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There’s No Such Thing As A Small Job!

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Stacey Ann Shevlin small photoI believe that work begets work, and that every opportunity has something to teach us. Here is one such story.

Almost two years ago now, I got an audition notification from my commercial agents for an industrial audition. After reading the notification and breakdown for the job, I saw that it was posted as a one day job for a relatively low day rate. Now, I take every audition that is offered to me if I do not have a conflict with the shoot dates, It’s just a promise I made to myself to be as active and grateful for opportunities as I possibly can be. That doesn’t mean I haven’t turned down roles, but I always go to the first call, if for nothing else than to meet new people and to practice in the room.  I know some actors, who do not take the ‘smaller’ auditions because they take a look at the expense and time to go to the audition, then the callback, and the time out for the shoot. I am not one of those actors. I went on the audition, where I was handed a wall of copy to go in and put up in front of the client, on a first call. I memorized as much as possible and went in there determined to wing it the best I could.

The audition went well and I was offered the job! Fast forward to today, this client has turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to me since I moved to LA. The job wasn’t a one day industrial, it was the first day in a long series of rehires on the same job, that I will be going back in on again this week. The point of the story is, audition for everything that comes your way, be grateful for the opportunities. There are no small roles out here ladies and gentlemen, and you never know what one booking can turn into.

Another example of this happened to me actually around the same time. I get most of my own auditions through Actors Access, LA Casting, Let it Cast, Cazt and the like, as I am without a theatrical manager or agent. I submitted via AA to a role in an independent film. The breakdown said it was to shoot here in LA and also in Moscow Russia. I was excited by the prospect but also wary. The pay wasn’t the standard $100 a day it was higher, but they said they were only paying for the US dates, and travel/accommodations and stipend in Russia. When you are submitting to non-union films anything can happen, I have found. So I proceeded with caution, but still I proceeded.

I went to the first audition. Then the second and third. Finally I met with the team just a few days before the shoot and found out that I had booked the role. Due to a miss translation and difficult communications between the US casting director and the Russian team the breakdown was incorrect. But in the best way possible. I was being paid for the days in LA and Russia. They also paid travel, hotel, meals and a per diem, and on top of that they brought my husband along with me. They hired a translator for the set, who also stayed with me at night and on days off and showed me the beautiful city.

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It was one of the best experiences personally and artistically that I have had since moving to Los Angeles. I am sure plenty of people skipped right over that breakdown because of the low pay and the gamble that it was a legitimate project. I am so happy and grateful for the opportunities I have been given in this awesome city.  And I plan to keep taking everyone that comes my way. With that said, always be very careful, do your research on who is casting the project, the production company and any other players you can gleen info from on the breakdown. I know some people have had, not the best, experiences with some smaller projects, I have blogged about some of my bad experiences here. My advice is take the audition, but know when to say no to a bad job.

Until next month, be well… and take that audition!

Stacey Ann Shevlin

About Stacey Ann Shevlin

Stacey Ann Shevlin is a Philadelphia native and currently loves living and working in the much sunnier Los Angeles. She grew up as a competitive figure skater, and all free time not spent on the ice was spent acting and dancing. After studying production and obtaining a business degree in college, she made the logical choice to return to acting. Last year she worked on the feature The Mine in Russia with award-winning director Nurbek Egan. Stacey had the privilege to work on three other films, Paddy Lincoln Gang, Road To Sundance and Awaken, all of which have been selected for several Film Festivals. When she's not in front of the camera, Stacey writes music, travels to places even more exotic than Russia, and drinks craft beer on her back porch while indulging in her latest organic meal creation.