First I want to say everything that you said on that webinar about the universe responding accordingly is very true. I truly appreciated your honesty and candor about the industry.
1. My question comes from being called in to auditions especially film and TV because my teacher recommended me for a role on Primetime TV and I. I wasn't ready. Is it okay to approach that casting director later with a reel and say "hey,look at me now"? and how do I maintain that relationship with my teacher?
2. You mentioned a theater monologue does not work for film /tv as a reel. So did you mean use a monologue from a TV show b.c I got confused when you said prepare the monologue like it's not a monologue.
2. Do you have any names of playwrights that might spark the same flame as Katori Hall?
Please do your weekend intensive classes you used to offer last year. I hate that I didn't take advantage of those classes. :) I have only been acting for two years and after researching you I realized you were the real deal lol. I haven't taken a lot of classes but a weekend intensive in Spring lol...I'll b there lol....
Thank you again for sharing that invaluable information. I'm going to apply it to my first agent meeting next month :). I have a lot of work to do but like you said I can do it.
RE: your question: You mentioned a theater monologue does not work for film /tv as a reel. So did you mean use a monologue from a TV show b.c I got confused when you said prepare the monologue like it's not a monologue.
I mean, use a TV/Film monologue and make sure you get a really good coach to walk you through the work. TV/Film writing is very different, shorter monologues that are more about the deep hidden feelings of the character. They say a lot using few words. Theatre writing is about the language and the playwright's ability to make beautiful. Every thing is far more literal in the text and it's a lot of poetic language that the camera is not able to tap into easily.
Once you've found material and gotten coached, then you need a really good camera/Director of Photography person to put the reel on tape. I'm great at coaching on camera and recommending material, so you can email me if you're interested.
In terms of shooting the reel, I like Roz Coleman at Red Wall Productions and Brent G. Katz. Both of whom have done my reels in the past which you see Roz' work on my website: AprilYvetteThompson.com and Brent's reel on my IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1690743/
Re: your question: Do you have any names of playwrights that might spark the same flame as Katori Hall?
Without having any idea about your specific emotional type, it's hard to recommend writers. I believe artists do themselves a great disservice when they limit the scope of the roles they can play by choosing material that reflects one small aspect of the personality and fits their racial type. If you do that, you'll be playing the same ghetto mothers, angry or golddigging ingenues which is really mostly what's getting produced on film/tv/theatre. Not that those aren't good roles, but your life experience while being defined by the color of your skin, class and gender are important, they are not the full scope your specific story. But the industry will keep us there as they do with most actors who you notice only play themselves or the same role over and over again: Denzel, Sam J, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Costner. They are stuck in the same trap.
Choosing material to audition with is the one place where you have power over your career, so don't limit yourself. Take a look at this video about figuring out how to match your emotional type with your physical type...it will open doors for the kinds of material you'll start looking for...once you widen the definition, you'll work for the rest of your life.
Thank you for your praise of my classes. I've moved my classes to online to make room for my writing/acting/producing career (so I can create more and deeper roles for you folks like you) and so I can focus my teaching on private coaching which is where I find the most satisfaction. Clients who have decided to move their careers forward in dramatic ways are ready for private coaching and the results are breathtaking. I have a couple of clients who have just finished their first independent films that they produced, wrote and starred in and 5 more who are touring their solo shows. Those are the kinds of students, I'm excited about taking on a ride. So, that's why my focus has shifted from those large in person classes. But I have put most of my classes on tape or recordings, so stay tuned for those releases coming up in the next few weeks. All is not lost, you can get my next video series which is smoking hot! xoxox
So glad you loved the webinar. So few teachers were real with me, not because they didn't want to be, they simply weren't working in the industry anymore. That's why I act, write, produce and teach. I'm glad you found the webinar useful. I felt like I bombed because nobody had anything to say...ha! lol.
You can always come back around with a great reel after a lackluster audition. This is a learning curve, this acting business and people realize that actors are young (which is when most of the work is available), but are still growing into their training. It won't hurt you and as a matter of fact, it will endear you in their eyes for being brave enough to stick to it and come back with something better.
I bombed with Seret Scott in my first reading...and when I say bombed. Frozen, no words came out of my mouth. This happened in two different workshops a year apart. Can you imagine, that woman didn't even want to look at me. I got her address from a fellow actor and for two years I sent her my monthly updates on my career. Readings, reviews, a new headshot/resume whenever I updated it. It took 5 years. But one day she responded to one of my letters. Did I mention I was sending her a presskit basically 4 times a year. One day she responded by leaving a message at the front desk of the theatre where I was performing. She said, yes, she'd like to see my show. She came. Stood outside in the rain. I was terrified. She said, "You were alright, kiddo." And then she walked away. 6 months later she cast me as Ruth in A Raisin in the Sun when no one would see me for the role because I was too young. Then she cast me as the lead in the her play which was premiering at passage theatre. She said, that she had watched me grow up and she couldn't trust her autobiographical story anyone else's hands.
So stick to it...people adore and respect tenacity. It also will make you a better actor.
Stay tuned for a new video or podcast this Monday or Tuesday where I'll answer the rest of your questions.
I don't teach those workshops because most of my time when I'm not writing, producing or acting, I work primarily with private clients who are dead-up serious because they're me a lot of money to help them make things happen. Working with folks who have made their first short film or wrote their solo show and got it produced is the most fulfilling work for me because those are artists who've decided they will do this work by any means necessary. That's my focus these days...
Thanks,there's some interesting stuff in there...
Thank you, I'm so glad! xoxoxo
Wow truly a blessing all you have said and especially at this point in time in my life with all I have going on. You answered everything I was questioning. Thanks for sharing. Wow. So many blessings some many ways GOD is working in my life showing me I'm right where I need to be. I just booked guest star role ok law n order and it's only the beginning. Auditions are coming in. I still do want to find better reps now with a good body of work already under my belt, a new reel, new epk., amd updated reel how shld i go about looking?
So happy I could provide some insight. I think pulling your press kit together in hard copy form as well as on line is the place to start so you roll in looking like a professional. The next piece is good old-fashioned research. Google agencies in NYC and ask actors with great careers their feelings about your agency list. Once you've narrowed the search down to 5-10 agencies, time to research their clients lists. All agencies have to provide a list to anyone they might sign. You want good reviews from fellow actors about the agency (preferably people who business saavy who go out for the right things consistently) and then you need to make sure they don't have a too many folks in your type (both your emotional and your physical type. As I mentioned in the response above to Shemeka's questions, actors of color do themselves a disservice when they sell themselves exclusively as black person #4 ages 23-28. That's not the sum of who you are and if you sell yourself to agents that way, you'll see the limitations of that strategy when you find yourself going out for the same thing day after day. Take a look at this video and start thinking out side the box.
Stay tuned for Michelle Hartley's artist spotlight of how she used this strategy to get signed by new managers and agents in the next newsletter.
Good luck and God's speed!
Since buying the How to Double your auditions webinar and my coaching package with you, I've signed with Prestige Management & I also still have my agent (whom I had a chat with re type per our convesation & he miraculously sent me out 2x this week (smh).
Here's the point, during my mgt. meeting, I brought up the casting me against type subject....BOOM!!! They signed me. I'm still in shock! I've been looking for a manager...like forever!!!! THANK YOU!!!! During our next session, can we put together a pitch for my mgr. & agent??? They're asking for one from me & I want to grind really, really hard in 2015. Then, the next session we can do the hair / makeup deal?? Girl, you're brilliant!!!
oxo Michelle Hartley
That's amazing! You know stuff like that happens very rarely and only when you've created a career that can hold that kind of success. That's what happens when you decide to get serious about career movement and take action. I just gave you some tools, you put them to work! Sooo very proud and happy for you!
"Went [to April's Actor & the Business webinar}. It is the most valuable FREE lessons ever!!!! She is also on youtube with free advice. Almost too good to be true!!"
Thank you so much Virjette! Glad to be of service...
April Yvette Thompsonis a Tony-winningproducer,writer& actorworkingacross media.
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