Acting : The value of awards by Steve James

Steve James

The value of awards

The last two Indie movies I have been involved with have won awards. Does this matter to Casting Directors or Producers? These awards haven't highlighted me, specifically. In fact it was pure luck that I was involved with them at all (Or skill, depending how you approach the audition process.), but projects that I have appeared in have been voted best movie by someone. Do I plug these acheivements at all, and if so - what is the best way to do so? At present, I have mentioned it to friends on Social Media, and added it to my 'latest News' roll of my website, here: www.stevejames.ca . Anything else I should be doing, or dosn't it matter that much?

D Marcus

It doesn't matter to me as a producer. I look for actors who are right for the part regardless of the awards of their previous movies have. While it doesn't hurt to mention it really isn't your achievement. I'm not saying you did not contribute greatly to the movie that won the best movie award, only isn't your personal achievement.

Zedrick Restauro

If you send out postcards to casting directors, I'd mention that in there. No idea if it matters to them, but I've gotten auditions off of postcards when I'm not even announcing anything as cool as that.

Steve James

Eloquently written, guys. Many thanks. D - that was what I was trying to say. Zed - postcards directly to Casting Directors? How quaint! Not in this market.

Regina Lee

It really depends on how prestigious the awards are.

Zedrick Restauro

Quaint? Haha! Interesting that postcards isn't something actors do in Vancouver... It's very commonplace here in LA.

Steve James

Nope, up here your Agent is the gatekeeper between CD's and performers (In my experience), and handle the contact. Although I've heard of this contact method before, I don't know of anyone that does it. Having said that, there are only about 5 CD's in the Market, so we all get to know each other! This is why I have made the contact page of my website so much like a 'regular' business, so that it's easy to get hold of me.

Regina Lee

For what it's worth, in LA and NY, working actors have to be proactive and form their own direct relationships with CDs. Even if the agent/manager has submitted the actor, the actor may not be invited in to read. When the actor is trying to get in to read, he has to get himself moved to the top of the stack... How? A personal relationship with the CDs certainly helps a great deal.

Ewan Parker-Eaton

Regina Lee-how do you suggest developing a personal relationship with the CD? Postcards are so old school and they just get tossed out-no one take the time to look at that stuff. Twitter? Facebook? Share your secrets!

Steve James

I'm confused by that statement, too. If your agent pitches you for a job, why would a CD not accept you to audition if you are a match for the role? And if they turn you down, even though you are a match, why would they them jeopardize their relationship with your agent by accepting you for the audition just because they 'know' you?

Regina Lee

Hi Ewan, sorry I just saw your post. I can only speak to LA and NY. Here's an answer I wrote in another thread: I'm on the producing side in LA, not acting. As for CD workshops, based on the experience of my actor friends, these workshops are legit. Obviously, you want to be sure the CDs you're meeting have good credits before you sign up! For example, my friend was a SAG/AEA actor in NY. (To protect her privacy, I won't use names.) She moved to LA, where she had no CD network. She participated in a few CD workshops, and one guy really liked her, and keeps bringing her in for appropriate roles. As a result of those connections, she booked a co-star role on one of Shonda's ABC shows. Does attending a CD workshop mean that you will book? Absolutely not. Does it increase your chances of connecting with a CD who will give you a shot(s) to audition? Yes, 100%.

Suzanne Bronson

Regina- The CD workshops are legit according to your actor friends? 1. Paying to audition IS AGAINST THE LAW ( which is what you are doing no matter how they word it) 2. my actor friends who have participated it such things have gotten nothing but blown off when trying to follow up. 3. I also find it suspect that you say you won't name names to protect privacy so I really question the validity of your statement. 4. the supposed result your "friend" got happens just from auditioning. If a CD really likes you but can't use in that particular instance he/she will do their damnest to bring you back again and again until they do book you. That's cultivating relationships. CDs are not the enemy. They WANT to like you. 5. none of this has anything to do with Steve's question

Suzanne Bronson

Steve- to answer your question, yes I think any awards you personally have won should be included on your resume, just like with a conventional job

Regina Lee

Hi Suzanne (Bronson), I spoke to Steve's question in my 1st of 3 posts. If you question my honesty, and if you find my post "suspect," that is certainly your right. To clarify, I didn't say "paying to audition." I said Casting Director workshops, which are not illegal in California. (I don't know about other territories.) I certainly am not on S32 to fight, so I will respectfully opt out of future conversations with you.

Regina Lee

For those who believe that CD workshops are not illegal, please feel free to check out S32 guest blogger and casting director Jennifer Rudolph. https://www.stage32.com/blog/How-Applying-Shark-Tank-Principles-to-Your-... Stage 32 works with her, so I assume S32 trusts that she was not running an illegal casting workshop scam. :-) Quoting their website, they no longer offer CD workshops in Los Angeles, but they recommend them, and they recommend The Actors Key: "While AGR no longer offers LA classes, we recommend The Actors Key, ​offering the best CD workshops and classes in Los Angeles. If you have any remaining class credits, and are unable to use them towards classes in New York, please email: agrla@theactorsgreenroom.com"

Steve James

I think that Suzanne's point was this: Auditioning for roles in front of a CD is an audition. If you are liked, you will be brought back for that or future roles. The whole point of a CD workshop is too cultivate a relationship with a CD that will end up with that person booking you for more roles. Is this, therefore, not an audition in itself - and one that you pay for?

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