Jason has been head of the commercial voice-over department of Stewart Talent NY for 15 years. He initially trained as an actor and screenwriter at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts before making the shift to the business side of entertainment. His first job was at the William Morris Agency where he served as booth director for their commercial department, able to draw upon his creative background to effectively interpret copy and direct talent. When Stewart Talent was looking to start up their own voice-over department in NY, Jason jumped at the opportunity.
The last 15 years have seen huge amounts of growth for the division, including the hiring of additional voice-over and on-camera agents, and he represents a flourishing roster of clients.
The massive importance of networking as an actor is equally important on the agent side.
Jason's Advice to Actors:
The problem is perfectionism is a good thing up to a point.
When it crosses that line of paralysis, the excitement burns off, or it becomes too late.
A story about learning imperfectly.
If I was trying to do it perfectly, this podcast wouldn’t exist.
When it's imperfect, it’s exactly the way it is meant to be.
Perfectionism is what stops me from getting the really important things done.
Every day you do three things that are towards your goal.
Allow yourself to be an imperfect person, and allowing yourself to show your imperfections to the world.
Allow yourself to be brave.
The process of being comfortable with yourself while you’re not doing it perfectly.
Learning to soothe yourself, when you get scared or uncomfortable.
Melissa Berger Brennan has been an agent for Theatrical (Film and Television) since 2002 and is Senior Vice President of the Young Talent Voiceover Department at Cunningham-Escott –Slevin-Doherty, (CESD), a talent agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Founded in 1967, CESD has been one of the most prestigious and popular agencies for commercial and voice over talents as well as a pioneer in the theatrical representation of young talent in all areas of the entertainment industry.
As a theatrical agent, she has placed clients on such diverse projects as PAPER GIRLS, EXPATS, LIGHT YEARS, GOOD GIRLS, BLACKISH, THE GOLDBERGS, GRIMM, GLEE, SHAMELESS, MAD MEN, PARENTHOOD, and THE WALKING DEAD.
Melissa is also the Senior Vice President of the Young Talent Voiceover department. Her clients have voiced leading roles in animated movies such as TURNING RED, MOANA, BIG HERO 6, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (2 & 3 & 4), GOOD DINOSAUR, PEANUTS, KUNG FU PANDA 3,...
Melody Beattie: The Language of Letting Go
"Many of us have someone in our life who challenges our ability to trust and care for ourselves.
When we hear that person’s voice or are in his or her presence, we may forget all we know about what is real, about how to own our power, about how to be direct, about what we know and believe to be true, about how important we are.
We give up our power to that person. The child in us gets hooked with a mixture of powerful feelings—love, fear, or anger. We may feel trapped, helpless, or so attracted that we can’t think straight. There may be a powerful tug-of-war going between feelings of anger and our need to be loved and accepted, or between our head and our heart.
We may be so enamored or intimidated that we revert to our belief that we can’t react or respond to this person any differently.
We get hooked.
We don’t have to stay under a spell.
We start by becoming aware of the people who hook us, and then...
Anthony Arkin is an actor and filmmaker best known for his work on THE AMERICANS (FX), nominated for Best Ensemble Cast at the 2019 SAG Awards. His directorial debut (feature documentary STATE OF ROCK) premiered at the 2008 Santa Fe Film Festival where he won Best Editing. Since then Arkin has directed and/or edited dozens of films and series. His work has shown at Sundance, Berlin, NY Anthology Film Archive, Telluride, Fantasia, Frightfest and various other festivals around the world. His feature film, SENDER, will be out Fall of 2021.
The importance of remaining teachable.
Enjoying the day-to-day of it instead of fantasizing.
Enjoyment of getting up in the morning and doing new things.
Admit you have limitations and things to learn as an actor.
It is essential as an actor to create your own work.
When you have a job you come prepared for a performance.
The ability to keep your energy primed for long days on set is extraordinary. It’s about physical,...
In Outliers, Gladwell wrote, “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness.”
Gladwell also said, “The point is simply that natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to be made manifest.”
So Good They So Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
“What makes ridiculously successful people so successful is that they are experts at practicing.”
Your goal needs to be supported by your wants and actions.
What are the things you are doing for your Acting Training, your Business Steps, and your Core Work?
Rigorously honest with yourself whether you can do more, or you need to stop?
Are you deliberately practicing your acting in your rehearsals?
Kevin Durant, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
“It’s hard to play well, but it’s easy to work hard.”
Consistence, persistence, and determination.
Mark Bennington is an American actor, photographer, drummer, and author. After graduating from Mike Nichols's New Actors Workshop in NYC, Mark worked in theater for 10 years, with such directors as Sir Trevor Nunn, Paul Sills, Charles Marowitz, and Diane Paulus.
Mark also did the guest-star grind in LA before picking up the camera in 2004, which quickly morphed into him becoming one of the 'Top 10' headshot photographers in the country. He later added both advertising and documentary portraiture to his repertoire with his work being published in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, UpWorthy, CNN, PDN, GQ India, Varity, Forbes, The Los Angeles Times and many more. Mark authored the acclaimed photography book Living the Dream: The Life of the 'Bollywood' Actor (HarperCollins) and in 2016 his photography project America 2.0 about Muslim youth in NYC received worldwide recognition and was exhibited at major galleries in Jerusalem, Rome, Tokyo, New...
COVID took energy out of us.
A lot of feelings are coming up.
How do we dig deep? How do we find the things to help us through this?
So you can continue to pursue your dream…
I go back to baby stepping.
How can I break this down?
When you feel exhausted, instead of getting dramatic, get really quiet, reach out to the energy that knows best, and say, “Please guide me in this day, I invite you into this day, and please help me to just take care of things one thing at a time.”
I go as slowly as I need to to take care of myself.
Stop and create space for something else to come in so that it’s not only your will, it's inviting another energy.
When we are exhausted and depleted, our past coping mechanisms come up from the past.
You may start to put yourself down, which is so unhelpful.
You want to have as much of yourself working for us instead of...
STEVE HARPER is a playwright, TV writer, producer, and actor who writes about the “invisible things” (like race, sexuality, politics and religion) that people don’t usually talk about. He currently serves as Co-Executive Producer for the CW series Stargirl. Steve has written for God Friended Me (CBS), Amazon Prime’s Tell Me Your Secrets, ABCs American Crime (created by John Ridley), and Covert Affairs (USA). His web series SEND ME, about time traveling black people, garnered a 2016 Emmy Nomination for series lead Tracie Thoms (Now on YouTube). Short films: Three People (#WhileWeBreathe creative protest online) – also director, Intelligence (Dances with Films), and Betty on the Bed (also director and actor). His Full-length plays include Black Lives / Blue Lives [co-written with...
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome, or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
Letting Go of Shame by Patricia S Potter-Efron and Ronald Potter-Efron
“Shame is more than a feeling, it is a set of physical responses such as looking down or blushing combined with predictable actions such as hiding or withdrawing from others or having uncomfortable thoughts such as, “I am such a failure in life” or spiritual despair.
The definition of shame is a painful belief in one's basic defectiveness as a human being.”
We make choices based on our belief systems, our past, our values, and our collective consciousness.
We always choose what is the best possible choice at that moment. We are always doing our very best.