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And my trip is over...

What a hectic February.

I spent most of the month in the ever-so -amazing Hollywood and I sometimes wish I was still there. It is a very happening place... if you know what I mean.

So lets start from the very beginning. I mentioned last month that I was taking a 6-week Craig Anton Comedy class. And what did I think of it… It was just phenomenal. Mainly because Craig is such a beautiful person that really wants his students to get better and thus book jobs. I would definitely recommend his course to anyone new to LA. I also had the pleasure of working with Dave Higgins, Jim Turner and John Ennis during this course. Lucky me.

Then I took part in one of Lesly Kahn’s Triages. It was intense. First of all, know your stuff for this workshop because if you don’t you are wasting time. She doesn’t let you finish the scene and is very harsh when critiquing. Keep in mind she WANTS you to get better, NOT tear you down. She said “every line has to mean something otherwise there is no point in saying anything”. What I also learnt in this class is with Comedy, it is not about the actor, it’s all about the text. Meaning you need to stick to the text or not get the role. Kaapeesh.

I audited Ivana Chubbuck’s Class (which can only be done once and then you have to pay to be a student and do it tonnes of times). It was great! It was wonderful to see so many extremely talented actors bring emotionally draining scenes to life. It was definitely a contrast to Anthony Meindl’s work, which were simpler scenes but still a joy to watch. I loved his scene study class! He is all about “stop acting, just be”, which I completely agree with. I am not dissing the technique that everyone seems to have in LA, but IF YOU GET IT… YOU GET IT, and you don’t have to do so much work. Margi Haberalso has this work ethic and I cannot wait to work with her later in the year. Can you believe there were 10 Australians at her Orientation class of maybe 30 or so people?!? Woah.

I did Improv here too. I had a UCB Intensive lined up but then realised I wasn’t able to attend the second week because I was flying home and there really wasn’t much point seeing as though I would have to do the whole course again for it to count. But I managed to attend a Second City class taught by the hilarious Jamie Moyer. It was fantastic, one of the best Improv classes I’ve ever been too. The calibre of performers was amazing and we worked so well together which was astounding because we had only just met. I also did a Groundlings audition while I was over there… and Yippee, I passed the first round of auditions and have been invited to take classes. If only I was there for longer.

I also had a meeting with Actors Comedy Studio but didn’t have time to do any of their courses and due to Santa Monica traffic, I didn’t get there in time for my John Rosenfeld consultation. There’s always next time.

I also checked in with my Lawyer when I was over there about attaining this little thing called the O-1 Visa. I know a lot of people that have gotten the Visa that I don’t think are exceptional talents, so for a while I thought money might be the only challenge in getting one… I was wrong. You need a lot of information. Getting a sponsor is probably the hardest part in all of this. First of all, you have to find one and then you have to keep the same sponsor for the duration of the Visa. That means if a Production Company sponsors you, you can only work for them exclusively for the 3 years. And if you have a American agent and you want to change, that’s too bad, you have to make your way back home and apply for another O-1 Visa with the new sponsor and a new bunch of cash. The rest of the data is pretty simple to collate, if you truly are an exceptional talent. What I loved about LA though was I met so many working Australian actors while over there and they were all in the same boat as me. Everyone starts over in LA, it doesn’t matter where you are from or what you have been in. LA is not Australia.

Anyway now I’m back to a very slow start. I have had no auditions at all this year. So much for pilot season and am hearing about this person and that person getting auditions for huge things and it bothers me. I find it ridiculous that in Australia we have this stupid unwritten rule that if you went to a Top 4 Drama school, you have a career (not to discredit the actors that went through the 3 years and did not get top representation). It’s exhausting trying to be seen in the Australian industry when in America they are constantly looking for raw fresh talent and don’t give a hoot about the school you studied at. Obviously my sights are set on somewhere else.

This month, I’m back to auditioning for unpaid work and am back to normal paid work to support myself. My goal is to get on top of everything in Sydney and email every casting director and agent for leads. Also to Meditate, I have been advised to do so. Anthony Meindl said “If you aren’t getting what you want then get out of it. What is the worst thing that can happen.” I’m taking that on board too. I also got new, more accurate headshots of myself by Marnya Rothe. Check them out at the bottom of the post. But apart from that it’s my birthday on the weekend and I turn another year older. Judging on my collective friends ages I’m about 26 this year. So happy birthday to me and I hope this blog has given you an incite into the industry elsewhere, it exist and it is happy to take you.

A huge thanks to the amazing teachers, mentors and friends I met while I was over there. I’ll see you all in September. J

Much love,

May Grehan

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