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August 31, 2002

Insert Title Here

Hello Bloggers,

Happy Labor Day weekend! Woo hoo! I just got up from a nap. I love naps. Ahhh.

Clemson and UGA are playing football on my TV. Clemson just pulled ahead in the 3rd quarter. Is the game at GA? I haven't noticed. Oh... big G on the field. Home game. Okay. Sorry, Athenians. I always hated home games.

I've given my kitties happy catnip. They are very content. As it should be.

We've been house/pet-sitting for the five cat lady in Culver City. Next week, it's a couple of dogs in the nicer part of the Hollywood Hills. I go in on Tuesday for orientation and keys. $35/day. Not bad, considering how much I love animals anyway. It's one of many things I'd probably do for free, really.

Keith's Saturn commercial has started airing. It starts out with a guy leaving his garage on foot, running backwards into the street, and then going forward as if he is a car. Then, as the commercial shows everyone doing that little jog-run thing without cars, Keith is in the city streets where everyone is stopped and then again he's in the night-time shot, holding flashlights and headed toward the camera. It's pretty cool.

Alphabetical Blog Response Time:

Amy: Oh, man, I wish I had PT for migraines. I had an evil migraine last night for the first time in a while and it was just really atrocious. I ended up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck all day today, as I recovered from the hell of last night. HATE migraines. Ugh. Just glad I have them less frequently now than I did in my 20s.

Big Mike: I totally understand and agree about milk being the least of the evils in an unhealthy lifestyle. See... since it's easy for me to be without milk, I like to be all holier-than-thou about it. I am not at all a candidate for a healthy lifestyle, though I have been in the past. I'm at a pretty big low on the self-care meter, these days.

BJ: Oooh, can I have Netscape 7 for my Mac? Should I get it? Is it free? Oooh... is its Composer life better? That's mostly what I use Netscape for and I did NOT upgrade to Netscape 6 because its Composer life SUCKS compared to Netscape 5's. Sorry about the cat poop on the couch. I don't know why animals do that stuff. We were just saying how lucky we are that our cats were trained so well so young (after having stayed with five cats... two of which like to pee on things). Of course, those were "rescue" cats, so I don't begrudge them any odd behavior. Still... that sucks, that you had everything in place, kitty-care-wise, and still got the poop treatment. Once, my then-16-year-old cat Muffy took a crap on top of my Master's Thesis, which I had printed out and stacked neatly on the floor. I told him, at that point, I agreed with his review of the material. ;)

Chip: WHAT DO THE LETTERS TQZOPUFCPPL MEAN?!? They are at the top of the page that lists the bloggers and I MUST know. It's killing me! DragonCon will make Keith jealous. Did you have fun? I watched part of the Must See TV Special too. It was cute. Oooh, I miss Gyro Wrap. Go have a BBQ Chicken Wrap for me and dip your fries in feta dressing. Please? Yes, those 2003 kids would've been my 7th graders. I liked them... but not nearly as much as my 6th graders (class of 2004). Tell them I said hi, if you feel like it.

Courtney: Bless your heart, dealing with the CA DMV. Boy, don't I know what a pain in the ass that is! Hey! I'll be doing freelance work all three-day weekend too! Yay us! Uh-oh... you said, "My next husband." That can't be good. Everything okay? I'm thrilled your TMJ PT includes massage. Man I need one of those! Thank you for sharing the details of your treatment. I really do appreciate it. Oh my God, I think you are TOTALLY right about the anti-anxiety drug timing and the rise of Starbucks. I wonder if they own stock in one another's companies. That's brilliant, Courtney! Do you still need advice on defragging? There is a way to set up your computer to do it on its own every week (or whatever timeline you put it on). I think, if I remember my PC correctly, you go to Start, then Tools or wherever the System Tools Live, and when you select the defrag option, you have the opportunity to set it up on a regular schedule. Be prepared for its first run to take a big chunk of time, if it's been awhile. Hey, I totally get the need to copy and paste blogs to respond to them. I do that too! Necessity! Thanks for clarifying the Joe + Dad + Cigar dynamic. I like it better, now. Ooh, I guess the Discovery Channel would be a good thing to watch during exercise. Oh, my Pilates purchase from Amazon is a DVD, not a book. Of course, it might as well be a piece of art, considering I haven't played the dang thing yet. Grr. I'm so impatient with myself right now! Thank you SO much for the rates on editing. One more question: for those who do choose to charge a flat fee, what would that be, generally? Thanks again. I told the guy that we WILL publish his book, so now I just need to give him an idea of what the editing will cost and decide if I want to take a bigger cut of the book sales or get paid up front. I'll let you know what I decide. Oh! The letters I keep asking Chip about are in the Title Bar of my web browser, not on the page itself (like all the way at the top of the computer screen... does that make sense?). I do have the blue notebook and the list of bloggers. The letters, though, are in the title bar and I'm just dying to know what they mean! I guess I'm not surprised that you would say I live the lives of a dozen people. That's probably true. I get really down on myself when I under-function (in my opinion) and people have to remind me that even when I slack off significantly, I'm still doing more than three people at once would be doing. It's hard for me to get that through my head, though. I like doing all the different things at once, though. My greatest joy is the writing, and luckily I get paid to do that (something I never imagined would happen). Now I just need to get paid more to do it (or at least get paid for more of it that I do for free right now). Thank you SO much for saying that a hummingbird was telling you to say hello to me. That TOTALLY made my day. It's the little things, really, and I've been missing Mom a lot lately. Thank you, Courtney. Really. Oh, I've never heard of plutes. I did just see mache (lettuce) on Oprah though and I really want to try some of that. Know anything about it?

David: Your task with WRFC sounds like the GA baseball game broadcast crap we had to do over at WUOG when I was there. Of course, we didn't switch anything over to an automated jock after the game, but the sitting there during it process sucked! Ugh. Do you like football, at least?

Shelley: Wanted to tell you about Keith's bike wreck settlement offer. Okay... so, Keith gets hit by a truck (deluxe Cadillac SUV, actually) while riding his bike in the bike lane and following all the laws, etc. The guy doesn't signal nor merge into the bike lane before making a right across the lane (and on top of Keith) to turn into a parking lot. The attorney you got us in touch with (via the San Fran legal folk) tells Keith that this is such an open-and-shut case that he should write a demand letter on his own and keep all the money for himself (surely, $10k over his hospital bills, ambulance fees, and lost wages from his job at Yahoo!), but that he'd be happy to represent him if he WANTED to share the money. We did the letters (using NoLo's "Writing a Winning Demand Letter" guidebook) and... get this... the offer comes back: $8500. Period. That's $8500 to cover $6500 in hospitalization, ambulance, and medical bills and... oh, here's $2k for your lost wages, pain and suffering, getting your bike repaired, etc. WHATEVER!! So, Keith thanked the guy from the insurance company, after making absolutely sure that he understood that the $8500 wasn't the offer on top of paid medical bills, and now we'll go back to that attorney and start again. Pff. Seems so stupid, since now we'll sue for triple the bills (1/3 for paying the bills, 1/3 for Keith, and 1/3 for the attorney)... when they could've just settled for even as little as $15k inclusive. Anyway, just wanted to give you the scoop on that. Obviously, LA is NOT a bike-friendly place. I'll keep you posted on the continuing saga.

Tina: I love your list of foods with which to have milk. I agree with them all. Would you add pecan pie and fudge to that list or is that just me?

Okay, gang... that's gonna have to do it for today. Must get back to work and earn some money, holiday or no holiday. Keith has an overnight shoot for a film tonight. He's going to be shot between the eyes. It'll be great tape. Yes, I'm sufficiently worried and made sure he took precautions with the safety and stunt folks in the planning stages of the shoot last week. Ooh, time for Big Brother 3... just as UGA pulls ahead late in the 4th. Very good!

Happy September, everyone. XXOO

"Welcome to the humiliating world of professional writing." - Homer J. Simpson, food critic, to Lisa, his ghost writer

Posted by bonnie at 8:00 PM

August 27, 2002

ask the industry «

Submit a question for an industry pro to answer.

Question: I have my first audition for a talent agency coming up in one week. I was told to prepare a monologue, of the "commercial" variety, under one minute. I am not sure what this means - clearly they do not want a monologue from a play... Am I supposed to write this myself, or recite a commercial? What would be the best thing for me to prepare? --Victoria

Answer: Hi Victoria,

Have you ever heard a radio ad? I know that TV commercials may be a little harder to envision in monologue format (since there are visual elements to distract from what you're hearing), but if you start with a radio ad, you may be able to grasp what it is that the agent is asking you to do.

The agent wants to know whether you are "commercially viable." Do you know how to use the proper inflection to emphasize the product? Do you know how to color the dialogue so that there are variations from the start of the piece to the end of the piece? Do you leave the consumers of the ad wanting to buy the product you've advertised? Did your voice match the style or flavor of the product?

So, listen to a few radio ads. I suggest, for a first commercial audition, that you stay away from car ads. They tend to be very hyper and contain a lot of "small print" language that is tough to deliver. Pick a local fast food chain or an amusement park that is running regular ads. Don't go for anything too sophisticated with loads of funny voices. That'll be too much work for this first shot. Tape record the commercials and then, when you've narrowed it down to three or four top choices, transcribe those ads word for word.

Now, try to "do" the ads. Which one is your favorite? Which one do you do best? Now, which one actually makes you sound best? Which one, when done in a mirror, gives you the biggest range of facial expressions and animated reactions? Finally, time yourself and make sure that your reading comes in at the same amount of time as the original (down to the second). That's probably one of the most important elements, as you really do need to show the agent that you understand the timing of commercial copy. Going overtime will not impress anyone. If the agent wants to hear you do the ad slower, she will ask you to do so. Be ready for that.

That's it! There's no major character breakdown to do, no plot development, just a sound sense of timing and the ability to know where the key words are in the copy. If you have time, grab a copy of one of the books on acting in commercials. There are quite a few out there by busy commercial casting directors. They'll break it down in more detail than I could ever provide for you here!

Good luck, and keep doing good work!


Casting QsBonnie Gillespie is a Los Angeles casting columnist, the owner of Cricket Feet Management, and the author of Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews.

Posted by bonnie at 4:56 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2002

Rubber Necking

Okay. I'll admit it. I have watched The Anna Nicole Show.

I actually was quite looking forward to its premiere. How could I not have known about the show? With the full-on media blitz that was the advertising campaign for what the E! Entertainment Television networked hoped would be their "The Osbornes," there was no way to not know this show was starting up.

I tuned in on that first Sunday night, champagne at my side (I knew, just from the promos, that there there would be no way to enjoy this show without some sort of libation of my own), half-hoping that Anna Nicole would crush her poor little dog in an early-on-in-the-episode stumble/tumble.

Within four minutes (yes, I was generous), I knew I could not possibly invest another second in this show. This vapid woman seems to be drunk with power, drunk off her ass half the time, and medicated with some delicious Valium-based sedative the rest of the time. I can see why. I would need to be too, were that my life.

Honestly, I went in thinking I would root for this poor underdog of a Playmate or at least have fun giggling at her cluelessness. Instead, I am just saddened (nearly sickened) by her every choice. She sits, makeup-free, in the interview segments (shooting for intimacy, I guess) and I wonder, how metaphorically naked can one be while adorned with fake nails, fake boobs, bleached hair, and the facial track marks associated with botox injections.

I realize I am feeling sorry for this woman. That can't be what the executives at E! had in mind when putting this show together. Or is pitty-viewing a draw that people have begun to hope for? I realize that there are very few new ideas hitting the tube these days, and perhaps the train wreck syndrome was destined to be the new stab at Must See TV.

After watching one episode, I was ready to soak my eyeballs in acid. But then I found myself tuning in again. Why? Perhaps I'll never know. Perhaps I can blame my interest on that catchy theme song. And, of course, any TV show that has its own drinking game within two weeks of its premiere deserves at least a second look. I suppose, as long as I'm cultivating a TV-based drinking problem, I might as well let Anna Nicole be the one who drives me to drink.

Posted by bonnie at 1:37 PM

When Delete Keys Attack

I've read some Blogs. I have some thoughts. I'm very excited.

First, though, I'll scattershoot, just to let y'all in on what's going on up in here.

The Book: Got the whole effin' thing indexed and did the TOC, added acknowledgements, web resources, LIC/CIP page, and proofed the design of the back cover. It is really... really... really almost done. I pulled an all-nighter (no big whoop) last night to get the page numbers verified on all index entries, and then was too wired and fired to fall asleep even for a little bit. I tried, but I was just too fitfully energetic over actually being THIS CLOSE to the end product of all of this work.

The Man: Keith is working on The Learning Channel's "Scene of the Crime." It's in its second season, starting in December, and he's going to (new news) be in TWO of the first six episodes. They dig him so much that they asked him to do another role in a second episode, and that one shoots tomorrow. He's already put in a week on the set and he's having a blast. His play closed last weekend. His first LA stage show. He has another play in the works, plus shooting on two films in the next couple of weeks. No... no one in this town has ever seen anything like this. It's just effin' amazing.

The Paper: Doing better with the powers-that-be lately. I think my attitude adjustment really helped. I just decided to NOT work my ass off so much. Make them come after me sometimes instead of over-providing more than enough information and then getting pissed when they ignore it and disregard my worth. Just interviewed SEVEN casting directors for the new Fall TV Season issue. Shows: American Dreams, Everwood, Good Morning Miami, MDs, Odyssey 5, Presidio Med, and Push, Nevada. That's going to be a kick-ass issue and I'm pretty dang proud of scoring some of those interviews. Got a call from the associate publisher today. A happy, happy man.

The Management Company: Very scaled back from the big push in late June. I'm much happier for that right now. We'll gear back up in October, and I already have a stack of submissions (headshots and resumés) from actors who want me to represent them. That's kind of fun. The pain in the ass of management wheels, deals, and character breakdowns for every film, TV show, commercial, music video, and corporate hoo-hah is just a little overwhelming, still. We'll see if that gears up to full speed.

The Publishing Company: I've now had a casting director and a monologue writer ask if we'll publish their books. Could be that THIS is the focus I'd rather have... we shall see. I've been answering actor questions on the Career Chat forum of Back Stage West's site, plus on The Actor's Bone. I've been asked to start doing that on a site called Actor Point, and I think I will try to do that too. Oh... and we're corporate sponsors for a new short film festival. Woo hoo!

D: She's on vacation (still). She left the day after our "healing" phone call for a month-long trek across the country and back. She's taking this one last month of disability before going back to work in September. She'll still have reconstructive surgery and implants ahead of her, but she's delaying that quite a bit, just for her own sanity.

The Body: Contemplating going on the Atkins diet. Saw the Dateline NBC show where one of their correspondants has lost 50 lbs. in the four years he's been on it and blah blah blah. No real passion about diving into it... but I do like the idea of that nice, fast, 14-day induction period where you drop like 10 lbs. That would get me geared up about just about anything more moderate. We'll see. No decisions yet... though I am looking at what that cool George Foreman Grill my cousin Joni sent me can do. ;) Actually, the more I think about Atkins, the scareder I get. I'm kind of freaking out about doing something that radically different from what I do every day now. Also, wondering if I'm just setting myself up for yet another food plan thing by which to be disillusioned. Sigh... don't know. I feel as though I'll be going back on my overarching commitment to myself to just be gentle with and good to myself. Why can't I just love me and the skin I'm in?

The Wedding: Toying with the idea of marrying at the stroke of midnight on the New Year... anyone planning a Vegas trip for that time of year?

The Kitties: Still crazy. Salema has really come out of her shell (even more). She's just a hussy and that's so much fun to see happening (always fun to see a hussy realize her true self). Archie is Archie. Fat and happy.

The Weather: Unseasonably low temps, which is just delightful. Love love love the cooler weather. Local news teams described it as "winter-like" today. God, I love LA.

The Random Thought: I miss music. I haven't listened to music in a really long time and I think that's just really sad.

What Else? Oh... my fingernails have FINALLY recovered from the hell that was acrylics for Sissa's wedding. They are lovely once again, which makes me really happy. It's the little things, really. Painted them ice blue tonight. Reminds me of 1996. Ah...

Okay... as I watch Fletch on Starz, I shall respond to Blogs. Yay!

Boston Amy: Yay! You read my Blogs! I too wonder if Sean ever saw Reign of Fire and, if so, what he thought of it. Hmm... how can I make you famous? Well, I'm not sure really. I just told Keith, a year ago, "Come to LA and I'll make you famous," and, well... just look at him now! So, if you're bored, come on down (said in my best Bob Barker voice) and we'll see what we can do. As for living with (and off) me 'til the fame kicks in... I don't see why not... you like a couch and PB&J and cats, right? Peace Corps sounds good. What's the deal with that? I'm sorry about the whole "working with the morally bankrupt" thing. That sucks. Have you read Barbara Sher's books? She wrote I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What it Was and Wishcraft. Those were both really good for helping me figure out what I wanted to do when I knew I HAD to stop working at Athens Academy.

Big Mike: Yay! You read my Blogs! Milk in Korean just really looks like what milk should be called, y'know? Ooyoo... that's just perfect! "Keeping Sara in Frosted Flakes" is a great name for a band, don't you think?

BJ: I once ordered candy from this great Australian catalog (back when I was dating Dominic the Aussie and wanted to surprise him with some faves from home). Musk Lifesavers are the nastiest ANYTHING on the planet. Why anyone would want to put that in their mouth is beyond me. Ick. Tastes like that bad roll-on perfume that I once mistook for my strawberry roll-on lipsmacker. I not only burned my lips with the strong alcohol content but I tasted that fragrance for days. That's what Musk Lifesavers are like. Don't get suckered in. Sounds like you had fun in Vegas. Wonky is one of my all-time favorite words ever.

Cash: Hi. Are you out of college yet?

Chip: Congrats on getting Chippernet back up and running. Phew. Oh, I don't think you read my Blogs. Really. But I keep asking... just in case... why is it that Jane's link never turns purple like the rest of ours? Why is she special in your heart? And WHAT do the letters (tqzopufcppl) at the top of the Spy Notebook page mean? I know I've asked before and I've tried to figure it out, but I'm just so lost. Please help me, Obi Wan. You're my only hope. Oh... that reminds me (for some reason) that my friend Steven was on Beat the Geeks yesterday. He won. He beat the Movie Geek. I think he gets killed in a Troma Films movie now. Very cool. You should go be on that show. Sorry that school has started and it's already evil. Who got boobies this summer? Remind me who's in the class of 2003. I know those were some of my kids. 2006... Would I have taught any of them? Maybe they were my 4th graders in the after school program? Hmm. Say hi to daddy for me (is he leaving?). And anyone else who may still remember me anymore.

Courtney: Yay! You read my Blogs! Add me to the list of folks with TMJ. Have you tried one of those night-time mouth guard things? You get it semi-melted in warm water and then mold it to your bite. It keeps you from grinding and clicking in the night. Your dad sending cigars to Joe sounds like something my dad would do. No clue what kind of person I am or anything... just thinking he's all thoughtful. Ugh. Dads. I agree with you about reparations for slavery descendants. That's a complicated issue, for sure. Very cool for you that you're doing weights. Back when I was doing gym workouts I had an idea for those treadmills, bikes, stair-steppers and anything else that they put in front of a bank of television screens. At our gym, they'd started putting mini TVs on these machines and renting out headphones so you could choose your channel, pay them to show you a video, or just listen to music, etc. Well, I decided that what I'd most like to do with that 40 minutes was surf the Internet. So, I came up with this concept to put a keyboard/mouse combo thing where the handle bars for your contraption are. Then, your screen would be the monitor. You could check web-based email and get all of your news and stuff and, if you're a working type, you'd be getting work done while working out (which was what I needed to do). I would get so impatient thinking of all the things I could be doing while I was "wasting time" working out (hmm... wonder how my ass got so big again) and this just seemed to be such an easy and do-able solution. Heck, they may have done it by now. Last time I was in a gym and thinking of this was three years ago. Anyway... tell me about your Pilates class. I bought Pilates for Dummies recently and haven't even looked at it yet. I feel shame. But I'll do it... I love that stuff. Just very NOT eager to start anything right now. Not sure what that's about. In a funk, I guess... which is weird considering how happy I am, generally, right now. Oh, wow... you mentioned hummingbirds making you smile. My mom's favorite bird to have visit the feeder at her office window was a hummingbird. So, since she died, I've seen more hummingbirds than I'd EVER seen in LA. I've decided that they are her, coming to say hello and remind me she's with me. So, they make me happy too. I especially like them when they park. Oh, Courtney, how much do you charge for editing? The casting director who asked me to publish his book first needs an editor (in a major way). I have to decide if I'm going to publish the book, of course, but I also have to decide whether I'll make him get it edited elsewhere or pay me to do it (and, if he pays me... how much I should charge... or if it would be worth more to me in the long run to just keep a bigger cut of the book sales). So... what's the fee structure for that kind of work?

Shelley: I'm mad no one shared sushi. That's one of the great pleasures of having sushi... sharing. Hmph. Spoilsports! Oh, I am glad to read you "boo, hiss" on milk. I'm not a milk person myself, so that's cool. The only thing milk is good for is calves. I think I may steal your champagne and carrot cake anniversary feast. That sounds like something I could really enjoy... and maybe Keith would like that too. Yes... let's try that. Thanks!

Susan: Yay! You read my Blogs! I think we can make you famous too. It's really all about The Bonnie System, which will be the subject of my next book. Of course, the next book will be called Self-Management for Actors, but I think I'll still be instructing The Bonnie System (just don't think that concept will sell as well under that name, for some reason... even though I find it to be very fitting and intriguing).

Tina: Do B vitamins help you relax? They get me all hopped up and racing. I have to be careful, because if I have too much B, I get a blood-too-close-to-the-surface-of-my-skin rash thing. But, if it helps with TMJ and grinding... maybe I should try it. I agree with the crap that is the demise of the cents symbol on the keyboard. Should we take bets on what the next symbol to go will be? It's kind of like the appendix... the symbol no one uses... hmm... what would that one be? I can't decide.

Trevor: "It's foggy and that's what you do" is the best line ever. Naps are the best. If massage, chiropractic adjustments, and siestas were mandated, there would be no war. I am convinced of that. I loved your note about the house and learning the moods and patterns of one another. Very sweet. Very.

Okay... I guess that's it for me. Beverly Hills, 90210 is coming on shortly and I have to get ready for my nightly (insomniac special) fix. God bless Aaron Spelling.

Back at the Ward: "Are you actually calling me witty and clever? Quick... someone take her temperature! I'm just a schmuck with a computer." - Katy, The Psycho Ward, 22 May 2001

Posted by bonnie at 4:41 AM

August 20, 2002

ask the industry «

Submit a question for an industry pro to answer.

Question: Hi, I'm kind of young, and I want to try out for a part in a movie, but it's my first time, so I don't know how to write a resumé to a casting director. Think you could help?

Answer: Hi Jennifer,

There are many excellent books out there on how to format your resumé and how to write cover letters, etc. Basically, you want to look at as many other actors' resumés as possible and get an idea of what the format is, based on your level of experience and training.

The basic format for an actor who wants to work in TV and film is this:


union status

phone number (or agency info)
Hair: Color

Eyes: Color
  Height: Height

Weight: optional, really

Character/Status (lead, supporting)
Character/Status (lead, supporting)
Production Co./Director
Production Co./Director

Character/Status (principal, co-star)
Character/Status (principal, co-star)
Production Co./Network
Production Co./Network

Character/Status (if not well-known)
Character/Status (if not well-known)


Conflict List Available Upon Request.


School (Instructor): Type of training received

School (Instructor): Type of training received

Special Skills

List of the things you do well (accents, sports, hobbies, anything that shows your personality and abilities outside of the above credits)

Demo Reel Available Upon Request.

And that's that!

Of course, don't say you have a demo reel if you do not. If you do not have any commercial conflicts at this time, you can change that line to "No current conflicts."

You'll see variations on the above, but this is the general format and one that works very well for most people. The casting directors you submit to are going to expect your resumé in this format, so don't get cute or deviate much from it.

Hope this helps!


Casting QsBonnie Gillespie is a Los Angeles casting columnist, the owner of Cricket Feet Management, and the author of Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews.

Posted by bonnie at 4:51 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2002

ask the industry «

Submit a question for an industry pro to answer.

Question: What do casting directors look for most in children? --Tony

Answer: Hi Tony,

In short, casting directors are looking for children who have a life outside of acting. They want to see an actor but also a child. This person should have a host of extra-curricular activities going on, and acting should be just one of them. Casting directors tend to shy away from hiring child actors who are all actor/no child. The actor should be well-read and relaxed, confident in his abilities.

Also, casting directors look at the entire family when selecting children for projects. They know they will be hiring the whole family, essentially. So, it will be important to the casting director to see a well-balanced group; one that is very supportive of a child's desire to act without being overly "stage-mothery" in its support.

Casting directors find that most children are better at cold readings in the audition setting than adults. They are less inhibited, as well as being less "in their head" about the process and the importance of getting the part.

Preparation, on the part of the child, should include watching films and TV shows with a critical eye (scouting out the types of roles for which she would be considered), reading and discussing the script with parents, and practicing for the audition. The child should go in comfortable "in her skin," so to speak, and not try to be a little adult.

After that, the casting process is very much like it is for adults. Casting directors are looking for people who fit the character breakdown and who--if playing members of a family--look as though they could actually be related to one another. If the actor is talented and within the scope of what the producers of the project are looking for, the actor will usually land a callback. That means the actor is "hireable." After that, it's just a matter of which "way" they decide to go with the role.

Or, as one casting director put it, "You come in and act, then we do our mumbo jumbo." Don't be overly concerned with the mumbo jumbo part of it. Just go in and do good work!


Casting QsBonnie Gillespie is a Los Angeles casting columnist, the owner of Cricket Feet Management, and the author of Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews.

Posted by bonnie at 4:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2002

Hi Bloggers.

Does anyone read my Blogs? I can never tell from reading y'all's whether you ever read mine. I must be pretty dang boring. Or sporadic. Or both. Hrm.

Amy... move to LA. I'll make you famous. I said that to Keith last year and today he's on the set of his new TV show. Boom.

Chip... yes, update the Spynotebook layout. And make Jane's link turn purple like all the rest once it's been read. And get rid of my Athenstown account (or change the username). It's all porn and Spam and ick. I would love to see the Blogs in order of most recently updated. That would so motivate me.

Oh, and it wasn't your sister's birthday the other day. It was another Lori's. Sorry.

How ARE you? Timmy... Brandon... it's been a rough week.

David... I'm doing walks (hopefully) every day. Maybe if we have a pact that we'll both do 30 minutes every day, we could keep to it. Back in Athens, I was soooo good about doing my Oglethorpe/Athens Regional loop walk. Man, I loved it. I miss that.

Tina... you crack me up! I made a crack about Brandon and got scowled at. I'd like to hang out with you. We could scowl back together.

Trevor... count me in on fake Blogging. Yes please.

Okay. Back to editing. The book should go to the printer this week or next. Still working on the back cover. Anyone want to write a testimonial? Tee hee.


Posted by bonnie at 8:59 PM

August 6, 2002

ask the industry «

Submit a question for an industry pro to answer.

Question: I am a 22 year old non-union and non-represented actor. I would like to know if the rumors I hear are true, is it really who you know and luck that gets you the job? I am getting fed up and I want someone to take a chance on me. I will be successful but I need someone to believe in me to give me my chance. Thanks, Kristopher

Answer: Dear Kristopher,

The first person who needs to believe in you is YOU. I know that sounds trite, but really, it is the most important element to success in the industry. Being non-union is a temporary situation, and there really is an awful lot of non-union work to be had, while you work toward getting your SAG card. Representation will come, too. In fact, you may consider looking to sign with a manager first. An agent may not be interested in signing a non-union actor, but a manager (who usually takes on fewer clients than agents do) may be willing to take a greater risk (and larger percentage) and sign you without your union membership or even lots of credits.

Luck is a huge element of making it in the business, that is true. And the Who You Know factor is big too. So, make yourself luckier by learning as much as you can and being ready when the opportunity arises. Know more people by doing as much work as you can at this stage in your career. Do small theatre work. Do student films. Work on shorts and staged readings. Take every opportunity that presents itself and you will soon have quite a database of contacts. You'll have worked with people on the set and these folks will know you are professional and talented. They'll remember you and want to work with you again... and again. That's really how it all happens.

So, begin by taking control of your own career. Get as much work for yourself as you can, be professional, and network with the people you meet behind the scenes on every project. Stay in touch with people (keep them apprised of your performances and progress in the industry) and remember that you are in this for the long haul, not a quick rise and fall.

Keep doing good work!


Casting QsBonnie Gillespie is a Los Angeles casting columnist, the owner of Cricket Feet Management, and the author of Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews.

Posted by bonnie at 4:46 PM | Comments (0)