"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
Day 111 - 112: When I received an e-newsletter from the International Documentary Association last week with a notice that the Pare Lorentz documentary grant had a deadline that was fast approaching, I knew we needed to apply.  "The 2011 Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund will provide production grants totaling $75,000 to be used in the creation of original, independent documentary films that illuminate pressing issues in the United States. Grants will be made to up to 5 projects that tell a compelling story and focus on one of Pare Lorentz's central concerns—the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all or the illumination of pressing social problems." Since our film focuses on both justice for all and pressing social problems, our team had to scramble to assemble our packet in 6 days. So over the weekend I helped write the proposal for the grant and wrote the script for our trailer as well. It's amazing what you can come up with when you're pressed for time.
Day 108: Mailed my headshot & resume to the CD's of the following TV shows...

  • Days of Our Lives
  • Fresh Beat Band
  • Entourage
  • Bones
  • In Plain Sight
  • General Hospital
  • Love That Girl
  • Memphis Beat
  • Hung
  • NCIS LA
  • Private Practice
  • Rizzoli & Isles
Some of these shows I can easily fit into (Love That Girl) while others are more of a stretch (Entourage) but I wanted to send them to all of these anyhow because it is feasible that I could get a small co-star role on any of these shows. It's definitely time, however, for me to order some postcards for my continued contact with these CD's. It's less expensive and it's easier for them to receive.

Day 109: Met with Aaron Graham at the SAG/AFTRA building for a postcard design consult and had lunch with Tara T. to catch up on what each of us are working on and how we can continue to support each other in our endeavors.

Day 110: Visited Aqua Lounge to make sure it will work for the DWP screening and it does! It looks tiny on the outside but once you walk in it's quite spacious and full of comfy lounge seating. They're giving me a phenomenal deal thanks to Alexandra Rembranc of Sterling Engagements, the real wedding planner who is helping me produce this event. Houston we have a venue, thank God!!
Day 107: I attended USC's annual end of year showcase of it's MFA graduates at the invitation of a friend of mine who was in TSU's theatre program with me and subsequently got her MFA at USC. The program itself was right under an hour and it was a nice mixture of comedic and dramatic scenes. After their performance, the reception provided a great opportunity for me to meet not only the wonderful actors but other former graduates who raved about their experience as well as a handful of the program's staff. The highlight of my night was when an incognito casting director came up to my friend and raved on and on about how fantastic she was when she auditioned for her and that she felt so bad that the producers cast someone else because they all really loved her. My friend then introduced her to me as the casting director of True Blood. Wait, what?!?

"Are you Libby Goldstein?" I asked. 
"Yes" she said, looking at me for the first time. "Wait, do I know you?"
"No, but I did just send you my headshot last week."
"Oh okay," she says, as if recognizing me from my picture.

Now true enough, my envelope could very well still be in a large pile somewhere on her desk unopened but even if that is the case I was still thrilled to finally meet someone from one of the small handful of cd's whose radar I want to get on this year {see #8 on my 2011 Goals & Action Plan}. Time for me to order some postcards so I can send her a quick follow up by next week.
Day 106: Mailed headshot & resume to the 2 remaining managers {who also produce} on my list. Also met with Greg & Lex at my favorite cafe for back to back meetings. First we met with Carrie Certa who will be joining the DWP crew as the director of episodes 6 and 7. She was a ball of energy with great ideas and a wonderful sense of humor so we're all looking forward to working with her tentatively in early June. Afterwards we met with the director of the documentary to discuss what's needed in order to apply for a grant with a deadline that's fast approaching. Both meetings went very well! I went home a little bummed because I checked my email and saw that I was not selected for the PGA Diversity Workshop but what can you do? Well, shake it off and focus on the next thing.



Day 104:  Stapled & glued resumes to 35 headshots. Doesn't sound like much fun and it wasn't but it's necessary if I don't want to have to keep doing it one by one every time I get an audition or want to do a mailing. Since I watched the movie Lottery Ticket while doing it, it wasn't so bad.

Day 105: Today I didn't do anything acting related but what I did do was feed the homeless at the New Image Shelter near downtown. Man it's amazing how spending just a few hours out of your day at a place like this can remind you of all the blessings you really have. Lately I've been extremely frustrated since I haven't found the right car that's within our small budget and it's caused me to be pissy at times. But going to this shelter today makes you forget about all of that and forces you to be grateful for all of the MANY things that we take advantage of each day. I have clean water, food to eat, a comfortable bed to sleep in, a roof over my head and transportation in the form of my husband's car to get to where I need to go. This was exactly where I needed to be today to get my mind right.


Day 103: Attended an info session at the Edgemar Center for the Arts with my friend Danette Wilson. We both have a list of teachers we've heard great things about so we figured we'd audit them together. Unfortunately the teacher in this instance, Larry Moss, no longer teaches here and for some reason we didn't know that until we got there. The teacher who does run the school, Michelle Danner, seems very lovely and may be a fantastic instructor but I don't think I'll be going here. While I love their space, I haven't heard lots of casting directors rave about her as an instructor and right now I'm only interested in spending money on schools that will not only help me to grow as an actor but will also look great on my resume when a CD sees it. I might have changed my mind had I seen her work in action, but since the info session was not an audit, I have no idea if her method will work for me. So for now, I've got to pass.... 

However, they do have a theatre group that I may consider auditioning for in the future.


Day 101: Spent hours searching for the perfect venue for our upcoming screening + fundraising party. The Bungalow Club won't work as they won't allow us to collect money for the fundraising portion {though otherwise it would be a PERFECT venue since they offer free screenings with fantastic happy hour deals on Monday nights} and after checking out Boardner's tonight I've had to cross them off the list as well. Funky cool little bar but totally the wrong vibe for this crowd. So the search continues...

Day 102: Visited Bluebird Cafe and Royal T Cafe in Culver City to see if they'd work for the party. Bluebird, while quaint, won't work at all since their event space is kind of being used for storage right now. Royal T on the other hand, is very unique, though I have a feeling that that out of the box quality comes with a hefty price tag. We'll see once the owner gets back to me.
Day 98: Watched a screener for the documentary "Forgiveness: A Time to Love and A Time to Hate" which will be airing on PBS April 17th & 24th. I found it to be very engaging and as a Christian who believes in forgiveness in all circumstances {as Christ forgives us}, it definitely made me wonder how I'd be able to forgive people who've committed atrocious acts of evil such as some of the ones depicted in the film. That kind of forgiveness, I believe, can only come with God's help. Well worth watching if you get a chance.

Day 99: Contacted potential sponsors for the DWP screening + fundraiser. I have interest from a few vendors but I need to find a location first before they will commit to participating. I also added my reel to my Actors Access page.

Day 100: Met with the director of the documentary to kind of get to know him better and find out why he's so interested in telling this story. We discussed the direction we want to take this in and I think our vastly differing backgrounds will provide a well-rounded perspective as we shape this film. We've decided to meet every Tuesday from now on.
Day 94: Met with the family of the young woman I want to do a documentary about. This meeting went very well and we almost made it through without any tears. Turns out they are already working on a documentary that is in it's infancy stage and if they decide to move forward with me then I will be collaborating with the team they already have in place. I'll be meeting with them again later this week.

Day 95: Mailed my headshot & resume along with a cover letter to 7 managers.

Day 96: Signed with Mavrick Artists Agency! I officially have commercial and print representation now. Another goal I get to cross off my list. :-) Afterwards, I had my second documentary meeting today. What was supposed to be a 1 hour meeting turned into 4 hours in the blink of an eye. Though I still need to sign paperwork to make it official, I've been verbally invited to join the production of this film. Words cannot even begin to express how thankful/excited/fired-up I am to be a part of this!!!

Day 97: Watched the documentary You Saved Me about black marriage and its' benefits. It provided a great launching pad for discussion with the ladies that I watched it with but unfortunately it felt like it was one-dimensional and lacked varying perspectives.
Day 93: Mailed my headshot to the casting directors of the following TV shows...

  1. Law & Order: Los Angeles
  2. Grey's Anatomy
  3. Drop Dead Diva*
  4. Pretty Little Liars
  5. True Blood
  6. House of Payne*
  7. Single Ladies*
  8. Vampire Diaries*
  9. The Young & The Restless
And the following films...
  1. Good Deeds
  2. Untitled Tupac Shakur Project*
  3. American Reunion: American Pie 4*
  4. Soul Ties
* indicates it shoots in Atlanta

Later in the day I went to the CBS Radford studio to support my friends screening. Lex {whom I often discuss on this blog} was the cinematographer of a very cute short film called Brownie Points. Jenn Page directed it and Sheila Daley starred. Another film that screened was a beautifully touching short called A Note to Etienne that Allison Vanore produced. Congrats all around guys! Very well done.
Day 90: Wrote the 2 page synopsis for the documentary that I want to produce. Afterwards I went to the Pantages Theatre to see What My Husband Doesn't Know to celebrate my grandma's 66th birthday. Love you Grandma Lena!

Day 91:  Wrote the Artist Statement that the PGA Diversity Workshop requires. Had to fight through writers block because I have no time to put this off. Seriously, this application is consuming my weekend.

Day 92: Since the PGA does not accept drop-offs and I didn't mail my application on Saturday I had to spend some cash and use a courier to deliver it and this was after I spent money at a copy shop making 4 copies of the entire packet. This was most certainly an extensive application that I'm glad to be finished with. Though it was painful at times - and I'm not 100% sure that my treatment is written the way they want- I'm very glad I've undergone this process because it's forced me to get clear and specific about what it is I want to do with this film and how I want to do it. So I'm happy to say I made the deadline and submitted my application to the Producers Guild of America's Diversity Workshop.
Day 89: I wrote the treatment for the PGA Diversity Workshop! Well, let me rewind for a second. Since I didn't get a response from the email I sent a few days ago, I decided to do some online investigating {thank goodness for cheating exes who are the reason I developed this skill in the first place} and I was able to find the facebook page of the mother. I sent her a message there and included my email address and the next day she emailed me the following:

Good morning Ms. Ford.  I am *******, *******'s mother.  I appreciate you reaching out to me with the goal of doing a documentary on *******.

I, along with my sister *******, would like to meet with you to discuss your idea.  I will be staying in the Los Angeles area from 4/2/11 - 4/9/11, and would love to meet with you in person to discuss further.  My sister will contact you today or tomorrow to discuss some particulars and set up a date, time, and location to meet, because today and tomorrow I will be unreachable.

I truly look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

*******


Well that email gave me hope so I headed over to Google to help me figure out how to write this treatment. First I read bits and pieces of the highly informative "How to Write a Documentary Script" by Trisha Das. Skimmed over the things I already knew and honed in on new information. Took notes on the important points that stuck out to me so that I'd have them at my fingertips when needed. Then I googled "Documentary Treatment Examples" and that helped out even more. By midnight I was done.

Now on to writing the 2 page synopsis and an Artist Statement about why I want to participate...