This is the 2nd ever Los Angeles Actors Pro Expo, and... it's the second time we'll have a booth there, so we can proudly say that we've been representing LA at this expo since the very beginning. :)
If you're in LA, come and join us in Hollywood on November 3rd for a day of seminars, presentations, auditions and discounts on actor related services. If you're a Web For Actors premium member, we rented some pro equipment and we'll take your photo for your website. Unless you're shooting a movie the entire day, you shouldn't have any excuses, because:
#1 - it's FREE!
#2 - it's all about acting
#3 - you'll get to say hi to me in person instead of the email and that's way more exciting than the two reasons above :)
Do I recommend it? Let me put it this way, I flew to New York City last month just to browse around and see who else was out there. And yes, I could have done that online, but nothing beats face to face. I spoke to each and every booth out there personally and got to learn a lot about acting services, met a few filmmakers and even got to speak to a few actors and voice over actors about their craft. Keep reading if you want to see who I spoke to, but before you do, get your free tickets and put it on your calendar for Saturday so you don't forget to stop by.
Actors Pro Expo NYC 2018
There were quite a few filmmakers at the expo who were accepting actor headshots and resumes. Micheal Piper Younie was there with his business Bespoke Films and We Are Interpret This offering 10% discounts for sizzle reels. He does couching for actors too.
Rob Margolies was there with Nick Young and a similar business called Develop Your Movie. They had binders for their 3 feature films and a big stack of actor resumes who approached them. Hopefully I'll see some familiar faces in their upcoming film Chinook.
They were not the only ones who can help you with your reel though. Evening Squire was there with a pretty impressive showcase. Allison told me about the Reel Deal services they're offering along with what they call a Scene Stealer, where they help you create new footage.
As far as reels go, last but not least, I spoke to Alaric from Reelarc and he made my jaw drop to the floor. Their company is growing so fast, and they've been acquiring other actor related businesses such as actors launchpad. On one end they help actors get their foot in the door with professional reels, on the other end, they offer classes, workshops and audition taping for only $30 a month. And they'll be opening a new location here in LA real soon. You have my attention guys! Thanks to Melanie and Sally for breaking it all down for me.
Are you a voiceover actor? There might be something there for you as well. I spoke to Abacus' Bryant and Bruce about their discount for vogo - an on-the-go iRig studio USB microphone with pop filter. They normally sell it for $600 but lowered the price to $375 for anyone who provided them with an email... well my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if any of you want to take advantage of that offer, otherwise their coupon code is NYCACTOR for $100 off.
It's so funny that while I was talking to them, the talented Rachel Slotky showed up raving about their product. I say it's funny because she's actually on the cover of their ad, but I don't think she came with them, unless I'm wrong. In any case, she told me about her own hustle of setting up her studio in a tiny Manhattan apartment, which involved nailing carpet padding to the walls of the closet. Yikes, it must get hot in the summer, but guys, this is what we do to follow our passion. Keep on hustling.
Speaking of hustling... Need a Reader founder Jason Buyer was there as well talking about the app that connects actors with readers for rehearsals. Why am I calling him a hustler? Because he's a casting director who realized there's a need for a change and did something about it. Yes! I asked him how he compares his business to our friends over at We Rehearse - he answered that yes, the app offers online rehearsing, but it's intended to get people together and rehearse in person. My first thought was "yikes, that sounds dangerous", but it's the same thing I said about Uber when it first came out... "Hitch hiking via an app? No thanks!" Let's see how this all works out, but it sounds awesome.
Jared Kirby, a fight coordinator, was there with his NYC Film Fights business. If I lived in NYC would I pay $30 to take lessons with Jared? Hell yes! Would it ever come in handy for me? Probably not, as I'm not an actor, but still it looks like a lot of fun. Joe and Katie seemed to enjoy it as Joe (fake)smacked Katie in his demonstration and then Katie (fake)choked him out. I asked Jared where one would get cool props like the ones he has in their picture, and he told me to check out New Rule FX. So if you ever need to smash bunch of bottles on someone's head, please don't use the real stuff, and learn from Jared how to do it right.
Our competitor Erin Cronican was there as well. You may know her from her backstage articles. I say "a competitor" because Erin builds websites for actors as a side hustle. So if you're not happy with Web For Actors services, her multi page designs start at $800 plus $80 per hour for updates + $7 per month for hosting + $14 per year for domain. I mean if you're investing, you could do that or you could get unlimited designs with us for as low as $1 per month. I'm not trying to sway you one way or another. :)
And since this blog article is getting out of hand, let me just group the rest with links to their websites:
Dirty Sugar, Emily Lambert and Todd Estrin were there with their headshot photography businesses. I think they were all very talented, but in my humble opinion Dirty Sugar stood out the most. I spoke with Rob who didn't look like he had 15 years of experience (but he does) and although their website is not doing the best job of showcasing their work (let's face it, they don't build websites), their work was excellent. Todd Estrin showed off amazing work on dark backgrounds, if that's the look you're going for you'll love him... also he's very tall. I don't know why, but that's what I wrote in my notes, haha. Plus, his website shows off his work quite well. And finally Emily, who was there with Tammy, told me she travels between LA, NYC and Paris and here is some of her work from Los Angeles clients. I think she has an amazing eye for colors.
Let's not forget all the workshops and studios that were advertising themselves. HB Studio was there, but since they seemed to be very bored and unwilling to chitchat, I can't say much about their services. They claim to go back all the way to 1945 which probably speaks for itself. Stella Adler was there... well, not Stella, but the studio, she couldn't make it for the obvious reasons, but Laura represented her solid. She didn't judge me too much for screaming "Stelllllaaa" and she even told me about the American Accent Acquisition class they have. Are you trying to tell me I have an accent, Laura? Last but not least, Roger Hendricks Simon was there. He looked at me and he said "I've been teaching actors longer than you've been alive". I was hoping he'd finish with "30 whole years" and I'd thank him for a compliment, but instead he said "40 whole years", which, okay, I get it, was a much safer bet. And man, 40 years of private coaching with clients like John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and James Earl Jones, this man MUST know his stuff, right?
If I've left someone out, it was not intentional, just shoot me an email and I'll link up to you as well. I mean, come on, if I list my competitors right on my own blog I obviously don't mind telling actors about your services. And with that said, I'm thrilled for the LA Expo in few short days. Let's go!