Your Mother-Effing Wins!

As 2018 comes to a close, I hope all of you have a chance to reflect on the numerous wins you’ve had this year. A win is anything that is an accomplishment. Something that moved your life or career forward in some way, no matter how big or small.

This being my last blog entry of 2018, I want to continue the tradition of letting the last entry be a listing and celebration of some of the wins I’ve had this past year.

Arrogant (definition means “claiming for oneself” and “pride”) So have some arrogance as you generate your list of 2018 wins. You’ll be shocked at how many wins you DO have!

Below is my list. Check it out. Let it inspire you to remember your own wins. Let it inspire you to see the different types of wins that exist.

See you in 2019!

A sample of my 2018 wins:

January 1st: Made it to another year

January 13th: Celebrated another birthday

January 20th: Drove down to Tijuana to do research on a scene I was doing from Weeds

January 21st: Attended the SAG Awards screening at the Alex Theater

February 1st: Put up a scene from Weeds

February 9th-12th: Went to San Diego for a mini-trip

February 15th: Put up a scene from Best In Show. Richard Lawson opened up my work to the class

February 17th: Acted in a table read for the feature film, Support

March 3rd: Met with the playwright, the director and the executive producer of the play, The Blade Of Jealousy, because they were interested in casting me in one of the leading roles

March 4th: Attended Oscars viewing party at the WACO Theater Center and delivered a kick-ass Best Actor Oscar speech to everyone in attendance. An once again, I predicted the Best Picture winner: The Shape of Water

March 5th: Auditioned for a leading role in the feature film, Moon Made

March 14th: Paid off my Wells Fargo credit card debt

March 23rd: Received a residual check from SAG-Aftra for a feature film I was in, Balls To The Wall

March 31st: Saw my favorite drag queen in the world, Bianca Del Rio, on her sold-out world tour, Blame It On Bianca Del Rio

April 3rd: Auditioned for the feature film, A Kiss On Candy Cane Lane

April 21st: The Haeggstrom Office submitted me for a series regular role (they don’t even represent me!) but I am friends with someone who is represented by them

April 22nd: Acted in the Homeward LA production at the WACO Theater Center

April 26th: Submitted myself for a series regular role in Tales Of The City

May 3rd: Did a scene from Black Mirror. Richard opened it up to the class

May 3rd: Received an offer for commercial representation from Green & Green Talent Group

May 8th: Officially signed commercially with Green & Green Talent Group

May 10th: Commercial audition for Fox Sports

May 11th & 12: Attended Drag Con!

May 14th: Commercial audition for Fed Ex

May 19th: Shot the scene from Black Mirror for my theatrical reel

May 22nd: Met with the LoveStone Agency for theatrical representation

May 23rd: Commercial audition for Honda Pilot

May 24th: Applied for the NHMC Television Writers Program

May 29th: Did a kick-ass prepared audition and a kick-ass cold reading for TV episodic director, Lily Mariye

May 31st: Acted in two scenes for scene study class: Girls Trip & Elaine Earnest

June 1st: Commercial audition for WALLY

June 4th: Got a callback for WALLY

June 6th Commercial audition for Universal Studios

June 7th Put up a repeat of Weeds in scene study class

June 8th Audition for Amex

June 11th Audition for Thermador

July 9th Audition for Google Chrome app

July 10th My weekly blog, Chasing The George, celebrated its 3rd anniversary

July 26th Finished paying off my Citicard credit card

July 31st Finished post production on The Doppelganger, a film I wrote, executive produced and starred in

August 3rd Submitted The Doppelganger to the Santa Barbara international film Festival and to Sundance

August 7th My blog qualified for the Word Ads program on WordPress

August 11th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Atlanta Film Festival

August 13th Audition for Toyota

August 15th Meeting with MZA for theatrical representation

August 16th Got a callback for Toyota

August 18th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Maryland Film Festival

August 26th Celebrated 16 years in LA!

August 27th My blog entry, How I Wrote A Script In One Hour, got published in Medium and Thrive Global

August 30th Signed with MZA for theatrical representation

September 7th Commercial audition for a national PSA for Teachers/PTA members

September 22nd Submitted The Doppelganger to the D.C. International Film Festival and the Florida Film Festival

October 3rd Got a series regular audition for a new TV series titled, People Just Do Nothing

October 8th Had successful eye surgery

October 21st Leased a new car

October 30th Voice over audition for a Slender Tone fitness product

November 3rd Did a kick-ass cold read audition in front of a packed room at the Actors Expo in Hollywood

November 14th Had a successful glaucoma surgery

November 15th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Phoenix Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival

December 1st Commercial audition for LA Tourism

December 4th Commercial audition for Diet Coke

December 5th Did an audition from All American in class

December 12th Re-introduced a new half hour pilot I wrote

December 12th Commercial audition for Facebook

Overall 2018 wins:

Taught many classes at the Richard Lawson Studios

Did numerous prepared auditions and cold read auditions in my PDP 3.0 class (Professional Development Program)

Increased my financial abundance

Quality time with my partner and friends

Made new friends

Supported many friends in their personal and professional endeavors

Advertisements

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!!

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!