Thursday, April 4, 2013

Talent Agents & Managers

    What can be said about Agents and Managers? I mean it, what can be said? They are ruthless, shifty, liars, doubters, racist, play favorites, scam artists, thieves, and all around bad people.  You can think you found somebody to be with and then they turn around and don’t do a damn thing for you. In Las Vegas, the so-called Talent agents and Personal managers are absolutely worthless.

    Being in Las Vegas, you have a small assortment of talent agencies that may, or may not, give you the time of day. For me, they don’t look at me much because I’m not 6’ feet tall, slim to athletic build, light skin complexion. The agents in Vegas have this strong racist view of Black men; they either resemble a Will Smith type or the light skin brother on “Grey’s Anatomy”. They don’t want anything to do with you if you are 5’ 7” and a bit over weight. My resume can be 2 pages long, it doesn’t matter to them. They like dumb stoopid types that can’t act worth a shit. I constantly hear here, “you should move on to Los Angeles, you can do better there since you‘re union.” Ain’t that some shit? Pushing me away instead of trying to bank off my talents. Hard to figure out isn’t it? I am seriously going to start asking them for the money to move to L.A. and for them to acquire me a fulltime job so I can pay rent and bills while continuing my acting career. Wonder how that’ll go over. The Entertainment capital of the world and they still won’t hire Black men, except those that are good-looking and stoopid.  Chris Brown anyone?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Side Note: 
I don’t know how you would handle this subject, but it is a pain when I hear it. Friends, or mere acquaintances, who constantly praise god for their auditions or gigs. That is such a load of crap. If there is a god out there for acting or performing, I wouldn’t have to take a job on the side as a Security Officer at the local mental health clinic as my main source of income. With all the talent I possess, I should be a recurring actor on a sit-com, or at least 3 films under my belt, or performing on Broadway on the regular like Nathan Lane. Co-starring with John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, with phone calls from Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Judd Apatow. All asking me to be in their next project. Any real adjusted person knows; in this business the only god you need to know and praise is the Director or Producer. They have the power to do anything they want. Because it’s their show. Nobody else’s. Should you encounter people like this: BEWARE.  Believing in false hope can misguide the true nature of your career, if you want to involve false belief in your acting career, there is Catholism.

Thursday, March 21, 2013



    While you are trying your damndest to become an entertainer/performer. People, you will need to have something or someone, to lean on. Whether it’s your family, friends, a mythological god, or yourself. (Refer to the chapter on Family and Friends.)
    What I found out is that, believing in god to obtain an acting or modeling job is a long standing joke, but it does keep a certain few in line and out of the audition/casting process. Hey, it worked in the early years with people. Everybody preaching about “Follow me or die”  or  “Preach love, and kill those that don’t believe.” Profound isn’t it?
    Anyway, believing maybe your choice of personal support. It will not help you get the job, your talent, within those precious few seconds will get you that callback or book the job. Talent, or looks. To tell you what I’ve seen and heard; casting directors, directors will state while rehearsing,  “When you are here I am god.” If you have a the or chutzpah  to question that remark, please, feel free. Some of them may even welcome your input about their comment, or your opinions. As long as you have all of you belongings packed, and ready to got home. Because, you are now canned, kicked out the door, terminated, unemployed, or plain ol’ fired. To confront a Director or Casting/Director or Producer will hurt you down the road. Therefore, after listening, hearing, each one who thinks acts like that is fine with me. So I laugh inside, nod my head, then, concentrate solely on the job I was cast for. Nothing else. To be an Actor.
    The worst people I’ve ran into that does all of the aforementioned  are the Married; Director/Actor, Casting Director/Actor, or the Artistic Director/Director. I learned this while working at the Metro Theatre Company  in St. Louis, MO., this theatre was on that level. Bad. The Director/Lead Actor was married to each other, which made it slightly difficult to work there as an effective actor. You never knew who you can trust to talk to if something was bothering you. All of your business went back to one of them. Sometimes, at a theatre, you can find a work companion to confine in. A person to immediately trust and talk about anything, not too deep. At this theatre in St. Louis, you are a total outsider, plain and simple. Only time you feel welcome is when they hire you, only then, you think you made the right choice for a gig. Well, after they fired me, after several beautiful performances, I felt relieved to leave such a non-trusting, negative, and back stabbing environment. It just wasn’t healthy at all. These people are exactly the “never can get work, so they teach” kind of people. it’s a shame that they relay their negativity on new actors. And as seasoned actor, because somewhere down the line they pissed off everybody they worked with.
    As an actor, you will come across the “god freaks’ in acting. These guys are the ones that are so entrenched with believing that god got them their gig, they won’t believe anything else. Not their talent. Not the casting director, nor director. Yet, some invisible force has pushed them through all barriers, bypass every other person to get the part. It’s pretty sad because somewhere down the line if they pull that religious while performing or rehearsing, can get them into trouble which can get them terminated, with no lawyer being able to help them. They all should learn something from all the Atheists, Agnostics, or Scientologists; “Keep your mouth shut.”


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Surviving in Hollywood while Black: Finances

     Once you are all moved in, try to hurry and established your residence quickly so that you don’t have to worry about the Police or taxes (switch car registration, tags, license). Obtain a regular fulltime job, get familiar with the neighborhood so you can get around easier. Then, look into auditioning. Don't believe the hype when your friends say, "go to this audition, go man, go." If you don't have a job pulling in some kind of money, those casting directors are going to sense your desperation for obtaining work and blow you off. I've been at auditions where I thought I hid my desperation but apparently they saw right through it. it's not because I was bad either, "me be good at wat i do." Trust me, if you don't go today, it will still be there tomorrow. Since the Taliban haven't blown up Hollywood it will be there waiting on you. So lock down a job! Hard as it may be, you got to do it.

    Also, you should put yourself to the task of checking your Credit Record for accurate, and possibly, inaccurate information about you. To make a point in clearing out some outstanding debt while starting in a new place of living. After moving to Las Vegas, I thought it would be good to clear everything up. Get financially stable and pay all the useless bills off. I know it means getting intouch with places you may not want to get in touch with but you should. When you do, your credit scores gets better. It's worth it. There are many outlets of finding out where you stand financially. You could pay some company to get the credit information/score or go to or, or just simply write all 3 of the big Facist Credit companies on your own. You are allowed 1 free credit report in a calendar year.  There all Fascists anyway. With that in mind, I have gone out of my way to make sure that ALL of my stuff is correct. Even though goddamn New York state says I didn't filed in the 90's, they got me paying those fools back taxes now. Because they claim I didn't, I know I did. But after 15 years, are you kidding me. You let clowns like Trump walk all over the place cheating on their taxes with every damn tax cut you can think of. Warren Buffet is right. It's not fair. Hell, California garnished my pay 3 times claiming I didn't file for 2005. 2005, people! I couldn't pay rent after those facist bastards took my money but it is over now. The worst part of it was that I thrown everything out before 2007 because after a certain amount of time. It didn't seem important to keep all of it anymore. They got their money, and I did get the chance to say my peace for the hell of it. So, yeah, regardless, it is good to clear these things up so you can move on without any other financial worries. Of course, most of you have credit cards from your parents. I didn't have that luxury. Just me and cash.

     When it comes to the IRS, use the Federal law in your favor for the second time, what I mean by that. I hope you are all filing taxes under Performing Artist. It is the only way you will get all your hard earned money back from the IRS. To make really sure you get your money, get a professional. I go to Jackson Hewitt. They even have coupons to take to the preparer for nice discounts. USE THEM. H & R Block is okay, they have a ton of commercials stressing on how great they are. So, okay give them a shot. I wouldn't trust the really local guys unless you know somebody that REALLY knows taxes. They just seem shady to me. I'll be back because I am not finished.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Survival in hollywood while being Black

    One major obstacle in choosing the entertainment field as a career, is family and friends. You have absolutely no idea how they are going to respond to your “choice”. Let me give you a hint on what to expect, it’s more draining emotionally than anything you may done. Overall, you may have close to 20 family members that you know, love, and talk to on the regular. From the other ones, “let the lecture begins”, they want to talk you out of it.
    The most interesting fact about choosing entertainment, mainly acting, as a career, is the environment people come from. Once you made your decision, the lectures from everyone begins. All comments are indirect but reading between their lines says, “have you lost your mind?” With every intention on talking to you to straighten you out about obtaining a real job to sustain yourself. Once you made your decision, the lectures from everyone begins. All comments are indirect but reading between their lines says, “Have you lost your mind?” Whereas, I am here to break it down to you on the differences of the families, environment, cultures, when it comes to this important choice of your life. For example, white families they are so obliging that they offer their kids to stay at home. Sometimes, rent free. A few don’t even have jobs, or a very small part time job. Then, there are those families who are fighting some long standing argument and make it the most important decision, or they will die. Never get involve with entertainment as a career out of emotions. Bad move. Making life altering decisions, or any kind of decisions, without your emotions in check can be disastrous. Somewhere, down the line of life, you will regret every bit of that decisions.
    Enough of that, let’s look at the Black families; majority of them will tell you, “hell no”, to your face if you bring up being a theatre major while in college, even after you graduate, the performing arts is not a job. It’s a phase to black families. Due to black history in the states, and conditioning by white people through the years. Black people didn’t make a choice in becoming an entertainer, they kind of fell into it. Somebody saw them perform, then ask them if they wanted to be in “show business”. The rest is history. Matter of fact, I can tell you what that conversation will be like;
You: Hey mom/dad, I want to major in Theatre/film at school.
Parents: What for?
You: I want to act, write. You always said I can act.
Parents: What kind of job you expect to get with that?
You: Acting.
Parents: Not with my money. You better major in something else. Something you can get a job with.
You: That’s not what I want to do. You seen me in the plays at school. You all said I’m good enough. You all always liked me in those.
Parents: So what? So you think you’re Denzel now. Hell no, sir. You going to study something else that really matters. That makes money, so you can get out of my house, or stay and pay rent.
    Black families have never believed in entertainment as a steady job. But it does make a good hobby on the side, if your current job makes enough money for you. Or, you can actually support your own family, as the only job choice. Negro please.  Black actors you see on TV/Film from years gone by will tell you it wasn’t easy to get in by way of parents. When the first gig became  a second gig, and then, the third gig. They were able to prove to their parents that this was a real job, making good money, then, they received their blessing from them on. Not to mention, the doubting family members who didn’t believe in you, No one can escape that, once you made it, they want some. From graduating college , to a career choice, the performing arts is the hardest and most ridiculous profession a young Black person could ever choose. For White kids, it doesn’t matter, they can do anything and their folks will send them money. It’s pretty accurate no matter how you slice it. Most people don’t think about how good they have it until it’s gone.
    Here’s the point, for both groups of people, with parents you are going to have to have a “sit down”. Explain what you feel is the right career choice for you. If you don’t, there is going to be a lot of animosity between you and your parents. Trust me, you don’t want that. I’ve been through it. Do the “sit down”, just be prepared to answer all kinds of questions. Because the entertainment business is one the hardest businesses to get into. Due to a lot of variables that doesn’t make any sense but we watch the finish product everyday. Your parents will ask you all the easy stuff first, but your answers will come off like Astro- Physics. They will have that look in their faces like deer in headlights. Just don’t let them hit you.
    For a fact, when I explained how an audition went to my Dad, cousin, or brother. Their response is usually: “that’s great, then, you should have the job.” I would respond with exactly what they are looking for, what the other person did, what I may have forgotten during the audition. They each would look at me like I was making excuses on why I skipped gym class. See, its not easy to explain to civilians on how a Casting Director, Modeling agent, Producer, Director, Writer or whoever, thinks. It’s calling the shots, on how they think when casting a person. With that bit of info, your folks somewhat understand what you are going through. Also, never take anyone to an audition. It is bad ju-ju. Casting person sees that unregistered face out both you go.
    Here is something else that will frustrate the hell out of you. After telling them how it went, and don’t get the job. They will automatically think you messed it up on purpose. Your Grandmother will actually think you're a screw-up and will purposely mess up a job that your feel is right for you. Grandma has not heard a word you said, instead, you are officially a “Screw-Up”. In Vegas, I had audition for the Star Trek site twice, didn’t the job on either tries. They were very good auditions I say so myself. At the end of the audition, one casting head kept me afterwards to find out more of my Star Trek knowledge. I told him everything. He like me, but he was out voted on hiring me for the tour position. When I got home to tell my Dad how it went. Believe ti or not, he actually said, “you must have done something wrong.” Can you believe that shit? I did nothing but audition, answer questions, shook hands, and went home. The rest is up to the casting directors. This is what I’m telling you is going to happen throughout your career. Blame. Rejection. Your family and friends will constantly be handing blame and rejection. If you want to be an actor, you must develop a thick skin, great sense of humor. A sick humor. High self esteem, no ego, no drama, and most importantly, to save that shit for when you get home. You will get shit from every angle, and if you don’t know how to handle it appropriately. Then, this is not career for you. This job will break you, if you let it. No doubt about id. If you give up because it’s hard, don’t do it. Someone tells you how much they think you suck, and you quit after that. Again, don’t do this.
    With the Criminal Justice/Law field; when in doubt, throw it out. Many times I wanted to throw in the towel, but no way was I going to give in to negative impulses. Negative thinking from an Aunt, brother, some cousins, and friends. You have to let that shit go, sometimes let a lot go. Because if you let it bring you down, you will doubt yourself, and for each and every venture out the door.