Thursday, December 20, 2012

AUDITIONING TIPS


DECEMBER 20, 2012

DR. MEL'S WEEKLY MESSAGE

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere I go.  Wow!  That would make a great lyric for a song.  Never mind, as the first sentence already is part of a holiday song.  I feel like it was yesterday when I was complaining, right after Halloween, how Christmas decorations were already up in stores, malls, and restaurants.  And, now, Christmas is FIVE days away.  Where has the time gone?

Since this is my Christmas message, as the next blog comes out after Christmas Day, I thought I'd give you my Christmas wish.

"I wish all of my family and friends don't get too involved in Christmas Day activities, e.g., food and presents; and really focus on what is important to them.  Christmas Day isn't really about the food or the presents.  In fact, it really isn't about being with your family members either.  Rather, it is a BIRTHDAY!  That is why we celebrate this glorious DAY.

I often find myself asking, "If it is Jesus' birthday, why don't we have birthday cake?"  Where did we get off on eating fruit cake and drinking eggnog?  And, where in the world does it say we have to go broke giving presents to every family member and friends?  

Wait!  I get it.  It just dawned on me.  It is a tradition and the true meaning has been forgotten.   


This day wasn't meant for us to go broke.  We give presents to those we love, because Jesus was the ultimate gift of all who was given to us from above, our Heavenly Father.  You don't have to spend lots of money, but instead you can do something special for someone in your life that doesn't cost you money.  

If you bake, bake cookies or a cake of some sort.  If your a poet, write a poem for that one person that has meant so much to you.  If you can't bake or write poetry, and you have other specials talents, use them.  You could always detail someones car, help them do errands, or in my case a very good friend colors my hair for me.  My talent is producing, so I made a DVD to give to family members or our greatest family Christmas Talent Show.  To do this, only cost me my time and a couple of DVD to burn copies for them.  And, when all else fails, there is nothing wrong with a simple smile, a hug, and telling someone how much they mean to you.  

So, this year, when you give someone a gift or you are given a gift, my Christmas wish is that you would smile and remember why you are getting a gift in the first place - it's Jesus' birthday.  Then, smile and spread the Christmas love and cheer.

From me to all of you, Merry Christmas!  




STRIKE THREE AND YOUR OUT!
By Dr. Mel Caudle

It has been less than two months since Robby and I officially announced our talent agency, LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP (www.lacanola.com).  So far, things are going smoothly.  We represent 87 actors, 7 screenwriters, and 4 musicians or bands.

WOW!  In the scheme of things, it sounds like a lot.  But, when you divide that into five staff members who work 24 hours a day, it all seems to work out.  You see, we divide our time between the hours of the day to make sure we get ALL BREAKDOWN services and casting notices first.  One of us, is manning the breakdowns and submitting you as soon as they come in 24-hours-a-day.


Caylen is our early bird.  She man's the Breakdowns from 6:00 AM  until 11:00 AM.  Robby jumps in around 7:30 AM until around Noon processing audition callbacks and new client paperwork.  I jump in and man from Noon until 4:00 PM and handle everything, including making phone calls to casting directors and producers I know to introduce all of our talent.  Jan jumps in at 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM to submit our talent for any new breakdowns that come in between that time as well as does all of the accounting.  Then back to Robby until Midnight.  I'm a night owl so I man Midnight until around 3:00 AM too.  The very last thing I do before going to sleep is submit actors if any new breakdowns have come in.   And, Helen, our other night owl, likes the 3:00 AM until 6:00 AM shift.  It really works wonderfully so that we don't miss any opportunities to submit all of you as breakdowns arrive 24 hours a day.  I don't really know of any other talent agency that does this.  Do you?  In fact, instead of our clients having just one agent, they have five working around the clock.  One of us, is always available.

And, speaking of submissions, last week we sent out the submission reports to those actors who requested them.  Take a look at your submissions as you will see the times of the day in which you were submitted.  Take note of how many of your submissions were during the Midnight to 6:00 AM slot.  This almost guarantees that your submissions were probably the first ones the casting director or producer received as we submit as soon as they arrive.

HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM

Now, here is the only problem that we have had so far.  And, it's not on us.  We have had three actors who were scheduled for auditions, meaning they accepted the invitation to an audition we CONFIRMED and told the casting directors they would be auditioning and failed to show up.  Imagine how Robby and I felt when we personally received phone calls or emails from the casting director wondering where our actor was.  In one case, the actor was almost guaranteed the role.  The only thing they had to do was show up.

When actors fail to show up for an scheduled audition, it makes ALL of us look bad, and not just yourself.  I'm not talking about us sending you an audition invite and for whatever reason the role wasn't right, the pay wasn't right so you declined or you had to decline because of a previous booking.  Examples like these are okay.    YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO TURN DOWN AN AUDITION BY DECLINING THE INVITATION you receive through your CMAIL.  But, you hurt all of us, when "WE SUMBIT...YOU COMMIT and then you FORGET!
www.lacanola.com
504-301-8000

The problem arises when you accept the invitation to either submit a video audition or a face-to-face audition and then don't show up.  Trust me, that is one sure way to get a bad reputation as an actor with not only our LACA NOLA AGENTS, but also the casting directors.  You are viewed by casting directors as unreliable.  As for us, we know we work hard for all of you 24 hours a day and feel slighted.  We have to question your commitment level.  "Are you really wanting to become a full-time actor?"  If not, maybe we aren't the right talent agency for you because we expect our actors to not only be professional, but to hold up their end of the agreement and show up to auditions.

The situation multiplies if more than one of our actors fail to show.  When this happens LACA NOLA gets a bad reputation.  And, frankly, Robby and I won't tolerate that.  Our talent agency is a reputable talent agency and we intend on it staying that way.  Our actors are the best and most talented anywhere.  We want our talent to be proud to be associated with us and not have to worry that another actor is harming our reputation and their chances of getting cast because another actor doesn't  show up to auditions.  That is why we have established a THREE STRIKE RULE.

The rule is a simple one.

ONLY ACCEPT INVITATIONS TO AUDITIONS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO EITHER ATTEND OR SUBMIT A VIDEO AUDITION.  


How do you know if you are scheduled for an audition?  It is easy.  You will be sent an invitation to either accept or decline an audition with a time and a date.  You will be able to adjust the time and date in most cases if there is a conflict.  We know when you accept or decline an audition.  We also schedule you for those auditions and we follow up with the casting directors.  If you fail to show, that will be one strike against you.  If you miss a second audition you confirmed, that is strike three.  On the third strike you will receive a warning that if you have another strike, your contract will not be renewed and we will stop sending you out for auditions.  Again, we have no other choice because we have to maintain a solid and sound reputation.

Also, if you are one of our clients and wondering if you are one of our three actors with their first strike, trust me, you would know it because you would have already received a phone call from Robby and/or me to discuss the situation about your missed audition.  So, if we haven't had the conversation, you are in OUTSTANDING STATUS WITH NO STRIKES.  

I just wanted to address this situation before it got out of hand in order to protect everyone.  Casting directors and producers will know LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP actors and when they see our logo and name on your resume from our submissions, we want them to say, "Those actors from LACA NOLA are the best prepared and professional we have ever worked with."

So, please make your New Year's Resolution to push your acting career to the top and attend all auditions you commit to attend.  Notify us immediately if you have committed and an emergency has come up so that we can at the minimum smooth things over with the casting director.


"WE WON'T SUBMIT IF YOU DON'T COMMIT"

PLANS FOR SCREENWRITERS

By DR. MEL Caudle

There maybe only seven screenwriters we represent at LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP, but they are awesome.  As a screenwriter, I find it exciting to read other's screenplays.  But, that isn't where it stops for screenwriters.  We market you as hard as we market our other clients.  In fact, our goals for screenwriters include being able to submit your scripts to major film developers to obtain funding.

I recently wrote a five picture deal to obtain funding.  Four of the screenplays were mine and the last one was from another screenwriter.  I have found, that production companies want a variety of options.  This means, that LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP will be writing additional packages for our screenwriters to include in another five picture deal.  Also, we have already sent introductory letters to film development heads to introduce them to our talent pool.


With that said, the more marketing tools a screenwriter has for each individual screenplay, the easy it is to market.  That means, just like an actor who is responsible for headshots, resumes, and demo reels, the screenwriter must have an entire EPK package pitching themselves and their screenplay.  I am not referring to a Business Plan.  Again, I am referring to an EPK which means ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT.  

There are several items that are required in an EPK package for screenwriters.  They include:
  • Cover Sheet
  • Query Letter
  • Screenwriter BIO
  • Logline
  • Synopsis and/or Treatment
  • One Pager
  • Script Coverage
  • Trailer (optional at the pitching stage)
A cover sheet for your EPK package usually has the title of the screenplay, the screenwriter's name, copyright information, name of agent and their contact phone number.  Ideally, you would also include a screenwriter's link to your website.  You can design your own website for free by going to wix.com.  

A query letter is very important and there are certain elements that the letter must include:
  1. Introduce your screenplay
  2. The importance of your screenplay
  3. A blurb on your credentials as a writer
  4. Logline
  5. Short 3 - 5 sentences synopsis
  6. Contact information of your agent or manager.
Your BIO should be no longer than one page.  Keep it short and simple and only focus on your writing skills.  This is not a resume where you list all of your work.  For an example, go to my IMDB page and read my bio there or my screenwriting website www.drmelcaudle.com.  I do practice what I preach.


The logline, synopsis and One Pager you create to represent your screenplay is vital.  Your screenplay is worth nothing if you don't have these vital marketing tools.  If you need help in creating or writing any of these marketing tools, my screenwriting series, RESCUE THE DOG will help you.

Here is a list of my books in this series:


  • Just Beat It!  How to Create Beat Sheets
  • How to Write a Logline
  • How to Write a Synopsis
  • How to Create and Design a One Pager


LACA NOLA SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK



LACA NOLA is proud to present our first musician spotlight of the week, ROCKIN' DOPSIE JR.  If you don 't know who he is, it won't be long until you do.  He comes from Louisiana Music Royalty and his electric performances thrill audiences.

Not only does he perform true Zydeco, he does the best musical tribute to James Brown and Michael Jackson ever seen.  He is the BEST WASH BOARD player in the world today.  When he and his band, The Zydeco Twisters, hit the stage, audiences go wild.  There is nothing that can stop them from tapping to the Zydeco beat and dancing in the streets.


Rockin Dopsie Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters have performed all over the world and at many prestigeous venues including The White House for President Bill Clinton, The House of Blues, and numerous festivals including The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  He has taken the stage with James Brown, Jimmy Buffet, Cindy Lauper, and many more A-List musicians including Paul Simon.  In fact, one of the songs that Rockin Dopsie Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters played on Simon's Graceland album, won a Grammy for Best Album of the Year.

If you are interested in purchasing this band's albums, they are available. Go to www.rockindopsiejr.com .  Be sure to follow Rockin Dopsie Jr. on Facebook and keep up with his next performances.  It is a show you don't want to miss.  In fact, the band will be performing at Sam's Town in Shreveport, LA December 30, and New Year's Eve.  He also will be at the Rockin Bowl in January and then a special performance at Championship Square before the Super Bowl.


ROCKIN' DOPSIE'S LATEST ALBUM
Take a peek at spotlight performances of ROCKIN DOPSIE JR. & THE ZYDEDO TWISTERS.




TO BOOK ROCKIN' DOPSIE JR. 
& THE ZYDECO TWISTERS

CONTACT

LACA NOLA TALENT
504-301-8000

AND THE WINNER IS....

I would be remiss if I did not congratulate the winners of THE VOICE and the X-FACTOR! However, I will be honest and say that I thought New Orleans own, Terry McDermett should have been crowned the winner of THE VOICE; but, I am happy with the results of the X-FACTOR.  CONGRATULATIONS!  I love discovering tomorrow's talent.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

I want to share one of my favorite Christmas songs and performances by Vince Vance.  Enjoy!













No comments:

Post a Comment