Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Comp cards and portfolios

Hi everyone~!
I thought I would pass on a little story about a model that works with Peak.
This model books print, and for some reason does not feel that she needs to print comp cards. Yes, she does work all of the time, and for some reason will not invest in cards for herself or Peak. So, I get a call todaay from a costume company asking for additional comp cards of girls that fit into the range of what they are seeking.( We had sent a packet the week prior) Of course we wanted to send her card in, but again, we did not have cards. Being the diligent agency that we are, we emailed her photos over. The client said that he would love to book her, but he needed to send a hard copy to the owner and "line up" the models cards to finalize the booking. We had already sent a packet a week earlier, so he had cards, he just wanted a few more to wrap the booking. Now it gets really interesting, the client was booking 4 models at 1500 + 20% per day per model, and it is a 2 day possibly 3 day booking. You do the math on that. Long story short, he did not have time to wait, so he went ahead and booked the models that were included in the packet. At first I felt really bad for that model, and she does not even know that this happened,of course I wiill tell her, but for now I had to tell all of you, since I KNOW that many of you do not have comp cards with us. Starting January 1st, we will require PEAK logo cards, along with a PEAK logo book to be sent out. There are hundreds of models that submit to PEAK every week, and we need models that can deliver. Again, I really felt bad about what happened to this model, since I know that an additional $3000.00 - $4500.00 would have been nice this holilday season. So, for those of you that say you can't afford comp cards, I would say that you cannot afford not to have them.
PEAK is lucky to have models that are on top of their game, and we strive to have more. Please do your part to get comp cards made asap. Our layout is at BUNKER and GENISIS, and PARAGON, all in LA. We will need to see the photos that you are selecting for your cards as well. If you need to shoot, check out my personal favorite I wish I could have booked that model, but I cannot do it all for her. Hopefully we can all learn that being prepared is key in this business.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Picture the scene...

Picture the scene...
you are a casting director or an agent. You see thousands of photos for hundreds of projects every day. Now, you see familiar faces, some you have fond thoughts of being on time, being prepared, being available. Conversly, you see the faces of those that always seem to have a problem, changing times for castings,being late,being unavailable for castings and bookings due to other interests having nothing to do with your acting or modeling career. Now, picture this..
The agent or casting director has to literally "vouch" for you to clients. Who do you think they are going to think of when the big jobs come rolling on by.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be in everything??? Is it luck?
NO, it is being there, available, on time,not acting like a diva. Yes, it is a sad truth, but many photos get passed over in casting offices over little things that all add up to unreliable.
The solution you ask? Yes you can save face...literally...I am talking reinventing yourself. Get new photos taken immeidately, post a range of looks on LA casting and BREAKDOWNS. Think back honestly, have you been on top of your game? OR are you the type that always has an excuse why you cannot make appointments, always need things changed around for you? Yes, you know who you are, and if you are not booking, this is a major reason why. I want you to succeed, and so all I can say is to get rid of the photo that has flaky written all over it, and reshoot. Then, if you go to that trouble, you MUST commit to showing up.
For photographer suggestions email us for a list.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Let's FACE it!

Ok everyone,
Facebook is here to stay. If you are an actor or model, keep in mind that your Facebook account might be accessed by people interested in booking you for work.
What message are you sending?
Could it possibly offend someone?
Are you plastering your opinions all over the internet about issues that you are passionate about?
What is the puspose of your Facebook?
For most people Facebook is a social networking tool. It is also a very effective business tool.
Many people get booked or cast via knowing someone that knows someone else.
I know, I know, you do not want to change who you are and edit your profile.
All I can tell you is that you will do yourself a great service if you just keep the business, business and the social, social.
There are just too many people using the Facebook site for their platform to be heard.
Just keep in mind that not everyone may agree with your position, and some of those people might be hiring the next model or actor.
Just remember,you are in business for yourself. Keep your personal life personal.

The eternal photo!

Ok, so you are out there auditioning all over town. You find yourself in waiting rooms with other models and actors at auditions. So, picture the scene.
There is someone that can acutally decide if you are the right person for the job.
You suddenly decide to stand up on your personal soap box and start chatting with others about your views. Let's just say that this is a small world. You might decide to talk about casting directors, agents, managers, photgraphers, or politics.
Whatever it is, you now have everyone's attention. have a photo posted up on LA casting, Actors Access, Breakdowns, etc.
What you do not know is that you have no idea who knows who, and what is going to get back around that you spoke about. Now for your photo. If you happen to spew your political agenda all over a public casting office, you might just well be offending someone at that office, and guess what? They can permanently mark your photo for future reference, whether it be positive or negative. I have personally had people call my office and complain about models that were talking way too much, and emailed their political views to people in casting. Of course you have a right to your opinion, but keep your persnal agenda in check when trying to get booked.

What models and talent should never do.....

Election season is upon us. Depending on when you read this, you are either days away from voting for the President of the United States or you just have. The truth is, politics are always pertinent, and not just in the fall every four years (there are other elections, you know, and plenty of things to be passionate about year-round). However, your mother and Miss Manners were right when they said it's not polite to talk about politics, particularly when you're working.
Actors are stereotypically passionate people, and they tend to be informed about politics and hold strong opinions about what is going on. I love this and personally encourage you not to be wishy-washy in your life! Have convictions and create/promote/be the change you want to see in the world (thanks Gandhi!).

Okay, now I’ll step off my soapbox.

Actors should feel free in their private lives to speak out, post signs and wear shirts promoting their beliefs. However, these expressions of opinion are not appropriate in the lobby of your commercial audition, in emails to producers, casting directors, ad agency execs, or even lowly PA's, for that matter. (No one stays a PA forever.) Talk with friends about your political beliefs over cocktails, discuss all things relevant with the signature-gatherer of a proposition, or chat with the political party promoter at an event. Just don’t talk politics with someone who currently (or might in the future) have one iota of power in the decision to hire you to work on a commercial.

Why? Simply put (and I have said it before), if you rub one person the wrong way, you have potentially ostracized yourself from them and all of their jobs, current and future, forever. Let's face it. People have a sharp memory when it comes to someone offending them. Unfortunately, grudges last a lot longer than any good feelings. It isn't fair, but it’s very true. Now, with online casting, it is easy to make grudges lifelong. In a matter of seconds, casting directors can add a note to an actor's profile that will be there forever. Every time you are submitted for a role, this note will appear about you. This means that memories of an unintentionally offensive statement can’t fade in a few months like they used to; they’ll always be right next to your photo in black and white! (Don't forget that this can work for positive thoughts about you, too.)

Actors sometimes forget that each audition is a job interview. It's not appropriate to talk to an interviewer about your stance on gay marriage when you are wearing a suit and applying for job in corporate America, and it isn't appropriate in an audition setting, either. Even when you think a casting director MUST feel the same way, don't take the chance! Maybe they are on the same page, but the other casting director within earshot may have different and equally passionate feelings about the same topic.

Don't forget the pyramid of power. The producer of a commercial you shot may have your email address. They may be shooting mass emails out to everyone in their address book to encourage voting a certain way. You do not have the luxury of hitting "Reply All" to offer a different opinion. (I would also advise against hitting "Reply All" to support their opinion.)

Just keep your mouth shut. You can't afford to offend anyone in the commercial industry if you are hoping to work in the field. If you get an email from a producer, you can be certain that there are other influential people being emailed, too. Take a look. Producers have the luxury of voicing their opinion to people below them (for lack of better word). You, as an actor, do not. You are at the bottom of the pyramid and the food chain of the commercial industry. If that makes you unhappy, consider a career in casting or production.

Being in a commercial is a great gig for a lot of you. Do yourself a favor and stay neutral (silent!) on political/moral issues when you are at an audition, on set, or sending emails to industry professionals. Don't unknowingly sabotage yourself. You may never know why you aren't hired or called in on a job, and it could have everything to do with a political statement made in passing. Think of yourself as Switzerland!

If you’re someone who just can't keep silent, at least you know now that there are potential ramifications for your decision to speak. It's your choice, but after reading this, hopefully there will be no surprises!
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