Hi Bonnie,

I just read your May 19th article where Stephanie asked about not getting any calls from Actors Access despite the amount of times she has submitted herself, well I feel the same way. I use Actors Access and LA Casting a lot and so far I have only received two calls [for my son], which isn’t bad, but I have always wondered if it could be the resumé (not much work experience) or the picture. Or do I need to continue to be patient? Would it be too much to get your opinion on my son’s pic/resumé?

Also, someone referred your name to me today which is how I came across your article and they mentioned that I look into workshops that you do. Do you offer workshops? Because if you do, I would be interested in signing my son up. Thanks so much for taking time to read this email.

Yami Anselmo (AJ’s mom)

PS — Can’t wait to continue to read your articles. So much helpful information! Thank you!

Hi Yami,

So glad you’re enjoying my columns thus far. Definitely take a look at the archives and dive on in. And if you’re looking for my opinion on something in particular, use the SEARCH function to bring up fewer options than the whole scope of the archives. And if I haven’t covered something yet, shoot me another email and I’ll get the topic in the queue!

I don’t generally do CD Workshops, if that’s what you’re asking about. I will occasionally go visit a school and watch its actors doing cold reads, or I’ll participate in the SAG Foundation’s Casting Access Project workshops (I do several of those each year, without fail). I’m sometimes brought in to guest-lecture here or there and will watch a few scenes as a part of the Q&A event. But as far as the facilities that have a different casting director in every night for a group of actors who aren’t enrolled in any sort of ongoing classes, I don’t do those types of workshops. (I used to participate in those workshops as an actor, but not as a CD. Just not my thing.)

If the person who pointed you in my direction was talking about my small-group consultation sessions, I’ve pretty much had to stop doing those. Bummer. I’m just too busy. I actually have a waiting list of several dozen actors who all want a quick email from me the second I set up the next Self-Management for Actors group seminar, but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. I actually need to just edit my professional bio to take out the “consultant” stuff, because I really can’t take time away from casting and writing and producing to do it anymore. Now, actors who are performing in the showcase I produce do get small-group consultation sessions with me as a part of that showcase process, but that’s not something I’ve opened up to kids just yet, so again, that’s not going to be terribly helpful to you right now.

I’d like to recommend a few wonderful consultants like Judy Kerr and Stephon Fuller and Mark Atteberry and Sam Christensen and Kristyn Burtt and Deb Cresswell and Holly Powell and Sandra Merrill and of course the entire institution that is The Actors’ Network. Based on your specific needs, I would imagine you’ll be able to find a consultant in that list that’s going to be a good fit for you. (No clue whether any of the above-listed folks work specifically with children, but you could always ask! And maybe they can refer you elsewhere, if they’re a dead-end. You might also want to check with the non-profit organization called BizParentz.org to find out who they’d recommend, for kid-actor consultation services that are on the up-and-up.)

Okay, now on to my thoughts about your son’s profile at Actors Access! Thanks for the link! First, I think the photos are just fine. Usually I like to see some teeth (yes, even braces, even snaggletooth grins), because I want to know what to expect when the actor is, y’know, acting! Saying words! Opening his or her mouth! Your son has good representation, so that’s a plus. Those folks putting their logo on his resumé — even as sparse as that resumé may seem — is an endorsement and that helps with our risk assessment. I would suggest, if any of the training you have listed on your son’s resumé is going on NOW, that you update the resumé to include a parenthetical notation of “currently” or “ongoing” next to the coach’s name, so we know that’s where your child is actively studying. But overall, that’s a good beginner’s resumé with room to grow. You’re not trying to have it appear as though your son has more experience than he does, and that’s important. Of course, he’s going to be competing with actors who DO have more experience, who are members of the unions, etc., but that’s true at any age! There’s always gonna be someone with bigger credits and that’s just a fact of life. Don’t worry. Still plenty of roles to build up on from here.

I think your son looks small for his age (age is something I can see from the Breakdown Services’ side of his profile, not something the profile link you sent provides, which is great for safety), and that’s cool, because it will allow him to work “younger” but stay on set longer hours (and production loves saving money like that).

Really, the only advice I have is to stick it out and keep doing what you’re doing! Patience really is the secret weapon to success in this business. No one likes that answer, but it’s the truth. Yeah, sometimes there’s also stuff you could change up or try differently, but so many times it’s just a matter of consistently submitting yourself (or, in your case, your child) to casting notices, training, doing plays, improving upon the craft, building skills, and staying available to us so when we need what you’ve got you’ll be who we go to for it.

[Editor’s Note: As an Administrator of the sites, I can see the activity on Actors Access. You’ve made 5 submissions, and that over a period of 6 weeks. That’s really not much and while some fortunate souls get auditions via their first submission, more the case is that a lot more than 5 submissions will be made before being called in to audition, if called in at all. You do seem to be submitting early, not waiting days after the breakdown is posted, so that is good, submit ASAP because casting becomes swamped with submissions rather quickly. As well, at some point you might want to consider getting some video online into the account, it’s quite the important tool in the toolbag for youngsters as well as oldsters. But to reiterate, 5 submissions is just not much to expect receiving auditions from. — Bob Brody, General Manager]

Good luck and hang in there! Keep me posted on your progress!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000875.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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