Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Headshot Fire & Actors Festival, New York

Photo by Guler Ugur.

Actors Festival

The Actors Festival is an annual event sponsored by Backstage Magazine held at the Marriott Hotel on Broadway. Rows of tables offer various services to actors. It was free. There was also some industry panel discussions for $25, most were casting directors saying don't call us, we'll call you. The acting business has got to be the only profession with 95% unemployment in which many industries and individuals make quite a substantial living from hopeful individuals who believe they should be superstars. A sample of services offered at the Festival: photographers, photo and lab services, rehearsal spaces, religious organizations, speech teachers, voice over teachers, web design hosting, health services, fitness clubs, demo reels, dance schools, colleges, career consultants, audition services, agents, the labor unions, make up artists, casting directors, Dianetics & Scientology, temporary employment agencies, two churches and two dentists all designing their work to fit the actor.

“Do you want to look younger?”

Both dentists took one look at me and said they would make my two front teeth longer, (like a rabbit?). Apparently, my teeth are too straight across. The new fashion is long in front, like Julia Roberts. One dentist said it would make me look younger. When I asked the best way to keep my teeth white, Dentist A said, white is overrated, Dentist B said, drink tea through a straw.

Talk Like A Kiwi
The speech therapist offered me a free consultation, which I took. He was wonderful with photos of many stars in his office. He said most of his clients would kill for how little work they need to do on their speech, and mine is almost perfect. However, I don’t pronounce my “th’s well enough, (sometimes they sound like “d”, which could be useful if I want to play a thug.) He said he could get me talking like a Kiwi in a week. Tempting. But wouldn’t my speech, especially my “th’s” change dramatically with my new rabbit teeth?

Dianetics is for you!

The scientology couple, a white man and a white woman, gave me a stress test where I held on to two metal cylinders hooked up to a box with a red needle that jumped when I thought of my mother or daughter. It went off the chart when I thought about money. The monitor lady gravely said, “what are you thinking about?” Money! I said. “Are you stressed about money?” I said I just found out it would cost me $10,000 to have my perfect straight teeth longer to make me younger which will change my speech pattern.

Every table had free candy and a raffle, which is a way to get your name, address and email for future marketing. I asked Dentist A what he thought about all the sugar on all the tables. He said, “It’s great.”

Two Weeks Later

Still no word from the two temp agencies I signed up with until today. One called and informed me of an open house they will be having (more sugar?) in two weeks. I would like to work now I said. Sorry, we are only seeing people at our open house.

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