Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Representation

I've got a theatrical agent. Why is this awesome? Pilot season starts in Mid January. Without an agent, pilot season doesn't mean much. Only an agent can get you into the big auditions. If you are unrepresented, you only have access to 10% of the auditions out there. An agent has access to ALL of the auditions. 100% of the good stuff. That means that I will participate in pilot season 2014. Hell yes. How did I get an agent? I emailed him with my clips and I discussed my type. I also let him know what Casting Directors have been saying about me in workshops. The clips did it. He loved them. Says I'm made for film and television. I couldn't agree more! I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on pilot season. As for now, it's December in Hollywood which means that the industry has come to a standstill until Mid January. Excited to see what 2014 has in store for me!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Hardest Part

It's been an interesting week. Or an interesting weekend. It was a rough weekend. I lost my stable day job. I got laid off. No fault of my own. Things just happen sometimes. Life is unpredictable. The good news? I can handle "bad news" because I understand what it really is: an opportunity to focus on other things. I can focus on my acting. I can focus on my dialect coaching business. I can focus on new possibliities. The bad news? Whenever something bad happens it helps the naysayers to naysay. It allows the person who hasn't *really* believed in you all along to vocalize that. That's rough. Much rougher than losing a j-o-b. I'm an open and honest guy so I have no problem sharing when things happen to me with my friends and family. I understand that life has ups and downs. I get that you have to ride the damn train over hills and into valleys in order to reach your destination. A family member learned about my unemployment and said to my mom, "He's been out there for a year. He's not living off of acting. He's going to have to move back home." You. Are. Wrong. I'm not going anywhere. To think that someone is going to support themselves solely off of acting in ONE YEAR is ridiculous! I'm not mad. People that arent in LA, or aren't in the industry, don't *really* understand how things work. The reality is that it takes 10 years to create a career. At least 10 years. There's really very little deviation from the 10 year rule. Outsiders peek into Hollywood and see so many "overnight" successes. "Overnight" = 5 years. That's right, 5 years is overnight in this industry. Want an acting career? It. Takes. Time. It takes patience. It takes hard work. Being out here takes courage. The kind of courage that some people can't or won't understand. Don't let anyone else put time limits on your career. It's your life. Live it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Commercial Class

Last night, Kaylie and I went to a Commercial Class together.

Holy cow it's fun learning and acting with your real life partner :) My wife is a great actress!

This class was at www.keepitrealacting.com It was led by Judy Kain and Doug Traer. They are AWESOME!

What I love about this class is that it's a drop in class. That means that you can go there any Wednesday that you want for just $35. There's no commitment to keep going and you can pop in whenever. At $35, I think it's probably the best deal in town.

I'm learning a ton about commercial acting. It really is a technique unto itself. The biggest thing I've picked up is the use of "buttons". A button is a phrase that you put at the beginning and end of your scene that anchors you to the text. Kind of like improv. Your button is different for every scene. Interesting stuff!

Anyway, we had a great time and will definitely be going back.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pilot Season Cometh

Pilot Season is upon us here in Hollywood.

Birds are chirping, skies are blue, and Donald is busting his ass in preparation for the opportunities that are coming.

Had a meeting with my manager today to review all of the things that I need to do for pilot season. 

I have to: 

1. Get some new headshots that are a bit more geeky/dorky.

2. Make my CD workshop list laser focused. I'm now targeting the shows that are casting for pilot season. Smart, huh?

3. Get postcards ready for follow up with those Casting Directors. 

The list goes on and on.

At the same time, I'm working on getting a commercial agent so I'm trying to get some commercial footage to show potential agents.

I also unearthed a voice reel that I have yesterday. I immediately put it on my casting websites. Check it out here: http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/donaldleegipson You'll find it under the "video" section I think. 


So, I'm working on getting a commercial agent, a voice over agent, and booking a pilot. 

Life is good :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Positive Thinking

I never thought I'd say this but I've been getting into this Law of Attraction stuff. It's pretty wild.

The concept is basically,"What you think about, you bring about."

I can buy that idea.

I think it has to do with your subconcious mind. I think that our conscience mind declares something and then our subconcious mind finds ways to make it happen.

Example: I wanted to find more pennies on the ground more often because, hey, I like putting pennies in my penny pot. Literally, 30 minutes later I started finding pennies EVERYWHERE! I think that my subconscious mind said to my conscious, "You do your thinking thing and I'll look for pennies."

I've had a ton of much more impressive things happen too.

Too many to list.

Awesome things are happening in my acting career and in my dialect coaching business.

A positive mindset changes everything, kids.

What do you guys think of the Law of Attraction?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things Are Great!

I've had a couple of concerned followers of my blog emailing me things like, "How's it goin?" And "Why haven't you been blogging?"

I've been a busy boy :)

I've planted lots of seeds and now I'm watering them. I'm giving them a healthy combination of sunlight and time. I'm excited to see what they grow into!

Lots of coolness going on. Lots of opportunities.

I'll be back to blogging soon, but right now I'm enjoying the ride that is acting in LA.


Love. Love.

Donald

Friday, July 19, 2013

What I've Learned About Casting Director Workshops

Donald here. Remember me? It's been awhile.

This month I've been focusing on doing Casting Director workshops.

It's been interesting.

Here's what I've learned:

I think they are necessary. Yes, it sucks that we have to pay money in order to be seen by CD's BUT it beats the hell out of NOT being seen by the CD's that can move your career forward.

The whole process feel a lot like when I used to do UIL Prose in High School. You choose a scene that you think will work for you, you go into a room with a reader and your judge (the CD) and you perform. The CD then ranks you on a rubric.

The big difference is . . . you get to TALK with them. They get to know you for a minute or two. They get to see your personality. Personality and talent is a killer combination.

I went to my first CD workshop a little over a month ago.

It sucked because

A). I didn't choose a good scene for myself.
      I thought that the scene should be like a normal audition scene. Normally, the scenes that we audition with are pretty basic. Nothing big happens. No big emotions are felt. The climax is minimal or nonexistent.

That's what I chose (out of 100's of scenes) to perform for my first CD Workshop. Pretty dumb, huh?

What should you choose to perform? Something that SHOWCASES what you're good at. For me, that's comedy. I've got a great scene now!

B). The Casting Director was NOT "there."

She wouldn't even take our headshots! She was disinterested and seemed to be there for the money and not for the actors.

I ended up getting average marks. All 3's on a scale of 1-5, which was disappointing. In hindsight, I understand why. I chose a mediocre scene and played it believably, but there was nothing special or memorable about it.

Like most things in Los Angeles, I'm getting it now!

I went to 2 CD workshops on Wednesday and got all 5's from both Casting Directors on everything that could be ranked and I've got a great scene that showcases my type. That's more like it!

I emailed both of the CD's yesterday to thank them and one of them told me she'll be contacting me soon about an audition.

That's how it works.

Do good work, build relationships, repeat.