Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is it like to be on a set?

In the beginning it can be VERY confusing. Most of the staff and crew on a set are so professional and so competent that you may feel like the new kid at High school in the middle of the school year.

There is always a person who is appointed to show you where to go and what to do (often this is a PA – Production Assistant). If you listen carefully to the instructions of that person and really keep your eyes and ears open you won’t end up totally confused by day’s end.

A TV or movie set is very face paced (though many actors think it is slow because they don’t see or know all that is going on behind the cameras) in that there are a lot of moving parts to filming anything, from cameras, to microphones, to bodies. So, because there is so much going on it is best to stay on the sidelines until you really know the ropes on the set - believe me there is nothing more annoying than someone accidently bumping a mic or walking into a shot.

It may be a good practical exercise to be an extra (background) on a set once or twice if for no other reason than to know what is going on and how things work.

All sets will have someone in charge (the Director) and then people under him/her that ensure people are where they need to be - all the way from the Assistant Director (that’s the Directors right hand) to the PA and every position in between.

A union set is similar to a chess game in that all the parts have specific tasks, they only do what their exact job dictates and all parts are essential to make up the whole.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What does an Entertainment lawyer do?

An Entertainment lawyer is responsible for ensuring his client is protected in all legal aspects of their career.

When one is a mega star they often find they no longer need an agent and only need an Entertainment attorney/lawyer. This is because offers come in without someone having to “drum up business”. Therefore is it superfluous to have an agent being paid a 10% commission on jobs that would come in regardless of their being there or not.

Most actors don’t require an Entertainment attorney until they have a body of work that requires them to begin to be protected from mis-use of their name,, image or likeness or for “riders” (a document laying out specific rules or items that an artist needs or wants as part of their contract) that go along with their contract or “deal”. I am sure you have read about these “riders”, one that comes to mind was the Backstreet Boys when they performed on the show Celebrity Apprentice last season. It was comical in fact, and if you haven’t seen it, it is worth YouTubing to see Trace Atkins’ reaction to some of the hilarious requests they had.

Agents and attorneys alike have the power to negotiate money. Managers cannot and do not negotiate money legally.

Entertainment attorneys take a percentage of the actor’s yearly income, as an example they would take 5-10% of the artist’s gross earnings for any year and in turn the artist would use their services for anything they needed negotiated on their behalf, like say, a house rental in another state or country or to look over documents relating to some other purchase and these would generally fall under their “retainer” aka the % of money the lawyer charged them on a yearly basis. Some special services may be above and beyond their retainer and then the artist would have to pay those services separately.

There is the attorney relationship in a nutshell. You will know when you need one because you can longer count your own money!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Procrastination and Actors

I have found a common denominator to ALL who had not attained the success they were seeking.


Procrastination is defined by the Webster’s New World Dictionary as the action of deferring action; delaying: procrastinating until an opportunity is lost.

As an artist if it right for you it is right for you. If you are in the right frame of mind, clearheaded and sober you are likely making the right choice. Sure you can consult those in your life that you value the opinion of, those who support you unabashedly, but ultimately it is your life and you’re the artist.

Why do I say this? Because the artists of this world are the trendsetters, the future makers the people who dictate what the future will be. So how could a decision you make in the right frame of mind be wrong? It is likely not wrong is it?

What does this have to do with procrastination? Simple, do it! Do it now! If there is something that may help your career, your success, don’t keep putting it off. Make it happen and make it happen NOW! Not tomorrow or when the timing is better just take the leap and go for it!

I think you will find that things will change rapidly for you and your career!