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Greetings everyone! 2015 has been zipping by with all sorts of exciting news, projects, and creative collaborations. The Actor's Center Of Asheville continue's to make several upgrades to our space. We've also collectively been producing plays, making films, and booking some excellent work! We couldn't be prouder of our students for all the hard work they've been putting towards auditions, bookings and projects this year.

We appreciate all the love and support our community has shown us as we continue to multiply. We have had a great year so far, and we'd like to remind you that as The Actor's Center Of Asheville continues to grow, we ask for you help in expansion by continuing to spread the good word to other actors (or potential actors), that you think might be looking for a serious "gym" to work those acting muscles, and bring their craft to the next level! Speaking of our affectionate acting community, we also want to send a special congratulations out to long time taca student, Miles Moore for booking his first BROADWAY PRODUCTION in the national tour of A Christmas Story! Way to go Miles! Miles and his mom Maggie are in New York City as we speak for rehearsals before hitting the road at the end of this month. Check out their tour route to see if the show is coming to a city near you this season! We would also like to congratulate all of our extraordinary actors for all the great work they've booked but haven't been able to officially announce yet. Just goes to show that hard work pays off! Keep it up!
In this edition of our newsletter, as always, we will give props to our bookers and signers, & we'll point your attention to some great events we have coming up this fall. We also will lend some pro advice for actors, from Robert Di Nero, in addition to sharing an article about creating your own short, feature films, pilots etc. There will be a few stories of inspiration and some great apps for actors from across the web. We hope you will enjoy!

LB Brown
Scream Queens, FOX, & an undisclosed AMC Original Series.
Jeff Alexander
Nascar Commercial, & Asheville Tourism Commercial
Marisa Blake
Signed with Bold Talent Agency
Robert Walker
Signed with Bold Talent Agency, played Serge in ART (A play by Yasmina Reza), played Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire(ACT).
Russ Tiller
Mercy Street(PBS)
Aislin Freya Pax
SAG Coca-Cola Commercial, TBS Original TV Series
Dan Clancy
Marc in ART (A Play By Yasmina Reza at 35Below), Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire(ACT)
Dave McDonald
Inspectors(CBS), Print work for Hanes, Dow Chemical Commercial, Asheville Tourism Commercial
Reginald Heinitsh III
Signed with Houghton Agency
Deborah Lonon
Signed with Bold Talent Agency, & Harris Teeter Commercial
Jessica Robin Riley
Booked Oxygen's, Snapped
John Cantley
Booked CW's, The Originals
Miles Moore
Feature film, Hot Summer Nights, & The National Broadway Musical Tour of A Christmas Story.
Timothy Luke Johnson
Featured in music video for local pop-rock band, Posh Hammer & The Machine Project short film, Still Life.
Jason Davis
(TACA Guest Instructor)

The Inspectors(CBS), Concussion(Feature Film), Max (Feature Film), undisclosed AMC Original Series, undisclosed Cinemax Original Series
Kevin Patrick Murphy
(TACA Instructor & Owner)

The Inspectors(CBS), Mercy Street(PBS), Chasing Grace, undisclosed Cinemax Original Series, Yvan in ART (A play by Yasmina Reza at 35Below)

While there is never a shortage of things to do on the weekend, we hope you'll choose these events with us for November!

We are honored to announce the

at The Black Mountain Center For The Arts this Nov!

We are psyched that The Black Mountain Center For The Arts has kindly asked us to kick off their season with an Encore Presentation of, ART this November! If you missed it during it's run at 35Below in Asheville, or if you loved it and want to see it again, we hope you'll help us in filling those seats on Nov.5th, 6th, or 7th in Black Mountain, NC!

A Play By Yasmina Reza; Translated by Christopher Hampton
Produced by The Actor's Center of Asheville, NC
Directed by Lyn Nihart

Three old friends, and the challenging piece of artwork that tests the strength of their friendship.

Winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play and the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. “…wildly funny, naughtily provocative…” —NY Post.

This production stars Kevin Patrick Murphy, Dan Clancy, and Robert Dale Walker

Presented in partnership with
Black Mountain Front Porch Theatre at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

November, 5th, 6th & 7th 2015
Doors at 7pm, Show at 7:30 pm
Get your tickets in advance!


(Pictured above: Kevin Patrick Murphy, Dan Clancy, & Robert Dale Walker in 35Below presentation of, ART this past September)
Purchase Tickets For ART


We need your help promoting this show! Feel free to post and promote our show with the flyer below. You're also welcome to stop by The Actors Center Of Asheville to pick up physical posters or Flyers to spread all over your side of town, or email your mailing address to Every little bit helps, Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, whatever your social media platform of choice is, your support is greatly appreciated to help us get some butts in these seats for Nov.5th, 6th, & 7th! Also, here are some links you can use on your social media outlets if needed:
Standard Link:
Short Link:
Custom Link:
Custom Short Link:
Also, you can click one of the icons below to share the ART tickets link and info!


Although she hails from Long Island, NY, Jen Ingulli has spent most of her professional years in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. Graduating from James Madison University with a degree in Arts Management, Jen launched her casting career in Wilmington, NC. After getting to know many of the actors in the east, she then spent a year and a half in Los Angeles, working in both casting and management. Jen has had the pleasure of working with both Fincannon & Associates, & Arvold Casting. Jen has had the privilege of working on many great projects, including Homeland, The Walking Dead, TURN: Washington's Spies, Halt & Catch Fire, Rectify, Under The Dome, Identity Thief, The Following, & Star Crossed.
Currently she is focused on teaching workshops where she hopes to demystify the casting process for TV & film. Jen will be visiting The Actor's Center Of Asheville In November to work with our students exclusively! So if you're a current taca student or client and interested in taking this workshop, contact Jen Ingulli to reserve your spot by Nov.1st!


Word to the wise...the godfather knows best.


de niro

Only someone like Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro can tell a pack of new NYU graduates that they are “fucked” at their graduation ceremony, and that, too, to a thunderous applause. The actor who was at the Tisch School Of The Arts presenting the commencement speech gave the audience an honest, no-nonsense reality check, saying that securing their arts degree has brought them nowhere close to landing a paying job. De Niro told the new graduates that they had just opened a new door of rejection. “Rejection is inevitable in the real world,” he said. “But you need to understand that it is not about you. It is just not personal.” The light-hearted, yet thoughtful, speech included the best advice we all wished someone told us when we started off pursuing our careers in the arts. De Niro spoke about the importance of hard work and maintaining the same level of commitment for every part, however big or small, you may take up.

From his performances in films like Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Godfather II, Goodfellas and Silver Linings Playbook, it is obvious that acting, for De Niro, is not just about looking good and being able to deliver a few lines of dialogue. It is both a physical and emotional process for this method actor, who is known to prepare intensely for all his roles. It is hard to find a combination of both immense talent and brutal honesty in the same person, and it is always refreshing to take advice from a person like this. So we, at Long Live Cinema, decided to compile 10 tips De Niro has for actors from his earlier interviews and speeches. Read on to know how Robert De Niro gets it right every time.

Put the most effort in making the right choices
In an interview, De Niro quoted acting coach Stella Adler on how making the right choices is the starting point of ensuring you act well. Having a comfortable working relationship with the director comes a close second. “I’ll work with a director if I think I’m going to get into a comfortable situation, and if it’s someone I respect and who respects me, even if they’re not so well known,” said De Niro. “Movies are hard to make, and you have to work toward a common ethic and do your best. You don’t want to work with people who don’t care or who are acting out some neurotic, crazy thesis on the set. Who needs it? Life is too short. But I’ve been very lucky in that area.”

A still from The Godfather II

(A still from The Godfather II)

If you get a part, do it!
Here De Niro describes how a conversation with Harvey Keitel changed his perspective. “As an actor who’s starting out, you can’t say, ‘Hey, I’m too good for this.’ You gotta do it, because people see you, your name gets around, and it has a cumulative effect. Auditions are like a gamble. Most likely you won’t get the part, but if you don’t go, you’ll never know if you could’ve got it. I remember when I was up for Mean Streets, I ran into Harvey Keitel in the Village—we were friends—and he’d already been cast in the movie as Charlie. I had done a couple of leads in movies before so I said, ‘Well, careerwise, I should be playing Charlie.’ I didn’t say it like a wiseass. I was saying it sincerely, but not in a way that was threatening to him. Then Harvey said, ‘You know who you should play? Johnny Boy.’ And that clicked. I played Johnny. Now I say to people, ‘If you get a part, do it’.”

Love what you do, don’t expect to be famous
During a talk he delivered at the Doha Film Institute, De Niro gave out this advice to aspiring actors: ““I always say – you’ve got to really love what you do. Don’t expect to be famous – do it because you really love doing it and have fun doing it. I’ve always said if I can make a living at it, I’m happy.” In another interview, on being asked how he had managed be successful and retain the drive to act for so long , this is what De Niro had to say: “I enjoy it. I like it. And especially when you get older, you start realizing you don’t have that much time. And you look back and say, ‘The last 15 years, it went by kind of quickly’. You don’t really know it until you get there and look back and say, ‘Geez, where did that time go?’ I know I’ve gotta account for every day, every moment, every this, every that, but it still went, that time went. So now I have the next whatever, hopefully 15, 20 years if I’m lucky, and I think what to use that time for.”

Use the feedback that good critics give you constructively
De Niro does respect good critics and tries to learn from their feedback, he says. “When you do a movie and show it to people, friends and family can never be totally honest with you. If a critic’s being just mean or nasty it’s unfortunate. Good critics that write with intelligence and compassion are very important. If it’s constructive criticism you can take it or leave it but you always learn something,” he said, at an event. “What I say is, if you didn’t have critics — even though they can annoy you and upset you — if you didn’t have a critic, who would tell you how it is? Because people won’t tell you. Those who are with you and know what you went through can never be honest with you. So they’ll always find a positive thing to say. So the people who you’ll get real feedback from are critics. Especially good critics.”

A still from Raging Bull

(A still from Raging Bull)

The less you do, the better
De Niro is believes in underplaying parts because that’s what he says people do in real life. “It’s very important and at the same time extremely difficult for an actor to pretty much not do anything,” he said. “It is much simpler than you may think. A lot of actors, including I, get caught up in it. We want to do something to show the audience what the character is feeling. But if you think of it, people in real life do not always react dramatically to tragedies. They are more often not stunned by it. And, more than trying to show their feelings, people always tend to hide their feelings. So it is important not to indicate. Let the audience read into your expression rather than you showing them what they should feel. You just have to stop thinking too much about it and it will take care of itself.”

Prepare rigorously, but don’t let it make you mechanical
“I feel I have to earn the right to play a part,” he said, when asked why he prepares so intensely for his characters and undergoes drastic physical transformations for even small roles. “Prepare for anything you do. Understand the character, the milieu, the surroundings, the people, but don’t let that restrict you. Sometimes I start with the director or writer or both. I like to have a read through of a script before I even get onboard with a project. It’s a discovery process even if they don’t want me for the role.” It is, however, important to not let preparation come in the way of performance, he said. “It is important to be ready for every scene. You should know your dialogues and that sort of thing. But don’t let preparation make you mechanical. Be in the moment. Just do what you feel like doing at that moment. Be there. That is important.”

Be a good listener, but take a stand
On how to ensure uniqueness in one’s style: “As an actor, it is important to be a good listener. You need to listen to what others have to say, the director, the producer, your co-actor… everyone. I try to listen to everyone and take their inputs on what I have to do. But finally I take my own decision on how I am going to play the part. That’s where the uniqueness comes in. That’s where the difference of you playing the part versus any other actor playing it comes in.”

With Meryl Streep in Falling In Love

(With Meryl Streep in Falling In Love)

Do not judge your characters, be truthful to them
De Niro said he believes that it is not right to judge a character. “In order to be an artist, you have to be able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Only then can you understand their emotions and reasons, even though you do not agree with them. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to taste the lives of interesting personalities without having to pay the price for it. My advice is to be true to your character and to yourself.”

Put in your best, understand that if it fails it is not just your fault
On collaboration and handling failure: “When you collaborate, you try to make everything better, but you’re not responsible for the entire project, only your part in it. You’ll find yourself in movies or dance pieces or plays or concerts that turn out in the eyes of critics and audiences to be bad, but that’s not on you because you will put everything into everything you do. You won’t judge the characters you play, and you shouldn’t be distracted by judgments on the works you’re in. Whether you work for Ed Wood, Federico Fellini, or Martin Scorsese, your commitment and your process will be the same. By the way, there will be times when your best isn’t your good enough. There can be many reasons for this, but as long as you give your best you’ll be OK.”

Do not be obdurate
In the Tisch commencement speech, De Niro listed out a few things he would tell his children if they wanted to be artists. He said: “Do not be obdurate and do not be afraid to fail. Take chances, keep an open mind, look out for new experiences and new ideas. If you don’t go, then you never know.”

Being creative is so important in our business, and can become challenging when we face professional obstacles. We are artists (and proud), and we are often categorized into many gloomy stereotypes like, disorganized, "ADD", self-absorbed, isolated, tortured, starving, etc. And while we are also seen as unique, inspiring, empathetic, committed, & captivating individuals, most of us can admit that we do tend to get a little neurotic and impatient when we're not booking work, or feel creatively stifled even in the work we are booking! So what better way to combat our restlessness and get inspired than by creating our own features, shorts, pilots or web series?! At The Actor's Center of Asheville, we have always been BIG believers in creating our own we encourage you to enjoy this article and possibly even let it inspire you!'s take on

How to create your own Feature, Short, Pilot, or Web Series

How to Create Your own Feature, Short, Pilot, or Web Series
Photo Source: AJ Golden
Falk Hentschel felt frustrated with his acting career. He had been trying to get good representation and auditions, but neither was happening for him. "I was trying everything in my powers," Hentschel says. "It was the usual problem: You need credits or a good reel to get representation, but you need good representation to get auditions or high-profile jobs for your reel."

Close to giving up, Hentschel decided to at least fulfill his childhood dream and play the lead in a film that looked like "a real Hollywood production." With a limited budget and not much screenwriting experience, Hentschel made a 16-minute short-film thriller called "Who Is Bobby Domino?" He used almost all his savings, refusing to be stingy on "anything that had to do with the look and the sound of the film." He met his director and co-writer, Jesse Grce, on Craigslist.

Hentschel gained a lot from the experience, including being a part of the production process from start to finish, forming friendships and partnerships (including with Grce, with whom he would collaborate on more shorts), and gaining a true understanding of what it takes to make a film as an actor and a producer.

Most important, it helped move his career forward. Hentschel made a reel out of the short, plus others that he and Grce made, and that got him great representation. It also helped land him a role in the feature "Knight and Day," playing Bernhard the assassin alongside Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Since then, he has guest starred on numerous television shows, such as "CSI," "The Closer," and "NCIS." He recently landed his first starring role in the feature film "StreetDance 2," which he is filming in the United Kingdom.

Hentschel is one of many actors who have decided to stop waiting for the phone to ring, and to start taking control of their own careers. Whether it's a short, a feature, a television pilot, or a Web series, if you have a camera, you too can "do it yourself." But should you?

Manager Steven Buchsbaum of Ad Astra Management in Los Angeles warns actors to be careful when doing it themselves. "With the advent of digital technology," he says, "a lot of actors want to make their own films. Technology is cheap. Everyone can shoot a film. However, do not send out films [to industry people] that aren't any good. You better have good writing and a good story. You don't want to shoot a film that makes you look poor."

With that in mind, before you embark on a production that might cost you thousands of dollars, you need to weigh why you want to shoot something, how you are going to do it, and what the potential rewards might be.

From Frustration to Inspiration

Like Hentschel, many actors who have done it themselves started because they felt restless and out of control of their career. Nate Golon felt that even though he had done theater and booked independent films and commercials, no one in L.A. knew who he was. "Every time I went to an audition, I looked around at the 20 other blond guys who looked just like me, and I felt like I needed something to set me apart," he says.

One night, frustration led to inspiration. He took a talent manager workshop that was accidentally overbooked by 25 people. While waiting for about five hours to meet the manager, he chatted with a guy and a girl about how ridiculous the whole situation was. The girl said she thought it would be funny if someone wrote a show about casting director and agent-manager workshops. "A light bulb went off in my head," says Golon. "That's how I met Kimberly Legg, who I co-wrote Season 1 of our comedy Web series 'Workshop' with, and Phillip Jeanmarie, who [plays] one of the main characters." "Workshop" was picked up by Hulu and premiered in April as the first-ever independently produced half-hour comedy on the website.

Jessica Mills has a similar story. Tired of classes and workshops yielding little result, and also feeling like casting directors weren't seeing her in the types of roles she knew she could play, Mills decided to produce something on her own that would show off her quirky characteristics. Her Web series, "Awkward Embraces," is now in its second season and has more than 100,000 views.

Zach Book had just finished the play "Jesse Boy" at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, portraying an autistic boy who was abused. He enjoyed playing the heavy part, but wished there was a way to show casting directors footage of the type of dark role he could do. Book was packing for a trip home to Baltimore when he heard that his best friend there had bought a Canon EOS 7D camera. Book and his friend decided to spend his entire two-week trip filming the short drama "Frostbite." "Putting that footage on my reel has gotten me in for so many auditions," says Book. "I've even booked a few roles based solely on the footage on my reel."

Other actors are motivated to make their own work out of, well, boredom. During the Broadway stagehand strike, Brie Eley was cold and bored in New York. She felt an itch to create something, so she and a couple of her friends got together and shot comedy sketches. "They were pretty awful," admits Eley. "But I learned about sound, lighting, the importance of coverage, and a little gem called iMovie." Six months later, one of her friends from the sketches asked her to act in and help produce the film "We Are the Hartmans," starring Richard Chamberlain.

Marty Papazian already knew how doing it yourself could yield results. Without representation, he put himself on tape for the film "Jarhead" and walked it in to casting director Debra Zane's office, asking her to please watch it. Zane loved it and sent it to director Sam Mendes, who cast Papazian in the film. "It wasn't luck," says Papazian. "It was preparation meeting opportunity." The experience inspired him to produce his own short film, "In the Wind," which won best picture at the New Orleans Big Easy Film Festival and the Vail Film Festival. He is now producing a feature from a script he wrote called "Least Among Saints," which begins filming this month.

Getting Started

Like manager Buchsbaum says, the most important aspects of a successful project are good writing and a good story. Mills agrees. "Send your script out to people to get notes," she says. "Make sure you do multiple drafts and it's really good." She adds that casting talented actors who fit the parts is equally important. "Make sure your actors are good enough to make it relatable. Otherwise, people aren't going to want to watch. I don't care how many car chases or flashy special effects you have—people want something to identify with. The nuts and bolts are in the writing and the acting. Make sure that's solid first."

Comedic actor Chad Ridgely had to work on perfecting his characters before he could start filming. He decided to put together a compilation of comedy sketches in the vein of "Saturday Night Live" or "MADtv." "People's attention spans are very short when it comes to watching videos online," Ridgely says. "People want quick and very funny." Ridgely advises future do-it-yourselfers who want to do comedy to keep this in mind when writing their scripts. "Make it short and sweet and funny—three minutes or less," he says. "No agent, casting director, or producer has the time or the desire to watch a 14-minute short film of a sweeping epic drama. They want it to be quick, and they want to laugh. That will get you noticed."

In addition to good writing and acting, Hentschel believes that passion for the project is a must-have. "Do something that really speaks to you and makes you happy thinking about it," he advises. "Don't try to guess what the industry wants or what the latest fad is. Do what fulfills you. That joy will attract your success."

Book says the best way to get started is just to dive in and have fun. "All you need to do is take the first couple of steps," he says. "Write an idea, call a friend, and the rest will work itself out gradually. Everyone starts somewhere. I highly encourage people to take a blind stab at it. There is no better way to get experience than actually doing it."

Choosing the Format

One of the first things you will have to decide about your project is what you want to make: a feature, a short, a pilot, or a Web series.

Mills and her friends originally intended to shoot a full-length feature, but they later realized they didn't have funds for the type of film they wanted to do. "I got to thinking: If we could build some sort of online fan base through a Web series, maybe we could get attention for ourselves and then come back to the feature and make that," Mills says. She started brainstorming and came up with the idea for "Awkward Embraces." Now that the series has been successful and she has gained knowledge about the Web, she's thinking about taking the feature idea and turning it into a Web series as well.

Golon and his partners decided to do a Web series because they believed it was the most inexpensive way to get their work "out there." "If you do a short film," says Golon, "you have to enter it in festivals, which costs money, and those festivals may or may not decide to accept your film. Then if your film gets accepted, and you want to go to that festival, that takes money. A Web series is great in that once it's online, you can just send anyone the link."

Eley and her partners chose to do a full-length feature. "The feature format allowed us to give the crew and actors something really strong to add their résumés or put on a reel," she says.

Hentschel says that if he could go back, instead of making a short he would have shot his project as a trailer based on one of his feature film scripts. "I'd then use that to get attention and raise money for the script to be made."

Gathering Money and Crew

Often, doing your own project means using your own money. All the actors interviewed in this article spent at least some of their own savings to produce their projects.

Eley had no idea what putting together a feature would cost when she and her partners started. "I probably have invested at least $1,000 of my own money and countless hours of work," she says. "But I think that's immeasurable when you're talking about your career and what you're willing to spend to make your dreams come true."

Sometimes, if the story is good or the project is inspiring, it can help you raise funds. Eley believes her feature came together thanks to a lot of passionate people who invested in and believed in her story. Her team raised $14,000 in one month through fundraising website IndieGogo, a live fundraiser with bands, a "Tweet-a-thon," and asking their churches and families to donate. "We had an outpouring of generosity," she says. "We had shooting locations and rehearsal spaces donated. I even had a gentleman agree to let us use his truck after I saw it on Eighth Avenue and explained the project to him."

In many cases, your cast and crew will be working for little to no money. It's important to find other people who are as eager and excited to work as you are. "Try to find people who want to build up their résumé or get an IMDb credit," advises Mills. "Find people who want to do it for the love of doing it, and you can get it done."

Hentschel agrees. "Work with people that you feel good around and that excite and inspire you," he says.

Getting It Out There

Ridgely sent DVDs of his completed comedy sketch pilot "all over the place." Papazian and Eley got their films into festivals. But most of the actors interviewed stuck to putting their projects online at such sites as Vimeo, Blip, and YouTube.

To get their Web series seen by as many people as possible, both Golon and Mills bought websites and posted their series on YouTube. Mills also posted hers on Blip. "Blip, as far as revenue share, is a bit better, because [on] YouTube you have to qualify for partnership, which is very difficult," Mills explains. "With Blip, everything you upload has ads and you get revenue share into your PayPal account. The player is also a little higher-quality than the YouTube player. I embed Blip on our homepage but I also keep our YouTube channel going because YouTube has such a community in and of itself, like the subscribers and the people that comment and talk, and the likes and the dislikes and all of that stuff. I didn't want to not take part in that huge community. Plus, YouTube is better to see on a phone, so I feel like it's best to do both."

Papazian believes that now is a great time for actors to get their projects out because more studios and executives are looking to the actors, the storytellers, to see what they are creating. "There is a new artist emerging, a hybrid of sorts, because now as filmmakers we have the technology to create media of the highest quality and the distribution platforms are opening up," he says. "The paths are ours to create."

The Rewards

To create your own project costs money, takes time, and can be a lot of work, but all of the actors interviewed say they are glad they did it.

"I love the fact that if somebody's not familiar with me, I can say, 'Go to this website. This is what I do,' and be proud of it," says Mills. "I no longer feel like that really talented actress no one cares about. I've done something and it's mine and I'm really proud of it. I can walk around Hollywood, network, and hold my head high."

"It leaves you accountable to yourself and others," says Eley, who has since scored an agent and a manager.

"My original goal was to make a name for myself as an actor, and 'Workshop' has definitely helped do that," says Golon. "Since Season 1, I got a great talent manager, booked some commercials, TV, indie features, and theater. At the same time, it's made me realize the strengths I have as a producer and writer."

Ridgely was contacted by Fox Digital, which loved his comedy sketches. After a few meetings with him, the company decided to produce some of his sketches. They packaged everything together and called it "The Chad Ridgeley Show." "The Fox deal helped me tremendously," says Ridgely. "I got an agent and a manager, which in turn got me a lot more auditions. But the best thing to come from this experience was the validation. Knowing that the stuff I thought was funny really is funny, and that people see it and laugh, is just a great feeling."

"The most important thing is to be confident and believe in yourself," says Ridgely. "Chasing your dreams and aspirations takes more than moving to this city and waiting for it to fall in your lap. You have to make it happen."

Shopping List

What basic equipment do you need to shoot your own project?

Camera, tripod, tapes, and extra camera batteries
You might be able to get away with using a Flip cam, but our do-it-yourselfers recommend something more high-end. Chad Ridgely used the Panasonic DVX100A for his project; Brie Eley and Nate Golon worked with a Sony EX1; and Jessica Mills shot with a Canon 5D Mark II.

"Do some research," says Mills. "Watch test videos of the digital equipment out there and find what will work for you and your budget." You can rent cameras too.

Boom pole, microphones, and an audio mixer
"Make sure your audio is good," says Ridgely. "Get an audio person with a boom and a mixer and make sure they're proficient. There's nothing worse than having great footage and bad audio."

"Two good [lavalier] mics, like the ones by Sennheiser, would be ideal," says Eley.

Light meter, a basic set of lights, and extension cords
"If you're worried about lighting, shoot outside during the day," advises Ridgely. "That will save money and time."

Another money saver is white bounce cards or silver light reflectors. A piece of white foam board from the craft store or a silver car shade can provide fill light to make that close-up not look so harsh.

You'll be happy you used this when it comes time to edit.

C-stands, sand bags, gaffer tape, and a set of appleboxes
Standard crew/grip department needs

Food, snacks, and beverages
Even if you can't afford to pay your cast and crew, you should be able to provide meals and snacks. Remember: A fed crew is a happy crew.

Editing software and a computer
There are many choices out there and a wide price range. Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and Avid are the top three, with Final Cut Pro being most popular for low budgets. Avid Media Composer recently dropped its price to compete with that, however, so it might be worth checking out.
Check out these 5 Motivational and Inspiring short stories about life, stories that will make you smile, and possibly even help inspire you.

5 Motivational and Inspiring Short Stories

1. Everyone Has a Story in Life

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…

“Dad, look the trees are going behind!”

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…

“Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…

“Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?”The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.

Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.

2. Shake off Your Problems

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.

The animal cried for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over & help him. They all grabbed a dirt & began to shovel dirt into the well.

At first, the donkey didn’t realized what was happening & cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel ­of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing.

He would shake it off & take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors

continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off & take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well & happily trotted off..!!!

Always Remember in Life that:

Life is going to throw dirt on you.

The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off & take a step up.

3. The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

4. Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

5. A Dish of Ice Cream
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“50 cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.

“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.

“35 cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.


1.eSet (.99¢)

Do you ever get onto set and see the call sheets and get completely confused? Well, this app was made to help eliminate that feeling. Think of it as a set lingo pocket translator so to speak. This one makes it possible to understand the more than 2,000 terms that are part of the industry. All the information is also always being updated so it stays current. Information has been broken down into categories if you’d rather browse that way as well. It's .99¢, which seems like a fair buy. In a nutshell:

  • This is a must-have tool for anyone in the live entertainment industry
  • Helping you to understand and be understood
  • There is a database of information that is always being updated
2. iAudition
A great app for voiceover artists, but also a great solution for journalists, students, and anyone else looking for a great iOS recording app. You can record, edit and send your auditions from wherever you are, without the need for a recording studio or computer. In addition, your sent audio files arrive as MP3s! This app costs $3.99, and has very few reviews out yet, but it seems to be a very efficient app. Teleprompt+ is a simple yet powerful professional teleprompter for the iPad, iphone, and your computer. Perfect for presenters, lecturers, students, teachers, broadcasters, podcasters, filmmakers, musicians, business professionals, or anyone who would benefit from having a powerful visual aid while engaged in a public speaking activity, audition or recording session. It costs $14.99, but seems to be a very useful app for those who can benefit from a scrolling teleprompter.
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