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People, by nature, have some interesting things to say. Here are some of my things. Some about acting. All about living ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aaron Hallaway's new commercial

I like Aaron Hallaway. Talented guy (actor / writer / independent creative). Good friend.

He has a new commercial (he's about 43 seconds in) -- VeriSign's "Company Information" video:

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Last night's showcase went phenomenally well.

Hectic and down to the wire, we of the Bohemian Theater Troupe got into the space (Beerland in Austin) for the first time at 5 p.m. -- for a 7 p.m. showcase.

Given seven scenes and three monologues, each of us only had time to run through the most problematic parts of our blocking quickly, as lights were being struck, microphones placed, and furniture and props positioned.

We also had the incomparable CK McFarland guest sitting in as we went through our craziness, and giving us last-minute blocking and set suggestions before she ducked out to teach her own class.

For my scene partner (Risa Schroder) and me, this was particularly tough, as we had added the Tango to our Angels in America scene (the shared dream sequence between Prior and Harper), and our space kept shrinking as furniture obstacles were added. Even after we'd "figured out" our blocking (and never having the chance to work through our full scene), we were told the couch for two scenes was going to stay onstage, and be moved to extreme upstage between those scenes. That meant we had to change our dancing from downstage to upstage (front to back) to stage left to stage right (side to side). And we were told we had to avoid going too far to stage right, as a permanently mounted ceiling speaker was creating a blind spot for the lights.

And we didn't get to try any of this blocking with the new directions.

Further cutting into our available time was me -- as the one guy with the truck -- picking up curtain stanchions, computer carts, couches, and so on.

Oh, and I had like 45 minutes of makeup to get into drag. And I had to get into costume, and we were second up (after a fantastic monologue from Levan Owens).

Our coach / The Bohemian Producer Steve Prince framed it pretty well for the audience at the outset, though.

He basically said the showcase was us putting scenes on under "extreme duress". Our doing the scenes for the audience was the first time we were doing the scenes. There was no tech rehearsal, there was no full-on walkthrough. If we can do this, in theory we can blow up auditions.

The goal is for us to just go up there and make things happen.

I feel really good about how our scene went.

First, I looked and felt fabulous. Lynn Burnor did an amazing job on my makeup, and I'm so grateful she shared her mad makeup skilz to drag queen me up -- which cut into her prep time (which didn't show at all in her and John O'Connel's scene -- funniest thing of the night).

I looked fabulous, with industry friend Tonya lending me a cute blue kimono, and me spending yesterday shopping for matching sexy women's underwear and frumpy house slippers.

And because the lead-up to actual performance was so crazy, we were incredibly free to do whatever. There was no "getting it right" in this context; we were there to make something happen.

No, it wasn't perfect. There a few "acty moments" as we tried to balance moving the scene forward with unexpected projection needed when the sound system came up a little short. But Risa (she is amazing) and I did a great job.

While Risa and I had memorized our lines (flat) separately, since we both knew what was happening in the scene, we agreed not to get tripped up if we missed or jumped lines.

That said, I don't think we missed a single line or exchange. And I wasn't thinking about acting; I was just amused by this conservative Mormon invading my gay dream, and then finding out I actually liked her and wanted her there.

And Jeff Carley generously stepped in at the nth hour to by our "angel", and fully bought into his role. Good guy, that.

The payoff?

People were incredibly generous and complimentary (and several gentlemen offered to buy me drinks).

But my favorite was a particular casting director shocked and amazed that I would do what I did, and pull it off. She wants me to be daring, and now there's a whole bunch of room between what I "normally" do and what I did last night. Bring on da work!

Man, I'm jazzed.

Then it was off to Fadó to hang out and enjoy time with fellow cast members and friends who came to watch the show. Great times.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

See Adam in drag tonight!

Tonight, you can see me and several other members of the Bohemian Theater in our second live public showcase.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. at Beerland (show up early, seating is limited), and I'll be playing Prior from the play / film Angels in America. This is obviously challenging for a bunch of reasons, and I'm looking forward to really putting myself out there. Dunno if it'll "work", but we're going to make something happen!

If the thought of cross-dressing ol' me isn't enough of a draw, there will be nine other scenes and monologues from some of the top acting talent in Austin. Come see what these folks have to offer, and enjoy a night of great acting.

I hope to see you there!

(Oh, and in case there was any confusion, this is not a family-type event.)

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Nice headshot

You've probably noticed one of my new headshots gracing my Website. It's from the theatrical shots, which I like (the uncropped version is below), and my photographer, Rhea Willis, does a great job.
Adam Creighton Theatrical Acting Headshot
Another new headshot of which I'm particularly fond isn't mine -- it's a new one for Marc Hustvedt -- who was a fellow Austin actor who's now become a successfully working LA actor. This pict is by photog Dennis Apergis, and is a great dual-purpose (at least) commercial and comedic headshot (it almost screams, "Put me on 'The Office'!").

Marc Hustvedt Commercial headshot
Networking is awesome, but good headshots open doors when you're not there in person. (And it's necessary for you to have the professional and acting skills to follow through.)

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And the Award Goes to ... Mona Lee

OK, there should be more of this.

Below is a note actor, coach, and inspirational creative CK McFarland sent out to the Austin film community in recognition of fellow actor, coach, and inspirational creative Mona Lee, one of my film coaches.

I've asked CK's permission to post her note in its entirety here for broader awareness. I've added links for context. The commentary afterwards is all me. ;-)

For years I have wanted to see the Austin Film Community Host some Film Awards, similar to the ACOT Awards. Yeah I know they give them out at the airport to big name celebrities who have gone off and made us proud, and other celebrities who have passed through and made us look good.

But I'm talking about true Austin Awards acknowledging the truly great folks who have stayed, and not just actors, but other members of our community who have been dedicated, and worked so hard for us all. Oh yeah there are those few who continually get their name and picture in the paper , because they have helped put us on the map, and continue to do so. But there are also many other wonderful folks who have contributed in major gigantic ways to make a difference.

This is a tough profession, though not as hard as soldiering or coal mining. But there is perhaps no greater competition than being an actor, due in fact, to the sheer multitudes of those seeking dreams. Yet many (here) don't even have a clue what they are up against, the dedication to training it takes, or the number of actors they are competing against who have been thoroughly trained.

But within our multitudes, there are actual real live great actors living amongst us. Actors comparable to the best in our Movie Magazines. And some who even work a lot, particularly the men. Congrats guys. But I want to tell you about one actor I saw work on stage at
UT a while back. OK, it was 30 years ago let's say. She was playing the outrageous role of Claire in A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee. Now I was in a special private acting school in California and was home to visit the folks. I went to the theatre and saw my first ever real true brilliant actor on stage. I had never in my life seen anything like this woman and the role she played, and it was breathtaking and galvanized my memory to this day. I believe she went on to Julliard from UT and made quiet a name for herself. Well I remembered her name - Mona Lee.

Mona Lee put us Austin actors on the film map. Our roots can be traced back to her. She is the source, the spring from which much of this sprang. When I moved here in 1980 and began a professional theatre ( with the Tuna Boys and Marco Perella) I hired her to coach the company. But she wasn't just coaching theatre actors, she was showing all the Austin actors how to transition to film and what we needed to do to accomplish that. She turned our heads right around and showed us we could be film actors right here in little ole Austin. And she's still doing that. And there is no better helpmate than her BIZ book - which every one of you should have by the way.

Now I am just sitting here at the end of the Labor Day struggling to figure out how to get my classes full, and thought of where it all started and why. It always goes back to Mona, my friend and my competitor (both as a coach an an actor). And I just might shoot myself in the boot giving her all this publicity, but I don't care. Because acknowledging people is so important. And so I acknowledge Mona, not just for her coaching and her BIZ book, but her history with us - a director writer producer and vital and amazing actor who lives amongst us.

She is the reason I have wanted to start some sort of Austin Film Awards So we could give her a the first one and say 'thank you Mona". Good God people need to be acknowledged and I just wanted to start at the beginning. I guess I'll go get something engraved.


I studied with Mona in her beginning and intermediate classes. She had a subtle style that got a lot out of me. And despite being an active coach and working actor, she's also very available.

All of the stuff CK says is pretty inspiring by itself, but carries even more weight and import coming from her.

CK has herself and inspired and pushed so many actors in their craft, and done so much for the Austin creative community.

My current coach, Steve Prince, says of her,
"There isn't a more creative, Dynamic teacher around than CK. I have had the pleasure of teaching with her and I learned as much as I taught. I filled my notebook with thoughts and techniques I learned while listening to CK critique our students. Her workshop is a safe place to push yourself beyond your perceived limitations while inspiring confidence in your craft."
Casting Director Donise Hardy (CSA) says of CK,
"CK McFarland is an invaluable leader in our entertainment community. Over the past 8 years, I have had the privilege of working with CK and on many occasions have watched her film students work at Alleywood. I am always impressed by the growth I see. "
And you can even catch some of CK's work on YouTube (clip embedded below, and recorded before the recent passing of Texas film and interactive incentives legislation).

Every actor should be on set or in class all of the time -- regardless of our level. Austin has a great coaching pool, and a sub-set of those folks are of some of the best, most passionate mentors with which I've been blessed to know. I mention many of them regularly in this column. And Mona and CK are two more of the greats.

Let me know if you need either of their contact information.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On-spec gig

Check out this on-spec piece for which I did VO. My voice is a minor part, but the commercial (faux-fifties-style) is pretty funny.

And my acting buddy rocks. So does his director friend.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Comic-Con sum-up ...

Picture of San Diego Convention Center chair

I am freaking exhausted. But it's that great "I - just - worked - my - tail - off - had - a - blast - met - brilliant - inspiring - people - maybe - have - new - relationships - and - opportunities - on - the - horizon" kind of exhausted.

So I feel great.

In a previous post, I said I was hitting Comic-Con as a comic book & cartoon fan, toy collector, video game aficionado, voice & film actor, for professional (technical and management) opportunities, and for camaraderie.

Other than the last item, these were the roles under which I was going to play at Comic-Con, but as an abstraction, I was going to Comic-Con for camaraderie, passion, and potential.


Like I said, "I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with someone who gets all of this as much as I do." I've been meeting with a mentor pretty much every week, for at least six years. Not only is he a life / religious / business mentor, but he's an incredible friend and comic book and cartoon nut (like me). We mutually encouraged each other (led astray?) to go to Comic-Con this year, and we each probably would not have done it without the other. We were a great pair. There were things I was interested in and he wasn't (largely gaming), and we'd go to our respective panels, then re-sync and share. Or, there would be two panels we both wanted to go to, so we'd "divide and conquer" and fill each other in. Or we'd attend each other's event of interest, and broaden our horizons. Or there were panels or experiences we both wanted to do, and we'd experience them together. That last was the best, because we both "get it", and had common, amazing shared experiences. And we were there with like 100-150 thousand other folks who get it -- to some degree or another -- like us. And we realized we are far less geeky than some other human beings.


Make no mistake, I am a huge fan of all of this stuff. I wasn't there to placate a friend or to exploit people for work. I am a lifetime comic book, toy, cartoon, video game, and film fan. Comic books and toys informed my creativity and story telling as a kid, and continue to inspire me with their artistry. Cartoons and video games got me into voice acting. Film got me into my current on-camera work as I bust my tail on the training front, and come alive under the lights.

I want to act in cartoon, comic book, video game, and film properties because I'm a voracious consumer of all of this stuff. I get it, and I want to give it. I'm like Phil Morris (I so admire and am happy for that guy).

Comic-Con was the place to be to get an inspirational re-charge, get closer to the creative and logistical process that gives me these things I enjoy, meet the folks responsible and say "thanks", and see what stuff is coming down the pipe, before anyone else knows. Sure, stuff makes it out on news wires and such shortly afterward, but it's nothing like being there and watching it for the first time it's ever been shown, with the creators (often seeing it themselves for the very first time), and talking to them afterwards.


I am a working professional. I work ridiculously hard at creating opportunities for acting, for technical development, and for management. I do this for me, I do this mutually for other people, and I do this for people independent of whether there's anything for me. I almost never stopped moving at Comic-Con as I tracked down the right people to whom to give a voice demo, head shot, or resume. I hit up the companies I'm passionate about from a creative or business perspective, and there were so many of those, that I didn't hit many "new business opportunities" while I was in San Diego. That means I was hitting up the folks whose stuff I love, and asking to work for or with them.

There were more than 50 companies and people I wanted to meet in the four days. I knew this was shooting for the stars, but not only di I connect with roughly 30 of those, but some additional, unlooked-for, awesome, what could become "I was discovered" kind of moments. Great stuff.

I also sought out the PR or events folks for booths that I was particularly impressed by, just to say, "Good job." It is important to give the workers their due.

And my new demo has (so far) been very well received.

What sucked:

Nothing bad happened that can take away from the overall amazingness. Plus, I'm going to send a thoughtful note each to Comic-Con and the San Diego Convention Center calling out some of the challenges and offering some suggestions.

But yeah, it wasn't all roses. The "Red Shirts" -- folks who were supposed to help attendees out, were very disconnected and caused some serious pain to my buddy and me. More on that later.

And I had one of those "This is Hollywood, be-otch!" experiences with a biggie that was a good reminder for that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I reset and changed my tack with a couple of opportunity folks that seem to be not so relationship-oriented. Seriously, I manage multi-million dollar, international programs and services, so if people want to go toe-to-toe on that hard-ass front, I can play.

Oh, and too many people. Lines kept us out of things we'd liked to have seen and done, because the prospect of hours in line with no guarantee of getting in didn't appeal to us. And we had a bad Thursday night experience. More on that later.

Not that we were going to see everything anyway. Between my split personality roles and passions, a top-notch packed programming and events roster, and my working so hard to make sure my opportunities didn't impact my buddy, I knew we were going to miss stuff. Which is fine. As in the rest of life, what should have happened did; what shouldn't have, didn't.

So what happened?

I'm a big tease, so I'm not going to tell you.

Actually, I will, but this post is already too long, so I'll do separate, day-by-day posts of Wednesday through Sunday. I'll try to hit them from the perspective of the roles and abstractions that were my "filters" for attending, and I'll also try to break stuff up by summary, cool stuff, genres, panels, twitterings, and pictures.

As far as pictures, there will be some, but not many, and they won't be overly high quality. The reason is I honored the "no-flash" rule during panels and reveals (I think I may have been the only one). Between that and popping my hand up and down quickly to snap a pict (so as not to block people behind me), the picts are a bit blurry.

And there are some things I snapped picts of that have not been released to the general public, so I won't be posting those picts. Creative and business folks work hard for their IP, and I'm not going to do them a disservice by leaking stuff they're working to release in a controlled, exciting way.

More later ...

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The "Wire in the Blood" Brits ...

Last night I went to a event, where the speakers were two of the blokes from the Wire In The Blood BBC television series -- director Declan O'Dwyer and producer Bill Boyes.

Bill and Declan are in Austin, because they're filming an episode of Wire in Austin, with Texas actors and crew. this is a big deal, as a BBC television episode is feature-length, so this is a movie, shot with Texas talent.

The two of them were phenomenally forthcoming with insight into their history in the Biz, British differences (surprising number of parallels to us across the pond), and advice for actors and other Biz folks.

And they were absolutely hilarious. We're talking an updated British Amos 'n Andy vibe, with meaty content for an actor hungry to get better and meet new people.

The two were also pleasantly self-deprecating, which is ironic considering they're really big guns in the industry (Boyes is a lifetime journalist / producer who was a one-time exec for the BBC, and O'Dwyer is one of the most sought-after directors in the UK, working non-stop across multiple projects (including the British Robin Hood series, which I love) for the last five years straight.

One of the things that struck me about the evening was the almost spot-on parallels (in particular) between Declan's advice for actors, and my current coach's (Steve Prince) philosophy (which, while Meisner-based, is supplemented with things he's learned over the years in the Biz).

What stuff in particular?

Declan said acting is weird, because "You're telling lies. But you still have to be truthful about it." This is a akin to Steve's definition of acting as "Living truthfully under imaginary circumstances."

There was also a lot of talk about making a break into the industry via authentic relationship building (longtime followers know how this strikes a chord with me).

And there was a breakdown of the difference between knowing the mechanics of acting, and the danger of making those a bigger priority than being in the scene. It's about being connected to the people in the room, in the scene, or in your head (depending on the situation) in a real, "organic" (overused industry buzzword) way. And you'll see that in folks' eyes. When it's off, it's what my coach calls, "Dead shark eyes." And you need both the connection at the mechanics.

Afterwards, I hung out and chatted ("bunnied", "rabbited") with Bill and Declan to say thanks for the gift of sharing their insight with around a hundred Austin actors and industry folks, and to wish them well on the shoot. They're both very pleasant, very approachable, and very funny. Good folks.

I also really like the premise underneath Coastal Productions, the company behind Wire In The Blood, and co-founded by series star Robson Green. It's a successful company, with at least one of its goals being "supporting local young people who want to get into the industry."

And I ran into a ton of acting friends and acquaintances last night, which I love. I so enjoy getting my hug on with these amazingly talented folks with which my life has been blessed.

Good times ...

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Making a video game commercial ...

Folks who know me know I'm a big fan of the acting process -- mine and other folks'.

I'm also a big fan of video games, so when the two intersect, I'm going to let you know.

This brief clip below has a cute behind-the-scenes romp with Japanese actress Yuri Ebihara, as she hocks SEGA's 15th anniversary of Puyo Puyo!

I enjoy seeing the "non-acty" side of actors (on- and off-screen).

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fantastic Industrial gig ...

I just finished two days of shooting for an industrial gig, and it was a fantastic experience.

Stereotypically, industrials can be dry affairs, sacrificing entertainment for information.

Not this one.

This thing was the unholy child of an "Friends" episode(ish) indie short and useful marketing collateral. In a good way.

Best part? Top to bottom, folks were phenomenal -- skill-wise and chemistry-wise. I'm talking Advertising agency, writer / director, DP, sound guy, clients, and content providers. Top-notch, good folks good at their craft.

And my fellow star Mikel McCurdy, totally steals it. Mikel and I have known each other for a while and done class, Samurai, and workshop intensives like Leadership & Creativity together. But this was the first time we were able to do a creative project together -- and we had a blast.

Great, witty banter, physical comedy, great crew, and a great scene partner makes for a great couple of days.

The finished product will be done this week, and show to a large trade-show crowd this year, so I'm pretty stoked to see how it all turns out.

This is one of those great-to-be-an-actor kind of weeks.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good actors, good friends ...

I'll (probably) write about tonight's Meisner class later, but I wanted to write about something else tonight.

Good friends who are good actors.

I mean, I'm blessed to be surrounded by a lot of them (leaving tonight's class reinforced that), but tonight, I had a go-to guy, who will likely be incredibly embarrassed that I'm recounting this.

Aaron Hallaway.

Dude is a buddy. And a seriously talented actor.

And tonight, driving down to class, I needed him.

For scenes or monologues, I improv scenes that are in the script, and scenes in my backstory, or tertiary relationships, or things I might do as that person -- all outside of the script. And Steve's been great at formalizing a discipline around that.

But -- outside of work with my actual scene partner (Nikki, who is so fun and talented), I've been bad about that with my current class scene.

So driving on the way to class, I called Aaron, and told him he needed to call me right back and improv something with me. It was an odd request (details aren't important), and I didn't get to the "why" before he was interrupted by another call. But I hung up knowing he would call me back and be committed to it.

Then I chose to forget he would call.

And he called, which surprised me. And I felt blindsided by the bombshell he dropped on me. In ten minutes, I went from conversational and jovial to yelling, pleading, bargaining, promising, and finally giving up and hanging up. And then spending the next 20 minutes remorse-ridden and looking for a call or a text message from him. Which never came. Which further cemented the remorse.

Aaron so helped me out, because I asked him too, and without him asking why. And he was on his way to his own audition.

I can't put too fine a point on how cool this is.

Don't do this acting thing alone. Aaron helped make me great tonight.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Into the Abyss": My monologue ...

Sunday, the third day of last weekend's "Into the Abyss" acting / emotional deconstruction (I say, only half kidding) weekend, was the day we did monologues.

I had goals for doing my monologue. I had a lot of goals. I had intellectual and business and process things I wanted to do with the monologue, and then once I started, I wanted to forget all of it.

I feel fantastic about how it went, and here's a walk through of my process on this particular item.

I've decided I don't care about being careful or doing a good job or getting it right in class anymore. Class is where I can try things I've never tried before, and see if they work, or if they don't. Nothing that happens in class can take away from who I am, so I want to be daring and stretch myself and not give a damn if I fall on my face. I want to stretch, and I want to see what to hold onto and of what to let go.

  1. Make choices
  2. Rehearse monologue
  3. Stand up when ready
  4. Pick my focus
  5. Introduce myself
  6. Give my monologue
  7. Get feedback
  8. Give my monologue again
  9. Get feedback again

1. Make choices:

I'd done my homework, had it memorized, and knew my choices. I was going to do a relatively new monologue in a scary way. It's a dark piece ("Harold", from Glenn Altermann's 2 Minutes and Under: Character Monologues for Actors Volume 2). I was going to have two separate goals, and two ways of getting them at two different points during the monologues. At first, I wanted to sleep with the girl, and I was penitent and forgiving until I snapped on a phrase. Then I was going to attack her.

2. Rehearse monologue:

Dan Fauci broke us into groups of 3 and we practice our monologues together. I was resistant to this, because I haven't had great "actor-teaching-actor" experiences.

But because of the way Dan had structured the weekend (and without wanting to sound too hokey for folks who haven't experienced either "Leadership & Creativity" or "Into the Abyss"), we were in a whole new place of being able to see stuff in each other, give germane feedback, and be open to take it.

Because of how I do my process, I was the odd man out. I don't rehearse monologues or scenes now in the traditional sense. I bullet through text flat, with no inflection, or I do it slowly (still with no inflection). This is something I learned in voice over, and my current Meisner training has really enforced it.

I also paraphrased my monologue, and had a conversation with my fellow actors. I tried a "whisper exercise" from my Meisner coach.

But I never rehearsed the monologue the way I intended to do it. I didn't want to get a way of doing it stuck in my head.

And my "practice mates" (Corina Calderon and Stacey Glazer) were so supportive of and patient with my practicing my way. I'm grateful.

3. Stand up when ready:

I'm a "go first" kind of guy. So, throughout this weekend, I chose not to go first. I wanted to shove my preparation out of my head and just enjoy the amazing things being done by folks at the front of the room.

So I was nearly last. But when we got to the last handful of actors and no one was standing right away I launched myself over the first row and to the front of the room. I was so ready.

4. Pick my focus:

If I'm allowed, I like to give my monologue to a person, not the one-legged cyclops vying for my attention. I mean, she's hot and all, but ...

So I picked a fellow actor I met this weekend, Irish Petree, and asked, "My I talk with you?"

The language of the request --for me -- is really important. I was asking a favor, and acknowledging the favor she was hopefully going to do for me. And I was initiating a conversation I wanted to have with her. Which is different than trying to orate myself into greatness.

And Irish was a great listener. I've talked to vapid readers before. Not her. Again. Me. Grateful.

5. Introduce myself:

Van Brooks was running the camera. When he asked if I was ready, I said, "Yes", then looked at the feet of the tripod. From my top peripheral vision, I could see him give the "go" sign, and I looked up and, with smile and power, said,
"I am Adam Creighton. This is 'Harold', by Glenn Altermann."
No "Hi, my name is ...". No "I'm doing a piece from ...". Just an acknowledgement of who I am and what this is.

And the looking up keeps the look and smile new and fresh for the slate. I have no idea how any of this looks on camera. Seems to work for me as a person, though.

6. Give my monologue:

I'm a head up, shoulders back, chest out kind of guy. So I started the monologue head down, let all of the air out of my body, slumped my shoulders, and became that guy who desperately wants the girl, and is unsure if he even knows how.

And in my head I heard her words that pull me out of my self loathing and lead me into my first line:
"So, are you bitter?"
And confused, scared, sick, I started:

"Bitter? No. Resentful? Why should I be? I'm free ..."
I don't remember much after that. I remember the rage welling up as I hit the phrase I'd loaded it with ("No doubt about it, I'm definitely different."), and my intention change as I wanted to lunge across the tape line and grab this girl. And me not crossing that tape line. And not even knowing it was a tape line in the moment.

7. Get feedback:

And then applause. Long, generous, surprised, supportive applause from my coaches and fellow actors. And I stood there and took it, and was OK with it. It's hard for me to take acknowledgement, so that's a big deal.

And I knew Dan was going to give me feedback. But rather than turn directly to him after my monologue, I acknowledged my fellow actor's acknowledgement. How rude would it be for me to disregard their kindness?

And Dan gave feedback. And it was spot on. It was encouraging, and I took the notes. There are no negative notes. There are things that are working and things that aren't and how to fix them.

And he asked me to do it again. He asked me to use the rage and purpose from the end of my first run as the start of the second.

8. Give my monologue again:

So I started again, and I took notes from Dan and made corrections while doing the monologue. I never broke the monologue, I never acknowledged the notes outside of the monologue. But I acknowledged them through it.

9. Get feedback again:

Again, generous, generous feedback from my fellow actors and friends. And humbling acknowledgement from my film coach Van.

And additional feedback from Dan. It wasn't about being louder or angrier. It was about me not holding myself back.

Anything I did well is also about something else. A phrase my Meisner coach keeps using:
"You see how great they were? That's because of everyone that went before them."
True, dat ...

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"Into the Abyss" thoughts ...

I want to talk about the "Into the Abyss" workshop, and about what I tried for my monologue, but I keep getting interrupted by other things.

Like remembering two monologues in particular.

And this is not to detract from the other 30 people in the class, and I'm sure this will change depending on my mood, time of day, and further introspection, but I'm currently hit by two people.

Jessica Robertson and Melissa Rentrop. They are just two stunning, authentic, professional, organic people, and that's what comes out in conversations and performances. I'm blessed to have experienced their monologues.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

"Into the Abyss": Day 3

There's a lot to be said about today, and this weekend, but way too much to say easily briefly (or in a way that would do justice).

For now, I'm just enjoying being connected to such amazing, giving, talented human beings.

The other commentary can wait, and it's far secondary, anyway.

Oh, except for this. This is from my "Twitter badge o' the moment", but since the moment changes, I want to give this important thought some more time in the sun:

Twitter Badge from April 22, 2007: Jessica Roberson is one of the bravest actors I know.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Comments to "Networking for actors ..."

I received a number of comments on my "Networking for actors ..." post.

Evidently, I struck a chord with folks, and I've received a bunch of positive (and not negative) Emails. That never happens.

Like this nugget from Peter K. O'Connell, President of audio'connell Voice Over Talent, and a top-notch professional voice actor (Peter gave me permission to reprint his note in its entirety):

Usually, those folks who assume someone "giving" to another business person has an "angle" express such behavior because that indeed is how they think. THEY approach a networking opportunity with their angle and assume that's how everyone does it; that of course, is not true.

These "anglers" are also lousy listeners; networking is about receiving and transmitting in equal parts for both parties. Anglers don't get that. Networking is also about forming lasting relationships (the business kind, not lovey-dovey, mushy-mushy).

Years ago I belonged to a networking/lead generation group called BNI whose premise was "givers gain". While it seemed to fall on deaf ears to many in the group making the chapter I was in not as successful as it might have been (hence the term “premise”), the concept was spot on. Those giving leads, those supporting others in the network would receive leads because people want to do business with and refer business to people they like and trust. To a point, a giver is both likeable and trustworthy.

Finally, supporting again what you've said, asking about the other person a lot in a networking conversation and talking about your business not as much will have a more positive impact on the budding relationship. This is because of your demonstrated selflessness AND the fact that when you DO speak, chances are the other person is more interested in what you have to say and also in actually helping you. By listening, you've formed an early trust, appeared likeable and become someone they want to do business with or refer business to.

The best news is even if an “angler” reads this, it won’t ring true to them. Its not how they’re wired. More leads and better business relationships, then, for the rest of us.

Nice post.

Best always,

As an aside, the reason I don't allow automatic comments on my blogs is because it can be such a can of worms (same reason I don't currently do MySpace). I'm rethinking that, based on recent feedback and dialog I've been getting from folks I like a respect.

Maybe I'll turn comments on and approve or moderate them? We'll see.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Feeling stuck when you're not ...

Each of us in my Meisner class are light years ahead of where we were.

Each of us feel like we're not moving forward.

Lynn, LeVan, Nikki, Mark, Megan, Marcos, Erin, Risa -- you are all amazing and inspiring and beautiful.

And we're all just fine ...

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Monday, March 12, 2007

SXSW 2007: "Pineapple" party ...

I went to the Pineapple party Sunday night.

I suspect the weather kept attendance way down, but it was still a good party.

The music was wicked good, I hung out with great people I know, like "Mr. Whataburger" Adam, and a handful of folks from my Meisner class (Nikki, Risa, and Marcus), touched base with others I hadn't seen for a while (Deana, Van, etc.) and met some new folks (Richard, we will meet again; we will meet again).

Good night, if a bit low-key.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

March is going to rock/suck ... join me ...

Adam Crieghton March 2007 acting and video game calendar
Every year, March is one of my biggest months, and this year, it's going to be a lion.

Here are some of the big events -- try to catch up with me at one or more of them.

STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo:
(March 03)

I'm starting today with STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo.

I'm a comic book guy, really enjoy the freedom and gutsiness of the independents, and am blessed with meeting new people at the event each year.

And this year, an animation panel should prove pretty insightful.

Plus, there are more than 60 exhibitors (many of whom I've met over the years), and the chance to check out some top-notch ongoing talent not normally known the mainstream.

UPDATED: Read my lengthy initial summary here.

Game Developers Conference:
(March 05-09)

No, I'm not going this year, but GDC is a big deal for me each year, both because of my video game propensity, and my voice acting.

This year looks to be a big year, with the now-gen console battle in full swing, and no E3 for developers and publishers to make big announcements. I suspect I'll be blogging a lot.

south by southwest:
(March 09-18)

I'll be doing all three parts of SXSW this year. While I'll be doing the Music Festival for fun, I'll be doing the Interactive and Film Festivals for work -- with the former being a combination of more video game interests and testing the employment waters, and the latter being a combination of work and supporting fellow Biz folks I know.

UPDATED: I forgot to mention the ScreenBurn Festival happening in parallel with SXSW Interactive. ScreenBurn events are March 10-13 and require SXSW Interactive registration, but the ScreenBurn Arcade events (March 10 and 11) are free.

VOICE 2007 Conference:
(March 27-31)

This one's a hopeful maybe (and if I don't go, I solidly lay blame on BigHugeCorp).

VOICE is the big international voice over related conference, and I've got a lot of folks I know (including some past coaches) going this year. We'll see if I can get this one to fit into my March.

So, crazy month. Good crazy. Come be crazy with me.

It's not called being a "working actor" for nothing....

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shockwave ...

(Title refers to the metaphorical application of the seismic phenomenon to life events; not the Transformer.)

Today was one of those wicked hefty kind of days.

It started with me getting to work late, because I was picking up a video game (we all have our priorities).

Then it was a loyalty kick to the head at BigHugeCorp, followed by a Meisner workout that was incredibly effective, and therefore incredibly effectively emotionally draining.

Then there was me being demotivated and going home to play the aforementioned video game (Crackdown), which, I suspect, will become like digital crack, and consume my life.

Finally it was off with a bunch of fellow actors (the beautiful ones) to watch my Meisner coach's film, Pineapple, which addressed real-world crack (among other things). I don't want to trivialize the film at all by saying too much or little about it, but suffice it to say (for now) I think it's an important film. I'll hopefully write more about it sometime this week on my "I'm Seeing ...." blog.

UPDATED: I've posted my thoughts on the film here.

And we talked about the chance to be in on the ground floor of a big Biz opportunity in Central Texas. Something that at the least will be important and have and give meaning, and at the most will send shockwaves throughout the film scene (Austin and beyond).

Shockwaves. Again, the metaphorical application of the seismic phenomenon to life events. Not the Transformer. The bad a$$ Transformer.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Aaron Hallaway rocks ...

Aaron Hallaway is an amazing actor. And he's a buddy of mine.

And he just finished shooting yet another SAG commercial (a restaurant's "Sleeping Beauty").

And he just got adult furniture (not "casting couch" adult, but "grown up" adult).

I think he's on his way.

Kudos to one of the great ones!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Turnabout is fair play ...

A couple of my recent posts about self-promotion have spawned a bunch of conversation locally and via Email, and I've been thinking quite a bit about the topics included in the two posts.

The latter post (about the rough time I've had with holiday cards and gifts this year) was picked up in a post by voice talent Bob Souer, and I noticed Bob's linked to my posts a few times. I've been Emailing about with him and another voice talent, Karen Commins, who noticed Bob's reference to my post, and has also linked to my blog in the past.

And I've been talking with some local actors, after a conversation with one guy about how he doesn't do birthday or holiday cards for professional contacts, because he's concerned about coming across as ingenuous.

Me too.

I admit the whole self-promotion thing is pretty touchy, and I go back and forth as to how much to do, and still remain authentic and true to relationships -- which is important to me.

Even tougher is balancing strong confidence so that it doesn't come off as arrogant. I know who I am. I know I am a worthwhile human being. I know what I do (or what I don't do) does not define my value as a person. That can be very intimidating to some people, and come across as arrogant.

Largely as a result of my conversation with Karen, I thought I'd talk about self promotion and my struggle with it. Maybe this will give you ideas and prompt you to think about it, too.

As a series of caveats, though, understand that while I'm asked regularly to speak to acting and entertainment groups about business and marketing, I start and end with at least three tenets:
  1. The stuff I'm talking about is not a replacement for networking and building relationships.
  2. Don't hide behind business and marketing and neglect your craft and relationships.
  3. Business and marketing should be an extension of your authentic self, not selling something you're not. What good would it do for you to nail a job interview for a position for which you are in no way qualified? That will likely end badly for everyone involved.
Why I struggle...

To be brutally honest, I struggle with my personal promotion because I'm trying to avoid the three extremes in self-promotion toward which I see most actors tend:

  1. Self-aggrandizement (arguably the smallest group, especially among the genuinely "good" actors)
  2. Hiding behind marketing and promotion, and not networking, connecting, and building personal craft (a larger group)
  3. Laziness (honestly, the biggest group; seriously, if you've auditioned for BigNameCastingDirector once, and haven't for 1.5 years, your excuse for not sending her an occasional postcard, birthday or holiday card is what, exactly?)

For the first group, read Karen's "5 Thoughts About Self-Promotion in Social Settings" -- speaking for myself, I don't want to be "that guy".

In the interest of full disclosure, Group 2 is where I struggle.

Right now, there are a whole bunch of people in Group 3 that are probably upset with me, while at the same time convinced I'm not talking about them.

I'm glad I had so much trouble this year...

This year's card/gift troubles were good for me. I'm thankful for them, because they helped
me prioritize my contacts list into "important", "less important", and "drop" categories (obviously I'm not categorizing the people, just the amount of effort I spend to stay in touch with them). And, as Bob mentions, it shows me I'm "gaining some needed health in this [being too careful] area."

Who I hit up...

I have two general groups of industry contacts related to acting:

  1. "Acting" -- This bucket includes Directors, agents, fellow actors, select crew, Casting Directors, writers, producers, studios, and other Biz folks.
  2. "Video Game" -- This bucket includes folks related to this more specific voice acting opportunity. At the same time, these contacts are of a more general interest for me, because I enjoy playing games recereationally (and like to say "thanks"). I also have my "arcmchair industry analyst" video game blog). Finally, because my toy job is in managing technical development folks, I have a broader interest in the gaming industry that spans the creative, technical, and leadership areas of that idustry, in case I ever choose to jump vertical markets.

I send postcards to my contacts every couple of months throughout the year, largely for "non-standard" reasons (think "Groundhog Day"; "4,000 people read my blog last month. Were you one of them?"; retro-esque "Be my Valentine" cards; etc.). I do birthday or other gifts for appropriate Biz folks (long-term relationships, not just "I took a class"), but not for people I haven't met but solely just want to stay on their radar; that seems gratuitous to me.

What am I trying to do?

I believe I was made for acting, and I've reached a point where I don't know what to do, other than pursue it with my all, damn the cost or outcome (within reason). This plays out in how much work I put into marketing. And it's a lot of work.

Make no mistake, a big part of what I do is because I do want to "stay on people's radar". I'm an actor, and I want to be acting all the time. I am trying to create opportunities all of the time.

But I try to make the communications/gifts/contact effort fun for me too, and I'm learning to more quickly change my course and do something simple if it gets too onerous.

I've got one Casting Director who loves my custom-made thank you cards for auditions. I have sometimes made myself nuts trying to come up with something creative, sometimes at the expense of genuinely more important things. I'm getting better about sending "regular" thank you cards to her (still with my headshot and contact info), and balancing that with not becoming lazy (Group 3), which would cause me to always send vanilla cards. And it makes my creative cards more special, more appreciated.

Holiday gifts, in particular, are a chance to do something creative and show industry folks a little about me, and show them I'm listening to them, too. And have fun all the while.

Here are my general criteria for industry gifts:

  1. Unique
  2. Useful
  3. "Adam-branded"

So my gifts can contain something that seems a little kitschy or schlocky, but is totally usable, very memorable, playfully self-promoting, and a pain in the ass to regift. I take twisted pleasure in that last one.

A marketing example...

Some might argue against the judgement of my sharing this, but here's a specific example.

My last year Christmas gift for select Biz folks (many of whom I knew were coincidently all going to cold-weather climes for the holidays) was a sweatshirt with a bunch of caricatured pictures of my face across the back, my Website address, and the words, "The many faces of Adam Creighton". The note (unique to each recipient) that came with the sweatshirt was a version of, "Yeah, pretty narcissistic of me, huh? Glad I'm not like this in real life. Good luck re-gifting this one."

I designed and printed the shirts, which minimized costs and increased personal investment (and therefore object worth), taught myself some new stuff, and had fun.

And the shirts were topics of conversations during December and January industry mixers and parties.

Set yourself apart...

I make all of my own stuff. That way, if anyone sees two of the same thing, it's because it came from me; not Hallmark. But I'm a perfectionist, so my stuff generally looks like it's professional -- which is an extension of me.

Think you're not creative? You're wrong. And if you're stuck thinking you can't do the kinds of stuff I'm talking about, I'm pretty sure you know someone who hasn't fooled themselves into thinking they can't do this stuff. Barter with them. Trade something you can do for something they can do.

Or you can take advantage of professional services (I've had good luck in other contexts with and

And figure out what works for you. What does being hungry for the Biz look like for you? How does hustling for gigs play out for you?

Turnabout is fair play...

You'll notice I've added links to Bob Souer's and Karen Commins's blogs in my blogroll. This isn't one of those "they reference me, so I'll reference them" listings that seems to plague a lot of blogrolls.

I think these two voice actors have great stuff that I can benefit from, and you may be able to, also. Like with any of my blogs, I've asked their permission to add them to my listing. Check out there sites. They've got good stuff.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm inspired by James Kyson Lee ...

I'm a fan of NBC's TV series "Heroes", and one of my favorite relationships (most entertaining and feels most organic to me) is that between Hiro Nakamura (actor Masi Oka) and Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee).

I met James on the set of Bunny & Clydo. Turns out, that was one of nine projects he did for 2005.

And he's done 26 for 2006. Um, twenty-freaking-six.

How amazing is that?

So I'm encouraged and inspired by how hard working this guy is. I don't have a relationship with him, but I'm seriously grateful to him for giving me another example of a successful work ethic that motivates me to keep my backside in gear.

Check out his official site, and just read through his "News" section -- it's full of "James will be shooting ...", "James is the new voice of ...", "James will be featured ...", "James will be shooting a commercial for ...", and so on, over and over again.

Fantastic, and good for him ...

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"The Torture Room"

I did a cool little piece tonight for a film called The Torture Room, by now-local film auteur Robert Hebert.

It's an Outer Limits-esque short, which had a lot of voice work from me, and was a low-pressure, fun project of which to be a part.

In acting, I want to do the projects I want to do, with the people with whom I want to work. It was cool to meet someone new who fits the bill.

And getting the gig was one of those "semi-Hollywood-esque" kind of things. But the version I like.

I met talented actress and singer Julia LaShae (also in the film) while taking Will Wallace's acting workshop (twice). She had my demo CD laying out, and Rob saw it, and asked about me.

Julia said some very kind things about my being one of like 3 people that stayed to support remaining actors when Will's workshop went late and he gave folks the option to bail. (Hey, I'm sure folks had good reasons to leave; and I might next time.)

Rob said he thought I might be the kind of the guy with whom he'd like to work.

The "kind of guy" he'd like to work with. On top of my voice demo and resume.

How cool is that?

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Breakfast for a working actor

Today, it's coffee and Cap'n Crunch Crunch Berries.

Earlier last week at the grocery store, I had a weird sentimental urge to pick up a box of this stuff.

Y'know, last time I ate this, the berries were only red. Now they're red, blue, purple, and green. Not that they taste any different.

I wonder if Samuel L. Jackson ever eats Crunch Berries?
"I am tired, of these motherf***ing green berries, on my
motherf***ing spoon!"

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's almost like not working ...

Things like this every once in a while are really nice.

Tonight I shot an industrial for Centex Destination Properties out at Horseshoe Bay, a resort built against constant-level Lake LBJ.

This place was gorgeous (probably still is, but I'm not there now). I got paid to tool around a golf cart on the Slick Rock Course, trying not to dump my super-sexy co-star Angela Rawna and our cart off of a water fall.

Got paid ... to not ... jump a cart off a waterfall ... at a resort.

Kinda surreal. Good surreal, not bad surreal (bad surreal is that dream where I'm "accidently" getting kissed by a sexy nurse who turns into a guy cousin of mine I haven't seen for 15 years).

Sure, I had to schlepp an hour and a half each way, and there's probably political capital burned at work for my leaving early at the end of BigHugeCorp's fiscal year, but like I'm going to complain?

Anyhoo, good gig, and the production crew (including amazing makeup maven Pamela) was tight -- super professional and talented and an incredible blast. I'm seriously bummed they're located in North Carolina, because I will travel to work with people like that.

And the amazing Katherine Willis was there, too, but her gig was after ours. On a 24-foot boat. I'd say she's a jerk but she earned it; I am seriously impressed with that chica.

Feeling good tonight. Kinda takes the bad taste of last night's Meisner class out of my mouth ...

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rachel Leigh Cook voice over video

Continuing from yesterday's post about voice acting and video games, from over at, here's a brief snippet of Rachel Leigh Cook doing voice over for the upcoming Yakuza PlayStation2 game. She's actually done a bit of voice work, including fan-favorites Final Fantasy and Batman Beyond.

(UPDATED: Found out there are a bunch of voice session video for Yakuza, so I've added it. Mark Hamill and Michael Madsen are my heroes. Good stuff.)

Mark Hamill:

Michael Madsen:

Michael Rosenbaum:

Eliza Dushku:

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Interviews on the video game voice over front

If, like me, you're into voice acting for video games, GameInformer Unlimited has three new interviews:
  • Lev Chapelsky (the luminary behind Blindlight)
  • Cam Clarke (voice actor behind The Tick's Die Fledermaus, Akira's Kaneda, and Metal Gear Solid's Liquid Snake, and more)
  • Jennifer Hale (voice actor behind Metal Gear Solid II, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty ("except on the original films"), Jonny Quest, Iron Man, and more)
The Chapelsky interview is new, and different from one done some time ago in the print magazine. And all three are the full interviews -- not what's in the print mag.

To get to these articles, you need to be a subscriber to the mag, with the easiest (and cheapest) way being to get a GameStop Value card. Ten bucks gets you 10 issues, extra trade in value, and other goodies; if you're a gamer, why wouldn't you? Seriously, this is one of the better gamer pubs out there.

Also, here are the links to the above folks' official sites:

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Links to a buddy's headshots

I've got an acting buddy, Richard Ricks, who is really talented, and a really good guy to boot.

He's kind of my John C. Reilly.

Anyway. I was just checking out his recent headshot and creative photos, and they're cool enough to share (and I have his permission).

Check them out!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Aaron Hallaway just booked a SAG National commercial!

My buddy Aaron Hallaway just booked a SAG National commercial!

The dude is seriously talented, and I'm so stoked one of my buddies is getting recognition in a real, multi-tangible way.

Kudos to one of the good ones!

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Adam Creighton: Headshot

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