ATC is hosting our yearly BRIAN MCCONKEY headshot special! Only on April 6th here at ATC for our students! Check it out - spots fill up VERY quickly!
Dawn Gray, at Gray Talent, wrote this great email with thoughts on moving to LA, which is a hot topic right now given it's Pilot Season. A must-read!
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This email, for a lot of you, will not be relevant. However, a lot of our actors have asked us recently is moving to LA is right for them. Dawn recently put together a list of questions to ask yourself before even thinking about going to LA.
“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
With pilot season underway, many actors are pondering a trip or permanent move to LA. Asking some key questions – and answering them honestly – will help determine whether or not now is the right time for that move.
Moving to LA is a huge step to consider, but the most important question of all to ask is: “Why am I doing this?” Are you doing it because you are passionate about the art? Would LA be the best environment to express yourself? Has your career stalled in Chicago? Is your life missing something and you believe being a successful actor in LA will make you happy? Answering all of these questions will help ensure you are taking the LA step at the right time, if ever.
Great article we're sharing with you today. BE PREPARED!
I popped in for the first rehearsal of a new musical workshop last week – after introductions, the cast started in on a table read. And you better believe even at this first read through, every person around the table already knew the script backwards and forwards, could sing their songs with the accompanist, and was ready to hit the ground running. They were prepared.
Was this a rare group of overeager theater nerds with nothing better to do than study their scripts before a first rehearsal? Nope. Were they getting paid huge sums of money to do their homework? Nope. Had someone told them to come in off book? Nope.
These were simply smart musical theater professionals who were just doing their jobs. These savvy professionals also knew that if they walked into the first rehearsal unprepared, there would be a line of other actors who could step in and replace them at virtually a moment’s notice.
These artists understood that Darwin’s survival of the fittest principles are alive and well in NYC. Whether you’re a writer, director, designer or actor – you are expected to show up prepared or to go home.
Unfortunately, this level of preparedness is not always the norm in other places. In many cities across the country, where there is less competition for roles, I’ve seen casts and creatives who have only glanced at the script before heading into rehearsal. Sometimes it even seems like a protection mechanism – if you say, “I haven’t had a chance to go through the script” you won’t have be accountable for being “good” the first time. And you can get away with it because you know that you’re the only person in town who’s right (or available) to play the part.
As a result, you’ve lowered the bar, wasted rehearsal time, and the result, more often than not, is a musical that is not as high quality as it could have been if rehearsals had been used to hone the show rather than teaching lines and plunking music notes from scratch.
Showing up prepared is always appropriate no matter where you are or what the stated expectation. It only takes one person – YOU – to set an example and encourage others (or shame others) into doing the same. Eventually, to reference Darwin again, evolution will occur and before you know it, you can raise the bar, improve the rehearsal process, and have a better show on opening night.
So, next time you show up to the first rehearsal, whether you’re in North Dakota or New York City, set an example and BE PREPARED.
Check out this awesome interview featuring Studio Director Carole Dibo speaking about her job as executive director of the Actors Training Center and The Wilmette Theatre!
Check out this headshot printing special from A&B Photography (where I personally print my headshots)! - Philip
From: Headshot Printing
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2012
Subject: Dog Days Summer Special
Buce Moore, an adult student of ours at ATC, is in the ensemble of THREE SISTERS at Steppenwolf Theatre. He sent us this lovely update about his experience - we'd like to share it with you! Go Bruce!
ATC students - if you want the tickets he is offering, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope the summer is going well for you and you're enjoying the warm weather. I haven't seen much of it because, if I'm not at work, I'm deep inside Steppenwolf Theater waiting to go on stage. I understand what you mean when you said you like TV, film, commercial or voice over work better than theater because in theater they "got cha" or own you for the duration of the run. But I wouldn't trade it for anything right now. It's been a great experience! When I could, I attended rehearsals even when I wasn't called just so that I could watch Anna Shapiro and Tracy Letts work. It's like attending a master class! They're both very kind and generous but also very precise and it's all about the story we're trying to tell.
Our Opening Night is Sunday, July 8th at 6 PM. I have 4 (four) tickets. I'm giving two of these tickets to some friends of mine who have been very supportive through out the years but I would like to give the other two tickets to ATC. You folks in the office can use them or you can give them to some ATC students who might not otherwise be able to afford tickets to Steppenwolf. I'll leave that up to you. Just let me know. The tickets will be waiting at the box office.
Each cast member is also entitled to 2 (two) complimentary house seats during the run of Three Sisters. I would like ATC to use these for you guys in the office or for students. The tickets are subject to availability and I would need a few days advance notice in order to reserve them. I don't know where these seat would be located but there aren't many bad seats in the theater. Let me know if you want to use them.
In addition to these seats, Steppenwolf has what they call Row 11. During the run ofThree Sisters I can use 4 (four) of these seats. The location of the seats is a row of chairs set up at the back of the main floor of the auditorium. I don't know what this looks like but again it's probably still a good seat. I need advanced notice and I can only use 2 (two) at a time. Tickets can only be picked up on the day of performance on hour before the show begins.
Steppenwolf has also given the ensemble CTA cards to use for transportation. I have three of them. I'm keeping one just in case I need it but do you have students who take the CTA to take classes at ATC? These passes are 30 (thirty) day passes and begin after the first use. They're good until October, 2013. Let me know if you have students who can use them, otherwise I'll give them to folks in the ensemble.
Again, being in the play has been a great experience. I'm only on stage to move furniture and, near the end of the play I'm on stage for about 2 minutes but that's OK. When Eric Woodall was here a few weeks ago, he said there were thousands of New York actors who would gladly move furniture for Anna and Tracy. Many of the people in the cast and in the ensemble have a lot of experience on stage and in TV, movies, voice over, commercials. As I get over my shyness and get to know everyone more, I've been asking more questions. Two of the young girls have threaten to "knock me over the head" because I don't have an agent. According to them, there are a lot of "them" out there looking for work but not many of "me." They seem to think I could find a lot of work just based on my "look."
Let me know if you can use any of these tickets or CTA cards. Friends and co-workers have been asking about tickets but I wanted to offer them to you and the students at ATC first.
Thanks for all you do and for all of your hard work at ATC - Bruce
Lovely email this morning for ATC Director Carole Dibo from a student:
Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us last week. Allanah is so excited to dive in to some "hard work." I really feel so much better after talking with you and have already begun looking into head shots for her. I am hoping to get that taken care of over the summer while we have some time.
Attached is the poem that my daughter wrote about acting:
Acting is not faking.
Acting is playing a version of your self.
Sometimes in acting, is not clear …………..
What will happen next.
Acting is a way to put your personal twist
On something else.
way to sum it up :)
Exclusive offer to see Chicago Shakespeare author Simon Callow in BEING SHAKESPEARE:
An Evening with Shakespeare for under $30
We are pleased to offer Chicago artists an exclusive discount to see internationally renowned classical actor Simon Callow in Being Shakespeare. Presented at the Broadway Playhouse as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's World's Stage series, Callow's performance is "the closest 21st Century audiences will get to seeing Shakespeare perform his own work himself" (Venue Magazine, UK). Select from the following performances:
To reserve your $29.20 Artist Tickets through this online offer, usepromo code "INDUSTRY" when placing your order, but hurry—this exclusive discount ends at 5pm on Monday, April 16, and Sharing the World's Stage offers often sell out quickly!
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Sharing the World’s Stage is our avenue for connecting Chicago artists with their international peers. We recognize the power of fostering this kind of dialogue and are committed to presenting our community with one-of-a-kind opportunities.
$29.20 ticket price includes all fees.
We asked some of our Casting Director and Agent friends what makes an appealing headshot.
Check out what they said:
"Shows your personality and looks as good as you can ook...but not better than you look :) I am also liking the latest trend of brighter backgrounds that make the actors eyes really pop and moving away from the organic type background -ie bricks, windows, etc." - Brooke, Gray Talent Group
"to me a good headshot is...the story the eyes are telling." - Marissa P. Paonessa, Paonessa Talent.
"A good headshot is one without naked feet in it...or a headshot that is truly representative of what the actor REALLY looks like. Not on the most glamorous day of their lives. ON a day when they feel good. And Vibrant. and Thoughtful. And Ready to work." - Mickie Paskal, PR Casting.
"To me, a good headshot is in focus and not in some weird, squat pose." - Jennifer S Rudnicke, PR Casting.
"To me, a good headshot shows the actor in an emotionally available and open way. It makes me want to meet them, get to know them, and audition them. It's all about the eyes." - Erica Daniels, Associate Artistic and Casting Director, Steppenwolf Theatre.
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