Friday, November 24, 2017
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Q & A with Jagger Kaye

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap} Jagger it seems that you have a lot of industry knowledge, how many years have you been in the business as an actor and what are some of the traits you reflect on when teaching?  Jagger Kaye 

{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}I earned my SAG card by booking 2 national commercials and a feature film in May 1999 and never looked back. I can only teach what I know and that is a blue-collar work ethic where you “roll up your sleeves” and get to work. In my classes when I give out a script we go right to work on the scripts, analyzing and discussing what the “story” is, instead of “acting choices”. One of my classes is called “The Art Of Storytelling Scene Class” where we focus on the lost art of “storytelling”.

Too many actors, directors & teachers only focus on “acting choices” instead of what the real goal should be and that is “telling the story”. If you tell the story well & truthfully you will find the choices are there within the script and at that point you begin layering the character. I always comment “acting is about taking risk while remaining truthful” but I see too many actors focused on their “acting” over the “story” when the obvious goal is “never let them see you act”!

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}So Jagger, you run AFNY which is a very popular FREE casting distribution list for NY actors.  How do you keep sending out these castings free of charge while most other online resources charge a fee?  What inspires you to do this job so tirelessly?


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}Well ActorsFirstNY (AFNY) is a 100% free NYC area casting group run through Yahoo. In less than 4 years, we have over 7,800 members and the popularity and word of mouth has been insane. I know you (Tomas) have been a member for a while. The group is unique because we cater to the beginner and intermediate actors in the area. We moderate for scams, we recommend photographers, classes, seminar centers, etc. and it is a real sense of community.

We send out over 250-300+ individual casting notices a month that all go directly into your inbox, there is no clicking to go to a website and signing in, no hidden emails or contact info and best of all … NO COST. You can sign-up for the group by going to ActorsFirstNY.com or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & you will start receiving casting ASAP directly to your inbox.

I started AFNY in April 2004, after an affiliation with another casting entity ended and I saw how some of the pioneer casting groups were either turning to charging a monthly fee or moving away from the format of emailing in lieu of boards, sign-in sites, etc. I always felt the ease of notices going directly in your inbox was simple, easy & direct and wanted to keep that spirit alive and we surpassed what the older groups have done and it seems like we are the only real in-box/distribution list operating daily at our level.

The reason I continue is WHY NOT? I view the NYC scene as a community that actually supports each other and I have taken, so why not give back…{xtypo_quote_left} WHY NOT? I view the NYC scene as a community that actually supports each other and I have taken, so why not give back.{/xtypo_quote_left} I used to cast 10-15 projects a year alone and because of that I found myself becoming a “Casting Director” with access to all these notices so I shared them. I was able to be a conduit between hundreds of projects and thousands of actors a month and it grew from there and I was able to do it without selling illegal breakdowns so it's quite a special industry niche.

I keep the group FREE because I put “Actors First” and abhor how actors are hit in the wallet everyday and I wanted to give the community something back for free. I do not have anything against LEGIT casting entities that charge and do not feel they are competition … I don’t see anybody as competition actually, I view what we do at ActorsFirstNY.com as unique and as a community and that will never change.
 
If you could change one thing about the business what would that be? And why?
The cost for actors to pursue their dreams is the biggest thing I would love to change. Because people can, they overcharge actors and I hate that with a passion. My casting entity as explained above is FREE and one of my survival entities is AffordableActingClasses.com and I try to keep true to my feelings.

In this past week I turned down offers from two industry professionals to teach under the AffordableActingClasses.com umbrella because we could not agree on a class fee that was “affordable”. Now that is not a slight, nor a put-down to others that charge more, but it is not my niche and my place in this community.

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}Have you worked in the LA market and what can you say in comparison to the NY market for up and coming actors?


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}I been to LA & HATED it. I will have to go kicking and screaming and I have a pretty loud scream and forceful kick. I hate the phony and pretentious LA attitude and much prefer the real brutal honesty and grit of NYC. {xtypo_quote_right}Some mistake NYers as rude when in truth we are honest.{/xtypo_quote_right} In LA someone lies to your face and that to me is “rude”.

My advice is to anybody is go with your gut, but do not go to LA unless you have some sort of connection, because if you think everyone in NYC is an actor …its 5x as bad in LA!

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}Would you consider yourself a pro (at acting) yet and if so, when did you realize the switch from newbie to pro?  (i.e., you on set and realized you were meant to be there).


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}Hmmm … I can consider myself a pro to an extent, but my moment (so to speak) was when I was working at an acting facility and a working actor came to me and asked what I just put on my tax forms (it was in April) as my occupation and told me if it was anything other than “actor” to change that because I was ready in his eyes. That next week I quit my FT day job in sales and without having any idea of how I would support myself committed every waking moment to my career. Within a month I booked my first national commercial and never looked back!

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}If someone wanted to model themselves after you, would you advise them to or instruct them to do something else?   If something else, what would that be?


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}NO NO NO … do not model yourself after me (lol). My career advice to anybody is to be a great actor you need to be truthful to yourself and your emotions and that is the same ideology to marketing yourself and following a career path. Do not try and be the next <insert name here>, be the first “you” in the industry.

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}What are the top 5 things every actor should do before auditioning?

{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}Great question, it varies on projects and the level of professionalism, but let's say if it is a legit SAG audition …

1.Know what you are auditioning for and I just do not mean the name of the project. When I auditioned for the NBC TV series finale of Ed, I had a clear vision on tempo and the quirkiness of the show. I went in for a one-line character and walked out with a guest role and would up in four scenes and ended up as the “fade to black” character and a lot of that was due to knowing the style of the show.

2. Know the script and if you cannot get the audition sides the night before get there early enough to go over the script in advance. I was called on a Wed afternoon for an episodic audition in Philly on Thursday morning. I took the first bus I could and grabbed that script 90 minutes before my audition time so I could go over the sides and it was such a complex scene that I did not get “it” until about 60 minutes in and was told by the CD that I was one of the few that understood the subtext in the scene and to be proud of myself (I was up against name actors) & I never forgot that.

3. Be on-time … lateness should and won’t be tolerated. If you try to get there 60-90 minutes prior you will very seldom be looked at as “late”. Trying to get there on time does not cut it.

4. Be professional to EVERYONE. The minute you walk in that building you must be on your best behavior because you never know who is who and in honesty everyone should be treated professional regardless of his or her position.

5. Be you. A huge mistake auditioners make is trying to be something other than which they truly are off-camera. Remember that they are hiring “you” to play a “role” so show them how pleasant, charming and professional YOU are and you’d be surprised how YOU will get called back even if you do not get that role.

 

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}As a teacher, what do you look for in your students and what do you help them strive to achieve?


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}I look for the willingness to learn and a fun attitude. At AffordableActingClasses.com one of the things we strive for is “fun”. It is a misnomer that you can’t have fun and work hard and that is a must with my classes. I want students to look forward to every class instead of feeling it’s a chore … that is no way to learn a “craft”!

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}What sets you apart from other acting schools?
 

{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}Affordability, the variety of classes offered, the “blue-collar roll up your sleeves” approach and the biggest separation is the fun we have. Go to AffordableActingClasses.com and read “some” of the accolades and look at the video of students discussing our various classes and then and only then look at the affordability … I put our bang for the buck against ANYBODY!


What else separates us from other classes/instructors is the fact that in our classes we do not tell you how to act … we help you find the truth and the reality and your own method. I find too many “instructors” have their way to do things and that is it and/or they tell you what to do … there is very little learning when you tell someone what to do, but you see a major difference when you help the actor find it themselves and that is part of what makes our classes unique.

Our classes (as mentioned) are FUN. Most people do not realize you can have both fun & work hard. If these classes were not “fun”, I would discontinue ASAP. Also I make sure all students concentrate on their fellow students work (instead of reading their script in class and not paying attention), because you learn so much from watching. I also I become friends with my students and usually after the first week its less of a “teacher-student” relationship and more that I am a “Leader of my peers” & that is how I want it.

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}Have you ever been taken by one of those acting/modeling/teaching/etc. scams?  What advice would you give a new actor on avoiding scams?   Any obvious gotchas that we should look out for?


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}No I never been scammed, but I am fairly well known as someone that outs scams daily. At ActorsFirstNY.com I turn down about 150 notices a month that I feel misrepresents themselves and/or are scams.


Some obvious signs to a scam are …

{xtypo_quote}Is it to good to be true?
Is the audition taking place in a nightclub and only casting young attractive people?
Are there any cost and/or fee?{/xtypo_quote}

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}As an actor, how important is self promotion and what do you think about online social networks like ActorsConnect.com, are they useful for self promotion?   What other things would you recommend for actors to get known and seen?


{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}Promoting yourself and networking is a HUGE key. Actors should be constantly talking to other actors and sharing info on classes, castings, services, photographers, etc. This is a great community but only if you allow it to be.

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}If you could change one thing about the business what would that be? And why?

{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap}The cost for actors to pursue their dreams is the biggest thing I would love to change. {xtypo_quote_right}The cost for actors to pursue their dreams is the biggest thing I would love to change.{/xtypo_quote_right} Because people can, they overcharge actors and I hate that with a passion. My casting entity as explained above is FREE and one of my survival entities is AffordableActingClasses.com and I try to keep true to my feelings.

In this past week I turned down offers from two industry professionals to teach under the AffordableActingClasses.com umbrella because we could not agree on a class fee that was “affordable”. Now that is not a slight, nor a put-down to others that charge more, but it is not my niche and my place in this community.

{xtypo_dropcap}q{/xtypo_dropcap}Any last words?

{xtypo_dropcap}a{/xtypo_dropcap} ActorsFirstNY.com and be part of the insanely popular community of NYC talents for FREE.


Visit http://www.AfordableActingClasses.com/ and look at our upcoming classes including …COMMERCIAL INTENSIVE
ACTING FOR BEGINNERS
COMEDIC ACTING (With a show)
ON-CAMERA AUDITION WORKSHOP
INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE
THE ART OF STORYTELLING SCENE CLASS
THE ACTORS MONOLOGUE
& more


Also a huge thank you to ActorsConnect for the support and spreading the word on what we do and why and a true heart-felt thank you to my students and members of AFNY because its you that vindicate my existence

Jagger Kaye

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Want to be featured, send me a private message and lets chat - Tomas

 

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