Sunday, November 06, 2011

My First Actorfest L.A. Experience

I went to Actorfest yesterday (an annual bi-coastal convention for actors), for the first time in my 13+ years in L.A.  I've largely stayed away because I figured it would be a mass gathering of really anxious, excited wannabe celebs and booths full of people trying to get them to part with their money.  And for the truly jaded, it could still be described that way, but I actually saw something different (mea culpa for being so short-sighted in the first place):

I saw professional actors who wanted to grow their careers, and vendors (many of whom were actors themselves, or people who really do like actors) who offered legitimate tools to assist in that growth.  I also learned of some innovative services that I hadn't known about before.  I saw (and met with) casting directors who talked to actor after actor, GENUINELY interested in giving personalized advice that would help the actor in their career advancement.

It was pretty cool.
I also might have a lead on a gig. ;o)  AND I won an iPad for tweeting about Actorfest!  Color me happy.

After a few hours, I did feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of people, introductions, chatter, and frenetic energy bouncing around the place, and I went and sat in my car in the parking garage for about 20 minutes just to calm myself before going back and meeting a friend for lunch.

I left tired, but inspired.

The casting directors with whom I met, told me the same thing that I tell other actors - when the work comes your way, enjoy it!  It will go away again, and then you need to find other constructive things to do with your time and energy without beating yourself up about not acting.  I tend to book a BUNCH of gigs in succession, and then hear crickets for awhile - apparently that's normal, but when you're not working, you feel like it's just you.  In order to not focus on the crickets (and let it make me crazy), I do the things that I CAN do, and make sure I stay ready so I don't have to get ready when opportunity knocks.

I also bought a book that I started reading as soon as I got home: VO maven Terri Apple's book " Voiceovers: Everything You Need to Know About How to Make Money With Your Voice."  She gave me some wonderful insight and advice.  It's looking like time to work on building the voiceover component of my career.  The holidays are coming, so the slower pace will be good for taking the time to deliberate and put together a plan for myself, so I can kick it into high gear for 2012.

I'm also meeting with a few really good theatrical agents this week.  I really want to start getting auditions for bigger roles, and would like to add a great theatrical agent to my (equally great) team.  I work hard at getting work, and hard WHEN I get work, so I only work with people who have the same "hustle" ethic.  Let's all get paid.

Speaking of auditions: tomorrow I have an audition for a little role on a big show.  Gotta go pick out my clothes, and get to bed at a decent hour so I'll look like somebody that they might want to put on TV.

AND, as I was writing this blog post, I saw an email come in for a VO audition.  Opportunity is knocking.

Things are happening... and I'm ready.

XO.

--Nicole

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