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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When Did We Stop Being Artists?


Photo Credit: Momtastic.com
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about art and expression, and some of the fears that actors have as we try to explore the things that inspire us. There so much of an emphasis on doing “good” work, so much energy put into work that can propel you “to the next level.” I’ve started wondering -- when did we stop creating art because it was fun to be expressive? To tell stories? To pretend to be someone else, and show off these characters to our family and friends? Thinking back, and I think everything changes when people hit that magic age of 7 -- the “age of reason.”

I’m at the point where many of my friends are starting to have children, and one common element you find in each parents’ home is the refrigerator filled with drawings from their child. Heck, even if you aren’t a parent, if you know children you probably have a piece of artwork hanging on your wall. Or a batch of photos from a child’s recital. Or a video from a school play. Parents and family members weep happily at the sight of a child expressing him/herself in an artistic way.

And then, at some point, this stops. Parents stop encouraging artistry. Drawings are removed from refrigerators and videos are put in the cabinet (to be pulled out when the child is 16 and bringing her boyfriend to the house for the first time. Oh yeah, we’ve all been there.) What happened? I have a theory -- The Age of Reason is killing art.

According to Scholastic.com, the Age of Reason is described as:

“Few parents would argue with the observation that children age 6 and younger do not have great control over their feelings and impulses. Nor is your very young child likely to take genuine responsibility for her actions, or heed adults’ urging to be considerate of others... It is not until the age of 7, give or take a year or so, that your child’s conscience begins to mature enough to guide her actions...It’s been called the “Age of Reason,” since these children have a newly internalized sense of right and wrong... At 7 “plus or minus one,” your child begins to problem-solve in a new way, using reason rather than pure intuition. He can separate fantasy from reality; and so can be expected to know and tell the truth... At about 7, fears are no longer of monsters, but of real people, and most of all of not being liked, being different, and risking loneliness. Pride and shame are real now too. Real, rather than simply imagined achievement, enhances self-esteem...”

Not only do children lose the ability to fantasize without embarrassment, but it’s also the people around who change their viewpoints on their children’s artistic impulses. At an early stage, a child singing out of tune is adorable, at another point, the child is hushed and told not to sing. Children and adults, alike, stop painting pictures because they tell themselves, “I’m not good at it,” and forget that creating art is about expression, not about excellence.

“Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.” -- Thomas Szasz

Of course, if one wants to make money at an artistic profession, that’s when excellence becomes important. But in the striving for excellence, many actors forget that joy of creating and playing for fear that it won’t live up to some standard that world has set for them.

So, I am challenging myself, and the artists around me, to nurture their inner artist and beg it to come out to play. Find an environment where you can practice being expressive and go hog wild. Pretend to be bigger and badder than you ever dreamed possible. Will yourself into a new reality that gives you a visceral charge. Fight the Age of Reason and awaken your imagination in the way we did as children.

As a side note: it’s also around the age of 7 that we stop unabashedly seeking an audience. When’s the last time you ever saw an adult jump into a crowded room, do a little two step, then chime, “Ta-da!” to elicit applause? For once, I want to do something silly and have a bunch of adults exclaim, “Yayyyyy!”


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has a weekly "Expert" column on the business of acting at Backstage magazine. As an actor, Erin has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has appeared Off Broadway, regionally and on national tour with both plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of several major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Psychology of Color in Branding

Image Credit: The Logo Company
Something to think about when considering branding: What is your favorite color? You know, the color that is most prominent in your wardrobe or home decorating? Do you know what that color represents in our society?

From an article in Entrepreneur magazine: "In an appropriately titled study called Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product)."

In the section above, replace the word "product" with "actors" and you'll see just how's relevant it is.

Check out this article and see how it compares to how you want to be seen as an actor - it will heavily influence how you put your website, postcards, business cards and personal style to good use!

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233843

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Resolutions for Actors


At the beginning of every year actors pour over the triumphs and tribulations of the previous year and come up with resolutions that will carry them into the new year. One of the things I’ve noticed is that resolutions are often “fixes” of the past with goalposts that are way to big to manage (or worse, have no measurement at all so you don’t even know if you’ve achieved it. Like. “Be Happier.” How do you measure that?) I find myself disliking many of the resolutions I hear about, but I recently found a Playbill article that has 10 resolutions for actors that really made me think. I particularly liked two of them:

2) Stop worrying about the parts of my body that I can’t change

and

9) Not believe that any one person has the answer


Take a look at the full list here on Playbill:

I have the same resolution that I use year after year: This year will be the best year of my life. And every year it is, because a resolution is really a state of mind, not a goal to attain.

What resolutions did you make for your career at the beginning of 2015? It’s almost February - are there any that have falls by the wayside? What revisions would you give yourself based on the article? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has a weekly "Expert" column on the business of acting at Backstage magazine. As an actor, Erin has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has appeared Off Broadway, regionally and on national tour with both plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of several major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

NY TV Casting Directors & Their Projects (Aug 2014)


Photo courtesy of Vanessa Monsisvais / El Paso Times
Many of my students have asked me to compile a comprehensive list of casting directors in NYC who hire actors for TV shows and web series, along with their list of projects. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about how to reach these casting directors, along with studios where you can take classes/workshops from folks in their office.

Note: This list is subject to change at any time. Not all projects shoot in NYC. Some shoot elsewhere on the East Coast or maintain casting in multiple offices.


PRINCIPAL CASTING:

ABC Primetime (Marci Phillips, John Ort)
147 Columbus Ave., Third Fl., New York, NY 10023.

Projects:
Black-ish (Comedy, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Galavant (Comedy, Musical, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Secrets & Lies (Drama, ABC)

_____

Cody Beke
c/o Comedy Central, 345 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
c/o MTV Networks/Viacom, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.

Projects:
Broad City (Comedy, Comedy Central)
Eye Candy (Drama, MTV)

_____

Bowling Miscia Casting (Beth Bowling and Kim Miscia)
609 Greenwich St., Sixth Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:
The Middle Man (Drama Pilot, Fox)
Blue Bloods (Drama, CBS. Shoots in NY & Toronto)
Sleepy Hollow (Drama, Fox. Shoots in Charlotte)

_____

CBS Primetime (Amy Herzig and Katharina Eggmann)
51 W. 52nd St., Fifth Fl., New York, NY 10019

Projects:
Taxi 22 (Comedy Pilot, CBS)
N.C.I.S. New Orleans (Drama, CBS. Shoots in New Orleans & Los Angeles.)
The Odd Couple (Comedy, CBS)
Scorpion (Drama, CBS)

______

Kathleen Chopin
12 W. 32nd St., 12th Fl., New York, NY  10001

Projects:
Alpha House (Comedy, Amazon)

_____

Chrystie Street Casting
55 Chrystie St., Ste. 501, New York, NY 10002

Projects:
The Blacklist (Drama, NBC. Casting by Jessica Kelly)
Outlander (Drama, Starz. Casting by Suzanne Smith Crowley)

_____

Jessica Daniels
c/o the Network, 242 W. 36th St., Third Fl., New York, NY 10018

Projects:
Fresh Off the Boat (Comedy, ABC)
Weird Loners (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in LA)

_____

Brandon Dubeansky
c/o Late Night With Seth Meyers, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Seventh Fl., New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Late Night With Seth Meyers (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Jennifer Euston
304 Hudson St., Sixth Fl., New York, NY 10013

Projects:
Girls (Comedy, HBO)
Orange Is the New Black (Comedy, Netflix. Submit c/o Post Factory, Attn: Emer O’Callaghan, 233 Spring St., Fourth Fl., New York, NY 10013.)
Tooken (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Finnegan/Jacobs (Bonnie Finnegan/Steven Jacobs)
330 W. 38th St., NYC 10018

Projects:
Royal Pains (Drama, USA. Casting by Sabrina Hyman, Bonnie Finnegan & Steven Jacobs)

_____

Fox Primetime (Clint Alexander)
1211 Avenue of the Americas, 28th Fl., New York, NY 10036

Projects:
Gracepoint (Drama, Fox)
Hieroglyph (Drama, Fox)
Mulaney (Comedy, Fox)
24: Live Another Day (Drama, Fox. Shoots in London.)

_____

Alison Goodman
260 W. 44th St., Third Fl., New York, NY 10036

Projects:
All My Children (Daytime Drama, Hulu)
One Life to Live (Daytime Drama, Hulu)

_____

Judy Henderson
330 W 89th St, New York, NY 10024

Projects:
Homeland (Drama, ABC. Casting by Kimberly Graham)

_____

Amy Hiderotis
Ed Sullivan Theatre, 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Projects:
Late Show With David Letterman (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Marc Hirschfeld Casting
5555 Melrose Ave., Marx Brothers Bldg., Rm. 108–109, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Projects:
The Gaffigan Show (Comedy, TVLand)
Us & Them (fka Friends & Family) (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in NY)

_____

Rosalie Joseph
609 Greenwich St., Sixth Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:
Songbyrd (Drama, E!)

_____

Avy Kaufman
180 Varick St., 16th Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:
Crossbones (Drama, NBC)
The Slap (Drama, NBC)

_____

Lynn Kressel (Lynn Kressel, Jonathan Strauss, Kevin Kuffa)
West 23rd Street at the Hudson River, Pier 62, Rm. 304, New York, NY 10011

Projects:
Chicago Fire (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Chicago)
Chicago PD (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Chicago)
Law & Order: SVU (Drama, NBC)

_____

Ellen Lewis (Ellen Lewis, Megan Rafferty)
c/o the Post Factory, 161 Avenue of the Americas, 11th Fl., New York, NY 10013

Projects:
The Long Play (Drama Pilot, HBO)
The Leftovers (Drama, HBO)

_____

Jennifer McNamara-Shroff
30 Rockefeller Plaza, Ste. 1623E, New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Aquarius (Drama Pilot, NBC)

_____

Paladino Casting
540 Broadway, Fifth Fl., New York, NY 10012

Projects:
Taxi Brooklyn (Comedy, TFI)

_____

Laura Rosenthal
401 Broadway, Ste. 711, New York, NY 10013

Projects:
Laughs Unlimited (Drama Pilot, HBO)
The Mysteries of Laura (Drama, NBC)
Olive Kitteridge (Drama Mini-Series, HBO. Shoots in MA)

_____

Suzanne Ryan Casting
770 Broadway, Second Fl., New York, NY 10003

Projects:
Forever (Drama, ABC)
Unforgettable (Drama, CBS. Casting by Claire Traeger)

_____

Mark Saks
270 Lafayette St., Ste. 200, New York, NY 10012.

Projects:
Galyntine (Drama Pilot, AMC)
Elementary (Drama, CBS)
The Good Wife (Drama, CBS)
Hindsight (Drama, VH1. Shoots in Atlanta - c/o Scott Free/RSA Films.)
Madame Secretary (Drama, CBS)
Person of Interest (Drama, CBS - c/o Scott Free/RSA Films.)

_____

Lindsay Shookus
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Saturday Night Live (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Meg Simon and Findley Davidson
1325 Avenue of the Americas, 32nd Fl., New York, NY 10019

Projects:
A to Z (Comedy - NBC)
Constantine (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Atlanta.)
Gotham (Drama, Fox)
The Lottery (Drama, Lifetime. Shoots in Vancouver.)
Selfie (Drama, ABC. Shoots in LA)

_____

Telsey & Co
311 W. 43rd St., 10th Fl., New York, NY 10036.

Projects:
Flesh and Bone (Drama, Starz - Casting by Tiffany Little Canfield & Justin Huff)
Members Only (Drama, ABC - Casting by Abbie Brady Dalton)
Penny Dreadful (Horror, Showtime. Shoots in UK)

_____

Vickie Thomas
609 Greenwich St., Sixth Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:
Power (Drama, Starz)

_____

Cindy Tolan and Adam Caldwell
27 W. 20th St., Ste. 606, New York, NY  10011

Projects:
Deadbeat (Comedy, Hulu)

_____

Tucker/Meyerson Casting (Julie Tucker and Ross Meyerson)
11 Broadway, Ste. 415, New York, NY 10004

Projects:
The Affair (Drama, Showtime)
The Americans (Drama, FX)
Bad Judge (Comedy, NBC)
Black Box (Drama, ABC)
The Following (Drama, Fox)
Mission Control (Comedy, NBC)
Nurse Jackie (Comedy, Showtime)
Sirens (Comedy, USA. Shoots in Chicago.)
Tyrant (Drama, FX)
White Collar (Comedy, USA Network)

_____

Meredith Tucker
330 W. 38th St., Ste. 308, New York, NY 10018

Projects:
Boardwalk Empire (Drama, HBO)

_____


BACKGROUND CASTING:


Background, Inc. (Christine Nelson)
601 W. 26th St., Ste. M224, New York, NY 10001

Projects:
Taxi Brooklyn (Comedy, TFI)

_____

Central Casting
875 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10001

Projects:
Broad City (Comedy, Comedy Central)
Girls (Comedy, HBO)
Law & Order: SVU (Drama, NBC)
Nurse Jackie (Comedy, Showtime)
Orange Is the New Black (Comedy, Netflix)
White Collar (Comedy, USA Network)

_____

Comer Casting
262 W. 38th St., Ste. 1706, New York, NY 10018

Projects:
The Good Wife (Drama, CBS)

_____

Alison Goodman
260 W. 44th St., Third Fl., New York, NY 10036

Projects:
All My Children (Daytime Drama, Hulu)
One Life to Live (Daytime Drama, Hulu)

_____

Grant Wilfley Casting
123 W. 18th St., Eighth Fl., New York, NY 10011

Projects:
Boardwalk Empire (Drama, HBO)
Gotham (Drama, Fox)
The Mysteries of Laura (Drama, NBC)
Person of Interest (Drama, CBS)
Royal Pains (Drama, USA)
Untitled Rock N Roll Project (Drama Pilot, HBO)

_____

Mat McHugh
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Saturday Night Live (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Barbara McNamara
249 W. 34th St., Ste. 500, New York, NY 10001

Projects:
The Colbert Report (Talk Show, Comedy Central)
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Talk Show, Comedy Central)

_____

Roman Candle Casting
243 Fifth Ave., Ste. 555, New York, NY 10016

Projects:
Unforgettable (Drama, CBS)

_____

Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates
420 West End Ave., Unit Gr D, New York, NY 10024

Projects:
Alpha House (Comedy, Amazon)
Manhattan Love Story (Comedy, ABC)
Us & Them (fka Friends & Family) (Comedy, Fox)

_____

REPUTABLE STUDIOS THAT REGULARLY HAVE CLASSES & SEMINARS TAUGHT BY TV CASTING DIRECTORS & ASSOCIATES




Now that you have all of this information, learn how to use it! Contact Erin Cronican with The Actors’ Enterprise to set up a FREE consultation to discuss how career coaching can launch your career to the next level!


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has a weekly "Expert" column on the business of acting at Backstage magazine. As an actor, Erin has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has appeared Off Broadway, regionally and on national tour with both plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of several major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out www.theactorsenterprise.org.



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