Photo by Debra Lopez
Mandy Evans Brown: A Study in Persistence
Mandy Evans Brown had spent almost a decade spinning her wheels. She was a super well-trained actress, great all-American girl looks and a dancer's background (which means TV-ready legs to die for), broadway credits, multiple indie film credits, but nothing was moving her towards the kind of TV/Film work she was longing for. When Mandy met April, she had reached her
"SCREW THIS Moment."
She was determined to move into film/tv and stop working exhausting day jobs.
The Obstacle: Mandy's Major Problem
The major problem was that often Mandy's soul was deeper than the roles she was getting seen for. Add to that she had become a very skilled Theatre/Film actress, her chops were so sharp that when she auditioned, it was clear that this was a leading lady built for principal roles and not just dayplayers and sidekicks.
Essentially, Mandy Evans Brown discovered that she had a toughness and depth that the average "all American primetime brunette" could not even begin to approach.
So how was she going to get seen for major, deep principal roles with only minor TV/Film credits?
**Enter The Center of Range exercise.**
The Center of Range Exercise: Find Your Emotional Type
A filmmaker client of April's referred Mandy to April. Over the course of a year and a half in private coaching, April & Mandy began working together on theatre and on-camera acting, business strategy and shaping her emotional and physical type into a marketable brand.
Just defining Mandy's physical type was a very limiting way to approach coming up with a strategy to move her career into Film/TV. First, her looks were going to change every year, but her emotional type is about the soul. It's about your gifts as an artist: what moves you, what emotional chords are closest to your heart. Your emotional type will be the same for the rest of your life.
So merging the emotional type with the physical type is a sure-fire way to begin looking for a wider variety of roles and getting your agents to double the kinds of roles you get seen for. If you're being cast according to your emotional type, you can get seen for roles written for men, women, characters who are older than you are and a whole bunch of other roles that normally, your physical type would exclude you from.
The Center of Range Exercise
This is a 3 hour exercise that April has developed to identify a client's 4 major emotional chords. Then we use the emotional types coupled with the physical type to create a brand that can be sold to agents, managers and CD's.
That brand is then packaged in a hardcopy press kit as well as an online press kit prior to targeting the CD's, agents and managers that the client has decided to work with.
This is the process that Mandy and April began together. Once the emotional chords had been identified, it affected everything about how Mandy presented herself to the industry: From monologue choices, to audition outfits, to headshots, the type of make-up she would wear in the headshot shoot and on auditions, to hairstyle choice, to the position of roles on her resume and much more.
Most importantly, it takes the guess work out of headshot choices. You choose the headshot that speaks to all four of your emotional types, not just the pretty headshot.
The largest part of the process is that Mandy realized she needed to raise her game. If she wanted to go after Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kiddman roles, she needed to look like a movie star.
That meant pulling no punches when it came to headshots, make-up, skin care, outfits, reel, etc. She had to spend money (wisely) to create the kind of package that would make her money.
Because it only took one TV job. Just one. To pay her back all of the money she spent on her package.
The good news is once you package yourself. It will cost several thousand dollars over the course of 6-12 months, but you only have to do this once every 5 years, if you go with the top of the line photographer, coach, make-up, hair regiment. And all of these things are things you will use once you're working in film/tv, so
When your brand screams one consistent message to the industry, you automatically get called in for those kinds of roles.
It's like taking candy from a baby.
It's just the preliminary legwork that can be a little daunting. Which is why Mandy and April worked on it together.
Using the Center of Range exercise, April guide Mandy through the process of finding her 4 major emotional chords.
Once those chords were clearly defined, April and Mandy packaged her resume, headshot, reel and one page into a press kit that sold Mandy's distinctive brand:
_A soulful, tough leading lady brand that takes risks, holds on to very little excess baggage and is guarded in her emotions, but fearless about sharing her love with ones she chooses to protect._
Combining both Mandy's physical brand with her emotional brand was the key. Once that brand had been established, all the elements of Mandy's press kit had to sell that one consistent message.
Strategy for Targeting Casting Directors
The next step was to get new representation and the quickest way was to get powerful casting directors in Mandy's pocket. To get her on their "Go-To" list of favorite actors.
She and April developed a 3 month and 6 month CD targeting strategy which they implemented once she had finished packaging her brand. She would use this press kit to woo CDs.
Armed with this new arsenal of weapons, the CD targeting strategy that April helped Mandy devise and activate was a smoking hot success.
Mandy ended up being called in by her targeted primetime casting directors and booking a principal role in a feature film that her target casting director was producing.
How to Target Casting Directors
Based on Mandy's emotional chords, she identified her top shows, top roles, top casting directors based on her types.
Then she began building targeted relationships with these casting directors. She looked at their work to see what resonated with her own and that is what she sold these CD's in a 14 week Targeting Strategy.
Once Mandy got busy doing the business of acting, the industry started taking notice. In private coaching, Mandy and April focused on specific kinds of roles, shows, films that showcased Mandy's emotional type. She learned how to handle different kinds of writing in the audition room very quickly.
She learned the difference between primetime episodic acting as opposed to half hour single cam acting and various other TV forms of acting and how to prepare for a big TV audition in 45 mins.
**She learned April's secret memorization/moment to moment technique to help an actor prepare for last minute auditions with a lot of pages of sides to memorize.**
How Mandy Moved into Film
She'd taken several agent/manager meetings, was auditioning frequently and getting called back and the biggie was that the TV casting directors they had targeted were now calling Mandy in regularly. She booked a few things, but Mandy was still bigger than the work coming her way.
At April's prodding, Mandy began to explore self-producing. Her biggest concerns were that:
I don't have the money and I'm no good at the business stuff. PLUS, I don't know how to write or produce anything.
I was where you are and I did it and (made a shitload of mistakes), but I still got my face out there and self-produced and it changed my career.
So what do you want to do?
Complain or change the game so it works for you? I'll walk you through it.
Screw it, let's do it!
A year later, Mandy has a short film script written by the screenwriter, novelist, actor, producer and the creator of _The Exonerated_, Jessica Blank. A distinguished, experienced director and a name actor in the lead opposite her in her new film. She raised the money and is in pre-production. She recently booked a feature film and signed with new agents, Emerging Talent.
April showed her how to turn the wheel, avoid the mistakes she made and **Mandy has done in one year what it took April to learn in 5 years.**
Click here to support Mandy's film The PICKUP
So what's your excuse?
What is stopping you from stepping into your greatness by asking someone to teach you how they did it and help you get it done?
What's stopping you from taking that leap of faith and signing up for the "Find your F*ck It Moment: Move into Film & TV
Click here now to start moving into film/tv
April Yvette Thompson