Go Out With A Bang!

Hello fellow artists! With 31 days left in 2018, is it time to slow down? Are the upcoming holidays tempting you to wait until the new year to get back into the game with your career? For me, this is not the time to slow down. Rather, how can I go out with a bang this year?

How can YOU go out with a bang this year? Is there a project that you can finally bring to completion? Is there a project that you’ve been putting off that you can finally begin? Is there a call you need to make to your agent? Or a meeting you want to have with your manager?

I believe that there are a plethora of artistic and administrative things that can be done over the next 31 days. For example, I had a great audition today. I have another audition on Wednesday. I presented the research I’m doing for my half-hour pilot a few days ago in class. I am still submitting my film to film festivals. I am still working on my relationship map in creative and engaging ways. I am still utilizing social media to put myself out there. I am going to re-post a fun project I did at the end of 2016 (“Elf On A Shelf”) on social media from now till December 31st.

And I know what you’re thinking: “I, I, I. It is always I” And you know what? You’re right. This is about me. You have to be a little selfish in the pursuit of your dreams and in the creation of your career. By the way, “I, I, I. It is always I”, is a line from the movie, “Lean On Me”. A little fun trivia for you all!

There’s something really powerful about ending the year with a bang. It’s like a stamp. A touch down. The boxer who triumphantly throws their hands into the air. You throw down till the very last day and the universe sees that. It’s a powerful energy that you have put out there. I think some people lament the end of the year and lose steam because they get caught up in whatever losses–or perceived losses–they have. They focus on the acting jobs they didn’t book or the projects they didn’t start or the film festivals they didn’t get into or the writing competitions they didn’t get into or whatever. So they throw in the towel and wait until the new year to tackle their careers again.

I’m like, “Fuck that.” Focus on the wins you’ve had. Focus on the lessons you’ve gained and how you can improve the next time around. See what wins you can have over the next 31 days. What new relationships can you start developing? What shows are you interested in targeting? Start reading the industry trades to see what’s going on. See if you can land yourself more auditions. Thank a casting director for the great work they do. Buy a self-tape kit for your self-tape auditions…and then practice auditions at home. Re-arrange your office. Or buy an office, a base of operations from which to work from, if you don’t have one yet.

And the key to all of this is to look within and ask yourself, “How do I want my year to end?” So that the actions you take are personal and specific to you.

And I know what you’re thinking, “I, I, I–” Just kidding. Yes, Hollywood starts shutting down during this time of the year, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Refer to the above again to get a sense of the things you can do to end the year with a bang.

The possibilities are endless. Have fun with the process. End the year with a bang. And remember to celebrate along the way!!

Advertisements

What Is Tenacity? And Do You Have It?

Tenacity

photo credit: makeitsweetandneat.com

Tenacity, as defined by Dictionary.com, is: the quality of being tenacious, or of holding fast; persistence. The quality or property of holding together firmly. Origin of the word: Latin tenācitās equivalent to tenāc- (stem of tenāx ) holding fast, derivative of tenēre to hold + -itās -ity

This word has been in my existence for a while now. It keeps popping into my head as a reminder to not give up. To keep going. To hold fast and to hold on. I’m going through a challenging experience that I know is only temporary. It’s definitely challenging, but I remind myself that this too will pass. And I have been tenacious so as to not fall into apathy, scarcity or despair.

With certain temporary modifications set into my routine, I’m doing everything in my power to stay in the game. I am still going to acting class. I am still around other artists. I submitted a self-tape audition for a series regular role. I submitted a self-tape audition for a national voice over campaign. I recently finished the first draft of my business plan for 2019 and have already begun utilizing it. Tenacity.

I recently did a kick-ass cold reading demonstration at the Actors Expo on November 3rd in front of a room full of actors. I am about to do another round of film festival submissions for a film I executive produced, wrote and co-starred in. Tenacity.

On and on I can go with more examples.

Tenacity. I have to hold on. I can’t quit. I won’t quit.

I am grateful to have tenacity in my life to keep me going. I hope that you do too because life will throw us challenges. Will we let those challenges stop us from being artists? From doing the thing that we love to do? Or will we let those challenges defeat us and make us quit?

With the challenging experience that I am currently going through, I’m also looking at where I can reach out for help so that I don’t disappear and quit. Asking for help is so important. Having a community to lean into is important because we can’t go on this journey alone. Positive thinking also helps in terms of the postulates you are putting out there.

So, what challenges are you currently facing and how can you apply tenacity in these areas? So that in this way, you continue doing the thing you love to do. You hold fast and you hold on.

I’d love to read your comments below in terms of what you’re going to do to be more tenacious.

Are You Ready For 2019?!

I know, I know! It seems crazy to be asking this question on October 28th…but not really because it’s already October 28th!!! This month is already over. 2018 is already over.

Fellow artists, have you begun setting your sights on what you want to target and accomplish for 2019? Now is the time. Do it now. You’re a business. Start thinking ahead. Let your imagination run wild. Dream big and then work big.

A few weeks ago, my classmates and I in the Professional Development Program 3.0 class were assigned to create a business plan for a project we want to tackle in 2019. I presented the first draft of my business plan this past Wednesday, October 24th and I felt a tremendous sense of pride in doing so. And my business plan was well-received by the teacher as well.

As I presented it, I noticed some things that I definitely want to carve out and make more specific, but fuck damn, what a great first step forward! And I’m starting the work NOW.

What I am aiming for is a TV development deal with a major streaming company that is negotiated by a major talent agency that represents me. I will execute a series of goals and administrative plans along the way in 2019 to support the above postulate. Is this an ambitious postulate? Yes. Is it doable? Yes. Will I have to work hard, yet smart? Yes. Will there be people reading this and rolling their eyeballs and saying, “Yeah right”? Yes. But that’s their problem. That’s where their own limits, considerations, stops and flinches in their own careers come in. Don’t project yours onto my career.

I’m done listening to “You can’t do that” or “That won’t work” and “You don’t have the credentials or experience” etc. etc. etc. and then I turn around and see my own ideas being executed by other people who were in the same position as me. They were in the same position as me, but didn’t listen to the nay-sayers. The rules I want to break, I keep seeing being broken by other artists, who again, didn’t listen to the nay-sayers. Like my favorite drag queen, Bianca Del Rio, says, “Not Today Satan, Not Today.”

So artists, what do you want to do in 2019? Don’t wait until December 31st, 2018 to start making resolutions. Don’t make resolutions with no real plan of attack behind them. Do it now. Dream big. Go for it. Get a head start. Make a tangible plan that really fires you up. I look at how far I’ve come in my career and the wins I continue to have. I’m excited for what I see for myself and I have certainty in what I see for myself. I hope you do too!

I’d love to read your comments below in terms of what you want to do and accomplish in 2019.

Until next time!

Why Creating Your Own Content Is Important

FullSizeRender

As my team and I continue submitting my film, The Doppelganger, to various film festivals, I can’t help but reflect on how important it is to create your own content. Here we go! A free-flow of reasons:

Ownership over your product.

It’s your own personal voice and stamp being put out there for the world to see.

You’re creating your own ticket to the party and you set the parameters for it (cover charge, location, theme, etc.)

It’s exciting. It’s a rush.

Creating your own product is connected to your purpose.

You can create whatever role you want for yourself in your own content.

You’re not waiting for Hollywood to happen. You make Hollywood happen.

Production is the basis for morale. The more you create and produce art, the better you feel.

It’s the 21st-century, y’all! Come join the party!

A great and convenient way to send a link to your work when you are networking with other people in the Industry and they ask you, “Can I see your work?”

You’re not only creating , but also in charge of, your own narrative. You control what’s being put out there and how.

It has worked wonderfully for Issa Rae to Donald Glover and countless artists in between.

I would love to read your comments below in terms of other reasons why creating your own content is important. And I would love to read what you’re currently creating at the moment!

How Drag Race Helped Me Land A Callback

Hello fellow artists! Hope this new blog entry finds you all in great health and spirits.

I wanted to share a funny audition story with you all. I recently had an audition for a national commercial. The casting director and the client were looking to cast physically imposing and threatening guys in this commercial spot. I didn’t turn down the audition when I read the character breakdown. Instead, I took on the challenge (Hey, I’m from Brooklyn. I AM tough.)

When I got to the audition, the room was filled with exactly what I envisioned in my head (guys who were physically imposing and threatening. They were either very muscular or burly) I must have been the skinniest guy in the room and their wild-card casting choice.

The casting director put everyone in groups of five and we received an explanation of the scenario. I totally got it. It made perfect sense. I just now had to channel this inner anger and rage to match the level of the other guys in my group.

I thought about things that could make me channel my inner anger and rage, but nothing seemed to do the trick. These things weren’t hot enough to inspire great acting choices. All I knew was that I had to come up with something fast because my group was up next.

Finally, something popped into my head and I knew that I struck gold because I could feel my blood boiling and my face turning with anger.

What was it??????

It was when Shangela didn’t win “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3” earlier this year. She was robbed! She was clearly the frontrunner after Bendelacreme left the competition. The fact that she didn’t win, LET ALONE NOT EVEN MAKE TOP 2, is the biggest tragedy and farce I’ve seen on “Drag Race”. The biggest mistake this franchise has ever made. How can someone who is so polished, professional, magnificent, who is light years ahead from where they first started, who is a star, lose?!?! It’s criminal and it’s something I still haven’t gotten over.

That’s all I needed to think of when we went inside the audition room and the session runner said, “Action.” I came alive and delivered my product.

Three days later, I got a callback! I ultimately didn’t get the job, but I got a callback. And I was happy with that!

Until next time!

Happy Anniversary Times Two!

Happy AnniversaryHello fellow artists! I’m celebrating two special anniversaries! Actually, I’m a little later on both anniversaries, but I’m acknowledging them now!!

One is that I have been living in LA for 16 years! I landed in LA on August 26th, 2002 and it has been a wonderful journey of discovery, of failing forward, of finding my personal voice, of finding my artistic voice, of building quality friendships, of changing my life, to changing other lives, to inspiring myself, to inspiring others, to leading myself, to leading others.

And the second anniversary that I’m celebrating is that Chasing The George is three years old! Wow! Wow! Wow! I launched my first blog entry on July 10th, 2015 and now my blog is being read all over the world: the United States, Canada, Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, the U.K., the Philippines, etc. It’s truly been a blessing to share Hollywood industry advice and the personal journey I am on to create and carve out the career I want for myself on a weekly basis.

And here is how my blog started (Taken from the “About” section of my blog)

Hey everyone! I created this weekly blog on July 10th, 2015 upon the recommendation of one of my mentors, Richard Lawson. I am a working professional actor and writer who works hard and understands the concept of what it means to have a career. So he advised me to create a blog where I would share my advice, my journey, my stories and interests with other artists. A “Hollywood 101” if you will that reveals and shares the sustained effort, work and fun it takes to have a career in this industry.

“Chasing The George” is a play on the phrase “Chasing The Ambulance”. When an ambulance is in emergency mode, they cut through traffic with intention. Nothing gets in their way. Some people will illegally chase after that ambulance because they too can get to their destination faster. While I don’t condone illegal activity, I do love the concept of chasing a career with that same intention and focus. I am the ambulance. Chasing The George is a reflection of my intention and focus to carve out the career I want in Hollywood.

I hope that my advice, my personal stories, my enthusiasm and my sometimes funny and direct approach will inspire you to carve out your own fabulous and exciting career in Hollywood.

So pull up a seat and welcome to Chasing The George.

ONWARD AND FORWARD!!!!!!!