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9 Tips to Take Back Control of Your Emails

Do you often intend to check your emails quickly before your day starts and end up sitting with them for longer than you wanted? Do you feel stressed from the massive amount of disorganization in your inbox and are spending more time organizing them than actually working on your goals? You are not alone. Email technology is amazing, I love it, however as much as it can empower us, it can overwhelm us. Staying in control of your emails allows you to save time and focus on other areas of …

From 'The Usual Suspects' to 'Blood Moon' - My Filmmaking Journey

Due to time constraints, there is no weekend blog this week, although I hardly think you'll be disappointed. I've brought in my good friend Ken Kokin to share his filmmaking journey. If you're not familiar with Ken, he is a 2-time Sundance winner and producer of The Usual Suspects, which won 2 Oscars. His taste is varied, as evidenced by his producer credits - his productions range from comedy, such as Mortdecai (Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow), to action, such as The …

How To Make A Micro Budget Feature...In Eight Days!

Movies aren’t made with money. They are made with equipment, with artists, with technicians etc. Money is a key resource, but it is something that motivates and facilitates. It is not the movie itself. I like to think of it as energy. When you look at it that way, you begin to realize that there are a lot of ways to generate energy. You might find that even if you don’t have access to large amounts of money, you have more “energy” in a project than you thought.&nb…

The 7 Step Process for Busting the Myth of Writer’s Block

As writers, we all have come to accept certain maxims to be true, or at least we have grown so familiar with the consensus memes of the creative writing world, that we have become unwitting suckers, blindly accepting them, without exercising personal discernment and healthy skepticism as artists. The memes I’m speaking of have become normalized and homogenized, so much so that we accept them as if they are true, have always been true, will forever be true: 1. Good stories write t…

Waiting Until Post-Production To Hire A Film Publicist Will Cost You

Most independent filmmakers forgo hiring a unit or film publicist in pre-production. There are many reasons they do this, but the most common one is that they don’t think they have it in their budget. The truth is, filmmakers can’t afford to make that mistake. Planning your publicity strategy in pre-production will give your film its best chance at success. Here’s a deeper look into why independent filmmakers should have a film publicist on their team from the get-go. …

Are You In A Toxic Relationship...With The Business?

He calls me, but then he doesn’t call me. One day I’m his best girl and there is no one else in the world for him and I’m top of the world, and I’m on a roll and I think this is it, we are finally in this together and we’re gaining momentum and everything is going just fine but then one day that’s it, the calls stop coming, he just falls off the face of the earth, no explanation. Is it something I did? Something I didn’t do? He’s just sudde…

It's Never Too Late To Chase Your Dream

How did this happen? How did I get here? I still pinch myself from time to time. Not to sound cliché, but the true description of my life today is, surreal. I am an actress. Three and a half years ago, I was a restaurant owner/manager. I have always been creative, but I never knew how to express my creativity. I was always different and was continuously told how different I was... "You talk too much!" and "You're such a drama queen!" are just a few of the comments that were thro…

Know Your 'NO' People

As an artist, I can always find people that will compliment my work, even when I know it is not worthy. It's always nice to hear great things about our work, but we really need to know what people are really thinking about our films, good and bad. We all have these 'yes' people around us. They tell us what they think we want to hear. They offer praise but no criticism. But we must have the criticism from trusted people to improve our craft. The best way to receive this criticism is to ha…

Burst Your Bubble: My Journey As A Standup Comic

Burst your bubble. Enjoy the process, the experience and the balance. First, for the sake of contributing something educational, here are some simple tips for standup comedy beginners. Get on stage when they call your name. If you take the mic off the stand, move the stand out of the way. It’s a barrier. If you start to say, “What should I talk about next?” You shouldn’t. Get off the stage. When you see the light, finish your bit and say goodnight. Never go…

A Filmmaker's Perspective On Acting: Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid

Having been a full-time writer-director/producer for the past 15 years and having taught my twice-monthly 'So You Want To Be An Actor' Workshops for the past seven, I'm often asked by young - and in some cases, older - actors how they can best achieve their dreams, but, sometimes, I think what they need to be asking is 'what pitfalls should I avoid'. It's frustrating for me because I frequently see many actors making the very same mistakes in their career - often things that requir…

We WERE ready for our first Skype pitch, are YOU?

Initially, the e-mail we received about writing a blog for the site was met with a slight sense of trepidation. We’re not usually the type of people to over-share or over-expose ourselves. Being on a website like Stage 32 for us is a victory in itself. We’re not the best at self-promotion, which is exactly the opposite of what you need to be if you want to work in this industry, we realize. So it’s in part about opening yourself up to the unknown, the dark abyss of hav…

How To Know If You're A Selfish Actor. And Why You Need To Stop

Back in college, my fellow actors and I were eligible for a competition at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival. A judge watched our production of “Beyond Therapy”, and then got to decide which two actors that would be entered in the competition, but not before sitting down the cast to give reviews of our individual performances. When I got my review she said something that struck me: she noticed that I was a “giving” actor.   &nb…

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