I hear ya JJS. I think your analogy (albeit a bit tasking) makes a great point. I'm right there with you about how actors who are no where near ready to be 'seen' are getting in front of CDs...and really shouldn't
I definitely agree that while workshops still reign....there should be SOMETHING done to filter out actors who are not ready. Some workshop companies USED to audition people before letting them attend....but alas...greed took care of that little wanna-be failsafe.
Thank you again for your insight JJS.
That's the thing. That's like trying to create a filter for all the people who move to LA to "make it big". You just can't stop it. They are going to clutter the submissions on Actor's Access. They are going to clutter the lines at Equity and other open calls. And some of those hacks will get a shot.
The city and the industry is its own ruthless, Darwinistic filter. You run out of money. You run out of patience. You see how tough it really is. You call yourself an actor while you work at Starbucks and never get within ten feet of any actual acting.
The hacks aren't going anywhere. Get used to being shoulder to shoulder with them.
Very well said. Some years ago I mentioned to my teacher (and coach) that I was going to start hitting the workshop circuit. He was honest enough to say .. "whoa there, lets not get ahead of ourselves". It stung but I heeded his advice and worked really hard for a few more years before seeing the big offices.
At a recent workshop the CD handled the session like a class with every actor performing in front of her and the attendees. The material was sent out two days in advance .. 6-7 pages of copy. I was amazed how unskillful and unprepared a lot of actors were .. and the CD let them know it. Blood was shed.
Ohhhh....care to tell us who that was Chester? I'd love to do a workshop like that!!
Christie Dooley. Its soap, but she runs a really nice workshop at Actors Key. It was better than a lot of classes I've attended with genre specific tips, what to expect at auditions for day player, recurring, and contract roles. She sends the sides out in advance based on your resume and headshot so the material is relevant and you get a chance to prepare like you would for an actual call.
One early-twenties-something actor who thought he would add some "spice" to his character, put on a heavy flirt on the reader as part of his read. Christy asked him if he had looked up the other character in advance. He hadn't. Turns out he was flirting with a 70 year old woman. Oops!
And to confirm other's POV on this thread, we had a guy show up to read who had only done commercial background work. No classes .. nada. As you might expect he was terrible. At least Christy wasn't pairing actors up, that would have been horrible and unfair to the other actors.
Ahhh...that explains why her workshop is 60 bones. I had her on my target list a couple years ago but since I've built some good relationships with other CDs on more popular shows I've backed off of soaps all together. Would anyone say Soaps are pretty much done??...or are they still considered the bottom tier starter shows for most actors? I'd like to see Christy but I'm not sure if it would be wise for me at this point. Also...I heard she is one to call people in from workshops...but It's only a rumor to me at this point...anyone have any evidence of this?
Yep, and certainly "starter" status for day player roles. A few of the old soaps are coming back on the web, being shot in Connecticut. That's an interesting experiment. Probably will pay new media rates for day players.
Was the workshop with Christy Dooley in late August of 2012 at The Actors Key? The one where one of the scenes read involved a guy in a pawn shop?
If so, I think I was "that guy" who added the "spice" to the reading. I was doing an office worker and some "woman" was in disguise and trying to steal some records.
Christy's class was very much a learning experience for me. If this was the same class, I recall getting my sides early that morning...she hadn't sent out my sides until like 7am, and had sent others in the class their sides earlier the day before, and they were different than the ones I read in class. Then, I learned those sides (two guys in a prison), and around late afternoon when I got home from a class I had that morning, I got a message saying she changed my sides. So by the time I got home it was getting close to the time I had to leave for my office job that afternoon... I rushed to print those sides out, got my headshot ready, and ran out the door. I had no time to even check who the character was on the show in the script. Let's just say it wasn't Stephanie Forrester but someone around her age. I drew a "blank" because I was trying to get the dialogue right and interpret the scene the way I thought it looked. This might not even be the same workshop...but I'm guessing it was. I've watched The Bold And The Beautiful once in a while since 2007...the character in the scene I had no idea was much older than me was written out in 2006.
Now, on my part, I know I should have researched who the other character in the scene was and I would have, but I had practically "no time". I recall interpreting the scene in my own way, then by the time I did my scene I realized "Gosh, that's who that character was!" as I had seen scenes on you tube of them in past funny clips. When Christy said who she was. Her first name didn't ring a bell, then her last name I realized it was someone much older than myself and I should have dropped the "spice".
In a way, I should have looked up the character even if it was last minute, but it was very much last minute and I had put more attention into my lines and I was in rush to not be late. That morning I had class somewhere else, I had an office job as well in the afternoon, so I learned my lines on break and then rushed to class. I should have done the research quickly on my phone if I was able to.
Christy's workshop is very different than all the others I've taken, but she gives a lot of good feedback, plus she wants you to do what's in BOLD (I was more concerned in getting my lines right, the other 2 guys who read the same character got their scenes late, too, like me, and they skipped a lot, nor did they set the scene/use of objects, plus we were first to go up and perform).
I remember that class she had a lot of feedback for everyone, even those who set the scenes/et. Not sure if it was me or not, or that was the workshop, but I do remember flirting with an actual character who was "older" than me. Much older, after she had revealed who the character was on the show, then it came to me.
Christy is good with feedback. She gives a lot of it. It was just hard when I did that scene because she gave me one to memorize earlier that morning, then later gave me another, and then when I memorized that one it was late and I had no time to even search who the character was. If I was a die-hard fan of the show I would have known who she was. If they had the first and last name of the character on the script copy I would have known, but it's uncommon to put last names on those.
Just responding because it sounded like a very similar situation and I was "that guy". Christy most likely gave others their scenes earlier. No reason to complain because as an actor, one must be prepared and get their sides memorized and learned fast. On my part, I should have looked up who the character was, even if I had practically no time to after she changed my scene in the early afternoon and class was several hours later after my job I was leaving to. If only I had known who the character was I wouldn't have smitted in the scene! Definite Ooops there!
In a way, I wasn't so sure about the whole "get the sides in the e-mail" type of thing. It didn't work for me as I hardly had enough time to prepare. I was skillful as an actor, but I admit, was not totally "prepared" as it was last minute. A lot of people I know don't do these sort of formatted classes where they e-mail the sides to you and you read in front of the class. I was afraid I'd get mine late and I did.
Christy is a good instructor though. She goes into everyone's performance on what they need to improve on. On the other hand, Gwen Hillier and Greg Salmon's workshops I got much better positive feedback and was more than prepared because we got to choose our own scenes and not wait for them to be e-mailed to us (Greg gave me all 5s and Gwen said she was amazed I was off book and that she remembered me from my headshot/resume submissions to her office. The reason I got my sides very late from Christy was because she didn't have my e-mail for some reason, then I got them early that moring, learned them, left home, knew my sides, and when I got to my class I was taking that morning she sent me a message that she changed them and I had to go home after class and before work to print the new ones out and rushed to get everything together for her class later that night and work which I had to leave for. So it was all just a mess and for sure, the first 3 performers that night weren't fully "prepared".
Overall, I'd recommend people to take Christy, but they must remember to set the scene, do what the actions say in the script, and look up who the characters are in the script. If she gets back to you late, you might not have enough time to prepare. Scenes she gives are 6-7 pages and in my case, she gave me one scene, then two hours later she e-mailed me another one when I had left the house and everything got puzzling from there.
Nope, in January of this year.
The way you explained it was "bloodshed". Christy was very critical with practically everyone, but nobody was sad or "Man, I sucked!" There were a lot of good actors in the workshop. The first 3 actors in my workshop with her had the least amount of time to prepare, me, I had my scene changed twice.
I thought you were talking about the workshop I was at because my scene involved Sally Spectra, dressing like a nerdy computer lab geek, and my character was described as the same. Her character in the script was just "Sally" and I thought "Who is that?" Then I just rushed out the door. When I did my scene, I thought as if Sally was pretending to be a geeky lab worker (sort of like Theresa would do on Passions at times to get info in hospitals, et.) So I sort of played him as liking her. She was looking for some files for Brooke or something? Someone who was pregnant and or who the father was....
The script was something like this:
Sally is dressed in a labcoat and glasses. She looks like a computer nerd. A LAB WORKER who wears glasses walks by and greets her.
Lab Worker: Hi, I haven't seen you in here before.
Sally: I'm new. First day.
Lab Worker: Oh, you must be in that cubicle over there.
Sally: Oh, silly me.
(Then there was a little more dialogue/action between the two and I recall it seemed to me as if he was crushing over her). The Lab worker smiles at Sally, she smiles at him.
Lab Worker: I'm heading down to the break room. You want some coffee?
Sally: No thank you.
Sally looks on the computer for the files. The Lab worker returns with a donut.
Lab Worker: Hey, what are you doing? Those files are top secret! You don't work here! Who's your supervisor?! Security!
Sally rushes off.
So based on that script alone, I sort of played it as if he liked her "geeks attracted to geeks", then when he saw her snooping, he got in her face and upset.
My feedback was mostly "You didn't set the scene/use of objects" but then she said "The character you guys were reading with was Sally Spectra, the actress who played her passed away in early 2007," Then I was like "Wow, she was OLD and I was young!" So that's why I thought you were in that same class as me. After I went up to read and the two guys before me, the rest of the actors in the class remembered to set the scene and use of objects unlike me and the other two guys who read that scene.
Funny, because maybe that other actor in your class had a lot of time to research the character he flirted with and didn't know much about. I don't recall Christy asking me specifically if I'd researched who Sally was. At first, I just thought of her as a 30 something woman. Then when she said Sally Spectra, I realized "Oops!" She did say "Sally Spectra" but didn't say "Did you research who Sally was?" The other two guys who read the same scene skipped lines, forgot them, and also didn't set the scene/objects. I remember Christy saying "When the lab guy comes back with a donut, show him with it."
Christy does give a lot of good tips because if we audition for The Bold And The Beautiful, that's what she wants to see. She wants the scene set, she wants use of objects or to make known an object is there if it's in the script in BOLD print. I also learned that in my on camera acting class (only do the action if it's in bold or italic, et., if it isn't, don't do it). So I guess that's what Christy wants to see. If I take her workshop again I'd remember that.
But she was a very nice Casting Director. Gives a lot of feedback that's very useful so actors won't make those mistakes when they audition.
MTA, did any of the soap CDs end up calling you in?
Agreed, one of the most informative and useful workshops I've attended.
When would someone be ready for workshops?
Here's a good one. The Green Room has Clint Alexander, Fox Casting Director. Don't bother, it's All Full. He's casting 11 pilots in NYC, according to castingabout.com. I don't have the LA side, so don't know what he's doing on the West Coast. Intensives are a little more on the East Coast, but it beats wasting money on someone like Allison Schomer (?) who is a workshop hoe. Everytime I see her name, she's with a new agency, network, etc. If you check her Linked In profile, you will see that she has only worked months, not years, at each place. Her latest is the CW. So, if you're going to a workshop/intensive, do your research and see whose actually working and who is just schlepping around.
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