I’ve always had a lot professional goals. Sometimes, it just takes the courage to go after what you want no matter how frightened you are. This year, I really want to make changes for the better, especially after all of the things that negatively impacted my life last year. This year, I am trying to stay as positive, happy, and healthy as possible in order to turn my career around. I want get things rolling by doing what I love and making a living at it on a more consistent basis. This business can be extremely difficult. Despite what people see on television with awards shows and red carpets, parties and the high life, it’s still a business. People have to make a living, and more often than not, it’s the people who aren’t household names that I look up to most in the acting business. There IS a way to make a living solely by being an entertainer. I’ve seen it with a number of my friends. I decided to write this post because I truly want to make my dreams a reality and achieve my goals.
For a long time, I had fed into my self-doubt. There is no one to blame for that but myself. Oftentimes, I would blame the industry for putting such unspoken restrictions on my type as an actor. I have caught myself making excuses, and I really need to stop doing that. While, it’s somewhat unrealistic to stay positive all the time, I do want to turn that negative feeling that has been lingering for the past year into something joyous. I want bring my career to the next level. I could be worrying about my weight, the fact that I don’t have a “traditional” look, or the fact that I have been doing all of the footwork myself for the past six and a half years without the help of an agent. OR, I could totally revel in the fact that I’m NOT starving myself to fit some unrealistic Hollywood ideal, while still becoming more aware of my overall health. I could be proud of my look just as I am because my parents are really attractive people, so naturally, they made me look as unique as possible which is awesome. Lastly, I could be exceedingly grateful for how far I’ve come on my own without the help of an agent. And, I am proud of that. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. But I want more. I want to do what I love. I want to do voice-overs, I want to do television (I mean, hello, I would love to be on Blacklist), I want to do more film. I want to work.
At the same time, I’ve come to the realization that I not only want, but need to have someone in my corner. It’s been great doing it on my own, but I truly believe that I need the guidance of a manager and agent at this point. I’ve met agents and managers in the past who have told my look was unique and they would love to work with me, but they aren’t looking for my type right now, or they already have it. Representation can be a lot like dating. You’re either ready for dating and marriage, or you’re just not someone’s type. This year, I hope I’m someone’s type.
Everyone once in a while, as an actor, I see a film where I wish with all my heart that I could have been a part of it; Not because of the perceived fame and fortune of the other actors, not because of the flashy special effects, and not because of the pop culture phenomenon that could come along it. Plain and simple, most of the time when something like that happens, it’s because of the script. Destin Cretton, writer and director of the new film Short Term 12, drew from first hand experience to writer and direct a film that tells the story of a group of supervisors and the foster children they watch over at a short-term living-facility. Headlined by Tony-winner, John Gallagher Jr. (Spring Awakening, HBO’s The Newsroom) and Brie Larson (Showtime’s United States of Tara, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,) these fellow twenty-something actors better get ready for awards season early. Not to be overshadowed, are the actors who play the troubled teens they care for. Performances by Keith Stanfield, Kaitlyn Dever, Alex Calloway and Kevin Hernandez, practically steal the movie. At its core, however, it is a true ensemble piece. They work together to solve the problems at hand. It is both heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. But that’s what good stories are. Just like life. When a story comes along that incorporates both humor and torment, verisimilitude is at work. As humans, we need to see this film, we need to hear its message. We need to surround each other with love and understanding. Short Term 12 opens in theaters on August 23rd.
*Screening provided by the SAG Foundation, presented at the NYIT Auditorium on July 17th.
Improvisation has always been an essential tool for an actor whether you are in a comedy or a drama. Known for films that only have an outline instead of a set script, Christopher Guest has helped revolutionize the movie-going experience with the “mockumentary” film. Movies like Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and Waiting for Guffman, all use a core group of actors known for their improvisational skills. Actors like Bob Balaban, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Eugene Levy, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard, and even Christopher Guest himself, all have made regular appearances in these films. Their improvisations skills have been put to use in both comedic and dramatic films. One of the most interesting films of Christopher Guest’s is For Your Consideration. Ironically, there was Oscar buzz for Catherine O’Hara’s performance in which she plays an actress vying for an statue of her own. Honestly, I think this movie SHOULD have gotten an Oscar for O’Hara and the movie itself. Catherine O’Hara’s abilities as an actor of both dramatic and comedic caliber are so high that even the apparent face-lift that her character, Marilyn Hack, has, was not done with use of makeup or special effects. As an actor, she had the ability to use her physicality and enhance the performance in an honest way. Take a look at the clip:
Put this DVD in your queue and watch the pure genius of the cast as they improvise their way through one of the funniest films to parody the film industry. There is more truth to this comedy about drama than in actual documentaries about the industry. I would love to be in a movie like the ones that Christopher Guest produces and directs. I think they are intelligent, funny and pure entertainment. I love seeing skilled actors at work.