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Austin Actors
Ms. Bubbette

Dear Ms. Bubbette: How to become involved in theatre & film • Benefits of SAG & AFTRA • Resume resources, tapes and CD's • Biz Directory • Dan's audition e-mail hot line • More Hot lines
by Ms. Bubbette

February 2001

Dear Ms. Bubbette,

I am new to the Austin area and I am trying to figure out what I need to do to get involved in theater and film. Do you have any suggestions? All of my experience is in theater but I am truly interested in both which means I need some affordable training. Any suggestions?

Also, can you please give me an update on SAG and AFTRA? Should I be involved? What are the benefits? Limitations? Please help.

Newie

Dear Newie,

A warm welcome to Austin. This is the happening place for live music, theatre and movies.

First I suggest you get a copy of the "Actorsı Bible" - the BIZ Directory. It will answer every question you will ever have on this business and is especially written for Texas actors. And not only that, it also covers interviews with Texas Casting Directors (so you can hone up on their likes and dislikes before an audition with them); and has a complete breakdown and interviews with talent agents in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and the Southwest.

These (2 books) will cost you $50 as opposed to less information in the Hollywood version for 3-4 times the price. You will find it as addictive and necessary as your coffee mug. It will take up residency next to your computer. If you misplace it you will have withdrawal symptoms. Need I say more? Call 323-2090 or e-mail Mona@BIZonline.com Talk to the sage herself. Trained at Julliard, NY, this town is blessed with the best acting coach around who has ongoing, affordable classes.

SAG membership has to be earned by landing speaking or featured roles in a union feature movie, or a national commercial You know youıre eligible when you find yourself signing a SAG contract.
AFTRA , related to television and radio artists, is an open union and anyone can join. But in both cases be prepared for a hefty initiation fee ($800) and annual dues.
Remember Texas is a non-union state and we actors have the right-to-work in union movies without becoming Œunionı members. My suggestion is that you have lots of professional experience before you decide to join. Pgs. 365 –378 - union information in the BIZ Directory

SAG & AFTRA websites: http://www.sag.org http://www.aftra.org

Suggestions for affordable film, television & theatre acting teachers, with on-going classes:
* Mona Lee 323-2090: * Michael Costello 260-3323: * Marco Perella 512) 869-0623
* C.K. McFarland 441-3738: * Bill Johnson (Zachary Scott Theatre) 476-6378 x236 These are all taught on-camera.
* Stanley Zareff (New York) comes to Austin twice a year – weekend seminar – excellent improv. classes. Contact Sue Bilich 452-4049

I also suggest you go back through Ms. Bubbetteıs previous columns and check out similar questions:
* October, 2000 – 2nd letter to "Akai": * September, 2000 – 2nd letter to "Tim":
* June, 2000 – to "Akai": * May,2000 - to "Redhead Goddess"

Good luck! And do come to the Austinactors get-togethers at the end of each month. Itıs fun, informative and best of all –itıs free!

Ms. Bubbette.

Dear Ms. Bubbette,

What are some good resources to use in order to develop a resume? I don't have a lot of experience so I am building one as we speak. How should I handle this? Just give out headshots?

These questions also apply to tapes and CDs.

Need Work

Dear Need Work,

No! Never just give out headshots. No matter how little experience anyone has (and we all started off this way) you still have:
Name (large print center top);
vital statistics – height, weight, hair, eyes – aligned down left side:
your phone number, e-mail, pager aligned down right side. (when you get an agent, their info. takes over this spot)
Credits listed in 3 columns (Title, character, Director/theatre or company) putting your best work first. If youıve only done theatre, then list that even if itıs high school plays. Itıs all experience.
Training: still 3 columns : class name, teacher, studio/college
Special Skills: Things you do well in sports, music, dancing, improv; dialects – be specific.
Never lie on your resumé. It will come back to haunt you!
Never put your social security # on it even if your agent suggests that you do. Itıs personal and should only go on contracts.
Staple, not glue the resumé to the back of your headshot.

Get hold of the BIZ Directory (see previous letter) and you will read in great detail (pgs.289-302) all you need to know about an acting resumé.

As for audio tapes and demo-reels (tapes) these are well-covered pgs.93 –105
Headshots pgs. 159 – 175.
Sample cover letters pgs. 89-91 - invaluable when seeking an agent.

Need work? Join Dan Egglestonıs excellent casting e-mail list with daily offerings, auditions, etc by subscribing (free) capydan@mac.com
Join ACOT (Austin Circle of Theatres) and get the latest theatre auditions – equity or otherwise. 454-9700 e-mail acot@eden.com
Need experience? Do student movies at UT, independent films (and Austin is rife with them!). Mostly unpaid but hey, experience is priceless!
More Hot lines: mail@auschron.com : University Texas RTF 471-6657
Texas Film Commission 463-7799 or http://www.governor.state.tx.us/film/hotline
Britelites Studio audition hotline: 459-1100 (updated Mondays)
And of course – this site – www.austinactors.net

Many of us seasoned actors wish weıd had these available in the "old days"!

So "Need work" go out there tiger and slay Œem. And every other actor who is new in town. Get trained by the best, be professional and be true to yourself. Most of all, have fun!

Ms. Bubbette.

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