Month: June 2014

An Interview With Location Managers Guild of America Director of Communications J.J. Levine

 

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J.J. Levine is the Director of Communications for The Location Managers Guild of America; here is a link to its website:

 

http://locationmanagers.org/ 

Q: What made you interested in becoming a locations manager?

 

A: I like being really challenged at work and Location Managing definitely does that! It’s the perfect right-brained, left brained job to fit my personality. Scouting fulfills the creative, artistic side because you are storytelling through your photography. Managing requires juggling a lot of tasks, working with logistics and being solution oriented. As a Location Manager, I am always dealing with different personalities who are either a part of your production or the general public.

 

Q: What is a locations library?

 

A: There are two definitions, really. A “library” aka “location service” is an agent/manager for homes, businesses, ranches and other locations that want filming. Most scouts also keep our own libraries, which more often than not, saves clients money and time because we can “pull” files many more files to show than we could scout in the same period of time.

 

Q: What are the most important pieces of information a location library can have about a certain location?

 

A: For me – it’s the personality of the owner/manager as it relates to filming; the “film friendly” nature (or not) of the neighborhood and any unique permit parameters. For example, there are locations in Los Angeles where 1 side of the street is one permit authority and the other side is another.  If you don’t know and you are short of time, you can hit a problem with “delivering” a location like this. The more info we have ahead of time, the better.

 

Q: What are some common mistakes independent filmmakers make when choosing a location?

 

A: That’s a great question. I think it would be not realizing the “hidden” costs before you got into filming somewhere – like falling in love with a home and finding out the artwork and the furniture, which is why you chose that location – are not part of the deal and even worse, they want you to pay professional “white glove” movers to have them removed during filming and put back afterwards. This is why you hire a Location Manager, because we clarify these issues before they become a problem.

 

Q: What was your most challenging job as a locations manager?

 

A: Our job is funny that way. When I am in the middle of a situation, it is consuming and “mission critical”, but we do so much, so fast, that you have to let things go very quickly. Two days later, I can barely remember the issue. We are just always jumping over one hurdle after another until the job is done.   The big difference between Location Mangers and other crewmembers is that the crew, for the most part, is all on the same agenda and working with each other. Location Managers have to work with the crew, but also the public-at-large – whose own agendas are not always in alignment with ours. For example, the other day we were shooting in a restaurant and one of their patrons refused to leave – or even just move out of the shot. The restaurant manager didn’t want to insult his regular customer and wouldn’t force him out of the way of our shot. After offering to buy him lunch and trying everything I could think of to convince the patron to move, we finally we gave up and put some extras hovering right next to his table so we couldn’t see him and his guests – and kept rolling.

 

 

Q: What made you interested in working for the Locations Managers Guild?

 

A: I’m a volunteer, just like the rest of us who “work” for the Guild, with one exception. We recently created a paid administrator position last year.   Location Scouting and Managing can be kind of a lonely profession in many cases. We often work alone – or in small teams, so there isn’t a lot of natural networking or training in this profession. Through the Guild, I was able to meet and commune with other location pros. I was able to ask and provide advice, participate in seminars and Fam tours and learn a lot more about every aspect of our job.

 

Q: Yours is a relatively new guild, what prompted location manages to finally organize?

 

A: I should distinguish that we are a Guild of Professionals not a Union that establishes and negotiates for wages, etc. In addition to the camaraderie and opportunities to commune with fellow professionals, the Guild came together to help develop a higher level of professional standards, as well as support our members in their creative endeavors. Our Mission Statement tells it all:

 

The Location Managers Guild of America is an organization of experienced career professionals in the motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries. We are dedicated to the establishment of professional standards of personal conduct and business ethics. We support the formation of strong links with business members, governmental agencies and local communities. The Guild promotes awareness of the goals and achievements of our members to the general public and within the industry through creative, educational, and philanthropic programs.

 

Q: What are the benefits of membership?

 

A: I think everyone gets something different out of his or her membership in the Guild. When I joined, it was the opportunity to feel connected to a network of location professionals both socially and professionally. For others it’s the opportunity to participate in photo shows, educational or other events that support people in our profession.   Members also get quarterly issues of The LMGA COMPASS magazine, which is an insider’s glimpse and celebration of our profession, with a strong emphasis on photography. Lastly, membership offers tangible discounts at certain camera stores and other businesses that support our goals.

 

 

Q: What are your personal goals as Director of Communications?

 

A: My personal goals are to continue to grow the guild and support our members in all of their creative endeavors. In addition to being scouts and managers, a lot of our members are amazing photographers, artists or performers and filmmakers and we are super supportive of that.   My other goals would be to continue to increase awareness of our trade and to expand our membership nationally and internationally.

 

 

Q: What is your weirdest Hollywood story?

 

A: When I was just starting out – I worked on a show with Oprah Winfrey called, “The Big Give”.   The objective of the show was for teams of contestants to help people in need. The Producer said to me, “I need you to permit every city in Southern California,” and I laughed and told him to let me know when he knew where we were filming. 2 days later he came to me and asked me how it was going. He was serious! So I got on the stick. This was in the fairly early days of reality TV – so a lot of cities didn’t know how to deal with it – and really, neither did I. I enlisted the aid of a permit service, and midway through the job, I got a call that if we went to a certain city, the police would be looking for us – and would have us arrested. Turns out our permit service didn’t exactly communicate our needs very well – and the city thought we wanted to shut down a whole area within the city. Of course, when the city knew the real story – they welcomed us with open arms – but the idea of Oprah Winfrey being arrested still gives me a bit of a giggle (but only AFTER I knew it would never really happen, of course)!

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

An Interview With Psychology Today Blogger Susan K. Perry

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Susan K. Perry writes the blog “Creating in Flow” for PsychologyToday.com and the blog “Creative Atheist” at Patheos.com. Susan is the author of the novel  Kylie’s Heel; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.bunnyape.com/susan.htm

Q: What is Kylie’s Heel about?

A: Kylie’s Heel, a novel, features a humanist who writes a Q&A column called “A Rational Woman.” While she tries to help others deal with issues rationally, she begins to suffer the most awful losses a woman and mother can encounter. How she copes without resorting to the comfort of the supernatural is the heart of the story. There’s some very dark humor and a number of quirky bits, such as the protagonist’s “Connection Collection” and her “Bleeding the Brakes Scale” of bummers. Lots more info here.

Q: Why was it important to you to make the main character a non-theist?

A: My own atheism and rational thinking have become more important to me over the years. I read a huge number of novels, some of which I review for my blogs, and it’s rare to see one with outright non-theist characters. Especially in books that appeal to women. So I figured it would be helpful for people to read a good novel with a very clearly atheist female character. Her beliefs tell us a lot about how she makes choices and lives her life.

Q: What exactly does a social psychologist do?

A: Generally speaking, a social psychologist researches human behavior. I am especially interested in individuals and how various social influences affect our behavior. That’s why I focused on creativity in my own work.

Q: What theories in social psychology have influenced your work?

A: The main one is the theory of flow. Flow is that state of consciousness when time seems to stop because you’re so deeply engaged in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s writing or sports or work. You become one with the thing you’re doing and feel just the right amount of challenge to keep things interesting for you. The social psychologist who came up with this theory is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Me-HIGH Chick-Sent-Me-HIGH-ee).

Q: What is the focus of your blog “Creating in Flow”?

A: “Creating in Flow” takes on everything to do with creativity. As my own main interest is creative writing, I often review books on how to write, or I do interviews with novelists, or I round up some terrific novels and seek out some commonality that makes the post interesting. I hope to provide readers AND writers insights into the creative process.

Q: Why do you think creative people sometimes have a hard time starting projects?

A: Actually, I find at least as often that creative individuals have a hard time completing what they’re started. But when even starting is the issue, it’s often a matter of perfectionism. They think their first sentence or first draft has to be great, whereas the truth is that we each struggle to make things better once we have a rough version down on paper (or in clay or paint or any other creative medium).

Q: Why do you think creative people are shy about sharing their work with others?

A: Not all creative people are shy about sharing. Some, in fact, share way too soon, before they’ve made all the improvements and revisions they can. For those who are too shy to share, it’s often that old perfectionism again. Plus, if you share with the wrong people, the feedback you get may turn you off sharing ever again. Choose those with whom you share carefully.

Q: What separates therapeutic writing from literature?

A: If you’re writing about yourself with the aim to get your feelings out and feel better, that would be mainly therapeutic. And it does work! If you are trying to write something lasting, using the techniques of good fiction, hoping to have it published and read by others, you’re aiming to write literature. A lot of writing isn’t necessarily “literature,” per se, just entertainment. That’s okay too.

Q: You also write a blog called “Creative Atheist.” What specific needs do creative atheists have that other creative people do not have?

A: It’s not so much that creative atheists have additional needs, it’s that they need more outlets that are open to those who are non-believers. I review a lot of atheist novels there, as well as nonfiction that explores the role of atheism in society.

Q: If you could meet any famous social psychologist in history, who would it be and what would you ask him or her?

A: The field of social psychology isn’t even a century old, and I’ve already met a number of current experts in the field. I wouldn’t mind talking to Irving Janis (now deceased) about his “groupthink” studies. I’d ask how we can get people, especially voters, to stop making errors in thinking when they’re part of a group.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Photographer Anna Liza Dela Cruz

Portrait of Anna Liza P Dela Cruz

 

 

Anna Liza Dela Cruz is a Los Angeles based photographer; here is a link to her blog:

 

http://www.annalizadelacruz.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in photography?

A: I remember a fascination with the lighting in a certain photo. It was a photo of me sitting on the couch in my childhood home, and the morning light was shining through the windows. It somehow illuminated the surroundings in such a way that I never noticed before. I don’t even remember who took the photo nor do I know where that photo is today, but I am thankful that I still have that memory.

After my folks passed away, I earned enough to be able to travel, which was a treat for me because my family was unable to afford any vacations. I pretty much had a sheltered childhood, and so when I finally had the opportunity to travel, I was eager to capture everything that interested me in these new places because life is uncertain and memories fade away.

It is through the aid of the photographic process that I am able to exist and experience this life in a productive and meaningful way.

 

 

Q: What kind of educational background do you have?

A: I’ve attended public schools during my childhood, and have taken classes at Cal State Los Angeles and at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division. I initially wanted to major in Biology and minor in Business, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans so now I’m trying to nurture my creative side.

 

 

Q: What kinds of day jobs have you had and how do they inspire you?

 

A: I’ve mostly had clerical jobs. To be honest, some days it was hard to find something that inspired me about such work, but then there were moments of little triumphs that made work easier or more meaningful, and that kept me going. Any prior job experience is a part of who you are, and the skills that you learn along the way help you to be a contributing member of society.

 

 

Q: What was your most challenging job?

 

A: The most challenging will always be the next job or project I work on because I never know what surprises may come my way.

Q: What kinds of things do you like to photograph?

A: I like to photograph many different things—from people to everyday objects, trash, and even dog poo—yes, dog poo. Ideas, emotion, timing, serendipity, and other factors play an important part in the type of photos I make, but I do gravitate towards facial expressions, interesting compositions of shapes and lines, a good color palette, flower arrangements, and abstract compositions.

 

 

Q: Who are some of your creative influences?

 

A: Hiroshige, Hokusai, Da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Redon, Kandinsky, Picasso, Gallé, T Enami, Wright, Höch, Matta, Coburn, Duchamp, Nagy, White, Miyatake, Fuss, Nachtwey, and Fontcuberta just to name a few. All in all, those I meet, the things I see, and the moments that I experience, are what influence me. I especially look forward to encountering those who have a passion for their work.

 

 

Q: What makes for a good self-portrait?

 

A: Being able to get an idea or a feeling across to the viewer is the mark of a good photograph whether it is a self-portrait or not.

 

 

Q: What do you look for in a subject?

 

A: It really depends on the circumstances, but generally, I look for elements of design that complement each other.

 

 

Q: What is interesting about LA?

 

A: It’s the merging of different types of people, their cultures, and ideas—that is what gives life and character to any place.

 

Q: What is your oddest LA story?

A: I suppose the most recent recollection would be the time I went on one of my “photographic eye” walks through Downtown Los Angeles. I was in skid row when I saw this lady in a dress sitting on the curb, and then I realized that she was peeing onto the street. At that moment, I had several emotions and thoughts running through my head—the dominant being that men have it easy because they can pee standing up! The rest mostly brought up more questions than I had answers for. What is this lady’s story? How did it come to this? What can we do? What can I do? Why would this be odd? She seemed so carefree and content in that moment. She didn’t care what other people thought. It was wonderfully human.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview with Hostile Haunts Specialist Founder Laurie Champion Fotinos

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Laurie Champion Fotinos is the founder of Hostile Haunts Specialist; here is a link to the website:

 

http://www.pinellaspascoparanormal.com/

 

Q:  What is Hostile Haunts Specialist?


A:
A hostile haunts specialist is someone who figures out and resolves hostile or extreme hauntings. While we specialize in those kinds of haunts most of our cases turn out to be just harmless spirits that have an agenda that is not bad, or may even be beneficial to the persons they are interacting with on some level. For example: We had a grandmother haunting and scaring a little boy out of the bathtub in his new home. After establishing communication with her we learned that there was a dangerous mushroom mold in the wall behind the tile. This was confirmed upon inspection of the wall behind the tile. She saved the boy from serious illness.

Q:  What qualifies you as a haunting specialist?
A: I went through one of the worst haunting experiences from childhood. As a teen I resolved it myself. From there out I have studied, experimented and helped others who are going through haunting. I have 36 years in the field now, working with hauntings. I also am an EVP specialist with hundreds of hours in, perfecting the cleaning and clearing up of the sound files to understand the words being said on tape. Due to inexperience with sounds, and working with EVP, most investigators miss about 80 percent of their evps.

Q:  Why don’t you charge for your services?
A: I do not charge for my services because I do this as a “calling” to help people, and I feel any kind spiritual work done, should be offered for free. If I go into a bad haunting I want, protection and assistance from the powers that be. In order to have that I have to have pure intention. I can not be there for the purpose of self gain or I can not win the day against a truly evil entity. Often spirits that do want to hurt people will choose the underdog that is already weak on some level. Many of my clients are poor people that could never afford to pay anyway. Also you can not charge for something that you can not guarantee to work. There are some hauntings that will never be resolved , so how can you ever guarantee anything?

Q:  What kind of a day job do you have and how does it affect your paranormal work?
A: I used to be a professional ballerina and dance teacher/choreographer for many years. My work did not entail really long hours and left me some time to work in the field. I had to keep more on the down low though, because I did not want my students or their folks to be put off by my other vocation. That was the only thing that in any way affected my work in the para field. After I retired in 2008 I was able to devote fulltime to HHS, and no longer had to keep a lower profile.
Q:  What made you interested in hauntings?

A:  I was a weird kid, I was able to see things, know things etc. that other people didn’t. seeing spirits came with that also. After the haunting experience I referred to in question 2, I knew this was my calling.

Q:  What causes a ghost to haunt a house?
A: Surprisingly, spirits do not haunt houses as much as we think they do. They hang around whatever or whoever they loved. If they had the best time of their lives in their home, they might return to it, but this seldom really happens. Usually it is the living people they interact with that are the draw, as spirits watch over us and often try to intervene or get our attention when they feel we are in need of their guidance. Spirits also haunt in other circumstances as well, such as when someone has been murdered? Spirits also haunt those who are hurting their living loved ones. There are so many reasons, just as there are with living people who have issues and situations. With the current ghost hunting craze, everyone and their brother is now out there, calling out spirits for thrills, or other shallow reasons. These ghost hunting thrill seekers then become fair game to the spirits revenge for the annoyance of such disrespect. This is why many ghost hunting individuals wind up haunted. It is the spirits’ way of teaching them that it is wrong to do this.

Q:  What kinds of haunting problems have you had to deal with?
A: Most of the cases we get are not truly hostile at all, most are family haunts, where a relative just wants the family to know about something or resolve something that can only be done here. We have also dealt with spirits of murder victims, missing persons who are deceased and others who just cannot rest until they get closure. On occasion we have had some hostile spirits that intend to do harm. Some were just evil in life and evil in death, and others were justifiably angry and haunting for revenge. Some haunting are karmic in nature.

Q:  What has been your most challenging case?
A: Because of client confidentiality I cannot tell details but the most challenging case is when the spirit talks to us via EVP but will not give us anything to go on as far as figuring out what they want or why they are there. Then you have to change gears and approach the entire investigation over in a different way and keep at it until you get to the bottom of it.

Q:  Why do you think people are skeptical about ghosts?

A: I think that some people prefer to not acknowledge that which they are afraid of, others may refuse to believe in something not proven by science. Some people I have met, do not believe in ghosts per say but only in demons as their religious beliefs dictate that human spirits cannot interact with us and that anything haunting must be a demon from Hell.

Q:  What are Elemental Spirits?
A: Wow, this is such a broad question because the true answer is not going to be anywherenear complete. I have learned a bit about elemental spirits, especially from one of my cases I worked for months. When most people think of elemental spirits they automatically think spirits of earth, air, water, fire etc. This is just the beginning. There are animal elemental spirits, so many of them. The possibilities for different kinds of elemental spirits, are so numerous and at this point. We just don’t know the full extent of it and may never know, at least not in this life. This is something that has always fascinated me the most and I want to learn more and more about it.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Stunt Woman and Fighter Bridgett “Babydoll” Riley

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Bridgett “Babydoll” Riley is a stunt woman, boxer and trainer who appeared in Million Dollar Baby as a fighter; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.babydollriley.net/

 

Q: What made you want to be a stunt woman?

 

A: i didn’t intend to be one. all i wanted was a collection of world kickboxing titles….at that time.

i moved from missouri to los angeles with an intense passion to achieve my goals. while training one day, a talent scout approached me and had me audition for an acting role. i wound up acting on a tv show with a very small part but it did indeed open the door for me into stunts. it was the mighty “morphin power rangers” television series.
Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: i was a gymnast in my youth to teens. i then jumped into the martial arts earning my black belt. i loved karate tournaments and fell in love with sparring. i transferred into kickboxing which led me to boxing.

 

Q: What was your scariest job?

 

A: i get nervous all of the time, but that puts me on the edge and keeps me humbly alert which is where i prefer to be to sharpen me and show me…..that i am in fact still doing the right thing. performing on time for camera can be unnerving but – WHAT A RUSH.

having said that….

hmmm….

leaping off the roof of an SUV onto a moving car hood was tricky because of precise timing. depending on others in stunts is part of the deal, hence i’d have to say that THAT one had me on edge. it was dope.

i did a hairy stair fall down concrete stairs with sharp edges and it just looked like i had to have died…but we got it and i walked away without injury. i’ve gone through break away windows falling to another story underneath me while in a rumble with another stunt man …which is always tricky when involving multiply people in a scenario. descenders through break away roof tops while everything is on fire around me…. can get my heart pumping. so many tricky detailed fight scenes involving up to fourteen people keeps me RIGHT THERE due to the fact that i am an OCD perfectionist and want it perfect. i’m very hard on myself and demanding.

Q: What does a typical workout consist of for you?

 

A: my workouts vary. maintenance is key. so i prefer a typical boxer’s workout, if you want to talk typical and BOXING is home for me but i can do that in my sleep.

i am trying to stretch myself and get more evolved with what is current. trends come and go. but jujitsu ground fighting is hot now. i am sharpening up my muay thai training and i happen to be becoming addicted to it. i love to run. outdoors is the way to go. i am not a hamster on a treadmill…i’ve been brain washed into embracing that the ROAD is the ONLY way to go when it comes to “road work.” if a particular job comes up that requires a specific skill set…i’m on it. i’ve gone to a guy who gets you in CAR driving/trick shape and i loved that. that was for a precision driving car commercial. it is very different than STUNT driving. it’s a skill and i dig it. i went to go-cart tracks to work on my foot pedal control and it was a blast to boot. if i’m working weapons i may hire a weapon’s expert or just work hard in rehearsals….. if i -GOD willing- have great stunt guys to train with and run it on.

training varies and i like to mix it up. once in a while i will hit a hip hop dance class to work my brain out at remembering tricky choreography. i will go to a gymnastics gym and drill basics. you cannot EVER get enough basics. i had to get scuba certified for a movie in my past, the remake of the classic “poseidon adventure.” which steered me to catalina island, in california to get scuba certified. it was fun.

Q: What is your dream role?

 

A: a dream role. i do indeed want to act more and play a vulnerable female – the underdog….i always root for the underdog. something with an AMAZING story. story is what moves my heart. if my heart is not there, ALL the action in the world can take place and i don’t give a rats behind about it. so story is key. then if action happens to happen because of the story… then COOL. but doing action just for the safe of action is just silly to me.

Q: You are a professional fighter who appeared in Million Dollar Baby; how realistic was that film?

 

A: hmmm….well Hillary Swank is a pro and she was awesome to watch work. she works HARD. she is a strong female who knows what she wants. impressive to me. i also LOVE mr. Clint Eastwood. that was the most DOPE thing…to be directed by him.

now….realistic, well…you would NOT see a trainer UP on the boxing apron during a fight. i will just say…IT WAS A MOVIE.

Q: What is the most amazing stunt you have ever seen in a film?

 

A: too too many to list. soooo many. stunts IS one of the ACTORS. i think stunts and stunt people should get more due respect. without the action in MANY films…there would be NO film. i enjoy REALISTIC action. i am NOT into CG. it just takes me out of it. but i should have been alive in the 1920’s. i’m OLD school. i still in fact like to write things down. weird, huh. i’d even like my cell phone to JUST be a freaking phone, but that’s just me. i like raw done RIGHT. that to me takes more talent.

Q: What celebrity would you find intimidating to meet?

 

A: i already met and trained her…miss Angelina Jolie. i was soooo nervous. i think she is the cat’s meow. she is amazing and it was an honor and pleasure to work with her.

Q: What your weirdest Don King story?

 

A: i really do not have a weird one. he delivered on everything he promised. he paid well, in fact….BETTER than OTHER former fighter/promoters (whom should KNOW BETTER.) so my dealings with mr. King were positive. i mean he put me on HOLYFIELD/LEWIS 1 ….at MADiSON Sq. GARDEN….that was the COOLEST. 🙂
Q: What famous boxer’s style do you try to emulate?

 

A: back in his day, Julio Caesar Chavez was so special, WOW!!! Finito LOPEZ – picture perfect text book style. Tyson was a FORCE back in the day to, i dug his intensity and focus.

i like GREAT body punchers. i love when fighters put punches in bunches together so nicely to appropriately label it THE SWEET SCIENCE. it really is a sport like NON other. it’s a privilege to be a part of an amazing thing. i am truly BLESSED.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

 

An Interview With Talent Manager Wendy Alane Wright

 

 

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Wendy Alane Wright is a talent manager and the author of several books on the subject of talent management; here is a link to her website:

http://www.wawentertainment.com/

 

 

Q: What made you interested in talent management?

 

A: I have always been interested in actors and singers from a young age. I was fascinated with film, TV and records. The concept of recording a human being forever in these mediums thrilled me to no end. I grew up wanting to be in movies, on the radio and I have had the honor of doing so myself. I spent some time as a Talent Agent but decided I prefer the exciting challenge of finding a brand new actor and building their career from the ground up.

 

Q: What does the job of a talent manager entail?

 

A: I attend acting and music showcases, watch YouTube videos and attend plays to find talented up& coming actors or singers. I discuss their goals with them and create a 1-3 year plan of action for accomplishing them. I advise them on their type, help them create outstanding headshots, help them build their resume, create their demo reel, make connections in the industry and teach them how to market themselves.

 

Q: How do you go about getting shows to book talent for in the first place?

 

A: Agents and Managers check the Breakdowns every day and submit their clients to appropriate projects. If casting is interested in seeing our clients they request an audition.

 

Q: With YouTube and all the other internet avenues of getting attention now a days, why does someone even need an agent?

 

A: Agents can get their clients many opportunities but they are just one piece of the puzzle. An actor should always be looking on their own for acting opportunities. I wrote a e-Book called, “How To Be A Star Right Where You Are.” It teaches actors how to meet casting directors, filmmakers, get agents and find TV and film work right where there are – throughout the US and abroad. On my website www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com I offer all kinds of mentorship to new actors to jumpstart their careers.

 

Q: What is the weirdest thing you have seen anyone do at an audition?

 

A: My friend Casting Director Dan Shaner told me one time an actor was auditioning for a dinner party scene. He brought plates, forks, and a bag of peas and carrots to the audition. Obviously that is a no-no. Props are not required at any audition. Needless to say the actor did not get the job.

 

Q: You wrote a book called How to Break into Show Business and you have a workshop of the same name. Can you tell us just one of the secrets?

 

A: Well of course I teach artists how to get big time roles 🙂 But actors will have to read the book for that. I can tell you this secret: Be nice to assistants. Assistants become agents, casting directors and TV producers. Make friends with assistants and you will climb the ladder with them.

 

Q: You have done some casting in reality TV. What do producers tend to look for in a reality show star?

 

A: Casting Directors look for huge personalities and interesting backstories. They want real people, not actors.

 

Q: What is your greatest professional triumph?

 

A: Every time one of my actors books a film or TV role that allows people to see how talented they are I get so excited I could scream. My client Drucilla Perez sent me the movie poster of her new movie “Like She Can” with her picture and name on it and I was so excited! Nothing turns me on more than a person fulfilling their dreams.

Q: What do you think is more important, training or talent?

 

A: I think Talent is definitely required and training that talent is crucial. Untrained talent typically stays the same level. Studying with a great teacher can magnify your skills and abilities from being to being great. A smart artists is always training.

 

Q: I believe that, given the amount of time people in America spend being entertained, people in the entertainment industry could considerably change people’s perception of who is and isn’t attractive if they thought outside the box a bit when casting guest star and leading roles; what do you think?

 

A: I think we live in a multi-cultural world and the roles on TV and films should reflect that diversity. Roles for minorities have increased and with so many more channels, webseries, indie film companies there are many more opportunities for artists of all shapes and sizes. The entertainment industry need to continue expanding its doors.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

An Interview With Actor/Producer Ian Lyons

IAN_LYONS_headshot_look_away

Ian Lyons is an actor and the producer of the feature filmThe Madmen Chronicles: Here is a link to his IMDB page:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1796676/

 

 

Q:  What made you want to be in the film industry?
A: I’ve always had a love for cinema. I wanted to give back to the world what I loved so much. To be able to transport someone to another place and time is a dream I still continue to chase.

Q:  What is The Madmen Chronicles about?
A: The Madman Chronicles is an ultra low budget feature film created by my friend Shawn Allen, about a serial killer on the loose in southern NH, USA.

Q:  What was the most challenging thing about producing it?
A: Certainly the most challenging part was working with no budget and finding a dedicated enough cast and crew to actually show up for nothing more in the form of payment than IMDb credit and pizza.

Q:  What made you leave Los Angeles?
A: I never liked LA – the weather was too redundant, it was dirty and I just wasn’t fulfilled in the biz. I had a new baby and George W just got re-elected, so my wife and I decided to leave the country all together…for 6 years.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does your background in the film industry effect your job performance?
A: Currently I’m working actor from time to time and I’m a Realtor for the other time to times. Certainly having worked as an actor has helped to give me great people skills and my work as a producer has helped me my problem solving skills.

Q:  What was your most memorable celebrity encounter?
A: I would have to say it was last year when I was invited to the script table-read for the film The Judge, I was blown away – it was just a few other unknown actors, myself and the rest of the table was filled with Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Duvall, Robert Downey Jr, Vera Farmiga and Vincent D’Onofrio… I got to read lines with each of them and just before we started Robert Downey Jr came over, introduced himself and thanked me for being in the film. It was by far my coolest acting experience yet…along with acting with Robert Downey Jr in the film. PS: it comes out October 10th 2014 🙂

Q:   What do you think is the biggest misconception you had about Hollywood before you worked there?
A: I had hoped that there was magic in Hollywood, where art was created, but it turned out to be more of a factory creating a product. There’s a lot of money at stake, so now I understand.

Q:  What kind of training have you had?
A: For film production I studied at both Keene State and Emerson colleges. As an actor I’ve mostly learned by doing and observing, though I certainly have taken some classes for scene study and audition technique. For real estate I took an intense class…

Q:  Who are some of your artistic influences?
A: For filmmaking: Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma… For acting: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins…

Q:  If you could change one thing about the film industry what would it be?
A: I would make it more open to artistic endeavors, passion projects and much less about the almighty dollar.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)