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11:48 am - Weds 12/29/04
Big Jim's \"Acting Year In Review\" (2004 Edition)

Big Jim's "Acting Year In Review" (2004 Edition)

Tues 12/28/04 (12:48 p.m.)

Well, I'm pretty sure nothing else is going to happen in the next three days, career-wise, so this seems a good time to do my career "Year In Review" crap...

Since there's much good news to report, let's start with that: With five fewer commercial auditions this year (Fifty-five, compared to sixty last year), I actually got more callbacks (Sixteen), booked more gigs (Five. Six, if you count the Time-Warner tv and radio spots as separate jobs), and made more money than last year (Made a lot more money than last year).

And in addition to the callbacks, and the jobs I booked, I was "on avail" for four additional gigs, which basically meant I was "one guy away" from getting those jobs.

One goal at the beginning of the year was to break $5000 in earnings, because I had read somewhere once that the average SAG actor earned that much in a year (Turned out I was operating on really old info; the figure is actually closer to $7500). And while I don't know yet exactly how much I'm going to make from Jack-In-The-Box residuals, I've already passed the $5000 mark in commercial earnings, and will in all likelihood pass the $7500 mark as well before everything's said and done.

(What I didn't do last year, and haven't done yet this year, is tally up all the career-related expenses I racked up–Gas, clothes, headshots, resumes, postage/mailing supplies, that last photo session, etc. I'm pretty sure I still came out ahead, but it'll be interesting for me to see how much of a bite that'll be.)

Another goal was to book my first union gig, and I booked my first and second union gigs, in quick succession (There was less than a month between the two; I would have preferred my second union gig not be an extra gig, but next time, I'll be more specific in terms of what I ask for from the universe).

I'm still confused about my status vis a vis the union. Basically, I'm putting "SAG" on my resume, but haven't paid anyone any membership dues (I'm presuming that I'll have to sign up next time I book a union spot). An actor suggested recently that, instead of going down to the union office and writing them a check, I wait till someone knocks on my door and tells me I have to sign up, and that sounds pretty sensible–No point in cutting myself off from non-union stuff before I need to.

I spent a total of seven days on sets or in recording studios this year.

On the one hand, I think "That's not much time over the course of a year to be doing what you want to be doing" (Which is one reason, amongst many, that I need to start getting tv and movie jobs–I want to be logging more time "on set").

On the other hand, it's kind of amazing to me when I think of it this way–I made over $5000 (With more to come in ‘05) for seven day's work.

The not-so-good news? Once again, there were no real, sink-your-teeth-into-them acting jobs (The closest thing I did to "acting" this year was the Time-Warner spot, which is why it was, far-and-way, my favorite commercial job this year).

At the start of the year, I told myself I wanted to do better than I had the year before, but in one important regard, I did substantially worse–I sent out half the submissions I did last year (Fifty this year, versus ninety-nine the year before). And the ratio of submissions-to-auditions was almost the same–Last year, 99 headshots led to 11 auditions, while my 50 headshots this year netted me 5 auditions (With, unfortunately, the same result: A big fat zero).

The agent mailing I did this year was a little bigger than last year (50 this year, 44 last year). So far, all I've gotten is a rejection from The House of Representatives (Cute name for an agency, huh? Unlike anyone else I've heard of in L.A., "The House" calls everyone who submits a headshot to them; This was the second headshot I've submitted there, and their second "Thanks, but no thanks").

I was hoping I might have a little more "cachet" this time out with "SAG" at the top of my resume. But while I imagine it's better than not having "SAG" at the top of my resume, there are a lot of union actors out here. And I've got no tv or movie credits, and no "demo" to show anyone, so getting a theatrical agent is going to be a majorly uphill climb (That said, I fully expect to get a theatrical agent this coming year. Can't really explain why, exactly, I just see it happening for me. I want it, I need it, and it's gonna happen).

So there we are.

Much to be happy about, as I think I said when I started, but a long ways to go as well.

What I want for the coming year, in terms of my career, can basically be boiled down to one word–"more". I want more commercial gigs, and more money, enough money to get me out of Borders. And in addition, I want a theatrical agent, tv and movie auditions, and my first bookings in that arena.

For the past couple years, I feel like I've been "on the launch pad". I want the coming year to be the year I acheive liftoff.

This year, as I reached the financial goal I set for myself, and the goal of booking a union job and getting into "SAG", it hit me–"Hey, if I'm actually going to acheive the goals I set for myself...I need to set bigger goals for myself!".

And that's what I'm gonna do

I have a feeling it's going to be an interesting year...


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