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!!!!!!!

 

 

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How I Wrote A Script In One Hour

I am so proud to announce that a film I wrote, executive produced and co-starred in, “The Doppelganger”, is done with post production! My director and I have a solid game plan in place to submit this film to a specific list of film festivals over the course of one year. We just submitted the film to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Sundance on August 3rd! In addition to the film festival circuit, we will look at distribution platforms for the film.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There is nothing like creating your own evidence. It’s exciting and it truly takes a village of people to come together and bring your vision to life! I am truly grateful.

The idea for this story came to me while I was scanning shoes at a department store’s bi-annual inventory extravaganza. No joke. I saw the entire story play out in my mind while I scanned various pumps. I saw how the hero of the film travelled from the orphan phase to the wanderer phase to the warrior phase to the martyr phase (Please check out the amazing screenwriting book, “My Story Can Beat Up Your Story”, by Jeffrey Schechter.) I knew what compelling thing the hero wanted. I knew what compelling counter-argument the hero would receive. I knew that Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone would influence the style and context of my film. I knew who I wanted to cast and the people I wanted to work with behind the camera. I knew that I wanted to star in it.

The next day, I outlined the script in 30 minutes. Four days later, I sat down at my computer and completed the first draft in 1 hour. Shortly after, I presented the first draft of my script in class and it went great. My classmates had positive responses and reactions to my script. I made a couple of tweaks afterwards, but I kept everything else I had written intact.

We shot the film on December 10th, 2017 and wrapped post production on July 31st, 2018.

Going back to the script, it came to me so quickly because I was on go. I didn’t question my ideas. I didn’t question my impulses. I didn’t fall into any agreements that this story wouldn’t work or that it would be unbelievable. I allowed myself to be on go with the story that was unfolding in my mind.

Writing can be such a confronting process. I know. I totally understand. I’ve been there where I would rather paint my entire house than to write a script. Where I would rather find the cure for cancer than to write a script. However, I also know that when you have a compelling story burning inside of you, you have to write it. You HAVE to write it. It won’t leave you alone until you do. It will keep bothering you until you sit down in front of a computer and start typing.

THIS story was compelling. The story felt instinctual and visceral. I could not wait to stop scanning those shoes so that I could go home and start working on this story right away.

So if you have a compelling story or idea, make the time to write it. Sit down and write it. Whether it takes you one hour to complete it or one year to complete it, do yourself a favor and get that sucka done!

Thanks to all the people who helped bring my story and vision to life: Lindsay Hopper, Javier Lezama, Hitoshi Inoue, Beth Berlin, Sayaka Miyatani, Jessica Sade Ward, Lauren Elle Christie, Taylor Babb, Courtney Nichole, Craig Taggart, Richard Lawson Studios PDP 3.0 class (What! What!)

You can check out The Doppelganger and my other credits at:

https://www.imdb.me/jorgeortiz

James Franco Said No To Me

James Franco said no to me. Okay, okay, insert endless jokes here:

e.g. He said no to me because I’m not a woman. He said no to me because I’m not an underage girl.

I started developing and writing a feature film back in November 2014 and I knew I wanted James Franco to play the antagonist. I tailored this part for him. I was so excited about my feature film script and had a blast writing it. I held a successful table read in August 2016 with working actors and created a clever social media campaign in the summer of 2017 that involved celebrities endorsing my script to James Franco.

In July 2017, my friend and I dropped off a hard copy of my script to his production company, and that same day, we emailed a PDF version of my script to his production company as well.

In November 2017, a fierce and courageous friend and colleague of mine asked me what was the latest news with my script. I told her what was going on and she offered to help me connect the dots and take it to the next level. After Thanksgiving break, I went to her house and we spent three hours connecting the dots. The meeting culminated with her calling James Franco’s manager and emailing my script to them.

I had an audition for a feature film in mid-December that Noah Baumbach was directing and when I got back from my audition, my friend’s assistant told me that James Franco passed on my film. Well actually, his first line of defense at his production company passed on my film. So James never received my script. I just like to say James Franco passed on my film because it will bring in more viewers to my blog 🙂

And I have to say that when I received the news, I felt great! I didn’t take a loss on it. I wasn’t upset or angry. I had nothing on it because I received an answer. I received an answer for this journey I had been on since November 2014. There is no loss. I still have a fun and great script on my hands.

Besides, there’s Dave Franco who could step in and play the antagonist. Or Samuel L. Jackson. Or Finn Wittrock. There are possibilities!

So, this chapter closes on James Franco (for now!)

Artistic Abundance

Happy Oscars day! I want to say congratulations to all of the nominees. It was raining this weekend in LA and it inspired today’s blog entry! You’ve heard the expression, “When it rains, it pours”? Well, that’s what I feel like is happening at the moment for me in my artistic life.

Earlier this year, I laid out my 2018 goals and I’ve been going after them in a deliberate way. One of the goals was to put the actor back into Jorge Ortiz Actor (jorgeortizactor is my social media handle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…hint hint…follow me!) And since putting the focus back on acting, I’ve been up three times on stage in my scene study class (and in one of the scenes I did, Richard Lawson used me as an example of the teaching and how I effectively and clearly apply it) I also have a few more scenes scheduled to go up and I have other classmates who want to work with me as well.

My editor is doing the finishing touches on the first cut of a film that I not only executive produced and wrote, but that I also starred in. Actor.

A friend of mine highly-referred me to the playwright, the director and the executive producer of a play that they are launching in June. I met with them yesterday and the meeting went great. I got to select and pitch which role I would be interested in playing should I decide to come on board.

I did a table read last month for a feature film and my performance left a wonderful impression on the writer and producer of the film. This past week, I shared with him a self-tape audition I did and he really enjoyed my work. As a matter of fact, he enjoyed it so much that he is considering me for other parts in his feature film.

I have an audition for a feature film tomorrow (Monday) for a leading role in a feature film. I’ve been working on my sides all weekend and I also have to sing a song! My goal and intention is to book the audition room! I can’t wait to deliver my product.

I’ve also been researching commercial acting classes to take!

On the writing side, a friend of mine recently did research for me on various writing competitions because I am interested in getting my writing works out there!

I’ve been teaching four acting classes at the Richard Lawson Studios since January of this year and really being of service to the students and to their growth. I am maintaining my relationship map and keeping that alive and healthy.

And of course, celebrating along the way!

There are many more things happening this year and I can’t wait to continue sharing my journey with all of you!

Until next week!

Chasing The George!

Table Read Fun!

Hey artistic warriors! Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

I had an opportunity to act in a table read for an exciting and powerful feature film. I was asked to be in it by the writer of the film. He and I met at the Richard Lawson Studios two years ago and we kept in touch by sharing our artistic endeavors with each other. Plus, he had seen my work as an actor and liked it. He mentioned at the table read that he hand-selected each of us because he knew what we would bring to the characters.

And although I can’t talk about the storyline of the feature film, what I will talk about is the process I employed for the table read. First of all, the scripts would only be available at the table read, so none of us had the opportunity to read it and work on our characters beforehand. We were only emailed our character names and their breakdowns. So essentially, this was a cold reading! Which I thrive on!

Based on my character’s breakdown, I came dressed as the character. I decided to wear something “hip nerdy” and I wore non-prescription glasses. When I took my assigned seat at the table, I literally had five minutes to find my scenes and read through them. On the first read through of my scenes, I just read them in order to gather the facts that the writer was giving to me. What’s going on? What’s happening?

When I finished the first read through, I went back and created a quick history for my character. Then, I created a moment before and then I began reading through my scenes again. I allowed myself to be open and present so that my instincts and impulses could come through. As subtext and thoughts popped into my head, I wrote them down on the margins of the pages. I didn’t question myself, I didn’t flinch, I didn’t critique. I honored my impulses. When I finished the second read through of my scenes, I closed the script and let it go. I didn’t do any more read throughs.

A minute later, the table read began. I connected with my other scene partner and found moments where I was impinged by him and where I impinged him. I allowed myself to have a moment of real reflective delay when he delivered some bad news to me and I allowed myself to have an experience.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and the writer loved and appreciated what we all brought to the table read. We had a quick Q&A afterwards and he shared with us his upcoming plans for the film.

Until next time! Have a great artistic week!

My 2018 Goal

Hey kitty girls! I couldn’t resist. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 premiered on January 25th and I am getting all my life right now!

We’re still in January and 2018 is still very much new and filled with wonderful possibilities. I wanted to share with you all what my goal is for 2018. I recently shared that my birthday wish was to continue honoring my imagination as an artist. Which I love! So, what is my goal for 2018? What am I focused on?

When I look over my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka my personal business plan), one of my postulates is:

I am a household name infiltrating and conquering mainstream Hollywood through my film acting work and by creating TV and Film content that is just beyond the margin of comfortability (Daring and artistically free content that falls within the wheelhouse of HBO, Showtime, Netflix, A24 and powerful indie studio houses)

Which is great! I still love and believe in this postulate. However, as I looked at it, I realized that in order for me to fulfill that postulate, there was a prior step that I needed to accomplish. There’s a step that comes before becoming a household name and I need to achieve that first. And that is to become an industry name first. I want name recognition and name value with industry professionals (e.g., producers, writers, directors, casting) That fellow colleagues know my name and respect it because of my professionalism and hard work.

So the goal for 2018 is to close the deal on at least one writing and one acting project that puts my name in the entertainment trades (e.g., Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, IndieWire, etc.) I have created a DOIN’ specifically for this goal. My 2018 DOIN’ as I call it. I’m so excited to have a plan of attack to make this goal happen in 2018. Close the deal so that fellow colleagues in the industry take notice of my name.

What is your 2018 goal or goals? I’d love to read what they are in the comments section below!

My Birthday Wish!

January 13th was my birthday! And as I celebrated this weekend with friends, Madonna and Meryl Streep, I realized what I wanted my birthday wish to be: It’s to continue honoring my imagination as an artist. I love this definition of imagination from the 1904 edition of Webster’s Dictionary:

Imagination

I just finished the 4th season of “Black Mirror”. IMAGINATION! I also watched “The Shape of Water”. IMAGINATION! There are many more examples I could give to illustrate imagination.

So in 2018–and beyond–I can’t wait to see what my imagination unlocks for me as an actor, writer and executive producer! I can’t wait to see how my imagination rocks me and others.

Who do you think has a great imagination? Let me know in the comments below!