"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
After not having much going on for the last few months, these last 2 weeks have picked up quite a bit for me.

  • I booked  a music video for Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki.
  • Booked an LMU student project that will shoot sometime early next semester. 
  • Helped a friend produce the pilot episode of her super cute webseries Millie's 101 Things.
  • Was supposed to shoot a spec commercial yesterday but due to the rainy weather we've postponed it until December.
  • And had an audition with Stevie for a Huggies potty training video... and was quickly reminded why I decided to stop taking the boys on auditions in the first place. No cooperation at all! He was supposed to dance {they even played a song from his favorite show Yo Gabba Gabba} but instead of dancing he just kept stomping his foot and saying "I'm really, really mad!" Cute, but definitely not gonna book that one.

On the survival job end, I had the interview for the wedding planning position, actually I had a series of interviews. The first day I met with three people in the hotel: the Director of Catering, the Catering Sales Manager {who handles all the corporate accounts and hates weddings} and the Director of Sales {my former boss who told me about the job in the first place} and it was one of the best interviews I've ever had. They all told me what they were looking for and it sounded like everything I wanted and was perfect for, yay!!

Cut to Friday, when I met with two more people: the HR Director and the GM of the hotel. They painted a much clearer picture of just how demanding this job would be. 10-12 hour days. Working 3 out of 4 weekends. Meeting high sales goals each month, boo!! By the time I finished talking to the GM I knew immediately that it wasn't the job for me. So I plan to send my former boss a note later today thanking him for the opportunity but withdrawing from consideration of the position. Don't get me wrong, the money would have been great. Seriously, I'd already started making a list of all the classes I planned to take since I'd be able to afford it. But what good is the money if I won't have time to ever go on any auditions? So back to craigslist I went, looking for something more flexible. I may have found it. I have an interview tomorrow with an event planning company for a full-time position. I let them know in my email that I'm an actress and I'm looking for a job that will allow me time off when I have auditions and bookings as long as I get my work done on time. And they actually called me! They don't produce the types of events that I'm used to working on but I'm meeting with them in the morning to learn more about what the job entails so we'll see.

Onward and upward.

Here is a Doritos commercial I did for the Crash the Superbowl contest. Husbands/Boyfriends pay attention!

Sidenote: Many people in my class have said I look like the type who is vindictive and shouldn't be crossed, I guess they're right. Tee-hee!

Email subscribers can view it here.

Two weeks ago I enrolled in an AWESOME marketing/business/branding class for actors called "Class Rules!" which is taught by casting director Bonnie Gillespie and boy am I glad I did! Though you can view the gist of what it offers here, this class really is so much more than what's listed on the site. Everyone is incredibly supportive and the exercises and assignments we're given have been extremely insightful thus far. That said, the first week we did a typing exercise {for family/friends who aren't in the industry, this is when people look at you and/or your headshot and describe what you look like} before we got to know each other so that it could be as true to a first impression as possible. 

Here is how I was described most often...
  • Young Mom
  • Entry-Level Professional {nurse, doctor, etc.}
  • Strong/Tough
  • The Best Friend
  • Sassy/Feisty
  • Fun/Playful
  • Sweet
  • Smart
  • Matter-of-fact/No-Nonsense
  • Bitchy/Catty
  • Friendly/Kind
  • Addict {yeeeahhhh I had to quickly get over my WTF attitude with this one & just roll with it}

And this is how my headshot was most often described...

  • Strong/Tough
  • Serious
  • Smart
  • Intense
  • Angry
  • Guarded
  • Vindictive/Don't Cross Her
  • Young Mom
  • Disadvantaged Background
  • Blue Collar
  • Lawyer/Assistant DA

Finally, these are the shows that are in production that most folks suggested I try to get on based on what they consider to be my type...

  • True Blood {one of my faves!}
  • Treme
  • Criminal Minds
  • The Game
  • Vampire Diaries
  • Defenders
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Glee

So obviously when I get new headshots to submit to the above shows I need to have some balance and find a way to show my strength/intensity along with my softer side {which is the REAL me anyway}.

Next we'll be discussing agents & managers that we should be targeting individually. The process to come up with the specific agents who need my type is time-consuming but necessary so I'm off to get started on my homework and compile that list. And if any of you want more details on the class shoot me an email, you'll be glad you did!

Have you ever felt uncomfortable at an industry meeting or networking event? Khristy has! Watch me as I go through the fire in Diary of a Wedding Planner's Episode 2: Wedding Nazi's. 

Email subscribers can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpqgml7wkwI
New clip from DWP. Check it out:

Email subscribers can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n0fzKTrDu0
So you wanna make a webseries but have no idea where to begin? Well read on...

First Elizabeth prompted me to write a post about the whole production aspect of Diary of a Wedding Planner, then I started getting a few emails from actors wanting advice on how to start their webseries and just today someone left a message on the FANTASTIC message board at Hollywood Happy Hour asking this same thing so I've finally composed a list of  tips to help you get started. This is by no means exhaustive but hopefully it will be a guide that can give you the jumpstart you need.

1. If you already have an idea, start writing! So many of your decisions will be based on what your production needs so get started on your first draft as soon as possible and see how far it takes you. Some people have 5 episodes in their first season, some have 15. Put pen to pad and see how extensive your season will get. For those of you who are still searching for an idea, write what you know! What speaks to you? What do you love/hate/are passionate about? Start with that.

2. Speaking of seasons, what will happen in Season 2 or Season 3? What kind of journey is your hero embarking on? Not that these need to be written from the start but the more you know about your characters from the offset the easier it will be when/if you do pitch it to sponsors down the line.

3. Create a line item budget. You can either start with a fixed amount and figure out a way to stay within that figure or you can look at all of your production needs, estimate their costs and decide to go with whatever amount it adds up to. Of course, the former is better for your pocketbook, but either way you should try to get as high of a production value as possible. And don't forget to include the cost of post-production (editing, sound design, score, etc). I left that as an afterthought and it definitely hurt me for awhile so give this some considerable thought.

4. If you're a member of SAG or if you want to become a SAG Signatory the process is pretty simple. Instead of me walking you through those steps, Marilyn Anne Michaels, the creator of the series The Best Friend, has already done that here:

Part 1: http://thebestfriend.tv/tbfblog/?p=30
Part 2: http://thebestfriend.tv/tbfblog/?p=32
Part 3: http://thebestfriend.tv/tbfblog/?p=34

5. Crew- this was an area I was absolutely CLUELESS in but quickly learned (and am still learning) from others. Determine your crew needs. Can you afford a large crew? And honestly, do you even need one? Can people double up? Do you have friends who also work behind the cameras and can help you out here? If not, can you get referrals from friends regarding crew they've worked with and trust? If you're still coming up short you can always post a message on HHH, Mandy and Craigslist.

6. Pay- In your budget did you allocate money to pay your cast or will they be working on a deferred basis? What about your crew? Some crew positions are easy to fill even on a deferred basis, others (dp, sound mixer, etc.) you will probably have to pay. Of course, if you have friends who do this that's another story. But if not, expect to pay the key crew. Tip: If you can find a DP who has their OWN camera (or access to one) that's much better than paying both the DP and the camera rental. Definitely a lesson I learned after shooting my pilot!

7. Casting- Breakdown Express & LA Casting are both pretty simple to use. I personally prefer Breakdown Express now that I've tried both but either one will help you get the job done. There are plenty of places to hold auditions and CAZT is one of the places that will cost you nothing but your time as you'll have to leave feedback for those who auditioned for you.

8. Locations- This is where you beg, borrow and plead to get as many locations as you can for little to nothing. Are they interested in the exposure if you show their signage in your show? Is your show's target audience a big part of their customer base? If they still want you to pay them then negotiate as low as you can. EVERYTHING IS UP FOR NEGOTIATION!!! Tell them this is a production you are paying for completely out of pocket and how much you love their space but is there a way we can work this out so that it benefits both of us? The tricky part here is that some places will require insurance. If you have it (and honestly that's the BEST route to go) then great! If you don't, which I didn't, because you can't afford it then you may have to pay a little extra OR sign an agreement that makes you responsible for anything that goes wrong because of you, your cast or your crew.

9. Catering- Make sure your cast & crew are well fed ESPECIALLY if they're not getting paid. A full tummy keeps everyone happy and makes the day go by a little quicker. Costco, Sam's Club and Walmart are all great places to shop to get what you need. And don't forget about any vegetarians, vegans, or those with allergies. Ask beforehand lest you find out while you're on set.

10. Marketing- Once you've shot and edited it, what type of release schedule do you plan to have? Are you going to shoot and release as you go (which is what I'm doing until I get more $$$) or do you have enough funding to shoot them all at once and actually release the episodes once a week? How will you get the word out? Are there message boards & online groups who fit your niche who might be interested in watching? Will facebook ads or banner ads on the blogs of those who cater to your audience be worth the investment? Will you host a premiere or wrap party and invite, among others, bloggers in your niche industry who might provide you with coverage? Take advantage of Social Media! Get a facebook page and even a twitter account just for the show.

11. Crowdfunding- This is a great way to get funds for your project but I wouldn't suggest going this route until AFTER you have something to show people in order to attract more interest. For example, I raised about $800 from my IndieGoGo campaign with no video attached but I know people who've raised thousands for their show via IndieGoGo and Kickstarter because they waited until they had their first season up or at least a teaser to spark more interest.

12. IMDb- If you want to get it listed on IMDb check out Withoutabox and submit it to an imdb qualifying film festival that has a New Media or TV category. I haven't done this yet as the festival I'm interested in submitting to requires 3 episodes and right now we have 2 completed (yep, the 2nd episode is coming soon!), so I don't have firsthand experience with this one but I do know it's worked for others.

13. End Goal- What is the ultimate goal of this project? Do you want to sell it to a TV network? Get it on Crackle or Koldcast? Or just have an awesome project that shows what you can do? And if it doesn't get picked up by anyone will you still be happy and proud of what you've accomplished? Hopefully that answer is yes because otherwise don't bother getting started.

Ok, sorry so long but those are my tips. I'm still learning myself so follow what you agree with and discard the rest. As you can see, it is a LOT of work but it's also incredibly rewarding!

If this post helps you at all consider supporting my show, Diary of a Wedding Planner by liking our facebook page or subscribing to our youtube channel. And when you're ready to release YOUR show, let me know in the comments section below.

Best of luck to those of you out there who are making it happen and taking matters into your own hands!