74 people signed in, including the Board members. Represented were President of SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local and soon to be a leader in APP-Seattle Rik Deskin; Communications Workers of America AFL-CIO local 7901 Mark Sturbois and, of course, our own SAG-AFTRA Local VP and liaison Michele Mariana.
St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral Social Services, in the honor of Barb Pratt gave $400 and Gail & Thomas Kingsley gave $100 for the Standing Rock Sacred Stone Defense Fund. The toy box was completely jammed and collected over 150 cans of food as we re-bagged them.
Year in Review 2016 presented by Christopher Toyne, Co-chair
2016 has been a year of change for APP-NW. Some might call it APP light – a lighter touch.
With a tail off of participation, the 2016 Board decided to organize fewer Actors’ Happy Hours (AHHs!) and combined them with grassroots Workshops.
We spent a lot of time considering long-term plans, both at the Board Retreat and at bi-monthly Board meetings. Enthusiastic new Board members Suzanne Duval and PK Glazier; along with Darius Pierce continuing that thankless job of Secretary; Michele Mariana representing us on the SAG-AFTRA Board; Linda Gross, our meetings guru; Yolanda Porter as chair of communications and maintaining a vibrant website; and Elizabeth Zimmerman, with out-reach to film schools and grade schools alike, while sharing the Co-chair with me [Christopher Toyne] as the not-union representative. Congratulations to Elizabeth for recently joining SAG-AFTRA. We are actively supported by our two past chairs who now make up the Advisory Board: Harold Phillips and Chrisse Roccaro.
The three areas we have decided to concentrate on, and invite the 2017 Board to continue:
1) To utilize our newly achieved 501(C)3 status, now fully filed (and paid for!)
2) To create a comprehensive online Actors Resource list of all services and vendors appertaining to an actor’s growth and marketing: acting-class teachers, headshot photographers, reel cutters, make-up artists, etc. Elizabeth Zimmerman is initially undertaking this gargantuan task.
3) To expand the growth of the Alliance of Professional Performers brand, initially with our brethren in Seattle.
The last is perhaps the most exciting. Harold Phillips and I [Christopher Toyne] attended a core-group meeting in Seattle led by Ric Deskin, the SAG-AFTRA local Board president and John Patrick Lowrie. The fact that we have created a template with a substantial Modus Operandi and Articles of Association, while achieving Federal and State charitable status, will allow us to create APP-Portland and APP-Seattle, while keeping APP-NW as the umbrella.
Three AHH! combined workshops are especially worth mentioning. In January “How to get ready for an audition” was led by Lori Lewis, principal at Free Spirit Casting.
In May, held at the Lucky Lab, preferred producer Erich Dermerath of Man Vs. Film and Robin Vada, Ian Stout’s partner in Professional Acting Reels (.com) lead a superb interactive workshop on creating, “The perfect show-reel” – while offering on-going discounts for APP-NW members. The raffle was a success too; both Erich and Robin gave free reel-cuts to the lucky! In September saw another terrific workshop: “Fight Right: Fight Direction and Set Safety” lead by theater specialist Kristen Mun and screen fight director Jerry Buxbaum. Again, free classes were raffled off. Linda Gross has achieved her OLCC Alcohol Server Permit on behalf of APP-NW and set up a mean bar.
The only sadness was the low attendance at both of these workshops. Of course we appreciate that there are so many classes etc. happening mid-week. We have polled the class teachers and found that Thursday has the least going on. Those that did attend raved about the events, but the new 2017 Board must really probe into the three “W”s: what does the membership want; when and where.
So where do we go from here in 2017? More Happy Hours combined with workshops? Support of the OMPA Annual Awards on March 20, 2017 when APP-NW will organize the judging of the Actor Awards with the credit “OMPA Actor Awards Presented By APP-NW?” Creation of APP-Portland and APP Seattle? Creation of a comprehensive Actors’ vendor and services on-line list? A big 501(c)3 Gala event to replenish our depleted finances?
Remember, we are still an organization – presently with a roster of 368† – without membership dues and depend on contributions, workshop fees and raffles, while receiving some support from SAG-AFTRA.
To this end I call on the membership to step up and volunteer to serve on the Board. Help make this adventurous slate happen. Because of term-limits and attrition there are four (4) or more Board Member positions open. Please consider putting yourself forward. The Board now meets every two months, with occasional planning committee meetings in between.
Finally, please remember our Preferred Producer’s program. Visit the “Producers” button on the website. If you have a good experience on set with a production that respects our seven core Standards, persuade them to sign up. We advertise producers that “sign-up” on the web page. The key phrase: We encourage our Preferred Producers to add the phrase “Our production adheres to APP-NW Standards” to their casting notices. Preferred Producers are also free to use the APP-NW logo as an on-screen “bug” in association with their productions.
Let us make 2017 even more memorable – it is down to you the members and a vibrant Board!
2016 Union Chair
A further 36 new members signed in at our successful Actors’ Holiday Happy Hour, Dec 01’16
Help empower yourself to take ownership of your safety on set – whether for film or stage. Be prepared and confident dealing with situations that feel unsafe. Know what you should expect and how to give voice to your concerns. Kristen Mun and Jerry Buxbaum are premiere award-winning fight choreographers and together, they will help you own your space at work. (Learning some fight skills will be included in the workshop.)
September 22nd. At Hipbone Studios, 1847 E Burnside St #104.
6:45 – Arrive and sign up
7:00-9:00 – Workshop
9:00-9:30 – Hang out and have a drink!
Cost: $20 (Which is half of what a workshop with either Kristen or Jerry would cost. Here you get both!)
Free parking! Enter Hipbone Studio parking lot on NE 18th Avenue and NE Couch. Use 18th Avenue (parking lot) entrance to the studio.
Kristen Mun has been training, teaching, and working in the field of theatrical combat for over 10 years. She choreographs roughly 20 shows a year and teaches fight workshops. Kristen has won 3 Drammy’s and received the Leslie O. Fulton Fellowship.
Her work stresses safety and collaboration, believing that everyone’s input is important and problems can be solved faster working together.
Jerry Buxbaum has over 50 credits on major productions as a Fight Director, Stunt Coordinator and Special Effects Director. The biggest take-away from Jerry’s workshop participation is “Safety Number One.” He will explain, as exciting as “stunts” are, how to understand the environment actors work in on feature productions – and what steps are necessary to protect oneself from excessive requests by ‘Production’ on Set.
Last Tuesday, May 17th. APP-NW hosted an incredible workshop and social gathering at the Lucky Lab. Our guest speakers Erich Demerath and Robin Vada gave us very important and insightful information on how to create a reel that showcases our work as actors, and how to use it as a marketing tool to position our brand.
If you missed it, here are the highlights of the night!
What is a reel? Clips that show that you can act, what you look like, and what you sound like. Ideally, it gets you work.
Current trends – new technology makes equipment cheaper, quality higher, easier to watch it from anywhere, but shorter attention spans. More content and more convenient to watch than ever. The length of reels has shortened – now, 2 minutes at the longest. Reels are more important than ever.
Types of reels:
Once you have enough work, having them all together is confusing. Pay attention to the quality of both visual and audio. Lead with something in your wheelhouse.
Where to start?
Gather Your Footage:
From the directors, producers, and editors. Maintain good standing with them. Get contact info and inform them you want scenes for your reel. Request footage once the project is complete, though many projects end up not ever being completed.
Perhaps try to get a written contract that includes that you will have access to finished footage.
You may also be able to download clips yourself if they are available. For your records and for your reel editor.
The higher the resolution the better. The larger the file the better (within reason).
HD: 1920×1080 or 1280×720
Try to avoid SD. Try to avoid letterbox.
Don’t forget about audio!!!!!!
What clips to not use?
- Theater clips
- Self-taped auditions
- Clips that do not feature you
- Home videos
- Anything with poor production quality
- First shot should be you.
- First voice should be yours.
- Not longer than 2 minutes.
- Do not worry about the context of the scenes.
- Use medium and close up shots as much as possible.
- Avoid montages.
- Titles of productions – this is a grey area; some people like it, some don’t; just be consistent.
- Start and end with your name and contact info.
Production Quality Matters!!!!!!
If it is a good performance, but poor quality, think twice. You’re only as good as your poorest quality clip.
Before Giving Footage to Your Editor:
- Log your footage
- Write timecodes of your best clips
- Don’t just hand off a stack of films
Shooting Your Own Scenes:
There have been classes in town that are based around shooting scenes for your reel. Or people have hired crew to shoot scenes for their reel. Make sure you do it right. Make sure the quality is good, the audio is clear.
What to do with your reel?
- Youtube channel
- Personal website
- Maybe also upload full scenes as supplements
- Get feedback! Let people be honest!
- Maintain it.
Robin Vada from Professional Acting Reels
They can rip almost anything from on-line, whether iTunes, YouTube, website… Charge $25. They also create reels and create scenes for footage for reels.
Your reel can start to cultivate your brand as an actor. What is your essence. What is it that you do well.
We will be holding a 15 min. Members General Meeting right after our Social Gathering and before our Workshop to ratify two changes to the Bylaws; introduce our new calendar of events and listen to your suggestions and concerns (Information forthcoming).
6:00 pm Social Gathering
6:45 pm Members General Meeting
7:00 pm Show-reel Workshop.
A new quarterly APP-NW workshop and social gathering (formerly Actors Happy hour!)
We would really appreciate your help spreading the word about our upcoming event.
You spoke and we listened. Meet-ups less often and with a career education element.
The first APP-NW quarterly meeting, a Workshop and Social Gathering (formerly Actors Happy hour) is this coming Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00 pm at the LUCKY LAB BREW PUB, 915 SE Hawthorne.
Erich Demerath of Man Vs. Film will lead us through the labyrinth and Show examples of reels and discuss what works and what doesn’t.
Robin Vada of Professional Acting Reels is also joining us. She will explain how your material on I-Tunes IS accessible.
And you do not want to miss the RAFFLE! Both Erich Demerath and Robin Vada/Ian Stout are offering a raffle prize of 50% off a reel. That’s a $125 value.
All members who attend this workshop will receive a 20% discount on reel services from either professional. That’s a $50value!
Donation of $5 – $10 to defray the cost of the room requested but not mandatory (tax deductible – we are a 501(c)3 entity!).
Thank you in advance for your support and see you there!
The APP-NW Board
*This style of event will replace the previous Actors Happy Hour!