Monday, June 29, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/29/09

And a good morning to you all!

Let's get right into overcoming professional challenges. How do you leave your personal life at the door before an audition? Here's an example...

Last week I went to have my car's oil changed. The service guy discovered a copious amount of repairs that needed to be done to the point that it wasn't worth putting that much money into it since it has over 100,000 miles. They asked me what I wanted to do and I couldn't answer them because I had to leave for an audition.

On the way to the audition, a million different questions were running through my head about the car situation. At the same time, I'm trying to get in a good mental place for the audition. Not an easy task!

I get to the audition, sign in, fill out my size card, and before I get a chance to look at the script my name gets called. YIKES! Nobody in that room cares about my car dilemma, especially at this particular moment. Not that they're cold or uncaring, they just have a job to do and need to do it fast. What do I do? So I took all that nervous energy that I brought with me and made it work for me. I gave an energetic, focused audition and left the room feeling that I did good work.

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you're having a bad day and you have an interview, audition, booking, or important meeting, remember this: don't complain, don't explain, and smile!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self. Whitney Young

DISCUSS!: How do you handle important professional events when you're having a bad day?

Monday, June 22, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/22/09

Happy Summer! It's about time we had a dry day.

First off I'd like to welcome our newest Good Karma Network member Ashley Pierce. We look forward to your contribution to the group!

Yesterday we finished shooting "Transition". I would like to thank all of the GKN members who donated their time and effort to the production:

Justine Topham
Braden Herrera
Jennifer Wos
David Youngblood
Maureen Rogalski
Dana Chiocchi

Great job, everybody!

And a quick "Thank You" to Ingrid French for sending me out on those Heineken and GNC auditions last week.

OK, let's talk about networking. "Transition" is a great example of how networking can reap great benefits. Just about everyone on the set took the time to get to know everyone else and made it a point to exchange contact information. Last night the business cards were flying! Throughout the shoot the cast & crew were discussing marketing, building websites, taking classes, and other projects they are working on. Nobody was showing off, bragging, or dropping names. They were just sharing their experiences, developing new relationships, and having fun!

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are entering a situation where there are potential networking opportunities please remember the following:

IMPORTANT!!! Make sure that it is an appropriate environment to network. Sometimes it isn't and you don't want to offend anyone or embarrass yourself. Networking party, sure. Funeral, not so much.

Bring business cards, pens, or anything unobtrusive that has your contact info on it.

Don't bring head shots, resumes, demos, etc. Those can be sent along afterward.

To quote the great Dan Duckworth, don't complain and don't explain! Griping about the industry or why your demo isn't as good as it could be is not networking, it's kvetching and nobody wants to hear that.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. Phillip K. Dick

DISCUSS!: How do you know when to network and when NOT to network?

Monday, June 15, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/15/09

Happy Halfway-Through-June Day! I hope everyone enjoyed their soggy weekend.

First off I'd like to welcome new Good Karma Network members Edward Morgan and Sheryl Webb. We're glad to have you!

I originally envisioned the Good Karma Network to be a place where entertainment industry professionals can come together to share their accomplishments, seek advice, and find work. With that in mind, as of today I'm going to slightly change the focus of my weekly ramblings. I want to concentrate more on process: how to land gigs, how to network, and how to overcome other professional challenges.

I'm happy to talk about landing gigs. I've always shared my audition experiences, how they went, and what I think did or didn't get me the job. Some others are reluctant as they don't want to give away "trade secrets" or "share their Rolodex" for fear of losing gigs. I think that's a lot of crap. I'm all for sharing and if I tell a peer about an audition that we're both right for and they land it, more power to them! This is about karma, right?

When it comes to networking, the more we share our ideas and experiences, the better. In fact, when we do that, that IS networking!

You have to be careful when it comes to discussing professional challenges. Much of the time they involve revealing what goes on in the booth or on the set. You want to remain professional and not disclose information they may embarrass or offend your colleagues. This is a small world, you know. So on that note, I'll only talk about my own or shared challenges and none that involve "interpersonal issues".

In short, I want the GKN Weekly Update to be more about you. How we can help you find work. How we can help you build strong relationships in the industry. How we can help you overcome obstacles.

TIP OF THE WEEK: So yesterday was Day Three of shooting "Transition" and we had two rather large challenges to overcome: extras and weather. I've noticed over the years that these are recurring themes when producing small budget independent film. Extras tend to show up late in far smaller numbers than hoped for and often have to leave at different times for different reasons. Weather problems are obvious: it's cloudy when you want it to be sunny and it's sunny when you want it to be cloudy. Unfortunately, these challenges are almost impossible to control. So how did we get though the day? We stayed focused, positive, and realistic. There was no tension, everybody worked hard, and we kept things light. Major kudos to Doug Bollinger for selecting an outstanding crew and nurturing a positive culture!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Public virtue cannot come without private virtue. John Adams

DISCUSS!: How have you overcome challenges on the set or in the booth? Was there any particular lesson you recalled to get you though it?

Monday, June 8, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/8/09

Hi there!

Since I had such a crazy weekend I'm taking today off. The Transition shoot went extremely well and I have no sunburn or windburn to show for it, thank goodness! Here are pics of fellow GKN members Jennifer Wos and Maureen Rogalski who were a huge help:

TIP OF THE WEEK: SPF 30 Sunscreen, a baseball cap, and lots of water!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

DISCUSS!: What is the best experience you've had on a shoot?

Have a great week!

Monday, June 1, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/1/09

Hello to you on this first day of June! It's nice out, isn't it? Too bad I can't go outside right now 'cause I'm busy talkin' ta you mooks!

So last week was another good one. Aside from the usual ETS gig, I had an on-camera audition for Heineken at Donna De Seta Casting courtesy of Ingrid French.

I got my hands on the Spanish on-camera Toyota commercial I did and here it is! (BTW I'm the pasty-looking one at the end of the spot)

Thanks to Dara Cirucci of Sid Paterson Advertising for passing it along!

I want to plug a new company that fellow GKN'er Steve Anthony started called Atlantic Audio Books. It's a venue to afford smaller producers and narrators the opportunity to sell audiobooks they have produced. Please visit his website and if you know of any producers or projects that might be right let him know.

TIP OF THE WEEK: So June has begun and I just printed out my new Monthly Action Plan. Most of it stays the same from month to month and I always try to inject new life into it by adding interesting projects. Finding new websites to find VO work, for example. Fleshing out my online social network profiles to garner interest is another. The Tip is to mix it up, people! Routines & structure are great but don't let them get monotonous. Move things around or look at them from a different angle to keep it fresh.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. Isaac Asimov

DISCUSS!: OK, lets try that new title for a while. I'll ask a question and you post your answers. Here's the question: what was the last marketing idea you implemented and did it work?

Have a great week!