Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Network Austin Mixer

The Network Austin Mixer meets every other Wednesday night at Mother Egans on 6th st. The speakers for the mixer last night were all Austin talent agents, Heather Collier(colliertalent.com), Veronica Kelley-Albiez (dvatalent.com), and Lupe Valdez (acclaimtalent.com.) There was a full crowd at Mother Egans, mixed with actors, film-makers, coaches, agents, and casting directors. The speakers answered questions from hopeful actors taking their first steps into the business to the professionals brushing up on their agent info. Their main piece of advice? Follow directions on their website when you submit to them, if you can't follow those directions it'll only give them reason to believe you won't follow directions when sent out on auditions. And stay in classes, or keep working on plays or student projects. Members of The Alliance , which is Austin's collective group of coaches, casting directors, and agents that pull together to "raise the bar" for the film community, always make it out to these. They made an announcement their new president is actor/acting coach Van Brooks. Congrats Van! These mixers are always nice to go to, laid back, always familiar faces, and great information.
Check out the site for more info: theallianceaustin.com.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Swamp Fest

Last Saturday Lauren and I ventured out to Swamp Fest to fulfill our need for jazz and cajun food. One of our favorite weekends of the year is when we take the drive out to New Orleans and forget that we're white and try to move like we're African-American cajun folk. It makes us happy, and we get a lot of laughs from those we're imitating. Hey - imitation is the best form of flattery right? Plus we're now prepared for any movie where they might want to cast some of those skills... ha. Austin's swamp fest is not near the wonderfulness that is jazz fest - for one - it's on concrete. The same concrete parking lot where all of the tailgaiting parties are held during football season. But it was still jazz, and even in the little doses - we enjoyed it immensely. Favorite musical acts included Papa Mali, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Henry Butler and the Game Band, The New Orleans Jazz Vipers Brass band, and a few others. Most noteably we were excited to see Big Chief Kevin and his Funky Flaming Arrows - who represented a tradition in New Orleans I had never known about until arriving there. Did you know that there's a cajun tradition of dressing in large headresses and colorful feather-lined clothing? I thought that was strictly a Native American thing until I met cheif Kevin - and it's an act that shouldn't be missed and comes straight from the soul. We were also excited to get our first glimpse at Burlesque - which really is just an elegant, more sophisticated strip tease. But when put to music and is themed - it becomes an entire act that actually inspired Lauren to want to be a burlesque artist herself! The three girls that performed reminded me strongly of the three stippers in the film Gypsy which really did make stripping more of an art than something "dirty". The show we saw seemed to be just a little preview of all that Burlesque can be and we definitely want to head to a Burlesque show soon to see another performance. We've heard The Jigglewatts are pretty good - I think you all should check them out in our second issue of the magazine! www.myspace.com/jigglewatts

Monday, April 2, 2007

Bon Voyage!

Staff member Tiffany Montgomery our advertising manager has moved to Nashville, TN! It's only for a short period and she'll be working from a distance for the magazine while she enjoys a change in pace for a bit. We had a send off party at Molotov where numerous people from the film community came. Everywhere the girl goes people fall in the love with her and you can tell she's made an impact on the film community and definitely on our magazine. We'll miss her and await her return!

Stand In

Just thought I'd take a moment to describe the life and work of a stand-in as I was recently called in to "interview" for the position of Emily Watson's stand in for a month in the new Julia Roberts film that is being FILMED IN AUSTIN! I've found that not everyone knows exactly what stand-ing in means. Yes, its exciting in that you are on set and in the circle of people you definitely want to be around while on set - the actors, director, camera and lighting crew - however, while the cameras and lights are all adjusted to your face - you're not the one that gets to be filmed. A stand-in's position is to "stand in" for the actor during the lengthy process where the lights and cameras are adjusted for the scene. A stand in will watch the actor rehearse and then take that actors place while the adjusting happens - and then once everything is set - the actor comes back in and filming begins. It's not hard, and it's amazing getting to watch the actors rehearse and film - but it definitely isn't all that glamorous either. Want to take the glamour out of movie making? Spend a few days as an extra or a stand-in and you'll definitely know then whether or not this is a career that you want to pursue!