Acting

Beware the cult of busy.

 

Are you running around, crossing items off your ever-growing to-do list, feeling like a chicken with her head cut off, and wondering what the heck it’s all for? It’s a very common experience, most especially for freelancers (which all artists are).

The problem is we often confuse being busy with being effective. We think if we can just keep up the frantic pace, then everything will pay off in a big way. But it turns out that most of what we focus on is not the game changing work we hope it to be.

Being busy is about being reactive, tending to every day minutia rather than honing in on big vision stuff. Being busy is about chasing every opportunity – or perceived opportunity – without evaluating how it fits into your master plan.

For actors, this can look like:

- Mass mailing every single agent in town with your generic headshot and resume; rather than focusing on the top 5 agents who are right for your career right now, and building a relationship with consistent marketing directed to them personally

- Submitting to every Actors Access notice; rather than making 1 bold phone call to a big casting office for a job you’re perfect for

For writers, this can be:

- Handing out your business card to everyone at every networking event, hoping someone will call you; rather than getting the business cards of people you want to work with and starting an email campaign to stay in touch every few months

- Repeatedly deleting and rewriting the first act of your script; rather than finishing it and holding a table read to get some perspective on where it works and where it doesn’t

One of the reasons being busy is so attractive is because there is an immediate sense of gratification. Checking off your to-do list every day feels productive. Also, busy tasks don’t make us vulnerable. Getting a “no” from a casting director is harder than the non-answer of Actors Access. Having your script read aloud and hearing where it falls flat can be painful. But without taking these risks, how will you truly grow?

I invite you to step off the hamster wheel for a weekend getaway with me in the Hudson Valley this June. I’ve organized a vision-clarifying, gremlin-crushing, goal-setting retreat in nature, where we will stop the busy-making and reevaluate what you are doing and why. Check out the full details here: tinyurl.com/cm4aRetreat

Bonus for Red Wall Productions family: Get $100 off the registration fee if you can tell me what TV show Roz guest-starred on with Edie Falco.

Sam Garland is a Creative Career Coach who helps actors, writers, and filmmakers take charge of their journeys and uplevel their careers in powerful ways.  You can get more tools, tips, and inspiration at www.cm4a.com.

Off-Broadway Casting

Announcing Non-Union Auditions for the Off-Broadway Production of “The Kentucky Tragedy.”

Dennis Kelly Higgins, Producer, is currently scheduling appointments for a new Courtroom Drama, based on the astonishing events surrounding the First Financial Panic of 1819, and the spectacular Murder of Attorney General Solomon Sharp, followed by the explosive Trial of his assailant Jerry Beauchamp, in 1825, marking the first time a man was executed in the State of Kentucky. 

Auditions: Monday, April 7--Sunday, April 13. Rehearsals: Monday, April 14—Tuesday, May 13. Performances: Wed., May 14—Sunday, May 25. 

Performances will take place at: The Sargent Theater: ATA—American Theater of Actors 314 West 54 Street, NYC

Seeking Actors with excellent classical training. A stipend of $200 given for the six week run. 

If you are interested in this project, please contact our assistant Alex with your headshot and resume at alexzenncasting@gmail.com.

CAST BREAKDOWN
Anne Cooke: 25-35 Leading lady. Stately and beautiful. Betrayed by her suitor, she seeks solitude and redemption. 

Ellen Reardon: (Actress of Color.) 25-35 Leading Lady. Closest friend to Anne. Her confidante and critic.

Jerry Beauchamp: 22-32 Leading Man. Stable, devoted to honor. Of the earth.

John Pope: 30-45 Leading man. Defense Attorney. Firm but calm temperament , self-assured.

Charles Bibb: 25-35 Prosecutor. Fierce manner. At the center of an exploding crisis.

Nathaniel: (Actor of Color.) 25-35 Estate Manager. Possessing a steady and generous nature. Above the conflict. 

Petita: (Actress of Color.) 18-25 Wiser than she lets on. Speaks her own truth to the powerless.

THE CALLBACK THAT BOOKED A MAJOR ROLE

THE CALLBACK THAT BOOKED A MAJOR ROLE

I received the email on Friday afternoon for the call back on Monday.  I had been on my way to the health club and scrapped that to go to The Drama Book Shop, as the recommendation for the call back was to prepare a scene that was dramatic, emotional and painstaking.  I didn't have that scene in my back pocket.  I picked up some good material there, though, nothing really landed on me.  I went back to The Drama Book Shop and bought the play of "The Normal Heart".  I read that on Friday evening and then wrote a two page scene of my own.  I was already invested in the story, being Albert's Mother, in "The Normal Heart". It didn't make sense to me to prepare a scene from another play, nor did I have time to prepare a scene before Monday...more 

New Update to Everything Acting Podcast App!

Darbi gets on the horn with voice-over SUPERSTAR, Joe Cipriano, to discuss his career and new book, “Living On Air.”  New Yorkers, you can meet Joe, hear him read from his book and get a book signed on Monday, December 9th.  The event starts at 6pmat Pranna (79 Madison Avenue at 28th).  Darbi will be there so introduce yourself if you see her!

Learn more about Joe at joecipriano.com

Don't want to miss it!

Don't want to miss it!

The Thanksgiving Post. A Long Time Coming.

 

This post is about my work, people I work with and for, my life and how thankful I am for all of it. 

It's all mixed up together. my family, my work, and my life reflect each other. Together they equal my art my reason for living, my calling.  

A few months ago my husband told me I had to stop working on a project. Essentially he fired me.

It felt like a punch in the stomach. I didn't know what to do which way to go. Why to wake  up in the morning. You see to me a story untold, unfinished,  unborn is like a stillbirth. It's like that raisin in the sun that Lorraine Hansberry lamented. Does it explode?  No it rots inside and that's far worse. 

When I don't get to finish a project that I start (which has only happened to me once before) it feels like I've been dumped. Fired. Broken up with in the most humiliating of ways.  Publicly disregarded. Rejected.  A dangerous tailspin of deep depression is something that a responsible mother, wife, cannot afford to risk. 

After much talk I saw that perhaps the husband was right and we should leave the project unfinished.  But where did that leave me? 

Looking very lost.     

Looking very lost. 
 

I was lost. LOST. 

So I went on a quest to find out what we should do next.  

And this is why I am thankful for my work and my clients because that is what got me through a very long period of not knowing.

I wanted to take some time off a sabbatical. A trip to nowhere. To stop and think. To meditate. Stretch, fast and renew. But that was a fantasy. And unrealistic one at that. I'm not Alice Walker, I'm Roz Coleman. I don't have a MacArthur Genius Grant.  

I didn't stop. I slowed down. 

What I did was take a class.  And then another. I had already committed to doing a play and teaching a new acting class at NYU and continuing at SUNY Purchase.  Other than that my husband supported my time to learn, listen, and not know.  New clients and acting opportunities kept creeping into my life and I saw them as my teachers as my guides through this time. 

The quote that culminated this time came last week while I was on set coaching a creative genius. Let's call him Prince (As in the artist who made Purple Rain) because I don't want to disclose his name but he is a director, actor, artist, musician on that level.  As I observed him step into his greatness, using his own body as a canvas for his work. He was playing with his food between takes on set. The actress who is acting opposite him, who although is more experienced in acting is admittedly not as free as he is, jokingly said to him "don't play with your food."  He replied in a serious tone "why everything in life is meant to be played with."

Full stop. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Enjoy. 

Below. 

The work of the students.

More to come...

New Podcast at Everything Acting app featuring Ezra Barnes

Check out our new podcast featuring Ezra Barnes! This week, Roz invites her friend and co-actor from "Breakfast with Mugabe" to dicuss the themes and characters behind this intriguing story. Ezra and Roz also talk about the stuggles, successes, and the joys of hardworking artists in the business. For more information on "Breakfast with Mugabe" and to check out Roz and Ezra, go to www.breakfastwithmugabe.com.

 

The amazing Ezra Barnes!

The amazing Ezra Barnes!

Podcast with Kyle Taylor Parker & "Breakfast with Mugabe"

So many wonderful things happening! Roz has been super busy with her role in "Breakfast with Mugabe" as well as her new podcast interview with the amazing Kyle Taylor Parker. In the podcast, you will catch up with Roz as she goes through the ins-and-outs of her role, including how she works with a dialect. Darbi, who is a newlywed, will discuss the decision of changing her name in the business and the wonderful transition into married life! And of course, Roz sits down with Kyle Taylor Parker to discuss his journey leading up to the Tony Awards winning Broadway show, "Kinky Boots". This entire podcast can be found at the Everything Acting app, available at the iTunes Store, Android Store, and Google Store. 

New podcast featuring Roz, Darbi, and Kyle Taylor Parker of "Kinky Boots"

New podcast featuring Roz, Darbi, and Kyle Taylor Parker of "Kinky Boots"