September 9, 2020

Hi, not sure if ANYONE actually follows or reads these posts but if you do you MAY have noticed a definite STOP of posts from me.

To be honest, and what I have sadly come to realize I may not be good enough, have enough talent, ‘skill’, look, ‘personality’ or what-have-you to succeed, that can actually make a living – personally (make friends in The Biz) and enough financially, as an actor.

I have been at this for over five years, have attended numerous Casting Director (CD) workshops,  taken various acting classes (& most classes never really understood how the ‘teacher‘ or ‘experienced professional‘ handled their class and was disillusioned very quickly thinking their offering is not to help actors and seems only for the money), joined numerous Facebook actor groups, read many books and online posts on acting, training etc., and have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in efforts to ‘make it’ (headshots, training, classes, workshops, equipment, driving and parking expenses, in efforts to have a sustainable living in the world of acting.

The past five years I have had some very limited success in Toronto based re-enactment TV shows, or Greater Toronto Area (GTA, and further) ‘episodicals’ and occasional commercial, but not once have I booked a “Union” job / role.  In speaking with other actors (thought some were friends but seems only if I reach out to them to speak never a call or message to me) <– waaa waa. ya I know… they have booked and are now Union actors.

What does this say about me??  More than I can accept.

I always thought, and after reading The Oasis Of Insanity – The Study & Pursuit Of Acting At The Beverly Hills Playhouse, by Allen Barton (Strongly recommend this book.)  “if you want to be a lumber jack – move to the forest” seems so true.

A small comment about Allen Barton and The Beverly Hills Playhouse (BHP).  I took some free classes with BHP with Mr. Barton and Cameron Meyer and yep, I like their style, I like how he speaks and teaches and anyone in the class that I reached out to was friendly. Cameron is just a great person too.  SO PERHAPS NOT JUST ME… (would enjoy classes @ BHP, but does not seem an option)

The GTA is great for starting out, and yes some do make a great living here, I have not.  More chances to me are in LA or NY for example.  But then again, being a Canadian without a work permit, an ability to move to the US, existing commitments here, i.e. F/T job (job job), mortgage, family, life etc this does not seem feasible to me.

The expectation, especially during the current COVID-19 restrictions, with the expectations of studio quality self tapes, with the push for super duper clear sound, professional lighting, HD picture quality <– this expectation is an additional cost for microphones, lighting equipment, backdrops, HD video producing camera etc etc are a financial cost.  Oh and I love the answer of if you don’t have what it takes to make a studio quality “AUDITION” then you can drive to the GTA and pay someone to assist. Gas, time, wear / tear on automobile, parking, stress, payment for ‘services’.

Have been told by both agencies I was with, if it doesn’t sound good or look good they won’t submit or if submitted the Casting Director will not watch or consider your audition.

Seems like the skill of the actor is not the forefront for the audition.

DEFINITELY will not book a Union Role or job if the Self Tape Audition is not ‘up to spec’.  SO, to prevent ‘technology’ from causing my shortfall I did purchase a Canon Rebel SL2 camera, lenses, tri pod stands etc, a great microphone, ring lighting – did not hear my audition quality was not up to snuff but then this leaves my acting skill etc…

Back to the GTA CDs I have spoken to, paid for their workshops, in the last couple of years a message I took away from some better known CDs is; if you do not have a large number of ‘followers’ on social media you will not be considered for a role by them. This happened again within the last year as one CD I wanted to work with and respected who casts great shows done in Northern Ontario.  My face showed my displeasure of this in class and was brought up by the CD asking why the face – I replied I don’t have many followers and this discounts me ever.  *insert laughter and snickering from others in the class, can assume with the ‘necessary volume of social media followers’*   (pretty recently I have put a stop with FB, Instagram, Twitter).

I have to ask, HOW DOES HAVING SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS (sigh) indicate a skill to act????  I cannot respect that thought process and unfortunately will never work with that CD or any CD that will search for you and your number of social media followers before considering you for a role.  *insert straw & camel’s back*

My F/T job, or job / job of 30 years (30 years end of August) I am very grateful to have been employed for this duration with the company.  Thank you for permitting my attempt at this side hobby the last 5 or so years and I will continue to give my all while ‘on the job’.  That is how I am.  Give it all when doing my task or job.