Useful $hit (a.k.a. actor resources)
Knowledge, in this industry, is power. So put on some steel toed boots, ’cause the following websites, podcasts, and like are veritable knowledge bombs that be droppin’
The Actor’s Network
Just did a blog post on them. Check it. If you’re in LA you shoulda become a member 3 weeks ago.
Brains of Minverva
I effing love this blog, and Sarah and Claire are total rock stars. They sent me the following: Brains of Minerva – The Guide to the LA Actor Hustle publishes resource-rich career and lifestyle articles for the industrious working actor. Launched in Sept. 2009, the site now hosts over 100 posts on everything from joining SAG to prepping your web series to navigating the steps of auditioning for a series regular. We’re thrilled to be part of the community of actors using the web to share information and perspective, and we’re constantly inspired by our friends at Playbills vs. Paying Bills (and, yes, you guys win the awesome name contest!). At Ben’s suggestion, we’ve put together a list of posts to introduce ourselves.
- How to Join SAG
- The Lowdown on Using the Breakdowns Pt. One and Pt. Two
- So I Married an Actor
- Using Facebook & Twitter to Grow Your Acting Career
- Things I’ve Learned on the Other Side of the Table
- Grants for Actors
- A Financial and Artistic Wake-Up Call from Abundance Bound Pt. One and Pt. Two
- Dallas Travers’ 6 Steps to Great Headshots
- Emmy-Winning Casting Director Holly Powell on the 4 Steps to Casting a Series Regular
- And for exclusive interviews on auditioning and working on-set with the The Daily Show’s Josh Gad, Avatar’s Dileep Rao and others, visit the Brains of Minerva Youtube Channel…
Come on by, let us know what you think – we’d love to say hello… Claire Winters & Sarah Sido Brains of Minerva
Inside Acting Podcast
Trevor and AJ are two of the nicest, most genuine actors you will ever meet…err, listen to. They host Inside Acting Podcast, the best way to spend your LA commute. I asked them for a summary and some links to their favorite episodes. Here’s what I got: Inside Acting is a free industry audio podcast for actors, by actors. Each episode brings you tips and insights from Los Angeles-area casting directors, agents, producers, writers, actors, filmmakers, personal finance gurus, and more. Get insider information on marketing yourself, creating your own work, and booking the gig — straight from the people who’ve been there, done that, and are doing it again. Check out our website and find the podcast on iTunes. And our Top 5 most popular/favorite episodes so far:
- Episode 03 — Brian Vermiere (note from Ben: Brian is one of the most influential people in my view on Los Angeles. He’s brilliant and is one of the founders of PerformerTrack)
- Episode 06 — Enci
- Episode 07 — Kris Diedrich (note from Ben: Kris is one of the kindest people in all of Los Angeles)
- Episode 15 — Neal McDonough, Part 1
- Episode 24 — Bonnie Gillespie, Part 2
Actor’s Voice/Self Management for Actors/Bonnie Gillespie
Casting Director Bonnie Gillespie writes (I’m guessing) the most widely read actor blog around. And for good reason. Her blog is absolutely brilliant. If you ever have a free second (and by second I mean week), go poke around her extensive blog archives and prepare to have your mind blown. Bonnie has also written the best book available on the business of acting. Self Management for Actors should be mandatory reading for any actor wanting to take their career seriously.
Hollywood Happy Hour Note: HHH no longer exists Continuing the awesomeness that is Bonnie Gillespie, every actor should subscribe to the Hollywood Happy Hour yahoo group. This is an e-group of a couple thousand actors, CDs, and industry professionals from all over the globe asking questions and sharing resources. I’m pretty sure you have to sign up for a yahoo email address, but that’s the only time you’ll have to use it…you can have the email digest sent to whatever email you want.
Marci Liroff “Like” Page
Casting Director Marci Liroff (E.T., Spitfire Grill, Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, and many more) has a tremendously engaging Facebook “Like” Page (or whatever the hell they’re called now). Lots of great resources there, her audition tips videos, and always an engaging conversation. Check it!
Secrets of Screen Acting
The best on-camera training I’ve had. But Ben, it’s a PODCAST, you exclaim! Yeah. That’s right. It’s that friggin’ good. Probably the most informative 5 minutes of your day as an actor. David H. Lawrence hosts and Patrick Tucker does most of the talking. Seriously. Check it out (Podcast inspired by the book Secrets of Screen Acting that Patrick Tucker wrote. Find it on Amazon.)
Speaking of David H. Lawrence, check out his website www.ActingAnswers.com. Full of wonderful advice from a very astute working actor.
One of the most informative email newsletters out there. Go to Alex’s Info site and sign up to receive daily awesomeness. It’s fairly LA based, but there are great resources in there for everyone. The email also contains information on thrival jobs, internship opportunities, and the like.
Head over to their website and click on “Subscribe” in the top menu to get daily updates of what the heck is going on in this crazy industry. Get the news that the people at the top of this crazy town care about. You can also watch a 5-minute video of the morning’s news every day if you prefer.
The Hollywood Reporter
Rather than droppin’ a couple hundred bones on actually paying for the magazine, I suggest signing up for their daily email newsletters, or subscribing to their rss feeds. This is the kind of info the people with the money care about. The type of info that is great to have as a general understanding of what’s going on in our industry.
Tons of wonderful industry news on their main site. Lots of networking opportunities and such. Click on the “Register” link in the top right and enter your email to get on the list.
Damn you all of my friends who didn’t tell me about this until 6 months into my Los Angeles experience. If you want to get tickets to anything in Los Angeles, it’s mandatory to check Goldstar first. Pretty much every play, concert, or whatever has extremely (like 50+ %) discounted tickets. Awesomesauce.
Oh, and there are discounted tix for most of the major cities on here, not just Los Angeles.
ActorRated is like Yelp for actors. Basically it’s a place where people can rate and give feedback on the myriad services, products, headshot photographers, membership organizations, and the like. What you’re looking for isn’t there? Put it up! The more information we can give each other as a community, the better.
In short, PerformerTrack is online software that allows you to manage all aspects of your acting career. Auditions, expenses, contacts, etc.
I wrote about PerformerTrack previously, and I would highly recommend you check out co-founder Brian Vermiere’s interview with Inside Acting Podcast.
The Moth Podcast
As actors we’re in the business of telling stories. And The Moth Podcast has some of the best stories around. They are true stories, run about 15 minutes, and are told live without notes. Subscribe on work out those storytelling muscles.
The Actor’s Lounge Note: The Actor’s Lounge no longer runs I absolutely LOVE The Actor’s Lounge. It is by far the best energy in Los Angeles. So what is it you ask? Great question. The Actor’s Lounge is essentially an open mic night for actors. Any actor can simply show up and do a monologue (3 min. or less) or a scene (5 min. time limit for 2-person scene, 6-minute limit for 3 or more). There’s a live DJ on stage, phenomenal emcees (led by the truly brilliant In-Q), as well as music, dance, live painting, and film stuff thrown in for good measure. If you have a single creative bone in your body you NEED to check this out. When: First Wednesday of every month, starting at 8:30pm (performers must show up early to sign up)
Where: Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Cost: $1 (though it might go up to $5 soon) What are your favorite resources? If they’re not listed here, throw ’em up in the comments section!
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