Okay...maybe not a Vision, more like a path was set before me. You know what I mean. ;) wink
Sooo, you wana know how a sistah got here from there huh??
Well, lemme tell you that firstly, this business is a MARATHON NOT A SPRINT!! I know.. you hear that over and over again. On Panels, at functions and events. You've heard it from Actors, Directors, Casting Directors, Producers, however some of us still believe that there is some Golden Finish Line. Some special place called "I Made It!"
When I started in Music Video back in 1990, I never thought about that place. I was a temp with 3 Temp agencies after College. I typed 95 wpm and constantly worked in the fields of Banking, Brokerage and Legal (when you type fast, they always need you) However through all "The Matrix" assignments (Black/Grey Suits) I ended up at a Advertising Agency where life was a bit more creative. While there I learned to look into a more creative lifestyle.
A Passion! I was ignited and on Fire!!
My brother Jeff, was a Director in Music Video and noticed that every good director had a strong team, Glam Squad and Casting!! Well, I learned to become my brothers Casting Director for Music Video. Our most recognized Music Video together to date is "I Got A Man" by Positive K (some of you may remember that). I started working with Jeff, he helped me get my foot in the door and would coach me along the way..still does. ;) wink
I then started to get a name for myself and the word got out. I would cold call production companies, using an alias, and make appointments for myself, set up meetings and such. (C'mon yall, you cant see thru the phone!!!)
I would scour the Music Video channels to see which directors were working and what their videos looked like and then strategically contact them to discuss talent and their Music Video Style.
Be Strategic in your approach!! Make a List!! (Pearl 1) Pick that up!
My first gig in Film was Casting Extras for Ang Lee's "The Wedding Banquet". I loved the script and the concept! I was so excited!! My friend and Mentor,Tracey Moore, referred me for the job. It was very challenging and caused me to stretch in ways I couldn't even imagine at the time. While working on that film, I got to meet and then work on an open call for Wayne Wang (they are good friends) People... I had NO idea they were going to become the Directors of today but I knew that I was diggin' this new and very challenging world!!
However, when that was over, I was back in my Music Video world, working diligently and hoping to be able to do film again.. For 7 years I Cast Music Video for various Directors. When I moved here to Los Angeles in 1997 , it was a Music Video and my brother Jeff who brought me!! We did a 2 Music Videos for H-Town and it took 2 weeks to accomplish. After that I was hooked on Los Angeles. While working on Music Videos, I asked some of my new LA directors
How can I move into Film? They told me to start in Short Film!! That was wonderful advice!!
Prepare yourself to move into a new world, do research and then Leap of Faith (Pearl 2) Pick it up!!
I educated myself on what film school is the Best in Los Angeles? Who do I get in touch with?? How can I be strategic?? My first short film was "Never, Never" directed by Jordan Scott (Ridley Scotts daughter) I met her while working on a Music Video for RSA USA (Ridley's Commercials and Music Video Company) It was Scary & Wonderful!!! I really enjoyed the process of auditioning great talent, listening to agent pitches and learning whose opinion to trust. The process was challenging and I loved being stretched and a lil scared!!
FEAR... False Evidence Appearing Real... (Pearl 3) u know what to do!!
A New World can seem scary. New location. New job. New People. When Im scared, that is when I know I am going in the right direction. Im a lil scared.. Im Stretching and Growing!!!
Take a Leap of Faith. Be a lil scared!!! Its exhilarating.
God sends us Courage, if you let go!!
Next week.."Working in Film"
*Photo by J. August Richards*