I welcome you to my column at Times Square Chronicles and, as a talent manager and producer, I enjoy giving advice to those in the business.
This column will not take a question from a viewer as it normally done, but will address something that I have advised actors previously. That advice is to create your own opportunities to move your career along; to become creative and to be an entrepreneur!
Today’s column has a guest, a Step Forward Entertainment actress named Erica LaRose, who has created her own opportunity and will share her story with you.
Erica primarily acts in film and TV. While in Los Angeles, using connections and ‘know-how,’ Erica went back to New York (Brooklyn) to produce her own film that would feature her in one of the major roles.
Prior to interviewing Erica, I want to remind you that this column is always a benefit for The Actors Fund and its Covid 19 relief effort.
You can donate at the URL actorsfund.org/stepforward at a minimum of $25, or if you need help from the fund, then go to their homepage actorsfund.org and look in the Covid heart in the center for the ‘Get Help’ button. If you are in the business and need help paying rent, getting food, etc. you may be eligible for one of their grants to get through the pandemic when not working.
I now welcome Erica LaRose, whose information links will be at the end of this column.
I laid out the scenario that a few years ago, while in LA, Erica was not fully happy with the progression of her career, and decided to produce a short film with herself as the star. She proceeded to enter the film into festivals and promote herself as both an actress and producer.
Erica goes on to explain that at the time she was living in NY, she went to audition for a small short film, connected with the director, with whom she actually made a few small films.
At a later date, after moving and not staying in touch, Erica approached him on Facebook to reconnect and they decided to invest some money together and make a high quality short film to submit to festivals to move both their careers forward.
It took an entire year, but they finally decided to do it and shot the film over the summer of 2019. Her collaborator Thomas Moore, wrote and directed while Erica was the story creator, producer and star of the film. This gave her a great experience in dealing with SAG-AFTRA as a producer, gathering locations, dealing with a crew, etc. while splitting the production duties with Thomas.
Learning as she went, Erica found this to be a phenomenal experience. I then asked her what happened after the film was completed.
Erica responded that she was so psyched when the film was accepted into the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) Independent Film Festival, which she had attended the year prior as a guest, but now as a producer and star of her own film.
We further discussed how the film was entered just recently into the BBR Short Film Festival in NY and the film, titled 165 STARR, was nominated for 3 awards and received good notices. Link to film HERE and at the end of this column.
I then brought up the question and asked if she felt the film helped her career wise. Erica’s response of yes is exhibited in an incident that she speaks about, where she went to an LA actors audition, and upon the producer learning of Erica’s experience, offered her a larger role and leaned on her for additional production expertise.
I further asked Erica if being on the production side gave her more insight when she is working as an actress.
Erica answered with a resounding yes, giving her a more insightful perspective of what others on set do and a deeper gratitude for what everyone does leading to a more layered perspective.
I brought up the article in VOYAGE LA Magazine which featured an interview with Erica. You can see the article HERE.
My final question was to put Erica on the spot. I asked her if she had any direct advice for young actors who are struggling at the moment.
Her ‘off the cuff’ advice was “don’t let Covid stop you!” She has been on a few sets during this time and spoke briefly how most film and TV sets are prepared to deal with the virus. She made the point that studios have all the safety measures down, but that indie projects are still trying to figure it out. Be wary, but don’t let it stop you! I then concurred!
I closed by thanking Erica, reminding all of my viewers about The Actors Fund, to either donate or get help from them should you need it to pay bills during this period.
For questions, inquiries, comments, please email AskBobBlume@gmail.com. Thank you all and have a nice day!
Erica LaRose IMDB:
Erica LaRose Interview:
Erica LaRose website:
Erica LaRose EPK:
Bob Blume’s company site is www.StepForwardEntertainment.com
To Donate to The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org/stepforward
To Send in a question: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see ALL of the prior columns: ASK BOB BLUME columns