Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Inevitable Has Occurred!

Only in that I've started researching MFA acting programs.
My dad is against an MFA, thinking I've already spent my "conservatory time" in the Ithaca BFA program. What credit he gives it is from Paul Russel's book, saying it communicates an investment on the part of the student (where a BFA is almost always paid for by the parents). My mom things there is a degree between the specialized BFA and the (would be mostly redundant) MA in Theater, that communicates experience and smarts. I have yet to discover such a program. She and my dad think I should get a Master's degree in Shakespeare, because I "get it" and am capable of teaching "it." Paul Russel thinks school is a very expensive guaranteed timeslot in front of agents at your senior showcase.

However, given the economy, people are attempting to go back to school in droves. This makes acceptance into a master's program more difficult, and financial aid all the more scarce. I don't have money for a car with air conditioning, let alone grad school. The good news is that I have no student loans from undergrad. So grad school would put me in the same financial rut in which most of my peers already find themselves. It would still mean I am relying on the fickle tastes of Hollywood (because what theater ever pays enough?) to pay off student loans should I make that investment/bet. This past summer season of movies alone is enough reason to question Hollywood's judgment and reliability.

I guess my point is that if I do my research now, and come across an appealing program, I would be given the opportunity to apply and audition in time for the spring. It seems getting a Masters in something I can study while sitting down has less of a time limit on it. The running gag has always been "the real world is scary, I want to go back to school!", and I can't say that isn't a factor here. I very much doubt that a enrollment in a full time MFA program would even allow for a part time job, which makes logistics of living difficult.

If what I think about an MFA is right, I exit with far improved skills, and a three letter acronym that gets me past most casting director intern screenings. If Paul Russel is right, I get ten minutes in front of a handful of agents in two years. Both of these would be good things.

Its something to think about. This week seems to be chock-full of auditions, and even today I had a director chase me out into the parking lot after my audition to offer me a gig. Maybe I'll be too busy being a full time starlet to attend grad school by the time it rolls around. That would be fine too.

Job ending in 3...2...1...

Today is my last day on the job. I'm going to be very sad to send my Xbox back. There's a chance they won't ask for it, as it's now an oudated model...fingers crossed.

I've set up an audition for a gigging rock cover band. Nothing huge, but it would be fun to be consistently singing again.

Goals for next week:
1) Get a profile up on Actors Access. NEActor currently has a deal with Models Club to submit for principal roles in NYC. However, I need to be on Actors Access. Some quality time with a fax machine and that should be no problem.

2) Revamp promo resume. As much as I hate that industry, its good to have a two or three day gig when one needs it.

3) Set up a photoshoot for the kickass swimsuit I got on clearance at Marshalls. I need a good full-body shot, and this suit makes me look and feel like Charlize Theron if she were a Bond girl.

4) Design and order business cards.

And I can put in hours at my dad's office.

Solid plan.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I'm streamlining my resume to look more office-friendly. Sorry, SLC costume shop and NSMT PA experience, you don't speak to my organizational skills nor my ability to bend a fax machine to my will. My work resume has also been the ugly stepsister to my acting resume for far too long. So, this morning I'm tweaking the formatting, and stressing my office experience and skills.

I'm always hesitant about putting my experience at my dad's office on my resume. I hope that five years in one office will relate reliability instead of nepotism. We'll see.

As of yesterday afternoon I have auditions for four paying film gigs this week--One spokesperson and three feature films. I'm still waiting to hear from The Stiletto Singers. Shooting for an Emerson student film the 8th and 9th. Speakeasy announced their musical season. There's no word on what they're asking for at the audition. I'm hard pressed to find a song that would be good for both NINE and The Drowsy Chaperone. Hopefully they'll give me two.

I also find it highly ironic that I lose my job the same month that I have my first red-carpet premiere. Kind of takes away my excuse to go buy one of those prom dresses on clearance. Ah well.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And the Novelty Factor Decreases

At this point, it would seem I'm not getting any bites on any of the direct applications I sent out last week. Also, I haven't heard from either of the Equity plays previously courting me. Damn.

My callback for the Stiletto Singers went very well. They seem like a good group with a solid business plan. Fingers crossed for that.

I've landed a screen test to be a corporate spokesmodel. While I doubt it would pay all the bills, it would be consistent paying work.

As far as open auditions go, there's a murder mystery show opening in Lexington, and a production of Doubt--but its all the way in Marlborough. The stipend would be eaten by gas, and probably then some.

Let's take this opportunity to examine Maya's Rules of Paid and Unpaid Performance Work:
1) No unpaid theater, unless Equity points are involved.

2) No unpaid film, unless I am 99% sure it will be usable demo reel material.

3) "Deferred Pay" can see above rules. When I meet anyone with a check in hand from deferred film pay, I will reconsider my options.

Oh, Maya, you say. Aren't you cutting yourself of from roles? What about student films? You never know who will be successful!

You're right. I don't. I already have several student films on my resume, and am slated to be in at least one more next week. However, as students are learning their craft, elements of presentation can suffer. An excellent script does me little good if the lighting is distractingly bad, and I am only shown from awkward, unflattering angles. If I can't use it on a demo reel, at this point its not a good investment of my time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My last monday as an Xbox Girl.

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

I've set up an employment profile on both the Nintendo and Playstation websites. Neither of them are currently looking for a rep in MA, but at least I'm in the system should anything come up. This afternoon I plan to actually set up my profile on, though I have yet to personally meet anyone who's gotten a job of that site.

In other news, I'm still waiting on any bites from the applications from Friday and Saturday.
I tend to forget that the rest of the world operates on the weekday/weekend system, and found myself increasingly frustrated that so few new jobs and gigs were posted on craigslist. Really should work on developing that patience thing.

I need to get business cards in order in time for my modeling agency's networking party on the 11th. I should get on that...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daily Updates? That seems way too consistent for me.

Turns out the group shoot I had been planning on attending today is pay-only. Given my current employment situation, we are now in funds lockdown, and will not be paying for photographers. So much for that.

I applied online to be an Assistant Manager at three different GameStop locations. Management experience would probably be good for me in the long run, and I can't exactly turn down a job until it is offered me.

I also applied to a mysterious merchandising job through Mosaic. It seems video-games-oriented, but refers to a brand/store/something I hadn't heard of. Google was of little use in finding out any particulars. Perhaps one of the big-box stores is revamping their approach to games? Anywho, it's listed as a "future opportunity", so we shall see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Well, I've been 'consolidated' for two days now...

And I'm realizing how impatient I am.
Next week I've booked a non-union video shoot for an iPhone app, I have callbacks for a women's singing group, and an audition for a non-union feature film. Can't complain there.

As far as 'real' employment is concerned, I've put my profile up again on NARMS (National Association for Retail Marketing Services), and updated my resume on the Mosaic (company I'll be working for until August 1st). I've applied for a week of promo work sampling cereal in Mid-August, but I've found little else mentioned in the categories I listed yesterday.

Category 6: Retail.
I'm very bad with sales. I think consumerism is, on the whole, bad for us. So, I feel guilty trying to send people home with things like all-in-one-hot-beverage-brewers. Like they really need those things.

Having previously ignored the option, the thought occurred to me that I could probably land a job as an ASM at a GameStop, seeing as almost every last Gamestop Manager in the Boston area knows and likes me. There's also the option of applying to work at the Garment District (where I already model) from now until Halloween. I'm already an employee, and I have extensive experience in costuming and stage makeup. The latter job probably wouldn't pay well, and would result in the added expense of taking the commuter rail, in lieu of paying for parking in Cambridge. The former, as my dad put it yesterday, "will kill [my] soul".

So there's option Six. Back to the daily grind...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A New Blog, you say?

As some of you may have heard, I've recently lost my day job to re-mapping and consolidation of territories. This leaves me with some free time on my hands, so I've started a blog. In said blog, I'll be detailing the drama, tribulations and excitement in my quests for a new job, as well as the ongoing search for performance work.

So. Out of a day job, what's a non-union blonde to do? Let's weigh some options.

1) Search for a new job in retail merchandising. Pros: Flexible schedule, and reasonable money. Cons: Lots of time in an aging car, usually fewer hours than promised. Also to consider: previous merchandising job was acquired by a series of flukes.

2) Get back into promotions work. Pros: I can take work as I see fit, and design my own schedule. Cons: Flaky bosses and co-workers, lots of drama, no guarantee of work past the summer.

3) Pursue Bartending again. Pros: Good money to be made. Cons: Nocturnal schedule that will be in the way of any theater work to be had, and having next to no experience.
(For those of you following along at home, I actually had a nightmare about working at the Blue Shamrock last night. No joke.)

4)Search for work writing and/or editing. Pros: Potential to freelance, work from home. Cons: No professional experience, and most writing samples were lost in the great hard drive death of Oh-Nine.

5) Step it up, and make acting and modeling pay the bills. Pros: MA tax incentive, construction of soundstage on the South shore (no, not that one, a much smaller, but real soundstage.) Cons: Next to impossible. Need that damn SAG card and a better portfolio.

Conclusion: Pursue all of the above until leads arise. Or until I pass out from exhaustion.