Tuesday, May 06, 2008
When I wear my actress hat, I go on the Hollywood Happy Hour (HHH) group. There I "talked" to a young actress who was dealing with the perennial problem of how to pay for things like headshots, classes, etc. with a 40 hr./week job and still be able to go out for auditions. (Maybe some of you have similar problems with side businesses you are trying to start up.)
I solved, or rather dealt with that problem by pennypinching - which is why I got so good at it. For example - my last headshots were taken by a prof. friend & with the advent of digital photography, all it cost him was his TIME (& I got the quality of his prof. camera). I did my own hair & makeup - as I always do. It's also true that with digital cameras, taking pix has gotten SO much easier. Some of the pix I have were taken by my husband and are perfectly all right for posting on the net. It gives you a chance to get character shots in costume, too.
I then went to Picnik - an easy free online program - and cropped them myself. Just did the same thing with the pix from my last Ren Faire, so I would have some pix of that. And I cut a little "video" for my free myspace account on Jumpcut - another gratis tool.
As for classes - I haven't paid for them since NYC, almost - altho I did take classes with Jean Shelton up north. Ok, I did take some on-camera acting classes when I first got here. And a commercial agent convinced me to take a commercial acting class (that was a waste of $). But for years, I worked out through 99 seat theatre and at the SAG conservatory program (gratis). And then I was an assistant to Greg Mullavey - and got a class with him free, too.
Now I am taking a class with Barbara Gannen at the Santa Monica Emeritus College. Another freebie. I wouldn't be taking one otherwise. But it's such a good deal, that I grabbed it. There are other adult classes around here that are supposed to be good & a good deal, too. But, as with everything else, you have to look around for them.
I have always met the problems, challenges of my position as an actress in Hollyweird that way. I have trimmed my own hair and gone to Vidal Sassoon to have cuts. I have been a hair model and gotten PAID to have my hair cut and colored!
I have also learned to maintain my hair - to color it so nicely myself that hairdressers have wondered what technique I used. (That I partly learned by watching how my hair was done by others and asking a lot of questions. I got my current method from a session paid for by a production company when I had to redden my hair for the shoot and the hairdresser used colored shampoo + heat to achieve the effect!)
I have maintained my own skin and saved on spa treatments. The only spa I have gone to is Glen Ivy out in Temecula, in the middle of the week, because it was so lovely and relaxing, and even that was a treat.
I have found gratis dance classes (thru the Recreation Dept. - those were the days!) and discount ones. I have worked out with a par course. (Unhappily those have gone into disrepair.). I have walked and ran and run/walked in the park and around school playing fields.
I have typed my own resumes and posted my own computer entries. Learning about the internet has been a godsend for me in terms of my career, and I got that from all my years temping, where I also acquired a lot of business savvy. Who knew that TYPING would come in so handy in the end?
I bartered choir participation for voice lessons, and have also learned a lot of other skills through freebie training - like PR - from the workshops of the old L.A. Open Festival, and watching an old colleague work PR magic.
I suppose the lesson here is to do as much as you can YOURSELF - or at least KNOW how to do it, so you can keep watch on those who are working for you. And always keep an eye on the bank account. Paying through the nose doesn't necessarily mean getting quality. Never has. Shysters are more than willing to overcharge you - whereas reputable merchants often have great deals...They don't say "caveat emptor" (buyer beware) for nothing.
2 Comments | Post Feedback
Pamela Munro, Character Actress
My Judi Dench pic taken by friends Peter Brown & Eldon Turner III
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | By Tanya39
Thank you for the feed back in my blog post. Is this you dressed like Judy Dench or Judy Dench herself, as I am not much on identifying actresses. I did not know you were an actress. It would explain why you insist on staying in LA yourself. When I know you are struggling too. It is a very expensive city. I am glad to hear you are making it there. Congrats on all your thriftiness in LA. :-)
Pic with scarf
Friday, May 23, 2008 | By pamphyila
Picture with scarf is actually ME in my actress mode! (But I feel Judi Dench here & she is one of my current idols & source of inspiration!) You can actually google my actress-self at "Pamela Munro + Hollywood"
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