You’ve gone months without a call from anyone, finally after stewing for weeks and weeks frustrated, questioning why you decided to choose this path the phone rings… 1) you have an audition 2) they finally read your script 3) you have been working in production for years and finally you have a shot to Produce or Direct! A few hours/days go by and now you have 3 auditions in a week span; a producer has decided to take on your web series and just as you begin pre=production the short you sent a friend 3 years ago was chosen for their next production; and as soon as one production decides to give you a shot, 2 others friends do as well.
This is not an uncommon scenario in the entertainment industry. One can go weeks, months even years with no work, people aren’t even interested in seeing or reading their work…then all of a sudden one call comes in and the flood gates open…
When actors audition regularly 3 in a week can be usual, but if they’ve gone through a dry spell and then get three in a week it can throw off their game. This is why it is important as performers that we are always flexing our muscle either in a class or reading with fellow actors on a regular basis, there is no room for getting rusty cause when the calls start coming there is no time to get “in shape”.
Have a game plan for your scripts. Simply completing a script isn’t enough flush them out. Make the extra effort to devise a budget, or a few depending on how much funding you can raise (the current production I am working on we did 3 budgets “the dream”, “the realistic”, and “the bare bones”). Until you figure out you’re budget it’s hard to move forward logically in any direction, because every decision you make has a $ attached to it. Even if you are not a producer learn how to look at a script from their perspective, anticipate what they will ask and have the answer before the meeting.
When taking on your first productions as a producer or director it is important to pace yourself. Production work takes a lot of prep, stamina and organization is key. Taking charge of a production as Producer or Director uses more brain power than you expect and drains you in ways you never thought possible. Although it’s exciting to get the offers you might not want to take on too many productions back to back until you can gauge your recovery time.
Building momentum takes years of work and when it comes we want to be in a position to take full advantage of ALL the opportunities…that is why it is all about Preparation. The more prepared we are the better chance we have of catching the wave and riding it to success. You never know when or where an opportunity is going to present itself, for me most often it’s just about the time I’ve written off the possibility.
Personally Fall of 2014 has been a real rainy season. A pilot I did 7 years ago finally went to production “The Nighbors”, my poetry book “AURAL SEX: Naughty Notes for Lovers” is getting published (I couldn’t get interest in the book in 2009 so based my solo show “Year of the Slut” on the poetry in 2009)…and just as I align with a producer for my new short film I get a call from NY, a friend wants to shoot a different short I wrote when I was living there over 10 years ago. All this in a matter of 2 months just as I started a new position as Performing Arts Director at an Elementary School. It’s been a lot. But thanks to my experience as a producer I am ready, I’m used to juggling. I had a slow summer after the Hollywood Fringe Festival, so I wrote my entire school curriculum (every lesson plan for the year). The producer in me wanted to finish the big picture as I do when I take on a production – I schedule through completion. I had no idea how busy the fall would be but my preparation was my saving grace…
Don’t waste time waiting, keep working and keep learning, it may take 10 years but when opportunities come they come fast and with friends, so do something everyday to get yourself prepared for rain!
For more information about our classes and production consulting go to http://www.MakeYourOwnBreak.com