Feb 12th, 2014 by Alan Yu
Recently I had the opportunity to be a double on a TV series and it was definitely unexpected. In my mind I was wondering what are the odds that you are chosen out of hundreds of other candidates? At the same time, it wasn’t something that I was actively looking for. I then started to read online a little about it and I guess indeed it is a very rare job to get.
My experience on set was interesting as for the most part you were treated like the main talent in many ways. So if anything it was good on set experience I suppose. I did get to see the other actor that I was doubling and for the most part I guess the main common traits were our ethnicity and of course body size.
From what I learned on set this role is usually for the sake of cost reduction where you are essentially doing insert scenes such as filming a hand opening a door. Or in some cases from what I read it could be that the main actor doesn’t have the right body look for certain scenes like say one where the person is getting out of the shower or a part where the character needs to play like a piano where the main actor cannot. I was thinking in some ways I guess it is like a stunt double except this is more about looks than the danger of the scene.
While it wasn’t a dedicated actor role, it was an interesting experience. It was one of the easiest gigs I have ever done too. This is one of those times too where I will always remember the casting director’s name who casted me in my first gig in various categories.
Jan 15th, 2014 by Alan Yu
Okay, so apparently World of Warcraft will be filming here in Vancouver this month and boy does it seem like scammers are up in full force. Basically, I noticed that there have been quite a few casting notices where the poster alleges that they are looking to cast people for roles in the movie and to apply you simply need to send them a headshot with your age.
To me, this is an obvious scam to simply get people’s details and photos as there is no way a large production like that is going to randomly cast roles without the use of a casting director. It makes me wonder why various people are choosing this movie to target unsuspecting talent as there are other notable films shooting here at the moment as well.
Nov 25th, 2013 by Alan Yu
Today I saw this comment from a person who does not work in the industry at all and is simply a regular person that watches TV. As you can see here, he was wondering why when it came to things like commercials in the Canadian marketplace he always saw the same actors.
Of course people started to guess why with the main points being they were really good at what they do, there is an extreme lack of talent availability in the Canadian marketplace, there must be some kind of union that gives priority to these people or that they have really good agents.
I was then thinking what are the reasons I have learned thus far on why the same actors get used over and over again from an actors point of view? Now obviously there are factors such as having the right look which isn’t specifically about why the same people get used all the time so I won’t dive into points like that.
The reality of it from I have seen is the politics and pressure that casting directors have to bring in reliable talent. From what I gather, productions pay casting directors a lot of money to screen and find the right talent for various roles.
Because of this, they really do not want to introduce them to people who are potentially unprofessional. It’s no different in my view than say a recruiter for a traditional job where if they keep bringing in unqualified people they will most likely be fired or never hired again to do the job.
As a result of this pressure, a casting director will most likely first only bring in the people they have worked with before. If there doesn’t seem to be a fit that way they then ask an agency whom they feel have been providing reliable talent for more candidates. From those people they would normally only select those that have some kind of experience already. If it ever gets pass that phase where they still haven’t found the right talent they then would do an open call where anyone and everyone can try for it. That is extremely rare.
Now there are exceptions such as how sometimes casting directors will look at agencies they never worked with and give the talent there a try based on things like if they can see the talent has formal training. That’s no different than a traditional job where if a recruiter sees that someone has been through a university program odds are they are serious.
The main difference is this business we as the talent usually never get the opportunity to “apply” for the “job” directly because as you can see above the system was kind of designed to have to have a middle man. So therefore, it is extremely political in terms of you getting an opportunity. Ultimately, that is why from my experience you see the same people over and over again as due to the politics of the system the majority of the talent pool is simply never given the chance. Just like most things you have to find ways to make yourself stand out.
Nov 21st, 2013 by Alan Yu
This show Once Upon A Time must be really popular as I worked on it awhile ago and usually I don’t think too much of gigs that aren’t a principal role. For the most part I treat it as simply something to do where at the same time you get a good chance to potential see some interesting things in the film creation process.
However, even as of today I have been getting messages from people saying that they saw me on the show. I do remember that I was pretty much smack in-front of the camera, but usually you don’t know if it will make it onto the final edit. Out of curiosity I tried to find the episode. Sure enough, it is pretty apparent as you can see here:
It is kind of cute I thought as there was one person who was telling me how they kept rewinding the DVR at that point. Just reminds me on how freaked out people get with the simple notion of being on TV when to me it’s just part of the work.
Nov 18th, 2013 by Alan Yu
There must be something about this month and talent agent related shows or something. I heard about this show called the drama queen which apparently followed a talent manger named Marki Costello who seemed to deal with hosting and personality talent. Since it was related to the business it got me interested in watching it today.
For the most part in terms of the business it showed pretty much the stereotypical view of it I thought such as parents wanting to get their kids into the business or how harsh the business can be. The most entertaining parts I thought was seeing how the agency and its staff operates as it makes me wonder if the agency I am with is that crazy in the background.
I was thinking too as in this show she is labeled as a talent manager. Here in Vancouver most of the agencies I have seen label its staff as talent agents only. Even if you try to search for a talent manger here most of the results you get are simply agencies that have the word management in its name. I wonder what the reason is for that on why in Vancouver there are so little “talent managers.”
It did make me think a lot in watching this show as the talent manager would seem a bit more involved in advising you on a direction for your career whereas an agent is more about simply submitting and negotiating. It almost feels like you should have both grounds covered but even for myself I was always taught about having an agent only.
Kind of interesting to see all these shows though that attempt to highlight the business side of the industry. At this rate talent agents and mangers are going to start spending too much time booking themselves for roles as oppose to the talent on its roster…….
Nov 15th, 2013 by Alan Yu
I got an e-mail today from a production I worked with that its product is on schedule and will be available in stores this holiday. We were all given a preview of the cover that they are going to use which you can see here:
I noticed that they used my headshot on the bottom right and top left of the cover too. It’s the same one on my IMDB page for those that are wondering. While I know this isn’t like a high profile production with a massive budget, it’s certainly exciting for me to see my efforts being published commercially. In many ways this will give me the experience too on what kind of impact a product launch has on a performer. I am very interested as to how they will be marketing it and all too.
Too bad I don’t have like an industry mentor to share this with as I’m sure this would normally be a good time to get some feedbacks and direction on where to go from here type of scenario. Either way, I guess everyone that follows me here will learn from my experience.