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4:22 am - Thurs 1/5/06
2005: My Acting Career In Review
Mon 1/2/06 (3:08 p.m.)

2005: My Acting Career In Review

I’m going to do this a little differently this year, and break it down month-by-month. It may not make it any more interesting for you, but it’ll give me an easy reference if need be.

Anyway, here goes...

January

Looking at this month, I got off to a better start than I remembered–I didn’t book anything right off, but out of seven auditions, I got three callbacks (Some book I read said that if you’re auditioning well, you should be getting callbacks at least half the time, so that’s pretty close).

I also submitted myself for four projects.

February

Not as many auditions this month, but check me out–Three auditions...and three callbacks.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself...

I also submitted myself for ten projects (This year, I sent out very few physical headshots, and started submitting a lot online, through L.A. Casting and Actors Access).

March

This was the month I auditioned for what I think was my only play audition of the year (A production of Sylvia). It was in Sierra Madre, And I became totally lost on the way there, and ended up hours late (In spite of that, I felt like I gave a really good audition. But I didn’t get the part).

I had seven commercial auditions, with four call-backs, and an “avail” that turned into my first booking of the year, for 1-800-TheLaw2 (Which I shot on the 26th of the month). That was my last non-union gig.

I submitted myself for five projects (The things I’d submit myself for were mostly all movies, with the occasional commercial thing I thought I might be right for. But I mostly trusted JS to get me commercial stuff).

April

As I look at the calendar, I see it was pretty slim pickings this month.

And I immediately see I was wrong about Sylvia being my only play audition of the year–I forgot about auditioning for Under Milkwood (One of the things I’d submitted myself for online, I think). I got a callback...but didn’t get it.

I also auditioned for a “season” of three shows for a new outfit called Uptempo Productions (They cast me in two of the three shows–as the “Mayor” in Music Man, and “Einstein” in Picasso At The Lapin Agile–but I declined after being told that they were doing one performance of each production. It seemed like a lot of effort and inconvenience for very little reward).

I had three commercial auditions, and one callback (The callback wasn’t till May, but since the original audition was in April, I’m listing it here).

I submitted myself for one film.

May

I had four auditions this month...and no callbacks. That’s not so pretty good...

I submitted myself for seven projects.

June

A big developement in June: This was the month I started attending workshops at the Actors Co-Op Group (ACG). In my debut month, I attended two casting workshops, and an “Agent Nite”.

I had five auditions, two call-backs, an “avail”, and I booked a director’s reel, for Chase Bank (Which was my third union job–I’d had two towards the end of 2004–and it was the one where I finally had to join SAG). I shot it on the 17th of the month.

I submitted myself for three projects.

July

I had five auditions this month, with two call-backs.

I submitted myself for five projects, and attended two casting workshops and an “Agent Nite” at ACG.

August

I had five auditions, one callback, and an “avail” (For TBS)

And I attended five casting workshops and an “Agent Nite” at ACG.

I submitted myself for five projects (Actually, I submitted myself for two projects, but for a total of five roles)

September

I had four auditions, one of which was “straight-to-callback”, and an “avail”.

I’d signed up for a bunch of casting workshops, but when I realized my financial situation was worse than I thought, I cancelled most of them (I attended two, when I’d signed up for six).

I submitted myself for five things (At this point, I was sometimes submitting myself for extra work, since it was now union work and actually paid pretty well).

October

A very unimpressive month for auditions–I had a grand total of two, with no callbacks–but I did four casting workshops, an “Agent Nite”, and submitted myself for twelve projects.

But this month was noteworthy nevertheless, because one of those casting workshops was for Janelle Scudderi, from the casting office that casts for House M.D.

November

I remember feeling “red-hot” this month: I had a total of four auditions, and out of those four auditions, I had two callbacks, an “avail” (For Kellog “Go-Tarts”), and booked my very first tv role, as “Surgeon”, for House M.D. (Which I shot the day before Thanksgiving).

Kind of wish every month would go like that.

December

This month was dead. I had one audition, didn’t submit myself for anything, and didn’t do any casting workshops.

The only sort-of career-related thing I did was to go to the Actors Fund seminar on health insurance.

(It’s now early Thursday morning, and I’m just getting back to this...)

So, if anyone’s still reading along, here are the total numbers:

1. Auditions–53
2. Callbacks–19
3. Avails–5
4. Bookings–3
5. Submissions–57
6. Workshops–17

And what do I make of these numbers, you ask?

Well, the number of auditions, if I’m remembering correctly, is pretty close to what it was the previous year (A couple fewer, I think. And in 2004, I’d had fewer auditions than in 2003. But this past year and 2004 were so close, I’m not going to think of it as the continuation of a downward trend, but instead, consider the two years “comparable”). And now that I think about it, the fact that I had almost as many auditions in 2005 as I did in 2004 is pretty good, considering that I went union this year, and stopped being sent on non-union auditions (Forty to fifty percent of commercials are now non-union–SAG never recovered from the commercial strike years back).

Now that I’ve got that “You should be getting callbacks at least half the time” idea stuck in my head, I can’t help but be a little disappointed that I didn’t make that benchmark last year (I didn’t the previous year either, I don’t think). And it looks to me like the callbacks fell off a bit when I went union, which makes sense, really–The competition got a little tougher, in terms of ability, experience, and credits.

But all that said, I did get callbacks. Even if I didn’t book the way I wanted to, I was “in the game” a good deal of the time.

And of course, I wish more of those “avails” had went my way. They’re encouraging, don’t get me wrong, cause it means I almost booked those gigs. But unfortunately, nobody pays you for almost booking gigs. I don’t blame myself for “the ones that got away”, however–At the point where you’re “on avail”, and they’re deciding whether it’s going to be you or someone else, you’ve pretty much done everything you can do, and apparently done it right, and now it’s just a crap-shoot that’s out of your hands.

The actual bookings this year, with the exception of House M.D. (Which was basically “milestone time”, being my first tv show), were very disappointing. Both because there weren’t more of them, and because the ones I did book kinda sucked (I was embarrassed by the cheesiness of the 1-800-TheLaw2 one, and disappointed that a SAG gig–the director’s reel for Chase Bank–could pay so little, especially considering I then had to pony up $1450 for the membership fee. Or more accurately, that was when I had to go to Mark and Jane, hat in hand, for the $1450 membership fee).

I actually submitted for a lot more than I’d realized this past year, and was happy about that. I wasn’t as lazy as I’d thought I was.

But what wasn’t so exciting is that it seemed pretty fucking pointless: I might be mistaken, and I’m too lazy to do the research right now, but I think the only audition I got by submitting myself was for Under Milkwood (There might have been an actual job–an extra gig on Without A Trace–that I turned down because it was during my training week at ArcLight. But I don’t remember if I actually submitted myself for that or not).

On the other hand, I’m totally sold on the ACG workshops. Getting a job after 17 workshops–actually, just 13 workshops (Four were “Agent Nites”)–feels like a lot of “bang for my buck” now, even if it didn’t while I was waiting for it to happen (Though the “bang” wasn’t really all that financially rewarding; I just did the math right now, and I had to spend $325 to book a gig that paid about $500, after taxes and JS’s 10%). It seems obvious that sending out head-shots to people who don’t know me from Adam doesn’t work very well–I need to focus my attentions on having people see me. I need to figure out a way to make that happen more.

All-in-all, I wanted a better year (Of course I did–three gigs in a year is not a career), but I see reasons to be hopeful.

A couple of people have said they have a feeling this will be “the year” for me. And I’d say, a couple days into 2006, that if I keep myself together, if I keep trying to up my callback percentage at commercial auditions, if I keep going to the ACG workshops, and if I figure out how to open up another avenue or two where I’m being seen (I’d love to figure out how to actually get to act this year)...this could definitely be my year.


 

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