Thursday, September 13, 2012

TRUTH ISN'T AS STRANGE AS FICTION


THIS WEEK'S BLOG IS DEDICATED TO THE MEN AND WOMAN 
WHO LOST THEIR LIVES ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
AND TO THEIR FAMILIES

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012

MY THURSDAY MESSAGE
by Dr. Mel Caudle

Dr. Mel works on the Blog.
Every time I sit down to start work I get a huge smile on face.  Why?  Several reasons really.  First, I never feel alone.  Posted prominently on my computer billboard to the left of my keyboard is a gorgeous hunk.  Eyes that captivate me.  A smile that makes me feel warm inside.  I just want to grab the picture and be able to give him a hug.  Nope, it's not a picture of my husband nor is it a picture of my grandchildren.  It's a picture of Telepathic Schroeder - the only dog cast in THE KEYSTROKE KILLER.  He just simply gives me a smile.  Then, I sit back, start to drink my coffee, and go onto to Facebook, where I find tons of greetings and comments from KSK and A.D.A.M. Family sites.

It is overwhelming to think that in almost every corner of the world, I have people I can call my friends.  This was never so prevalent than when I first revealed my problems with my teeth implants and then again, during my evacuation and return to my home after Hurricane Isaac.  I haven't ever had to go anything alone since I have gained such a wonderful family.  Just knowing this brings a sense of comfort and well-being to me and along with a smile.  I can't even begin to thank everyone for their love, support, and help all of you have given to me.  And, the best part of it all, our community and family have open and warm hearts.



I've received help from members who showed up to help remove wet carpets, others brought me food, others sent care packages, others wrote private letters, sent cards, gift certificates, drove me to the dentist, and someone even left five cases of bottled water on my doorstep.  So, how do I say thanks to the outpouring of compassion I have received?  Simply saying thank you doesn't seem to be enough.
Telepathec Schroeder

I feel honored and very proud to be a part of your lives.  You, individually, and as a group, have changed me.  I see courage, hope, and a new resiliency to overcome obstacles in the face of disaster.  Thank you for being a part of my life and thank you Tele for bringing a smile to my face every morning.


IN THE PRESS AND ON THE RADIO

Today I had a wonderful experience on a talk radio show called Crossroads with Garrison Leykam.  The producer of the show first contacted me back in July asking me if I would come on the show.  Of course I said yes.  However, the topic of interest wasn't The Keystroke Killer or the film project A.D.A.M.  Rather, it was about another avenue that my production company is involved in - creating and producing reality shows.

For those of you who may not know, I have written several books for producers and screenwriters.  All of my books can be found on Amazon.com as well as on this blog.  But the book of interest on today's talk show was my The Reality of Reality TV:  Reality Show Business Plans.  So, if you have a reality show idea and need help in writing a business plan or formatting your show, you will want to get a hold of this book.  So, for a sneak peak, listen to the interview with me on Crossroads below.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conxroad/2012/09/13/take-your-reality-show-idea-to-tv-with-dr-mel-caudle


LISTEN TO GARRISON LEYKAM WEEKNIGHTS AT 7 PM EST
NEVER A DULL CONVERSATION ON THE AIR

THE CANDY O'DONNELL TALK SHOW

Tomorrow I will be interviewed by Candy O'Donnell on her talk radio program.  Candy will be interviewing me on all sorts of things about me, my projects, and my books.  Also, this one will be filmed for a Skype interview to be played back to allow anyone who missed the show can hear it and watch it.  So watch for that link sometime on THE KEYSTROKE KILLER FAN SITE.

Another interesting fact about Candy is that we share in a kindred spirit kind of way for our love for writing.  Not only does Candy have a blog radio show, she writes a blog that is really very insightful and empowering, and she has written numerous books.  I hope I impress her enough that she'll agree to swap some books with me - meaning, I'll send her some of mine and she sends me some of hers.

Some of Candy's books I think a lot of the KSK family will find interesting.  For instance, her books dealing with the paranormal.  She has a collection of four paranormal horror stories in a book called Hell's Fire which are Demon Slayer, Hell Bound, Circle of Death, and Decrepit.  I think these four would be ripe to put together a mini-series, similar to the old fashion Twilight Zone, of short horror films.  Just a thought Candy.  Let me know as I believe our paths have crossed for a reason and not just by happenstance.

I also find intriguing her book called Past Life Memoirs of Atlantis.  This book is a story about a young child who must learn how to perform healings from his mother and to become a mechanic from his father.  But, the story goes well beyond this as the child grows into a man and becomes a husband and a father and rising to the acclaim a healer and prophet. Check out the book trailer for this book below.



For more information on Candy and her books, visit her website at www.candyodonnell.net.  And, then next week, plan on tuning in to hear Candy's and my conversation from the hearts of two bloggers, two authors, two dreamers, and two visionaries.  I think this is one interview you will not want to miss.

If you can't wait until next week, check out her free book download called Meditations for Busy Mothers.  Just go to her website and go to the section called Free Downloads.  Happy reading.

FOR SCREENWRITERS

And, so I don't leave screenwriters out, take a look at this book I wrote for you.  It will take you on the journey of creating one pagers for your screenplay, film, or reality show.



JOHNNY ROCK ROCKS THE AIRWAVES
Represented by Landrum Arts

I wasn't the only one in KSK membership that is in the news.  Johnny Rock graced the air with the Warren Bub talk shop with Cole Blackwell on September 7, 2012.  He spoke of many things include past, recent, and future projects.  Listeners were also treated to Johnny's rendention of Wolfman Jack.  Go Johnny.  If you want to listen to the re-broadcast click on the following link below Johnny's picture.  We are proud of you Johnny.  And, thank you Johnny for plug for The Keystroke Killer.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/miles-of-artists/2012/09/07/johnny-rock-warren-bub-talk-shop-with-cole-blackwell.


TRACE SCHROEDER ON TALK RADIO

If you missed the interview with Trace Schroeder, on the Candy ODonnell show, here it is for you. Trace gives some wonderful information on auditioning and how to stay on the good side of casting directors.  He also discusses his character on The Keystroke Killer.  Check it out.  Just Click on link below Trace's audition picture below with Tele, who also got a role as "Telepathic" and Jamie Alyson, who is cast as Blaze pictured below.  



LET THERE ALWAYS BE "GRACE" 
BY ROBBY COOK STROUD
Associate Producer - The Keystroke Killer and A.D.A.M.



I just walked in from another day of work inspecting homes from the damage from Hurricane Isaac.  The first person I call was Dr. Mel.  You see, my day isn't over.  In fact, my day is just beginning as Dr. Mel, Jack Curenton, and I discuss our daily production meeting for our next OTLP film project A.D.A.M.  After that, another Skype conference call with Dr. Mel and one of the Executive Producers for The Keystroke Killer.  Just as we are about to close, Dr.Mel reminds me that I should write an article about my days in the field with the Hurricane victims.  So, I took all of three minutes to recoup and started writing.

Flight 175
Today is Tuesday September 11, 2012 as I write my article for this weeks blog.  We as a country lost over 3000 family members and heroes on this day eleven years ago - a day that changed history - a day that changed our lives.   September 11th is a day that has long been recognized by my family for over twenty-five years as we buried our beloved sister Livia.  Yes, Livia, the name Dr. Mel chose to give Matthew's sister in The Keystroke Killer to honor her.

I still think of Livia everyday and today is probably the hardest of the year for me.  I completely understand Matthew's monologue and each time I read that part of the screenplay and just recently, watched the original trailer, I am reminded of her and the loss of a beautiful woman.  But somehow, my family and I have found strength as has so many families who have lost loved ones on this day.

I am not as eloquent as Dr. Mel in my writing, so bare with me, as I feel for the first time I have found myself and have come to grips with the horrific and tragic events that this day always reminds me of. I usually start my writings with "Dear Diary,."  So, I think I will continue on the tradition..


Dear Diary,

Today is September 11th.  I miss my sister more than you know.   She's in my thoughts all day long as I can't ever seem to shake her memory.  In fact, I really don't want to. 

Today our nation and my family are in mourning.  I know there is a greater purpose for our fallen heroes and all tied to this day be blessed.  I pray that I may have the strength to bring happiness to someone that is hurting.  

Robby on an inspection.
I  arrived at my first appointment today.   I met Ms. Grace, a 89-year-old grandmother, raising her 15-year-old-great-granddaughter.   Their home had 3 ft. of flood water and mud in it.  Ms. Grace lived up to her name.  She was a little sprite with short grey hair and had a pep in her step.  As we sat and discussed  the damages to her home, she became overwhelmed and started to cry, which in turn  made me cry.   I told her the only good thing about this is she will get brand new furniture and a new house.

Grace pondered my statement for a moment and then she told me she always wanted to remodel.  For the first time that day, we both laughed and shared a smile.  I continued the inspection all the while thinking of Livia and knowing the pain and anguish my mother would have on this day. Grace lost everything, but she kept her chin up.  I lost my sister, but I kept my chin up.

There were 10 people from a church group helping Grace take out the walls and all of her belongings that were destroyed.  I handled her with silk gloves and showed her the respect she deserves.  Together again, we laughed  and smiled.  By her grace, in her distress, she provided me comfort.  She had no idea how much her smile meant to me on this day.  And, I was the one that was at her home to bring her hope and joy.

When I was finished the inspection,  Grace gave me a kiss and a big hug reminding me once again of my own Grandmother's gentle touch and embrace.  There was never a day when I saw my own Grandmother, that she didn't give me a hug.  Somehow, I think Grace knew what I needed.  Wisdom does in fact come with age.  

Grace also said she loved me and invited me to come back by whenever I was in the area.  She may never know how much her smile, her warmth, and invitation to return means to me. I can only hope to pay this feeling forward as I continue my work in the disaster zone. 

As I walked back to my car, I realized this is why I do my job - to be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.  I want to be exactly like Grace. Then one of the church volunteers from Missouri came up to my car and told me, “As an outsider watching you do your job, I want to thank you for making this  easier on Ms. Grace. Then he said “ Let me pet your wings."

I am very humbled to do this job and I don’t feel like a hero.  I just want to be like Grace.  That’s why I do WHAT I DO!  All the long hours and  being around all the devastation  makes it all worth while when you walk away from a home and they are smiling and have hope because of kindness.  

I pray that from here on out, September 11th, we all take the time and make the effort to bring a smile to others, lend a hand to someone that is in need, hug someone to let them know they are special, and remember what Grace taught me.  

The End.


WORKING IN HOLLYWOOD 
by Dr. Melissa Caudle



Over the course of the last six months I have met thousands of people who aspire to become a working actor and to land the role of their dreams.  There is a big difference from being able to call yourself an actor or actually being an actor.  Anyone can say they are an actor, but, out of the 4,200 plus online auditions I reviewed during the audition process for The Keystroke Killer, how man of the actors do you think solely relied on their income from acting jobs to survive?  It is daunting to think that maybe four out of the 4,200 could claim acting as their sole income and profession.

That alone seems depressing doesn't it?  Most of the actors held, at the minimum, one other job.  Their were waitresses, DJ's, paramedics, valet attendants, nurses, secretaries, a casting associate, a small business owner, a television host, a poet, a doctor, a nurse, and so forth.  This seems to be the rule, more than the exception.  If this is true, how does an actor go from holding multiple jobs in a variety of entry level and professional level occupations, to become a working actor?  I think I just might have a clue.  It is all in what the aspiring actor is willing to learn, their persistence, and how much time they are willing to put into their aspiring career.  Really.

BE PERSISTENT

I have had the honor of working with several A-List actors and actors who can claim the acting profession as their full-time and sole occupation.  I"ll start with HBO's True Blood actor Alexander Skarsgaurd.  I worked with him for five months on the Rod Lurie film Straw Dogs.  Alex and I are on first name basis, and in fact, as a group, we have attended concerts together, dinners, and just hanging out.  I had the opportunity to talk with Alex about how difficult it was to get into a television series and be well-known.  I'll never forget one of the things he told me.  "Just two-days before I was offered the role of Eric in True Blood, I was going back home to Sweden and giving up acting," he said.  Can you imagine True Blood without Alex?  I can't.  But that was almost the case because Alex was on the verge of quitting acting and making reservations back to his home country of Sweden when he got the call.


I share Alex's story with you because, his isn't the only story I have heard with a similar sentiment.  Billy Lush, Rhys Corio, Kate Bosworth, all shared the same type of stories.  They too almost gave up.  With this said, as an actor, if you truly are going to be an actor, go into this profession with persistence.  Persistence in obtaining your career has to be forefront in your mind.  Don't let others discourage you and don't ever give up on yourself.  If you do, we more than likely won't ever see you on the big screen.


MARKET YOURSELF

Along with persistence, comes marketing in yourself.  There isn't anyone in the world that can market you better than yourself.  Let me repeat this in a different way.  Even if you have an agent or a manager, they can't market you like you can.  In fact, they often divide their energy with several clients.  You on the other hand, are only responsible for marketing yourself.  Believing this is crucial in the acting profession.  Why?  I've seen it too many times where an actor doesn't get sent out by their agent for any auditions.  And, what do they do?  The bad mouth and complain about their agent not getting them any auditions or any work.  Ask yourself, "Is this really my agent's fault or could I in someway be hampering my own career?"  If you answer this question honestly, you just might discover that you could be doing something differently.  For example, are your head shots reflective of you?  Do they look like you?  Are they glamour shots?  Have they been photo-shopped so much that the head shot doesn't really represent you, your age, and even your own flaws that make you who you are and your individual uniqueness?

If this is the case, how can you really fault your agent?  As a producer/casting director for my own projects, I can tell you that I am often very disappointed with actors when I meet them face-to-face because the don't look like their head shot.  Some people have submitted head shots to me that were taken more than a decade ago.  Why?  I don't know that answer, but when an actor submits a head shot that doesn't look like themselves, it can and most often does, go against you.  Avoid that at all costs.  Seek out a photographer that can do head shots that look like you, don't ever submit some photo-shopped version of yourself.  Again, this is your responsibility and not your agent or manager's role.

TAKE YOUR OWN INITIATIVE

Also, along in this category of working in Hollywood, you have to take your own initiative to submit yourself for roles.  Again, don't simply rely on your agent.  You are in this together, so you should work as a team.  And, by all means, if you submit yourself for a role and receive an audition, notify your agent immediately.  They need to know and not be kept in the dark.  I can't tell you the number of times during the call backs for The Keystroke Killer, that I contacted an agent, and they didn't know which of their actors auditioned.  That's not good.  In fact, it might raise a red flag to your agent. Your agent is there to help you but they can't help you if you don't let them know what is going on.

Now back to submitting yourself for roles.  I am a firm believer that a working actor works because they take their own initiative.  The actor that stays informed works more.  For example, although I don't have any scientific research on this, I have discovered that the actors who look for roles to audition work more than actors who only rely on their agents to submit them.  With that said, do what is necessary to locate and find roles to audition.

FIND YOUR OWN WORK 

Searching the Internet is by far one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover auditions in your area as well as in Hollywood, New York, and New Orleans - the three top film markets in the United States. Using key search words such as "Casting Calls," "Open Auditions," and "Currently Casting" will get you started.  Also, become familiar with the key online job boards for actors that includes Actors Access, Billboard, LACASTING, ACTNOW, and more.  Then, many independent film producers post on Craig's List. Also, go to acting social network sites and become involved with members.

A lot of information on who is auditioning and where auditions are being held are posted for the finding.  Also, visit entertainment websites for television networks, television shows, and see where the links lead you.  Another viable source is through your acting classes and film schools.  And, don't forget to look in entertainment magazines and newspapers.  Then, be sure to check out your areas film commission and state film commission's websites, as many producers will post auditions there.

I feel that it is important that I also address that an actor needs to be careful and make sure that all auditions are legitimate.  Yes, there are scams out there.  I go by, if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably isn't true.  Watch out for auditions that make you PAY to audition.  This should never happen.  Also, watch out for auditions that require you to give your social security number or a credit card to hold a spot for you.  No legitimate casting director needs this information.  The only time they need your social security information is after your contracted to work for taxes or to contact SAG.  I also would avoid auditions late at night in a hotel room.  If I were you, don't go.  And, never go to an audition if the casting director or producer promises and guarantees they'll make you a star.  No one can promise that.  So, use your discretion and discernment.

To sum this up, an actor must:

  • Be persistent
  • Be your own "marketer"
  • Take Initiative
  • Do your own homework and research where to find auditions.
  • Use discernment
I can't guarantee that by doing these things you will become a full-time actor, but at least your chances will increase.

TRUTH ISN'T AS STRANGE AS FICTION
BY JACK CURENTON
Casting Director for A.D.A.M.


I posted this in my “Actor’s Access Accounting thread” but I feel that maybe it deserves a thread of its own for discussion.

So what is this industry like...TUFF! Busted butt on 4 auditions, 1 callback, put on avail...for a week....to shoot this past weekend, at 10 pm Friday night...still no call sheet...no release... So I text my agent, his reply, "must be released, sorry." So now, over the 2 days I was supposed to shoot, I submitted 23 more possibilities. It goes with the territory. FWN....Fergit'em Whose Next. To Self: ‘Now get back to work, Jack’

In KSK we have 2400+ members who submitted over 4100 auditions competing for only about 50 parts!! The sheer nature of this project and our business lends itself to disappointing results for a lot of people, because there weren’t 2350 more KSK parts to go around.

When you don’t get a callback, or put on avail or cast (which BTW…will happened to you many more times than not) you become disappointed, you begin doubting yourself and some even want to quit….some do. How unfortunate that is for those who actually have the abilities…but allow DOUBT to replace CONFIDENCE & DETERMINATION (both for their career and for us who don’t get to see their abilities).

I do a lot of commercial work and even have a recurring character for several clients across the country. Earlier this year, after being released from 3 avails in a row (out of 6), I began to wonder…”Hmmmm, what am I not doing?” So, I took an advance commercial class with a top Commercial CD in LA that my agent put me into.

I told this CD my concern to which he replied…”You are hitting 50%, in baseball that would be like batting 500….NOBODY BATS 500!! Most are lucky to get 1-2 out of 10!! You are doing 2 ½-5 times better than the average. (Ohhhh, a light went on for me! Now I get it.)

If you are put on “AVAIL” in “Commercials” you basically could not have done any better…you have “NAILED IT” and booked the acceptance of the CD….the CD or Director has determined YOU ARE RIGHT FOR THE PART & THEY CAN, OR WANT TO WORK WITH YOU. However, what I didn’t understand (until he told me) is that the Director who “Chose me” also may have sent off 2-4 others; back to some “Bean Counter” Ad guy/gal in NY, Minneapolis, Atlanta or East Armpit Arkansas….for approval.

YOU MIGHT SAY, “WAIT A MINUTE…DO YOU MEAN MY GETTING THE PART IN A COMMERCIAL IS NOW IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE WHO CAN SAY SOMETHING STUPID LIKE…. “OHHHHH, THAT GUY REMINDS ME OF MY EX-BROTHER-IN-LAW….I HATED HIM!”

Yep, that’s exactly what it means. I too have been on the “Didn’t get the part” list many times, and even been told. “You must NOT BOOK ANYTHING ELSE DURING YOUR AVAIL”….only to then miss other opportunities offered…and still not work because I was released. Dang, sure doesn’t seem fair and maybe it’s not. But it IS…what it IS…(ONLY PLACE YOU’LL GET THE TRUE DEFINITION OF “IS”) if you want fair….Go Play Football…but heck, they’ll probably cheat on the points spread!!

Something similar happens in casting a film/play. CDs/Directors, will compare 2-5 people, anyone one of whom could do the part well…. Because all of them “NAILED IT” however, now the CD’s job kicks in….he has to cast a cohesive mesh of actors that make the ENTIRE project look good. The Project is what counts now, not the individual parts. There has to be a Synergy of actors in the project, meaning that the sum total has to equal to greater than the individual parts.

MAGIC CITY FILMING IN MIAMI NEEDS EXTRAS


The Starz series Magic City, which stars Jeffery Dean Morgan and is set in a 1950s Miami casino, will begin filming its second season in Miami next week and they are in need of extras.

The show is specifically looking for a woman willing to portray a “very attractive” Asian prostitute (and willing to appear fully nude), real doctors and nurses, “stunning females” to act as Hispanic elevator girls in “tight or revealing clothing,” real waitresses and bartenders, age 18 to 30, any ethnicity, experienced period-car drivers familiar with on-the-column gearshift levers and double clutching, hotel guests, men and women 18 to 65, any ethnicity, current and former police officers, men, 18 to 55, Caucasian, and attractive natural women, “curvy but not overweight,” age 18 to 40.

Extras are guaranteed $108 a day whether they work or not. “They’re not going to get rich, but it might be something fun for them to do,” said Bill Marinella who is handling extras casting for the show.

If interested, email your info including your name, age, phone number, weight, height and clothing sizes to magicmia2@gmail.com, put the role sought in the subject line. Also attach three current, non-professional snapshots: waist up, head and shoulders, and full body.

ANOTHER A.D.A.M. PROJECT UPDATE

Last night my Skype chat room and office was filled with excitement as several KSK members came together for a first-time script read through A.D.A.M.  It was an amazing experience for me as the screenwriter, to be able to hear the script read to me prior to me doing my re-writes.  I loved this process as I will be using many of their suggestions.  So, a very special thank you to the following actors for gracing me with their talents for this read through of A.D.A.M.

JACK CURENTON
DH LEWIS
JAMIE ALYSON
CHIP CARRIERE
TINA RUBIN
TIMOTHY WYANT
CHALLA SABREE

And, also to our wonderful associate producer Robby Cook Stroud.

Until next week,

Stay informed, stay connected, and stay on the elevator with me.

Dr. Mel

2 comments:

  1. As always I love the blog Melissa :) glad to hear that everything is still going so well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hope you're doing better after your latest round with the dentist !!!

    Anyway, I'm starting to get questions about availability for next year. Any updates on when we'll get some sort of a schedule ?

    See ya'll soon :)

    ReplyDelete