Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Heading home for the holidays? Take the non-disclosure route to curb enquiring minds!

The Christmas break is just around the corner and I want to repost an item I first wrote just before the Thanksgiving break. It seems appropriate to suggest a second look (or a first if you missed the previous post) about heading home for the holiday and how to handle that barrage of inquiries about why you’re not a star yet. It can add to the often-normal stress that these family-and-friend reunions can stir. 
In my recent “Backstage Experts” column, I offer up my list of survival tips to pack with you for a happy holidays visit home. I hope all of my actor friends and students with find this helpful! 
Seasons greetings to all ... with much appreciation for another challenging-and-rewarding year in the business of acting.

Friday, November 23, 2018

How to manage the "home for the holidays" inquiries about your career ...


Actors going home for the holidays often face a barrage of questions from the people who love them about why they're not famous yet. How frustrating and annoying that can be! 

Last month I became a new "Backstage Experts"columnist for Backstage.com. My newest columnhas just been published and offers some valuable tips on how to manage those inquiries. 

Happy managing! :)

BL

NYC? LA? Why bother? These professional actors are thriving in Albuquerque ...



My thanks and appreciation to the Chris, Ron, Tiffany and their team at Sol Acting Acting, in Albuquerque, for everything they did to make last week's day-long, "master class" in the business of acting a great experience! 


I have taught a lot of workshops and seminars around the country over the years. But I can't recall a group that was more supportive of each other's process in the journey than this group.

They also brought with them into class their great passion, great attitudes and some keen insights about the industry. As I write in The Next Edition and talk about in my classes, you do not have to be in New York or L.A. to have a professional acting career ... and this incredible group is A+ evidence of that. 

Bravo, much appreciation and many thanks to all of them.

BL

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Reflections on a book tour …

I met the most remarkable young man at my recent book event in Chicago, at the wonderful Volumes Bookcafe. 
Ryan had no idea where he was headed when his Dad suggested they go for a drive. Heading out of their suburban Chicago neighborhood, it wasn’t too long before Ryan and his father arrived at Volumes. His Dad happened to catch my appearance that morning on the WGN-TV “Morning News” program and heard me talk about the upcoming book event that night. 
Ryan has always been interested in … make that passionate about ... performing. He has appeared in every school production there has been so far … and, even though he is just 12, he is very clear about the career he wants to have when he grows up.
He didn’t know it when he drove off from home with his Dad that that particular Tuesday night, but his father hoped that an opportunity for us to meet, to connect and to talk about how Ryan can actually, really, pursue this might be a great opportunity for his son.
I can’t fully express the joy I felt (and feel) from seeing this father so supportive of his young son’s interest in a professional career that neither know anything about. We sat, we talked, we began to sketch out the early steps for Ryan to think about.
Both Ryan and his Dad asked lots of smart questions that turned into a really inspiring conversation, as much for me as I hope it was for them.
Ryan grinned from ear-to-ear. Maybe it was the joy of feeling heard. Maybe it was the joy of feeling validated. Maybe it is in the joy of having a Dad who is beyond invested in his son’s future and who was willing to take a ride into the city on a random Tuesday night to explore the possibilities.
With so much happening in the world that we can easily become discouraged about, my time with Ryan and his Dad gave me hope that, at the end of at least one particular day, one particular father and his son were on the right track ... and that makes me very happy.
BL

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Emerson College LA Campus Discussion Raises Important Question in the New "Actor Economy"


Thank you to Allison Sampson, Melinda Valente and the team at the Emerson College Los Angeles Campus for providing the platform for an important conversation last night about the new business of acting. It was a wonderful, packed gathering of former students, current students and alum I met for the first time. 

I love this community and am so grateful for the tremendous round of support and for the very insightful discussion.

Among the many challenges in the new landscape we explored is the new "actor economy" and the struggle for even "working actors" to earn a living from their craft in an ever-increasing Ultra Low Budget (union) contract climate.

One of the people in attendance was Gregory Crafts, a former Emerson Business of Acting class student and my definition of a Hollywood "hyphenate" -- he is a published playwright, director, producer and actor who played a significant role in the Actors Equity 99-Seat movement in Los Angeles a few years ago. If you are unfamiliar with what took place then, it is worth getting informed.

Change can only begin to happen when enough people start asking the right questions. I am not at all suggesting that this needs to be a legal matter; it does not. But it would be great step in the right direction to start a conversation about the union's intention in introducing and implementing these below-standard-scale contracts with the facts of how these low pay-for-work rates and the costs actors incur in maintaining and growing their careers often raise the key question, "At what price a career?"

BL

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Barnes & Noble/Burbank event launches "The New Business of Acting: The Next Edition"


I am beyond grateful to everyone who came to Barnes & Noble/Burbank yesterday afternoon for our book launch event for The New Business of Acting: The Next Edition. More than 75 people! Wow. 

Thank you so much for your support and for all the love. It was a very happy gathering and a great start to the book tour ahead.  


It's onto the Emerson College Los Angeles campus on Wednesday night for a student and alumni event there. Then Bookstar/Barnes & Noble next Saturday afternoon, before heading to Chicago for book events there.

Here is a complete list of where we'll be and what's coming up, FYI. Perhaps I'll see you on one of them!

With much appreciation ...

BL

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Happy to Be a New "Backstage Expert" Contributing Columnist! First Column Appears Today!

Three days to publication of The New Business of Acting: The Next Edition and I'm excited to let you know today that Backstage has invited me to be a new "Backstage Expert" contributing columnist. I am thrilled about this opportunity to serve up advice and perspective that I hope will be helpful. My first column appears today!

In this first column, I address getting prepped and ready for network pilot season 2019. It's just around the corner and being ready for the opportunities that may come your way is crucial.

The column has advice on head shot readiness, "evidence reel" readiness and self-tape always-ready-to-shoot preparedness. If you are represented by an agent or manager, taking care of business now will be tremendously appreciated by your reps when the Breakdowns for these projects start flying in. If you are flying solo this pilot season, being in the ready-to-self-submit mode from the start will save you from the stress and distraction of having to both prepare for your self-tape performance and the "tech" part of having everything in place.

Network pilot season ... it's always an exciting time because the air in full of potential and opportunity. Be ready for the challenge and make sure that you take care of business before we get there.

BL