Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Brother the Actor

I don't hear from my brother all that often, but I happened to be looking at Facebook and saw some notes he posted about acting. I was curious and asked him about it. This is his reply. I am really excited for him.

Okay so I was laid off in October and kinda took it easy for a couple weeks, doing some small projects at home. Stuff I never had time for when I was employed. Anyway, I spiffed up my resume and started the job hunt. Not overly serious at first because I didn't want to appear desperate. As time went by I started feeling more and more anxious. After the holidays and after talking with colleagues who were out of work longer than me, added to the fact that I wasn't getting any calls back, I officially became desperate.

Somewhere around mid January I said screw it. I'm going to look in other areas. I thought, I worked at 84 Lumber, I sold kitchens and baths, I was in management at McDonalds. I could do any one of these things again. I got discouraged when even these types of places weren't calling me back either. Then I saw an add for movie extras. That sounds cool, I'll get paid for standing around or walking on a sidewalk or something. I sent my resume and they called me back the next day, we made an appointment for an interview. They turned out to be a talent agency. I liked what they had to say so I went out and got head shots taken and I signed up for acting classes.

The agency called me that night to ask if I could go to Connecticut for an HBO special they're filming. They turned out to have enough so I didn't go. The following Friday they called me and told me they got me on Ugly Betty and to call the casting director for instructions. I worked that on the following Tuesday, Groundhog day. It was a lot of fun and I decided that - Hey, I could do this for a living! It wasn't hard work...took 14 hours but Hey I'm on film now! The other extras told me about websites that you could sign up for to get alerts for when parts become available within your profile stats. So I signed up with a couple.

Then I got a call from the agency this past Friday morning asking me if I wanted to do a movie in Spanish Harlem later that afternoon. I agreed and was up there in a little over an hour. Bumped into Geraldo Rivera. BTW, I literally bumped into America Ferrara a.k.a. Ugly Betty during filming. Anyway, I was just a background actor in "Miracle in Spanish Harlem" 5 hours of work. While I was on set I saw an email on my Blackberry from another casting director in need of extras for a movie they were shooting in Queens the next day, Saturday. I replied that I was available and she sent me all the details - wardrobe, times, etc. and asked me to confirm if I'd be there. I confirmed and the next morning I was out and on my way to Queens with my business suit, an overcoat, and another business type change of clothes. We went from 11am to around 8pm-ish. This one I got a lot of on camera time. They gave me the role of a boss in the office and gave me my own office with a secretary.

That was very cool, I had 6 on camera scenes - no speaking though, just working around the office while the two main characters did their lines. That was fun.

Then last night I auditioned for a company that grooms talent for a week long talent fest down in Orlando twice a year. They have connections with and invite all the Hollywood studio people, not their assistance but the heads of casting and talent searches themselves. It's sort of a showcase of talent and at the end if people like what they see they call you back for interviews, work, contracts, etc. They say if you get a call back they are interested in working with you. Well, I really thought I blew it, I was so nervous, shaking, quivering, etc. There were over 200 people there and they said they were only choosing 20 - 25% to come back and talk about career paths. Like I said I thought I blew it and came home and broke the news to Coll and said "okay, next"! Then this morning I got a call asking me to come back because they liked my audition and they think that I have marketability. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was shocked. So we went there today and they signed me up to work with them, to be groomed by them, and to learn what I need to know to be successful in "da business". Also, they will coach me and get me ready for the showcase in Orlando, either in June or January. It's all very exciting right now.

I will keep you posted on how things go. I have an orientation with my new group on the 27th of this month.

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