Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Can't Decide

So, not only am I up (on avail) for one job, but the print aud I went to on Saturday as well. It seems two different companies want a laugh at my expense and keep me in suspense. Consequently, I'm laughing and crying at every little emotion that comes by me. Even exercise won't calm me, nor the homemade soup I eat for comfort on occasion.

My language feels a little discombobulated right now. Perhaps it's because I was just catching up (online) with an old friend from Singapore. It's weird how my energy can meld with another's, even though we're like 10,000 miles away from each other.

Anyway, I can't really decide if I should be happy or upset about this "avail" thing. I've had issues with it before, but now I'm sort of settled at the thought that it's a vote of confidence for all who are important in my acting life: agents, casting director, clients. Just wish I could cash these votes in at the bank.

I just filed for my next round of unemployment benefits and those should start coming in about 2 or 3 weeks. I was getting close to seriously dipping into my reserves and that's mighty uncomfortable. So, I'll have 6 months to really buckle down and get paid.

What do I do? Start looking for a job? Get more training? Knuckle down and get work? Yes, I think so. All of the above.

As for looking for the literary agent, last week, I sent out two query letters to agents whom I had a contact with in the last five years or so. Haven't received a response yet and it's been over a week. I suppose it's on to step two: Looking for referrals. I can't think of any better time to start digging out those business cards I've collected over the years and start emailing and calling.

"Hi, it's me. I haven't spoken to you since you gave me your card several years ago, but I'm asking for a favor. Do you know any agents you can refer me to? I hope you remember me. I'm Asian with black hair and brown eyes."

Well, I'm fishing but it's a step above doing a general mailing. That's when it gets expensive and time-consuming. Oh well, I still have 6 months.

Getting a commercial agent is actually a bit easier, if you can believe it. I had a few referrals but those absolutely didn't work. Just buy something called "The Agencies" at your local Samuel French bookstore and find out which agencies are looking for what. It's dependable and current and everyone trusts it. Seriously. It may look like a few pages of colored paper stapled together, but it's priceless for finding that all-important first agent.

Oh, of course you need headshots. Good ones will suffice. After you can afford it, you can buy the great headshots. Or refer to one of my earlier posts about getting "free" headshots from a great photographer.

If you can't decide if your headshots are good enough, just email them to me at I'll tell you. And don't print up a whole bunch until you get the agent. They'll want their logo and your name printed on the front.

Color or black and white, you ask? Black and white still works for theatrical. Color for commercial and print. That's what's going on right now.

Oh, by the way, let's say you're reading this from Bumphukt, Iowa, and you know a good photographer down the street. He says he knows what's happening in the big cities. After all, he's a professional.

Save your money unless you need the expensive practice. Things change here all the time. You need to take your headshots in Hollywood in order to compete with folks in Hollywood. And the most important thing to remember is this: The most expensive headshots in the world are the ones you've paid for and didn't use. So, get an agreement with the photog if you're paying a lot of money up front that you want some retakes if it doesn't turn out well. Get it in writing if you can.

Duplicate photos are very cheap in Hollywood now. I went to a place called Reproductions on Cahuenga near Universal City. Got color PHOTO dupes for a very good price. Not just paper dupes. You can actually find these places on the Web and shop around.

I'll talk about what actually happened when I got my first agent soon. It's a pretty inspiring story.

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