Where You At?!

Hey artistic warriors! How the hell are ya?! I’ve been gone for a few weeks and I’ve missed you all so much. So, where you at?! We are halfway through the year (can you EFFING believe it?!?! “She’s a woman!” Thank you Miz Cracker)

That being said, I thought this was a good time to check in and assess the artistic journey so far. What goals have you accomplished that you set for yourself back in January? What goals did you set for yourself back in January that you flinched on? “Flinch” meaning to pull back, back away, shy away, draw back. What goals started off with a bang, but for this reason and that, they/you lost steam and momentum?

What have you accomplished and celebrated? Do you have a list of your wins since January 1st and have you been celebrating along the way? I have five recent wins that I need to celebrate. I’m telling you this so that I am held accountable as well (To celebrate, I really want to buy a record player and some Madonna albums in LP form released from the year 2000 and beyond: Music, American Life, Confessions on a Dance Floor, Hard Candy, MDNA, Rebel Heart, and of course, the new album coming out on June 14th, Madame X…shameless plug and devotion to the Queen of Everything)

So, where you at my fellow artistic warriors?! Let me know in the comments section below.

For me, on the actor side, I need to schedule a new commercial headshot session. I’ve already picked out my wardrobe and will take pictures of myself in them and send to my agent for feedback. Once I solidify the looks, I will book a headshot session. For me, on the actor side, I need to buy a white ascot for a SAG web series pilot shoot that’s coming up. I had an impulse that my character would wear that. I shared my idea with the creator and they loved it. Also, looking at what scene to do in class from my new casting list. And more things to do…

For me, on the writer side, my focus has been on my new half-hour TV series. So far, I have 1) Three episodes written; 2) I have created a spreadsheet for season one that contains the main characters, their A&B storylines, the episode titles and descriptions, etc.; 3) I’ve written a series bible. My goal is to finish all tweaks by the end of June 2019. For me on the writer side, I want to utilize my relationship map for help and guidance. I’ve already begun reaching out to people (Two of whom I flinched on reaching out to for a while and they offered to meet with me!) For me, as a writer, I want to submit the pilot episode to various writing competitions. For me, as a writer, I want to secure literary representation and pitch meetings.

For me, on the writer side, I will continue submitting my film, The Doppelganger, to more film festivals. Good news coming soon in this area. Stay tuned.

For me, on the 360 degrees of my career, I just joined an amazing career administration group that will kick my ass and hold me accountable. I already shared my enthusiasm with the leader of the group and that I’m coming into this group not knowing anything (meaning that I’m willing to listen and learn…that I don’t have to know everything. It’s actually freeing to know that I don’t have to have all the answers. Ask the next question. Then ask the next question.)

For me, on the 360 degrees of my career, making sure I make noise in order to be considered. To show up more in the rooms I am in. To demand of myself that I be considered. To be uncomfortable. To look at where my energy is going because where I place my energy defines me. Thank you Keili Lefkovitz for this paragraph of advice.

Part of my artistic journey, which I call Chasing The George, is that I’m not perfect. That I make mistakes, but I learn from them. That I don’t know everything and that’s okay. That I don’t know everything, but what I DO know, I know it fucking WELL.

So, where you at my fellow artistic warriors?! Let me know in the comments section below.

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How I Did 30 Auditions In 30 Days!

On April 4th, 2019, my teacher, Richard Lawson, gave my entire scene study class an assignment to do 30 self-tape auditions in 30 days. He gave us this assignment to keep our auditioning skills sharp. Richard says that actors should practice auditioning every week and not wait until you get an audition to practice. In addition to shooting 30 self-tape auditions in 30 days, he also wanted us to submit the auditions to him every day. He had a fellow student keep track of the audition submissions on a Google spreadsheet to see who was complying with the assignment and who was not.

Once he gave us the assignment, I immediately knew how I wanted to tackle it and set myself up for success. I approached the assignment as if I were a producer setting the production schedule for a film. I looked over the next 30 days and saw them as shoot dates.

Starting with day one, I already had my sides chosen. And on that same day, I logged onto Showfax to start finding sides that I could then distribute over the course of the next 29 days. While looking for sides, I knew that I wanted to focus on my first circle of casting (those characters I can play right now) because if I put my energy into those characters, then that’s what I’ll pull in from the industry.

As I accumulated my sides, I arranged them in terms of which date I wanted to tackle them. I knew that I wanted to have a combination of prepared auditions and cold read auditions (leaning more towards prepared auditions then cold reads) So, I scheduled the prepared auditions further down the week and then decided which date I would start working on them prior to shooting them.

I also cast the people who would be readers in my auditions. I knew that I wanted so and so on this day and so and so on that day. And in turn, I helped some of them with their auditions as well. I also had readers on standby if my first choice had to reschedule for whatever reason.

I also thought ahead in terms of wardrobe for each character I was auditioning for.

So, with this system set in place, I could see the entire 30 days. It became less daunting and more doable. I was at cause. I was in the driver’s seat. I planned ahead and saw everything from beginning to end. I was able to successfully shoot a self-tape audition every single day. I never fell behind. I never flinched from doing them. It was one successful audition after another. And by successful, I mean getting them done, executing them on time, making choices, being off book (unless it was a cold read), etc.

Tackling these auditions like a producer helped me to maintain my sanity.

I even posted a still image from each audition every day on Instagram and Twitter to document the journey. About two weeks into the journey, I also started posting still images on Facebook–starting with the still from the first audition.

When I emailed Richard the link to my 30th audition on May 4th (May the fucking fourth be with you!), I threw my fists in the air and cheered! I felt so good! I felt so accomplished! I felt like an artistic warrior (I am an artistic warrior!) And the most important lesson for me about this assignment was that IT WAS FOR ME. I wasn’t doing these auditions for Richard (that was not the point of the assignment) I was doing it for ME. To stay ready and sharp when it comes to auditioning.

I really don’t think that many people get the enormity of this achievement. This assignment was an event. This assignment was unique and it stood out. This assignment was challenging. To execute 30 self-tape auditions in 30 days was no small feat. It takes a lot of courage, tenacity, energy and excitement to tackle and finish an assignment like this–in addition to all of the other things going on in my life both professionally and personally. I remember being on set for the national commercial I booked right in the middle of this assignment and I was working on my audition sides at 2:30am on set!

Thank you to the following people for being my awesome readers over the last 30 days:

Chris Beber, Maia Modeste, Sayaka Miyatani, Jayne Marin, Angie Padilla, Emily James, Jessica Sade Ward. xoxo

How I Booked A National Commercial By Crying

Hello artists! Let’s get right into my new blog entry!

I booked and shot a SAG national commercial on April 17th! This was the second commercial I booked in 2019 and I look forward to booking more this year. I had a blast being on set. I had a blast postulating and envisioning that the awesome crew on set would be the same crew on the set of my TV series that I’ll be executive producing through a major streaming platform like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, etc. I had a blast with my co-star and the takes we did together.

(I won’t say the name of the product until it airs!)

I can’t wait to be on set again! This is where I belong!

Now, in terms of how I booked this role, I truly believe it’s because of the choice I made in the initial audition. When I arrived at the audition, I read over the copy before signing in. I wanted to get a sense of what was going on in this particular commercial spot. I then signed in and sat down.

When the casting director came out, they brought us all in to do a group explanation. I got further clarity of what they were looking for (“They” meaning the clients of the spot and the casting director) The casting director said something really important: “Every person we brought in has been making the same choice and expression. When you come in, please find another creative way to express excitement towards the product.”

Immediately, my training kicked in. I always hear my teacher, Richard Lawson, say “to go the other way.” Know what the scene is about and then go the other way. I knew what the scene was about and I wanted to go the other way in terms of my reaction to the product. Also, I utilized the acting checklist that we use at the Richard Lawson Studios. There is a checklist item called “Evaluation”, which means, “to what degree?” So for me, go the other way and to what degree? Also, we at the studio are aware of a very powerful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that says your first impression is genius. To follow that gleam of light that flashes across from within. That you are a genius until proven otherwise.

We all went back into the waiting room. As I waited to be called in, I went over my choice and committed to not changing my mind. I committed to not flinching from my choice. Again, my first instinct is genius. Soon, I was called in. I slated for camera and then delivered my audition. When I saw the product, I became so overwhelmed by excitement that I broke into tears. And then I started blowing kisses to the product. And then a grateful smile broke through the tears at the end.

So, I went the other way. I was so excited over the product that I expressed it through tears…and then the kisses emerged…and then the grateful smile emerged at the very end.

I could hear the excited reaction behind the camera. I knew I had delivered a different and refreshing choice.

Nine days later, I attended the callback and delivered the same audition for the casting director and the clients of the product. Again, I didn’t flinch from my choices. And again, I sensed that they enjoyed my performance. I left my callback and drove home. That same night, my agent called me at 9:30pm to say that I was on avail. I was happy and grateful to be on avail. I was grateful that my choice impinged the room not once, but twice. Two days later, my agent called me to say that I booked the commercial!

Now, will I cry at every audition? No, of course not. However, I will always listen to my instincts as it relates to the character and the scene at hand. What is going on in the scene? And do my choices support the story that needs to be told? Because at the end of the day, the story is everything.

Until next time! Happy Easter!

Table Read Adventures!

Hey everyone! Let’s get right to it!

On March 23rd, I had the pleasure of acting in a table read for a new TV series in development. The writer wanted the first three episodes of the series read out loud. I was cast last minute because the other actor had a scheduling conflict. I jumped at the opportunity and got to work on this leading character.

The writer emailed me the first two episodes that my character was in. I enjoyed the writing and I also enjoyed the chemistry between my character and one of the other leading characters. I made my choices. I carved out my subtext. I knew that when I attended the table read, I wanted to impinge, I wanted to be moment to moment, I wanted to let the scenes occur.

I arrived early. EARLY AS I ALWAYS DO (LOL)  There were a lot of actors cast for the table read, the writer was there, their business partner was there, and the casting directors were also there.

I took my seat and the reading began. I did great! I delivered what I had worked on and I also delivered on what I wanted to have happen in the room.

The reading came to an end and I started saying my goodbyes. I thought I was done. I was in the first two episodes, I delivered and now it was time for me to say goodbye before they read the third episode.

As I’m saying bye to the writer, he said to me, “Oh wait. You’re in the third episode as well.” I said to myself, “I did not know I was in the third episode. I never received that script.” But like the true professional that I am, I said to the writer, “Great! Let’s do this.” I sat back down and grabbed a copy of the third episode script. This was literally a COLD READ.

However, because of my training, and because I had already done work on my character, I was able to act on a high level during the third episode. Again, the third episode was literally a COLD READ for me. I had not seen any of those lines before and I did not have an opportunity to read through the script at the table read. I just sat back down, grabbed a copy of the script and we jumped right in.

Again, because of my training, I knew to be present, to be moment to moment, to listen, to impinge, to be impinged, to trust my impulses and instincts, to not judge anything that came to me. I knew that I was continuing the life of my character in the third episode. Overall, I did great for a cold read!

When we finished the third episode, I said my goodbyes again and was able to leave without any additional surprises.

So, I wanted to share that with you all!

How To Break Up With Your Agent

Hello artists!

I wanted to write about this because a colleague of mine recently asked me how to break up with an agent. There was another person present in the room and they jumped in and offered a viewpoint. Their viewpoint was negative (“Fuck them.” “Fuck the agent.” “They drop clients all the time without letting them know, so why should you let them know you’re dropping them?” etc.)

After this person shared their viewpoint, I offered mine. For me personally, I don’t like to burn bridges. I don’t want to establish a reputation in this town for being unprofessional and for having a bad, negative attitude. This is a small town and word travels quickly.

If I want to end my business relationship with an agent or manager, I write an email that has a sense of ethics and principles behind it. I don’t blame. It’s not filled with anger. I don’t point the finger at whatever upsets I have with them. It’s a respectful letter to end the business relationship, and at the end of the day, I sleep better at night because I ended it cleanly.

The problem is that most actors complain about their agents, but what are YOU doing to strengthen the relationship? Are you providing them with clear casting? New headshots that reflect that clear casting? Are you providing them with new demo reel material? Are you in training in acting classes? Are you utilizing social media and your relationship map to build relationships with people in the industry? Many actors don’t do shit, but then want to blame their agent for not getting them out. So before you break up with your agent cause “they’re not working for me” or “my agent doesn’t get me out”, take a good look at your part in this relationship because it takes two to tango…unless you’re into threesomes and orgies.

Many actors are ENTITLED and/or DILETTANTE. They don’t want to do any of the work, but still expect to receive all of the benefits, accolades, job bookings, etc. Fuck that. It doesn’t work like that.

So with that being said, here is an example of a letter I sent to an agent a few years ago. I left this agency because the agent was hostile. However, I still kept my letter clean.

Dear so and so,

Hope you and your colleagues are having a great week. It’s been a little over a year since we started our journey together. I want to thank you for all the work you and your colleagues have done for me from submissions to making my acting profiles more specific.

I’m writing because I’ve been assessing my statistics and journey as an artist, and after much thought and consideration, I am officially giving my official resignation to your agency. As of today, I would like to officially step down from your client roster. It’s a decision I feel is best for me at this time.

Again, thank you for everything and I wish you, your colleagues and your clients much success and artistic fulfillment. I will do my part and remove your agency from all my acting profiles as soon as possible.

Please let me know you received this.

Take care and thank you again.

Best,

Jorge Ortiz

Another Day, Another Pilot Written

Hello Artists!

I just finished writing a new half hour pilot! I shared it in my Professional Development Program 3.0 class at the Richard Lawson Studios to hear it out loud and get feedback on the characters and the storyline. I’m excited for this new series!

And to reiterate the point of my blog, Chasing The George, it’s to include people on the journey I’m on to carve out the career that I want (and to provide industry advice along the way)

So here’s a few of the things I have planned to Chase The Ambulance, to Chase The George, with urgency and intention:

**Write the second episode (Which I started doing on March 2nd!)

**Write the third episode

**Carve out an 8-episode bible for season one

**Submit the pilot episode to writing competitions to use as leverage and attention

**Secure a new literary agent

And there’s more administration planned around my new series. And remember that all of my career administration is directly pulled from my Declaration of Independence (aka business plan)

With all of the streaming platforms that are currently out there and that are coming out in the near future, I will get a development deal.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, HBO, etc…………………

Part 2: Are You A Pain In The Ass?

Hello my fabulous artists! My last blog entry, “Are You A Pain In The Ass?”, was quick and to the point. Here is the link to that entry: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-Fq

And a few people reached out to me to expand on what I meant by being a pain in the ass. So, here is a short list that reflects sentiments collected from casting directors, producers, teachers, stage managers and assistant directors. This list is not exhaustive. I’m sure there are more.

Below are things that will make people not want to work with you:

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You know everything already (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You are non-compliant with assignments or with direction that is given to you (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You arrive late to a meeting, to an audition, to class, etc. and don’t communicate about it

**You talk down to people because of their gender, their ethnicity, their “lack” of credits, their “lack” of experience

**You complain and complain and complain, yet come up with no solution to be at cause

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You make other people’s job exponentially harder

**You are entitled and feel that everything should be handed to you

Get the picture?

I share this because I want artists to WIN. Artists are powerful. We have the ability to create change faster than any other profession. We have a responsibility to our calling as artists. Don’t treat this responsibility lightly.

So please: DON’T BE A PAIN IN THE ASS! It will cost you in the industry!