the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Checklist

for those who are primarily actors, but may do other stuff too:
headshot - is it in color? Is it less than 2 years old? do you have headshots for stage? commercial? business/industrial?
resume - is it up-to-date? proofread? do you have versions for stage? on-camera? different resumes for other slashes (teaching, directing, etc)
website - is it up-to-date? does it have your headshot and resume in easy to download formats? your contact info? your current projects?
reel - is it around 1 minute long? do you have different reels for your different types of on-camera work (commercial, industrial, film, comedy, dramatic, etc.)? are they labeled appropriately? on your website?
voiceover demo - do you have demos for the diff voiceover categories you work in (commercial, industrial, character, promo)? on your website?
postcard - does it have your image (or logo if you're voiceover only)? your web URL?
business card - your name? your contact info? an image or logo? a tagline?
tagline - do you have a short, accurate, on-brand description of yourself? do you use it with your online profiles?
elevator pitch - can you describe who you are and what you do in less than 1 minute and also convey your professionalism and personality
monologues - do you have at least four awesome monologues of contrasting tones and styles ready to do right now if I said 'go'?
professional bio - do you have bios for each of your slashes that are up-to-date, proofread, and on-brand?
references - 3 of them, with phone number, email and mailing address, typed and ready if I asked for them?
press clippings - one page of them, give or take, where critics from major sources have said complimentary things about you?
additional professional photos - of you in productions or at work, that could go in a press packet if asked
modeling portfolio photos - if this is one of your slashes, do you have a portfolio of images? is it on your website?
professional online profiles - are you listed in the appropriate places for your industry (imdb, theatre bay area, casting search sites)? are these up-to-date? include the appropriate media (reel or photo or voiceover demo)
contact list - are you keeping contact info of people who've hired you, that you've auditioned for, etc? 

What I'm learning is that the items on this list are actually never done, just okay 'for now' and require regular updating, maintenance, revamping, etc.  So work on one, get it to where you like it and then move on to the next. 

What did I leave off this list that you have on yours?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

counting actors reminder

If you've seen a show this month in the SF Bay Area, will you go here, and follow those instructions?  Would love your help with the counting. 

July stats will go up between Aug 1 and Aug 5.  June stats are here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Standardized Patient/Role Playing

Since I'm very busy with a project here, I thought I'd link to this article I wrote in my pre-blog days, with a lot of general information about what Standardized Patient work entails.


Sunday, July 10, 2011


I've spent a little time organizing the blog roll.  Please take a look.  Let me know if I've left anything out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

earnings of women/men on Broadway

Nutshell: some big deal stars on Broadway make more than $100,000/week.  All of them are men.

A New York Post article breaks it down here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The War of Art

Happy 4th!

I've just read this highly inspiring book by Steven Pressman.  He's a screenwriter and novelist and translator of classics.

It's got 3 sections: 1) Resistance Defining the Enemy, 2) Combating Resistance Turning Pro and 3) Beyond Resistance Higher Realm

It's got a lot of short sections, so it would make a great public transit read.

Here's a few places where I bent the corner down because I wanted to remember the quote.

  • Rule of thumb: the more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
  •  The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.
  • If you didn't love the project that is terrifying you, you wouldn't feel anything.  The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.
  • The Principle of Priority: a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and b) you must do what's important first.
  • The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not.  He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation. 
  • The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work.
  • The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear and then he can do his work.  The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist. He's still terrified but forces himself forward in spite of his terror.  He knows that once he gets out into the action, his fear will recede and he'll be okay.
  • The professional cannot allow the actions of others to define his reality.  Tomorrow morning, the critic will be gone, but the writer will still be there facing the blank page.  Nothing matters but that he keep working.
  • Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.
  • Let's ask ourselves like a new mother: what do I feel growing inside me? Let me bring that forth, if I can, for its own sake and not for what it can do for me or how it can advance my standing.
Inspiring, yes?  

I'd love some recommendations for more inspiring reading...

P.S. also thank you thank you thank you to those who have retweeted, liked, commented Bay Area Actor in the past week in other platforms.  I've seen some big bumps in eyes on posts this week, and it's been really thrilling to hear that what I'm writing is interesting, effective, and above all, helpful to others out there.  Melissa, Marisela, Mike D, the folks at Shotgun, Cindy, Elena, Colin, Lily, Lesley, Lisa, and anyone whose name is currently slipping my mind.  Thank you!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Counting Actors: June 2011 results

A new feature, to be published monthly, between the first and the fifth.

In June, I saw 4 shows that fit within the criteria described here. They were:
Chekhov Lizardbrain, Z Space/Pig Iron Theater
Down a Little Dirt Road, Just Theater
Metamorphosis, Aurora
Imaginary Love, Hapgood

Here are the stats:
2 female directors, 2 male directors
3 male writers, 2 female writers (Metamorphosis had 2 writers credited, Chekhov Lizardbrain was company devised, but credited a male with 'text', so I counted him as the writer)
17 total actors
11 men, 6 women
8 Equity actors, 9 Non-equity actors
7 Equity men, 1 Equity woman
13 local actors, 4 non-local actors

I'll be counting actors again in July.  If you'd like to help me count, all info on how to do that is here.