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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another job! and the perils of finding background acting work in the city...

My, how quickly things unfold. The friend whose picture I'll be scoring referred me to a friend of his who works at CNN and told me to contact him regarding freelance work. Wouldn't you know it, half a day after I did that I got a call from this guy's manager, not asking to interview me, but asking me to come in and train as soon as I could. Awesome.

I got the call when I was waiting in line for the audition which turned out to be slightly to moderately lame, depending on what angle you view it from. Upon arriving on the second floor and finding the suite where the casting agency was located, I slid into a small room with a window and a booth, where sat a totally uninterested girl who chatted on her cell phone for a full minute before noticing I was standing there. She asked my name and slid me an application through the hole in the glass and told me to go ahead in. I opened the door into someone who was standing by the door filling his application out against the wall, and subsequently realized how full the room was and that it was not the room but a hallway turned waiting room with seats along each wall and a TV sitting on a stand playing MTV (bad pop music videos). I found a seat among the gaggle of people that mostly ignored me and finished my application, leaving blank my suit size because I didn't know it off the top of my head.

After what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, someone opened the door through which I had come and said, "Yo bounce! They gonna make you pay!" So half the room did just that. I decided I'd stay and one guy sitting across from me mumbled something about at least seeing what they were about. So four of us stayed behind after the room cleared out. Next, the guy comes out who's going to be interviewing us, a pudgy guy with slicked back black hair, simply oozing with every Hollywood cliche you've ever heard of. He's about to call three people in but he stops short when he realizes how the crowd has thinned out. "All right, I just need one person," he says. A minute or two later, he's back and asks for three of us at a time. He sits us down in three stools in front of his desk and asks us each at the same time, "You guys trying to make it in the business? Have you ever done any work like this before? Do you have head shots?" Each question in rapid-fire succession. Dumb looks from our side of the desk and he realizes he should probably ask us each individually if he wants to accurately record our answers. I tell him when he gets around to me that I don't have any experience yet and that I left my head shots home because I didn't have time to reprint any but that I'd bring them tomorrow if I needed to. Then, he starts to go through a list of the projects that they have on a crinkled and stapled together stack of papers pointing rapidly at each one, three to a page, before turning the page before any of us can actually read them. (Some of these films I'd heard of from working at Technicolor and they even had listed the movie that was being shot at NY 1 a few weeks back). After that, he asks me if I can bring in my head shots tomorrow and then, he escorts me out (a different way then I came in), as though I couldn't find the door on my own. A little put out I went on with my day and figured I'd try to get my head shots printed at a Walgreen's and get them to him later that day. I'm still debating it honestly. But I did find this after Googling, "WMT Casting," "NYC," and "scam." Seems to be an even split of disenfranchised naysayers and happy campers.

It sounded in the ad like they had a specific project they were submitting us to but in reality this is just a casting agency and I assume that what that guy meant by, "They make you pay," is that they make you pay to be listed and then maybe they'll call you if a director wants you. Bullshit. I'm already listed for free with another casting agency. If they want to charge me I'm not going to pay them.

Anyway, I left and went down to NY 1 to pick up a copy of the film I'll be scoring for my co worker and I've yet to look at that. I filled the rest of my afternoon with researching whether or not Walgreen's still had my head shots on their website from when I uploaded them a month or so ago and eating lunch in Union Square. A family of French tourists sat down next to me on the benches as they argued in French about where they were going to go next. I offered up my seat so they could all sit together and the lady said, "Merci," forgetting she was in New York, I guess and I said back, "Je vous en prie." It was a nice day in the park all around despite the bleeding heart guy who stopped me on the street in front of the old Virgin Superstore to make me feel bad about not being able to donate $20 to starving children in Nicaragua or wherever. I promptly left Union Square and walked down Broadway, intending to catch the D at Broadway Lafayette, and then I remembered that the Grace Church on Broadway has organ concerts during the week and it's usually Bach or something Baroque. Being a sucker for free live music of any kind, I stopped in to rest my feet a bit and meditate. After that I shot back to Brooklyn to write this blog and try to figure out what else to do with my day off.

I need to make a list. Half of me doesn't want to do anything else for the rest of the day but I need to be semi productive. Even though I feel like rewarding myself with a laid back evening for snagging another job, however hapless it may have been. Half of me just wants to take these days off and really enjoy them since I worked a lot earlier this month and just finished a seven day stint at NY 1. And I kind of have, Coney Island was nice and even though I had the "audition" this morning I had a laid back afternoon for the most part. I am also going upstate to visit my aunt and uncle on Sunday through Tuesday, about which I am very excited. So that'll be nice. Meanwhile, I have a movie from Netflix to watch tonight and a monstrous hunger that needs to be satiated somehow.

For now, a new idea I've had, to put up a playlist of what I've been listening to every once in a while:

End of July


  1. Hi.
    Found your blog after i searched "WMT Casting NYC"
    got a call this afternoon from an add I responded to on craigs list. (I don't know what ad--but one i guess)
    Did anything every come from that call? did you go back? I am suppose to go tomorrow and I don't know if I want to bother....

  2. Hi there, sorry I didn't see this right after you posted it. Don't know how else to get in touch with you other than commenting here. I never did go back. I decided it was likely to be a waste of my time. I did almost get a gig on a Jennifer Aniston film, through craigslist but when I called to confirm they said they didn't need me. This sounded legit though and the agency is called Grant Wilfley Casting: http://gwcnyc.com/ Good luck!