The Jeff Goldstein Blog

Archive for the ‘Actor's Life’ Category

It’s time for a change…

In Actor's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on March 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

How do you change a life goal?

Do you wake up one morning and say “I’m changing my goal”? Do you write in your journal “I’m changing my goal”? Do you tell your partner/spouse/friends “I’m changing my goal”? Well, what do all these options have in common….. the words “I’m changing my goal”.So whether you write, speak, recite, perform, sing, yell… or many other actions, the first step to change is to convince yourself of it.

Whatever you need to do to change the direction you are going and re-format your goals & dreams. DO IT! It’s a mindset, almost like brainwashing yourself. At first I thought brainwashing was a terrible word, but the more I thought about, that’s it! …. You need to wash your brain into a different state of being.

Let me give you an example, and it’s one of my major goal changes… the goal that I was going to be a famous Actor that people crowd around for autographs. I’m getting intimate with you here now, so follow me. I did want that! I did not want the privacy, I wanted it all! I wanted a TONY, EMMY, OSCAR, & even GRAMMY. On my 5 years goal sheet I once wrote I wanted to tour the world in a musical with Whoopie Goldberg. I wanted to act with Meryl and Al, get directed by Steven and Robert… see the picture? “Get real”, people said… but hey… wait… can’t anything happen? Can’t I win the Lottery? So, yeah I could win those awards and act with those talented folks.

Then 14 years later when I turned 54, I took a look. I didn’t do extra work anymore (a great way get on the job training), although I did have a few speaking credits in some prime TV shows, but it just wasn’t happening. Granted… it still could… but I really needed to change my  mindset because I was beginning to get depressed. So what did I do? What was it that started the ball rolling, for me to change my goal.

I would not allow myself to get depressed so… I thought, a lot I thought. About me, about life, about acting, and one thing which was always there was my determination not to fail. Then, I couldn’t do it… I couldn’t change because I didn’t want to fail, and my changing was owning up to my failure. But wait… did I actually fail? I danced with Lorranie Bracco in RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, I had coffee with Edie Falco as a stand in on THE SOPRANOS, Denis Leary came over to me and said “I didn’t expect you to say the line that way, but I love it. So add…..” on RESCUE ME, I ate on dinner break with Kim Cattrall when filming on SEX & THE CITY… I could go on, but hey! I didn’t fail…. I made it. No one ran after me for my autograph, but I did make it… I was not a failure. (That’s what you need to put into your life situation… see all your accomplishment’s as a success).

“And now, Jeff” I said, “it’s time to move on”.

I had been writing since my Brother’s passing in 2001 (not 9/11), and had a short screenplay THE LILAC PAPERS, about my closing of his death, which I produced and flooded the Festival circuit with it. Nothing came of it other than an Honorable Mention on the 2003 LA Screenplay Festival. I thought to myself, wow I can write, so I started writing a romantic comedy KNOCK 3 TIMES. Sort of a DAVINCI CODE meets THE UGLY TRUTH. That screenplay came home with 2 Festival awards. You still with me?…. I am heading somewhere with this….

Meanwhile, auditions were becoming a chore. My fantastic agent was sending me to A & B list auditions, which meant I was auditioning beside the likes of recognizable Broadway & Film Actors. Who was getting cast… them, not me. Now yes I know law of physics… do it long enough it has to happen. But FOR ME, it wasn’t cutting it. So I really explored the passion I was developing with my writing.

That’s it… look in your life, talk to yourself, find your other passions. It’s there, don’t take the easy route by saying, “I don’t have any passions”… “I’m too tired”… It’s your life. Enjoy, have fun, make it worthwhile for yourself…. and maybe, just maybe… it might become worthwhile for someone else too.

From New York City

-Jeff

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A Twist on La Cage Aux Folles

In Actor's Life, Broadway Shows, Broadway Usher's Life, Pictures on April 17, 2010 at 9:55 pm

The Cagelles

Stagehands at La Cage

Photo from my HAIRSPRAY audition

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life on December 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

My Pop found this long-lost photo from my Broadway HAIRSPRAY audition circa 2004. Looks pretty good… check out those legs! It took me about 3 hours to prepare for this audition and it garnished me a call back,   but alas… I did not get cast. The song I sang was THOSE WERE THE DAYS, the song Jean Stapleton sang in character as Edith Bunker for the opening credits of the famous 1970’s TV Show ALL IN THE FAMILY.

PS… Being frustrated about a wig, you can notice the hair rollers I sewed to the kerchief, then added slippers to get that worn housewife look.

At the theater last night someone dropped their ticket in the lobby and apparently an elderly woman picked it up and used it to enter the theater.  She then went to the  box office and tried to exchange it for another seat. When the scam was found out, the elderly woman raced up the stairs and out of the theater in the falling snow… not to be seen again.  Boy I wish I could run up the stairs  like her!

In snow-laden New York City,

-Jeff

Dream meaning “out of control”

In Actor's Life on December 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Last night I had a dream about a plane crash in Times Square and people were saying Brian Epstein died in the crash.

Brian Epstein was the man responsible for The Beatles, he was their manager. I was walking around the crash site in Times Square and rockers were crying and mentioning Brian’s name. Brian of course, died of an overdose in 1967.

I’m not sure how Brian Epstein factors into my dream but I did research dreaming of a plane crash. It means that something which should be reliable in my life has gone out of control. I could probably relate that to a couple of things in  my life… but I think dreams are just an explosion of thoughts beings released by your brain.

I’m working a matinée and evening performance today, so it will be a long day. Maybe finish those Holiday cards?

I saw a screening of the new Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin film last night called “It’s Complicated”. Wonderful. The film was funny, I laughed hard & also had some bittersweet tears. Meryl and Alec play divorced parents who try to see if there is still a spark between them by having an affair. Nancy Meyers wrote & directed the film with great poise. Don’t miss it!

That’s life in NYC.

-Jeff

Happy Chanukah…

In Actor's Life on December 13, 2009 at 4:41 am

I left cold and windy New York City behind to come to sunny, hot Florida to eat potato latkes…

Couldn’t get better…

And what are you doing tomorrow?

In Actor's Life on September 26, 2009 at 4:06 am

I am very excited to be volunteering to work the BCEFA (Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids) Flea Market tomorrow at Shubert Alley.

During the matinee today a person asked me what I was going to do tomorrow… I replied I was working the BCEFA Flea Market. She then replied “You’re giving up a time and a half hour day for that?”

I said yes.

Even though I need the money, I guess people have different priorities.

Every Little Step…

In Actor's Life on June 2, 2009 at 7:35 am

I just returned home from seeing the film EVERY LITTLE STEP with a good   Actress friend of mine. The documentary of A CHORUS LINE, past & present. Bring tissues, you’ll cry out of happiness, melancholy, and maybe even some resentfulness. The film is intense  for dancers, singers, actors… anyone in an Arts field to be honest. All our lives are the same… we strive to perfect the talents we were given, only to be the subject of rejection. Of course we know it’s not personal (Yeah, sure), but still we are told no.

For a dancer everything was covered in the docu bio, but for Actors… what happens when you go from a “working actor” to a “sometimes working actor” or least yet to a “don’t the casting directors know I’m alive, actor”. When does the Actor need to re-examine reality versus their goals & dreams, and possibly (for their own sanity) establish new ones. New goals & dream that can fit within the parameters of the given circumstances of the reality of their life.

So what do we do? What do we do after crying, sulking, throwing darts at our agents picture, leaving garbage outside the door of the young actor down the hall that just booked a job… What do we do after the physiological effects of our emotions run dry and we are left standing naked in front of the mirror?

We survive, that’s what we do. We finagle our way through our own existence by finding something, somehow, somewhere, that can still give us our Arts fix. Whether it be directing, writing, painting, and/or the occasional “The casting directors all know me, but OK I’ll send out some postcards” routine. Life goes on… and so do we… the group of ultra talented, awesome individuals who haven’t yet found their “break”.

Easy to say, I know… but look at the options… there are none. That’s what you should be saying. I am and always will be an actor! I am and always will be a singer! and so on. That doesn’t change, the only thing that changes is our mentality. Yes, I know booking a job lies in the hands of the casting directors AND the roles available. (That’s why it’s sooo important to know your “type” and market yourself that way). BUT, and I say BUT in capitals… that’s not your only talent. People like us, in the Arts are wonderfully sensitive, perceptive people. We may have our one talent that we would die over… but look inside yourself, see that rainbow kaleidoscope waiting for a release.

I’m drained. Tonight was dessert after a day of meeting with friends. Treat yourself to dessert… and leave a comment if you wish.

Always onward & upward
-Jeff

What’s next…

In Actor's Life on February 2, 2009 at 4:17 am

Ahhhh the pains of struggling to be a working actor.  I haven’t heard from any of the auditions in the past 2 weeks, so I dealt with my 5 minutes of grief and are moving on… (Damn that West Side Story Tour would have been sweet!).

So what’s on my list: still rewriting my screenplay, but I’m working with an awesome script coach and to see the script evolve from a great idea, but so-so script to something that is is really good. The idea has changed a bit, but it’s just getting better & better.

No immediate auditions this week, but I am always available. Between all the survival jobs, it gets overwhelming at times, trying to make sure I do enough of this “survival” jobs to pay the rent & living in the city is not cheap.

I’m out of words for right, so I’ll leave my quarter at the door doc.
Thanks!
-Jeff in NYC

I’m waiting…

In Actor's Life on January 31, 2009 at 4:19 am

As January closes, the burden of anticipating a booking gets closer.
In the past 2 weeks I auditioned for:
a bit part on the IFC original series ZRock,
the lead role in an independent SAG low budget film titled “The Evangelist”,
and the West Side Story European Tour… (these are the same people I auditioned for a few years ago & was cast in the Asia/Pacific tour as Gladhand & turned it down. Lots of discrepancies in the contract versus the breakdowns & my agent advised me to “Respectfully decline”.
… so far haven’t heard anything. I gave good auditions…. let it go.

Money is tight (what else is new), and nothing else is visible right now on the horizon, BUT as we all know, things can change very fast.

That’ it for now from my corner in NYC.
-Jeff

The night before…

In Actor's Life, Pictures, Rants & Raves on January 19, 2009 at 4:26 am

It’s the night before the inauguration and I already feel the buzz in the air. This is an exciting time to experience history being made…

Got though the holidays… nothing better than to spend them with people you care about & love being around.

Have an audition on Thursday for an independent film, going to the festivals… good role, will shoot for 3 weeks in Cape Cod… don’t know what I’d do with the “survival” jobs… I guess I’ll worry about that if I’m cast.

Cat has my tongue tonight…
I’ll leave my buck at the door on the way out doc.

-Jeff in NYC

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