Melissa Maniglia

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow & Strategy

As the snow falls, rather romantically, outside my window and I curl up with a cup of coffee (sprinkled with cinnamon) and my laptop, I think "This is a wonderful day to just stay in bed a enjoy the simple things in life."


Now that I've had my moment of nostalgia, its time to get crackin (as my loving grandmother would say).

Double sigh...

The week, thus far, has been hectic but productive. In fact, most of my weeks are a bit of both.  With three double days (with either class and a show or two shows) life can sometimes feel like its running on auto pilot.  So, now I am going to enjoy the restfulness the snow has provided and strategize. 

Last evening I had the sixth and final commercial class with David Cady of Donna DeSeta Casting.   His class has always been on my "To Do List" and I am glad I finally had the opportunity to take it.  David creates a relaxing, supportive and pressure free environment that is highly informative and, I feel, provided me with a great deal of personal growth.  And after two years out of the business, I find I both enjoy and celebrate these little milestones more and more.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, another door opens.  And that door seems to be far bigger than the one I just shut. 

Classes are great, but if you don't take what you learn and expand upon it, frustration will inevitably follow. Yes, I speak from experience.  SO, how does one expand?

Fortunately, class last night provided me with some ideas as to where to start and I think I've come up with some of my own. Here we go:
  1. Spend some quality time with my "Call Sheet."  Pinpoint a set number of commercial agents who specifically work on SAG projects that I would like to work with.
    (BTW: "Call Sheet" Really?!? Call me an old foggey, but it will always be a Ross Reports to me).
  2. Talk to friends who work with SAG agents and ask them for recommendations as to whom they like.
  3. Prepare and Send Mailings to said Agents
  4. Spend more quality time with my "Call Sheet." Pinpoint a set number of commercial casting directors who work on SAG projects whose radar I would like to be on.
  5. Talk to friends who are auditioning regularly for SAG commercials and get recommendations as to whom they think I should be seen by.
  6. Prepare and Send Mailings to CDs.
  7. Meet Agents and CDs
  8. Continue to watch commercials, see how copy is delivered, and learn what is popular now.
  9. See #1.
My favorite thing about classes, in general, are that they tend to light a fire under me. So, now its time for me to take this energy and expand upon what I've learned.

You know, I used to dread school when I was in K-12. Now I miss it.

Triple Sigh... With a cherry on top (ok, now I am just being silly!).

On a totally unrelated note, check out the blog photos from bowling last week. You can see my VERY snazzy pink bowling shoes!

Hum... I guess it is time for me to leave my cinnamon spiced coffee and get going. The snow is wonderful to watch, but a ever constant reminder that NJ Transit will take any possible excuse for my bus to run late.

But it is pretty!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Strike-a-Doo's, Baby!

Another week, a slightly better bowling score.

For those of you who don't know, I am a bowler on Memphis' "Strike - a - doo" bowling team. Last night we played the other Memphis bowling team, the "Pintasticals" and, fortunately, I didn't do as bad as I had the week before. The week before started strong, for me, in the 70s and ended with a dismal 48. Yea, I know, it was THAT bad! So, I decided that, for me to improve my bowling score, I had to start drinking. And, let me tell you, there is something in that. Not only did I score two 65s (come on people, be happy it wasn't a 48 again!) but I had a little bit more fun.... :)

Sadly, I am not the professional drinker that my friends are. Which is good, because the drinks at the Alley aren't cheap and, when you are a fan of scotch straight, a little goes a long way.

So, though I have no intention of quitting my day job to become a professional bowler, I do intend to play until my bowling shoes fall apart. Have to get my money's worth with them.

And, yes, I said it. I have bowling shoes. LONG story, but they are pink and don't look like bowling shoes, which makes me VERY happy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Back in the Swing of Things

Well, I don't know if you survived the Blizzard of 2010 that some are calling it (or maybe that is just NJ transit which, so kindly, decided to cancel my bus home Wednesday night... GRR), but life and the pursuit there of continues to flourish in my neck of the woods.

After taking an almost two year hiatus from acting to pay off school, I am finally getting "back into the swing of things," as my mother would call it. To start off, I've gotten back into classes. This was, at first, a terrifying experience. I had been out of the game of awhile and felt entirely insecure in my dusty foundation. But getting back into class has been wonderfully invigorating with a dash of inspiring added in.

You know that moment, when something clicks into place? Well since I returned to classes in January, things have been clicking far more quickly than they had before. Perhaps it’s the fact that I can actually give myself fully to what I am doing and not have to worry constantly (or at least, as much) about how my ever mounting bills will be paid. It could also be that I am far more comfortable in my skin than I was two years ago (the stress of the never ending, seven day work week really puts life/love/friendships into perspective). I am not quite sure about the WHY of my current mindset, but I love how it affects my life and my art.

The stars are aligning, the pieces are falling into place, and I feel that I am where I need to be in life. I don't remember having ever been this confident about my working in law (an entirely different story, I might add) and I am both a bit scared and a bit thrilled by it.

So let’s talk about goals for the upcoming week. This is a feature I am hoping to post on each of my blogs to keep myself focused on where I am and where I need to be. So, by Sunday, February 21st I will:

- Go to TWO auditions that I found on my own;
- Write a "Personal Monologue" exercise for scene study;
- Find a new monologue to learn.

Updates to come. You know I will keep you posted!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Because there is Beauty in the Struggle

When I first told my friends and family I was starting "Struggling Actress Blog," I was greeted with a wide variety of responses.


"That's nice..."

"What's a Blog?"

"WHAT?!? NO! That's a horrible name! You don't want to be struggling forever!"

Well, I kinda expected the first three but was floored by the last one. After my friend and I discussed her viewpoint, I can see where someone might misconstrue my meaning.

So, please, let me explain:

When looking up the word "Struggling" on, there are 9 definitions. For me, the 9th and final one describes my meaning. "A task or goal requiring much effort to accomplish or achieve."

No matter where you are at in your career, you are always setting goals for yourself. Whether it is to book your first job, get the series regular role, or only accept roles that challenge you artistically, you are always working towards that next goal, that next achievement. Even those in the A list category are still working towards goals (or at least I assume so; not quite there myself yet!) And, well, “Goal Making Actress Blog" is just not as catchy for a web page! So, since I have learned to find the beauty in the struggle (at least on most days), I decided on "Struggling Actress Blog" for my blog name.

Now I am starting this blog to document my effort, or lack there of, to achieve my artistic and personal goals. They always say "It takes a village." Well, I have found that to be a true, yet annoying, statement. SO, my dear internet village, help keep me on track! :)