"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Monday, February 18, 2013

In a Valley on the Creative Rollercoaster?

This quote from Rachel Maddow will make you feel much better. She eloquently and succinctly has put into words why we fight the good fight of making people feel emotions:

“Sometimes we choose to serve our country in uniform, in war.  Sometimes in elected office. And those are the ways of serving our country that I think we are trained to easily call heroic. It’s also a service to your country, I think, to teach poetry in the prisons, to be an incredibly dedicated student of dance, to fight for funding music and arts education in the schools.  A country without an expectation of minimal artistic literacy, without a basic structure by which the artists among us can be awakened and given the choice of following their talents and a way to get to be great at what they do, is a country that is not actually as great as it could be.  And a country without the capacity to nurture artistic greatness is not being a great country.   It is a service to our country, and sometimes it is heroic service to our country, to fight for the United States of America to have the capacity to nurture artistic greatness.”

You can read the entire article from Dancing Perfectly Free right here.

You, you dancer, your actor, you writer, you singer, you are doing your country a service. Be proud. Fight on.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Waiting Tables in LA

Liz writes:

I had a question... considering a move to LA in the coming months. Aside from your lovely "5 Things I Wish I Had Known/Done Before I Moved to LA" (and trust me, definitely working on a non-acting/non-waitressing, flexible/creative source of income), is it easy to get a serving job in LA (for an NYC-experienced server)? Are there any "better" (i.e. "working in West Hollywood is great!") or "terrible" (i.e. "family restaurants = FML") types of places? And what kind of tips/wages could I expect to earn? I know this type of stuff varies so much, but any information would be lovely.

Hi Liz! Thanks for reading!

First off, finding ANY job in LA is tough. Especially restaturants, and it's due to the acting trickle down effect: With less films being produced, and film actors like Zooey DesChanel, Kevin Bacon, Anjelica Houston, Glenn Close and a gazillion others needing to pay off their mortagage, film actors are taking television jobs. The up and coming actors who should have been booking those series regulars didn't, so they're taking the guest stars and recurring parts. The actors who used to take those jobs are now going back down to co-stars. The actors who should have been getting those co-stars, are the ones who were typically working the night shifts four times a week at a restaurant. So those actors are now keeping their restaurant jobs. The actors who have just moved to LA and are unemployed, should have been hired by the management when those co-stars started graduating to guest stars, but there's no jobs to fill. And there are a ton of actors who are going broke because they can't find a way to make money. 

Heart broken yet? But that's the way it is. 

When I was going to school in Orange County, I got a job the summer before my senior year at a chain restaurant so that when I moved to LA, I could simply transfer over there and have a job already waiting for me. 

Do I recommend that? Oh definitely! 

You being a NY server and having NY serving experience MIGHT help you. But you're probably also competing against hundreds of other LA actors with LA serving experience. 

And I don't know if NY does this, but a TON of LA restaurants will ask you to attach your headshot to your restaurant resume so that they "can remember who you are," but that's just bs to cover why they're really doing it: to make sure you're hot. 

As for how much money you'll make, as a server already you know that's an impossible question to answer. 

As for where the best restaurants are - that's also subjective. All I can say is that you need to find a place close to where you're going to live because even a job 11 miles away can take over an hour and a half to get to for your 4pm shift. 

If you're contemplating a move in the coming months, this is what I suggest: get a fine dining gig in your hometown IMMEDIATELY. Learn all the fine dining rules so you're easier to hire. Fine dining is more expensive food which equals higher educated, higher earning clientele, which means higher tips for your job well done. 

While you're at it, take a bartending class and get a bartending gig. Bartenders also make great money. Especially if you're hot and flirtatious. Sex sells alcohol. And food in LA, apparently.

Good luck, Liz!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Interactive Narrative Storytelling

Imagine a medium where a story unfolds before your eyes - live, like theatre - but interactive - like a video game, and you have the concept behind the Immerverse - an interactive universe.

I was in a project last December, and I've been asked back again to participate in this month's project,
"Alice's Eyes," about a Bed and Breakfast.

Although I won't be on camera until 8am on Tuesday the 12th (and going for more than 24 hours), you can check out exactly what the heck it is I'm talking about here and here.

Come play along. I play Hannah.

Here's the Press Release:

F O  R   I M  M  E  D  I A  T E   R  E  L E  A  S  E




LOS ANGELES, CA (February 1, 2013) – With over 3 Million live views, audiences from every continent and over 450 hours of content, Kill Cam Live single-handedly created a new genre of entertainment: Live Streaming Interactive Narrative Storytelling, commonly known as the IMMERVERSE (www.immerverse.com). Creator April Wade’s latest project will be a relentless 7 day event going live at www.AlicesEyes.com beginning February 8th at Noon.

With the same live creative team assembled that brought viewers to heights of laughter, the depths of despair and the edge of sanity during her last interactive show, Wade is looking to pioneer a new form of media. This latest project, ALICE’S EYES, is a triumphant return to the horror genre, but with more than a few new added twists.

From a secluded bed and breakfast in the romantic backwoods of California, the innkeeper (and host of the live show), Norman Addams (played by J Michael Briggs) will be leading the audience into the bowels of Alice’s Eyes B&B and to the dark side of these character’s consciousness.  What will happen to them when they find themselves locked in the basement? Is anything else down there? Will their relationships crumble or just their physical bodies?

Twitter will buzz with questions for this mysterious innkeeper. The audience will chime in, imploring him to save or destroy their favorite characters as they become an integral part of the live experience. On the project’s website, www.aliceseyes.com, ‘secret security cameras’ are lying in wait for the world to tap into the terrifying augmented reality of this cagey owner and his inexplicably deceased wife.

Tune in to the chat on February 8th to unravel the mystery of this chilling Bed and Breakfast and meet the complex cast of characters that will bring these great melodramas to life. With veteran performers at the helm (Victoria Hogan, Lira Kellerman, Miriam Korn, Michele Morrow, Brandon Sean Pearson, Frank Romeo, Charles Schiell, Jake Stormoen, Christine Tanabe, April Wade, Sam Weller and Matt Wool), this will prove to be the first big innovation for the web of 2013.
ALICE’S EYES is the transmedia brainchild of creator April Wade (@IAmAprilWade) and writer Juan Manuel Rocha (@ComicsOnComics) alongside with producer Mirai Booth-Ong (@miraiboothong).  Part interactive real time experience, and part feature film, and at the crossroads of video games and live theatre, ALICE’S EYES is the next stage in the evolution of storytelling. As the IMMERVERSE website implores, the audience is asked to “Play Along.”
This IMMERVERSE project explores the complexities of love and the challenges of relationships – especially those that are put into a high-stakes game of life or death… just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Beginning at Noon on February 8th for 170 straight hours, without cutting, the cast and onlookers will enter the basement of the Alice’s Eyes B&B – perhaps never to return again. During that period, the audience will be able to interact with the characters via chat room, live stream, Facebook (www.facebook.com/immerverse) and Twitter (@immerverse).  They will be able to inform the characters (in real time) on what is happening and possibly even aid them in their escape… or demise.    There will be riddles, puzzles and polls as the audience becomes a real ‘player’ in the story, affecting the fate and emotions of each character.

“We are looking to bring a heightened level of interactivity to the audience” says Wade, “and we feel that this project is on the cutting edge of a new age of storytelling.  As filmmakers today, we have anlive, immediate platform for our stories that never existed before and I am thrilled to be experimenting with creative ways to use social media and directly affect an audience.”  With the mystery of www.IAmAgnesDay.com completed in late 2012 and www.TheMakingofCMD.blogspot.com on the horizon, Wade is undoubtedly building an audience and an ensemble of creatives to bring exciting stories to life in new, innovative ways.

This Valentine’s month, as an alternative to chocolates and roses, tune in to the destruction and terror at www.ALICESEYES.com.

Website: www.AlicesEyes.com
Follow on Twitter: @immerverse
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Immerverse
Live Streaming via Ustream: www.ustream.tv/channel/immerverse-live-interactive-narrative

Contact:  April Wade
Press & Public Relations
E-mail: wade.april@gmail.com

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Binge Viewing

The LA Times wrote about Binge Viewing, how watching an entire season of a show in one sitting is changing how we experience television.
"Services such as Netflix and Hulu, as well as digital video recorders, have transformed the TV viewing experience by enabling viewers to devour multiple episodes or even entire seasons of "The Wire" or "Downton Abbey" in marathon viewing sessions."
I already noted that in an article I wrote to webseries producers pleading with them to release all their content at once. The Internet is Not Television and no one will go back to your online show week after week. But if you release the entire season online, and it's good, I'll sit and watch a few episodes. Maybe even the whole season. Because that's what we do already with television shows on the internet. I can watch the entire series of Arrested Development in a few days, and when they release season 4 online, they are going to release all 14 episodes at once! Because that's how we are watching television on the internet now; we want to see the whole thing now.

Last May I predicted the following:
Television is changing. In ten years, (and most likely, way less than that) we'll get most of our series in one fell swoop, and we'll watch television shows series by series. We'll have big tv viewing parties, and they'll become entertainment events - where there's behind the scenes, the making of, and minor characters who spin off onto their own online webseries, that's right, ALL ONLINE. And the website they have with all their extras is also loaded with advertising, so the studios are making even more advertising money.
The internet is changing television. Be smart and savvy about what this means for you as an actor/producer. Give the people what they want: all their entertainment at once, and available at their leisure.

In the meantime, I'm going to spend Super Bowl Sunday watching all of Downton Abbey.