CT,HD."

ORIGINAL SCORE
This category always gets me... but I'm thinking John Williams always does pretty well on these things. So, assuming "CT,HD" and "Gladiator" split their votes up, that's a win for "The Patriot."

ORIGINAL SONG
Bob Dylan. It's a tough year, and, what?? no Phil Collins?? No Marc Shaiman?? Well, then it has to be Dylan.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
No idea. I need to read up on what "they" are saying about this category. Just based on titles, I'll go with "Sound and Fury." Why not?

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Gosh, for a minute, I thought "Big Mama" was "Big Mama's House" and I wondered how Martin Lawrence's "I wanna be Eddie Murphy" flick could be considered short. Again, I'll guess, and I'll go on titles, and choose "The Man on Lincoln's Nose." What the hell?

ANIMATED SHORT
No clue. "The Periwig-Maker"?? Sounds good to me.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT
"Quiero Ser..." gets my vote.

ART DIRECTION
Yip yip yip for Yip! "CT,HD" continues its sweep.

COSTUME DESIGN
Tougher, and I'd love to say Yip, again, but I think either "Gladiator" will be thrown a bone here, or maybe "Grinch" will see some gravy. Doubt it, though. Cast my vote for "CT,HD" yet again.

MAKEUP
Ah, well... if Willem weren't enough of a kick-ass actor for this film, his makeup surely helped. However, "Grinch" was some serious makeup, and for many more people. So, it's a tough call, but I'll go with "Grinch" by a nose hair.

SOUND
Maybe "Cast Away," just so it can get a little something, but more likely "Gladiator," since everyone's going to be feeling sorry for its absence in larger categories, and it's a way to reward the film without rewarding Sir Russell Sourpuss.

SOUND EFFECTS EDITING
What fucking bad choices. "U-571" because it has fewer old farts in it.

VISUAL EFFECTS
"Perfect Storm." No one liked "Hollow Man," even though its effects were top-notch.

There ya go! I'll let you know once my cousin's opinions get stirred into my own. Take care!

Posted by bonnie at 2:06 PM

February 22, 2001

Legend Larry Parke and My Scientology Article

Rob just forwarded a copy of the letter Larry sent to Back Stage West regarding my column on 2/8/01. Larry, thank you so much for your letter - and your understanding of my "judiciously worded" piece.

The letter to Rob was great, in that Larry acknowledged the fact that it's tough to blast an advertiser of that, er, prominence.

I was so nervous, writing the piece, as I'd heard so many horror stories (who knows how true). Turns out, thus far, I've gotten nothing but an outpouring of support and thanks for having taken that risk. That's been so gratifying!

The article remains here.

Posted by bonnie at 5:33 PM

February 13, 2001

Ah, the good ol' days...

When I was out here in 1993, I worked with an actor's showcase group each week. I had a partner with whom I'd prepared a scene, rehearsed a scene, dare I say - nearly perfected a scene, and we, for $10 each week, put up our scene for a CD.

We, and five other couples, did our scenes after hearing a 15-20 minute lecture from the CD on their likes, dislikes, advice, etc. After our scenes, we sat, one-on-one, with the CD for feedback on our scenes, our headshots, our resumés. We had a "general".

I look back at the list of CDs I met with, back then, and they are (and were, even then) big time CDs, full-on CDs, not assistants, not associates.

Now, I have no idea whether my $10 per week went into the pocket of the CD or paid for the coffee and snacks we all enjoyed--or even for the rental of the space. I just know that it was *totally* worth it for me--and exactly why I thought, when I returned to LA in 1999, "Hey, the price may have gone up, but I remember these things being a wonderful experience."

Wrongola!

What goes on now is completely different. Bottom line, it's a paid audition. It's not a workshop, it's not an opportunity to learn how to audition. It's a cold read for $35-$50, with no conversation with the CD (oh, I'm sorry, I mean the CD's assistant).

So, I tried it when I returned to LA and, having determined it was no longer the same animal, I stopped.

That being said, I've talked with many CDs who require that their associates NOT join CSA specifically so that they can continue to do these workshops, as a representative of their office. Do they bring actors in? CDs say they do.

Did I prefer the way I first met Billy DaMota to the way I more recently met the assistant to an associate to a CSA member? You betcha.

What does any of this mean? Who knows? But I agree that the current occurance of paid-to-play showcases will only cease when we, as actors, stop paying for these things. If we make it so that LA theatre is the only way CDs can scout actors, they will show up, no matter how small the black box theatre may be. But why bother doing that, when they can show up at a classroom, collect their stipend, and say they've been out scouting?

Feeling mighty sassy...

Posted by bonnie at 10:30 PM

November 28, 2000

The Female Perspective

Just wanted to extend an invite to "The Female Perspective", The Next Stage Theatre, 1523 N. LaBrea, above the Lava Lounge, 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 1 - 16th (six shows only), $10.

I want to say a BIG thank you to the 'den for allowing me to post a casting notice. TWO of the eight ladies I cast in this cool show auditioned because of that post!

"The Female Perspective" features Kelley Cheek, Jennifer Fontaine, Lisa Lefevre, Leslie Marshall, Lyne Odums, ReBecca Schatzky, Lisa Soltau, and Felicia Wilson.

Hope you can join us!

Posted by bonnie at 12:36 AM

November 6, 2000

Shameless Self-Promotion

Just want to invite those of you in LA to join the cast of Sketch-n-Sniff, the hilarious sketch comedy show, for our Industry Showcase, this Thursday, Nov. 9th, at 8pm (reception to follow) at The Next Stage (home of The Berubians).

The show's been whittled down to one hour and the snacks are all '80s-themed (I swear, it's gonna be great). It's FREE! Hope to see you there!

Posted by bonnie at 3:22 PM

October 6, 2000

The Female Perspective - Auditions

Auditions for "The Female Perspective" will be held Sunday, Oct. 15th and Monday, the 16th. Please email me to request an audition.

The original/adapted play will run weekends in December at The Next Stage. There is no pay, but a lot of room for creativity.

Sorry guys, chicks only on this one! I'll get ya next time.

Females, any ethnicity, ages 10-100.

This is a collaborative adaptation of several scenes, monologues, and essays for and about the female experience. We'll also consider adapting traditionally male roles to our perspective.

I'll want you to bring material you already connect with or have always wanted to do on stage. The scenes will be woven together in a way that will allow each cast member to play numerous roles: comedic, dramatic, lead, supporting, the whole spectrum.

I'm trying not to have a strict idea of "types" of women I want to cast, just that they have a real sense of self about them, and an ability to connect with the material.

Posted by bonnie at 11:23 AM

September 10, 2000

Being cable-free for 15 months...

...has been GREAT.

Sure, I don't know The Sopranos from Sex and the City, but I do pick up "Greatest American Hero" and "The A-Team" out of Anaheim. Pretty close, right?

Posted by bonnie at 11:29 PM

August 13, 2000

A Positive (?) Review

I'm in "The Secret Nymph of New Hyde Park" at the American Renegade Theatre.

Okay, so, LA Weekly said, "Bonnie Gillespie is excellent..." and I joked in my stand-up that it's not me, but my breasts that are getting that review.

Finally, after six or seven reviews that dance around the subject(s), there is a review that comes right out and says it!

Now THAT'S material for my act! Finally! Strange place, this town.

Hope y'all can come check the show out. LA Times and BackStageWest hated it, but they both ran photos - which are really getting people in (more than the good reviews elsewhere - go figure).

Thanks, gang!

Posted by bonnie at 10:35 PM