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Helpful Web Sites, Online Services & Other Resources for Actors


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There are many services, resources and information available for actors. Being able to sort through and evaluate what is legitmate, what is professional and what is worth your time, attention and maybe even dollars is critical. Remember, it's buyer beware in any free marketplace. You must perform "due diligence" before pushing any "purchase" button on any Web site for any service. That's part of your job in the business of acting.

Here are some Web sites and service providers we love, not just because of the people connected to them, but, more importantly, because of the value they provide in service to your career journey.

Be sure to check this site frequently for relevant updates, news and information about topics covered in this book and revisions to these listings. If you discover new resources that we haven't included that you would like to share with other actors, please let us know.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences:
The official information and resource Web site for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organization behind the Academy Awards and other programs and services for actors, including an impressive and respected research library open to the public on a limited schedule.
Academy Players Directory:
The Web site for the Academy Players Directory, a publication begun by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 1937, that is one of the industry's top directory listing and contact information resources on actors for casting directors, producers and other professionals.
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:
The official information and resource Web site for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the organization behind the Emmy Awards and other programs and services for actors.
Acting Answers:
Questions about the business of acting abound and actors of all levels can find easy answers on a terrfic website operated and written by prolific character actor David H. Lawrence XVII. If you thought his work on "Heroes" was great, wait until you check out the advice he serves up on this insightful site.
Acting Coaches and Acting Classes:
(Click here to download a printer-friendly copy of this listing)

Acting coach Jeremiah Comey offers top-notch, ongoing classes, in Los Angeles, in acting for the camera. This is must-have training for the actor with studies, training and/or credits in live theatre who is seeking to become competitive in television, film and commercials. For information, call (818) 248-4104.
Prolific casting director Michael Donovan offers what is arguably the best commercial class in Los Angeles. His One Day Commercial Intensive covers everything from attitude in slating to conquering even the often-dreaded one-line commercial audition. Michael's classes are always small and limited in class size to maximize on-camera time for every student. For more information and class session dates, call (323) 876-9020. Be sure to mention that you were referred by The Business of Acting Web site to receive a discount off of the class price. Mr. Donovan offers his perspective on the business of acting and offers tips to actors on how to give an audition that can empower a career in a four-part interview with Brad Lemack on the Web TV series Inside the Business of Acting.
Veteran character actor Basil Hoffman, who is also author of the book Acting and How to Be Good At It and Acting and How to Be Good At It: The Second Edition (Ingenuity Press USA), offers private and group coaching and cold reading training in the Los Angeles area. For information, contact him by e-mail at BasilHoffman@BasilHoffman.com or by telephone at (818) 247-0302. Mr. Hoffman talks about his career journey, turning points and the lessons learned along the way in a four-part interview with Brad Lemack for the Web TV series Inside The Business of Acting.
Brian Reise Acting Studios, in Hollywood, offers a variety of good classes for actors at all levels. For information, call (323) 874-5593.
Prominent Los Angeles television and film casting director Merri Sugarman has relocated to New York City and that's a great move for New York-based actors. Merri is offering personal coaching for auditions and career enhancement. For information, call (646) 284-5482.

Former agent and casting director Craig Wallace offers his unique approach to the audition process through his Wallace Audition Technique classes. For information, visit WallaceAuditionTechnique.com or call (323) 960-7852.

Actors Access: Breakdown Services has leveled the playing field for actors with Actors Access. You can learn about a wide variety of projects whose casting directors want submissions directly from actors. Not having agency or management representation has never been less of an issue for the empowered actor who learns how to utilize tools like this to benefit their careers.
Actors Equity Association:
The official Web site for the union of American theatrical actors and stage managers. They can also be contacted by telephone. Their New York office number is (212) 869-8530. The number for their Los Angeles headquarters is (323) 634-1750.
The Actor's Journey Project :
Former child actor Stanley Livingston, who along with his brother, Barry, co-starred in the long-running television series "My Three Sons," is now a successful producer and director with a passion for helping actors of all ages learn about strategies for launching and persuring successful careers in the business of acting. The Actor's Journey is a series of important and informative DVDs that should be a part of any working (or wanting-to-become-a-working) actor's library of resouces.
ACTRA:
The official website for the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. The Alliance's Apprentice Membership Program is a valuable way into the organization for new-to-the-business Canadian-based artists.
AGMA:
The website for the American Guild of Musical Artists.
AGVA:
The official website for the American Guild of Variety Artists.
Back Stage:
The website for Back Stage, the, weekly hard copy newspaper for actors, is loaded with resouces that can benefit an actor at all stages of their career. For $9.95 per month, you get access to news, casting information and other resources on both coasts. You can also purchase subscriptions to the weekly print edition on the site.
Bios:
Chapter 8 in The New Business of Acting gives you all the information you need to get started on creating your professional actor’s biography. Whether for use on your own website or for publication in the program for a theatre production you appear in, a great work-in-progress bio is an important tool to have, to use and to help market your brand.

Suggestions for the format of your bio are contained in the chapter “An Actor’s Resume and Bio: Create Critical Work-in-Progress Tools that Define Your Unique Brand and Your Potential.” Click on the images below of three actors I love to download three examples of bios of I like that can serve as templates for you to adapt for your own use:

Ken Weingart Photography

Ken has a unique style that may appeal to you as you research head shot photographers. You can check out his work at EdgyHeadShots.com. Ken’s rates are very competitive and, better yet, if you tell him that you were referred to him from The Business of Acting website, he will give you an exclusive offer for us of a ten percent discount.

Book Soup:
The website for Book Soup, an independent book store in Los Angeles the specializes in books about art and film. They can also be contacted by telephone at (310) 659-3110 or (800) 764-BOOK.
Breakdown Services, Ltd:
The website for Breakdown Services, Ltd., the subscription casting information service for agents and managers. Actors can get limited free access to some casting opportunities approved for release by a project's casting director through the company's ActorsAccess.com (see above).
California Department of Industral Relations:
The official website for the State of California's Department of Industrial Relations. Public records about decisions on cases presented to the Commission involving talent agency or manager vs. artist (or artist vs. talent agency or manager) disputes are available for readind and reviewing.

Campbell Darkroom
Hillary Campbell has captured some terrific images of some of my clients that have resulted in that special “pop” that gets them noticed. Check out her Website for additional details and if you contact her, be sure to mention that you found her on The Business of Acting Website.

Canadian Actors Equity Association:
The official website for professional artists in Canada.
Casting Networks:
Casting Networks operates L.A. Casting (see below), New York Casting and San Francisco Casting, three terrific resources for the smart, empowered actor to utilize for self-submissions on a wide variety of projects.
The Casting Frontier:
The newest addition to online casting and submission services for actors and industry professionals is The Casting Frontier, which has entered the Los Angeles market alongside competitor L.A. Casting. Both services are in active use by agents, managers and casting directors, primarily for commercial work, and both services rely on the pro-active, interactive participation of actors in the casting process to keep their profiles, photos and resumes current.
Drama Book Shop:
The website for this New York City book store specializing in books and resource materials on all aspects of the performing arts is a terrific resource, whether you live in New York or visit them online. They can also be reached by telephone at (212) 730-8739 or (800) 322-0595.
Equity/United Kingdom:
The website for professional performers and other creative artists in the UK.
Facebook:
Both The Business of Acting and The New Business of Acting have their own Facebook pages. Join the conversation!

Head Shots:
Chapter 3 in The New Business of Acting is all about the art of the head shot: how to seek out the best photo artist to take your pictures, what to do with them after you have them and how to root the creation and launch of your brand in the images chosen to establish you and your career.

“The Art of the Head Shot” is more than just about having your pictures taken. It’s about knowing how to get the most out the experience in ways that serve your wallet and your career needs.

What makes a really great head shot? Chapter 3 offers up lots of information on that. But a picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes, so let me share with you some head shots that two of my clients are currently using that I really like and tell you why I find them so appealing.

The Hollywood Reporter:
The website for the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter. There is limited free access. For a fee of $27.95 per month (or $299 a year), you gain full access. Information is also available on their site about print subscriptions.
Income Tax Advice & Services:
San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles)-based Christopher Debbini, CPA, offers tax preparation and financial services for actors and others. For information and fees, call (818) 986-1040.
Internet Broadway Database (IBDB.com):
This information-packed Web site for searching and researching Broadway productions and individual credits, and it's sister site (see reference below) IMDb.com (for searching and researching television and film productions and individual credit information), are two sites all actors should bookmark for quick and frequent reference. Both sites are terrific, reliable, go-to resources for credits and background information on productions, actors, producers, directors, casting directors and others.
Internet Movie Database (IMDb):
This information-packed Web site for searching and researching television productions and individual credits, and it's sister site (see reference above) IBDB.com (for searching and researching Broadway productions and individual credit information), are two sites all actors should bookmark for quick and frequent reference. Both sites are terrific, reliable, go-to resources for credits and background information on productions, actors, producers, directors, casting directors and others.
"Inside the Business of Acting":
Our Web TV series, "Inside the Business of Acting," hosted by Brad Lemack, is presented and is available on-demad by the Virtual Channel Network (see below). The inightful series features conversations with sucessful, "working" actors and other industry professionals talking about their career journeys, turning points and the lessons learned along the way, all intended to help empower a global audience of (young) actors in the journeys of their own careers. New episodes are added every week. Highlights include conversations with: Emmy Award-winning actress Jackee Harry ("227"), Tony and Emmy Award winner Hal Linden ("Barney Miller"), Tony and Emmy-nominated actress Bonnie Franklin ("One Day at a Time"), actor and acting coach Henry Polic II ("Webster"), actor, acting coach and author Basil Hoffman ("Acting and How to Be Good at It"), actress, solo performance artist and writer Sandra Tsing Loh ("Mother on Fire"), Breakdown Services and Actors Access founder and president Gary Marsh, CSA award-winnng casting director Michael Donovan, actress Kate Linder (“The Young and the Restless”).

"Inside the Business of Acting" - Resources from the Web TV series:
Jeremiah Comey, Los Angeles-based acting coach and author of The Art of Film Acting.
Michael Donovan, Los Angeles-based casting director
Bonnie Franklin, actress and founder of the Los Angeles-based CCAP (Classic and Contemporary American Plays)
Basil Hoffman, Los Angeles-based acting and cold reading coach and author of Acting and How to Be Good At It.
Sandra Tsing Loh, Los Angeles-based actress, writer, solo performance artist and social activist.
Gary Marsh, Founder and President of Breakdown Services, Actors Acess and Virtual Channel Network.
Karen Kaufman Wilson, Founder and President of FirstFilmJob.com.
IRS:
Like it or not, when we earn money we're expected to pay taxes on it -- and that's were fiscal fitness in the business of acting is crucial. Check out the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center on the Internal Revenue Service website for information on the forms you will and the requirements that must be met to claim "Independent Contractor," "Employee" or "Schedule C" status.
Robert Kazandjian Photography:
Robert's official website where you will find examples of his work and information about his head shot sessions. Los Angeles-based, he can also be reached by telephone at (818) 249-4495.
L.A. Casting:
L.A. Casting has become the prominent online service for commercial agents for the electronic submission of their clients to commercial casting directors. But they are not alone. The entry into the casting submssion marketplace by The Casting Frontier, in 2009, has served to ramp up the opportunities available to actors through both sites, which is good news. L.A. Casting, like The Casting Frontier, offers a wealth of information and resources for actors, both those who are represented and especially those who are not, including the ability to self-submit yourself of a wide variety of projects that are listed every day.
Larry Edmunds Bookshop:
This Hollywood book store specializes in performing arts and related books, as well as resource publications for actors and show business memorabilia. Their telephone number is (323) 463-3273.
Michael Lamont Photography:
Michael is a Los Angeles-based head shot and production photographer. He can be reached by telephone at (818) 506-0285. Examples of his work can be found on his website at MichaelLamont.com.
Logo Merchandise:
The New Businesss of Acting logo "merch" can spend your day with you! Start your morning coffee with us, hang out in your logo T-shirt, keep all of your Action Plan materials in our durable canvas bag and dress to the "nines" for a audition with our logo neck tie!
MapQuest.com:
GPS lacking? This enormously helpful website will give you easy-to-follow directions from anywhere to any audition or any other place you have to be. Even if you think you know your way around town, this site is worth visiting and bookmarking.
Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance/Australia:
The website for the people who "inform and entertain Australia."
Kathleen Noone:
The Web site for the L.A.-based award-winning actress who offers emotional coaching and counseling for actors.
Pilates Training:
Mark A. Saucedo is a Los Angeles-based certified Pilates trainer who offers private sessions at a Pasadena, California studio facility. For information, call (323) 574-3600 or visit his Website.
RerunIt.com:
If "classic" television shows like "I Love Lucy," "The Brady Bunch," "The Jeffersons," "Star Trek," "Lost in Space," "Green Acres" and hundreds of others interests you, you won't want to miss an opportunity to view interviews clips with many of the stars of these series talking about their roles, the impact of their work on American pop culture and how their success impacted their lives. RerunIt.com, created and hosted by Brad Lemack, offers a terrific and entertaining perspective on the business of acting from a different angle.

Resumes:
Chapter 8 in "The New Business of Acting" gives you the low down on how to create a killer resume to slap onto the back of your hard copy photos (when you need them), but more regularly, how to put together a great resume that serves both your career and your brand when viewed on the self-submission website services through profiles that you create for yourself.

The book gives you the hard facts about truth in resumes. Read it and, I urge you, please heed it, in service to the truth of how you are perceived and how your potential shines thorough the document you create.

After reading “An Actor’s Resume and Bio: Create Critical Work-in-Progress Tools that Define Your Unique Brand and Your Potential,” you will be ready to understand the hows and whys of resume creation for success in the new business of acting.

I have selected the resumes of four actors I love to serve as examples of how to construct or rebuild yours. Consider using or adapting the format you will see in these examples for your own resume, using the guidelines and resume rules discussed in Chapter 8:

SAG-AFTRA:
In late March 2012, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists merged in one union, now known as SAG-AFTRA. The merger was voted in by a majority of the members of both the former-SAG and former-AFTRA and stands on a platform to represent all artists and performers through a stronger, unified organization. For information on membership requirements and benefits, please reference both chapter 7 in The New Business of Acting (“Union and Actors”) and the SAG-AFTRA Merger Book Update page on our website and/or visit SAGAFTRA.org.
Samuel French, Inc.:
This book store chain has a long history of offering books, plays, monologues, audition materials and other resources for actors. Visit one of their shops in-person or visit them online. They can also be reached by telephone in Los Angeles at (323) 876-0570; in New York at (212) 206-8990; or in Toronto at (416) 363-3536.
Variety and Daily Variety:
The website for the trade papers Daily Variety and Variety. There is limited free access for non-subscribers. Full access is free with a paid subscription to the hard copy edition. Subscription information is available on their site.
Virtual Channel Network:
A free service of Breakdown Services and ActorsAccess.com, this innovative Web TV network features programming by the industry for the industry -- and where you can watch Inside the Business of Acting, our new Web TV series specifically for actors, hosted by Brad Lemack, featuring one-on-one interviews with industry leaders and successful, working actors talking about their individual career journeys, turning points and lessons learned along the way.
Women in Film:
The official information and resource Web site for Women in Film.
   
  These listings are provided for your information only. Their inclusion in this listing does not imply nor is it intended as an endorsement of or responsibility for the quality of the goods or services offered by the organizations, individuals or companies listed. The contact information was verified as accurate as of the book's publication date.