Today’s blog title comes from the musical Chicago. In one of the many little quizzes they have on Facebook, I received the result that the Broadway musical I should star in is Chicago. I love Bob Fosse’s choreography. I have been cast in Guys and Dolls with Don Bluth Front Row Theatre. I am very glad to be onstage again and I’ll be playing a Hot Box Girl. I’ll be doing a great deal of dancing. The show runs from March 6 through April 12, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7pm. You can purchase tickets at http://donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com/etickets/index.php?cPath=6
I also auditioned for a VO feature film this past Sunday produced by DB Rich Productions and it went really well. I would be excited to be part of the project and it pays.
I have heard from the people at 8 Sided Forum and they have posted my statement of purpose. Here is the link:
I now have to make a series of videos answering interview questions. I’m not well-versed with editing and filming so I have recruited my friend to help me out. It was recommended that I post the videos this week. I have to squeeze that in around rehearsals.
In the meantime, I am also working on my song repertoire and my vocal technique. I have been meaning to call my acting coach to go over my monologues. I have been working on a monologue from the character Jenny in Abstract Expression by Theresa Rebeck. It’s mostly run-on sentences and a bit of babbling. It’s a challenge going for both film and stage. I also have to finish La Famille. I have about 78 pages done so far.
I wish I hadn’t waited so long to make another post. I was going to wish you Happy New Year and I thought it was going to be grand. I am taking voice lessons once again and attended an excellent workshop last night. I was even going to make a film this weekend but tragedy struck and my director and leading man had to pull out. This has been a really bad week and I have found out I need a new place to live in a few months. I really need some financial help to get back to LA and be able to afford housing in the interim. There is now a donation page for my GoFundMe campaign. Simply click the link and the page will come up. Anything helps and a little adds up to a lot when a large number of people donate. I have no means of repaying your kindness but thank you so much for your generosity.
I hope to have some better news to report soon. Sad posts are not good for self-marketing, but I really need support right now. I have no clue what I can afford right now.
I have an audition tomorrow for The Last Five Years and for Julius Caesar on Monday. I’m waiting to hear if I got into another show. I long for the day I can be onstage again.
I hope your Holiday season is merry and bright. This is the first year in a while that I haven’t been in a show for Christmas, but I guess that gives me more time for Christmas fun. I will be visiting home for Christmas and my mom and I will be shopping and baking cookies. I will be coming back in time to march in the Fiesta Bowl Parade with my fellow Arizona Avengers. I attended three industry-related gatherings in a row two weeks back: one was a going away event for a producer friend of mine, one was my agency’s Holiday party, and the third was Filmstock. I really enjoyed the Filmstock Festival and I attended on the night they were doing dramatic shorts. My favorite was The Last Piper, an amazing film made by Norwegian film students. I couldn’t believe how incredible the quality and acting were. There were also two SAG-AFTRA shorts, one of which starred a few people from “Breaking Bad.” I have been really excited to see how Filmstock has grown to now have festival dates in four states and the increasing professional quality of the films.
I recently sent postcards to casting directors in New Mexico. I have been given advice to make one-sheets and there was an article about pilot season in Backstage online that said sending e-mail press releases was the best way to get casting directors to call you in. I have always heard that unsolicited e-mails are not accepted and that it’s extremely rare for someone who is non-union to be seen for a pilot. The Actors Network advice is to do “odd-size mailers,” which is a postcard in an envelope. I usually do that, but I had old stamps that I needed to use that were the right amount for sending postcards not in envelopes. Postage keeps increasing.
In the New Year, there will be a New Media project, a proposed charity concert, exciting news about the script contest, more auditions, and hopefully some major bookings. I will get myself back to LA some year soon. A buddy of mine is already well on the way to relocating.
Merry Christmas to all, may your stage lights burn bright!
I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Now the season of shopping is upon us. As a starving artist, my family and friends will mostly be getting Christmas cards. I had a bit of breakthrough this past month. I was cast as a paid extra in a commercial for three days through my agent. I’ve never gotten three days on a film set before, so this was great. I was a mom extra and we got to pretend to eat pizza. They fed us well and it was an actual top professional shoot with some of the crew from LA. I hope to have a great deal more paying film and commercial film work.
Today, I’ll be auditioning for Dial M for Murder. I received a callback for The Mousetrap last year at this theater, so I hope it works out well. I auditioned for a few musicals and didn’t even get a callback. They keep talking about how it’s so hard, especially at the local Equity theatres to get cast. I hope it’s not impossible for me.
Last month, I attended the Indie Window premiere of local film, Reckless Abandon. My friend Greg was in the film and I was even sitting next to him. For a state without tax incentives, local filmmakers are doing very well. We just need some SAG-AFTRA work, and we’ll be good. The city of Tucson came up with a plan to attract top filmmakers through providing discounts on services and locations. Phoenix needs to do it too. I am planning to get back to LA some day and I’m going to be SAG-AFTRA eligible. That Taft-Hartley project will happen.
I recently connected with the production team of Yet 2 Be Named, who are now promoting their web series of the same name. They were really nice and willing to give me advice for doing a SAG-AFTRA New Media project. The site is http://yet2benamed.com. I’ve connected with a great deal of filmmakers and actors in LA through Twitter.
No news yet on the script contest, but I am sure there will be soon.
I’m glad to see I had 27 views yesterday. I would love to have 100 or more views per day. I know of a local PR firm that aggressively markets their talent. I’d like to try that, but I’m not sure about the price or if it’s worth it in a smaller market.
I have great news to share. I adapted The Go-Girls into a screenplay and submitted it to the 8 Sided Films 8X8 Screenwriting contest in August. The script is one of four finalists in the contest, and is eligible for a large monetary prize and mentorship and resources to get the film produced. I will be submitting a statement of vision to share with the members of their forum and the indie film community. They will be interviewing all the finalists. They are based in LA and have produced a number of excellent independent films.
I auditioned for Fiddler on the Roof last Sunday and I was hoping I would get at least a callback. I had a sudden attack of nerves at the audition even though I was well-prepared. I can’t afford to have that happen. I just scheduled auditions for two other productions at another theatre. I’ll be auditioning for a student film at ASU, which is a really good school. And I auditioned for two really nice guys today for a film under a SAG contract. It went really well.
One thing I’ve been trying to cement for my career is not working for free anymore. I thought I was done doing that. There are far too many casting notices that say things like, “compensation in the form of copy, credit, and meals” and “no pay, but great exposure.” Acting, and other arts, require training and dedication. Couldn’t we all find money to pay? Copy and credit is not pay. One thing that really ticks me off is something they mostly pull in LA. They note on the casting notice, “pay for Equity only, non-union roles unpaid,” or “pay for SAG only, gas stipend for non-union.” Why would I have less need for money than a union person? My friends in SAG-AFTRA and Equity still have day jobs. No one deserves to get away with not paying people because they don’t have a paper card. I have heard of different rates, but providing nothing, a gas stipend, or some education stipend in place of normal pay for the non-union is ridiculous. I found a really great article about one author’s advocacy of not working for free anymore. It’s called “Slaves of the Internet, Unite.” He even includes a response to send to anyone who wants your services for free. Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opinion/sunday/slaves-of-the-internet-unite.html?_r=0
I started my Cactus Flower Pictures page on Facebook and I hope we can get some projects started soon. We just have to find a mutual time to meet.
I am squeezing this post in so there’s one for September. My precious doggy, Thor, had to be put to sleep and I am really sad. He was the smartest, cutest, most cuddly poodle ever.
I’ve been getting a great deal of things done acting-wise. I have new headshots that you are guaranteed to love, taken by Scott Hays. It was the real LA or New York experience they always talk about in the fashion magazines about the shoot with the celebrity on the cover. He had an Apple TV with satellite radio for whatever kind of music you want. I also had an official hair and make-up artist, which I have only had once before. I was also cast in a one-act for the Herberger Festival of the Arts. The performance will be at 12:45pm on Saturday, October 5. The show is called Spirit and it is about a group of dead people in a grave yard. I play a young woman who recently died and is really confused about where she is.
Yesterday, I had an audition for a film company to be its spokesperson. I did really well and someone I know is on the production staff. I think I have gotten to know a great deal of people in film here. I recently came upon the Hack Hollywood site run by David Patrick Green, a working actor with major television credits. He said a key to success is establishing relationships with the people you want to hire you. I’ve been trying to do that, but there is not solid way for me to establish relationships with LA casting directors and producers from where I am. The only LA casting director who knows me is Helen McCready because she travels here often and sometimes has local auditions. I’m all for networking, but having the people hiring know who you are is no guarantee they will cast you or even give you an audition. I wonder what to do with theatre companies who won’t hire you and casting directors who will not ever give you an audition. I am hoping to break in somewhere.
I dumped the trial manager because he started demanding I give him my financial details, which is not the business of anyone who isn’t your personal banker. He swore I must be in debt because I was reluctant to spend money on Backstage and Actors Access membership. At first, he told me I could have great success and encouraged me to connect with LA casting directors. Then he starts telling me that I have serious roadblocks and not to connect with them because I was not able to return to LA immediately. I don’t know why someone assumes I could just pack-up and go being the starving artist that I am. It simply started getting too personal and invasive. So, that was the end of that. Who gets a manger in another country anyway?
I love my new agent. She works really hard and regulary submits all her clients. I got a casting for a really well-paying commercial gig and I am available for the audition and shooting dates.
I will be auditioning for Fiddler on the Roof at Desert Stages in Scottsdale much later in October. I got a callback there for The Mousetrap this past Spring.
Speaking of auditions, something funny happened recently. I submitted for a paying short film and received an e-mail saying they were currently considering applicants and would get back to us soon. Then, this past week I received an e-mail to say they were not going to audition me and how they were so many talented people who applied. What annoys me about this is they don’t need to tell me they aren’t going to audition me. If I don’t hear for a few weeks, I just assume a response to that effect.
Yes, the blog is still going. I have some really great news: I have a new agent! I signed with Arizona Model and Actor Management, about which I had heard really good things. They are a smaller agency, which allows them to focus better on getting their talent work. Gail McCauley is the president of the company. I was so happy about being with a new agency that I had a celebratory chili dog.
I also had a really cool audition this week for a company that does virtual training videos for military and law enforcement. I don’t believe I can give all the details but I can tell you that I was auditioning for a crazy woman and I had to pretend to be shot in the head and stomach. That was actually fun and I am glad that I was physically able to do it. I also have an upcoming interview for a position interviewing young writers. Today I auditioned for the Dickens Carolers, a company that provides singing quartets for the holiday season. I really love to sing and I think being one of their singers would be so much fun.
Additionally, I have a fan page on Facebook. The link is https://www.facebook.com/annasahlstrom2. Most of my actor friends have one and my trial manager highly recommended I have one as well. My manager is Darren Staten of The Talent Consultant. I have really appreciated his advice and guidance. He has provided me with specific check-lists to get my career on the right path.
I’ll be getting new headshots when money permits. Sabotencon is next weekend, so I have to save what little money I have. I happily await more good luck.