Hi everyone, this is ASK BOB BLUME – a twice weekly column with summary discussing issues pertinent to the entertainment industry and appearing exclusively here on Times Square Chronicles. I am your Host and president of Step Forward Entertainment, a Talent Management and Production company located in both New York and Los Angeles. I am currently in New York.
Our column is also a benefit for The Actors Fund Covid 19 relief effort and I ask you to go to the link below on your screen and donate if you are in position to do so. They are most grateful to accept donations from $25 to whatever you want and this money is used to help out all eligible members of the entertainment community as a stimulus while in the pandemic.
The subject of today’s column #35 is what actors should be doing to prepare for 2021. Usually at the end of the year, we are preparing for TV pilot season, films, commercials and theatre going full tilt. However, in 2021 there are a lot of unknowns that need to be addressed. Regardless of the norm, actors need to check all their materials, i.e. pictures, resume, casting sites, film reels, etc. and to make sure they are all the best they can be to promote their talent. If you have an agent and/or manager, contact them by email and ask them to review your materials and let you know if they need anything from you.
Auditions are mostly, if not all, via video, zoom, eco cast, FaceTime and your tech must be good of not great quality or your auditions will not be. That means, camera, background, lighting, sound, editing equipment must be up to par. Make sure you have readers ready to perform with you via computer, phone, etc. if you do not have someone who lives with you. This will become important if there is a further lockdown.You can teach yourself to record the ‘readers part’ and perform with yourself to be totally self sufficient. (Note: this was covered in an earlier column).
With respect to the state of the industry, if Covid is under control, expect productions to resume on both coasts. However, prepare yourself for a lot of filming in Canada, Australia and other locations overseas, thus having an up to date passport with at least 1 year available is urgent. If you are under 18 or a parent of a child actor, make sure work permits and trust accounts are all current. Getting permits in a timely manner may be difficult. Also difficult, will be getting a passport due to many government offices closed during Covid, but you must do what you can or you may not be able to work.
Theatre is scheduled to open in the new year; however, I see it as not really opening in a big way until Covid is under control, which may not be until the Fall of 2021 or later. Expect to see a lot of virtual theatre, especially in the regionals and not for profits as they need to keep their patrons engaged or they will lose them.
In the commercial world, they have it down pretty well and both live auditions and filming live with proper Covid safety regulations is going on. They are the least affected by the Covid.
Covid tests are now standard for any actor booking a job. You must prepare for this and please know it is not like before.
For those of you on your own without a rep, be creative to keep yourself relevant. Should lockdown happen, use the internet, video, etc to create opportunities for yourself.
Hope this column has helped you. Wishing you a great new year!
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