Thursday, July 25, 2013


It's rewarding to mark milestones along my acting feelancer path, from my first audition at a major casting agency to my first VO and on-camera bookings to my first national TV commercial. 

This week: my first time auditioning at all three of Chicago’s major casting Tuesday, one Wednesday and one Thursday.

Another milestone is that for the first time I've been cast in five on-camera projects at once, from a sitcom pilot to a TV reporter in an indie feature, two web series and a short film.  And I'm waiting for two corporate VO scripts.

As an entrepreneur, business metrics are important.  So I’m surprised when I hear that other actors don’t keep track of things, such as how many auditions they average per week, where the auditions are and for what client and product.  Some don't even keep a list of all of their bookings.  Some audio book actors know how much they earned for the entire book, but they don't calculate their hourly rate.  Five thousand may sound like a lot, but perhaps isn't so great if your target hourly rate is say, $50, and the finished hours took 200 hours to produce, which is only $25/hour.
Increased revenue is of course one way to tell if your business is growing, but I also want to know if I’m auditioning more often and for what I consider to be better clients and better projects, and also for different production companies and/or ad agencies.
Consider keeping a chart of your stats and referring to it at least monthly.  Then you'll be able to see where you've been and could have even more milestones to note.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Where was I Thursday morning, my usual blogging time? In Atlanta with luminaries of the romance writing community.  Approximately 2000 other romance writers from household names to newbies, editors, agents and other industry professionals attended Romance Writers of America’s 33rd National Conference.  The wealth of educational and networking opportunities made it a challenge to decide how to spend my time.  Should I attend one of the 10+ workshops an hour, free publishers’ book signings or publisher spotlights?  Not if they conflicted with agent and editor appointments.  There were also assorted get-togethers and parties, and a lot of catching up with friends and making new ones.
I participated in a panel workshop, “There’s no ‘I’ in Bestseller: Why Hitting the List is a Team Effort” with NYT bestseller Simone Elkeles, her editor Emily Easton, her agent Kristin Nelson, her virtual assistant and her other critique partner. I also met with three editors, an agent and many friends, and had a lovely talk with Library Journal's Bette-Lee Fox, who won RWA's national industry award, and Daisy Marles, executive editor of Publisher's Weekly.
I came home with 40 free print books and 9 e-books without even trying very hard, a lot of information about craft and changes in the industry including trends and the growth of self-and e-publishing, and many compliments about my writing.
Back to the keyboard.  To get my submissions out, not blog.... 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


What do you do when you feel a cold coming on?  At the first sign of a scratchy throat, I reach for the Zicam or ColdEeze.  This time, trying to ward it off failed.  I got slammed by the worst cold I've had in years...including a throat so sore that every swallow was a challenge, a stuffed nose, and overall discombobulation.   

I tried to rest/sleep it off by watching The Walking Dead marathon, feeling like a zombie myself as I drank orange juice, took  Dayquil and Nyquil, assorted lozenges, tea and Throat Coat tea with honey....  After several episodes, I'd become inured to the gore of zombies chewing on people and getting their heads or eyes bashed in, but was glad to have so many episodes on my DVR.

Every so often I'd make my way to my computer, but couldn't focus on anything beyond an email or two.  I managed to go to a lovely garden party Saturday night, but suffered most of four days and nights. Lingering effects include some laryngitis.  I put off a couple of VO auditions as long as I could, and hope I didn't sound too scratchy when I did them.  I postponed a workshop.  I've never felt worse at an audition than I did this Tuesday, but the casting session director said she liked all three of my takes.  Fortunately the scene wasn't very long or complicated.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I had so much to catch up on from errands to work that I put in more hours than usual, and rewarded myself by meeting friends for a late drink.  I still feel a little out of sorts. 

Usually I'm efficient and a pretty good time manager.  But when whole days are lost to illness, I feel derailed.  Getting back on track physically and mentally is a challenge.  Checking a lot of items off the to do list yesterday was satisfying, but there's also pressure to get out a large project that'd already be underway if I hadn't gotten sick.

Hope I'm back to 100% soon.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Affordable health care?

This week I received a letter from Aetna saying my insurance plan isn't grandfathered under the upcoming health care law and I may have to pay more for health insurance.

I already pay what I consider to be a very high amount for a high deductible plan.  So why under a law that begins with "affordable" should I have to pay even more? 

I'm not looking forward to investigating all of the options...will I be able to pay less, but still have quality coverage?  Time will tell.