***UPDATE*** Due to the popularity of this Voiceover program, there have been voiceover “haters” who are mad that the internet has made this work available to regular people.
The fact of the matter is that the internet is democratizing all kinds of work, and they are just going to have to suck it up and learn that they can’t just keep other deserving people out. Get The Details Here
Did you know that Tobey Maguire TURNED DOWN the offer
to audition for Spider-Man when they asked him to?
Why would he do that?
I’ll tell you in a minute but first:
An early Christmas gift for the first 250 of you!
Many of you know that I wrote a health book “Half Assed Health”, and I just opened an email from my friends Joel & Josh from BioTrust Nutrition.
It said that they wanted to reward the first 250 of my readers to visit the link below with a FREE 30-count bottle of their brand new breakthrough “metabolism-igniting” supplement, Metabo379™… with ZERO strings attached!
This story kinda blew my mind because I would think that they would just hire him, and then have him go to the gym and bulk up AFTERWARDS.
But it just shows that you have to be the part WHEN YOU AUDITION.
That’s why I like booking jobs where I feel like I’m “hardly acting” because I’m already LIKE the characters I like playing.
So- if you want to play super heroes- you had better hit the gym NOW!
If you want to know more about the Fat-Burner- read below:
The rest of this email is from them:
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Listening to my story may help you know what to expect when you get the call for that big network sitcom audition. Enjoy and Share with those who have the desire too!
If I look familiar to you, it’s because I’ve been doing commercials and stage here in New York for over 15 years full-time.
I’ve stuck with commercials because I like smiling, and making people laugh.
For whatever reason, I have been kinda down on playing the “street wise” Latino cop or a “street wise” light-skinned black bad guy, and it just bores me when every Latino/Black character has “the ghetto” as his background, and all of that.
Besides, there are other people who will do a better job at it.
I’m smart, funny, and I speak Manhattan English.
I went to The Bronx High School of Science, and I write books and own my own online business.
I’m just saying- “Julio’s gang member #2” is a bad fit.
It’s just not who I want to play, and yet it seems like that’s all anyone is writing for my “look”.
Now to be clear, if I want to change that, then I should get writing; but that’s not what this post is about.
It’s about that I went in for my first NETWORK TEST for an ABC Sitcom, and I loved it!
Just like when I got called back for my first national commercial, my family got all excited for me, and I had no idea what to expect.
Now that I’ve done dozens of commercials, when I don’t get called back for one it’s like “Hey- WTF?”
But I really went in knowing very little to this experience.
For example- did you know that for sitcoms they negotiate and sign all the contracts BEFORE the final audition?
I had no idea!
I also found out that now I have a “quote”- that’s when you have a price tag! Ha!
I was kinda used to getting what the JOB paid- but at this level, it’s what YOU are paid.
That’s cool, huh?
So, I was very excited when I heard that the casting director at ABC was “looking for me” because she called the only number she had for me- my commercial agents.
When I went in for the first audition, I knew the part was good for me- a boss of a marketing office who was a little sarcastic, but a little dumb too, mixed with a lot of animated enthusiasm.
Kinda like me.
Of course, the actual breakdown for the character was for a 50’s Male Caucasian, but hey- I listen to Phish so… close enough.
The truth is that I have on more than one occasion booked the role meant for a caucasian guy, and this smart casting director knew that.
I stumbled over the lines at first (I’m an improvisor), but then had a really good, fun, funny take. I prefer to make stuff my own rather than try to fit some strange thing.
I left, and tried to forget about it- she’s called me in before, and I had heard nothing.
But then two days later, my commercial agent called again-
“Bones, they want you at ABC for a Network Test”
So- I suddenly had to call a legit agent who I had been freelancing with and tell her “Um… I need to get a time for ABC for a Pilot… you want the commission on that?”
They were very happy to get that call.
Then I found out that they needed some more stuff- – Where’s your reel? – What’s your quote? – Do you have a twitter following? – What NAMES have you been working with?
“If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing BADLY at first!”
But this is all great, because you don’t know what you don’t know, and the only way to learn is to BE THERE.
Of course, I have known for a while now that I should have a more professional reel, and that I should be working on more film and TV.
But this made it hit home.
Anyway, I spent the weekend texting with my agent, and signing contracts in between doing shows for Freestle Repertory Theatre, and doing an event for actors in NYC.
It was very weird.
In fact, when we were negotiating my “price tag”, the number that was agreed upon was kinda disappointing.
I remember saying to myself “Gee, That’s It? It hardly seems like a lot to live on for a year, but I guess for my first show, I can’t expect too much”
I was ok with it, and I knew I could make it work.
Then I found out that what I thought was for the year was actually PER EPISODE.
On one hand, I was at a brunch for actors telling people that I have been full-time for 15 years, and that I teach actors how to quit their day jobs.
I often get cornered in these events because people really want to know how I can help them make money without trading their time for it, so they can also be free to pursue the artistic life without worrying about how to pay for it.
I usually just send them to see my video.
But I wasn’t very focused on everyone’s questions because I was all giddy about my “network test”. I kept having crazy dreams of stardom immediately interrupted by nightmarish visions of being thrown out for being a hack.
On the other hand, there were other more experienced actors there who knew it was just another audition. To them, it was just the first in what could be a long line of others.
So, I got my lines down, made some choices (but as an improvisor, can change anything at anytime!) and went to the final audition.
I printed out my handy Pre-Audition Psyche-up page that always works, and MAN it hyped me UP:
“You are there to RESCUE THEM from their boredom!”
“They need what YOU have!”
“They are LUCKY that they are about to get a FREE performance!” etc. etc.
I walked around outside a little before and SANG, skipped around, and thought GOOD thoughts. I went into the bathroom and talked to myself in the mirror!
When I got there I was PUMPED and ready.
The writer and I had a conversation the day before, so I felt like I knew the guy who was face-timing in, but then of course was the camera…
my BEST friend.
They were just putting me on tape for the producers, and that was fine.
I had a great audition, lots of laughs and giggles from everyone, and I felt great.
The writer was thrilled that I could add anything (I’m an improvisor!) right on the spot, so he had fun with me too.
I went home knowing that I had done my best, that I gave them what was available, and that the rest was up to them.
There’s very little worse than leaving an audition feeling like you didn’t get it together, or that you were just terrible.
I called my friends and told them it was a waiting game.
As you know, I didn’t get the gig, which is totally fine (professionals know that you gotta play the numbers), but I felt great about the whole process.
My name is Bones Rodriguez, and I’m an actor born and raised in New York City where I live with my wife and son. We live on the upper west side where I grew up, but New York is a much different place than when I was growing up here.
I was very upset when Disney changed 42nd street because all through my adolescence I was looking forward to being old enough to go to the porn stores and pick up a hooker or something.
I had big goals.
But the reason I tell you all of that is to let you know that I say what’s on my mind.
New Yorkers are said to be rude, but actually we’re just “truthful”.
That’s one reason I haven’t made the move to Hollywood yet.
The other is that Spielberg hasn’t called yet.
Been there, lived there, shot stuff there, but haven’t made the switch.
I like when people tell you what’s on their mind instead of lying to your face, and talking trash behind your back. I recently found out that a casting director has been doing that because of a comedy choice I made in a recent audition.
I told a new actor that, and she was horrified “Oh no… you men you’re BLACKLISTED?!?!” like it was the end of my life or something.
It made me think of this story:
“That Time 4 Lesbians Kicked Me Out Of An Audition”
So this is back when I was still non-union doing the hustle of freelancing with different commercial agents. When one called me, I made sure to tell the others that “so and so beat you to me”.
That’s a tip. Always let them know when they missed out on making money with you.
I was getting pretty popular as this “ethnically ambiguous” smiley guy;
If you want someone definitely black, it isn’t me (even though I partly am).
If you want someone definitely latino, it isn’t me (even though I totally am)
If you want someone definitely Arabic/middle eastern/Egyptian, it isn’t me (even though I have great eyelashes)
When you want all three looks while only paying for one- I’m your guy.
Especially if you wanted him to sound “ethnic, but not too ethnic”.
I can say that.
Directors can’t; they try, and they speak in code words like “urban” or “standard”. I even had one guy tell me to “white it up”, but hey- I knew what he meant, I did it, and I got paid.
But this time I was going in for HARLEY-DAVIDSON.
Y’know, the motorcycles.
No, I’ve never been on one.
Never on a Harley,
Or a Davidson.
Or a motorcycle for that matter.
Remember, I was born and raised in New York City.
But… I guess they called me in because they wanted to… expand their demographics?
Maybe there weren’t enough Black/Latino/Arabs riding Harleys.
Whatever. I am used to subway surfing, so it’s probably the same thing, right?
I walk into Don Case casting (I even remember that Tisha was running it), and there were 4 nicely dressed pant-suit women at the desk behind the camera.
I say pant-suit women because I expected Harley Davidson execs to be beer guzzling zz top looking guys.
But no, just some… pant-suit women.
I walked in with a few other guys, all wide-eyed at the idea of booking a commercial.
So Tisha says: “Ok Bones, this is pretty simple, we just want you to imagine you’re getting on a Harley for the first time, and we want to see what that feels like..”
And one of the Pants-Suits says “Yeah, like you get a boost of confidence.”
Another one says “Like you feel like a super-hero all of a sudden”
and there was a little bit of a chorus of words in the room, until one just said “Do you know what we mean?”
and I said exactly what I thought they meant, exactly what you are thinking:
“Yeah, I get it- like my Dick just grew bigger…”
Not even a giggle.
I mean, like I whipped it out to show them or something!
Wasn’t this HARLEY DAVIDSON?
Chug a beer, crush it in your hand, and throw it at the suit while you drive away with his girlfriend, HARLEY DAVIDSON?
Actually, one of the other actors started to nod his head like he was about to say the same thing, but when he heard the din of silence that followed my delivery, he froze in place.
Tisha cleared her throat, and walked over to the camera, and just said “and.. action”.
I knew the job was lost, but I’m a pro.
I acted as if my dick had grown bigger.
Not too much (don’t want to frighten anyone away), but just a little bit.
Big, confident smile.
But remember that scene in TOTAL RECALL when the Arnold is about to give up (wait-you knew I was talking Arnold and not Colin, right? RIGHT?) but then he sees the bead of sweat going down the guy’s forehead?
That was me. The guy who Arnold shoots in the head right before the walls come crashing down, and he has to escape before the mind police come and get him.
Except it was the pant suits who shot me in the head, and the door opened with a “Thank You” before I could even say “I’ll be (at the call) back”
Terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger joke. I should really delete that.
As I left, I saw the pant-suit women all start kissing each other and making out as the door closed.
I may have made that last part up, but that’s why I thought they were lesbians.
So what’s the end of the story?
You’re probably hoping that my dick reference got me the job, but I’m sorry to say that I have yet to book a job because of my dick.
Not an ACTING JOB at least (wink, wink-amirite?)
No, the end of this story is that I dont think I went back to Don Case for years after that.
But the reason I didn’t do that is because I went union, started booking big-ass work, and signed with Paradigm, who I have been with for over a decade.
That huge embarassment made not one iota of difference in my career, and so you should stop worrying about that one stupid thing you did one time.
It happened, move on.
Make them regret not using you.
And EVERYTIME you go into an audition room, I want you to imagine your dick just grew!
If you liked this story, were inspired, or think some other people would benefit from it, SHARE IT, I wrote it to affect people who could use some Information, inspiration, and motivation.
I got a text from a friend at 3pm asking if I could do an indian accent to be a deli owner.
Sure I can. I’ve been asked to do that before, and frankly, the guys at my local Subway were SURE I was bengali, and have taught me a few phrases. Good enough.
Apparently, my friend is doing a short film and the actors of indian decent that they saw weren’t really able to do the scene to the director’s liking, so they were kinda desperate, and they were about to cut the scene.
“Let me try my friend Bones” she said.
I got the text. I was there 1/2 hour later.
I looked at the scene for 15 minutes, they auditioned me, and they asked me to do the part in a few days. The entire process took about 45 minutes.
I started to think about what that meant as an actor.
It meant that they were happier to go with a guy who looked “kinda” indian who could do the scene rather than cutting the scene entirely.
It meant that unless my friend KNEW WHO I WAS, they wouldn’t have seen me,
It made me think about how often I am upset at Hollywood for not using Latino actors, or whatever, but maybe sometimes the few that they do see just aren’t doing what the director wants, so they find someone else.