Is Typecasting A Good Thing?
According to Google: Assign (an actor or actress) repeatedly to the same type of role, as a result of the appropriateness of their appearance or previous success in such roles.
According to Lexico: Represent or regard (a person or their role) as a stereotype.
According to Wikipedia: In television, film, and theatre, typecasting is the process by which a particular actor becomes strongly identified with a specific character, one or more particular roles, or characters having the same traits or coming from the same social or ethnic groups. There have been instances in which an actor has been so strongly identified with a role as to make it difficult for them to find work playing other characters.
There have been instances in which an actor has been so strongly identified with a role as to make it difficult for them to find work playing other characters.
After working with, acting with, coaching and teaching many actors, this is a fear that comes up. And I’ve been asked many times what my point of view is on the topic of typecasting.
For ME, the best advice I can give is:
Get typecast. Get typecast so you can get in the door. And as you’re getting in the door, create the evidence for yourself that reveals what else you can do (and, most likely, what you’re more interested in and passionate about.) So that when you’re on hiatus from your series regular role or after you’ve booked X amount of roles as a particular casting, then you’re creating and distributing content to your team, your followers, your relationship map, etc…that reveals another aspect of your casting that you are probably more interested in, more connected to and more passionate about.
Again, that’s just me. You have to make your own personal decision at the end of the day. If you don’t feel comfortable being typecast or if you have strict policies and principles against that, cool. Then be about creating and carving out what you want to do, what you want to play and how you’re going to achieve that.
Ultimately, what do you see for yourself and how do you get there? Follow your instincts.
Revisiting My Oscars Speech
Happy Oscars day! Today is my Superbowl! And I love that the Oscars were scheduled earlier this year (February 9th) so that we can enjoy and wrap up awards season sooner rather than later. I revisited a blog entry I posted on March 10th, 2018, in which I shared the experience I had delivering my Oscar speech for Best Actor. And what stood out for me was that what I wrote in 2018 still rings true today. My career is still real and alive for me. My postulates are still real and alive for me. I am still in belief with what I see for myself, with what I am creating for myself and with the wins I am having.
I recently did a video testimonial for the Professional Development Program at the Richard Lawson Studios and when I slated with my name and what I do, it was with full belief and conviction: “Hi, I’m Jorge Ortiz and I’m an actor, writer and executive producer.”
So, take a stroll down memory lane with me below. Have you wavered on your dreams? Have you lost belief in your dreams? Two years later, are you in more belief or less belief in terms of your dreams?
On Sunday, March 4th, I attended what I call the Super Bowl of all awards shows: the Oscars. I live for awards season and the Oscars is the culmination, the peak, of this exciting and hectic season.
I attended an Oscars viewing party at the WACO Theater Center and it was hosted by Richard Lawson. We were asked to come dressed in our Oscars best. I chose to wear a black blazer, black pants and black shoes. I was going to wear a crisp, button-down shirt underneath, but I quickly discovered that dry cleaning stores are closed on Sunday (I was going to drop my shirt off the day before) So I quickly improvised and decided to wear a simple maroon t-shirt underneath. Rock and roll, baby!
As we settled inside the theater to watch the Oscars, Richard made an announcement. He said, “Now you know…because I teach about the power of postulates, I’m going to randomly call up a person to deliver an Oscars speech during each commercial break.”
(By the way, here is the definition of a postulate: A self-generated truth. A prediction. A proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident, or that is for a specific purpose assumed true, and that is used in the proof of other propositions. To demand or claim something.)
I could feel some people in the room shift uncomfortably in their seats and I also heard slight groans and murmurs of protest. Perhaps they felt this was some hokey pokey nonsense. Perhaps they don’t have belief in their own abilities to reach this pinnacle of industry recognition.
Not me. I wanted to lean into and embrace this opportunity! Winning an Oscar is on my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka my business plan) and what better way to get closer to my postulate of winning an Oscar than to deliver a speech in front of a live audience of artists. What better way to assume the position and believe and experience.
On the second commercial break, Richard called my name over the speaker system! “And the Oscar goes to…JORGE ORTIZ!”
As soon as I heard my name, I was in instant belief. I jumped up to my feet and grabbed the glass bottle of mineral water I was drinking so that it could represent my Oscar. I remember seeing people around me giving me a standing ovation and cheering very loudly and happily for me. I remember walking with energy down the stairs and Jordan Bull giving me a hug along the way. I got to the stage and then quickly got off of it and ran back upstairs to give my partner a hug and a kiss! I made my way back to the stage and soaked in the applause and cheers. The lights shone brightly and warmly on me.
I heard Marlo Stroud yell from the front row, “I love you Jorge!”, and I quickly pointed to her and yelled back, “Thank you Meryl Streep!” When the applause died down, I began my speech. The first thing I said was, “Well I guess this means one thing: My IMDB star meter will FINALLY be number one tomorrow! I’ve always wanted that!”
My speech flowed. It was moment to moment and it had equal parts humor, charm, irony and earnestness. I was impinged. I impinged the audience. I would look at my glass bottle Oscar with pride and joy. I ended my speech, and to pay homage to the winners who sometimes walk off the wrong way, I did the same. When I realized I was exiting the wrong way, I played up the mistake and then pointed to the usher who helped me exit the right way.
I walked down the hallway and made my way into the lobby where I was still in absolute belief as people congratulated me on what a great job I had done. So many people congratulated me and I felt like I was in the press room that winners immediately go into to answer questions from the press.
Someone asked me in the lobby, “What kind of film do you think you would win an Oscar for?” I immediately said, “I could see myself winning a Best Actor Oscar for being in a film like Moonlight. A movie that pushes, provokes and inspires.”
This was such an incredible and real experience!!!!!!!!!
As the night continued and I watched other speeches, it was interesting to see who was in belief and who had a judgement about it. And all I can say about the latter approach is that this judgement, this non-belief, this doubt, this feeling of it being hokey pokey nonsense are all postulates. That’s right, these are postulates too. Negative postulates. You’re putting that negative belief out there. This self-generated truth, this prediction, this proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident…is all rooted in negativity and doubt. What you put out there is what you get back. So if you don’t believe that you can have an Oscar, then you won’t get it. You won’t ever put yourself in a position of belief to get closer and closer to the postulate of getting an Oscar.
And it’s just not about the belief in getting an Oscar. I’m curious to know where else you have doubts about your own career. Do you have doubts that you can have wonderful representation? Do you have doubts that you can put together a great demo reel? Do you have doubts that you can be a working actor? Do you have doubts that you can do a great audition or put up a great scene in class? Do you have doubts about the power you have as an artist?
“The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not. Are both correct.”-Confucius
That First Moment When…
Hello artists! How the heck are you?!?! Wow! It’s been a MINUTE since I last posted a blog entry! My focus over the last few weeks has been on putting the finishing touches on the pitch package I’ve been building for the new TV series I created and developed.
I hope your summer 2019 has been filled with exciting artistic possibilities and opportunities!
As consumed as I have been with my new TV series, I had a moment one day that reminded me of why I entered the entertainment business in the first place: I was a little kid when I first watched Christopher Reeve play the role of Superman. Christopher Reeve played the role of Superman in the 1978 movie.
It was several years later that I would watch this film for the first time…and it changed my life forever. I KNEW right then and there that I wanted to save the planet with my super powers. Every time I watched this version of Superman as a kid, I would tie my baby blanket (which I still have) around my neck and “fly” around my room…visiting places on Earth and beyond…and fighting any bad guys in the process.
I knew that I wanted to be Superman. I wanted to be on screen and fly and save and protect and be a hero. I knew that I didn’t want to be a normal person. I didn’t want to be an anonymous entity. I didn’t want to be ordinary. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to stand out. I wanted to be a star. I wanted to fly. Superman represented what I wanted to be and so I started my journey of being an actor…an artist…an entertainer. Superman made a difference in his world………….and I wanted to do the same in mine.
Superman was the moment I knew I wanted to be an artist.
What was THAT MOMENT WHEN YOU KNEW you wanted to be an artist?
I’d love to read your answers in the comments section!!!
See you soon!
On July 10th, 2015, I launched my weekly blog, Chasing The George! Happy 4th Anniversary! Wow, what a journey it has been! And I feel like my intention and mission has always remained the same:
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.
Thank you to everyone worldwide who has read my blog and who continues to read my blog. I love and appreciate your support!
There are so many more exciting things coming up! I am a working artist who is living the life of a working artist. My wins continue to expand and grow every year. My journey continues to expand and grow every year. My knowledge continues to expand and grow every year. I love being an artist and I will continue being an artist.
Below the picture, I wanted to re-share some of the blog posts from 2019.
Is This Thing On?????? https://wp.me/p8uI5M-Fk
Are You A Pain In The Ass? https://wp.me/p8uI5M-Fq
Part 2: Are You A Pain In The Ass? https://wp.me/p8uI5M-Fs
Another Day, Another Pilot Written: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-FD
How To Break Up With Your Agent: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-FI
Table Read Adventures: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-FP
How I Booked A National Commercial By Crying: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-FT
How I Did 30 Auditions In 30 Days: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-FW
Where You At?! https://wp.me/p8uI5M-G1
Celebrate! Then Keep It Moving! https://wp.me/p8uI5M-G6
Celebrate! Then Keep It Moving!
Celebration is a vital part of the journey. Celebration marks the journey. Celebration acknowledges the work you’ve done to achieve a win, a moment, a milestone.
I had a wonderful, blessed past week of artistic wins. I was able to share them with everyone in my universe and beyond. I was able to enjoy the inflow that resulted from my outflow. And I was grateful to understand that my wins are a collective. My wins are connected to my friends, peers, colleagues, teachers, classmates, etc. who have helped me get to where I am today.
I want to recap my wins for the past seven days below and how I celebrated. And now that I have celebrated, it is time to move forward with the next step of career administration. I have celebrated, and now it is time to get back in and administrate the next steps for my career.
Here are my wins from the past week and also my celebration of those wins:
**The Doppelganger, a film I wrote, executive produced and co-starred in will play at the AMC Theater this July in Manhattan as part of the Dominican International Film Festival. More film festivals to come!
**A feature film that I am in, Zombie TV, has finally received DISTRIBUTION! It’s a spoof on zombies and reality television. 8 contestants are locked in a house with zombies. The sole survivor at the end of the night wins one million dollars. Does my character win????? Stay tuned!
**I submitted a self-tape monologue to Twinkie Byrd’s Flip The Script monologue competition. The competition was in conjunction with NBC. Out of the 1,200 submissions received, she sent 64 auditions over to NBC. I was one of the 64!
**I was on the set of the SAG web series, The Rejects, playing the role of Kenny. So much fun!
**I had two commercial auditions!
**I had a wonderful meeting with a fellow Vassar graduate about the literary agent world and they gave me so much homework to do!
**I am finishing up my tweaks on the three episodes, the series bible and the season one chart for me new TV series.
I am an artistic warrior!
And here is how I celebrated:
I bought Madonna’s new album, Madame X, on vinyl. (By the way, fun fact: Madonna earned a #1 album with Madame X on the Billboard 200 albums chart and a #1 song, Medellin, on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart today. She extends her record as the artist with the most #1’s at every Billboard chart combined, with 163 number ones!!!!!!!!!!)
Here’s a video montage of my wins from the past week:
And here is how I celebrated:
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.
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!