Monday, November 19, 2012


My internship at Warner Brothers has come to a close. Today is my last day and I thought I would take the opportunity to give an overview of what I learned.

For aspiring industry professionals: 

-- Observe. You are never going to really enjoy an internship. Although every company is different, for the most part as an intern you aren't allowed to contribute in any big way.  This is your chance to observe. Sit back, watch, and learn through osmosis - this is probably the only chance in your life you will be able to do this, enjoy it.  They do not except anything but a hard working attitude and an ability to soak up information, so relax, if you work hard and demonstrate that you are listening you'll be fine.

-- Job Hunting. Look for jobs while attending your internship. I searched for jobs from day one of my internship and was able to land a job that will begin the day after my internship ends. This means I will not be unemployed! If you live in New York, being unemployed is NOT an opinion.  However, I looked for 3 months before finding a job in my field so don't wait. Here are the best sources I've found for finding jobs in the entertainment industry:

  • imdb pro

-- Never burn bridges.  There are going to be people that you work with that make you want to punch a baby.  It is going to be extremely hard to hold back at times but burning bridges is one of the absolute worst things you can do in the entertainment industry.  Unless the law would take your side in the case against them, such as sexual harassment, take the high road.  Not everyone is a good manager and in the entertainment industry you are going to work with a lot of egos that want to use their interns as a stool to look taller. I'm not saying you shouldn't report it to HR (I did) but just be careful about destroying any business relationship.  When people look back they tend to remember the positive things, this includes you.  After your internship your employer will probably remember all the things you did right and keep you in a high regard.  If you were to burn that bridge while working there you may have destroyed that potential as well as building relationships with ANYONE in your employer's network.  If your employer is a powerful person, it would be unwise to offend them (even if they deserve it) because you are not just messing with your employer, you are messing with all of his/her connections as well.

-- Cultivate relationships.  If you can, try to bond with your employer/colleagues. In this industry people look out for one another. If they like you, they will help you. And in turn one day you may be able to help them.

--Do Small Favors.  With the law of large numbers eventually you will need something from someone, and if you have done a small favor for them without any incentive other than being there for a colleague, you will receive help.

--Read. Knowledge is power.  You should know what is happening at all times within the entertainment industry.  Read Deadline, and reviews in Variety and New York Times every day.  You will be amazed at how easy this is, it takes about 20 minutes total to get up to speed.  I cannot stress enough how much of an edge this will give you.  Success is when preparation and opportunity meets. This is your preparation. Your resume may be impressive but in the interview it will be your knowledge of the entertainment world that sets you apart and demonstrates your understanding of the business. Also, throw in some plays, and nonfiction in there to round out your conversations.  It is impressive when you are able to use a different source of academia to help illustrate your understanding of a niche.

-- Be on time. Always. 


--Be a Reader. Volunteer to read in the audition rooms for casting directors. This is an unpaid masterclass in auditioning.  It is actually priceless and you will see with your own eyes how to position yourself in order to stand out in a positive way.

--Always Play Positive. Humans remember and enjoy positive experiences  The most dramatic and wonderful piece will disappear as soon as something fun and upbeat comes a long. Casting directors see the same pieces over and over again, be sure to make yours a positive one. That includes your headshot - play up the BEST parts about you. I should WANT to meet you. If you are reading for a dramatic part, make sure to be positive and upbeat in the room.  Humility is key - if there is something really cool about you phrase it like, " I am really proud to have been part of The Mentalist. It was an honor to work with such talented actors and I only hope I get a chance like that again." This allows you to name drop and keep your ego in check all in one.  You're audition is important but remember that you are also selling yourself, you are a brand, make sure to make it a positive one.

-- Postcards are a waste of time.  Write Business letters instead. In a business letter you have to comment (sincerely) on the recipient's work and explain why you are reaching out to them...put it in theirs of their achievements and that it would be an honor to work in any capacity for them. This a chance to build a relationship - do not ask for parts, ask for a meeting or to be a reader. You want to build a relationship before you ask for favors, right?

-- Be one time. Always. 

I hope this recap has been helpful to some of you. Of course when I learn more I will share it to the best of my ability. This industry relies on confidentiality. I cannot share projects, notes, or any thoughts or specifics that go on in my office, but I can pass on any general words of the wise.

For anyone interested my new job is personal assistant to both of the founders of Perception. You can view it at:

Monday, October 22, 2012


Good resource for actors looking for casting in NYC: Backstage Magazine.  There is an entire spread (about 10 pages or so) in every magazine that gives you every New York City casting opportunity: which characters they are looking for, a synopsis on the play/film, how much you will be paid, when it will begin, and how to contact them for an audition. This is a GREAT resource for actors! The magazine is geared towards actors so there are many helpful and interesting articles as well. Hope this helps!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012



- Be 100% off book when you come in to an audition.  Even if you don't get the part, this is usually noted down and filed away with your name. It is is such a positive thing to have associated with your name on file!

-Some casting directors LOVE props, some HATE them. I would practice both ways and ask at the audition if they prefer one or the other. Some casting directors get really excited if you use one. Other's will just say, no thanks, and no harm, no foul.

-Be early to your audition. This is your chance to make a good impression and being early says you are responsible and prepared.

-Be a human.  Don't give answers you think will be right. Be a person and give truthful answers.  YOU are way more interesting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Audition Room Etiquette

Our audition room (or tape room) is rather small.  There is a lo-tech camera, two bright front lights and a dim back light. There are three chairs and a computer. That's it. If we have not met you before we will print out your resume from the database (that is my lovely task).  If you are not on the database we will ask  you to bring in one.  That being said, you should always bring a resume but do not give it to us unless asked.

We will either know the part you are reading for, or we will ask you, there is no need to state it in the audition.

Don't shake hands with the reader.  A reader is the person reading the other lines in your scene audition. I have no idea why you should follow this rule; I'm just passing it along. I'm sure with time I will understand, but for now, I'm just a little sheep following my Shepard.

If you are given a note, FOLLOW IT! That means if we do the scene once and then the casting director says, "okay let's do it again and this time I want you to address a huge crowd of people." That means you put on your little imagination helmet you and look around a HUMONGOUS room - give it the really 1,000 yard stare.  Better to make a big adjustment than a small one. (It still has to make sense of course)

Wear clothes show your body. We want to see what you're working with.

Don't ever use an accent unless it is specifically part of the character.  If you are playing someone from the deep south with all the dialogue spelled out with dialect, THEN use an accent. Otherwise, it's best to put accents and dialects on your resume but audition with non-regional diction.

Don't wink at interns. It's insulting.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stepping Up

So the casting associate (who I work under) is out for the day, making me the associate (basically an assistant). Already I have hung up on someone, apparently re-printed something we didn't need, and told another assistant over the phone too much information.  These were all TINY problems that were fixed in a matter of seconds (calling back, recycle, and whoops), but when your boss gets used to a certain thing being done the exact same way all the time they are nervous when anything changes slightly (even if it isn't catastrophic).

Here is my advice to interns that have to step into a higher position for the day: don't freak out. My boss has already yelled at me three times in the last hour and I have just smiled, apologized, and moved on.  I've only been here a week, if I don't know something, well excuuuuuuse me. Just keep expressing when you don't know how to do something and ask questions. No one can fault you so might as well learn as much as you can. That being said, it's going to being a horrible day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New York (Plan Ahead!)

Side note: If you decide to move to New York City you need to know one thing. ALWAYS leave your house with at LEAST double the amount of time it takes to get to your destination. AT LEAST double.  Being late is one of the worst qualities in an employee and shit just happens in NY to make you late ALL the time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Juilliard Advice

Last night I was invited by my boss to attend her lecture at Julliard for 4th year drama students. First off, let me say it was a dream come true to sit with such an amazing group of students. Secondly, of course I cannot regurgitate a three-hour lecture but I thought I would share some of the key points. This was a lecture for actors so all the advice is aimed towards you.

  • Resumes:
    • Put your name is ALL CAPS
    • Make sure it is extremely clean (organized columns) and in a font that is big enough to read comfortably
    • 1 page maximum (no exceptions!) - it should fit neatly on the back of your headshot
    • Capitalize the names of the plays
    • The casting director does not know that the resume is in chronological order, therefore, it does not matter. Put you best roles first. Most often casting directors only read the first few roles.
    • Split you resume into sections (ie: Theatre, Film, Television, Training, Special Skills)
    • Do not need to include you height and weight unless it is extreme (anything above 6'2")
    • Special skills: instruments, fluent languages, and anything else that you are exceptional at.  If you have played basketball a few times, don't put that on there. If you were semi-pro basketball player, put it on! (of course, only put down skills that you can currently do - so if you are 70, the basketball thing won't help your chances)
      • If you can do something totally awesome (like balance a chair on your chin) PUT IT ON YOUR RESUME! Special skills is the conversation ice breaker and essential for getting to know you. 
  • Headshots
    • Color vs B/W: Honestly it makes no difference. The only exception is if you have really crazy awesome eye color or flaming red hair. Don't EVER try to hide anything interesting!
    • Put your name on you headshot (on the bottom or actually in the picture doesn't matter) this constantly re-enforces the relationship between who you are and what you look like
    • Little black borders are classy 
    • The question my boss asks herself when she looks at a headshot is "would I want to sit next to this person at dinner?" Which means you want to come off as fun, intelligent, and good looking. The perfect date. This doesn't mean you have to smile, just make sure you look really interesting in a positive way (not a scary way)
  • See as much theater/film as you can!
  • Start a play-reading group
    • Like a book club, meet once a month to discuss a play that you all have read. Or act out your favorite scenes.  This is a chance to get a workout with your friends and by the end of the year you will have 12 new plays under your belt.  Knowledge of material is power for an anyone in the industry, especially actors. 
  • Volunteer as a Reader
    • If you have any personal connection with a casting director, volunteer to be a reader for auditions. (A reader is the person who sits in auditions and reads the other lines for the auditioning actor) This is a great, free workout as well as an educational bombshell. Getting comfortable in an audition setting as well as watching other actors work is invaluable for your career. 
Hope this has been helpful!