Thursday, January 3, 2008

All I wanted for Christmas was … a settlement! A new year’s perspective

I was hoping to return from the holiday break to find that Santa (or Hanukah Harry, perhaps) had left a gift of settlement in the writers’ strike for all the connected and not-connected-but-impacted-anyway. No such luck. While this week, you can get up to 50 to 75 percent off on already reduced merchandise in nearly every store in nearly every mall in American, it appears that there are no “salvage the season” deals to be had between the WGA and the producers.

Of course it was good news for David Letterman’s writers that Worldwide Pants (Letterman’s company that owns and produces his late night show) had struck an interim deal with the WGA for those folks to return to work, although it seems to me that Letterman’s playing field is in a different ball park all together, thus, perhaps, the reason an interim deal was possible or easier to structure.

It’s really the movie and theatrical television production areas that are at the core of this battle and it looks like pilot season 2008, already on life support, is about to be given its last rites.

What does all of this have to do with the business of acting? Plenty. At whatever stage your career is currently at, there’s nothing quite like a work stoppage (whether or not you agree with it) to kill your momentum.

As I wrote in my last Blog entry prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, now is not the time for actors to do anything drastic. This is not the time to seek first time or new representation; this is not the time to talk with your current agent or manager (if you have one) about why you haven’t been getting out lately. Instead, this is a great time to work on addressing the other critical needs in the business of your career that matter all the time.

Is your head shot current? Is your resume up to date? Have you updated your profile and resume on self-submission sites such as and (if you are listed with one of these or another similar type service)? Spend some time hunting down and reading new or undiscovered (by you) plays. Get together with fellow actors and perform readings of some of this work.

It’s important that you keep your engine tuned all the time, but, particularly, during this extended down period when the opportunity to audition has been taken away from most (union) actors (commercials and theatre excepted, of course).

Stay positive, keep the faith. Soon, once again, Donald Trump will utter “You’re fired” one last time and the new, heavy crop of reality shows will once again give way to a renewed energy in the production of scripted everything.

The new year is still very, very young. This can still be your best year yet in the business of acting.

Happy 2008.

Brad Lemack

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