Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Pay-To-Audition" Workshops - Opportunity & Access vs. Cost & Value

The dreaded pay-to-audition workshops are in the business of acting news again in the current edition of The Hollywood Reporter. We address this every semester in my Emerson College Los Angeles Business of Acting class. 
While there may be "pros" to this endeavor (some of my clients and past students have participated and actually benefited from the experience), there are just as many "cons" (other clients and other past students have participated and felt otherwise). Like in any service industry, there are good players and there are bad players. Vetting is crucial. How valuable might it be to pay to see anyone? That depends both on the results of the research you do (IMDB) and how legitimate the provider is.
I have never been asked to participate in one of these workshops. But I have agent and manager friends who have -- and have actually signed actors they have met as a result. 
Assignment 1: Actors ... Know what you're buying before you commit. Have realistic expectations of the experience. Be sure that the person you are considering paying to meet is worth the investment (some are; many are not). 
It's an important discussion to have. Have you paid to play before and what was that experience like for you?
You can read a related story here, also from The Hollywood Reporter:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pat Harrington - A More Than "Super" Guy ...

Pat Harrington and fellow "One Day at a Time" cast
Valerie Bertinelli, series star Bonnie Franklin and
Mackenzie Phillips.

I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some pretty remarkable people over the years -- and among them was the wonderful Pat Harrington. I got to know Pat from my work on the television series One Day at a Time. Of course he was the actor who played the usually hilarious role of Schneider, the builder "super," in an Indianapolis apartment building where Bonnie Franklin (as newly divorced Ann Romano) and her family lived. Pat won an Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his role on the long running (1975 - 1989) CBS series.

I was sorry to learn that Pat died last week in Los Angeles from complications of Alzheimer's after a fall.

In March 1991, Pat and I reunited for a chat on our live,Beverly Hills coffee shop-based chat show. There isn't much of an opportunity anymore for actors to talk in detail and length about their lives, their careers and the roles that made them famous. I'm forever grateful to my longtime pal Dudley Johnson for creating and producing that little show. I'm even more grateful when I realize how fortunate we were -- and are to have this content and to be able to share it.