What MAKES Sammy Run? - THIS PERSON could be MY NEXT GREAT SUCCESS STORY!
Wow, it's been quite a ride. And, first, I would like to thank all of the participants for competing despite some technical issues, that our wonderful staff here at fortalent.com perservered through. Much kudos to Meriden and Melody at fortalent.com. They worked around the clock to make sure the entrants got their monologues and essays posted. And the fact that we had entrants from England and Australia, which I enjoyed very much, one whom wound up doing one of my favorite monologues.
In addition, I would also like to thank all of the participants for putting themselves out there, which is not always easy to do. You risk rejection everytime you do this. You risk entering a world of haters. But, ahh, what you have to gain in the process. Unlike some others, who were too scared, too intimidated or were concentrating on other things, you contestants recognized the value in this prize.
And, any one of my students can tell you the value in having a professional, award-winning writer-director/producer believe in you. Or having intense master classes, each one serving as an audition. Seeing what it's like to be on a set, not all fun and games, but serious business. But, how we have become like a family and that is why a few days after Christmas my entire class and I are going into NYC to celebrate the holiday by walking around, buying hot chestnuts, having dinner and taking in a great film, at one of the fine theaters in Manhattan, be it arthouse or multiplex. But, my class can look past the fun moments to know essential things, still.
Such as how you had better learn early that the director and the producer are 2 people you had better learn to work with, respect and listen to. How even when you collaborate with them, both a director and producer LOVE actors that make their life easier. And when a famous, Oscar-Winning actor - as the several that I have worked with - are so generous of their time, and are so easy to work with, you can see why they've gotten so far.
And that, THOSE are the TYPES of ACTORS to emulate.
Okay, having said all this, it's time to announce the winner/s of the contest:
I was impressed with the majority of entries that we did receive, but ultimately 3 of them stuck out completely in my mind. And as hard as it was, I narrated it down to 2. It went down to the wire, however, I felt that one was slightly better than the other. The other was filled with emotion, was VERY REAL, but the other one more consistent, albeit slightly. Bottom line: All three of these GIRLS should be proud with their efforts, and I hope ALL THREE decide to become students, as I know they can add a lot to the class that we consider a family.
However, the winner and possibly MY NEXT GREAT SUCCESS STORY, is ............................ drum roll, please:
.............................................................................................WAIT FOR IT.......................................................................................................................................................WAIT FOR IT:
1. SAMANTHA TUFFARELLI - doing a monologue that absolutely WASN'T from Neil LaBute's IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, but that little slip did not take away from her rock-solid performance that was angry, emotional, disturbed and likely cost her many dates (just kidding ... just kidding). But seriously, be ready with some self-defense if you see she gets angry at the table. OK, all kidding aside, she was great and I am truly glad she entered the contest. Samantha wins one free 'SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTOR CLASS' - and our next class is scheduled for Saturday, January 14th from 10-6 - and we hope she can make it. However, before then, Sam is owed one dinner with me, where she is totally allowed to fire question after question (anything she has ever wanted to know about the business), to how good are her headshots, to what I look for in an actress to every little thing she can think of that will help her educate herself on the business and get a foot in the door. So, Sam, please private message me here on the site, and we will make contact for that night of pyschological torture for me (I am just kidding, again :) ).
2. JESSICA DEVLIN - First, thank you for making my JOB MUCH HARDER. Both you and the other runner-up could have easily won this competition. You ended your scene on an emotional high, akin to a batter hitting the ball of the centerfield wall with the bases loaded, just missing a home run. In the words of Maxwell Smart, "Missed it by that much." Now, these words are NOT meant to discourage you or make you feel bad in any way, but rather, just the opposite. You were awesome, and that is why I have decided to offer you a half-price (which I VERY rarely do) class. I hope you will see the value in trying the class and come to the next one, take it all in, learn about your craft, about yourself, and have a wonderful day. Just private message me here on fortalent to get the details.
3. MARIA RUSOLO - Easily, the MOST experienced actress up there. Maria is NOT my student and technically eligible to win it, however, I took her experience into account, and the fact that I have worked with Maria before. THIS IS NOT to take away from Samantha in anyway, but to alert people that Maria has been the IT GIRL in the Staten Island - and greater NYC - film scene for the past couple of years, prompting the Staten Island Advance to ask, "Could Maria Rusolo actually be next in line (to be the Indie Film Queen)?" Again, her monologue was excellent, and in the spirit of this competition, I am also offering Maria a half-price class, and I DO hope she takes me up on it. Maria is not only a wonderful actress, but a devoted mother and wife, and so if she can find the time in her hectic but happy, life, I hope she does decide to enter one of my classes, as she would be a most welcome addition.
I am honored that Maria submitted into this competition, and also honored to receive contestants from overseas. I was so delighted with the double-digit entrants, despite our technical difficulties. I think the competition flowed wonderfully. And I salute the few students of mine who competed, knowing they were not eligible to win. Thank you all for entering and making this contest a success. For rising above the people who were alerted and just not up to the challenge. You all put yourselves out there. You battled through the Valley of Fear and made it through the Jungle of Doubt.
In this business, you cannot resist the challenges. You cannot be rude to producers and directors who are willing to help you - there aren't that many of them out there. Having belief in your talent is one thing, not having the correct professional and social skills is quite another. I teach my classes lots of these life's lesson's, so they do not sit on the park bench, and watch opportunities glide by them, while they just gaze out at the sky unknowingly.
BUT all of you conquered your fears - Such as Matthew Vazquez, who climbed the Mountains of Faith to do an interesting monologue and NOT let the Valley of Fear swarm over him.
I salute you all as I type this BLOG in the middle of the night. Congratulations, you are ALL WINNERS!
Until, next time, you get to the end ... you write in FADE OUT.
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Film / Theater / TV, Writing
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