The Best Talent Agents in Atlanta for Kids

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If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times - while Atlanta is a growing market, it’s not necessarily the booming mecca for roles that actors seem to think it is. Films and TV shows still do the majority of their casting for lead roles out of Los Angeles. Atlanta actors have an uphill battle when it comes to achieving their goals, and even those in LA generally have to work a long, long time before getting their big break - if that ever even happens.

But do not despair! Life has a funny way of working itself out, if you work hard and are persistent and focused in what you want to achieve. If your kid wants to be an actor, don’t discourage his or her dreams - foster them! And they CAN get an agent that will help them land commercial and film roles. In fact, I recommend submitting their headshots as soon as possible, even if they don’t have a resume - yet.

Here are the top kids talent agencies in Atlanta:

Atlanta Models & Talent

This Atlanta-based agency starts accepting talent submissions for kids as young as 4 years old, who have had some experience with performance. Kids under 17 do not need an extensive resume to submit. I always advise the parents of the students I teach to have their kids film themselves performing a comedic and dramatic film monologue(s) as well as a comedic and dramatic film scene(s) in-house at Studio27 Talent; obviously, they’ll need a reader, but this is a good way to work around not having a reel or a lot of work on your resume. That way, you can throw those scenes and monologues together into a “reel,” and use it to submit for projects, agencies, and management companies. Studio27 rates for tapings are industry standard. And trust me - you need to have some good-looking tapings in your actors’ toolbox! They will come in handy.

AM&T has placed their talent in film and TV shows like: Atlanta (S2), Ant-Man & the Wasp, Cloak & Dagger, Black Lightning, Dynasty, I, Tonya, Insatiable, and many more!

East Coast Talent Agency

East Coast Talent is the agency of Chandler Riggs, who played Carl on The Walking Dead. Their talent can be seen on, among other films, shows, and commercials: Powers, ESPN, One Tree Hills, Eastbound and Down, Devious Maids, Golden Corral, etc. ECTA also accepts kid submissions starting at 4 years old. You do not have to have professional headshots before submitting (though I would recommend it!), but you do have to get them within three months of signing a contract with ECTA.

J Pervis Talent Agency

With branches in NYC, LA, and Atlanta, J Pervis is the recognizable name in talent in the South. It is, however, a huge agency, so if you think your child will thrive in a more boutique agency, I would look to something smaller, at least to start out, so your kid can have individualized attention.

That said, J Pervis is now only accepting submissions via industry referrals only - meaning, your kid needs to have some clout before attempting a spot with this agency.

People Store

My husband used to work in a commercial agency, and when I mentioned getting our three-year-old a potential Atlanta agent, the first words out of his mouth were, “It needs to be a legit one, like People Store.” People Store is known as one of the top agencies in Atlanta, and it’s not as big as J Pervis, so you have more of a boutique feel while still maintaining legitimacy. People Store talent have worked in: Baby Driver, Get Out, Hidden Figures, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Lore, Mindhunter, and more.

Houghton Talent

Houghton is another agency with great reviews - clients call it “an all-around stellar agency!” It also accepts baby and toddler submissions, so +1 to Houghton over the others for that alone. Additionally, Houghton represents dancers, makeup artists, musicians, families, and other entertainers. Houghton has a good reputation in Atlanta, and it’s a nice, smaller agency that can really get your kids’ feet wet in this business!

The Bell Agency

Shanon Bell and her husband are the founders and owners of this agency, which specializes in being agents for kids - however, they do have a teen and adult division as well! They’re good agents, and get their talent auditions that they wouldn’t otherwise obtain through the usual self-submission process. They also specialize in “baby wrangling” for photographers!

Who is your talent agent in Atlanta? What do you love or wish they would improve? Let us know in the comments!

The Most Well-Acted Holiday Films of All Time

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! In some parts of the country, it’s snowing, while in Atlanta, it’s doing the whole today-is-freezing-tomorrow-is-tropical thing that we ATLiens are so accustomed to. To me, there’s nothing like Fall/Winter in Georgia, but no matter where you are across the great U.S., you’re likely excited that the holidays are here! And even if you’re not a big holiday participant, you’re also likely to be someone in or interested in the film industry - hence reading this blog. So why not combine your love of film and love and/or tolerance of these festive days by watching some holiday movies that are ACTUALLY pretty dang good - read on to discover your new faves!

It’s a Wonderful Life

Oh c’mon - this one is a CLASSIC, and you can’t tell me that Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed aren’t national treasures. I honestly don’t think I need to elaborate any more on this, because if you haven’t seen It’s a Wonderful Life right now, then I don’t know how to talk to you.

Elf

When asked by the New York Post which Saturday Night Live actors he knew he would cast the minute he saw them audition, long-time showrunner Lorne Michaels stated, “Will Ferrell,” among others like Kristen Wiig and Dana Carvey. Ferrell is an INCREDIBLE actor, and his 200% commitment to portraying Buddy the Elf as the wholesome content America needs is near-perfection. This movie is perfect for the whole family, and if you haven’t seen it yet - why haven’t you?

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

This film is so good - in fact, I forgot how good it was, until I started writing this post! It’s honestly one of my very favorite holiday films, and I tend to think of the 1994 version as my go-to (and Mara Wilson, is, as always, spectacular), but the 1947 version is just infinitely better - it just is. You really can’t beat classic movies, especially at this time of year. There’s just something about an old black-and-white movie that really takes me back; perhaps the nostalgia is playing too much into my opinion on the actors’ capabilities, but Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and Natalie Wood in her first major film role, are superstars.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie? It’s an age-old debate (or, well, a 25-year-old debate, yeesh), and I would argue that it’s both. Both are good. I also realize that it’s stop-motion animation, but the VOICE ACTING in this piece is incredible. I mean, c’mon - Catherine O’Hara plays Sally - what more could you ask for? And Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman are iconic as Jack the Pumpkin King (speaking and singing voice, respectively).

What’s your favorite holiday film? What new holiday movies are you looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on November 29, 2018 .

FAQ's For Actors

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“Frequently asked questions” are oft-asked for a reason. It’s because the answers are basic knowledge that people need to know in order to make a purchase, start a new career, or chase a dream (to name but a few options!). I noticed that similar questions among actors kept popping up on forums for websites like backstage.com, so I figured the best recourse was to answer them here! Read on for answers to your most-asked questions as an actor:

What does it mean to select “monologues you’re familiar with”?

Many actors question whether or not this phrase, “familiar,” means to be off-book. The short answer is yes! Remember the ABOB’s of acting: Always. Be. Off. Book (that was a little Glengarry Glen Ross reference for the uninitiated). You will look so much more impressive as an actor if you’re off-book. You should also work with an acting coach before any big audition or callback, if you can. That said, feel free to keep your script on you “for safety,” but any casting director worth their mettle will much rather prefer you improvise, if needed, as opposed to reaching for your script. And “improvise,” doesn’t mean to go off in a wacky world that has nothing to do with the original script - it simply means that if you mix up a word or two or have to summarize parts of your monologue, that’s okay, as long as you get the point across! Unless it’s Shakespeare - then, please don’t try to improvise Shakespeare, unless that’s your bag!

What agents in Atlanta should I audition for?

Atlanta has numerous options for agents! It’s important to note which type of agency is right for you, whether it’s a more boutique agency with a smaller roster (less competition among the other actors at the agency, which is beneficial), or if you want to be a part of a well-known, national and global agency, which also has its perks. Big agencies like J Pervis are known in Los Angeles, and smaller agencies like Houghton Talent have good reps. You’ll also need to make sure that these agencies are accepting new talent.

How do I start acting in America, if I’m from another country?

If you moved to the good ol’ U.S. of A and want to be an actor, you’ll need to obtain an O-1 Visa (also known as a work visa) or Green Card. The Green Card actually seems easier to get, as with the O-1 Visa, an individual has to possess “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.” The O-1 Visa process seems to be a lengthy one, but so is the Green Card process. In any case, you may be able to get paid “under the table” on student films or you could always work for free to gain experience! Auditioning for SAG work doesn’t hurt, either, and can help speed along the process for a work visa.

How do I get started as an actor?

Start off by taking classes! Whether it’s on-camera acting, improv, or scene study, acting classes are a safe space where you can fail - you couldn’t ask for a better start in acting! Atlanta is a growing hub for production, so there are a plethora of classes you can take and coaches you can hire, but of course, we recommend our own, since, you know, we’ve trained in schools like Juilliard, The Groundlings, and Dad’s Garage among others.

What frequently-asked questions do you have, either as a new actor or seasoned performer? Let us know in the comments

Posted on November 18, 2018 .

10 Quick Insider Tips To Nail Your Audition

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We recently did a marketing survey for our current students and parents of students here at Studio 27, and boy, were the results insightful! One of the main interests of our students’ and their families was that they would like more insider tips on how to book those gigs. The truth is, we can’t wave a magic wand over this blog post whereupon reading it, you’ll magically start booking out - BUT, as someone who has worked in film in nearly every capacity for almost 9 years and in theatre for almost 17 years, I can tell you what the other side of the table IS looking for!

Here are our quick-and-dirty insider audition tips to [hopefully] land you your next gig!:

  1. Dress to impress. In LA, actors wear audition outfits that reflect the character they’re reading for. You may have to read for multiple characters, but come dressed as the OG characters you’re reading for, and the auditors will be super impressed!

  2. Be polite. Respect your auditors time - they have hundreds if not thousands of other actors to review! And they’re in charge of whether or not you book, not you. Don’t act like you’re above the audition, even if it’s low-budget or not SAG. Thank the auditors when you’re finished.

  3. Be off-book. You can have your script for “safety,” but as off-book as you can be.

  4. Don’t shake hands. It’s cold and flu season - yuck! Don’t spread germs by shaking hands, unless the casting directors initiate a handshake.

  5. Be nice. You can chat with the other actors in the holding area. No need to be snobby - you never know who’s going to make it big!

  6. Be humble. Be direct about your experience, but no need to name-drop.

  7. Be prepared. Bring AT LEAST two copies of your headshot and resume - bring a commercial AND theatrical headshot, if it makes sense for the role. Make sure resumes are stapled to the back of your headshots.

  8. Turn your phone off. Seriously. No one is going to appreciated a ringtone or buzz during your audition.

  9. Listen (and take) direction! If you get direction after a read, it’s a good thing. Trust us.

  10. Do your research. Do your character work before you walk in. Come prepared with smart questions. Learn all you can about the auditors/casting directors and the production company.

BONUS tip: Relax. No one wants you to be nervous - you’re there to interview them for this job, too! And have a BLAST!

Posted on November 7, 2018 and filed under Audition.

Interview: Actor/Writer Swift Rice

 Photo by Fare Game

Photo by Fare Game

Here at Studio 27, we pride ourselves on fostering talent and highlighting artists doing cool work in the community. Their successes are our successes, especially when they’re local to Atlanta! We interviewed actor/writer/comedian Swift Rice and chatted about acting, comedy, and making a living from art.

Studio 27: Hi Swift! Thank you for allowing us to interview you!

Swift Rice: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be interviewed. A friend told me “it is better to be seen than viewed”...sorry, that was random.

S27: Ha, no worries, we love it! Tell us a bit about who you are, and what you do.

SR: I’m a improvisor/comedian/actor. I enjoy teaching at my afterschool program. We teach acting and improv to kids ages 10-15. I consider myself a “hustling artist.” I’m blessed to be able to make a living from my gifts.

S27: What made you want to get into acting and writing?

SR:I’ve wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. I was an only child for many years, so I created and mimicked a lot of characters. My mom took me to a lot of plays in NYC. She also kept me involved in activities that sparked my creativity. I think when I performed at Madison Square Garden was when I really wanted to be in the business.

S27: That’s amazing - I didn’t know that about you! And you and I have gotten to perform a few times together at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta. You’re an awesome improvist - how did you get started with improv, and how does it play into your acting work?

SR: I love performing with you - your choices are so complementary to  whomever is in the scene with you. I started in stand-up, because I thought it was the fast track to acting. That’s when I met Tommy Futch. He had the idea of turning 9 urban and blue comedians into “clean” improvisers. [That’s how] The Blacktop Circus was born. It was one of maybe three all-black improv groups in the country. That was all of 20 years ago - it’s a lot more now.

I [also] use improv for my auditions and helping me to create better choices.

S27: What’s the best piece of advice you ever received as an actor?

SR: Be honest in your scenes and keep perfecting your craft.

S27: What are you currently working on?

SR: I just filmed Boomerang, which is a TV show that picks up from the 90’s movie of the same name. I will be filming a movie in Savannah next week which I can’t name at this moment, and [am] filming a TV show called ‘Doom Patrol’ that I shoot next week as well. Also, I have a project that I wrote called, ‘Black Magic’ that will also feature [Atlanta actor] Hannah Aslesen.

S27: What future projects are you most excited about?

SR: [That] project that I can’t tell you about! And Black Magic.

S27: We can’t wait to hear more when you’re able to share it! Finally, what advice would YOU give a young, aspiring actor?

SR: Being an actor is a journey of self-discovery. Be true to yourself and be true to the scene. Oh and don’t do drugs.

Posted on October 31, 2018 .

Do You Need a Talent Manager?

 Definitely not a talent manager - Jeremy Piven in  Entourage .

Definitely not a talent manager - Jeremy Piven in Entourage.

Hi, I’m Anna, and I have a talent manager. I am an actor, writer, and producer. I am not SAG. The scripts I get paid to write are internal corporate video scripts for Delta or spec scripts for UNIQLO and private clients. I have two agents as well - one in Los Angeles, one in Atlanta. If you’re a seasoned actor reading this, you probably think I’m nuts, and you probably wouldn’t be wrong! Read on to find out why I like (and dislike) having both (both is good), and read this Backstage.com article for a second opinion!

To Live and Act in LA

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I thought I needed all the representation that I could get. I had gotten a list of agent and manager names and email addresses from a friend in the industry who had already been living and acting in LA for quite a while, and I reached out to all of those names on that list. I had done one independent feature film as the female lead, and had a few other short films under my belt. But film-industry-wise, I hadn’t done a whole lot. I had a theatre background, which to reps in LA means I take acting seriously - but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at acting for film. I think that out of the list of 20+ names, I got 3 - 4 meetings. And from those meetings, I got my management company.

Making It

When I signed with my manager, I truly felt like I had made it. But having a manager, especially one like mine who also submits you for roles on LA Casting and the other casting networks, is somewhat of a fine art. I’m Facebook friends with my manager, and I’ve taken coffee meetings with him a couple of times - but he’s a busy guy with a lengthy roster, and now that I live in Atlanta, he can’t really submit me for roles down here, unless they’re casting out of LA, and I work as a local hire in Atlanta. The A is out of his network. My management team takes 15 - 20% out of any job that I book through them - that adds up to a lot of moola! And then, if my agent jumps in to send a few emails and help me out with negotiations, I have to pay her ANOTHER 15 - 20%. All told, my paycheck could only end up being 60% of what it was originally quoted, especially if the project rate isn’t less agency fee, meaning that the studio would pay the agents separately.

So, you tell me - is having a manager worth it? I think signing on with a management company is an individual decision. I like my team, and I know they like me. I like having double the options for auditions - if my agent misses something, my management team may pick up on it. I don’t like having a smaller paycheck, but I primarily now work as a writer versus an actor, so the point is somewhat moot. But I’ll leave you with this: if you are not a celebrity, and there’s nothing to really manage, why hire a management team?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

The Three Types of Actors You'll Meet at Auditions

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It’s Fri-YAY and finally feeling like fall in the A, so why not have a little fun with our weekly blog post? As an actor with over 16 years of experience, I’ve auditioned all over the country for theatre, film, and schools, so I’ve seen my fair share of actor “types” in said auditions. Here are the top three types of actors you’ll meet in the waiting room, no matter what gig you’re auditioning for:

The Eager Beaver

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Also known as the Big Fish From a Small Pond, this person is trying EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to book the part. They typically come from a smaller market and are trying to make it in the big city - which is really what we’re ALL trying to do, but the Eager Beaver thinks that this fact makes THEM unique. They are either overly friendly with you, sizing you up as competition, or overtly cold…also because they’re sizing you up as competition. Hot tip: even if the Eager Beaver is rude to you, don’t be rude back! I guarantee you the auditors are watching, even if you don’t think that they are.

The Model

In the words of the cult classic Mean Girls, “She doesn’t even go here!” - as in, sometimes non-actors will show up for auditions that are very tall and very, very attractive. These are models who are trying to broaden their resumes and maybe break into acting. Some models actually DO have pretty good acting chops, but some are just there to, for lack of a better term, diversify their portfolio. Basically, they’re your really, really ridiculously-good-looking competition.

The Newbie

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The “newbie” is the actor that’s just starting out, natch. They’re probably pretty nervous, and looking for advice - which means that if you sit next to them, you’re gonna be sitting next to a real Chatty Cathy, more than likely. Again, niceness is always the best policy in my book - not only do you never know who’s watching, you also never know who’s gonna make it in the “biz.” Give advice as much as you can, but also, focus on your character portrayal and lines. You do you, boo!

Posted on October 12, 2018 and filed under Actors.

Interview with Actor Mike Beach

 Actor Mike Beach.

Actor Mike Beach.

I first worked with longtime working actor (and my own personal favorite celebrity!) Michael Beach on the set of a small independent feature called Scrapper. Scrapper was my first foray with Grinning Man Media Group’s Ed Dougherty, and my first time working with real, professional actors. By “real,” I mean actors that are consistently working, like Beach and Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen.

Beach has been around the block several times in terms of work - notable roles (besides films with moi in it!) include: Soul Food, Waiting to Exhale, Aquaman, Dynasty, Sons of Anarchy, The 100, Crisis, Third Watch, and countless others. Studio27 Talent recently sat down with beach to discuss training, what makes an actor successful, and what he’s learned since graduating from Juilliard.

Three Quick Ways to Uniquely Brand Yourself As an Actor

 Actor and Super-Good-At-Social-Media-Guy, Ryan Reynolds

Actor and Super-Good-At-Social-Media-Guy, Ryan Reynolds

We have talked about branding yourself as an actor quite a bit on this blog, and there’s a reason for it: times have changed. Gone (mostly) are the days when actors simply audition for a role and get cast. While that may still be the case in the theatrical world, in the entertainment industry, casting directors are looking more and more closely at an actor’s social presence - meaning, they’re literally Facebook-stalking you.

So, how do you combat this admittedly aggravating tendency of CDs to view your life online? Well, you can’t, unless you go completely off the grid, which is ill-advised. Instead, you can manage your social media presence professionally without losing your personality - here’s how:

Remember Who You Are

Okay, yes, you are a brand, and you are “selling yourself” as an actor - but that doesn’t make you a sell out. Figure out what your niche is and your brand, and clearly define yourself as such. Do you play a lot of “mom” roles? Are you a hipster? A jock? Whatever it is, make sure your website, headshots, and reel reflect your ability to carry those roles. Now, if you typically play a jock, but you’re a real-life bookworm - all the better! Casting directors are looking for unique takes on characters - and who doesn’t love a classic, all-American-good-looking-jock-who-turns-out-to-be-a-smarty-pants love story? I know I do - I watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser and To All the Boys I Loved Before (both on Netflix) in a weekend!

Get Over Your Hatred Of Social Media

Look, I get it - we all secretly or not-so-secretly hate social media, but as an actor, it’s pretty much a necessity nowadays. Again, it doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of who you are! Limit yourself to only 30 minutes of social media daily, if you have to - it’ll likely improve your mental health, too, to place restrictions on your usage. Go through your friends posts, like them, comment on them, do “organic outreach” - you know, the usual. And here’s a little secret: everyone buys Instagram followers these days, even those famous Jenner girls (don’t believe me? I’ve got a timeshare to sell you!). There are affordable options to buying followers, and there’s nothing illegal about it. You can also hire freelance social media managers to manage your actors’ accounts, so you don’t even have to bother with it, other than providing photos and approving posts. Figure out what you have the budget to do, and go for it!

Be Nice

It seems like a ridiculous suggestion but being likable feeds into being memorable, and it goes a long way in this industry. You won’t be rewarded for having an ego when you’re starting at the bottom; plus, it’s just good life practice to not step on people on your way to the top. You never know who’s going to get to the rich and famous part of the gig before you do!

What are some ways you’ve learned to brand yourself? Let us know in the comments!

DIY Filmmaking with Future Legend Ed Dougherty

 Courtesy of @eddied4me

Courtesy of @eddied4me

In the film industry, as in any industry, it’s important to know who’s who and to take your cues from those who have gone before you, and have subsequently become successful. Ed Dougherty of Grinning Man Media Films in Los Angeles is one of those people; he’s a successful entrepreneur and filmmaker who has been around the block enough to know what works and what doesn’t in the entertainment industry, whether he’s shooting a commercial, feature film, music video, or corporate video.

Read on to get his invaluable insight on how to make in the entertainment industry, whether you’re talent or crew in LA, New York, Atlanta, Chicago - or any other city in the world!

Studio 27: Hi Ed Dougherty from Grinning Man Films (also known as Grinning Man Media Group, or GMMG)! Tell us about yourself and what GMMG does.

Ed Dougherty: Hi. I’m a writer/producer/director/editor who has [created] all kinds of content, from producing microbudget features to writing studio screenplays to directing music videos. At GMMG, we primarily produce microbudget features, make music videos, and [make] corporate/commercial content.

S27: What is the difference between narrative film and commercial?

ED: I’m not really sure I know how to answer this question. On the one hand, the differences are vast. On the other hand, things are all the same, from a producing and basic filmmaking perspective. When I first heard about how much you got paid for commercial work, I figured there was some insane trick to it that I didn’t know about. While it is hard to get your point across in 30 seconds or 15 seconds, it’s still basically the same process as making anything is. I’d say the barriers for entry to commercial work are harder than narrative.

S27: What do you look for when you cast talent for feature films?

ED: Talent, an interesting face, some kind of hard-to-define screen presence that you only know when you see it. Not a maniac. These are all obvious things. But mainly I think to myself-- will this person make my writing seem better than it is? If so, then I like them.

S27: Do you prefer to cast named talent - why or why not?

ED: Yes, of course, on a certain level. But it has to fit. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to get a named person into your film, if it is decent and you are not a maniac. But I also find it awkward when a name person shows up in a handful of scenes, all on the same set, and you know that they only had that person for a day. Also in some genres like horror, the name value of the cast pales in comparison to the concept and the feel of the film. In horror, you don’t need names, unless it’s higher budget - then you definitely do.

S27: Who has been your favorite celebrity to work with, and why?

ED: Aidan Gillen by far. Just because I feel we share some DNA. He’s an amazing storyteller and the most Irish character you can be around. Just a legendary person who is always very alive and interesting, and will bring all of himself to whatever role, even if it’s just some weird little thing you’ve come up with.

S27: What advice would you give an emerging filmmaker with little-to-no resources?

ED: Here’s something I have really come to believe in -- be prepared to rewrite your script as the situation develops. Sometimes even on a microbudget movie, you’ll have a filmmaker say “Well, in the script it’s a Learjet, so that’s what we need.” And you think, but you wrote the script. It wasn’t brought down the mountain on stone tablets by Moses. You shouldn’t think of the script as some unchangeable thing ever, but especially not with little-to-no resources. You can write yourself out of trouble cheaper than you can ever shoot or edit or FX yourself out of trouble. My other piece of advice would be that you need to face the harsh reality that not everyone is going to care on the level that you do, if there’s no money involved. Specifically when it comes to hiring editors, post people, etc. I have never had good luck paying an editor on a low budget project. You’ll often get back crap, and it will still be expensive. Learn to edit. You’ll do a better job anyway.

S27: Finally, any advice for Atlanta actors? Should we all just up and move to LA?

ED: I don’t know enough about Atlanta to really give a good answer to this, but I do tell my filmmaker friends in NYC that they need to move to LA. There’s just so much opportunity here. And you meet people who introduce you to opportunities. I’m not the most social person in the world yet I’ve randomly met tons of people who were very valuable to my career. I think the more people like that around the better.

Y'allywood Dominates: Main Roles are No Longer Solely for LA and NYC Talent

 Photo by Getty Images.

Photo by Getty Images.

Recently, backstage.com, one go-to guide for actors around the world, posted two - count 'em, TWO - articles about how local actors could actually land over-5 and guest roles in pilots now - even, dare we say it, lead roles? Yep, we said it, and we meant it! After all, if Backstage is writing about it, it must be truly a trend in the entertainment industry.

So why is it that the industry seems to be making this shift? The simplest answer, in this case, is the most logical: it's easy on the studios' pocketbooks to hire locally. And just how does it save the shows money? Local actors didn't get billing. But now, that's all changing, though, according to Georgia-based Netfilx hit Ozark's casting directors, at a "glacial pace." Series regulars that are locals are getting booked in roles, like recurring guest star roles.

However, unless you're a Barb-on-Stranger-Things sleeper hit, you're not going to want to up and move to LA with just a couple of speaking roles under your belt. In the Backstage article we linked here, titled, "Small Market Acting No Longer Means Small Market Roles," New Mexico casting director Jo Edna Boldin points to seeing actors too many times do this and end up right back in their hometowns, because they didn't give themselves enough time to saturate the local market. 

In short, be smart about where you are locally, wherever that may be. Take the time to learn your craft by taking acting classes, and getting several roles under your belt before you make any big moves. It always helps to at least be SAG-E (SAG-eligible) before moving to a bigger market. Remember, you have a ton of competition out there! Be strategic - and, most importantly, have fun!

Posted on September 9, 2018 .

So You've Booked a Commercial...Now What?

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Congrats! You've made it through getting headshots, getting an agent, auditioning, acing the callback (did we miss anything?!), etc...now, you've booked the commercial gig of your dreams! Your acting career feels like it's finally headed somewhere! What's next? A guest star role? A five-liner? A pilot?

We digress. Back to the fact that you're an awesome, incredible actor who just booked their first commercial job! So, what happens next? We're covering it all in this blog post that tells you everything you need to know before arriving on set - read on.

It Ain't About You

If this is your first commercial gig, then you're likely at the beginning stages of your acting career. It's important to remember that it isn't about you. You are there to do your job, and a lot of the time, jobs ain't glamorous - especially first acting gigs. Show up prepared, with your lines memorized (i.e., off-book) if you have any, and even if you're facing the camera and getting to say those sacred utterances, know that you are still selling a product. That is your job - so do it right!

Actors' Agency

Even if you self-submit and book a commercial gig, no matter how big or small, circle up with your agent(s) and/or management team, and let them know you booked it! They can handle the nitty gritty details. And even if they just send one email, that means they still should get their compensation (i.e., a percentage of the cost of the project, whether it's 10%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your contract with your agency). Leaving them out in the cold means you'll never work in this town again! Kidding. Sort of. Pay them fairly, and they'll work hard for you.

Stay in Character

Do not drop that mom character who just loves the newest antibacterial wipes on the market until they yell "Cut!" Even if it seems like everyone is just waiting around or not doing anything, chances are they're going to go again - and you need to be ready. The easiest way to remember this tip is to simply stay in character the whole time that camera is on you - you can't go wrong!

Be professional

We cannot stress enough how important professionalism is on a commercial set - or any set, for that matter. This is a job that you are getting paid to do - know how lucky you are in that! No everyone has your life. Plus, the length of the commercial is super important. The length of a commercial is also paid for, whether it's a 15-second spot, 30-second spot, etc. You cannot get in a few extra lines, no matter what - stick to the script, and be word-perfect.

 

Have you booked a commercial gig? What's your experience? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on September 1, 2018 and filed under Commercial.

Interview with a Reality Show Casting Director

 Photo by Austin Young

Photo by Austin Young

We were lucky enough to sit down with casting director, tv producer, victim rights' advocate, and media personality Lenora Claire (phew!) for an interview on what it takes to make it in the television industry, in reality TV - and beyond. Named one of LA Weekly's "People of the Year," Lenora has been around the block and is a fantastic source of information for aspiring, entrepreneurial actors! Read on to discover her tips and tricks for making it in Hollywood and Ya'llywood. 

Studio 27: Hi Lenora! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with Studio 27 - tell us about yourself.

Lenora Claire: Hello Anna and everyone at Studio 27! I always get overwhelmed with this question, but I will try to  narrow it down. I’m a former journalist and art curator turned reality tv casting director, producer, media personality, event promoter, and victims rights advocate. I just got engaged, and it’s so new I keep calling him my “Beyonce” because I start to say boyfriend and remember he got upgraded to fiance. I’m also very obsessed with my dog.

S27: Adorable. How do you become a casting director?

LC: I had gotten a lot of press and was named one of the “People of the Year” by the LA Weekly after opening one of my art galleries in 2011. My mentor, Doron Ofir, who is a legend in the reality TV world for having cast shows like Jersey Shore, saw me in all the papers and sent me a tweet that said “I want to make you famous." I thought he was a creep hitting on me until I scrolled through his Twitter and saw that he was a casting director and gay (phew!) and replied. He then asked me to audition for a pilot for MTV and the rest is history. After meeting, he had discovered I had led a pretty interesting life and since print media was dying and I wasn’t finding much writing work, and even though the gallery I had opened was getting me press, the art world wasn’t exactly stable either. He thought my experience as a journalist would make me an excellent casting director, and now almost a decade later, I can say he was right!

S27: That's quite a story! Moving onto the talent portion: what are three things you wish actors would know/understand before walking into a casting room?

LC: Well, I don’t work in scripted, so I would call them more “talent” than actors, but I wish I could tell everyone that sometimes the strangest, most random things influence if someone is cast or not, and that sometimes it’s just as much about luck as it is talent and not to give up if they aren’t booking things right away. I would tell them to be kind to their casting director and make an impression, because I can’t tell you how many times I auditioned people who weren’t right for the current project and remembered them for something else later. I would also stress that if we send out a casting for something specific, please respect whatever it is we asked for and not submit yourself if you’re the opposite of what has clearly been requested. You’re just wasting both of our time[s].

S27: I love that. What about celebs? Do they still have to audition?

LC: I’ve absolutely auditioned celebrities for things. It depends on the project, and I suppose how big they are, though.

S27: What is the biggest mistake you’ve seen actors make in the audition room?

LC: In reality TV, the biggest mistake I have seen is someone saying what they think you want to hear about themselves that isn’t true, because they think it will get them booked. Remember, you have to live with whatever you do or say on reality tv. Please don’t sell yourself as anything other than what you are. Most casting directors can see through it anyway.

S27: Thoughts on Atlanta being the “Hollywood of the South”?

LC: Absolutely! I just cast a reality show for Lifetime out of Atlanta and two other shows in the office were being cast there and one currently is filmed there. I love the diversity and big personalities!

S27: What are the best things an actor can do to prepare for an audition or a big role?

LC: With reality, the best thing one can do is to be energetic and speak in sound bites. Nobody wants to hear your long winded story that goes nowhere. Think of some funny anecdotes or interesting bullet points about your life and deliver them with some genuine enthusiasm.

S27: What advice would you give to an Atlanta actor looking to move to LA or New York?


LC: Rent is REALLY expensive, so come here with at least three months of savings. And if you want sweet tea in LA, go to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Also, don’t say “ma’am" to everyone here - say “miss” or else they will think you’re calling them old. Good luck!

Posted on August 26, 2018 .

5 Actors Who Came From Nothing

One of the most discouraging Hollywood tropes is that you have to know someone to get somewhere. As you grow and develop your skills as an actor, you will likely often hear the phrase, "It's all about who you know," or hear that dreaded yet necessary-in-this-industry word: "networking." What that phrase and that word means is that you have to put yourself out there - and no matter how many classes or workshops you take or networking events you attend, you may not advance in your acting career. Sometimes, it really is all about who you know

That's not to say it's impossible to make it in this industry as a "nobody" - quite the opposite, in fact! Don't believe us? Read on to discover this list of celebs that came from nothing to join the A-list (or, close to A-list) ranks in Hollywood.

Leighton Meester

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Before this Gossip Girl made it big with the hit CW show in 2007, she was dealing with the least ideal circumstances - Meester was actually born in a hospital in Texas, with her mother going to jail shortly thereafter. As a newborn, she was allowed to spend 12 weeks in a halfway house with her mother before moving in with her grandmother in Florida until her mother was released 16 months later. Now, the star is worth an estimated $5 million.

Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah - yes, the Oprah - was raised by her grandmother in middle-of-nowhere Mississippi. Born into poverty, Winfrey had a pretty hard life, losing a baby at the age of 14. Once she was sent to live with her dad in Tennessee, she started working in news journalism at age 19, and went on to be fired from her first reporting job at 23. But that led to her having her first talk show, and today, Winfrey is worth $2.8 billion.

Sarah Jessica Parker

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Parker was the youngest of four kids, until her parents divorced, and her mother remarried, subsequently having four more kids. Parker was born in Ohio in a "coal-mining town" and grew up poor, her mother being a housewife and her stepfather being a truck driver.

However, Parker landed her first Broadway role at age 11, and got her first TV role at age 16 in "Square Pegs". Now, Parker is worth $100 million.

Leonardo DiCaprio

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DiCaprio didn't always live the life of glamour and fame that we know he lives today, what with the pap shots of him partying with supermodels on yachts; no, DiCaprio actually grew up pretty disadvantaged. He grew up in a very poor, rundown Los Angeles neighborhood, where drugs and prostitution ran rampant - in fact, the actor claims that seeing what drugs did to people made him never touch them as he grew up. He was also bullied in public school, but had a strong mother who supported his dreams and put him in acting classes - the rest is history. DiCaprio is now worth $245 million.

Jennifer Lopez

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This woman has done it all: fashion, perfume, clothing, singing, acting, dancing, and so much more. Lopez's looks defy time, and so does her seemingly endless energy. With the singer/actress now worth an estimated $380 million dollars, it's hard to be envious when you know her backstory. Lopez had it tough in the beginning, having disagreements with her mother about her career path (Lopez chose a career as a dancer over going to college), and became homeless at 18, sleeping on a coat in a dance studio. A year later, she got her first major job, but she didn't get her first big break until she was 28 years old, landing the titular role in the major motion picture Selena in 1997.

Sometimes, all it takes is hearing about the thespians, singers, models, and stars that came before you to encourage you to keep on keepin' on with your dreams! Which celeb has your favorite rags-to-riches tale? Let us know in the comments!

The Best Side Hustles for New Actors

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When you are trying to make it as an actor in a big city like Atlanta, Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, it's important to not squash your own dreams by being a Negative Nancy to yourself, but it's also imperative that you have a plan in place before spending your best years under the harsh city lights - whether that means living with family for free, saving up a ton of money while you look for work as an actor, or have a few side hustles (aka, "survival jobs") going that are flexible with your acting schedule - or all of the above - you need to have some idea of what your life beyond your school years and/or living at home will look like. Knowing this will take an enormous amount of stress off you, which will only help you focus further on your acting career!

If you're not financially blessed like most of us, never fear - there are some pretty great "side hustle" opportunities to help you carpe diem that acting career of yours without only eating ramen noodles three times per day - read on to discover our top suggestions:

Work From Home Gigs

These are, of course, the best types of side hustles you can possibly get, though with freelance work, it's usually either feast or famine, unless you're highly qualified in a specialized area, like graphic design. If you're a writer, like me, it may be a bit tougher to make a living, so, as with everything career-wise, it's important to know and understand your niche. If you're a writer, are you a copywriter? Blog writer? Fashion writer? Tech writer? Whatever it is that you know how to write about, sell it!

You can also work from home as an admin assistant. Websites like Fancy Hands and People Per Hour are great resources for virtual administrative assistants. Tasks like data entry, performing SEO and digital marketing - even designing business cards - are abundant and legitimate!

Service Industry Jobs

I know, I know - I hated even typing "service industry," but the fact of the matter is, they can be pretty flexible when it comes to acting careers, depending on the type of service industry work that you're doing. If you're working for a more corporate company, it may be tougher to request time off. If you work for a mom-and-pop shop, then it may be a tad easier to have said shop work around your schedule. It's fair to let employers know prior to hiring that you're an actor, but be forewarned - it may turn some of them off to hiring you. Use caution and do what you have to do! I worked at a high-end gym for several months when I lived in LA, and I worked the 5 a.m. - 9 a.m. shift, then would go to my SECOND job as a fashion assistant every other day, and audition in-between. I got a free gym membership AND free designer clothes - win-win!

Speaking of gyms, you could also work as a personal trainer or yoga instructor - you would have to be trained in these fields and certified, of course, but there's no shortage of needing a trainer or yoga instructor in a place like LA! Plus, you can make your own hours and charge premium rates, once your business really gets cranking.

Temp work

Like freelancing, temp work is another great way to make some extra dough without committing to a job full-time. You can sign up for temp agencies like 24|seven Talent or Creative Circle, which often work with entertainers, so they're used to your abnormal grind. I've always had pretty great experience when I've worked with these two agencies in the past (both in LA and Atlanta), and they've gotten me in the door of companies I wouldn't have otherwise worked for.

As a temp employee, keep in mind that you may be taxed as either an employee (W-2), or as a 1099 contract employee. If you're "1099'ed," then you will be responsible for paying your own taxes.

The good news is, as with any of these gigs essentially, you can start your own business, which is a fantastic venture, especially if you're a egregious actor! Having a backup plan is never a bad idea, and it doesn't mean that you aren't invested in your dreams - it just means that you're smart as heck, and way ahead of your acting peers!

LA vs. Atlanta: Which Film Hub is Right For You?

 The Los Angeles skyline.

The Los Angeles skyline.

There's a lot of talk now about how Atlanta is the "Hollywood of the South"; in fact, we now have our own nickname: ATLwood. So many big budget movies and film studios are out here now, namely: Pinewood Atlanta Studios (located right down the road from Studio 27), where films like Ant-Man and the Wasp, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were filmed; Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta (where Devious Maids was filmed for Lifetime), and EUE Screen Gems Studios, where Black PantherFlight, Insurgent, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay were all filmed. It makes sense that films are flocking to the A to not only get those tax credits, but so are talent and crew. But whether you're from Georgia or not, does it make sense to dive into the largest film market in America, i.e. Los Angeles, or should you start out small[er] in Atlanta?

Let's Go Ahead and Answer, Shall We?

The answer is simple, really, and it all comes down to personality type. LA is cutthroat - there is no way around it. At the same time, it's full of some of the nicest people I've ever met. Atlanta is still growing and finding its voice. LA is full of opportunity, whether it's big budget features, independent films, short films, television, or reality shows; Atlanta may have Marvel, but the fact is, casting directors still (generally) cast out of LA for speaking parts, i.e., guest star roles, co-star credits, even just under-5's. It is difficult, at times, to even get work as an extra in Atlanta - not so in LA. There are PLENTY of roles to go around out West, even if you're just looking to start out small, like working with a student film (which, many of those DO pay!). Atlanta has some student films that pay, too, namely at SCAD; Georgia State MAY have some paying films, though I haven't seen many. Atlanta can be a great place to build credits, especially if you're looking to break into the commercial market. There are PLENTY of commercials that film in ATL (LA, too, of course!). And, though prices are steadily rising with the film industry growth in Atlanta, it is still cheaper to live here than in LA - more or less.

 Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

This is, to be honest, a difficult blog post to write - namely because, sure, you can live in LA, spend less money than living in Atlanta, and get more roles or jobs as a crew member. The same can also be true for Atlanta, which is why I started out by saying that it truly does come down to a personality type. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner, then sticking with what you know may work out best for you. If you're adventurous and a risk-taker, than by all means, move to LA! You never know what'll happen.

[More] Advice!

My biggest piece of advice, however, if you DO move to California, is to know that it's going to be really hard, at least for the first year - you can't give up, especially if you're a big fish moving from Atlanta to LA. Guess what? LA doesn't care how big you are. LA cares about LA. Be prepared to have your ego checked - immediately. One of the best lessons you can learn is how to act while on a set - which is why it's sometimes good to take on background work as an actor. That way, you have the experience of being on a REAL set and knowing that having a "diva-like" attitude can get you fired. You are, unfortunately, replaceable - but that doesn't mean that you don't have something special! Tackle your roles and auditions with humility and passion, and you'll be sure to nail them - everytime.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Lastly, wherever you move, save up money! Both cities are ridiculously expensive now, and you'll need to have a plan in place. Are you living with your parents? With roommates, if you're over 18? Do you have a "side hustle" to pay the bills while getting your acting career off of the ground? You're going to have to make sacrifices, no matter how you decide to live in two of the more expensive U.S. cities.

 

Have you made the leap and moved to Atlanta or LA? What about New York City or Chicago? Let us know - we love hearing from you!

2 Ways to Create Indie Film Magic With $0 in the Bank - Without Using Credit!

Making an independent film ain't easy. I've been there - several times. There's not always pay involved, even for above-the-line crew ("above-the-line" or "ATL" means the creative forces behind the production - so, a screenwriter, a director, a producer, etc.). For some creative endeavors, you may have to accept working for free - especially if you're just starting out in the industry.

But if you're a thrifty person - or even if you're not - you can figure out a way to make ends meet without worrying about trying to get a loan, paying back investors, or opening up another line of credit. Where there's a will, there's a way, and who has more WILL to get their dreams to become reality than filmmakers? Read on to discover our best tips and tricks to creating your next masterpiece for free or virtually no money.

Friendship is Magic

As The Beatles once sang, "[you] get by with a little help from [your] friends" (yeah, yeah, we edited it a bit for our purposes!). Take their advice, and ask your friends and family for help. Do you have a friend who knows how to sew and can make your much-needed 18th-century costumes? Do you have a cousin with an amazing property you can use for a location? Do you have any hair/makeup artist friends, or do you know someone who can cook and be in charge of crafty? The best advice I can give to folks - no matter WHAT industry they're in - is to think strategically, i.e., think smart! Utilize all the resources you have at your disposal - you'll be surprised by how many folks actually want to help you make a movie!

There's No Shame in Being Broke

This is a hard one for me - I truly need to take my own advice. I hate asking for money, unless it's pretty common practice in a certain field, like filmmaking. You'd be hard-pressed to find any independent filmmaker that didn't ask for money in some form or another, whether it's from investors who have the liquidity, or by simply holding a crowdfunding campaign on websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter (hint: I like Indiegogo better, because you can keep all the money you raised vs. Kickstarter, where if you don't meet your goal, you don't make ANY money). According to Lifewire, "Kickstarter applies a 5-percent fee to the total amount of funds collected as well as a 3 to 5-percent payment processing fee...Indiegogo charges just 4 percent in fees on the total money you raise if you end up meeting your goal. But if you don’t met your fundraising goal, you are charged 9 percent of the total money raised." The only boone with Kickstarter - to me, anyway - is that it's more well-known. 

You can also fundraise in other ways - ways in which no one takes a cut, but you! However, if you hold a fundraising event with entertainment, food/drinks, etc., keep in mind that the money you spend on the event will need to be worth it, i.e., you should make SOME sort of profit off of your fundraising event for your film, AND be able to pay yourself back for the money you spend on the event itself. 

So, that's it! Those are our two quick tips that should help you be well on your way to making your first-ever (or second-ever, or third-ever...) independent film! Tell us in the comments the thrifty ways or methods you've discovered you can utilize for filmmaking!

Posted on July 29, 2018 and filed under Investment, Filmmaking.

How to Kill It at Your Next Audition

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You landed an audition - congrats! You have already won half the battle - trust me. This is coming from someone who has been on both sides of the casting table, and who has worked with many, many people in casting; if you get an audition, you've booked that audition against hundreds, if not thousands of people. 

But what are the next steps to actually booking the job? This is probably the #1 question on any actor's mind, no matter how long they have been in the industry - you could have started as a kid, and you would STILL wonder why some actors book, and others don't! The good news is, there are ways to kill an audition - in a good way! Meaning, you can walk out of the room or turn off the camera knowing that you did a great job, no matter what the casting director decides. Read on to discover our best tips and tricks for nailing that audition.

Make an Entrance

If you're auditioning for a theatrical show or film/TV production in-person, enter the room with a BANG! What that doesn't mean is slamming the door open and announcing yourself; no, we're talking about walking into the room in a semi-circle. It's much easier shown than stated, but try this at home: create your own marker on the floor, whether with painter's tape or an object. Enter the room, and make a C-shape curve with your walk over to your mark. In an actual audition room, the camera would be in front of you, usually with a table of people behind it - these are usually the casting directors, producers, and perhaps the writers or director themselves. Basically, you're drawing attention to yourself and making an entrance without being overly dramatic. Walking in this way creates an interesting eyeline for your CD's, and it may perk them up after a long day of auditioning hundreds of other folks who look just like you! Remember - keep it interesting, keep it fun!

If you're self-taping, making an entrance isn't really possible, since the first thing the CD's will see is you, on-camera. However, you can still "make an entrance" without actually entering! Whether your slate is at the beginning or the end, keep it positive and upbeat - remember, you're not only selling the character, but selling yourself. The auditors want to see that you are going to be a fun, cheerful person to be around on-set - they do not want to deal with a drama queen (or king). Also, start off your scene in an unexpected way - the point of you reading for this character is to put yourself into the character, not do what you think the CD's want to see or hear. Bring your own essence to the audition, and it's bound to be uniquely you - THAT'S what CD's always want to see.

No Touching

This generally goes without saying, but - no touching! Don't shake hands when you walk into the room, as it's viewed as an audition no-no. This is because we don't know where each other's hands have been, and hands are a germs festering ground. You may view it as polite, but 9 times out of 10, CD's will view it as an amateur error. So - no touching, unless the CD's reach out to shake your hand! In that case, shake away!

Remember, you can still be polite without touching anyone. Make your entrance, and be confident, polite, and calm. Greet the auditors, and act excited to be there - think of it as you're there to meet new friends who have your best interests at heart. After your audition, always make sure to thank your auditors - again, with the politeness! You can't go wrong.

An Actor Prepares

Even if it's not required, if you have the time, come in with your sides memorized (unless, of course, it's a cold read). BUT don't let the fact that you're off-book (or, fully memorized) take away from the fact that you are AWESOME at taking direction! And don't let it throw you if the auditor asks you to read in a different way, or asks you to improv. That's actually a good thing! It means that they think you're interesting, and want to see more.

Additionally, don't feel discouraged and walk away grumpily if they dismiss you after one read - remember, take everything that happens during an audition with a grain of salt. This is a job interview - there is no risk involved. It's only practice. And no one wants to see you walk away defeated! While this could be your next big gig, neediness or desperation is not attractive on anyone. Again, be confident - if this one doesn't work out, it's just onto the next one! Plus, sometimes one read is all the auditors need to see to know that they want you - it's rare, but it's happened to me, i.e., I've gotten cast after one reading. Take heart, and keep going!

 

Tell us in the comments some of your best (and worst) audition tales!

Free Ways to Invest in Your Acting

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Starting any career costs money - after all, the old saying isn’t, “you have to save money to make money”; in fact, it’s just the opposite. This can be a struggle, particularly for starving artists. We get it! Which is why we put together this list of ways to invest in your acting career without spending a dime (or, quite literally, spending a few cents). Read on, thespians.

Reading is Fundamental

Go to your local library (we know, we know - how vintage)! Check out some plays by well-known playwrights - most metropolitan libraries should have a playwright section. If your library doesn’t have a theatre section, head over to Goodwill or another comparable thrift store - people always give away plays they had to purchase for school or that they were acting in. Find some plays, and read them. Read as many as you can. Learn how good playwrights write good characters - learn from the masters.

Make Decisions

Simply put: make decisions, and stick to them. Create a plan or a list of goals. Heck, you can even draw inspiration from one of those bullet journal things that are so popular right now. Discover how you can use your potential to the fullest extent by simply writing down your thoughts and ideas. Take time for yourself - self-care is huge. But the good news is, writing is (also) free! Take out all your ideas on the page.

School Yourself

The flipside of writing is reading - learn as much as possible on the industry. Look up resources online or on LinkedIn. Ask for help. Reach out to people who could become mentors - in my experience, many if not most people have a mentorship attitude, meaning that they love talking to people who are maybe a rung or two down the ladder from them in terms of a career, and they want to help. Also, take a look at websites, like backstage.com and Playbill - these are wonderful resources for both aspiring and well-established actors!

Audit Classes

Call up your local acting studio (like, ahem, Studio 27 Talent) and see if you can audit a class. This is a way that allows you to take classes for free to see if that particular acting class is a good fit for what you want to learn, your budget, and your style. Backstage.com recommends auditing at least three classes with three different teachers and also cites these red flags to watch out for. The article also notes that auditing a smaller class is more beneficial, so that you can really get that individual attention - it's like getting a private coaching session (which Studio 27 also offers private coaching for auditions!) without feeling overwhelmed. You also have the rest of your peers in your class, who have your back!


What are some other acting “hacks” you’ve discovered? Let us know!

Posted on July 15, 2018 .

Finding the Best Producer for Your Film or TV Project

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First, you have an idea. Then, you write a script. Next, you may even get that script optioned - but what’s after that? How do you find a company or individual to jump on board and actually produce your film or television project? We put together a brief guide on how to do it right, the differences between producing film and TV, and what questions to ask yourself before working with another person or business. Read on, showrunners.

Television Vs. Film Producers

A large film set has executive producers/line producers (EP’s) who oversee a budget, and creative producers, who focus on the artistic decision-making for the film. There can also be co-producers, who are producing a specific set part. Ultimately, the director has the final creative say, but may look to a creative producer for input.

TV shows also have line producers that are “in-charge” of the budget - the big difference here is that a creative producer on a television show is known as a showrunner. Being a showrunner for a producer is essentially a “dream job” for some - however, showrunners work very long hours. You really have to be the right person for this sort of work.

Showrunners can sometimes be the person that created show, but this isn’t always the case; they may also be the head writer. Their responsibilities may include what script you’re on for what day, the location, which scenes are being shot, and which talent is needed on set for the day, among other responsibilities.

Doing Your Production Research

Like any task, you will need to do your research before selecting the best producer or company for your project. What values are you looking for? What is the most important value to you? Keep in mind that you need at least some money to make your movie, pilot, webseries, TV show, whatever it is - so fostering a relationship with a producer or production company is like entering into a marriage. You don’t want to marry someone you don’t vibe with, value-wise. Don’t forget to also get a contract together that protects you, your rights, and your art.

What experience level is your producer at - are they young and eager to get you into festivals, or have they created a name in the biz? Think about what you can afford, and we’re not just talking money here - your reputation is on the line, too. Make sure you’re not compromising if you don’t want to or need to. Your name will be on it, so don’t take on projects you don’t believe in - your producer should feel the same about entering into an agreement with you! After all, their name is on this project as well - and they should appreciate your content just as much as you do.


What has been your experience in producing your own content? Drop us a line, and let us know your insider tips!

 


Studio27 is a Tyrone-based acting studio on the outskirts of Atlanta and Peachtree City with nightly classes for all ages, from 5-year-olds to 100+year-olds at all levels. Literally. We’re not kidding. Contact us today for more info on how to nurture or get your acting career started!

Posted on July 7, 2018 .