Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Acting Advice by Jenna Fischer from "The Office"

I stumbled upon a blog post by Jenna Fischer, the actress who plays Pam Beesley from "The Office", and I had to re-post it here for my L.A. Graffiti readers who are aspiring actors.

The information and advice given in her post is clear, truthful and priceless.

The original post can be found here.

The Acting Advice Blog - by: Jenna Fischer from The Office

I've received tons of letters from people asking advice about the entertainment industry and, in particular, pursing a life as an actor.  People have also asked how I got to be on The Office. This blog, I hope, will address some of those questions.

I grew up in St. Louis Missouri.  I always wanted to be an actor but when you grow up in a place like St. Louis that is sort of like saying, "I want to be a superhero when I grow up".  It hardly seems real.  The world of Hollywood is mysterious.  You hear stories of girls being discovered at ball games.  Success is about having "it" or being pretty or some other intangible magic.  You have no model for how to succeed.  Everyone's story is different.  One person does stand-up for 15 years and then gets a TV show, someone else finances their own movie and it takes off at a festival and suddenly they are the hottest thing.  But for each of those people there are thousands of stand-up comics and filmmakers who never got their break.  How do you know what to do?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tokidoki Warehouse Sale!

One of the cool things about living in Los Angeles is that almost everything is manufactured, headquartered and/or distributed here.  Well, that may not be so cool in itself, but what really makes it cool is when these companies have overstock, they put on these awesome, open to the public, warehouse sales where items are sometimes discounted up to 90%!

The latest warehouse sale to pop up is Tokidoki!  On August 27th, you can take home some of the cute, cuddly and mildly angry world of Tokidoki at a deep discount!  The event is CASH ONLY and be sure to get there early!

The details:
August 27th, 2011 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
5655 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

View Larger Map

Yes, it's pretty expensive to live in Los Angeles, but with perks like warehouse sales, I think it evens itself out.  Stay tuned for future warehouse sale notifications from L.A. Graffiti!

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Monday, August 15, 2011

I Am 8-Bit

If you grew up in the 80's and loved videogames, then you have to go see the latest art gallery from iam8bit.  Their latest 4,500 sq ft. exhibition, titled SUPER iam8bit, features a group art show co-curated by Jon Gibson, Amanda White, Taylor Harington and Nick Ahrens.  "Over 100 artists re-imagine their 80's gaming fantasies for the [fifth] return of L.A.'s most celebrated group art show".

I was kind of passing by the Echo Park area and decided to make a stop on the legendary Sunset Blvd. to see my favorite childhood videogame characters in art form.  I can assure you, I was not disappointed!  The artists that participated in this show are all extremely talented.  They didn't just do a simple homage to their favorite game characters, they rebooted them in some wildly imaginative ways!

I definitely recommend paying the SUPER iam8bit gallery a visit.  Make an evening out of it and enjoy some of the other cultural offerings of Echo Park.

Admission is free.  The gallery's address and hours:

2147 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Thurs: 1pm - 8pm
Fri: 1pm - 9pm
Sat: 12pm - 9pm
Sun: 12pm - 6pm

The Parking Genie recommends going on a Sunday as there is less traffic and the parking meters are free all day.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show:

Leisure Suit Larry in "Nighthawks"

The Legend of Zelda 

Goomba Roomba (it actually vacuums)

Epic Mario

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

How To Become SAG

One of the milestones of being an actor is that moment when you are finally eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild, lovingly referred to as SAG.  The next milestone is actually having the $2,335 in your bank account to actually join SAG, but that's a whole other story.

When I first began my acting pursuits, I really didn't know what SAG was, how to join, or the benefits of joining.  I had taken some classes on the "business of show business" but nobody ever went into detail about SAG.  For all I knew, getting your SAG card was just as easy and trivial as getting a Costco card.

I was fortunate enough, when I first moved to Los Angeles, to enroll in an acting class at the Baron Brown Studios.  It was there that I met many wonderful people and learned so much about being an actor.  I would ask my classmates about joining SAG, and everyone had an interesting story on how they achieved their SAG status.

But not everyone is as fortunate as I was to be surrounded by wonderful people who had been there, done that, and were willing to share their stories.  I have been around groups of actors where wild fairy tales about SAG and the different ways of joining spread around the room like a bad high school rumor.

I couldn't stand to watch misinformed people try to misinform others, which is why I created HowToBecomeSAG.com  I hope for it to be a reference guide for new actors on how to become eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild.  No more fairy tales, no more hear-say.  Only the facts.

There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding SAG when there really shouldn't be.  As actors, we have to stay informed and stop listening to stories about a friend of a friend; this is true for all aspects of the industry, not just SAG.

Be informed.  Educate others.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Share HowToBecomeSAG.com with your friends so we can all keep our careers moving forward!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Best Rap Video I've Ever Seen

I'm not sure what's happened to rap over the last ten years.  The lyrics make no sense.  Words are made up so that they can rhyme.  There are very few lyricists out there and most of the themes keep reinforcing negative stereotypes that send out the wrong idea to the youth of today.

I'm glad that Prince EA is out there making smart music.

Contrary to what the preview image shows, this music video is appropriate for all audiences.

Watch "BACKWARDS RAPPERS" from beginning to end:

Be informed.  Educate.  Rinse.  Repeat.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

How To Graffiti The Walls Of NYC Without Getting Caught

Have you ever wanted to put your personal touch on some of the bland walls of NYC?  Have you ever wanted to do that without the potential of being arrested or fined by NYC's finest?  Well, now you can!  And from the comfort of your own home!!

Introducing the "Walls Notebook"!

From the website:
"Walls Notebook is a notebook/sketchbook that features 80 pictures of "clean" NYC walls instead of blank pages.  Write, draw, paste, or doodle on these inspirational backdrops.  You'll be one step closer to being the street artist you've always wanted to be... minus the jail time."

This was too cool for me to not share.  Maybe they'll do a Los Angeles edition?  And package it with mini-spray paint cans?  One can only hope.

Check out some of the "clean" NYC walls, just calling your name.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Free Movie Tickets! Get Them While They Last!

For my South Bay-ers, the Manhattan Village Mall on Sepulveda and Rosecrans is giving away a Pacific Theatres movie ticket for every 5th check-in on the mobile app FourSquare!  (While supplies last)

You didn't read that wrong; it's EVERY 5th check-in, meaning you can get a free ticket at 5, 10, 15, etc, check-ins.  Between my girlfriend and I, we've already collected 4 tickets.

If your parents are mall-walkers (like mine), have them check-in for you as they do their exercise laps around the mall.  I spoke with the concierge and she said that one mall-walker already has enough free tickets to see a movie every weekend for the rest of the summer.

The "Darkside" tip:  Due to some glitch with FourSquare, once you've checked-in for the first time at the mall, your future check-ins can be made from home.  Rack up those check-ins at home, but don't check in for the 5th time until you're actually at the mall!  Once the "free movie ticket" coupon pops up, don't touch your phone!  If you navigate away from the "free ticket" coupon, it will lock, and you'll have to check-in another 5 times before it unlocks.  They will only give you a free ticket if you show them the unlocked coupon.  The mall concierge will write down your name and the date when you claim your free movie ticket, so please space out your free-ticket-grabbing trips accordingly.  Some kid showed up with 36 check-ins after only 2 days and is now banned from getting free tickets.  Don't be that kid.


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