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Ms. Bubbette

Dear Ms. Bubbette: Re "Miller Lite Commercial" during SAG strike - correcting erroneous statements • How to start in film acting • Acting classes • Are Headshots necessary?
by Ms. Bubbette

October 2000

Ms. Bubbette would like to comment on the erroneous statements issued by SAGFriends (below):

<"Actors, To the best of our knowledge, the Miller Lite Commercial shooting at the Dell Diamond is struck work. The advertising agency is Square One.  Although Square One has never been a signatory, Miller Brewing Co. was. Our additional information is that the principal roles were being offered at $500 for a 16 month buyout and exclusivity for all beers.">

1) Principal actors were assured by their agents that this was NOT struck work - that it was a non-union job.

2) Principal roles were paid ten times what they stated above ($5,000) for a 12 month buyout with the option to renew at full payment after the year was completed.

3) Exclusivity is the same as it has always been. While under contract the actor does not work for a conflicting (rival) company. If one does a car commercial it is obvious that the same actor cannot advertise another breed of car while the first one is being shown.

Just wanted to clarify that. And that's my final answer!

Ms. Bubbette

Dear Ms. Bubbette,

I'm a 20 year old student at UT and I recently decided to pursue a career in film acting ... but have no clue what to do to really start! I've been an extra in one film called Natural Selection where I was way out of my element as a basketball extra (I'm 5'6'' Japanese and admit I don't know how to "jump") but the director was a cousin of my brother's friend's dad so I somehow got that part and since then have been slowly getting interested in the acting field.

Where do you go to get good first acting classes? Do you usually start acting in theatre and then move onto movies? Is it worth having a headshot? I didn't really have the answers to any of these but have found various websites and talked to various students in RTF at school and decided to cough up $60 for some headshots and have sent them to various people and gone to one audition for a student film and a casting call for MTV's "Fear" (where they actually weren't looking for actors) through the notice put on this website...but I still really don't have any classes to put on a resume and am wondering if I am just wandering around the world of auditioning without the proper credentials to even be there in the first place.

- Akie

Dear Akie,

To answer all your questions in order:

1) The absolute best acting classes (In Ms. Bubbette's experience!): • Mona Lee at Brite Lites Acting Studio (512) 323-2090 - Trained at Julliard in New York, Mona has ongoing series of classes from beginners to top professionals; • Marco Perella & Dianne - ongoing classes on camera - both have an extensive number of movies under their belts. (512) 869-0623; • C.K. McFarland - great for both film and theatre. (512) 441-3738; • Donise Hardy at Casting Works LA (512) 485-3113. She also brings in top teachers from L.A.; • Jo Edna Boldin, Casting Director when she's in Austin. Book through Dara at 472-5385; • Stanley Zareff when he comes in from New York, for Improv. He is Bernadette Peters' private coach. Incredible guy! Book his next class through Sue Bilich at (512) 452-4049 And there are many, many more.

2) No you don't have to start in theatre, although it is a good thing to have some theatre experience - mainly for discipline in mastering a whole script.

3) Headshots are as essential to an actor as a hammer is to a builder; a paintbrush to an artist. Get my drift? It is the #1 tool and therefore should be the best quality you can afford. (Where did you find $60 headshots???) You need these to introduce yourself to casting directors, to vie for independent movies, to take with you every time you go to an audition and you need 30+ headshots for your agent's files.

And yes, you need an agent if you are serious about this business. They don't cost anything and they get paid by commission only after they have found you work. Call the Texas Film Commission for a list of agents in Austin. (512) 463-7799 & 463-9200 (one of these is a hotline for auditions)

Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of acting.

For more information go back in Ms. Bubbette's 'archives' and read some of my answers to similar questions - especially in May, June and July issues.

Good luck.

Ms. Bubbette.

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