Hometown To Hollywood w/ Bonnie J Wallace
EP 114: Jessica Marie Garcia, Actress

EP 114: Jessica Marie Garcia, Actress

July 2, 2020

Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is actress Jessica Marie Garcia.

Jessica is best known for her roles of Jasmine in the Netflix hit On My Block, Willow in Liv and Maddie, and Becky in The Middle, as well as recurring roles on Diary of a Future President, How to Get Away with Murder, American Princess, Starter Pack, Hacking High School, Huge, and more. She is a member of the all-female ensemble cast of BETCH: A Sketch Show on Hulu, and her feature film Avenge The Crows was released on iTunes, where she plays Peaches starring alongside Danny Trejo and Lou Diamond Phillips.

This is Jessica’s second time on the podcast—our last interview was almost exactly four years ago today.

Our conversation covers a wide range, and includes how she got started, audition advice, the role of training in her success, challenges she’s had, thoughts on social media, the importance of seeing people who look like you in film and TV, and much, much more. We also laugh a lot! 

Listen to the first 10 minutes here for free, or become a Friend of the Podcast for access to the full interview, as well as access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.  

It’s easy! In your browser bar, go to https://hometowntohollywood.supportingcast.fm/ and for just $5 a month—about the price of latte– become a member.

Your support allows me to continue to do the work that supports you, and the dreams of your child, or even your own dreams. Thank you!

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “What we do is very, very vulnerable.”
  • “Growing up I didn’t realize how much of my own story wasn’t being told.”
  • “I feel like I came out of the womb reciting a Shakespearean monologue.”
  • “A lot of actors don’t understand that agents and managers work for you.”
  • “The 1st year of living in LA was the hardest year of my life. And I would never take that year back.”
  • “I’m a damn good waiter.”
  • “You have to get 100 ‘NO’s’ before you get a ‘YES.’”
  • “Representation matters. When you don’t see yourself represented, you don’t necessarily think you can do this.”
  • “I just kind of refused to believe that I couldn’t do what I want to do.”
  • “I knew if I waited in line long enough, it would happen for me.”
  • “Nothing worth it is ever easy.”
  • “Everyone has a process… but Stanislavski worked great for me.”
  • “Once I started owning my power & knowing my worth, I feel like the world has opened up many doors for me.”
  • “If you really want to do this, I would encourage you to learn every facet of this industry.”

 

Follow Jessica HERE:

Twitter: @JessMarieGarcia

Instagram: @jess_m_garcia

 

Jessica’s advice—to learn everything about the industry that you can if you really want to do this—comes from experience. The more you understand about how this industry really works—and just as importantly, does NOT work—the better your odds of success.

If you are ready to build an acting career safely and successfully—for yourself or for your kid—invest in a one-on-one consultation with me. I can save you years of frustration and help you create a detailed action plan.

EP 113: Anthony Meindl on Artists and Social Justice

EP 113: Anthony Meindl on Artists and Social Justice

June 18, 2020

Today my guest on this special edition of the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Anthony Meindl. Anthony is a master acting coach, and founder of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop, which has locations in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, London, Atlanta, Toronto, Santa Fe, Chicago, Cape Town, Copenhagen, and Sydney. His philosophy is radically different from the status quo—he does not use scene objective, sense memory, or any of the standard 20th Century approaches that most acting schools take as their foundation—instead, he emphasizes “living truthfully in imaginary circumstances.”

In this special edition of the podcast, we focus on the connections between art & social justice, and between actors & culture. We also discuss acting and the industry and one of the very best audition tips I’ve ever heard shows up about 45 minutes into our conversation. It’s an unusual episode for an unusual time: typically these episodes are designed to be as evergreen and timeless as possible, but I felt that a deeper dive into the impact that actors can have on the world was warranted.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. I found it inspiring and stimulating.

Listen to the first 10 minutes here for free, or become a Friend of the Podcast for access to the full interview, as well as access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.  

It’s easy! In your browser bar, go to https://hometowntohollywood.supportingcast.fm/ and for just $5 a month—about the price of latte– become a member.

Your support allows me to continue to do the work that supports you, and the dreams of your child, or even your own dreams. Thank you!

 

This is Anthony’s second time on the podcast—our first conversation was in the summer of 2016, four years ago.

We explore some very juicy subjects, including the connection between art and politics, artists and social justice, what acting training can do for people, how art can change the world, and much more.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “To be a storyteller is to reflect back to society what it means to be a human being, having a human experience.”
  • “When you realize that nobody knows, you realize that you have just as much of a chance as knowing as anybody else.”
  • “All art is political.”
  • “The reason people don’t want to engage in a discourse is because it’s uncomfortable.”
  • “We equate, as human beings, that feeling something new or unknown or uncomfortable means we’re in trouble. It evokes the fight or flight response.”
  • “Everything you want is in the uncertainty.”
  • “When we speak from the heart-- even though we will make mistakes—we are leading from the right place.”
  • “Instead of waiting for somebody to choose you, choose yourself.”
  • “My responsibility isn’t to change the world; it’s just to change who I am.”
  • “You want to know the secret of how you get work? Have fun. If you have fun, then we, watching you, will have fun.”
  • “We underestimate the power of connection, & the power of our own voice.”

 

Follow Anthony Meindl HERE:

 

Website: http://www.anthonymeindl.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnthonyMeindl

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anthonymeindl/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnthonyMeindlsActorWorkshop/

  

Did you find this episode informative and inspiring? Imagine what you could learn in an hour of one-on-one with an acting career expert? If you could use some help getting started in an acting career, or jump-starting one that has stalled, book a consultation with me. Working with me can save you months and years of frustration, time and money. I look forward to talking with you!

EP 112: Krisha Bullock, Casting Director

EP 112: Krisha Bullock, Casting Director

June 4, 2020

Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Los Angeles casting director Krisha Bullock, of Bullock and Snow Casting.

Listen to the first 10 minutes here for free, or become a Friend of the Podcast for access to the full interview, as well as access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.  

It’s easy! In your browser bar, go to https://hometowntohollywood.supportingcast.fm/ and for just $5 a month—about the price of latte– become a member.

Your support allows me to continue to do the work that supports you, and the dreams of your child, or even your own dreams. Thank you!

 

Krisha Bullock is a multi-award winning Casting Director and nominee with over 19 year of casting experience, specializing in youth programming. She has been nominated for dozens of Artios awards by the Casting Society of America, and is a several time winner of the Seymour Heller Award for Television Casting Director of the Year. She is ridiculously proud of her mentorship of thousands of hopeful young people, helping them break into the industry by navigating them toward a professional career.

Krisha is best known for casting All That, Keenan and Kel, Zoey 101, True Jackson VP, iCarly, Victorious, Sam & Cat, DeGrassi: the Next Generation, Game Shakers, and Henry Danger, among other hit shows. She is a member of the Casting Society of America. 

We talk about how actors can take control of their auditions, how they can best prepare for success when production opens up again after the pandemic, and so much more. Join us!

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “The best actors act from the inside out.”
  • “It is such a joy to make that phone call, and virtually make somebody’s dreams come true.”
  • “Multicamera came from theater.”
  • “We are looking for someone to walk in and show us how the ole should be done.”
  • “I am looking for someone to come in and play the scene exactly the way they would play the scene on set.”
  • “The time that you’re in the room is the time to teach us who you are, & who you’re going to be as a professional on stage.”
  • “We want them to be amazing. We want them to book the role.”
  • “Casting isn’t an adversary; we’re actually part of your team.”
  • “I wish actors would watch their tapes back.”
  • “We are ultimately hiring human beings to be on our set.”
  • “We champion you. Not just for this particular role, but for every role.”
  • “Parents should be like the Secret Service on set. They’re there to protect, and disappear.”
  • “Acting is one of the very few things you can do from birth to death.”

 

Follow Krisha Bullock here:

 

Website:         https://bullockandsnowcasting.com/

Twitter:          @BullockAndSnow

Facebook:       @BullockAndSnowCasting

 

Krisha Bullock shared a career’s worth of insight in her interview, and still we only scratched the surface of her wisdom. Imagine what you could learn in an hour of one-on-one with an acting career expert? If you could use some help getting started in an acting career, or jump-starting one that has stalled, book a consultation with me. A single session can save you months and years of frustration, time and money. I look forward to talking with you!

EP 111: Diane Christiansen, Master Acting Teacher

EP 111: Diane Christiansen, Master Acting Teacher

May 20, 2020

My guest on this episode of the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Diane Christiansen. Diane is an award-winning acting teacher, and founder of Diane Christiansen Coaching in Los Angeles, as well as the new Christiansen Acting Academy in nearby Agora Hills.

Her schools offer weekly classes to actors from age three to adult, broken down by age and focus—and including scene study, audition, technique, Improv, and character development, as well as offering commercial classes, casting director workshops, demo reels, and private coaching.

Diane Christiansen’s students over nearly 30 years teaching have included Hailee Steinfeld, Miranda May, David Henrie, Spencer Daniels, Danielle Panabaker, Jason Dolley, Amy Bruckner, and more. This is actually Diane’s second time on the podcast! She was on 3 years ago, on episode 36.

We discuss her new school, some of the latest developments in auditions, Method acting, the importance of branding and reinvention to actors, and much more.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “Branding is probably the hardest thing for an actor to do themselves.”
  • “Anybody can make a self-tape look good.”
  • “Reinvent, reinvent, reinvent.”
  • “You’re going to find that a lot of The Method techniques cross over into all the other sensibilities taught out there, because the 5 American Masters all came from Stanislavski.”
  • “The thing that I think The Method helps people learn the most about is themselves.”
  • “We have a lot of Meisner with television actors, and we have a lot of Method with feature film actors.”
  • “The most successful people I’ve trained are training with two or three people.”
  • “When you get into the Network testing for series regulars, it gets very gritty.”
  • “I think knowing what NOT to do is just as important.”
  • “Start training as consistently as possible.”
  • “Build a team, and find a way.”
  • “Whenever you don’t feel like you’re going forward, keep training.”
  • “Reinvent yourself. Rebrand yourself. Recreate what you’re doing.”

 

Find Diane Christiansen HERE:

 

Website: http://www.TheChristiansenActingAcademy.com

Instagram: @TheChristiansenActingAcademy

Twitter: @ActUpDi     

Facebook: @DianeChristiansenCoaching 

Master Talent Teachers online acting classes: http://www.mastertalentteachers.com/

 

EP 110: Haydn Jones, Commercial Talent Agent

EP 110: Haydn Jones, Commercial Talent Agent

May 6, 2020

Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Haydn Jones. Haydn is head of the Youth Commercial Division at A3 Artists Agency, formerly known as Abrams Artists Agency.

 

This is the very first Commercial Agent interview on the podcast and I’m so excited to share it with you!

 

We discuss how actors can get started in the industry, how to get a commercial agent’s attention, why commercials can be the gateway to an acting career, how commercial casting is different than theatrical casting, what actors can do during the COVID shutdown, and much more.

 

Become a Friend of the Podcast and listen to the full interview, as well as get access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.

 

It’s easy! In your browser bar, go to https://hometowntohollywood.supportingcast.fm/

and for just $5 a month—about the price of latte-- become a member.

 

Your support allows me to continue to do the work that supports you, and the dreams of your child, or even your own dreams. Thank you!

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation: 

  • “A commercial agent is always trying to piece together someone else’s vision board.”
  • “This industry grows a youth actor to be ready for many, many aspects and challenges of life.”
  • “Even when you start kids really young, it’s still a great experience.”
  • “Acting is behavioral training, it’s a cognitive training, it’s a self-esteem builder.”
  • “A commercial audition is the biggest room of play. You get to be yourself in front of other people.”
  • “Auditions are our Olympics.”
  • “My age categories, and what I’m looking for, changes daily.”
  • “There’s never a bad time for me to look for potential new clients. Commercials are year-round.”
  • “Commercial is the stepping-stone into the Theatrical world.”
  • “Be open to the commercials, because that can begin everything for an actor’s career.”
  • “Being an actor is a job. It takes a certain discipline. It’s not for everyone, and that’s OK.”

 

On the COVID-19 shutdown:

  • “Keep up with your special skills. You should still be practicing every skill in your arsenal.”
  • “Staying creative is what’s important. It doesn’t have to be memorizing a Shakespearean monologue every day.”
  • “If you want to write and create your own story, now is the time!”
    “Show off your dance moves, recite your poems, and tell your stories.”
  • “Get really, really good at self-taping. If this is the new normal, then a lot of the auditions will be remote.”

  

Follow Haydn Jones HERE: 

Instagram:     @TRIFIREFLY25

EP 109: Harriet Greenspan, Hollywood Casting Director

EP 109: Harriet Greenspan, Hollywood Casting Director

April 16, 2020

Become a member! Friends of Hometown to Hollywood get the full version of the interview, plus complete access to my archive—sign up here: https://hometowntohollywood.supportingcast.fm/

(If you’re already a Friend, thanks for your support! Find the latest episode and your podcast feed here: https://hometowntohollywood.supportingcast.fm/subscription/ )

 

My guest on this episode of the Hometown to Hollywood Podcast is Los Angeles casting director Harriet Greenspan.

Harriet has six Artios Award nominations by the Casting Society of America, with one win for Outstanding Achievement in Casting. She is the author of the book Auditionology, and also coaches actors and teaches workshops.

Film and TV projects Harriet Greenspan has cast over her three decades-plus career include Knight Squad, Alex & Me, Pure Country, True Jackson V.P., Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures, Unfabulous, Scooby Doo, and Mean Girls 2. She is a member of The Casting Society of America and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Harriet shares some very useful inside information on how the entire casting process works, including different things actors can do to increase their odds of callbacks and bookings.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “Each actor brings a different tone… so much of who you are is in the role you play.”
  • “I think that you can’t get enough training.”
  • “The biggest thing is being grounded. Being real.”
  • “Take what’s on the page and make it your own. Be creative.”
  • “We want to see what you can do with that material that’s different than the other 59 people who just left my office.”
  • “Read the scene over and over again… each time you read it, you see something you didn’t see before.”
  • “Drama is passion. Drama comes from the heart.”
  • “Comedy is a rhythm.”
  • “Don’t chew gum, don’t wear hats, don’t wear sunglasses, don’t use props.”
  • “Send a few takes of each scene to your agent or manager, and let them choose what they like.”
  • “Each project is different. Each producer is different. Each role is different. Keep going in, they want to see you because they like you.”
  • “If this is what you really want, don’t stop.”
  • “Make sure whatever you put on your resume is accurate.”
  • “Be yourself. Don’t try to be cool, because being cool is not going to get you the job.”

 

Follow Harriet Greenspan here:

 

Website: http://www.harrietgreenspan.com

Email: harrietgreenspancasting@gmail.com

Facebook: @HarrietGreenspanCSA

 

Buy her book here:

Auditionology

EP 108: Diane Burroughs, TV Writer, Showrunner

EP 108: Diane Burroughs, TV Writer, Showrunner

April 1, 2020

My guest on this episode of the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is producer, writer, and show runner Diane Burroughs. Diane is best known for This is What Democracy Looks Like, Still Standing, Rita Rocks, Yes Dear, and The Drew Carey Show.

Diane shares her years of experience generously and speaks very directly about how actors both fail and succeed in this industry, including sharing audition advice, advice for parents of actors, thoughts for writers, and general excellent insight for anyone who wants to work in entertainment.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “I do think it’s important to have your own website, and have a social presence.”
  • “Don’t come in and say, ‘Hey, I’ve never seen this show. Can you tell me something about it?’”
  • “Why would you tell me, ‘I don’t watch sitcoms’ when you’re auditioning for a sitcom?”
  • “Multicamera sitcom acting is way different than single-camera, or feature film, or even being on a stage.”
  • “Remember what you did in the audition when you go to the table read.”
  • “Typecasting is not a bad thing. Typecasting will get you work.”
  • “Just because you don’t get cast doesn’t mean I’ve completely put you out of my mind.”
  • “I got into this business because I wanted to make America laugh.”
  • “If you want to be a screenwriter, read screenplays.”
  • “Don’t be so hard on yourself. The business is hard enough. We need to build ourselves up.”
  • “You are enough. Bring YOU into the audition, and you will get cast.”

  

Contact Diane for pitching and script support here:

pitchtome.diane@gmail.com

EP 107: Lisa London, Casting Director

EP 107: Lisa London, Casting Director

March 18, 2020

My guest on this podcast episode is Los Angeles film and TV casting director Lisa London.

Lisa has won an Artios Award from the Casting Society of America for Outstanding Achievement in Casting. She is the author of the book From Start to Stardom: The Casting Director’s Guide for Aspiring Actors.

Some of the many Film and TV projects Lisa London has cast over her 25-plus year career, alongside her casting partner Catherine Stroud, include Hannah Montana, Grandma’s Boy, The House Bunny, Suite Life of Zak and Cody, Sandy Wexler, The Poison Rose, Freaks, and upcoming films to be released in 2020, Switched, Eat Wheaties, and Through The Glass Darkly. She is a member of The Casting Society of America.

Lisa shares advice for actors on auditions, how to succeed in the industry, how to get on the radar of a casting director even if you don’t yet have an agent, and much more. She is a passionate advocate for actors, and the dedication comes through in this very generous interview.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “Part of what we look for as casting directors is not only your talent, but your personality.”
  • “I don’t ever tell actors, or their parents, ‘you have to move here right away.’ Work in your local market and gain some credits there.”
  • “When you come into a casting room, be a PERSON. I’m looking for the whole package.”
  • “Do your homework. The more you know, the better you do.”
  • “Part of the reason actors don’t get callbacks is they don’t take direction.”
  • “You have to make a choice. But you can’t get so stuck in your choice that you can’t change.”
  • “I think Improv is super important. It’s a great training ground for all actors.”
  • “My job is the find the talent for film and TV shows, and to facilitate the producer/director’s vision.”
  • “We see potential in actors. And we have to sometimes convince other people of that potential.”
  • “For every no, there’s a yes.”
  • “I put Jennifer Aniston in her first movie, Leprochaun… we cast Yara Shahidi in her first series.”
  • “Do you know how many times we’ve met somebody and said, ‘They’re not exactly right for this, but we’re going to put them in a different part, or a different project’?”
  • The fun of casting for me, is I get to meet you, see your personality, work with you, and direct you.”
  • “Create! Make stuff! Do stuff! You have to stay proactive.”
  • Don’t coach your kids.”
  • “If this is your dream and your passion, you have to persist… no matter what happens, you can’t give up. That door is going to open for you.”

 

 

Follow Lisa London here:

 

Website: http://londonstroudcasting.com/

Instagram: @LisaLondonCasting

Twitter: @LLondonCasting

Facebook: @London/StroudCasting

  

Buy her book here:

From Start to Stardom

 

The Backstage Article Lisa wrote and referenced:

4 Reasons You Didn’t Get a Callback

 

There is so much you can do to prepare for a successful acting career right where you are today. One of the best things you can do to ensure success when you do land in Los Angeles is to educate yourself NOW. You're off to a great start by listening to this podcast! If you want to move even faster, book an online consultation with me, and we can create a detailed action plan together. I look forward to talking with you!

EP 106: Jet Jurgensmeyer, Entertainer

EP 106: Jet Jurgensmeyer, Entertainer

March 4, 2020

Today my guest on this podcast is young actor and musician Jet Jurgensmeyer. Jet is best known for his work on Last Man Standing, American Sniper, Ferdinand, Adventures in Babysitting, The Stinky & Dirty Show, Shimmer and Shine, and T.O.T.S. His debut album featuring new single Parachute is out now.

Jet is only 15, but he has already accomplished a lot as a professional performer. Join us as he shares how he got his start, who inspires him, how he balances school and work, how he stays positive through the inevitable rejection an actor faces, and much more.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

·      “My parents really help me with everything.”

·      “Be yourself, because when you do the scene, then they can see the change.”

·      “If you’ve been in that casting room before, try to remember what the backdrop is, so you don’t wear the same color.”

·      “I’ve made some really close friends along the way.”

·      “You’re going to be your worst critic. Have somebody you trust give you their input.”

·      “Be nice. Treat others how you want to be treated.”

·      Everything happens for a reason. There’s always a better thing that comes up.”

·      “I’m a normal kid. I just happen to be an actor and a musician.”

·      “You only get one life, so you may as well do what you love.”

 

Follow Jet HERE:

Twitter: @JetJurgensmeyer

Instagram: @JetJurgensmeyer

Website: https://jetjurgensmeyer.com/

YouTube: Jet Jurgensmeyer

 

Thanks for listening to Hometown to Hollywood. If you enjoy this podcast, take a second and SUBSCRIBE! Go to bonniejwallace.com/signup to get exclusive, inspirational stories and insider info sent to your inbox every week!

I would love to hear from you! If you go to the show notes at Bonniejwallace.com/podcast you can take a moment to fill out a short survey. Let me know who you’d like me to have on the podcast, what you’d like me to ask, and more! Thanks so much.

If you are a young actor or just curious about how your favorite actors got their start, buy my new book, Young Hollywood Actors on Amazon!

And if you’re the parent of a young actor, you can get The Hollywood Parents Guide, on Amazon too.

Finally, for one-on-one coaching, invest in a consultation session with me over phone, Skype, or in LA. Just go to bonniejwallace.com and click on the consultation page. In 60 or 90 minutes, you can get peace of mind, and a detailed action plan.

Remember—the future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.

EP 105: Judy Kain, Acting Teacher

EP 105: Judy Kain, Acting Teacher

February 20, 2020

My guest on this episode of the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Los Angeles acting teacher, Judy Kain, founder of the award-winning Keep it Real Acting Studios.

Judy Kain is also the author of I Booked It!, host of the podcast, Hollywood Game Changers, and an actress with over 400 commercial credits, and over 110 film & TV credits.

We cover a range of important subjects for aspiring actors, and focus especially on the commercial end of the field. Judy shares her wisdom on auditions, self-tapes, mindset, training, and much more.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “I feel that commercials are a little mini movie.”
  • “Commercials are directed by film directors—almost 90%.”
  • “The trap with an actor is they think the more they do, the better it will be. That’s not the case.”
  • “Less is more. Keep it real.”
  • “Incorporate that camera into the scene. Make it part of your fourth wall.”
  • “You can do commercials ‘til you’re 99 years old.”
  • “There is work everywhere.”
  • “It’s the Catch-22 of being an actor; it’s an art form, but you can’t really practice it by yourself. You need other people.”
  • “You can go to the gym by yourself, but you can’t act by yourself.”
  • “If you really want to make it as an actor—whatever ‘make it’ means to you—you will find a way.”

  

Find Judy HERE:

Website: http://www.keepitrealacting.com/

Twitter: @keepitrealactin

Instagram: @keepitrealacting

Facebook: @keepitrealacting

 

Find Judy’s podcast and book HERE:

Podcast: Hollywood Game Changers

Book: I Booked It! The Commercial Actor’s Handbook 

 

There are so many surprises on the journey toward becoming a professional actor. So many aspects of the industry that make no sense from the outside… but make total sense from the inside!

If you need some help figuring it all out and cutting through the confusion, book a consultation with me. In 60 or 90 minutes, I can help you with all your questions, and answer questions you may not even know to ask.

No one can promise you success, but the more you understand about how it all works, the more you tilt the odds in your favor. I look forward to talking with you!