Hometown To Hollywood w/ Bonnie J Wallace
EP 94: Kevin Mock, Producer, Editor, Director

EP 94: Kevin Mock, Producer, Editor, Director

August 13, 2019

Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Kevin Mock. Kevin is a director, producer, and editor, best known for his work on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, America’s Next Top Model, LA Heat, The Flash, and Chuck.

Because Kevin’s experience is so wide-ranging, this is a wide-ranging conversation! It will be interesting to anyone interested in directing, producing, or editing, as well as anyone interested on how the entertainment industry really works. I learned a lot myself!

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • I like directors that trust me. They don’t tell me how to edit, but tell me what they need.
  • The best way to direct sometimes is not to say, “I need this lens and the camera at this spot,” but to say, “I need it to feel this way,” and let the DP choose some of those specifics. 
  • When you edit a reality show, the choices you’re making are macro. It’s about whose story you’re following and how it begins and how it ends. In a scripted show, that’s all already there.
  • I used to watch movies and go through frame by frame and see how they did things. And that’s easier to do now than ever.
  • If you really want a career in editing, you have to move to move to Los Angeles.
  • This business is 100% about relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a job without knowing someone.
  • Directing is showing up in the morning and realizing the catering truck is parked in your shot.
  • You try to put yourself in the right position and you hope you get lucky.
  • Actors should all have their passports ready.

If you’re interested in editing, the book Kevin recommended is In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch.

Look for Kevin’s current project, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which is currently on the CW.

 

Follow Kevin Mock HERE:

 

Twitter: @kevmock

Instagram: @kevmock

EP 93: Marnie Cooper, Acting Coach: Update

EP 93: Marnie Cooper, Acting Coach: Update

July 29, 2019

EP 93: Marnie Cooper, Acting Coach: Update

My guest on this podcast episode is master acting coach, and talent manager, Marnie Cooper. This is Marnie’s second time on the podcast, and we dive deep into some excellent acting advice; I recommend you go back and listen to her first episode as well, which is Episode 72.

Marnie has been teaching acting, and coaching clients for over 25 years, and works with kids, teens, and adults. She has worked with Mila Kunis, America Ferrera, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Holt, Jennette McCurdy, Danielle Panabaker, Taylor Momsen, Paul Dano, Brenda Song, Ashley Argota, Ella Anderson, Chris Richards, Chandler Kinney, Ariana Greenblatt, and many more.

She teaches beginner through master classes for ages 5-21, as well as private coaching in her studio in Studio City, California. Marnie also does on-set coaching, and works with actors via Skype and Facetime all over the world. She is also the author of Teaching Kids to Act for Film and Television.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “If you want a great acting class, take a psychology class.”
  • “I think once we know more who WE are, we can then explore who OTHER people are.”
  • “If you don’t know how to be in the moment in life, how are you going to know how to be in the moment in acting?”
  • “You can’t say your words if you don’t understand them.”
  • “If I could, I would have people meditate before they start their scenes.”
  • “First you’re the detective, and then you’re the artist.”
  • “It’s a great business, but it’s not for everybody.”
  • “Learn about other people.”
  • “The learning never ends.”

 

 

Follow Marnie Here:

 

Website:         http://marniecooperschool.com/

Facebook:       @MarnieCooperSchoolofActing

Twitter:          @howdoiact

Instagram:     @MarnieCooperSchoolofActing

 

Check out Marnie’s Summer Intensive HERE:

http://marniecooperschool.com/summer-intensive/

 

Buy her book on Amazon here:

Teaching Kids to Act for Film and Television

Encore: Cameron Boyce (Episodes 59 & 60)

Encore: Cameron Boyce (Episodes 59 & 60)

July 12, 2019

This encore episode of Hometown to Hollywood is dedicated to our beloved Cameron Boyce, who passed away this week at the age of twenty. I can think of no better way to honor him than by sharing his own words.

Cameron’s interview was originally released in two parts because it went so long… as with everything he did, Cameron was generous with his time and energy. He was committed to sharing his experience honestly and thoughtfully, in an effort to help and inspire people. This encore episode brings both parts back into one single conversation.

Cameron’s beautiful heart and mind left a lasting mark on everyone who was lucky enough to know him personally, as we did, as well as millions more who were touched by his work. I remember being struck at the time by something he said in our conversation: “My ‘Butterfly Effect’ is really broad.” Even at the age of 18, Cameron was deeply aware of the impact he had on the world, and he took that responsibility and privilege seriously.

It is my hope that this interview—which may be the longest one he recorded—brings some comfort and joy to his family, his friends, and the many people whose lives he touched. And that we can amplify Cameron’s “Butterfly Effect” just a little bit more.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “When all the stars align, it’s really special.”
  • “To get those 6 projects, you have to do 600 auditions.”
  • “Throw in a little bit of personality. Sprinkle it on.”
  • “You should always go with your gut.”
  • “Dancers are some of the best people to be around.”
  • “I’ve never gotten used to the impact I have on people.”
  • “If you’re passionate about becoming famous? Not a good deal.”
  • “Stay persistent. Because it doesn’t come overnight.”
  • “When you are right for a character and role, it’ll happen.”
  • “Trust the process.”
  • “When you lose your self, you lose everything, so be yourself.”
  • “Parents really are everything.”
  • Whatever it is that you’re doing in life, just make sure you’re true to yourself. That’s the most important thing.”
  • “My ‘Butterfly Effect’ is really broad.”

 

Cameron, thank you for sharing your light with us.

EP 92: Dylan Arnold, Actor

EP 92: Dylan Arnold, Actor

June 27, 2019

Bainbridge Island native and friend Dylan Arnold had his breakout roles in indie films like Fat Kid Rules the World and Laggies and his star has only risen with roles in Mudbound and Halloween, and serious arcs on Nashville and The Purge. In this conversation we discuss his community theatre beginnings and his decision to focus on training before pursuing a Hollywood career, as well as how to stay positive and active now that he has one.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

“Don’t try to recreate what you’ve done before… You’ve got to read off the other person and let it be new each time.”

“It’s the spontaneity, it’s the reaction, it’s the stuff going on underneath.” 

 

On education:

“The connections, honestly, were just as crucial as the training.”

“There should be no shame in [training] and no shame in not doing it. It’s whatever your process needs.”

 

On auditioning:

“No audition is make or break. You can love it and work on it, but don’t get attached to it… There’s always another audition.”

“In six months, that casting director might say, ‘He wasn’t right, but let’s bring him in for this thing,’ and that might be the one.” 

“Relaxation and breathing. In life, in acting, in auditions, whatever! That is the key.”

“You never want to go in to get a job. You want to go in and say, ‘this is who I am, this is what I’ve got,’ have fun performing it, and then let it go the second you’re out of the room.”

 

On your career:

“Go do your training, then come out to LA.”

“Look at the big picture. See it as a marathon and not a sprint.”

“It’s important to remember who you are and appreciate the people around you.”

 

Follow Dylan HERE:

Twitter: @dylanheyarnold

Instagram: @dylanheyarnold

Come see Dylan perform in Good Boys at the Pasadena Play house, June 26-July 1st! Link here: https://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/event/good-boys/

Dylan began acting at the same community theatre at the same time that Dove did—Bainbridge Performing Arts on Bainbridge Island-- and he went on to study and graduate from the BFA acting program at University of North Carolina School of the Arts before finding success in Hollywood.

There is every different way to succeed as an actor. The important piece is to follow that path that works best for YOU. Trying to figure that out? Book a consultation with me over Skype, or in person in LA, and I can help you make a plan! Just go to https://bonniejwallace.com/consultations/ and find a time that works for you on my online calendar.

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.

EP 91: Zak Barnett, Acting Coach, Founder of ZBS

EP 91: Zak Barnett, Acting Coach, Founder of ZBS

June 5, 2019

My guest today on Hometown to Hollywood is Zak Barnett, founder of the Zak Barnett Studios in mid-town Los Angeles, which is billed as “an acting studio for the development of the whole self.” Zak Barnett Studios provides classes, intensives, and private coaching for professional actors aged 9-adult. They also have summer camps and acting intensives.

This is my second episode with Zak, so if you haven’t heard the first one, I would recommend that you look that on up and listen to it as well!

We discussed what makes his acting studio different, some of his new projects including Girls Voices, Create Your Work, and ZBS Gives, the success rates of his students, his philosophy, love vs. fear, and much more.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

• “Acting is a martial art.”
• “The more connected you are to yourself, the more connected you are to any character.”
• “If you think you are alone in the universe, you will never let go enough to become another character.”
• “This is not the art of pretending, this is the art of becoming.”
• “The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.”
• “We’re in the business of creating and transcending, and you must move through fear.”
• “The process is messy and beautiful and hard, and no one gets there without persistence and walking through fear.”
• “Your curse is your gift is your brand.”
• “Actors are the only people who try to feel; everyone else tries not to.”
• “Acting is the art of empathy. If you judge a character you can’t become them.”

Find Zak and the Zak Barnett Studio here:

Website: https://zakbarnett.com/
Twitter: @zbsactingstudio
Instagram: @zakbarnettstudios
Facebook: @zakbarnettstudios
YouTube: Zak Barnett Acting Studios

Courage and persistence are required resources for actors; they’re as important as great training and an excellent headshot. But even with those four essential ingredients, you still need a roadmap, and to understand how to maximize your chances of success. That’s where a consultation with me can make all the difference. If you’re feeling stuck or need a sounding board for your plan, book a consultation with me, so we can strategize together to create your best opportunity to succeed in this industry.

EP 90: Eric Morris, Legendary Acting Teacher

EP 90: Eric Morris, Legendary Acting Teacher

May 15, 2019

Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is renowned acting teacher Eric Morris.

His books, No Acting Please, Being & Doing, Irreverent Acting, Acting from the Ultimate Consciousness, and Acting, Imaging & The Unconscious are used in colleges, universities, and private schools all over the world. His latest book, A Second Chance at Life, explores how some of the techniques he developed for actors can free ALL people from obstacles and emotional blocks so that they can experience and express their emotions freely.

Eric Morris lives in Los Angeles, where he has been teaching for 60 years.

We discuss his specific acting techniques and the system he created, what he does in his classes, changes he has seen in Hollywood over the years, audition advice, and his new book, which offers groundbreaking techniques for all people who wish to live more with more freedom and happiness.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “I deal with liberating the actor’s instrument.”
  • “My exercises liberate the actor to be able to eliminate all the things that get in the way of being impulsively expressive.”
  • “People say they want to be an actor because they want to be a lot of different people. That’s ridiculous! You can only be you.”
  • “What is the author’s statement? And is your character the character that carries the author’s statement?”
  • “The ‘HOW’ drove me to create everything I’ve created."
  • “Most people in the world are really blocked.”
  • “I’ve created a system of going back, and changing the ingredients and the outcome of experience repetitiously, and reprogramming the unconscious. And it works.”
  • “I had an epiphany at 81… I started to invite the reality of my life into my self-image. It liberated me to believe that I am who I am, and I can do what I do.”
  • “I want to reach people and let them know they’re not trapped.”
  • “The most important thing is to know what to do, how to do it; and to KNOW you know what to do and how to do it.”
  • There’s nothing worse than turning in an audition tape that’s substandard. Because it colors the person’s response immediately.”

 

Website: https://ericmorris.com/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ericmorristeacher/

 

Links to Eric Morris’ books HERE:

No Acting, Please

Irreverent Acting

Being & Doing

Freeing the Actor

Acting, Imaging and the Unconscious

Acting from the Ultimate Consciousness

The Diary of a Professional Experiencer

My Hollywood Stories

A Second Chance at Life

 

 If you need help finding your path-- or your young actors' path-- through the confusing maze of the entertainment industry, schedule a consultation session with me! Just go to https://bonniejwallace.com/consultations/ and sign up. What are you waiting for?

EP 89: Michael Orland, Music Director, Pianist, Vocal Coach

EP 89: Michael Orland, Music Director, Pianist, Vocal Coach

May 1, 2019

How fun would it be to sit down for an hour with the associate musical director on American Idol for 16 seasons? SO FUN! You’re in for a treat, because my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Michael Orland. Michael is a pianist, arranger, vocal coach, and musical director, and yes—is best known for his work for 16 seasons on American Idol.

We talk about passion, music, fame, vocal coaching, American Idol, what’s truly important for success in the entertainment industry (it’s not what you think!) and so much more. Kristin Chenoweth's ears are probably burning because she comes up a number of times. :)

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

• “You have to have a work ethic in this business.”
• “I worked in piano bars from 9pm to 4am, six nights a week.”
• “The biggest thing I do as a coach, and especially on American Idol, is to build confidence in people.”
• “You can have five notes in your range. If you can make me feel something, then you’re perfect.”
• “When you do the work it pays off.”
• “You have to find out who you are.”
• “The challenging thing is to help people find their own voice.”
• “You have to be a team player. Everyone has to get along with you.”
• “The most beautiful thing to see is a performer who’s not selfish, and just acknowledges everybody.”
• “Know what you can control, and the rest is out of your hands.”
• “There are so many ways to get in the door now… you can do anything and be anything and go viral.”
• “It makes my heart warm and gives me goose bumps when I see parents that are supportive of their kids.”
• “Having confidence in that audition room is everything.”

Follow Michael Orland HERE:

Twitter: @michaelorland

Instagram: @michaleorland

Broadway Theatre Project

Michael’s story reminds us that a passionate person with a dream can create an amazing life if they pursue that dream with faith and drive.

If you want some guidance on how to get started building an acting career, consider investing in a consultation with me over Skype or in person in LA. In just one session, you can get peace of mind and a detailed action plan.

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

EP 88: Diana Elizabeth Jordan: Actress, Director

EP 88: Diana Elizabeth Jordan: Actress, Director

April 18, 2019

Hi, thanks for joining us! This is Bonnie Wallace, author of The Hollywood Parents Guide, and Young Hollywood Actors, and today my guest on this podcast is Diana Elizabeth Jordan. Diana is a film and TV actress and has just made history as the first black, female filmmaker with cerebral palsy.

Diana has an MFA in acting from California State University Long Beach and has committed her career to entertaining and ensuring that disability is an inclusive part of the American Scene. For the past 20 years, she has earned a living as an actor and acting coach for people with disabilities. Joining us is Cory Reeder, an award-winning filmmaker who produced Diana’s film, I Can.

We discuss what real disability inclusion looks like, changes that are needed in the entertainment industry to support inclusion and representation, advocacy, advice Diana has for people who want to have a career in the industry, what it was like to direct her first film, the Easter Seals Disability Film Challenge, and much more. This is a truly educational and inspiring episode.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “My goal is to be cast in roles where my disability is incidental to the character or storyline.”
  • “I’m a daughter, I’m an aunt, I’m a friend, I’m a co-worker, I’m an airline passenger… I play these roles in my REAL life, and I want that reflected in my REEL life.”
  • “My disability is one of my identities, but I am part of many communities.”
  • “The thing I love about film and television is that it can entertain, and it can educate.”
  • “There are many diverse stories that I think need to be told.”
  • “You can sit around and wait for someone to hire you, or you can take the steps to do it yourself.”
  • “I don’t believe you step outside your comfort zone. I believe you expand it.”
  • “Disability is part of diversity casting.”
  • “In the end, self-advocacy is important for ANY actor.”
  • “Grief is grief, and love is love… and that is very traditional.”
  • “Now more than ever, there are so many great avenues to create your own content.”
  • “If you want to make your dream come true, you have to take action.”

Link to Diana’s movie, I Can

Follow Diana:

Cory Reeder: https://www.coryreeder.com/

Resources:

  • Follow and support the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
  • Learn more about Easterseals
  • Extensive resources for hiring individuals with disabilities in front of, and behind the camera HERE
  • Diane Bruno, Disability Inclusion Consultant: https://www.brunodisabilityinclusion.com/

Share the story of this film with these hashtags:

  • @disabilityfilmchallenge
  • #InspireChange
  • #disabilityfilmchallenge
  • #Easterseals100 

Diana’s story is inspiring, and her initiative is something that all actors and would-be actors (and directors!) should take to heart. The time has never been better to seize your own creative destiny. Technology, from the filming capacity of smartphones to the platform of YouTube, means that you can create your own work and not wait to be “chosen” in order to be an artist.

If you want some guidance on how to get started building an acting career, consider investing in a consultation with me over Skype or in person in LA. In just one session, you can get peace of mind and a detailed action plan.

EP 87: Amy & Wendy Engelberg, TV Writers and Producers

EP 87: Amy & Wendy Engelberg, TV Writers and Producers

April 2, 2019

Today my guests on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast are Amy and Wendy Engelberg. Amy and Wendy are TV writing and producing partners who are sisters. They are best known for Fuller House, What I like About You, Daytime Divas, Sonny with a Chance, Lizzy McGuire, and Drop Dead Diva.

 We discuss how they got started writing and producing for TV, what their work as writers and producers looks like, their involvement in casting, the challenges and joys of writing and producing for TV, advice for people who want to get into writing, producing, or acting in Hollywood, their efforts to get more women and people of color into their projects, and much more. We laugh a lot and some great stories are shared!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the conversation:

  • “Everybody gets started in a different way. But how do you stay in, and what do you do?”
  • “Comedy is so much more rhythmical than drama.”
  • On auditions: “You want all the actors who walk in to be good!”
  • “In single-camera, a producer has much more input than in multi-camera.”
  • “A great editor can make a bad actor look good.”
  • “Editing is the most important piece.”
  • “We want women to feel empowered in everything we do.”
  • “You have to have empathy for everybody. You have to be in their shoes, and understand what is motivating them.”
  • “Watch as much TV as you can if you want to be a TV writer. Watch everything. Study the form.”
  • “Read scripts so you can see how it looks.”
  • “You have to do live theatre. You have to understand the classics.”
  • “Usually producers do check out the parents. Nobody wants drama on the set.”

Look for the 5th and final season of Fuller House on Netflix fall of 2019, and in the meantime, you can binge the first four seasons of Fuller House on Netflix right now!

Amy Engelberg

Wendy Engelberg

 

Sources for TV scripts to study:

Simply Scripts

The Script Source

TV Calling

 

If you are interested in pursuing an acting career—or love someone who is—you can save a lot of time and money learning about the industry from an expert. Quick and easy ways: listen to these podcasts, and buy my books! Young Hollywood Actors and The Hollywood Parents Guide are both on Amazon.

And if you’re ready for more one-on-one support that takes your individual issues into account, book a consultation with me via Skype, phone, or in person. You’ll have questions answered you didn’t even know to ask, and end up with a detailed action plan, saving thousands of dollars and potentially years of time.

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.

Ep 86: Pamela Fisher, Talent Agent, VP Abrams Artists

Ep 86: Pamela Fisher, Talent Agent, VP Abrams Artists

February 21, 2019

Today’s guest represents some of the most successful young actors in film and TV, including my daughter Dove Cameron. Pamela Fisher is Vice President of Abrams Artists Agency, and Head of their Emerging Talent Division.

Considered by many in the industry to be the top agent for emerging talent in Hollywood, Pamela shares her wisdom and experience in this great episode. Whether you are an actor yourself, the parent of one, or just curious about the industry, this is a must-listen episode!

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “You must fall in love with the auditioning process. Make friends with it, enjoy it.”
  • “That’s what makes a great agent. Passion.”
  • “If I didn’t select your child at the showcase, it doesn’t mean that they’re not talented.”
  • “There’s a blind faith. There’s something that lives inside of us that lets us know we’re doing the right thing, and following the right path.”
  • “Any agent or manager that asks for money up front is something that you should run the other direction from.”
  • “It’s fine to do a student film, especially if it’s a graduate student.”
  • “I would encourage people to find agents that are dedicated to longevity.”
  • “Make sure your online profile is up-to-date: headshot, resume, and special skills.”
  • “We’re just doing pilots year-round. There’s content year-round.”
  • “If you’re coming out to LA, you don’t even have to go out on auditions… just train. Get into classes.”
  • “You set your feet in a direction, and see where it takes you.”
  • “Training is key.”

Some of our conversation includes:

  • How she can tell if an actor has that thing we call “it” or star quality
  • What Pamela does on a daily basis as a theatrical agent
  • Her advice for parents of extremely young kids who have big hopes that their kids will be actors
  • Advice for a young adult actor who just finished college and is coming to LA to pursue a career in film and TV
  • Advice for people who are trying to get an agent in Hollywood
  • Just as important—once an actor has an agent—advice for how to be an ideal client
  • Thoughts about what time of year an actor should try to come out to LA for the first time
  • Some of the best things young actors can do to prepare for success long before they consider coming to LA, including things they can do where they are right now, in their hometown

Join us!

Follow Pam here:

Instagram: @thepamfisher

Twitter: @thepamfisher

If you are interested in pursuing an acting career—or love someone who is—you can save a lot of time and money learning about the industry from an expert. Quick and easy ways: listen to these podcasts, and buy my books! Young Hollywood Actors and The Hollywood Parents Guide are both on Amazon.

And if you’re ready for more one-on-one support that takes your individual issues into account, book a consultation with me via Skype, phone, or in person. You’ll have questions answered you didn’t even know to ask, and end up with a detailed action plan, saving thousands of dollars and potentially years of time.

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.