4:21 pm - Sat 1/5/08
Had a workshop today with Josh Einsohn, from Mia Levinson, the casting office that casts Life; Did a scene from The West Wing that went all right, but I wish had gone better (I think it would have been better if the roles had been reversed, but that's neither here nor there at this point).
There were only eight people at the workshop.
For awhile now, drop-off in attendance has been an issue for ACG. The last couple workshops I've done have had numbers in single digits, and the afternoon workshop today was cancelled because not enough people signed up (Molly said only three people are currently signed up for Tuesday's workshop, so that one may be cancelled as well).
As things stand, ACG is not a sustainable enterprise, and it's reached a crisis point (Today Molly said that if things don't pick up, it'll be all over by next month).
So what's going on?
I imagine one thing that's happening is that many "regulars" have hit a "saturation point"; after a time (ex. I've been going 2-and-a-half years now), you can get "burnt out" on workshops, or you've, quite simply, seen everyone you want to be seen by.
I think it's also possible, like Jennifer C. has done, to graduate beyond workshops (Workshops are basically for co-star level actors; Jennifer has moved on to guest-star roles, and doesn't need workshops for casting people to know who she is. She's already done that work, and has moved to the next level).
But probably the main reason ACG is dying on the vine is the Writer's strike.
In every ACG email Molly sends out, she makes the point that "this is the time to do workshops"; casting people, for once, have nothing but time on their hands, and you want to "get on their radar" before production starts up again (Cause when it does start up again, it's going to be crazy).
And that makes sense to me, but I think a lot of people are using the strike as an impromptu "vacation" from spending time and money on workshops.
I think that's a mistake, but I understand the impulse; it's natural to think you should "scramble" while things are happening, and that you can let up if "nothing's going on". But in many instances, when things are "happening", it's too late to scramble; if you're not "on their radar" at that point, they're too busy for you to get on their radar.
But anyway, ACG is in trouble.
And while I'm growing ambivalent about workshops myself (I wonder if there continues to be a point to it - I've now seen someone from pretty much every office in town - or if I go now merely for something to do, and to "get my rocks off" by doing at least a little acting), I'd still hate to see ACG go under.
Even if/when I move on to bigger and better things, I'd like ACG to go on, cause I think it's a good thing (It certainly helped me get my first co-star roles).
I also like Molly, and would like to see ACG continue to be viable for her sake.
And, ambivalent as I may be at this point, ACG has meant something to me out here. It's led to some work, yes, and that's huge, but it's also just given me a chance to do my thing, and have the first real feelings of camraderie with other actors that I've had here in LA.
And when I move on, I'd like it to be because it's my time to move on, not cause the organization fell out from under me.
But anyway, it's time for work...
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