I’m The Artist Of The Month!

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re all well and having a great weekend.

Just wanted to let you know that I have been selected as the artist of the month. Honored and pleased to be part of a wonderful community of artists at my school, the Richard Lawson Studios. Read my interview to find out how and why I received this distinction:

http://studio.richardlawson.net/featured-rls-student-jorge-ortiz/

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1st Quarter Assessment

Four months down, eight more to go! The first quarter of 2016 is over and I am here to honestly assess my progress thus far. After all, I am my own business. As you may or may not remember, I wrote a blog entry back in January detailing my focus for 2016. I wrote:

Cristela Alonzo, Tyler Perry, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Jorge Ortiz: Self-generating artists who have carved a name and empire for themselves in Hollywood and in the world.

The above statement is a postulate. And a postulate is defined as:

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; a self
evident conclusion, decision or resolution; a self generated truth, a prediction.

So let’s assess. Let’s see how I am Chasing The George and really moving forward with my postulate:

  • Met Cristela Alonzo twice…and we took two different selfies together.
  • Met a Latino TV showrunner for coffee and pitched myself to work for him.
  • Had a wonderful, hour-long conversation with a TV writer and received advice from him.
  • Finished writing the pilot script for my new TV series, “Anthony”.
  • Finished writing the third draft of my feature film script (where James Franco plays the villain) I have a title for the film, but I will keep it under wraps for just a little while longer.
  • Registered my “Anthony” pilot script with the Writers Guild.
  • Copyrighted my “Anthony” pilot script with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Registered my feature film script (where James Franco plays the villain) with the
    Writers Guild. 107 pages.
  • Researched a plethora of writing competitions.
  • Submitted the pilot episode of “Chris/Tina” to the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Submitted my “Chris/Tina” pilot script to the Back In The Box, Slamdance and ScreenCraft writing competitions.
  • Submitted my “Anthony” pilot script to the Back In The Box and Slamdance writing competitions.
  • Prepared and executed various postcard mailings, phone calls and email mailings
    to literary agents from CAA to UTA to Paradigm to Innovative to Heroes & Villains to Rothman Brecher, etc.
  • Manifested three direct connections to James Franco.
  • Promoted my work as an actor and writer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a weekly basis.
  • Started pre-production on a short film with a handful of my friends that we will use to showcase our talents as actors and writers. We are shooting on June 5th and 6th. We are shooting on the Black Magic Camera. My role in this film is actor, co-writer and executive producer. Creating the evidence. Creating the evidence. Creating the evidence. And then promoting the hell out of it.
  • Launched my own personal website so that everything is centralized in one location.
  • Put up work in Scene Study and the Professional Development Program 2.0 classes and threw down to stay sharp as an actor.

1st Quarter Assessment: Pretty good! Grade: B

I gave myself a B because I flinched on an impulse in one instance and I accepted “no” too easily in another situation. Not following my impulses has cost me in the past and will continue to cost me in the future if I don’t honor them.

Accepting “no” too easily is also not acceptable. I have to use more charm, humor and irony to exhaust possibilities.

2nd Quarter Assessment and Goals:

  • Get laser-like with my James Franco project and move it further towards completion. I’ve created a timeline to accomplish this using Ken Kragen’s concept of backwards thinking with forward motion (Ken was a top manager to many of the biggest stars in the world)
  • Shoot short film with my friends and promote the hell out of it.
  • Cut trailer of my written works.
  • Shoot new headshots.
  • Be more assertive. No is not an option. Flinch is not in my vocabulary. The word “no” does not come into contact or agreement with my postulate. I must maintain dogged, unwavering belief in my postulate.
  • Follow my impulses.

Armed, Fabulous & Dangerous

For those of you just tuning in, my blog is called “Chasing The George” because it’s a play on the phrase, “Chasing The Ambulance”. In emergency mode, ambulances will cut through traffic with intention to get to their destination. And because ambulances do this, some people illegally follow behind them in order to get to their destination as well. “Chasing The George” has been and is a weekly chronicling of my journey…my intention to carve out and forward my career…with humor and passion thrown into the mix as well. Get to the destination.

I’ve already shared what I wanted to achieve on a personal level for 2016. Now, I would like to share what I want to achieve on a professional level for 2016. I have spent the last three weeks creating an entire Declaration of Independence (DOIN’) aka a business plan for one of my postulates. My DOIN’ will definitely keep me on the path and keep me intentional. It’ll keep me “Chasing The George”.

A postulate is defined as:

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; a self evident conclusion, decision or resolution; a self generated truth, a prediction.

So this is the postulate I have chosen and am focusing on for 2016:

Cristela Alonzo, Tyler Perry, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Jorge Ortiz: Self-generating artists who have carved a name and empire for themselves in Hollywood and in the world.

I presented my DOIN’ in class this past Friday and I am incredibly excited. I am now armed, fabulous and dangerous. My road map for 2016 is clear.

My DOIN’ is on the wall. So if I ever fall off the path or get diverted from it, I just have to look at it again and it’ll put my sexy Dominican & Puerto Rican ass back on it.

I will do everything in my power to get closer and closer to achieving my postulate. The postulate is the top of Mount Everest. I am climbing this mother fucker every day.

I am armed, fabulous and dangerous because my plan is clear.

Cristela Alonzo. Tyler Perry. Mindy Kaling. Lena Dunham. Jorge Ortiz.

Diversity.

Subversive.

Open the closet door to topics people are afraid to talk about.

Actor. Writer. Stud.

Armed, fabulous and dangerous in my acting work, my writing projects, the relationships I continue to cultivate and nourish.

Laugh with Harvey Weinstein.

Selfie with Madonna. Dance with Madonna. Shout out from Madonna.

Eduardo Cisneros.

Vladimir Caamano.

Writing competitions.

Internships. Apprenticeships.

In front of the camera.

Behind the camera.

Engage. Inspire.

TRANSCEND.

James Franco.

My Story Can Beat Up Your Story and Contour.

In demand.

I belong.

Armed, fabulous and dangerous.

The Hustle

“I’m always so impressed when I see the breakdown of what you’ve done, the minutes, the hours. So just something to consider for your blog in the future is: Taking a screenshot of your week, broken down, so that you’re not just sharing these experiences, but this is evidence of the hustle. Cause it inspires us and I know it will inspire others.”

Thank you to the incredible Beth Pennington for inspiring today’s blog post. I have taken three screenshots of a typical week for me. In these pictures, you will see the work, the hustle. The work speaks for itself. I hope that these pictures will inspire artists to do the same amount of work (or more) because of the following, all-too-familiar story, that I’m about to share. The story that many of us have unfortunately experienced before. These pictures help me to combat the naysayers. These pictures are my weapons against the doubters and invalidators.

My fellow artists, have you ever been in a situation where someone has asked you, “What do you do for a living?” And you reply, “I’m an actor” or “I’m a writer”. And then the person usually replies with a fake response of like, “Oh, an actor.” Their subtext being, “Great. Another wannabe actor.” You hear their subtext and you start back
peddling your answer, “Yeah, I’m an…actor…you know, I act…sometimes…yeah…but I’m a really great bartender. I can make a killer martini!” You start feeling ashamed and embarrassed to be an actor or any other artistic profession you are pursuing.

Then, they continue their invalidating process with questions like, “Sooo, what have you done?” “What have you been in?” “Are you making money as an actor?” “What have you written?” “Have you sold one of your scripts?” “A screenwriter, huh? Are you with CAA?” And the artist starts to sink further and further into the black hole. They feel small and worthless and the invalidator loves that. I used to be that person that was ashamed of saying, “I’m an actor.” I used to believe that in order to be an actor, I had to be working all the time on a professional level. I fell for that awful perception that a person is only an actor if they’re on a TV series or acting in a studio feature film. And that’s just not true.

I have been fortunate and blessed to be with a teacher and school that has taught me about the bigger picture, how to administrate it and how to be the best actor and artist I can be (The Richard Lawson Studios) I am now confident in telling people that I am an actor AND a writer. I have no shame in telling people that this is what I do. Point. Blank. Period.

I have developed a clarity and a work ethic that allows me to treat my career as a business. We are a business. We need to clock in and out like any other profession and put in the work and the hours. We need to know what we want and go after it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We need to be about it. Then, and only then, can we have the confidence to say that we are an actor. Or a writer. Or a director. Or a whatever. Why? Because we now have the evidence, the proof, the statistics to back us up and give us confidence.

When someone tries to invalidate me or write me off as “another wannabe actor”, I quickly shut them down with charm, humor and irony. They’ll ask, “So, what do you do for a living?” I reply, “I’m an actor and writer.” Then, they’ll ask with their sarcastic, doubting tones, “Oh yeah. What have you been in? What have you written?” I give them my business card and say, “If you go to my IMDB page, you’ll see what I’ve been in.”  In this way, I’m directing traffic to my IMDB page and simultaneously raising my IMDB Star Meter 🙂 Then, I say, “There you will see the independent feature films, TV series and web series I’ve been in.”  I also continue with:

**I’ve also shot a handful of national commercials from Toyota to The Hartford Financial Services to Verizon

**I’m currently shopping two TV pilots

**I’m currently shopping one feature film and just finished writing another feature film for James Franco

**I’m in scene study class every Thursday night and the Professional Development Program 2.0 class every Friday morning

**I’m targeting different TV shows, show runners, producers and casting directors with tangible results

**I run a blog and post a new blog entry every Sunday morning

**I utilize social media on a daily basis and have lots of fun with it

**I acted in a feature film in April; I have another feature film receiving distribution in which I play a principal character in that; I was offered a principal role in another feature film that is in active pre-production

**I put in an average of 35 hours a week into my career, and that’s on top of my plan B job

**Ultimately, my goal is to be the next Tyler Perry, Lena Dunham, Cristela Alonzo, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Louis C.K….self-producing artists who create vehicles for themselves

People either shut the fuck up real quick because they see that I’m not just “another actor” or they get really interested and want to know more about me.

So, I’m sharing three pictures of what a typical week looks like in terms of my administration and the amount of time I put into them. Not to show off, but to hopefully inspire. And I’m not just putting in hours for the sake of putting in hours. Rather, every line item and every minute spent is to push a specific project forward. There are no arbitrary actions in my lists. In 2015, I have completed three projects on my plate and just started a new one:

Get a meeting with Creative Artists Agency and Anonymous Content.

(Thank you to the amazing Lindsay Hopper for pushing me to create this project and reach for the top!)

Earlier, I said that these pictures are my weapons because the work doesn’t lie. The stats don’t lie. I can show you everything I’ve done since the first week of January 2015. The invalidators can’t argue against that. They can’t put that down. Every strategic line item of work speaks for itself.

So, fuck the nay sayers. Fuck the doubters. Fuck the invalidators. Fuck the people who want to put you down because you’re doing what they’re too afraid to do themselves. Or because they’re jealous of you and want to bring you down to their level. Fuck them. Don’t let them make you feel bad about being an actor or a writer or a director…a FUCKING ARTIST.

But you will have a better chance of standing up to them when you’re putting in the work and can back yourself up with actions. At least that’s been my experience. When I’m walking the walk, creating the evidence, being about it, putting in the work on a
daily basis, going to class and staying sharp with my craft, and most importantly, HAVING FUN, then nobody can take that away from me.

Before we jump to the commercial break–I mean, the pictures below–I leave you with this amazing quote from Madonna. This was her response to all the critics who continue to write her off:

“It makes me realize how miserable most human beings are and how instead of celebrating that someone could come from nothing and do something with their life, they have to try to tear you down. Because ultimately, people don’t want to be reminded of how little they’ve accomplished in their own lives.”

Let’s continue being the amazing fucking artists that we are! I would love to hear your experiences!

Please scroll down past the tags below to see the three pictures. I’ve taken out the names of some people and some TV shows on purpose. And you can click on each picture to enlarge the text: