To start this entry off, let’s be absolutely clear in saying that being an actor in Hollywood is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, regardless of one’s race, gender, or sexual preference. I want to get this off before we go into what I’m about to say next. So far, so good?
Okay good. Let’s begin.
Continue reading The Status of Asians in Hollywood
Not too long after I posted the entry about casting director workshops and how to best utilize them, I got immediate criticism, mainly from casting director Billy DaMota and others who insisted that these workshops are a waste of time & money, and worst of all, they are a scam that rips off actors (Billy also went on to nitpick my resume and asked why I have 6 co-stars on it from network TV shows). So for today’s entry, let’s look from the perspective of why casting director workshops are not ideal and if there are any POSSIBLE solutions I can theorize if casting director workshops were to be banned forever.
I must stress here that I am a supporter of casting director workshops but I also see a lot of problems with it and see where people can get disgruntled about it. So here we go!
Continue reading Casting director workshops! (The Nay Version)
NOTE: I was supposed to write the Nay version of casting director workshops but I still need more to gather SENSIBLE information that is not based on bitter actors who don’t know how to make efficient and smart use of workshops. It will be coming up for sure but for now, here’s another entry to take its place
In my Beverly Hills Playhouse acting class (holy moly, it’ll be my 4 years there by April 6th), my teachers have enlisted us to undertake a task and that is to take 50 administrative actions per week that advances your career forward starting on February 4th. I decided to try it for myself earlier and see how I do. In terms of what I define an action to be, it can be from having an audition, tweeting to your favorite writer to writing a passionate letter to a producer, creating new postcards, and so on. A singular tweet or a postcard is considered one action as taking an action doesn’t mean it has to be a grand gesture of enormous display. Just anything that is geared towards my acting career.
Do I expect immediate results from this? No. Have I seen some form of results from doing actions like these at some point? Most definitely. Whether it be for myself knowing that I will always have some form of production going on (it sure beats sitting on my ass and moping about why my career isn’t at his level and blahblah) or having a casting director I followup with consistently bring me directly in for a series regular callback with producers, I know that by doing this I can take accountability of my career.
So I hope my actions help you guys to inspire you to take actions of your own. It certainly don’t have to be 50 per week but enough to get you going. With that being said, here we go!
Continue reading Challenge Accepted! 50 Acting Administrative Actions Per Week
UPDATE: Now that folks like Billy DaMota HAVE seen this article and commented on it (you can see his long comment below), anybody else is also welcome to comment on the pros and cons of casting workshops. I’ll reply here and there as I’m interested in what you guys have to say but won’t go too much into details as I am resolutely an advocate for these workshops. To ask the question from others if I’m only being seen for co-stars from these folks I meet? Hardly. You don’t believe me? I don’t give a shit! Just to be fair though, I will publish the Nay Version on Wednesday.
For actors who get themselves situated in Los Angeles and New York, there’s three words that they will come across inevitably:
Casting director workshops.
You know, the thing where you pay to meet casting individuals for that TV show you like to watch or films you just absolutely adore? Yeah that one. Now I don’t want to bore you with the history of how and when it got started, but it is safe to say that they are most definitely here to stay, despite protests from folks like casting director Billy DaMota who believes it to be an illegal scam that rips off actors (I would read this article solely to get a full perspective on all sides).
Rather than go into a lengthy discussion of whether or not one should take a casting workshop or not, for the purposes of this blog entry, I will vote in favor for it because I can safely say that I am a product of these workshops, whether I met a casting director or an agent through this venue. And as such, if we are to do these workshops, here’s several things I want to give to you guys:
Continue reading Casting director workshops! (The Yay Version)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a man who was ruled by his emotions. As time went by, I learned to hone the extreme edges that my emotions can spill out (and I still have a long way to go). But if there’s anything that has remained with me over the years is that I wear my heart on my sleeves and as I got older, I started to have an extremely low tolerance to bullshit.
These two somewhat opposite characteristics have been a great asset to my time here in Los Angeles, a city where many will claim to be your friends but only few will truly prove to be so. My personality is so defined in its passionate, bluntly honest, snarky/righteous stamp that I completely acknowledge that it takes time for people to truly be comfortable with me. Many will be completely turned off by it and want nothing to do with me or just rather watch idly from the sidelines.
Before I even came to LA, this aspect about me used to be something that would be a heavy issue for me as a child since I wanted everybody to be my friend and love me. Throughout my childhood, it made my existence rather lonely and sometimes unbearable. Now, while I can’t quite say I could care less, but I can definitely say this clear definition serves me quite well in the city of Angels, a city that is filled with those who rather not know who you really are, but what you can provide to them. I have noticed my personality seems to be some sort of a smelly poo-poo repellent for those types of people.
To that, I say awesome.
For those that clicked with me right away or got used to my bizarre charm over time, I hold onto those as tight as I can because I know that my success as an actor here in LA is absolutely meaningless if I don’t have a true sense of community and love to serve as my anchor. The people who not only praise me, but criticize me, keep it real for me, and tolerate me when I reach manic moments in my life (there are more than I would like to admit, despite my rather organized demeanor). I know I have that. I’m blessed to have that. I am, simply, utterly grateful to have that.
Not an official post, but this is the not-so-fun data entry version of how I reflect back on 2013 from an actor’s point of view (the more, ahem, human version can be seen here). I have done this every end of the year for the past 3 years and I know this will never, ever stop. Feel free to take a look (and see how nutty I am).
Continue reading The Boring 2013 Actor Data Entry Reflection Version
I dug through my past FB posts (this was a chore because I post on FB like a whore) and found this, my 2013 New Year’s resolutions:
Acting 2013 New Year Goals:
1. Book a Guest Star spot on a primetime TV show
2. Book a supporting role in a studio level feature film
3. Create that goddamn Cinnabon spec commercial
4. Continue my hard work like always, kick ass in acting class, and whatnot
Life 2013 New Year Goals:
1. Continue being excellent to myself and to others
Now that 2013 is now ending, I can definitely say I failed my trivial new year’s resolutions to an astounding degree. I didn’t book a primetime guest star spot or a supporting role in a studio level feature film OR even create that goddamn Cinnabon spec commercial. I did, however, know without a doubt in my mind that I worked hard, I kicked ass in acting class, and I’ve been excellent to myself and to others. So what HAVE I accomplished in 2013, or more importantly, what have I learned?
Continue reading The Cinnabon Monster reflects back on 2013
For quite some time now, people have been asking when I would start my own blog as I am known to be extremely vocal about acting, giving career advice (as well as being a zealous advocate for accurate representation of minorities on mainstream media…but that’s for a different time), and whatnot. So after months of having a “I hate writing blogs” mentality, I decided to cave in and just express myself, regardless of who’s out there listening.
So hi. I’m the Cinnabon Monster but you can call me Edward Hong. I will choose to put my name out there publicly as the pastry product has become part of my marketing as an actor. I’m also the kind of person that is not afraid to own up to his words, no matter how stupid they may be. I’m also PRETTY sure that I’m the only Asian American actor (let alone actor period) that markets himself with this fatty delicious pastry product. In my 2 years of using this, it has served me extremely well in terms of getting industry folks to remember me as “that actor who REALLY REALLY loves Cinnabons.” And in this industry, being remembered (for good things) is a good thing to have.
So every Sunday, I’ll write something here. Most likely it will be little nibbles of knowledge or career advice I’ve gained as well as the occasional light-hearted ranting about the industry (I can’t help it, I’m an Asian American Studies major). Thanks for tuning in and I’ll leave you off with how I became obsessed with Cinnabons in the first place, thanks to my wonderful actress/food blogger friend Lynn Chen who featured my story on her Thick Dumpling Skin blog.
READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.