Traveled half way across the country from Wisconsin to California so I could follow my dreams of becoming an actress. I'm documenting my adventures along with the struggles of the true Hollywood story of a no name girl trying to break into the filmmaking industry. I'm not going to sugar coat anything or lie about my experiences to make the journey sound better then what honestly is going on. I will be revealing the true reality, the success if any, and the heartache of what happens when trying to reach this one in a million dream. So come on this roller coaster with me and my dog Gizmo to see for yourself what it takes to make it, what it doesn't, or maybe you'll realize this dream could in fact be for you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Audition in Hollywood for feature film and SAG/Non Union Information

I woke up this morning and started memorizing my lines for my audition today that was at 4:30pm. I worked on my sides from 11am till about 3pm to make sure i had them memorized, understood the meaning, and conveyed who i was. My audition was for a feature film called Cruel Innocence.
I read the role of Stacy and this is the breakdown:

  • [STACY] 20-23; 5'5" or shorter; Lead; Caucasian; Blonde. Stacy is a sweet and attractive young woman who has aspiring actress written all over her cute baby face. She’s fun and playful with a good sense of humor. Grown up in a strict and conservative family in central California.
The audition was at CAZT (located in West Hollywood) which is a casting office that a lot of different directors and producers use to audition actors for their films. CAZT is one of many different casting offices located in the Los Angeles area.

Actors signing in to audition
CAZT Casting Office

Cruel Innocence is a SAG Modified Low Budget feature film. I am new to learning the different terms within SAG, since i am SAG Eligible (eligible means able to join once dues are paid). Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is the largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 actors who work in motion pictures, television, commercials, industrials, video games, Internet and all new media formats (to learn more about SAG Being in SAG is a big thing for actors and when starting out that is what we try so hard to be apart of. Why being in SAG is important is because some top agents won't represent actors who are not SAG yet and many casting directors will not see actors who are non-union (means not SAG).

Getting in SAG is hard to do and there are a few ways:
  • Get Taft Hartley (if the casting director or producer likes the actor who is non-union they can fill out a Taft Hartley form and file it with SAG, then the actor can work on their film and become SAG Eligible)
  • Booking a commercial can get you Sag Eligiblity if it's union
  • Getting 3 SAG Vouchers through background work (when a SAG background actor doesn't show up on set, a non-union actor must fill a SAG spot because production sets have a certain amount of SAG actors they have to have on set).
I auditioned for a TV pilot in 2010 that was produced by Judd Nelson called Brookwood Sleazebags. The casting and director wanted me for the role; therefore, I then got Taft Harley to be able to work on their production set. The reason i haven't joined yet, besides the fact it costs about $2300 and then each SAG member pays annual base dues of $116.00 (in addition members pay 1.85% of all individual earnings under SAG contracts between $1 and $200,000; and 0.5% of earnings from $200,001 through $500,000; plus 0.25% of earnings from $500,001 to a maximum of $1,000,000), is because it's smart to wait until i get a little more known in the industry before coming a SAG member. Once you become Union you are not allowed to do any more non-union jobs which are the jobs most starting out actors are able to get. There are plenty of non union gigs available for actors and the competition is tougher with SAG. There are less jobs offered with SAG and most of the jobs will go to more experienced SAG actors. Starting up as an actor, do non union gigs for awhile to build up your acting reel/experience. An acting reel is a video performance that shows your acting abilities that you send to casting directors, producers, companies, or agents that you would want to work with. The video has past clips of your acting work and is crucial to have to market yourself as an actor in this industry. After building up a great background in acting, you and your agent will then discuss if it's time to be SAG or if you have to apply because you are a must join (means you worked the maximum number of Union jobs and have to join to be able to work again on a SAG set). Obviously if the acting gig is a national spot then for sure that would be the right time to jump full board with joining SAG because the gig will pay for your membership with extra cash left over. 

I had a blast at the audition for Cruel Innocence today. When i walked into the audition room there was a few people behind a long table, the reader (the other character i will be reading with) and the camera person. I was asked to slate (my name) and say the character i was reading for. First i had a monologue (monologues can be between 1-3 minutes that the character relives their thoughts and feelings about what they are talking about) to perform and then we jumped into the dialogue and i got to perform with the reader. Throughout the scene i started to get a little teary eyed because i loved this person who seems to be leaving me behind and it actually really did hurt me inside; however, i tried to hold in the tears because in real life we wouldn't want people to see us cry. Once we were done reading the directors said thank you and then i left out of the room. That is how the casting process works. You prepare, you deliver, you leave, and then you wait to find out if you got the part or not.

Cops riding on horses, it so made me giggle!

Traffic once again, lots in the mirror


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