Posts Tagged ‘voice over’

My First Pilot Season as an LA Actress

melanie haynes-177 rt onlineI can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since heading back to LA after the holidays, and here I am at home again for Easter with my family and an extended stay.  It was a very busy time when I went back in January and different than episodic as far as living arrangements, focus, and activities.   I was still staying with my roommates, but things were a bit tighter and more going on with  relatives visiting – some for extended periods, and some just briefly.  My oldest son and his girlfriend were there just for a day, and we managed to celebrate his birthday with a Tres Leches cake from Porto’s Bakery and a very full day of touring.

During this stay,  I also focused more on having new voice over demos made and starting my contacts with the top voice over agencies in LA.  I participated in several workshops, including vo workouts, game voices, and a meet the agents night.  I was very busy with my own voce over work recording on my travel gear and also booking ISDN sessions in studios for my usual ISDN agents and production companies.

On camera auditions were mostly on video for my Texas agents, but I did have another fun audition for a guest star role on The Mindy Project.  I lost out to Laura Dern on that one, so I couldn’t feel too badly about it. 🙂  I had been told that Pilot season was often slower for “new to LA”  actors, and that turned out to be my experience as well.  Still, I feel as if I’m still moving forward and making strides toward my goals.  My manager met with me before I left town, and we’ve made a plan to continue the momentum moving forward.  Some additional pictures and targeted CD workshops are on the agenda for mid summer, so that I can hit the ground running for episodic season in the fall.  I’m feeling very positive, and I just know so much more about what to expect along with having some great auditions under my belt – with great feedback from lots of casting directors.  It’s all going to align and click for me in LA, soon!

In the meantime, I’m loving being back home near my family, working in my professional audio studio on awesome work, and looking forward to more regional auditions and bookings on some of the great series and films shooting here!

 

 

Acting & Voice over at Home for the Holidays!

candlesThis fall has gotten away from me!  November was just a blur.  When I got back to LA in October, after being back in Texas to shoot “A Country Called Home”, things started popping.  Almost immediately, I got my first LA audition and it was a doozie! –  a lead villain in a film with a major star.  When I walked into the audition, I was surprised to see only 3 other women, and of the 4 of us, I was the only one I didn’t recognize. 🙂 Although I didn’t book it – and none of the other women there that day did – it was a wonderful first audition experience!

That was followed by several national commercial auditions and two TV guest star auditions.  On the first, there was another star auditioning along with me, and on the second, I went to producer!  Those not in the business may think that it only counts when you actually book the job. Of course, that is the point, but when you’re new to LA, and booked out for almost a month during your first episodic season to shoot a film out of town,  just getting called to be in the room is a major step forward!  I am very encouraged and feel that it is just a matter of time.  It will happen, soon. I will say, that meeting the casting directors at workshops has been very valuable and affirming.

For now, I am back home in Houston enjoying being with my family celebrating Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas.  I’ve put myself on video for several film and television roles while here, both through my Houston agent and my Manager in LA.  As always, I’m keeping busy with voice over work and  continuously reading, listening to and participating in  audio and video workshops.

I’m excited that I have also met with a top notch demo producer to build a new promo demo and update my commercial demo when I get back to LA in January!  After that, I’ll seriously pursue top tier voice over representation in LA as well.

Here’s to a very Merry Christmas with family and friends and a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year for all!

 

 

 

 

New Commercial Agent!

imageI’m happy to report that I have a new commercial agent here in LA.  I just signed with JLA!  Sumer is delightful, and I’m really looking forward to working with her!

I had my new headshots taken by David Carlson last Friday (all 1200 of them!), and I’m in the process of getting feedback from my managers and agents as to which ones they want me to print and/or upload to the various casting sites. We covered a lot of ground with the shots, from “warts and all” to glam senator’s wife, so there are lots to choose from. I’m sure I’ll be posting a few of the chosen shots after the verdict is in.

Another great tv CD workshop earlier this week as well as two awesome voice over workshops! In between, I recorded, edited and uploaded several voice over projects in addition to an ISDN session.

I had a great little phone session with Bonnie Gillespie this week, too. She had some wonderful, insightful suggestions for tweaks to my resume, acting demo reel, and this site as well as input on my new photos. Those will all be implemented soon!

Another Busy Week in LA

Beautiful sunset from our little balcony here in Burbank. The end of another 

Sunset over Burbankbusy week here in LA.

Work

Two great CD workshops this week – great feedback from both, especially the CD who casts a lot of TV comedy!

Had a meeting with a potential Commercial agent – fingers crossed and waiting to hear.

Even had my hair done – always a daunting experience trying a new hairdresser, and on the recommendation of my muse, Connie at Shag did an excellent job recreating and possibly improving on my “do”!

New headshots next week!

Play

In addition to more voice over work from the closet, “homework” for my manager, and keeping up with daily business from here and home, we had a lovely lunch on the pier in Santa Monica after my agent meeting on Thursday.  Beautiful sunny day with a nice cool breeze off the ocean…….I could get used to that.

Family

Keeping up with family from home and so thankful to my son for being my surrogate in helping my mom with all the prep, day of and follow up with hand surgery this week.  That’s the hardest part of being out here and away from home.

Manager Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Met with my new manager, ESI Network,  to sign paperwork and get my homework, talk about pictures, plans, etc.  I have quite a few things to do in order to help my manager market me correctly.  Fortunately, having been in the business for over 20 years, many of the things are already done like  listing with numerous casting websites, budgeting for business, investing in my business, etc.

 Homework

Now, I need to do things like get specific about my short and long terms goals, and make a list of the shows that I want to do and in which I can see myself being cast.  These are things I’ve been thinking about anyway, but good to get organized and put it down in black and white.

Of course, I need new headshots, too.  I know I’ve needed them for awhile, but thought I’d wait until I was out here.  It also helps to know what types of shots the manager and agent need. So, I’m gearing up for that.  I’ve been referred to a good photographer by acting friends, and I’m excited to work with him.

I’ve also scheduled 10 casting director workshops during the month of July, so that will keep me busy in addition to my voice over work!

Found a hairdresser here – so that’s a sigh of relief, too. 🙂

Personal Note 

Have to say I’ve been missing my family especially over this holiday weekend.  We’ve been keeping in touch, but didn’t feel like I could make the trip home for the 4th of July while in the middle of everything here.  Will hope to work out all that scheduling as we go. I will be going home for a visit  soon

Home Studio

Home Studio

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The LA Acting Adventure Has Begun!

HollywoodI’m here! Someone suggested that I blog about my move to LA to broaden my acting horizons. I’ve never been one to keep a journal up to date, and I’m a little sporadic at blogging, but I’m going to try to post about this new journey.

Dipping My Toe In

I came out for a week in May for a look-see and to get the lay of the land. Hit the ground runnig with a Casting Director 1 on 1 with Scott David. Great experience. He really liked my scene and told me “You need to be here”. Not a bad way to start my visit! I also had a meeting with a manager which went very well, and I was requested to come back in for a second visit and cold reading, which I’m doing this evening. During that first visit, I also broke in my travel audio gear. Missing my beautiful home studio that we built a few years ago back in Houston, I was back to recording in a closet. But the gear was easy to use and the audio worked well for my clients. I didn’t miss a beat.

Taking the Plunge

Now, several weeks later, I’m back for an extended time. Many thanks to my friend, LA actress and acting coach Connie Cooper! Her invitation to come out here, her help in getting me around the city, and her willingness to share her years of considerable experience and knowledge about living and working in LA make her my “angel”. My other angels are my family for their support and encouragement in pursuing my dreams.

Hit the Ground Running

As has become my norm, I hit the ground running this week. I’d signed up for an agents and managers showcase at Actor’s Advantage several weeks ago. When I discovered they were having a bonus rehearsal the night before the actual showcase, with Aqua talent agent Courtney Peldon on the day my flight arrived, I did everything in my power to make sure to be there. As luck would have it, the last leg of my flight was delayed by an hour, but thanks to my friend, and the fact it took awhile to get everyone checked in at the rehearsal, I made it! Another great experience. Courtney was very happy with my scene and encouraged me to use it everywhere. The other actors were very friendly and kind, too.

The next morning, I had a voice over session via ISDN at The Voicecaster audio studio with a client in NY. (I’d done an ISDN session from my home studio with a client in Louisville the day OF my fight) I recorded and sent audio files from “the closet”, too. The showcase that evening went very well, and I received lots of good feedback from the agents and managers in attendance – there were 20 of them and a large group of actors performing.

Tonight is the second meeting with the manager and my cold reading. He’s been responsive to my interim emails with updates to my reel, and I’m curious to see what he has me read. Wish me luck!

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