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Three times a charm - our end of year Q & A with the one and only Jagger Kaye, owner/operator of www.CASTINGSnCLASSES.com

Three times a charm - our end of year Q & A with the one and only Jagger Kaye, owner/operator of www.CastingsnClasses.com

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Talk to us about your charity event, why is this so important to you and the community? Which charities will benefit from this event?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap} Well, the event is AVeryJaggeredXMAS.com. For TEN years it was an adult themed variety show where the box office went to buying toys/gifts for children/teens living with AIDS & patrons added to that collection when they arrived at the show. The last few years we added The Children’s Hospital at St. Peters to the charities we donate to because a CnCer’s daughter’s life was saved by the medical staff at that hospital.

The little girl was born with all her organs on the outside of her body & was not supposed to survive, but a Doctor at that hospital convinced the mother he could try his best & lil Olivia is now 5 years old & known as a living miracle. The mother Aimee told me the story a few years ago before a class & I was so moved I wanted to help her repay back the staff at the hospital by donating to them as well.

{rokbox title=|Aimie & Olivia| size=|561 350|}images/stories/14543_194136746945_701096945_3555971_1031740_n.jpg{/rokbox}

This year the donations go to The Incarnations Children’s Center (AIDS) & the above mention facility & the collection should wind up between $5-8,000 ALL in toys/gifts & that is about 300-500 items.

Long before the Holidays became commercialized it was about making children who had very little in their lives smile … that to me is the most important thing about Holidays & that is the driving force behind it.


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}

 

Since the first interview you've won a few Backstage Readers Choice Awards, what's the key to your success?

 

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}This year CnC was sited SEVEN Times (winner/runner-up) & I personally set a Backstage record for SIX nods.

The key is … we connect with students like I have never seen others do.

 

This began as just me teaching one class a week & now in January we have 26 classes/events in 29 days.  My goal was to build a community & we done that.

 

Recently both a well-known agent & a respected CD both said they see Jagger/CnC on more newer actors resumes they call in and/or work with than any other facility/teacher & its mind-blowing the momentum we have.

 

CD {rokbox size=|fullscreen| text=|Brette Goldstein|}http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1279486/{/rokbox} said a year ago that she heard of my desire to build a community & a family of actors & never thought it could be done in NYC – until she met me. She then jumped on board with gusto, love & energy.

 

That spirit is what we are about “behind the scenes” as well as the family of actors that frequent us.

 

 

{xtypo_quote}The key is … we connect with students like I have never seen others do.{/xtypo_quote}


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Like with all success, people tend to make changes, why did you move your CnC studio from the producers club?  When did you realize you needed to make that move?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap} Well, I am still VERY close with the owners/management of The Producers Club Theaters. They hosted our CnC-6th Anniversary Event as well as our 11 years of charity events.

I still frequent there a lot and I get CnCers from the office recommending me all the time.

 

In order to do what I wanted, I needed to have my own space & not worry about “rental availability” & rushing a student because we were close to the hour we had to vacate by. I still do 90% of admin/emails from my home desk but it is so relaxing knowing I have 750+ sq. feet of my own that I control in the heart of TSQ.

 

CnC is also known as a fun industry hang-out after classes…


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Throughout the years you've had a good list of instructors, this past year you had Hollywood Director {rokbox size=|fullscreen| text=|Steve Carr|}http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0139867{/rokbox} [credits include Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Dr. Dolittle II, Daddy Day Care, Next Friday] come in, not once but twice!!  How did you manage that one?  What do you think draws people like Steve to CnC studios?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap} Well Steve was our huge special guest for our CnC-5th Anniversary Event & came back this past August as well.

Steve & I reconnected when I read for Paul Blart: Mall Cop & we stayed connected & he saw what was going on at CnC & I went with my gut & asked him if he would like to do something & he was genuinely excited to do so.

 

I would never insult Steve by offering him the little I can afford money-wise, so both times he came in, I did not profit from him (it was either a FREE event or went to charity).

 

Steve is a nice guy & see’s how newer actors appreciate his time as well as his incredible visual instincts & hopefully our yearly affiliation will continue, but I respect his time way too much to assume anything.

 

Oh did I mention we are the ONLY facility he ever appeared at?

{rokbox title=|CnC with Steve Carr| size=|561 350|}images/stories/gedc0099.jpg{/rokbox}

 

Regarding others [credits listed on IMDB] … I am insanely proud to have on CnC staff, Emmy Nominated Actors: Louise Lasser & Larkin Malloy, CD’s: David Vaccari, Brette Goldstein, Roger Delpozo & Fay Shumsey, Agent Jerry Kallarakkel. CESD VO Manager & Backstage Winner Diana Lote, as well as Andrew S. Hurley (Shakespeare), Susan Eichhorn-Young (Voice) & our recent addition & ex—assistant of Conan O’Brien’s Todd Blass doing Sketch … my CnC running crew is AMAZING


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Numbers usually speak for themselves, with that in mind, how much has your subscriber based grown since we last spoke?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap} Well we are at 12,900 members of our FREE casting side of CnC. It has yet to level off … so far so great.

 


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}The buzz around town is that something big and exciting is happening over at CnC? What's the inside scoop?  What do you have planned for 2011?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap} Well, there is a lot happening that isn’t confirmed but since I returned from

a recent hospitalization, several major industry names have taken meetings with me about possibly being more involved & expanding the CnC brand. Honestly I am not too sure if I want that. I like the level we are at & never want to be “just another place”, but I am excited to look into it further.

 

Also if a certain SAG project gets green-lit it will be cast out of CnC & I have been in talks about a CnC reality show. The reality show is tricky because I don’t want it to interfere with the sanctuary of classes (we do not allow outsiders in) & I have butted head over content - they want it to be about behind the scenes “drama” & edginess & I want it to be about actors making

it to the next level

 

But one thing I can warn you about is Friday, April 15th when we have the first ever CnC-Fest as the kickoff to our 7th Anniversary. Live bands, Comedians, Cabaret & some very special guest including the red-hot NYC band Mister Gio who performs our new theme song  {rokbox title=|Theme song:: Life Goes On| text=|Life Goes On| size=|425 373| album=|youtube|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDSFrXjcKd0{/rokbox}

 

The rest … let’s see, but I guarantee CnC in 2011 will be a fun ride!

Parent Category: News

Q&A with Kristina Hughes

Q&A with Kristina Hughes

 

{xtypo_info}Preface{/xtypo_info}

I caught up with Kristina a few months back and we spoke about doing this Q&A out of the curiosity I developed for her as an actor, model and her company Holdon Log.  However, I have known her as an ActorsConnect.com member for quite some time.  Kristina was one of the first adopters of this social networking site for actors, models, etc. and concept back when there wasn't much online for the social networking actors.

So after a bit of convincing, she had me sit in on her seminar in NY to learn more about her solution to help keep entertainers organized and after that I figured we should complete a Q&A to get to know her a bit more.

{xtypo_info} {/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}How’d you get your start in the business and what motivates you to keep pushing forward?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Hello Tomas, first off, thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you and reach out to your members/visitors!  Being a performer myself, I know the importance in finding great information from someone who is positive and passionate about what they do. Whether I am performing or working at my “day job”, I love what I do and I hope it shines through.

I’d have to say my first interest with being a performer came in 8th grade. I was an only child at the time, always the “new girl” in school. My parents were young themselves and still figuring out their own lives, so we moved every year to a new town. I was painfully quite but, I had a teacher, Miss Van Til, who noticed I was interested in fashion and encouraged me to look into modeling/finishing school. I loved learning about fashion trends, make-up, etiquette and modeling and from there my head filled up with dreams of working on soap operas, in commercials and co-hosting Entertainment Tonight.

It’s been a while since I was in 8th grade, but the passion is still strong and has developed over the years with more and more training, higher callback/booking ratios and better career opportunities. I’ve learned to celebrate my career successes and to promote them. Doing so creates excitement and that is what keeps me moving forward. Working with great directors and talented cast members is always motivating too!

 {xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Share with us your experience with LA.  Did you move on a leap of faith or did you have some projects lined up?  Also, would you recommend moving to LA to young actors starting out in the biz?

Kristina Hughes

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}My journey to Los Angeles went kind of like this…I worked in the Boston market when it was very small and I wanted more, so that expanded to New England. I worked doing lots of tradeshows, local print jobs, promotional work and some non-union commercials. To be honest, I was motivated to go to New York and give “it” a try…working in a huge market where I could earn more than $150 dollars for a local commercial that ran into the ground. So, I invested in myself and lived in a boarding house in Gramercy Park that my agent recommended during the summers while going to college at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. During the summers I would train and audition and then work doing promotions, print modeling, background work and lots of indie music video work until I felt like I was really ready to audition for film/TV and theatre roles.

While working on a show in NYC, I realized that I was not a good singer or dancer.  Also, I had a friend who was already in Los Angeles telling me I needed to give LA a try.  Well, that gave me an extra push. I did a 6 week trial in LA, secured an agent, a manager, found an acting coach and a part-time job doing more promotions to get started with some income.

Funny thing (and this was before dating shows were so intrusive and exploitative), but I did one in Los Angeles just before leaving and won a cash prize and that that gave me the money I needed to drive across country and paid first month’s rent.

But first I had to fly back to my mom’s home in the Boston area and tell her that I was leaving for Los Angeles in a week! I packed up my car and was on my way to give acting a serious go. I didn’t have any projects lined up. Looking back, I had leads and some referrals that I should have reached out to, but I wasn’t that business-minded --- yet.

I think “young” or “new” actors need a few things before heading out to a bigger market.Some local training (basic scene study classes especially where they can learn how to breakdown a scene, develop their character, some relaxation techniques and vocal warm-ups). Otherwise, they might have made the trip and settled down only to find they don’t really enjoy acting or that it’s just more work than they wanted to invest. Also, if they want to work in film or TV they should have some actual footage of their work that’s strong enough to show an agent at an initial meeting, like from a senior or grad student project, an indie film, etc. There are so many people making films in smaller markets, it would really behoove the young/new performer to get their “on the job training” outside of the bigger markets so when they do book work in the bigger market they are not shocked, filled with anxiety and unsure of the basic techniques and business practices that are expected. They also need enough money in the bank to cover the first 3-6 months of rent, office supplies, travel expenses, food and training. In a bigger market, things are more expensive and being stressed out about money can make a performer get stuck at their day job and further and further away from being able to audition, book work, promote their bookings and network.

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Any quick tips or advice you can share with your peers based upon your experience as an actor?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}You need to look at every interaction, meeting, seminar, class, time at a booking as an opportunity to learn from others. You need to log, track and manage your day-to-day ongoings so that you are on time, prepared and organized. I think of it as wanting to be the person people think of when they need a “young professional type”, a “well mannered hand model to work doubling a celebrity” the “person to go to when they might need a referral for a great make-up artist”, etc.

Be the person that others want to work with repeatedly because you do a great job. Be the person that others go to for leads (stockpile your contact database with everyone you ever work with…from the director and producer to the stylist and caterer).  This is called “Reverse Networking”; when you can, at a moments notice, recommend needed cast & crew members to anyone involved with the next latest and greatest project.

When you accomplish this the project’s “powers that be” will look at you not just as ‘another actor’, but rather a valued commodity to their project’s endeavors. It’s then you can leverage your ‘power’ to not just book a role in their project but perhaps a producer’s credit to boot!

Also, strong sense of self is super important. Be your own cheerleader, promoter and motivational coach! REMOVE the black cloud that hangs over your head and banish negative dialogue. For example replace “if I book the job” to “when I book the job”. When you are saying “when I book the job” let yourself take in how awesome it will feel when you get the call, tell others about it, wrap the gig, etc. Your centeredness will shine through.

Leave the negative talk in the car, at your apartment, etc. DO NOT BRING IT TO AN AUDITION, A MEETING OR TO WORK! Remember to love yourself, give yourself some credit for pursuing your dreams and don’t complain about what you have or want to change about yourself to others. Remember what you see as a “flaw” (i.e. - you aren’t tall enough, your nose is too big, you aren’t pretty enough, etc.) could be the exact reason WHY you are booked…and if you complain, others just might think, “yup, you aren’t ‘that’ enough so I should just hire someone else.”!

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}So lets switch gears for a bit, not only are you an actor but you’re also co-founder of Holdon Log, The Standard in Performer Organizational Tools.  For those who haven’t heard about your company, what’s the quick “elevator pitch” about your company and why should all entertainers be interested in what you have to offer?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}I am the co-founder of Holdon Log ~ “The Standard in Performer Organizational Tools”.

For over 8 years we have been assisting performers with the business side of their careers though our PerformerTrack webware (www.PerformerTrack.com), our Performer Logbooks (www.HoldonLog.com), our seminar “Lights! Camera! Tracking!” (www.LightsCameraTracking.com), our “Copy Provided” Form (www.CopyProvided.com), our “ShowBiz Cards” (www.ShowBizCards.com), the PerformerNation newsletter (www.PerformerNation.com), our sponsored Meetup networking events and a bevy of other services. It feels so great to be a part of something so needed!

See, we performers are really creative people. We LOVE to entertain, but when it comes to being organized and business-minded, we fail in various ways.  For example, keeping track of the casting directors we’ve met, whose attended our live performances, what we’ve invested in our careers and what directors we want to work with…if we were put in a position to know the answers most of us of us would just freeze up because all this information is scattered about (or worse, is in our ‘head’). Instead, such vital career information should be in one place where it can be easily accessed and you can log, track and manage your career daily through a proven workflow, thus remembering to follow-up, knowing who to target and promote our bookings to.  At the end of the day, you can then take a step back and see what’s working (callbacks, bookings, repeat bookings and direct bookings) and what’s not working (headshots/resume and demo reel submissions that do not result in meetings with potential representation or auditions) so that you don’t have to abandon your dreams. Instead we can “steer our career” by charting a course and taking action daily to move toward success.

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}What motivated you to co-found Holdon Log?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}A thorough “how it ALL happened” is outlined here: http://performertrack.com/history.html

However, the long and short of it is that our first product was actually a gift that my boyfriend (comedian, Brian Vermeire) made for me and presented during Christmas of 2000.  He was the disorganized performer who observed my ‘type-A’, Virgo, business-minded, detail-oriented self.  I was logging every communication with my agent, manager and my clients in a single, college-ruled notebook. In contrast, he was writing audition information on a multitude of scrap paper and loosing it. HoldonLog.com

I had all of my information in one place while Brian (giving credit here to a boyfriend who is observant!) noticed my “system” and made me the first ever Holdon Log…a hand-made logbook which had a cover that he “custom decorated” with gold brocade and drew in a Sharpie marker: “Kristina’s Official Audition Log of 2001”. In fact, there’s a photo here: http://performertrack.com/history-2.html

Shortly after receiving the gift, Brian needed one. I agreed it was “ok” to copy my gift for himself…figuring that I’d spend less time having to help him find his scrap notes for his auditions and callbacks. Then our friends wanted their own copies and then a theatre group was looking for fundraiser items…and the idea, which is a product now, became something we thought could help others, would only require a small minimum investment (design, duplication, trademarking, copyrighting – oh, and starting the LLC in the State of California was an $800 a year commitment…but we believed it would be worth the risk…certainly less money than making the film we were working on producing!). So, we researched the market, couldn’t find anything like it, and so we started taking meetings at bookstores and developing a web site for online sales…how 2001 of us!

Looking back on the past 8 years at our steady growth, as well as the reinvestment in our company and our careers (as well as our fellow performers who utilize our many free services and tools)…the Holdon Logs, the ActorTrack Software and now, the outstanding PerformerTrack Webware…I have to say it’s been an incredible journey. We’ve met some awesome Industry professionals and have received countless emails, unsolicited user testimonials and even hand written cards mailed to our P.O. Box that have really affirmed that the investment in our time, money and resources was (and is) worth it. We love performing, we know that other performers love what they do and if what we provide is that beneficial, proven, streamlined way for performers to stay business-minded while still creating, then that’s thrilling for us!

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}How can we get access to the software?  Who can we contact?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Well the software that was known as “ActorTrack” has just undergone an incredible update and is newly renamed, “PerformerTrack”!

In fact, it’s no longer software but is Webware. Why? Well, an extended description is here: http://performertrack.com/FAQ-general.html in the “Why did you go from software to an online application?” section. The reasons were many and really define the future of our company, coupled with the daily lives of performers and the need to embrace technology.

Some basic reasons were that our clients:Performertrack.com

  • had problems remembering to take advantage of our updates
  • either had their laptops stolen, or crash and never backed up their data
  • wanted and needed access from multiple computers (at home, on tour, at their day jobs)
  • needed more application interconnectivity
  • have requested more of a community feel
  • begged for their information to be in the palm of their hands, literally…as in PDA’s, cell phones and smart phones.

 

There’s a product tour, FAQ’s section, Industry reviews and User Buzz at www.PerformerTrack.com. In fact, that’s the Web site to go to become a member and because you have been so kind and supportive, I’m going to give any of your readers 2 MONTHS FREE when they join for the year when they enter in the following COUPON CODE at checkout:

ATCT9

If anyone has any questions, they can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Bringing it back to your acting career, are you happy with the way it’s progressed or is there anything you’d do differently that would’ve affected the route it’s taken so far?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}I’m a firm believer that “everything happens for a reason” and while I can honestly say that I wish I had MORE of this type of booking and MORE of that type of booking. I think the fact that I’ve worked in many facets of the Industry (network, studio, independent projects, promotional, print, commercial, industrial, film, TV and voice-over) it has been a wonderful training ground and a way for me to cultivate my career rather than having a quick flash-in-the-pan performing experience. I’ve had roles that are internationally recognized that garner me lots of fan mail and yet I’ve had roles, like so many of us, that have been cut or projects that have never seen the light-of-day because of a myriad of reasons and that’s OK, I accept it and know that that it’s all part of THE PLAN.

I have a great outlook for 2009 having maintained contact with some incredible Industry professionals that I’ve met along the way and I do practice what I “preach”.  In fact I have a TV series, a hosting gig and a few scripts that I am in the pre-production phases of.

I think as performers we often dwell on the negative side of why we didn’t get the job, why the show got cancelled, why the movie is collecting dust on the shelves at Blockbuster…which is neither smart and nor healthy. If we do all that we can to memorize our lines, develop great characters, promote our bookings, then we have to let it go.

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}What are you working on at the moment, where can we see you next?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Deep breath…working with my team on spreading-the-word about PerformerTrack is a high priority, as well as working on the updates that we have in place. We just released a batch of updates today and after having only been out for a few weeks…that feels incredibly uplifting.  We don’t have to wait any more to do an update…software is so 2005!

I have two films premiering this fall, another one going to International distribution, I am working on a viral-video idea with a character I played from a very popular film I was in, I’m outlining a biography show that I want to shoot a pilot episode of, I am revisiting  a short film that a group of us were working on before we got so involved with PerformerTrack, revisiting a feature length that I might sell/seek to produce and/or star in, I’m actively updating my web site www.KristinaHughes.com ... oh, and I’m working on a series of books for performers!

You can see trailers and teasers for some new projects at www.KristinaHughes.com. Of special interest to your readers might be the teaser for Helicon which I shot in NYC, NJ and Staten Island. It’s a rhotoscoped project and I play a nasty tabloid executive trying to get a talented writer to part with his script. I also have a part in the opening scene of Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon as the only female White House Aide in the oval office, I shouldn’t be too hard to miss!

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Any advice for someone who’s looking to launch their own business while being a full time actor?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}As an actor, or any type of performer, we have a leg up on others who aren’t working for themselves…we are freelancers and essentially we are Entrepreneurs. It’s in our nature to be a go getter and when you are in business for yourself, well you have to answer to yourself. We are the COO’s of our career --The Chief Operating Officers. If we are late, it’s our problem, if we don’t do the necessary preparation to know our lines, it’s our problem, if there’s too much money going out spent on unnecessary, untargeted mass mailings, classes and workshops we were not even ready for because we didn’t have a decent headshot, resume, reel and website to direct that Industry pro to when we follow-up then that’s our problem.

So with that natural fit, I can only encourage the performer who has an idea that they might want to turn into a business to research the “product”, what the start-up costs might be, how long it might or could be before they turn a profit, and to then make sure that their idea is really theirs and that it isn’t a knock-off. No one likes knock-offs and it’s pretty obvious when something is, it jeopardizes your personal integrity and in time I am sure that it could be pretty difficult to look at yourself in the mirror every day.

I can also say that time management is so important to help the full-time actor who becomes the full-time Entrepreneur to find a balance and not lose sights of their goals and dreams. Believe me in 2001, I did not think that I’d not only be working on my performing career every day, but that I also would be working 60-90 hours a week on my company. Thankfully, I love wearing both hats. I get to entertain people and I get to help those who want to entertain others. I win both ways!

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Any final comments for our ActorsConnect.com members?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Enjoy your community…promote it, grow it and share with others. It’s important to have a support system through the highs, the lows, and in the in-betweens.

To stay on top of my career happenings, sign up for my quarterly Hughes Happenings newsletter here: http://www.kristinahughes.com/contact-join.html

Thank you for reading the 10 Q&A responses that Tomas posed to me. I look forward to seeing you at an audition, on the set, at a seminar or on the Red Carpet!

Be BOLD,

Kristina

Parent Category: News

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

--------------------------------

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

 

Parent Category: News

Jagger Kaye Q&A take two

Our follow up Q&A with Jagger Kaye...

{xtypo_info}Preface{/xtypo_info}

I have known Jagger for a few years now, he's been instrumental for my career by way of the FREE castings mailing list he runs.  I personally do not know how he does it, work all day and still manage to help out fellow Actors by receiving and pushing through his list all the castings but you can easily see that 10 thousand plus members is probably the reason he keeps pushing forward.

I recently attended one of his Commercial Intensives and I have to admit I was a little skeptical.  You know that saying, "you get what you pay for" but I have to admit, I walked away feeling like I robbed Jagger blind.  I bet you're asking yourself why, well I attended the course for nearly nothing and walked away with a lot of good tips when it comes to auditioning for SAG commercials.  Having seen other schools sell the same type of curriculum for triple the price, yeah I feel like I walked into Jaggers course with a loaded pistol and stole his knowledge of the industry.

If you were like me, skeptic, well fear no longer of being taken for your cash.  Invest the time and shed the little bit of cash it costs to take one of his classes because you will not be disapointed.  Just look at the lineup of industry professionals he has partnered with and don't forget to check out the re-launch of his website CASTINGSnCLASSES.com on Oct 1st. 

While you are watching me make my Soap Opera debut on All My Children (shameless self promotion) get on your computer and log on to Jaggers CASTINGSnCLASSES.com!

{xtypo_info} {/xtypo_info}

 

{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}10,000 plus members, what do you think has been the main reason for the level of success you’ve seen with running ActorsFirstNY.com?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}10,200 plus members … don’t short change me Tomas … ;)
There are several responses to your query. The biggest reason for the incredible numbers is the word of mouth in the community. I get emails from actors that said they heard about us on a set & recently a major bi-coastal agency contacted me because several of their actors were bragging about us. Without the word of mouth we would be nowhere close to the success we are. Of course that begs the query of why so many actors recommend us & I feel it’s because of the honesty, simplicity, community feel & the cost to receive 350/400 casting notices delivered in your inbox … the cost is … FREE!


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}So talk to me about the website – CASTINGSnCLASSES.com, what prompted you to re-launch the site and how are you planning to set yourself apart?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Well first off the website/URL should be explained. CASTINGSnCLASSES.com is a gateway to our two brands (ActorsFirstNY.com – FREE castings & AffordableActingClasses.com – AFFORDABLE classes). In April we had a hugely successful 4th anniversary party/event to celebrate ActorsFirstNY.com & I was sitting with some staff afterwards and we discussed how we should combine both the “castings” & “classes” areas of the business & I checked and the domain CASTINGSnCLASSES.com was free so I grabbed it & made it a simplistic gateway page. Since May I have had dozens of businesses, actors, etc. approach me about advertising & promoting to our members & a constant conflict I have is the level I will commercialize the casting brand, so I decided to make a fun, cool gateway page where we can help promote businesses, actors, etc. at an AFFORDABLE cost & bring a unique homepage to our community! 

{xtypo_sticky}Now regarding “setting us apart” … nobody does what we do … the way we do it … and at the volume we do it … we are already “set apart”{/xtypo_sticky}


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Are you moving the yahoo group to the site?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}No … the ease of receiving FREE NYC area castings in your inbox will not change. The website is part of our growth & not a replacement for NYC’s top acting community for FREE castings


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Lets chat about your competitors, are there any? And what do you think about people following in your footsteps, is it complimenting or just the biz?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}I don’t really see anybody as a competitor because nobody offers what we do, but yes I am seeing people taking some of our initiatives and trying to do them (to various degrees of success) and that is fine & expected. If others were not influenced by us, then how good are the ideas anyway?

We are not the first Yahoo casting group and I have always tipped my hat to the older pioneering groups, so that was an idea that wasn’t mine, but I did take it in different directions & to bigger heights than others. If you are not an influence than your impact was minimal, so I welcome others being influenced by us.


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Now that 2009 is quickly approaching, what do you have in the works for your members in addition to your new site?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Well, I have actually throttled our growth because CASTINGSnCLASSES.com grew so quickly it almost got away from me. There are a lot of surprises coming but the timing will be the key, but look for more unique & specific classes all at an AFFORDABLE rate & for the community to continue to grow. I’m excited for the year 2009 & I know a lot of our community is as well.


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap}Since your classes are so successful and constantly sold out, have you retired from acting and focusing on teaching the craft permanently?

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}Retired from acting? Where did you get that from Tomas? No I am (are you ready?) an … ACTOR FIRST and always will be & I have a lot of great things in the works.

Now a decision I did make was to turn my PT job with CASTINGSnCLASSES.com into a FT job beginning in mid-August and the dividends has paid off tremendously. I now have 2 FT jobs with my career & my brand and the timing was right to make that happen. One of the reasons our class offerings are so successful is the “distinct & unique” classes we offer. Outside of my constantly sold-out offerings (Beginners, Scene, Monologue, Commercial, Comedic Acting, On-Camera Auditioning, Career Help, etc.) we offer REAL industry (check Ross Reports) that teaches Auditioning classes, Voiceover classes, Hosting classes, Advanced Commercial & many more & all are at 50% of the cost of others. The reason industry teaches for us is the fact they love the vibe our classes create and also they appreciate that we offer AFFORDABLE opportunities to the community.

I have turned down SEVERAL Industry that I felt just wanted to make extra income instead of offering something unique. I recently had Meredith from Amerifilm (who cast me in a Rob Schneider feature) teach a class specific to auditioning for a legit CD. I have an upcoming class taught by Jack Menashe (owner of IAA) that is focused on the “agent meeting” & recently announced introductions to both Hosting & Voiceovers. The fact that I have such respected industry as Telsey & Co, CESD, IAA, Amerifilm & others teaching for me at AFFORDABLE rates is a testament to them getting what our community offers & our member support makes that happen & I cannot thank them enough for being behind us & appreciating all the hard work & efforts.  It is truly a win-win & the community really vindicates our existence


{xtypo_dropcap}Q{/xtypo_dropcap} Anything you want to say to your members and prospective members? .Image

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}THANK YOU to current & future supporters & prepare for a fun ride in 2009 as we get bigger & better.
Do not forget to check out CASTINGSnCLASSES.com beginning 10/01/08 & support all our sponsors & if you feel one of our class offerings is right for you, please contact us but EVERYONE should be taking advantage of the FREE castings

I leave everyone with this …
{xtypo_quote}You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress.
With it there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis
{/xtypo_quote}

Parent Category: News