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AIP022 | How to Strategize Workshops with Casting Directors, Agents, and Managers to Achieve Your Acting Goals – with Gianmarco Soresi

AIP022 | How to Strategize Workshops with Casting Directors, Agents, and Managers to Achieve Your Acting Goals – with Gianmarco Soresi

by August 19, 2015 3 comments
Gianmarco Soresi

Gianmarco Soresi

Actor Gianmarco Soresi talks with host Ben Hauck about his incredible year of paying for workshops with casting directors, agents, and managers.

In the interview, Gianmarco shares what strategies he used as he spent a large amount of money on workshops and how those strategies evolved as he figured out their function in his acting career.  His goals evolved too, and Gianmarco walks Ben through his evolution from focusing on legit theatrical work to focusing on commercials, and from focusing on casting directors to focusing on agents and managers.

Gianmarco gives great insight on choosing and researching workshops, finding package deals to make your dollar go farther, working as a reader in these workshops, keeping in touch with industry professionals, and handling schedule conflicts on days you have a workshop.  He even covers some of the ethical issues that surround workshops.  All in all, Gianmarco offers up the lessons he learned from his year-long experience in workshops with casting directors, agents, and managers so that you can spend less money and better strategize your approach to them.

Ben concludes the episode with a plug for The Infinite Need, a 2012 fully improvised web series which satirizes casting director workshops.

☞ Listen to the Episode

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☞ Mentions in This Episode

Episode Sponsor

fi-core-workbook-coverThe Fi-Core Workbook: A Guide for the Screen Actor Deciding Whether to Declare Financial Core Status

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Gianmarco Soresi’s Bio
Gianmarco Soresi

Gianmarco Soresi

Gianmarco Soresi is an actor, stand-up comedian, and playwright.  Recent credits include CBS’s Blue Bloods, ABC’s What Would You Do?, Investigation Discovery’s A Crime to Remember, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 35th Marathon of One-Act Plays, and That Bachelorette Show Off-Broadway. His play, <50%, premiered in 2014’s New York International Fringe Festival and was selected for the Encore Series where it was optioned for an Off-Broadway revival later in 2015. His award-winning web series, An Actor Unprepared, can be seen in full at AnActorUnprepared.com. Gianmarco currently writes and performs sketches for Soresi&Sass and Uncle Function, and he does stand-up all around New York City.

Workshop Businesses Mentioned in This Episode

This episode focuses on New York City businesses that offer workshops with casting directors, agents, and managers.  Not every business that offers these workshops is mentioned in the episode.  Do crosscheck any characterizations of the prices, admission, cancellation, or other policies made in this episode, as those policies may change at any time.

Episode 2 of The Acting Income Podcast

Episode 2 is mentioned in the episode, and it deals with the difference between rules and principles as explained in detail in Ben’s book Long-Form Improv.

IMDbPro

Signing up for an Internet Movie Database Pro account gets you access to information not publicly available on the Internet Movie Database.  In particular, a Pro account can point you to agents and managers and the clients whom they represent.

Using their lists of clients, you can gauge whether they represent actors of your calibre or type — or whether their rosters may have too many of your calibre or type.

There are lots of additional benefits to having an IMDbPro account.

Casting Websites

On the following websites mentioned in the episode, casting directors post projects for which you can submit as an actor.

Liz Lewis Casting Partners

In the interview, Gianmarco mentions that Liz Lewis Casting casts many commercials and short films.

The Infinite Need Web Series

In 2012, Ben Hauck and Mandy May Cheetham produced the fully improvised web series The Infinite Need, which satirizes casting workshops.

Promos for The Infinite Need

The Ten-Episode Series

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To sponsor a future episode of The Acting Income Podcast, get in touch here.

YouTube Version

☞ Conclusion

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Thanks for listening!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers and listeners. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
  • Billy

    So…

    Your podcast starts with a pitch for a book you wrote about the pros and cons of going Financial Core – widely recognized and acknowledged as a hostile action against your union (and info that is generally available for free at a number of other sources).

    Next, you bring on a guest who admits to stealing the Breakdowns (copyrighted intellectual property), who brags about spending $12,000.000 over the course of a year – not to learn (he readily admits that the “classes” that don’t offer a job opportunity are a waste of money), but instead to pay the casting directors for consideration for auditions and jobs on the shows they are currently casting. I’m not familiar with NY state law, but in my state of California, such activity is a clear violation of state labor code 450b as well as AB1319.

    AND in the process, Gianmarco, intentionally or not, manages to paint the casting community as greedy opportunists who “just don’t have the time” to meet actors for free.

    What Gianmarco has managed to accomplish in this podcast is to show all actors how skirting the law, how spending a “God awful amount of money”, how exploiting a sleazy scheme which is more akin to gambling than what most would call a genuine work ethic, and how characterizing the casting community as a profession of mercenary whores can result in being seen as a workshop actor whose money has bought career-changing roles like “Server #2”, “Reporter #1” and the memorable “Customer”. 214,493 is his Starmeter? Is that what $12K buys? With all due respect, examine the investment/benefit dynamic with an unbiased eye.

    My advice is to stop believing that paying casting directors for access is a real tool for actors. Spreading this type of counsel can be detrimental to an actors career goals. In my opinion, paying a casting director to develop a genuine relationship is like going to a whorehouse to find a wife.

    Hey, it could happen.

    • Billy,

      Thanks for listening and for your reply. You and I interacted some time ago online during the release of “The Infinite Need,” the web series mentioned at the end of this episode. The thesis of that web series complemented opinions you’ve promoted against casting director workshops or whatever name that might be used to describe them.

      As I introduce in this episode of the podcast, the interview is not intended to discuss the controversy of casting director workshops but instead to take them for granted. While an actor may have objections against paying money to participate in them, ethical questions are openly set aside in this episode and instead the question is, given their existence, how to achieve your acting goals in taking these workshops.

      I disagree with your opinion of Gianmarco’s behavior as “bragging.” Never did that ever cross my mind during the interview, after this interview, or even up to the point you posted your take on his sharing of experience. If anything, his experience functions nearly like a funded experiment, and he shares the results of such experiment. If I sensed that Gianmarco had wanted to come onto the podcast to brag about his spending, I would have declined the interview.

      Gianmarco never invoked the word “mercenary,” “whore,” or any words remotely close to the ones you invoke in your reply. It upsets me that you would devalue his accomplishments as an actor by citing roles or StarMeter ranking, and those characterizations strike me as ad hominem attacks on his character, perhaps in the effort to undermine the information he provides to actors. Actors come in all shapes, sizes, and accomplishments, at different points in their careers, with different means to getting where they want. You may debase Gianmarco’s career accomplishments to date by simplifying them to a hefty payment, but that would be to overlook his hustle and productivity as cited in his abbreviated bio near the beginning of the episode. That would also be to overlook talent he evidently has, given growing interest in his work, a team of representatives who back him, and his recent and past successes.

      You are welcome to continue to promote against casting director workshops. I hear the advice and can relate to it. However, as far I know, you do not work as an actor in the New York City market, forced to make the decisions that actors do in this market, so your opinion may be relatable only to a certain extent.

      • Billy

        Ben, I remember our interaction, and I am a fan of The Infinite Need.

        This particular episode of your podcast rationalizes a scheme that may help a few actors (although I would argue that Gianmarco hasn’t found genuine success from paying to play) but which has done more damage to the acting/casting relationship than anything before, including The Casting Couch. You cannot set ethical concerns aside! Unless that’s the world you choose to live in!

        While Gianmarco doesn’t outright call CDs whores, he certainly infers their greed and doesn’t make actors who care about ethics love casting directors for the manner in which they operate in workshops.
        And listen to the podcast again. I don’t think bragging is too strong a word to describe his pride in the work he’s booked from workshops.

        I am not making ad hominem attacks. And I’m certainly NOT devaluing his accomplishments as an actor. I AM devaluing the “success” he’s gained doing workshops, so that other actors don’t fall into the trap of believing that workshops are a path to anything but mostly co-star/U5 roles. The last thing any actor should aspire to is to be a workshop actor. I see this happen time and time again. Sorry, I am seriously not trying to be mean.

        The bottom line is that this episode essentially celebrates the scheme, and approaches workshops as a viable tool for success. This is a falsehood. Instead of playing into the workshops’ hands, and basically appearing to be an advertisement for One on One, Actors Green Room and The Actors Connection (complete with links), my advice is that you and Gianmarco and every actor on the planet stop investing in a losing proposition. Look for alternatives that create a path to success instead of suggesting that workshops are the best way – or only way – to succeed. Stop imagining you’re powerless or that’s what you’ll become.

        And out of respect to Gianmarco, I’m removing the most above. I wasn’t trying for rude, but I can see how it would be seen as that. Apologies.

        PS: While I see that you’ve personally filed for Fi-Core status, I think you’re misguided in suggesting that Fi-Core is an option for other union actors. Doing it yourself is one thing. Selling a book that even remotely suggests that Fi-Core is an option is just wrong. In my opinion.