A Conversation with ElleQ Casting

Happy Saturday Peeps!

I'm sitting in Starbucks trying to keep up with blogging about the various industry events I attend. I just attended a Casting Director workshop today with the founder of ElleQ casting, LaQuanda Plantt. She preferred a conversation style session so you'll notice some students throughout the notes giving resources that they've used.

How do I get an Agent?

You need work! So many actors are quick to want to submit to agents but have no body of work. Getting those student film and indies are important to create a body of work. It is your interview process just like a job.

Where do you release your breakdowns?

I release to my Facebook group for about a day or two then I send it out to agents on breakdown services. I like to give my database the opportunity first. I do a lot of indies so sometimes agents don't want to deal with those types of low budget projects.

What can a starting actor do when CD's don't want to talk to me and want to only go through agents and then agents say they need a reel from me to be represented?

Network with other actors. You can help each other whether its creating projects, telling each other about auditions coming up, or sharing information about resources. Also the art Institute has a database where you can sign up for audition notifications for senior projects. Don't be afraid of low budget and indie projects. 

Your network is your Net worth.

How can I get a reel?

Students: A studio called Blackflight studios will write your scene for you. All you have to bring is the scene partner and they will film and edit. DFAS also has a reel work class for 9 weeks to help you build a reel. 

ElleQ: Remember don't use self-tapes or audition clips to build your reel

Are monologues good to submit to agents?

No. Now if you are submitting to a casting director and they specifically asked for a monologue then follow those directions. Remember to get involved in good acting studios that have showcases at the end such as the Actor Scene. Many agents & casting directors attend these showcases and get binders with your information along with being able to see you work.

Should I blend my theater and film clips?

No these should be completely separate. If you have a special skill such as singing I would also have those in a separate reel or clip if its just showcasing that skill.

I go to auditions and see a line of people that look like me, how do I stand out?

Your performance is what's going to get you that part. Those people look and dressed like you because we asked them to. Be your self and bring you to that role. Once you leave the audition, let it go. If you didn't get it, it wasn't your part, it might not even be your season yet.

Should I put my special skills on Actor's Access?

Sure, I think that's a great move and can't hurt. Make sure you also know your type. That comes with training and being familiar with yourself. Chose those monologues you use that can showcase your personality well.

What's your thoughts on character headshots?

Every casting director may ask for something different but I think its a waste of money. I've never received a character headshot in my 10 years casting. Sure if someone has done a role before that I'm asking for they might submit a photo of them in that uniform but a specific headshot for that, no.

Do you watch the whole reel?

I don't need to watch 2-3 minutes to see what I'm looking for. That's why you put your strongest material first. I know within the first few seconds that either you got it or you don't. 

Within this meeting we also lined up to show our headshots and she quickly critiqued how they could improve and kept them. In addition we also did improv scenes with emotional roller coaster. She teamed us in groups to improv a scene and she threw out one or two emotions for a few characters and we would implement that on the spot. It was a fun workshop and look forward to working with her soon!