Actor-Reel Workshop

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:

  • General
  • Dramatic
  • Comedic
  • Commercial
  • Stunt
    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

The reel!

  • 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
  • Vimeo
  • 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.

APP-NW Reaches First Fundraising Goal at Actors Happy Hour!

APP-NW Reaches First Fundraising Goal at Actors Happy Hour!Mar12_FundraisingThermomete

Actors Happy Hour! on Tuesday, May 19, at Mother’s Bistro, was a rousing success on all fronts, given that APP-NW had an ambitious agenda for the evening. As you know, Actors Happy Hour! always features a conversation on a topic of interest to our members and this month the topic was OPIF/iOPIF, Oregon’s film incentive programs. Before that conversation started, however, APP-NW gave a report on its efforts to acquire true, 501(c)3, not-for-profit status.  More about that in paragraph six!
Nathaniel Applefield of OMPA gave a great report on the current status of legislation in Salem to improve and extend the Oregon Production Incentive Program and the Indiginious Production Incentive Program. Applefield gave us a comprehensive explanation of how the programs work and how they are designed to grow.  He pointed out that Oregon’s plan is to control the growth of the program to match the growth and training of Oregonians to fill the jobs on OPIF projects.  Nathaniel noted that other states with much larger incentive packages and/or no caps on the number of projects are finding that their infrastructure does not keep pace and usually have to import crew and other personnel.
Applefield emphasized the overarching goal of this year’s legislative push was to extend the sunset of the program to 2024 and to increase the overall pot of funds available for the tax credits.  He urged all in the community to contact their state legislators with their own personal stories of what our industry means to them and how their lives are affected by the availability of work right here at home.
Tim Williams, Executive Director of Oregon Film, was also on hand to give his perspective on the bright future of the Oregon film industry.  We were honored he was able to take the time to join us.
To round out the discussion of OPIF/iOPIF 2015, Lara Cuddy of Reverie Films shared her experiences with the programs from the producer’s prospective.  As one member pointed out, the more our performers know about the whole process of getting a project made the better able we will be to make a meaningful contribution to that project’s success.  It’s rare that we as performers have a window on what goes into putting a project together, so Lara’s remarks were eagerly received.
But the biggest surprise of the evening came as Nathaniel Applefield led an impromptu “paddle raiser” to collect cash and pledges to fund APP-NW’s filing fees to acquire 501(c)3 status.  His enthusiasm put us well over the top and we will be filing the paperwork – with the required fee – very soon!  At the top of the evening, APP-NW presented a progress report on its efforts to become a real, “grown up” organization.  Paperwork had already been completed to register as a non-profit corporation with Oregon and to get a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN).  The last step of the process was filing for 501(c)3 status, which required a substantial fee. We anticipated collecting the money at AHH! over the next few months.  We were surprised, delighted and humbled at the level of commitment and support shown us on Tuesday as we more than met our goal and our total filing fees for the entire process are more than covered.
Achieving 503(c)3 status does a number of things for APP-NW.  First, it makes the organization the responsible party, rather than an individual.  The generous soul who had been lending his Social Security Number to the organization has heaved a huge sigh of relief! But most important, APP-NW will be able to solicit tax deductible donations that will allow us to go forward with our plans to increase the number and complexity of the educational and training opportunities for our professional performer community.  After all, in addition to creating work-place standards, APP-NW exists to improve and increase the level of professionalism in our community.
Singer Cyndi Lauper said her father told her: “Da more ya loin, da more ya oin!”  (learn/earn – for those who don’t speak Queens, NY) That’s our philosophy here at APP-NW, too.  Come learn with us. The sky’s the limit.


OPIF/iOPIF up for renewal/expansion soon!


    It’s time to let your state senators and representatives know how important Oregon’s Film Incentive Programs are to our    community.  APP-NW Advisory Board member and OMPA Government Affairs Committee Member, Harold Phillips, filed this  report:

A bunch of us went down to Salem on Monday (May 18) to talk to the legislature about increasing the Oregon Production Investment Fund (the state’s film incentives) – which would result in more work for Oregonians,  AND an increase to the “indigenous OPIF” that supports Oregonian projects.

iOPIF-Logo-small  Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to the news you know that the state is dealing with a lot of financial stresses – education funding, the rejection of the legislature’s recent “tweaking” of the PERS system, the “Kicker” refund… it’s important that people working in the industry take a moment to contact their legislators (you know who your state legislator is, right? If not, find out here: ) and ask them to support HB2072HB2898 and SB872.    (you can click on the links to find out what the individual bills do.)


The most import thing here is “make it personal.” Tell your story about why our industry is important.


When talking to legislators:

–           Make a connection.  The most important thing you can do is articulate what you do for a living and what your professional aspirations look like.

You are the human face of our industry; help legislators understand your work and your life.

–           Create a story arc.  Explaining the growth of our industry over the last 5-10 years from your perspective will really help legislators see how the

Oregon Production Investment Fund affects the lives of Oregonians.  Connecting what you do directly to the incentive program can also help

reinforce the human angle.
–           Thank them.  We want to assume support, and we’ve always had the support of the legislature.  Thank them for supporting our growing industry

and community.

Don’t know what to say?  Here are a couple of “talking points” from Oregon Film and the Oregon Media Production Association

–           We aren’t just attracting business from out-of-state, we are building a sustainable industry for Oregon.
–           Last year alone, a $10 million investment from the state created $135 million in economic activity.
–           In the last five years, our industry has seen a 69% increase in employment, with an average wage of $43k.
–           Oregon contains over 350 companies in media production.
–           Oregon now ranks in the top 10 for interactive gaming, partially thanks to iOPIF.
–           Demand to shoot film and television in Oregon is at an all-time high, but our incentive fund is tapped out within weeks resulting in work being

turned away.
–           Our rebate rate ranks in the bottom 3rd of states who offer incentives, yet we still win the competition.  The size of our fund is what limits the

growth of our industry.
–           As a rebate program, dollars must first be spent locally on goods and services before incentive money is used.  This is both efficient for

producers, and good policy for Oregon.
–           Programs like Wild, Grimm, and Portlandia have a very large positive impact on tourism, essentially free advertising for Oregon.

Remember, folks, democracy isn’t a spectator sport.  If you want the state to keep supporting film and media production in Oregon – which results in jobs for all of us working in that end of Oregon’s entertainment industry – we have to get involved.  It only takes a few minutes to email your legislators!

Harold Phillips

APP-NW and NW REGIONAL LATINO THEATRE ALLIANCE would like to invite you.

seattle latinos    Milagro theater     OSF_Logo


Hello Theatre­Makers of the Pacific Northwest

We hope 2015 finds you well. As you may know, last year marked the 1st Annual NW Regional Latino Theatre Auditions (Equity/ Non Equity) organized by Seattle’s eSe Teatro, hosted by A Contemporary Theatre. We were thrilled that there was participation by all the major theatres of Seattle as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and small theatres as well. Over 30 Latino actors attended from Seattle, Portland, LA, Chicago and New York, and at least 10 actors were cast as a direct result of this initiative. A wonderful article in the Seattle Times marked the importance of this event. You can read the article here.

We are pleased to officially announce the 2nd Annual NW Regional Latino Theatre Auditions!

Over the past years we’ve all had conversations in different forums about multicultural casting and the challenge of finding talent for ethnically specific plays. We have talked about our desire to support diversity and expansive casting in the Northwest both at large and small theatres, and the importance of strengthening ethnically specific theatre organizations. We believe this is what keeps theatre in the NW region vibrant, relevant and representative of our expanding population. The aim of the NW Regional Latino Theatre Alliance is to connect Northwest theatre makers by sharing resources, information and artistic expertise.

We trust this initiative will be echoed in other parts of the country.

 All the major theatres of Seattle will be in attendance, as well the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage and Milagro of Portland.

Actors are welcome to present in English, Spanish, bilingual or Spanglish. You will have three minutes total to present up to two contrasting monologues, contemporary and/or classical. You will be timed. Don’t feel obligated to use a particular accent or Spanglish. Choose what you think represents your talent best. If you present a monologue in Spanish, you MUST also present a monologue in English. Not all auditors speak Spanish and we want to make sure that the full scope of your talent is understood. For a time slot please write to ​​ and put NW REGIONAL LATINO THEATRE AUDITIONS in the subject line. Actors traveling from Oregon (or farther) will have a preference for afternoon slots. You will receive a reply with instructions and a time slot within a week. If you have any questions, please write to ​

Hosted by ACT Theatre ​(700 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101)​April 18th, 9am ­ 5pm.

Welcome 2015 Board


APP-NW members gathered at WineUp On Williams on Tuesday February 17, 2015 for the organization’s second annual meeting.  The APP-NW Bylaws stipulate that each year the organization will hold a general meeting to report the organization’s progress to its members, and to elect its Board of Directors. Since the Board modified the organization’s bylaws to increase the number of seats, there is no contested election this year and everyone running for a Board seat has been elected.

After a brief introduction to the movement Board Co-Chair Chrisse Roccaro thanked host Wine Up on Williams, drink sponsors Blue Seraph Productions and food sponsor SAG-AFTRA.

The heads of various board committees reported that in 2014 the organization’s accomplishments were:

Members were also encouraged to play a role in building APP-NW’s success by joining the board’s Communications, Outreach, Education, Elections, Preferred Producer, and School Outreach committees.  These committees are the engines that run APP-NW, doing the work necessary to fulfill the organization’s mission.  Any member can get involved by emailing and letting the board of directors know which committee s/he would like to serve on.

The 2015 Alliance of Professional Performers NW Board of Directors are:

Darius PierceDarius Pierce, SAG-AFTRA Lanie Hoyo, SAG-AFTRA LoreleiKennedyLorelei Kennedy Priscilla ProsserPriscilla Mohan Prosser
yporterYolanda Porter Christopher Toyne crocarroChrisse Roccaro, SAG-AFTRA Michele-Mariana-copy-246x300Michele Mariana, SAG-AFTRA 
1614491_985082791518958_8089604069196251049_oLinda Kay Gross

After the election results were announced, the new board thanked outgoing board members Harold Phillips and Dennis Fitzpatrick. New board members Michele Mariana and Linda Kay Gross were appointed by the new board after the election.

Thanks to everyone who attended the annual meeting – we look forward to growing this movement with you in 2015!

An Open Message To The Alliance of Professional Performers NW From Outgoing Board Member Harold Phillips


Dear Alliance of Professional Performers NW Members

More than four years ago I was lucky enough to attend a Portland AFTRA meeting. At that meeting an audacious idea was brought forth – that all performers in our region, union and not-union, deserved the same basic standards in their workplaces. Since that first meeting it’s been my privilege to play a role in the formation and growth of the Alliance of Professional Performers NW. The time has come, however, for me to step back from the board and join you as a member-at-large.

I know that with the election of the 2015 Board of Directors, our movement is in very good hands. That being said, it’s important to remember that the Board is not APP-NW. APP-NW is us – the members of the organization… and we members all have to do our part to keep the organization growing and effective. Not everyone has the time or temperament for Board service, but all of us can do a few simple things to help fulfill APP-NW’s mission of protecting performers and strengthening professionalism within our regional industry.

·         We can spread the word about the organization – whether we’re at an audition or on set, we can all talk to our fellow performers about this movement. It’s as simple as asking a fellow performer, “have you heard about APP-NW?” You might be worried that you’re not prepared to answer your fellow performers’ questions about the movement – but downloading a copy of our information cards ( will help you with that!

·         We can wear our APP-NW buttons – Those pins you get at Actors Happy Hour aren’t just a way to get discounts on your drinks – they’re a visual reminder to the world that you’re a professional. People who see those buttons can expect you to be a professional on the job – and they know that you deserve to be treated as a professional in the workplace.

·         We can talk to each other, and we can look out for each other – As the saying goes, “if you see something, say something.” Too often, though, performers are afraid to speak up when they’re put in dangerous situations or when they know someone in the industry doesn’t deal fairly with those s/he works with. We’re trained to trust our fellow cast members when the cameras roll or the curtain goes up on our performances – be worthy of that trust off the set, too. Stand together and make sure your fellow performers are safe.

·         We can ask for what we deserve – When a director or producer says s/he wants to work with you, thank them and then ask, “does your production conform to APP-NW Standards?” ( It’s as simple as that. Chances are, this director or producer will say, “yes, of course” – because APP-NW standards are just common-sense standards that everyone should have in their workplace. If they say no, however, ask, “why not?” Find out what s/he finds so disagree-able, and then educate him or her. You know why a performer needs a place to lock up his or her valuables, a meal, a place to sit down… help this producer or director understand why these basic requirements are so important.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you – this last one isn’t so “simple.”

·         Say “No” – This is often the hardest thing for a performer to do – but it’s also the only power we, as performers, have. If you’re a union member and you’re asked to work “off the card” or to go “Fi-Core,” say “No.” Union or not, when you’re offered a position that doesn’t meet your personal standards, say “No.” When you hear that one of your fellow performers turned down a job because it didn’t conform to basic APP-NW standards, say “No.”

I know… I know! Performers are often afraid to say “No,” because they’re afraid they won’t work again… because they’re afraid they’ll get a “reputation.” Consider this, though – the reputation a performer gets by saying “No” is the reputation that s/he has standards… that s/he won’t compromise those standards merely for a chance to work, or for an IMDB credit, or a few dollars in the pocket. A performer like that has integrity, and integrity draws the type of people a performer wants to work with. Integrity makes people enjoy being on set with a performer. Integrity makes audiences want to see a performer. As performers, we don’t have a lot of control in our careers… but we do have control over our integrity.

Remember, the Alliance of Professional Performers NW is all about helping performers – and just like we stand together on the set, we have to stand together as we work to realize APP-NW’s mission. If everyone in the membership works together, we can improve and increase professionalism in the Northwest market – and we can make sure that our industry is fair and equitable for everyone working in it.


What’s The State of YOUR Union, NW Actors? Tell Us At #ActorsHappyHour January 20 (At A New Location!)

President Barack Obama Addressing Congress At The State Of The Union Address

On Tuesday January 20 president Barack Obama will give the US Congress, and the nation, his State of the Union address.  This yearly ritual, full of pomp-and-circumstance, isn’t just a chance to report on how things have gone in the past year – it’s a chance for the president to announce bold new initiatives and goals for the future in an effort to move the country forward.

You may not have thought about it, but we professional performers have a similar ritual at the beginning of each year – we look back on what’s worked (and what hasn’t) in the previous year, and we set goals for the coming year that will move our lives and careers forward!  We don’t generally announce these goals in front of national television and a joint session of Congress – but we know that keeping these goals to ourselves can sometimes “let us off the hook…” sharing our goals with others help us to solidify them in our minds – and even helps to keep us accountable to ourselves.

So, NW performers, we’re asking you to share YOUR 2015 state of the union with us at the first #ActorsHappyHour of the year at a new location: Wine Up on Williams in at 3037 N Williams St. in North Portland.  Join us from 6 – 9 pm on Tuesday January 20 and let us know how you’re going to build on the successes you shared with us in November!

The president’s State of the Union speech will be playing on the televisions upstairs, in case you need inspiration, and Wine Up on Williams has prepared a special happy hour menu for APP-NW members (remember to wear your APP-NW pins, or get them at the door!)  After the speech, join us downstairs in Wine Up’s special event room and tell us how you plan to move your career forward in 2015!

We’ll also be raffling off some tools to help start your year off right, including

  • One hour of free tax consultation from The Bookkeeping Company – a Bookkeeping and tax service that “gets” the special needs of performers
  • An Actor’s Holdon Log – the perfect “paperware” tool from the makers of PerformerTrack to help you track your auditions, callbacks and bookings in the year to come!

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 7 for $5.00 – and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ACTORSHAPPYHOUR we will give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every actor on your list!  We’d love to give you a free raffle ticket – and we’d love to hear your goals for the coming year!

The Librarians Are Coming! The Librarians Are Coming! Join Us For A Special Viewing Party December 7 at 8:00!

TNT's New Shot-in-Portland Series The Librarians


In case you haven’t heard, Electric Entertainment’s The Librarians, the newest addition to the filmed-in-Portland television lineup, will premiere on Sunday, December 7 at 8 PM on TNT!

The Alliance of Professional Performers – NW, the Oregon Media Production Assocation and SAG-AFTRA are itching to party down for the occasion! Once again, as he did for Leverage, Chris Joseph of Portland’s Morrison Hotel Bar (719 SE Morrison St., 97214 – click here for a map) has graciously invited Portland’s film and TV community to a no-host viewing party!

The Librarians promises laughs, adventure and great special effects as a secret society of Librarians battle supernatural baddies to keep us all safe.  And The Morrison Hotel Bar promises good food and drink for the price of, well, good food and drink!

*** To be entered to win a door prize, bring a non-perishable food item for the Oregon Food Bank! ***

Be sure to RSVP on our Facebook page, and join us for the fun and cheer on your fellow performers.

Who knows? It might even become a regular Sunday event!

It’s Time To Give Thanks For Your Successes in 2014, NW Actors! Join Us At #ActorsHappyHour November 18!

Celebrate 2014It’s been a great year, Northwest actors – and we want to hear about the successes you’re giving thanks for at the final Actors Happy Hour of the year!

In January, we asked you what your goals for the coming year were… well, it’s time to look back at the “year that’s been” and see if 2014 matched – or surpassed – your expectations!  Join us downtown at Cassidy’s Restaurant on Tuesday, November 18 from 6 – 9 PM and share your success stories from 2014 – did you make connections with important industry players?  Did you spread the word about APP-NW‘s professional standards, and help your fellow performers do their best work on professional sets in the Northwest and elsewhere?  Did you reach a new career milestone, or help someone else build a stronger career?  Maybe your year went in an entirely unexpected direction, and you had to re-assess those goals you made back in January – what ever happened, we want to hear all about it!

Be sure to wear your APP-NW pins (or get them at the door) and expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion… and do remember to bring a few extra dollars for our monthly raffle, where we give you the chance to win prizes that can help build your professional career like:

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 7 for $5.00 – and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ACTORSHAPPYHOUR we will give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Parking at Cassidy’s might require some pre-planning; we recommend that you take public transportation if you can, park at the SmartPark on 10th Ave, or leave plenty of time to look for metered parking.

As mentioned above, this will be our final #ActorsHappyHour of 2014 – but don’t you worry, we’ll be back after the holidays!  Be sure you’ve subscribed to our mailing list so you’re among the first to hear about our next #ActorsHappyHour location in January 2015!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every film and TV worker on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group together to celebrate YOU!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next TUESDAY!

NW Actors – What Makes YOU A Professional? Tell Us April 21 At #ActorsHappyHour!!

It’s an age-old debate, Northwest actors: when is a performer a “professional?”

Is it when s/he books that first paying job?  When s/he makes a certain amount of money in his or her performing career?  Or is it something about the way a performer conducts him or herself – in the workplace and elsewhere?

How is it that we often struggle to define “professionalism,” but we know a professional when we see one… and we can spot unprofessional behavior when we see it?

As you know, The Alliance of Professional Performers NW is dedicated to increasing the level of professionalism within our industry – and professionalism is just what we want to focus on at our next Actors Happy Hour!  We’ve already outlined a list of standards professional performers should expect to be upheld in their workplace… but what standards should the producers in our region expect from professional performers like us when we show up on set (or before we even get there?)

Join us at Foster-Powell’s Bar Maven from 6-9 next Monday, April 21, share a drink and a smile with your fellow performers, and let us know what’s on your professional code of conduct!  As always Bar Maven’s owner, Bashar Farrah, is offering special discounts to APP-NW members (remember to wear your APP-NW pins, or get them at the door) so expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion!

But wait- that’s not all!  April 15th will be in the rear-view mirror when we gather for Actors Happy Hour, and we’re betting some of you could have done a little more to prepare for tax-time!  Well, there’s no time like the present to get organized for next year’s tax season, and we want to give you the tools to do just that.  Join us on Monday for the chance to win:

  • A free one-hour consultation with The Bookkeeping Company to get you set up right for next year’s tax season, or…
  • A free one-hour consultation with financial advisor Andrew Pollack to help you set financial goals for this year, or…
  • A free six-month subscription to PerformerTrack, the #1 organizational tool for professional performers!

Remember, APP-NW members, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or SEVEN for $5.00 – and if you bring an actor along who’s never attend an #ActorsHappyHour we’ll give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every actor on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group of actors together to discuss this VERY important topic!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next Monday!