Category Archives: industry

Acting. Mockingbird.

I feel I should talk a little more about acting.

So.

I really like the voice matching auditions. They are far and few between. I got six this year. And that’s a bumper crop. For people who think this is easy money, I tend to not think very highly of their intellectual abilities. While it is generally accepted as “easy” money if you’re a regular in an ADR group, I am not. My specialty, if you can call it that, is matching very specific aspects of a voice, not just bulk filling-in-the-blank stuff.

Six.

All very different. And you have to be fairly adept at this sort of thing if this is your thing, because there’s no point in keeping someone around who can only do say one person. If you’re a celebrity or know someone, of course, that’s different. I like where I’m at in my career sometimes because I have to be a good actress, I have to keep working on certain skills. Can’t coast on being myself.

Jobs would be great, but there are a lot of factors outside anyone’s control. Why someone does or doesn’t get cast is a whole other subject.

But sometimes I get an audition and think, geez, this really is outside my pocket. But I’ll try. With my agency’s name in mind. Sometimes that’s good. Because if I’m ever scared it forces me to step up. There’s a certain standard expected. And—and this goes to show how little I have outside of it at the moment—it’s comforting. It should freak me out more maybe, and I suppose getting dropped is any actor’s fear, but I’ve been there so long, it’s home to me.

These auditions are usually last minute. Sometimes the actress is not available, or might not be available. Or it’s such a small thing, a few words, or for non-theatrical purposes, i.e. TV.

Usually, there’s a sample. Usually very short. (I didn’t book this, but it’s a fairly innocuous example, already released.)

I read what they want, whether it’s a change in tone, words, whatever. Then do a take or two. Only the first one here. The others might be better, but I’m not sure I want to put out my whole MO. . .

Anyway.

Then send it out unless I’m recording it at the agency or at the actual studio.

So. That’s one aspect of being an actress.

Photos. BioWare scribes.


James Ohlen. Senior Creative Director, Lead Designer. BioWare.

Drew Karpyshyn. Senior Writer. BioWare.


Alexander Freed. Managing Editor. BioWare.

I got to attend the panel as a guest of LucasArts. Front row seats, thank you very much.

BioWare doesn’t operate in L.A., so it’s a rare treat to get to talk to the writers. I asked them if they ever rewrite a part after hearing an actor’s take. (If they hear it at all, it’s usually late in the game. And they’ve got a lot to write.) I told them some of the parts I’ve voiced for them (can you be too proud about being a dwarven streetwalker?) and laughed over a character that, well, was interesting.

*

Had auditions at the agency yesterday. Which was good.

Photo. KOCCA event.

Theresa Kang. WME.

William Choi. Management 360.

Keli Lee, ABC casting

Ah, I’d like to have lit the room myself. I would have brought in my own softboxes.

I got to go to this KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) event. Wait, it’s a long story. And I obviously haven’t been writing here because I’m obsessed and choking on something else. That and I’ve had auditions all week. Thank you, agents.

Anyway, I did not bring my big camera. Because I did not know I could. And I didn’t want to haul a DSLR and leave it in the car. Frankly, I didn’t even want to carry a good point and shoot or my Canon camcorder. These days, I carry a dinky little Sony that’s really not that great in quality, but it allows me to sketch out little film clips and it’s just fun for me. I guess it’s like one of those Flip or small Kodak things. Anyway, it has noise like you wouldn’t believe. Oh, wait, you would because you see the shots here.

Photo. More DPs.

I met the young artist wife of a friend’s friend for the first time this year at Comic Con. I let her look through my memory card, which I used to keep as a more concise snapshot of my life for years and has recently turned into a random mess, and she asked, “Why do you have all these pictures of old guys?” I didn’t know who she meant at first and looked over.

I laughed, and she kind of pouted, but I just thought it was funny that it didn’t cross my mind how they looked. Since she didn’t know anything about them, they were just “old guys.” I do have a lot of pictures of people most folks would not know. But to me, they’re as much “stars” as actors are.

“Um. Those are cinematographers. They would theoretically make me look good if I were on film.”

The title box was added because someone’s head was right in the middle of the shot.

News in brief

Working on reworking my other site, vyvanpham.com. Voice over section in serious need of updated demos.

Today, did some principle ADR for Push (dubbing of an Asian actress). Dakota Fanning and Camilla Belle are in the movie. Got to work with the director, Paul McGuigan. I think he used “freakish” to describe how I could take over another person’s voice? In a good way, though! He said thanks and shook my hand afterward and was really cool about it all.

How I got the job. A WMA client went to bat for me. I guess there was hesitation because I wasn’t the specific nationality of the character, but Joe said I was a good actress, I have a good ear, and I was the right one for the job.

I did do my homework and I hope it paid off.

Thanks, Joe.

Dreamworks callback/test

Tomorrow.

Super cool part.

I’ve never been to that studio.

I told one of my friends, “Oh, I have a test tomorrow at Dreamworks. . . but I can’t tell you what it is.”

I’m always too careful about that stuff. People make fun of me, but they know I won’t give away anything. Then again, it’s usually really unnecessary.

“Oh! I have a friend who submitted a board for __________.”

Huh.

Yup. That’s the project.

Hollywood is a very very small town.

Hollywood Bowl radio spot

My boyfriend said, “Well, maybe you booked something. Do you know what it could be?”

Lost in thought, and annoyed, I muttered, “I hate that I missed the message. I don’t know, I kind of gawked when I saw Joan Jett yesterday.”

* * *

See what kind of guilt complex we’re dealing with here? I felt guilty about that.

Background info: my mom wanted to be a nun, so on top of practicing “mom” guilt-tripping, she’s multiplied it with some sort of amateur nun guilt-tripping, too. And she is REALLLLLLLY good at it.

* * *

Maybe it’s in the client rule sheet and I missed it. Don’t gawk at the rock stars. I probably looked like a goldfish as she walked by. . . twice (insert girly giggling).

Then, his question registered and I repeated, “I don’t know.” I thought back through the auditions in the last couple weeks and picked the one I felt best about, “The Hollywood Bowl?”

I was right! Actually, I let them tell me first, but I always guess correctly when my agents call to book a job. It’s weird.

Anyway, it’s a cute campaign. One of those auditions, the kind you tell your agent afterward that you really like it and it’d be cool to work on. (I totally did that.)

It’s for the summer season. It records next week. I’m pretty excited.

My agent seemed happy, too.

Booked: Subaru demo

Recorded a spot for a Subaru TV spot yesterday. They were presenting it to the company, so it was paid, which was great. If the company decides to air it, that’ll be even better.

My director was good. No-nonsense woman, but not mean. Knew what she wanted. She reminded me of Jodie Foster. Even the way she looked. I would have guessed they were related.

My commercial agent did a great job handling the deal. I was impressed.

Cartoon Network Studios party

Cartoon Network holiday party


Vyvan

December 2007.

Hollywood, CA.

Yamashiro.

The restaurant sits above the city, high in the Hollywood Hills.

It’s cold. I’m glad I’ve brought a shawl and opera gloves.

I saw this dress at the mall. Under forty dollars. The closest to a particular vintage Givenchy couture dress I’ve been looking for. Film fans probably can guess which one. There are a lot of film-inspired looks out there, but often the dresses only work in evoking a vague impersonation, which I think looks costumey. I thought this one, with minor alterations, would look fine.

(Wow, this turned into a really long post. You’ve been warned. The jump button is after the photos.)


Michelle and Vyvan


Brianne and Vyvan


Ciro and Michelle. Outside the 101 Coffee Shop.


Vyvan. Best Western Hollywood Hills Hotel lobby.