I won’t start this blog post by name dropping, but a good friend of mine (and big time producer) gave me this advice years ago, even before moving to New York City: Produce Your Own Content. I had HALF listened to him and instead made a 2-3 minute demo reel of indie films, commercials, and sexy shows that I participated in while living in Miami. Rookie move, BUT we live and we learn.
At the time, I was barely getting my feet wet into the industry NYC style and was relying heavily on my manager, Terry Schnuck, which I acquired quickly because of my background experience, my look, my headshot, demo reel, business cards, etc. within the first 6 months of moving into New York City. It was easy for him to get me into NBC, MTV, and many other major television network auditions because of all of my marketing material was ready – after all, other than being an entertainer, I’m also a professional graphic designer, so marketing myself is the easiest part for me to execute. However, to nail the audition and convince the casting director that you are THE ONE they need is a whole other story.
I got a lot of gigs thru Terry, and met a ton of important people, but I quit acting a year or two after due to the recession. I actually had no other choice! Graphic design is always the first aspect of any business that gets cut out when recessions happen, so nobody was hiring me for logos or websites. I wasn’t able to sustain myself by freelancing, so instead I had to work many hours at a CRAZY boutique, Variazione, leaving me with no time to train, cast, or audition. To make matters worse, I got involved in a romantic relationship where my boyfriend at the time had ZERO HOPE in the acting business, so I had ZERO support for what to me is therapy: performing. The worst part was, that I thought I was going to marry him and ~POOF ~ live happily ever after! NOT! Truth is, I have never felt so frustrated and unhappy in my life! Not that he is to blame, but more so that we simply need to do what we want to do with out caring so much what people around us think – ESPECIALLY when fully decided that you want to be an actress aka gypsy.
As of today, I am what I am because of all these experiences that have taken part in my life and I want to creatively share my stories the way I see them. Therefore, I recently became a certified producer by taking field and studio production classes at MNN.org (Manhattan Neighborhood Network) aka Manhattan public television. Most people don’t know about this center that teaches all these free classes and allows certified producers to rent out equipment for free to produce their own show and actually have it air live on public television, but with past hardships come resourcefulness.
It’s quite easy to join, but there are orientations and rules you have to follow in order to become a member, for example, you have to be a Manhattan resident in order to become certified. So, if you are a Manhattan resident, now there are no excuses to produce your own content because there are centers and equipment that cost you nothing but your time.
So, if you want to make it happen, create your own content, produce your own films, clips, shows etc. then simply make it happen SOMEHOW. I am. Stayed tuned!