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finally broke the duck.

so i finally booked a co-star role. no it’s not a lead in a major feature film. nor is it a recurring guest role in a tv sitcom. but it’s a couple of lines in a major television show. and it’s exactly what i’ve been working towards in the past few months.

when you think that for every one of these tiny roles, over a thousand people get submitted. of these thousand people, a casting ASSISTANT in a casting office sifts through and selects twenty people to be called in. of those twenty, the casting ASSOCIATE (and on occasion the casting DIRECTOR – who’s big fancy name is on the office) will pick five to go to producers. then the big money boys select two, and then they’re given the job/placed on “avail”.

i have witnesses at work that saw me do this.

20120324-182916.jpg

my agent called me seven hours later telling me i landed the CASTLE job.

r.

ps – no i don’t write these notes every day… i just had a feeling.

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Ross’ Big Gay Ohio Weekend (complete with GayMeter™)

Friday 24th September
7am {LA TIME}: fly out from LAX GayMeter™: 5/10
4pm {EST}: meet with Empire director Nick Corporon and cinematographer Collin Brazie GayMeter™: 6/10
730pm {EST}: watched feature film “the green” GayMeter™: 7/10
10pm {EST}: Dayton LGBT film festival opening party at Sidebar GayMeter™: 7.5/10

Saturday 25th September
1am {EST}: Dave Chappelle asks me how I’m doing and stumbles on through to the men’s room. GayMeter™: 1/10
3am {EST}: wake up with abdominal pains. GayMeter™: 3/10
5am {EST}: abdominal pains have turned into gut wrenching, tear inducing, leg cramping diarrhea. AWKWARDMeter™: 7/10
9am {EST}: more diarrhea AWKWARDMeter™: 8.5/10
11am {EST}: explain to hosts and friends I’m “ill” and need to rest. AWKWARDMeter™: 10/10
7pm {EST}: recover in time to view “tomboy”. GayMeter™: 7/10
9pm {EST}: watch “going down in la-la-land”  GayMeter™: 7.5/10
11pm {EST}: afterparty drinks at gay club “MJ’s cafe” complete with standard drag queens and strippers (male). GayMeter™: 8.5/10

Sunday 26th September
12pm {EST}: lunch with the Brazies and friends GayMeter™: 5/10
1pm {EST}: i sing along with Elton John’s hit “the one”  GayMeter™: 8/10
3pm {EST}: world premiere of “empire”  GayMeter™: 7.5/10
330pm {EST}: watch screening of “weekend”… complete with surprise anal sex scene and semen shot  GayMeter™: 9/10
9pm {EST}: convinced by nick corporon and collin brazie’s 16 year old sister lydia to watch glee… and enjoyed it.  GayMeter™: 10/10

Monday 27th September
530am {EST}: wake up… flight@815am… current ETA: 715am
555am {EST}: leave early to no traffic… flight@815am… current ETA: 7am
615am {EST}: mysterious traffic… flight@815am… current ETA: 730am
630am {EST}: fire trucks, ambulances, & police cars pass standstill traffic… flight@815am… current ETA: 745am
645am {EST}: pass four lane closing car accident… flight@815am… current ETA: 8am
750am {EST}: arrive at columbus airport to hear name over loud speaker as last remaining passenger. shit.
813am {EST}: make it to the gate. win.
815am {CDT}: arrive in chicago.
822am {CDT}: leave chicago o’hare airport and catch cab to white castle in des plaines on river road.
845am {CDT}: arrive at white castle and eat four sliders, an order of fries and a dr.pepper.
848am {CDT}: regret leaving the airport to go to white castle, spending 40 dollars in taxi fares in the process. StupidityMeter™: 10/10 
945am {CDT}: return to airport for flight back to LAX.
1230pm {LA TIME}: arrive back in LAX and proceed on foot to work @1800 dentist
1030pm {LA TIME} / 130am {EST}: finish work and proceed to drive home.

you read all this? wow.
r. 

being an actor in hollywood.

what do i need to do right now? what do i want? how do i get what i want? what’s in my way?

these are questions you have to ask yourself every day. will smith had this wonderful analogy that can apply to almost any task in life. he said that when you set out to build a wall, you don’t wake up in the morning and say “i’m going to build the biggest, baddest wall the world has ever seen.” instead, you wake up and lay a single brick. you lay a single brick the most perfectly, and most diligently that a brick has ever been laid. and you do this every day.

pretty soon you’ll have a bad ass wall.

three years ago, while i was still living in australia… if you told me that it’d be one and a half years before i started making DECENT money with my acting (and NO SOONER), i probably wouldn’t have come. actually that’s not entirely true, because most people warned me it’d be three or four years. but it would’ve really discouraged me.

thing is, now that i’m here, i realise that everything that’s been done has needed to be done. this is not an easy career. this is not an in and out gamble. if you’re here, you’re here for the long haul. there is so much that you need to secure before you can make this a career. the sooner you make peace with this, the sooner you can get to where you’re going.

at EVERY step… there’s more to do. and it’s strange because when you’re looking up at where you’re going you think “if i just get there, i’ll be happy and ok.” incorrect.

if i just get a car.
if i just finish school.
if i just book some union theatre.
if i just get sag.
if i just get an agent.
if i just book a commercial.

i sit here now looking down the barrel of my next step (which is to get co-star auditions and roles under my belt). i actually think i’ll be happy when i nail a few.

but that’s not REALLY true now is it? i’m just not thinking about the massive wall anymore. i’m just going out and laying this new brick as best as i can.

r.

pet peeves.

1. consistently fail to answer your phone or text msgs.

fuck you.

r.

my name is ross. i can not help you.

yeah im not going to lie to you. i talk to hundreds of people every week. and most of them are completely screwed. not even counting the people on weekends having emergencies with broken teeth, infections, etc.

take this guy. i was talking to a guy from tennessee. recently unemployed, 56 years old, had an abscess on his tooth. he has no insurance, has medicaid (which no one really accepts, and if they do it doesn’t cover anything), and three other teeth have cavities (because he hasn’t seen the dentist in seven years because of the cost). so he finally makes the call to me because he cant bear the pain anymore. and i refer him to a dentist office. naturally everyone wants a “cheap dentist” but that’s like walking into a hospital saying i want “cheap surgery for this gunshot wound”. too bad buddy, we’re gonna do what needs to be done, and it’s going to cost you.

seriously, the only difference is that the tooth infection/pain/gum disease, etc will kill you SLOWER, and as such you can probably make it OUT of the place alive. just.

the dentist gets on the phone with this guy, and tells him he can see him thursday (it’s monday). that’s as soon as i can get him in. for the initial visit, it’s $110 dollars. that’s just to get in the office for the xray and check up. but he’s going to need a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics because they can’t do anything with an infected tooth. $60 dollars. they may need a panoramic xray because it’s a molar in the back. $95 dollars.

that’s $265 and the sonofabitch hasn’t even been given a diagnosis yet. THEN, the dentist says that after the antibiotics takes care of the infection, to came back in on monday for the diagnosis. chances are it’s going to be a removed tooth (thank god, because a root canal, or trying to save the tooth could be upwards of 900 dollars). boy oh boy, good news sir! pulling the tooth is only going to be $310 dollars. what a bargain! but if it’s chipped and broken, we may need to refer you to a fucking SURGEON! and guess what pal? $$$$

he’s 56. now unemployed. in constant pain. and i have the audacity to tell him it’s going to cost him $265 for some dentist to tell him “yup, you’re in pain”. and then have him charge $310 dollars to pull it out?

home depot has pliers for $8.99.

you think i’m kidding or exaggerating? this isn’t even the worst story. i hear this every. day.

r.

how to impress an agent.

i’m lucky enough to be an actor in hollywood who has a sensational agent. and i’ve had a number of people ask me how to go about getting an agent, or how to make a good impression, or what’s important. so here’s a quick skinny of what’s important to agents, things to remember, and things to avoid.

1. headshots.
i don’t mean a couple of good pictures that your friend too for free. i don’t mean some photos where you look great. i mean specific, professional and varying pictures. you NEED to be able to walk into an office (of CD’s AND agents) and be able to say “this is me as the runaway, this is me as the drug dealer, this is me as the sexbomb, etc” and have the headshots to back it up. because agents and CD’s are immediately then thinking “well fantastic, i don’t have to do anything, this person knows EXACTLY who they are.”

2. listen.
agents will tell you things once. and once only. mommy and daddy holy your hand. your agent will not. a good one will be out there pushing you to EVERYONE they can saying they have the best f**king actor on the planet for every job they submit you for. now they do this on the ASSUMPTION that you’ve done everything they’ve told you to do. headshots, casting workshops, classes, postcards. if they do this, and in walks a hung over, unprepared, uninterested actor… you’ll be off the roster. very simple.

3. invest in your acting career
i see so many actors with flat screen tv’s, cable, gym memberships, and flash cars… but often don’t have the money for new headshots (and they continue using the ones no one cares to see), for casting workshops, picture uploads on casting websites, etc. wtf are you doing? if you’re a f**king actor this stuff is tax deductible. and even if it weren’t you have to spend money to make money. this is coming from me. and if you have less money than me, there’s some serious shit going on. live in the yes and make it happen.

and also going back to headshots (can you tell this is important?) you need to be updating them often. if they are not working, CHANGE them. a good agent will be constantly harping on you for this. not because they have nothing else to talk about, but if they are selling you like a machine, they NEED to be able to show the casting office’s they have something that’s PERFECT for them.

i’m going to add that every single person in hollywood is going to have an opinion. this is mine. you may discover something different, but this is what i’m working with.

r.

ps – thanks LB for just being sensational

bullying.

i was watching a video online of an australian kid getting bullied last night. a much smaller kid approaches casey and throws a punch connecting to his jaw. then follows up on the bit of a rocky balboa music going on in his head and goes in for some more. unlike rocky balboa though, he didn’t go twelve rounds with the entire USSR changing to support the little guy. instead, his opponent grabbed him by the waist, turned him upside down, and sent him crashing face first into the floor. very much like rocky balboa, he was staggering around back to his corner. because UNLIKE rocky balboa… the floor was made of concrete. and not movie canvas.

but let’s take size out of the equation. it seems ridiculous to me, that oftentimes when it comes to school yard violence, it’s simply the person who gets hurt MOST that get’s protected the most (CASEY was the one who got suspended from school). it doesn’t matter that he started the fight. it doesn’t matter that casey only reacted after getting punched, provoked, and pushed to the wall. it doesn’t matter that this bullying stuff had probably gone on for months without casey saying a word.

BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD’VE DONE A THING. what do teachers do? they give them a “stern” warning, and tell them to talk their differences out. it’s not so dissimilar to requesting israelis and palestinians to chat out their differences. or even more unlikely, asking me to sit next to a manchester city supporter. then you end up being called a bitch for not being able to handle your own problems. then you slip into self loathing about not being able to take care of yourself. then you develop a complex. the quicker, much faster way to problem resolution of this kind, is clearly a quick body slam to the floor. i shit you not, no one shall be picking on casey in the near future.

i was bullied a lot as a kid, and i wish i’d done more body slamming when i was younger. but i didn’t. and now i’m an actor. i wish this upon no one. i personally think a movie deal should be in the making. but before we do that, perhaps a reality tv show with alexandra wallace.

r.

ps – i don’t condone violence… but notice casey didn’t do a thing until he was up against a wall and provoked. and after he’d retaliated, walked away… i would’ve thrown in a “what now muthafucka?!?!”