The main reason I’ve unconsciously become more focused on my writing than my acting, is simply because of Writers Group. A weekly meeting where we challenge each other and help each other with our writing. I needed that for acting, and now I have it.
A fellow actor told me about this group called Actors Salon. Same kind of idea, except this group costs money. I went an audited a class and it was amazing. So motivational. They set goals each week and they go out and do it, man. And they help each other. I immediately tell my friend – another actor – about this group. She thinks, why not start our own group? I mean, yea, I’d rather not spend the money I don’t have if I don’t have to. So now there are five of us. All women. We’re friends, we respect each other, and we want all of us to do great things. Instead of Actors Salon, we call our group Action! (yes, with the exclamation point).
It’s been almost a month now of meeting once a week and I couldn’t be more excited about our progress already. We give each other assignments each week. For example, list your long-term goals as well as your 6-month goals. We started a Google Doc (which is really simple, done through Gmail) to keep our lists documented and for us all to see. Any assignments are written in the Google Doc so we can all check in if we forget anything or want to add anything.
Currently, our collective goal is to write, produce, and act in our own short. Then send that out to potential directors we’d like to work with, or at the very least get good footage for our reels. So first things first – research. We’ve been researching directors – specifically indie directors. Assignment: list five indie directors you’d like to work with and find out more about them. I immediately put Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) and James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now) at the top of my list. What I think I’m drawn to most about these directors is that they write their own stuff, too.
We want to familiarize ourselves with these people, watch all their stuff, see what we like and then… I don’t really know. Reach out to them. Hope they’ll give us the time of day. This means we have to network. Fast forward to me getting on Twitter.
Since we started meeting, I have been submitting myself on Actors Access every day (OK, sometimes every other). Which led to my first audition of the year. Through Twitter, I have met one of the indie directors on my list (Swanberg). I have started paying more attention to casting directors of films I like. I have started to brand myself – to know what casting directors see when I walk into a room. I have looked at characters and roles I have been drawn to. I have written a breakdown for myself – a role that is best suited for me and that I would love to play.
But the best thing about Action! is meeting once a week and checking in with each other, holding everyone accountable, celebrating our wins and helping each other move forward. I have found my acting support group. Action!