Tuesday, December 24, 2019

As the year-end approaches, make time for a year-end career audit. But don't let income define your journey ...

As we approach the end of the year, it's a great opportunity to run a "forensic" audit on your career journey. 
As you review the acting work you did, the opportunities you earned and the new relationships you began to development, take stock of those wins. 
But as my just-out, year-end column in Backstage addresses, do not make the mistake of judging your career progress this past year by the amount of money (if any) that your acting work may have generated for you in 2019. 
It will be a great new year ahead! :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Merry, Happy & "Why Aren't You a Star Yet?" Holiday Visits Home Often Require Patience and a Bit of Pre-Planning ...

Heading home for the holidays can stir both joy and anxiety ... particularly when family members start quizzing you about why you're not a star yet. My Backstage column last year at this time is worth reading again.
Squeeze all of the joy you can out of this holiday season by being prepared with the right answers to those questions that inevitably will get asked from well-meaning loved ones.
I hope this helps!
Wishing you a tolerable holiday ... :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

TV Pilot Season is now a year-round event ...

My latest Backstage column addresses the new pilot season landscape. In short, it's not really a "season" any more. Now, it is pilot season all of the time ... and that now requires year-round preparation and readiness for both actors and those of us who represent them. It also means potential access to greater opportunity without actually having to be in Los Angeles, at least for the initial part of the process.

As television networks struggle with how to maintain and grow a shrinking audience base, slivercasters are hitting the mark with shows, series and projects that speak to specific, targeted demographics on countless new media platforms, rather than to just one mainstream, "global" audience.

This is great news for all of us in the business of acting ...


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Thank you, Betty White for showing producers, casting directors, networks and production companies "the way" ...

Older actors are hot properties these days ... and we all have Betty White to thank for the shift in perspective.

It's never too late to embark on a new adventure or a "next chapter" career -- and if it's the new business of acting you have set your sites on, then I hope you will take a few minutes to read my latest column in Backstage. 

There is some helpful advice there, too, for actors of any age. But if you're a bit older and new to the business (or want to be), this one is for you! :)



Monday, July 8, 2019

How did you spend your summer? Hopefully prepping for the fall phase of your career journey!

It's "back-to-business Monday" after the July 4th holiday break ... and for actors that means back to the business of prepping for the fall phase of your career journey -- and that's the topic of my latest Backstage column that has just been published!

While many people take it a it easy during the heat of the summer, a smart actor recognizes that now is the perfect time for a career potential evidence tune-up.

All too soon, the business of acting will get very busy again, particularly with the start of production on the new and returning network television shows for their fall premieres. Now is the perfect time for actors to refresh, dump and/or create new video performance clips for submission use. If you are repped, your agent and/or manager will enthusiastically thank you! If you are self-submitting, you will quickly find that having some new (video) tools in your actor's tool kit can help broaden both the range of your brand and the kinds of roles you can appropriately submit on.

Read more in my latest "Backstage Expert" column, then get busy. There's work to be done! :)


Friday, April 19, 2019

Post-network television pilot season presents a great opportunity to refresh the page on your career journey ...

Post-Network pilot season is often a time of change. Agencies routinely assess and drop clients at this time of year, while seeking fresh talent for their rosters ... and actors should look at this "season" as an opportunity to be pro-active about seeking the kind of changes they feel will best suit their career needs moving forward. My latest Backstage column, out today, offers a perspective.

Use these next several weeks to carve out the action plan for your next step. What changes do you want to see for yourself in the new television production season ahead? 

It should not be just about booking a job; it needs to be bigger than that. Think globally. If you're not yet booking the kind of work you that believe you're ready to take on, then take on the role of content creator during this time to create for yourself the evidence of your career potential that the gatekeepers have yet to see.

It's about putting Chapter 5 in "The Next Edition" to work for you.

You can do this ...


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Business of Acting Career Clinic one-day workshop returns to Albuquerque the weekend of May 10th!

I am headed back to Sol Acting Academy, in Albuquerque, the weekend of May 10th and I couldn't be happier about the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones! 

Friday evening, 5/10, 7-9PM, we will have a Meet and Greet free event and then on Saturday, 5/11, from 1-6PM, we will be knee deep in my Business of Acting Career Clinic master class and Self-Tape Workshop

Each visit is always a great time and a wonderful discovery of emerging and thriving Albuquerque-based talent. If you're a NM local, I hope you will join us for one or both of these great events!


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Creativity has its limits when crunching the numbers for your business of acting tax returns ...

As the tax-filing deadline for all of us approaches, it's the perfect opportunity, as you start crunching the numbers, to read my latest Backstage column.

I am not a CPA, accountant, or tax prep pro, but I can suggest an approach to maximizing what you may potentially be able to write off as acting business expenses. I strongly suggest that you take the time to research and find a tax preparer who has experience working with actors. While this service may initially cost more than your local tax preparation office, the overall savings and write-offs you might gain will be money well spent.

Whatever your business structure, the root of any write-off you intend to take is your ability to substantiate that deduction. It is important to set up a system that will help you easily keep track of the expenses you incur during the year so that you’re prepared to take advantage of all the deductions you’re legally entitled to take. You’ll have to have earned money as an actor during the reporting year (and have reported it as income) in order to write off the related expenses. The benefits of doing this work are there.

Read more at backstage.com.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

The most valuable real estate in LA may very well be a parking space ...

Running late for an audition, especially in LA? 

"Better have loose change handy" and other valuable pieces of career-protecting advice are contained in a cautionary tale I share in my latest Backstage column.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The LA acting community prepares to say "goodbye" to Hollywood legend Samuel French ...

Samuel French Bookshop, in Hollywood, has served as the community center for actors in LA for decades. The people there have also been incredible supporters of mine over the years. I am proud to say that we have sold lots of copies of all three of my books at SF over the years, along with an in-store event or two along the way. 

Very sad to learn that this Hollywood legend, on Sunset Boulevard, is closing at the end of March. Online sales, particularly of books, has forever changed the landscape. One of the things I love best to do is to stroll the aisles of real, actual bookstores and discover titles along the way. My bookshelves at home are packed with evidence of these excursions. As these gems leave us, we are less connected as a community as a result.

Might Lin-Manuel Miranda and "friends," who recently stepped in to save NYC's Drama Book Shop, do the same for LA's Samuel French? Mr. Miranda ... the Powerhouse would like a chat with you ... and to the people who have led and worked at SF over the years, thank you so much for your knowledge, your support and your service to the business of acting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

NYC's Beloved Drama Book Shop Gets an Extended Run ... Thankfully ...

Bravo and appreciation to Lin-Manuel Miranda and two colleagues on the news today that they have purchased the famed and much-loved Drama Book Shop, in New York City.

This little gem of a resource has been around since 1917; it has even won a special Tony Award. The store was due to close later this month after a rather hefty rent increase from the owners of their building on West 40th Street.

Since the early 2000s, the store and its staff have been great supporters of my work and have featured all three of my books for actors on their shelves since then. My last visit there in October for an event for "The Next Edition" was a wonderful and tender reminder of the importance DBS has for all of us in the business of acting.

Long may it thrive!