SAC’s Steve Maresca on a roll…

SAC’s Steve Maresca on a roll…

Steve Maresca is having a good time. Not only was he one of the ensemble cast in the new Commonwealth Bank ad he has now landed himself a sweet guest role in channel 9’s sensation Dr Dr produced by Claudia Karvan.

Steve Maresca has been training for a few years at SAC and his success speaks volumes to his dedication and skill as a wonderful actor.

Steve is represented by Benchmark Creative

Check out his CommBank ad here.

Georgina Haig on Self Taping

Georgina Haig on Self Taping

Self Taping – The master of this art could be the super talented Georgina Haig who is making waves in LA, how; by nailing self taping. She has booked huge Hollywood TV shows like Once Upon A Time, Fringe, OutPost (Lead in a US Pilot), Reckless and many more via self taping. In addition to her 40 plus episodes of US television, Georgina is a staple in Australia appearing on shows such as Moody Christmas, INXS Story, Underbelly, The Sapphires and too many more to mention. The lovely Georgina has taken time out of her schedule to offer her advice to our SAC peeps on the skill of SELF TAPING.

The island looked like something out of Jurassic park- granite boulders nestled between tall dark pines and soft sweeping gum tress. The view from our honeymoon hideaway over looked a tiny beach, which sparkled all day, beckoning with its cocoon of lapping water. Josh and I had our freshest seafood ready to BBQ, and were excited about heading out to sea for our scuba diving trip that next morning. This is all so bloody gorgeous I thought. I’ll just quickly check my e-mail cause I’m a terrible person…An audition. “Um, Josh!? Can we just real quick real quick get this down after seafood BBQ but before scuba diving?”

Even though as actors we often find ourselves powerless and at the mercy of an alarming array of elements out of our control “when it comes to casting, there are still some things we can control.” If you can find passion, power and joy in these moments, in this part of the process, I think the overall ride can be a happier, more fulfilling one. I think that’s why I’ve always loved making self-tape auditions; I love getting to send something off that I feel good about, no matter what the outcome is. And it’s a small creative process, a little art form in itself that I really get into.

Apart from when you’re on your honeymoon. Maybe I shouldn’t have done a self-tape on our honeymoon. But I also booked one of the most important jobs I’ve done from that tape. And if you are going to be a dick and self-tape on your honeymoon you might as well do a good one. We’ll get to that bit soon, but first, my love affair with self-tapes.

Of all the things that have made the biggest difference in my career, I’d say the “ability to send off good self-tapes has been one of the most advantageous.” It’s not a skill we were really taught in drama school. No one will teach you how to do good self-tapes. And for us, it’s like being able to write an awesome resume. It’s so so important.

And there are many advantages to getting your DIY on instead of relying on paying others to self tape for you. As well as being cheaper, it saves you time cause you don’t have to travel to someone else, or find a studio in a city or town where there might not be those facilities. “It really is freeing to be able to do this anywhere. ANYWHERE.” For example, slightly hangover in Florence, in a tiny hotel room in NY or, ehem, on a remote island mid honey-moon (I’m soooooo sorry Josh) But jobs, proper jobs came about from all those examples. It also might be a necessity if you’re on a gig already and someone needs a tape, again, there’s no time to get away and find a studio, so it’s great if you can just grab a cast mate and do it around shooting.

“It’s also satisfying for the soul to call up a good actor mate, work through a scene together and then tape it.” The small collaboration might help you find something you didn’t see before. And you’ll learn through helping them with tapes. You’ll also learn through watching and editing your own tapes.

I should add here that yes, definitely, it’s really important to get in rooms and make those connections. Do it as much as you can! Get in that room! Get in there! Especially if you’ve never met that casting director before, or most importantly if you know producers or the director is going to be present.

But if for whatever reason you need to DIY here are some practical tips-

  • Invest in a decent digital camera. I use a Canon HD DSLR. The better the lens the less you need to worry about lighting, as you can make the most of natural light by playing around with the aperture. Being able to go without electric lighting and just using good natural light can be a lifesaver when you are traveling.
  • Do your tape during the day and set up your camera with the natural light source behind it. Point towards as plain a back ground as you can find.
  • Find the best quality lightweight proper tri-pod you can. It’s an annoying extra thing to lug around but it’s so much easier then trying to balance your nice camera on an upside down trash can on your hotel bed (done that), also it’s easier to find the ideal light, as you don’t need to rely on furniture or dustbins to dictate where the camera has to go!
  • Frame one scene mid shot, so from the shoulders up, then one closer to show more and give variation.
  • Have your scene partner stand as close to the camera as possible for eyeline but make sure they don’t speak too loud as they will be closer to the microphone.
  • I use I-movie on my computer to edit, but could also use Final Cut.
  • I upload everything to Vimeo but there are other options there too.

 

For travel you can keep it simple with just the camera, tripod and computer, but your set up at home can be as fancy as you like. At home I have a 2-meter x 2-metre stretched canvas that I use as a background that I painted a charcoal grey- it’s fun playing around with differnet background colours! And many guests come over and think it’s a minimalist modern artwork, haha. (Feel free to ignore this and just get a normal backdrop or just use a blank wall…it all works!) Lots of people also set up fancy microphones, have extra lights etc. Basically find what works for your home situation, experiment, get some feedback from your people, and have lots of fun with it.

Wishing you all the best with your self-taping adventures!

 

Georgina Haig is an Australian actress based out of LA. She would like to add that she is still happiliy married despite the honeymoon episode and she would like to thank her husband Josh for continuing to help her with many inconveniently timed self-tapes.

5 tips for the audition waiting room

5 tips for the audition waiting room

Who wants some audition tips? We all do! Auditioning is the bedrock of our craft and being able to audition well is a crucial skill. The waiting room before an audition can be a daunting, nerve racking and possibly make you want to vomit kind of place. But it can also be a fun, focused place that gets you perfectly ready for when you walk in front of the camera and do what you love…ACT!

Here are a few audition tips for the audition waiting room that will help.

 

1) Sit in KNOWING, not hoping.

If you are ‘Hoping’ the Audition is going to go well, then there’s a good chance that’s your red flag letting you know you have under prepared. Make sure you are prepared both with your lines and your character and sit in knowing that this is going to go well because you are a good, no GREAT actor who has done the work.

 2) Know your MOMENT BEFORE.

Remember your scene starts long before action is called and your first piece of dialogue is delivered. If you are already alive and active in your scene before you say your first line then you are going to start with a BANG!

 3) It’s not about you! It’s about the CHARACTER.

Remember focus on the WANT of the character and the story of the scene. Try not to focus on your performance.

 4) KNOW THE STORY, don’t just memorize lines.

If you have just memorized the lines then you have a chance of forgetting them and not “delivering” them they way you envisaged when the nerves kick in. But if you have gone in knowing the story and what happens in the scene you can never get lost, even if you fluff a line.

5) The Casting people are ON YOUR SIDE!

They want you to be the one. They need to find their person, and they are hoping almost as much as you are, that you are it!! They want you to SUCCEED! (also it makes them look good to Producers when they bring in good actors).