Thursday, August 25, 2016

IMDb - "Tips" by Pat Kaye

IMDb Tips from Pat Kaye (edited)
1. I believe Everyone in the biz should have the link to their IMDb page in the ‘About’ section of their Facebook page. Put it under ‘Websites and Socials Links’ in the ‘Contact and Basic Info’ section. You worked for those IMDb credits and possibly you paid for an IMDb Pro account so make that page easy for people to find. 
2. For the step above and ANYTIME you share your link, it CANNOT start with or It needs to start SIMPLY as with no ”me” after nor an “m” before it. Otherwise, your home page with your credits will not be viewable to most people.
3. To check if you have multiple pages on IMDb, you need to TYPE IN your name and see what pops up. You CANNOT check by clicking on your saved link because you’ll only get the one saved page. I KNOW for a fact that some of you reading this have multiple pages (even 3 or more in some cases!!!) 
4. For those of you who don’t think you have an IMDB page, BE SURE you really don’t. This ESPECIALLY goes for you Momagers yourselves who stepped in as an Extra or helped the production in some other way. All you have to do is type in your name like in Step #3. You may be surprised. 
5. For those of you who feel you should have a credit for a project, but you don’t see one, AFTER you’ve done Steps #3 or #4 above to check it isn’t on an extra page you didn’t know you had, you have a good chance of being able to add yourself even if it would be your very first credit. 
The IMPORTANT THING you cannot get around is the Project must be on. If it is not, you are out of luck. Check for that first. 
6. Some things to know about IMDb Pro: 
a) this paid subscription IS necessary if you want to have a profile picture, other pix, and/or your reel or certain videos on the page. 
b) IMDb Pro IS necessary to add a Resume 
c) it is NOT necessary to add a Bio – WORD to the Wise with that and adding Trivia which can ALSO be done without a PRO account, I strongly advise NEVER EVER adding your birthdate and that is because it will stay there FOREVER unless IMDb has a major change in their policy about birthdays. They have been sued about this and they WON. Along the same lines, don’t add the names of a spouse, a significant other, or your kids because those don’t come off either.

Questions?  Send or post a comment!

Thanks for reading

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Self motivation is key! Don't let others get you down...

Its time for my motivation speech.  I have seen a lot of discouraged people lately.  I have been discouraged in the past many times because of people or situations, and I decided a while back to stop the madness! What encourages you or discourages you?  Who believes in you and who doesn't?  Do you want to know a secret?  The most important thing is keeping yourself motivated and not listening to the negative things others put into your head.   

Do you have a disability, or do you have people close to you that say you will never amount to anything and acting is a silly waste of time?  We all have something that nags at us.  Its really important that you believe in yourself to keep your dream alive.  Do what you need to do to keep the negative chatter out of your head. Keep moving forward in a positive direction.  Sometimes YOU are all you have!

When I started acting, some of my friends and family fed me a lot of negativity that I was too old, and I would never make it in this business.  What is the definition of "make it"; what is the definition of success?  Its whatever you want it to be, not anyone else.  Everyone's goals and dreams are different.  Sometimes the support is just not there no matter how much we would like it to be.  Some of us dream of becoming a household name or being famous, others want steady work: what's your dream, and what are your goals?  I didn't even know what I really wanted out of the acting biz until I had done it for a while.  What I really enjoy now for many reasons, is the "commercial business".  I do film here and there but love commercial acting the best!  How about you?  Its important to know what you like and why.

Once I was in the business a few years and becoming more successful and happier, I was talking to one of these negative people again, hoping they would congratulate me on what I have been able to accomplish so far. I don't know why I bothered, they were still very negative towards me.  I decided they had a personal problem with my success, and I was not going to let their words get to me.  Why was I even hoping to get their blessing? They are an important part of my life and it would be nice for them to say something positive about it.  But I have decided to let it go - I have to, and so do you. You are better than the negativity others will try and feed you. 

What else nags at you?  Failure?  I had three big auditions in the last couple of weeks and  I ended up not getting hired for any of them. I really wanted at least one of them.  Yes, I was disappointed, but I had the opportunity to act, which is what I love to do, so I enjoyed the auditions and moved on.  I wasn't what they were looking for, and I didn't take it personally.  Lots of great talent out there, and they found what they were looking for.  I was happy for the opportunity to audition (and act!) and that's what you have to leave with mentally, to be happy and to just move forward.  Do what you need to do to make this work or it will destroy your career. Being depressed or down because of what others think or circumstances is an instant career killer.  

Remember the old saying "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how we react to it".  Its so true with everything in life!  

Thanks for reading, and see you on set!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What Agents, Casting Directors, Producers and Directors don't like to see......

Every now and again I am at an audition or on set and see some things I know make others cringe.  I preach professionalism, and these are obvious to most of us.  Just a friendly reminder what the pros don't like to see.  Feel free to add your list in the comments as well:

1) Egos - check them at the door.

2) Cameras - ok unless the camera is rolling.  Ask permission first though.

3) Over-acting - I love the photo below.  Find your acting method and use it.  You "become" the character, no need to over-act it.  Proper training will take care of this.

4) Un-preparedness - lines, character, etc - take the time you need and prepare beforehand.  I made the mistake in a call-back once and forget my headshot (I didn't get the part - coincidence? Now I keep them in the car) 

5) Being late - always be early and wait in the car if you are "too" early.  Call if there is a traffic jam

6) Not having wardrobe options requested - logos are the biggest thing I see that people ignore

7) Not following instructions.  Simple things like "quiet on set" is the most commonly ignored

8) Attitude - leave it at home with the ego.  We are all in this together, lets get along today.

9) Asking a favor of the crew.  Don't ask the AD to take a set photo, and don't ask the boom operator for a glass of water.  Everyone has their assigned tasks, including you.

10) Complaining - don't complain about food choices (bring your own if you are gluten intolerant, vegan etc), or complain about the length of time waiting around, etc - this is normal.

11) Music - please don't turn your ipod on in the cast holding area for the entire room to hear it - use earbuds.  

12) Talking - don't be too loud, don't gossip and make sure everyone can hear the directors instructions.  

13) Waste time - everyone wants to get done in a timely manner.  In auditions, don't ask 100 questions, and on set, don't make people have to find you.

I am sure there are more, please share your thoughts.  I hate to focus on negative stuff, but I really wanted to just put a gentle reminder out there that we are all in this together.  Lets be professional, make the cast and crew love you so much, they want you back on set every time. 

See you on set!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Training....Get the Edge to Get the Job

When I started as an actor a few years ago, I had no idea what I was doing.  I wanted to learn everything I could.  I decided, if I wanted to be successful, I needed proper training.   The training I have received so far has made a world of difference!  Like any other career, you really do need to have the proper education to get the best work.

I have had a lot of training over the past few years but I am not done yet!  Lifetime learning is where it's at.   Not every class is for everyone, but its important to put time and money into the things your interested in doing.  Not sure where to start?  Ask your agent or acting friends for class recommendations.  I was going to list some here but I know I would miss some.  The point of this post is to pursue it and do it!  Its so important to improve your acting skills and keep fresh.

Below I will list and briefly explain some of your options.  I won't explain them in depth or cover all of whats available but I wanted to give you an idea of whats available so you can start exploring:

1) Books:  I have some books on acting, don't refer to them much, as I prefer the hands on approach.  But I love books on acting terminology!

2) Performing arts schools:  If you want a degree in performing arts, you can go to New York (and other large cities) Not for everyone, but many famous actors, went to a performing arts school in their youth

3) Workshops:  There are lots of day long to week long intensive workshops.  Some are held by famous casting directors and others specialize in a theme such as western arts. I have taken some of the day long workshops and found them quite interesting but they were not my favorites.

4) Acting Methods:  You can study an acting different acting methods by taking specific classes in Method Acting, Meisner, Strasberg, etc.   I have dabbled in classes in all of them to see what worked best for me. (I am more of a Method actor)  Its crucial to know what works best for you if you are a film actor.

5) Private Coaching:  After I finished a few years of group classes, I found a private coach, recommended by my agent to assist me.  She helped me to better get in character, developed a monologue that rocked, worked out kinks in my auditions, took me through the acting methods, and taught me how to warm up, stretch and relax. This by far, was the best training I ever had.

6) Age specific:  There are a lot of classes out there specifically for kids and teens.  Some of these are spring and summer camps, some are weekends.

7) Auditioning classes:  These classes assist you with film or commercial auditioning.  They are quite different in their methodology.  Take both and see where you settle in  best.  Although I do film acting, I have found my specialty in commercial work.  You never know until you try both.

8) Character acting and Scene Study:  Just want it sounds like!  Crucial for your development as an actor.

9) Dialect: British, Southern Belle?  If you want to learn a dialect, these are the classes for you!

10) Theater:  I have a lot of respect for theater actors, and some people only do theater.  A performing arts school will give you the best education in Theater, but there are many intensive classes and workshops out there as well.

11) Voice Over:  Have a voice that everyone says should be on the air?  There is a lot of well -paying voice over work available!  You can do tag-lines, commercials and audio books.  There are many tricks of the trade that I had no idea about until I took a 2-day class.  Well worth it if you have interest in this area.

12) Stunts:  Want to jump off buildings, do fight scenes and fall off a horse?  There are stunt classes available that will teach you how to fake death defying acts that wow all of us on the big screen.

13) Teleprompter:  This is my main specialty.  There are some important things to know so you don't look like you are reading those likes.  Classes teach you how to be natural on camera.

14) Earprompter:  These classes are the cousin of Teleprompter.  I will be taking this class this year.

15) Comedy/Improv:  Are you a natural stand up type?  These might be the classes for you to sharpen your skill and get on stage!

16) Improv Acting:  This type of class teaches you to naturally act without a script.  How to bounce lines off someone else and go back and forth in an interesting way without getting "stuck".  No deer in the headlights here - these are great classes!

17) Hosting:  Most of these classes are centered around television and live hosting.  How to interview people, carry a conversation and be interesting.  I want to take one of these classes this year!

18) Informal Scene Study/Mini Home Groups:  If you have taken classes and want to work with other actors to practice and sharpen your skills, its great to work with others on a monthly basis.  Some bring scripts they are working on, and its just a shared learning experience.  Most of the time they are free.

If you would like to post a comment to let everyone know what classes have worked the best for you, please do.  If you have recommendations, I welcome your posts on that as well.

If your not working on a project, its time for class!  Happy learning everyone and see you on set!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Social media much? Your posts may hurt your career!

Some of you are going to get angry with me for this post.  That's ok.  This blog is just my opinion, so you can form your own and comment below, I would love to hear from you.

I have seen a lot on social media links especially Facebook over the past couple years and thought I would chime in with my 2 cents.  Be careful about your social media posts.  We have a tendency to combine work friends, family and personal friends on our posts and this is a dangerous thing.  Why?

All of us have our own opinions on religion and politics and just certain people in general.  Some of us are very vocal about it on social media.  I see posts about gossip, bashing of certain groups, people, races, sexual preference, whatever.  We also post wonderful photos of ourselves or others in some of the most unusual circumstances. We have the right to our opinion and our beliefs because this is America.  We have freedom of speech, right?  Yes, but please don't do it.  The world and how we all relate to it has changed.

People are going to form an opinion about you  based on what you post.  If you post something for a close friend or family member and a potential employer sees it and gets offended (photo or different viewpoint than yours) they are probably not going to hire you.  If you are a constant downer, always negative or hateful, its the same thing.  People want to see positive happy neutral stuff.  Nope - that's not the reality of life, but it IS the truth of the world of social media.  You are putting yourself out there - change the way you post. If you want to stay hire-able in your field, refrain from posting the other stuff.  Send a private message to someone, email them or pick up the phone.

We used to just add people to Facebook and other sites that we knew well, and that understood us well, but now many of us use it for networking and don't really know everyone on our social networks all that well.

I have my personal religious and political beliefs just like you do, but I never EVER post anything about them. I keep most of my posts happy and upbeat.  The negative stuff?  I just don't post it most of the time and if I do, its for a very limited time, and its just usually stuff about having a bad day or something.

Here is what happens.  You apply for a job, or a gig or whatever and that person looks at your social media posts and sees something negative you have posted where they have a different opinion or it just hits them the wrong way - guess what?  You don't get the job.  People will also form opinions about you that may not be fair, but they will.  I have looked at some of my friends posts and ended up "hiding them from my feed" because I didn't want to see the posts.  Or maybe they post 100 times a day - noone wants to see that either.

I am not saying you have to pretend your from Pleasantville, or be a total drone, but just think twice before you post.  Ask yourself, " Is it ok for everyone I want to do business with to see this?"

If you still want to do it, here is my suggestion, because I do this:  For Facebook, put everyone in "categories".  When you post, you can choose who (what category) sees the posts.  So, when I post photos of my cats, or family stuff, etc. many times I will post it to "Friends" or "Family", EXCEPT "Film Friends"  Or if I don't want to bore my family with my IMDb and blog posts, I will make the post view-able to "Film Friends" only.  This way, you can control who sees what, and you can see talk and post as freely as you like without the risk of losing work or offending the wrong people.

I did a little research, and I am not the only one with this opinion.  A few links I found with more info:

Just my 2 cents - keep it classy and lets all get working together!

PS - I deleted my Twitter account recently, so I left it off the below links this time.  Just TOO much social media for one gal!  :)


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tucson has the right idea

Read their post:


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Check your ego at the door...and get more work!

I am going to sound like your mother for this post, but once in a while I will run across someone with a huge ego in this business, and I feel its time I addressed it.  People with huge ego's have a hard time getting work, but they don't understand it because they believe themselves to be so awesome.  People block them and delete them, but they believe its just jealousy. They shine brighter than the brightest star and are just misunderstood. Right? (sigh, no)  

I recently worked with someone like this.  I was embarrassed for them the entire time on set. I was disappointed.  I really expected more from this person.  I know the production company will never hire them again.  Just little things they did all day were very everyone, cast and crew.  I never name names, but truly folks, humility is your friend.  If I have a bad experience with someone on set, do you think I will ever recommend them to a producer or casting agent?  Nope!  I won't air anyone's dirty laundry, but I will recommend someone else.  Be professional and get hired time and time again.  Be nice and be real!  Be thankful and grateful and happy and play well with others.  They will want you back time and time again.

Can you be excited about your work and accomplishments?  Yes!  Should you pump up your career on social networking sites? Of course!  Just check yourself (before you wreck yourself).  What I am talking about here is people who talk about how awesome they are.  People who get angry that other people got roles because they are so much better.  Its all about peoples true mindset and how they address others in public.  Its all about them and never about anyone else.  Most of the time it involves backstabbing others and just general unprofessional behavior.

None of us are "all that" and all of us can be replaced, so why do so many people in this industry have huge ego's?  Its one thing to be excited about what we are doing but its entirely another to act like we are better than others.  Newsflash:  The world does not revolve around you.  Centuries will come and go and billions will not know your name.  Its time you put yourself in perspective.  

Be EXCITED about your work and work really hard, but also build up others in the process.  Don't tear others down at your expense.  Karma baby - the higher you regard yourself, the less the world will think of you.  If you have a huge ego on set and are constantly a distraction, you will not get re-hired by that production company, and its a small community, word spreads.  Be humble, be grateful, be HIRED!

If your reading this, your ego is probably just fine.  If you had an ego problem, you wouldn't bother with my blog.  I appreciate the fact that you are reading it - thank you!

Have something to add?  Share it!  Have fun and I will see you on set!


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blogs to live by

I am so happy that you enjoy reading my blog.  It exists solely to help other actors.  Anything I know, I will happily share. I believe its important to share our experiences with others so we can all grow together.  I hope you have found them helpful so far.  Please feel free to add your comments below.

In today's blog, I would like to share other helpful acting blogs.  Please feel free to add others!

Knowledge + application = success!

Actor Blogs and websites that are helpful:  (mine)  (10 blogs!)  (love her videos)  (dozens of blogs in many markets)  (requires a little sifting, but some gems here)

Got more?  Add them below!  Thanks and lets keep learning together.  All the best in 2014 to all of you!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Being an Extra and How to Get Upgraded

"oh" you say, "I don't really do" extra work, or "all I like to do" is extra work.  To each their own!
Most productions need extras.  Some just need a few, while others need dozens or even hundreds.  The more extra work you do, the more people in the industry you will get to know and the more you will be on set. I wanted to cover this topic a little.

1)  Why do extra work?
Well, for starters, if your new to the industry, you will get to meet cast and crew, get familiar with how things work and have a lot of fun too.  Sometimes you get paid, sometimes you don't. What type of jobs you accept are completely up to you.  I know some people who love extra work.  Easy breezy, just follow orders and have fun.  Usually no lines to memorize, or very few, just do what your told and do it well.  I personally love it.  I always love to be on set anytime I can.  I am not new to the industry, but I love to be around other people who love acting.  There is a lot of down time on set as well, where you can get to know your fellow actor or catch up with the ones you haven't seen for a while. As long as camera is not rolling, you can chat and have a great time with this.  Seeing the entire production in motion is exciting! I love the action and I love to watch the other actors do their thing.  Its like magic in the making!

2) I am an extra, but how do I get upgraded to a speaking role?  How do I positively get the attention of the director?  Is this even possible?
Many productions for a variety of different reasons, will upgrade an actor from an extra to a principal role, give them a line, or give them a featured extra role, rather than being lost in a crowd of extras.  The trick is, how do you get them to pick you?  There are a few steps I follow:

a) Basic professionalism: Show up on time, act like a professional, bring required wardrobe, make sure you follow all instructions on your call-sheet or email for the shoot.  No complaining, no drama, no excessive cell phone pics, and follow instructions - listen listen listen.

b) Pay attention and smile!  When the director or assistant director (AD) is first setting up a scene, many times they will be looking at who else they need.  They will be looking at the extras for "clues" on who to pick for a given task.  Make sure you know who these people are.  The names will be listed on the call sheet and if you pay close enough attention, you will see them.  They will see who looks friendly, approachable and professional. I will give you an example.  I was on a set last year and the AD was looking at all of us - scanning the extras.  Everyone was sitting, looking bored, or chatting with their neighbor.  I looked at him straight on with a nice smile, awaiting any instructions.  He pointed at me and asked me to come to the ,main set area.  He needed a stand-in to rehearse a scene as the lead, because the lead had not shown up yet and the equipment needed to be in the right place and the settings had to be adjusted.  We chatted as lights, sound and camera were being adjusted.  When the lead showed up, I was placed as a featured extra, directly behind the lead in the scene.  I also said thank-you!  Very important.  This type of thing has happened on numerous occasions, and they will not forget you.  It's a small community - you will probably be on set with them again.  You want them to remember you!

c) Be able to "go with the flow", be flexible, never assume anything, and have a polite sense of humor.  They look for this! They need you to change your wardrobe, memorize a line, re-direct you on the spot.  Just go with it and be easy to work with.

Have something to add?  Share it!  Have fun and I will see you on set!