Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What is SAG-e

People who list SAG-e of SAG Eligible are NOT MEMBERS OF THE UNION and do not pay for the support and serices they receive while on a SAG set working a SAG-AFTRA job. 

In fact is cost the union money at the expense of other services..

So what is SAGe? 

It does not exist except for the fabrication of Actors Access sign up. It means you have the voucher or vouchers to join SAG but are not a member and have not joined. Eligible. To professionals it means you are not committed to your craft, to non-union it means they risk you turning union. Either way it is a negative that so many are wearing with pride thinking it makes them look professional.

There is nothing wrong with remaining non-union until you are ready to make the commitment to do only union work and have the protections of a union.

Pre-union (not to be put in resumes) means you are working toward being a qualified professional performer and will join when you have the tools and are ready.

Do not, however, once you have your vouchers, keep working "Taft-Hartley", taking union jobs, as you are taking money and benefits, even food and shelter from qualified union professionals who need it. In effect you are also costing the union money and therefore taking away from potential services each time your work.

Working union past the vouchers to join, when you are pre or non-union, is in effect stealing from union members.

Keep doing non-union until your self-worth, talents, skills and heart tells you you are ready to join the professional ranks.

Art Lynch Acting Studio at Lynch Coaching

Auditioning Overview

Auditioning: General Advice

Auditioning Tools by Art Lynch

Agency and Casting expectations are high. You must put in the time and effort needed if you wish to truly be represented and work in this business.

The Audition itself requires you be prepared in all froms of potential auditon. Most important is that you work with and really have fun with any script given to you in advance.
Cold Reading is the most important skill. The ability to give a polished, believable performance, to react to the other actor and the world around the character and make the event real and/or entertaining, while still holding a script in your hand is called cold reading, More on that later.
Monologues are used mostly for theater, but can be used when meeting a new agent or casting director who either does not have a current project auditioning or who prefers to see if you can act prior to providing you with a side or a full script. It is very important that you give a full professional memorized performance and have several options ready to perform on request
Have the follwoing Memorized and performance ready
2 1 to 2 minute monologues (4 preferred)
at least one comedy and one drama, generally the third would be a "classic" work.
maker sure it is appropriate to your age or type
2 1 to 4 minute scenes
2 person, with your role the one that is key to the scene
3 ten second to one minute commercials

Plus be ready to work and bring new scripts to life,
Cold reads, be ready and prepared to do your best.

Be ready to interview, slate, do a commercial audition (reading), take directions, improvise, do movement and show any other talent or skill you may have.

All will material may be seen and some may be done at least twice.

Come to audition week looking as you did for your photograph (with some exceptions which will be explained), or when last seen by a specific agent or casting director. If photos or resume were requested, have them ready and in hand.

Bring your most smiling and positive attitude, and use it fully at the audition, including before you arrive, while at the audition site, during the audition and after you leave. You are expected to be positive, energetic, a teenager and to show you can be fun or easy to work with.

Be ready for an interview, to show your monologues and scenes, to do cold reading, to do improvisations, to take direction and to be interviewed (look up, react and make it real…no noses in the script).

Be ready for last minutes changes, differences in read, take directions and show your full professional self.
You are doing what you enjoy doing, not facing an inquisition or test. When you audition you are performing and enjoying the process of acting. It is your time to enjoy yourself and shine.

Remember it is your time, so take your time. Don’t rush, apologize or get caught up in any mistakes. There are no mistakes, only professional and “real” ways to deal with anything that happens during your audition.

Have fun.

The Training Sessions.

All actors should continue to study. That does not mean taking an occasional "casting director" workshop or conservatory. It means classes, for weeks, months and even years of commitment to an instructor and to your fellow class mates. This not only gives you a quality learning experience, it demonstrates commitment, allows you to show all aspects of your personality and the areas you need to work on, and to network with and form friendships with your fellow performers as together you grow and advance in the field.
Always be prepared the day assignments are due. Treat any class you take as an audition and put in 1,000%.
Work during the week. You have to want this and want it more than anything else. Do not treat it as a class at school or just another workshop.

Do the work and be ready to compete in Hollywood . Get better each workshop or class you take. Keep practicing and working even when you are not taking acting classes or workshops. Keep up and always be improving your skills.

You are not competing. You are, however, showing that you are ready and as good as actors who have been training for years, who do their homework, who understand the industry and who see this as a profession.

No excuses.

Character is the words plus you.

Build on who you are. You are cast to be who you are, but professional enough to have material memorized quickly, to make the scene or monologue real and bring life to the script. Remember subtext and meaning, conflicts and resolution.

Always remember that each time you perform it should seem as if it is for the fist time, with the words, subtext and meaning as fresh and real as if it were happening in real life for the very first time.

Put the time in that makes the work sing and shine. Just reading it for a few minutes or even an hour does not make the work have that special shine. Play with it, Make fun of it as you do so, then do it seriously. Find the subtext, the meanings, the places where pace, pauses, unheard responses (even if you are hearing it in your own mind, thinking), the many ways of interpreting the script…and finally you will find and choose what works best for you.

Remember your character is in the middle of life, with other things happening, before, after and even while doing the scene (we think of, feel and are impacted by things other than the current moment all the time).

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Ask these questions many times over and over again about every aspect of your character and your character, scene or monolog, commercial and improvisation.

Creatively explore the text, the character and yourself to bring something no one else can to a scene. It is usually best not to play it safe or to do what you think is expected in the scene. Make it your own and make it real!

Reveal your soul in the scene.

Bring the words and meaning of the scene to life!


Slates are optional and may not be required at all. When they are used it is usually when a video camera or digital divice is used to record your performance audition. By slating a third party, often a director or higher up casting authority, will be able to find you and confirm your name as they evaluate your work.
Slates are also used to reveal a part of your personality. Can they work with you? When you are not doing the role, what kind of a person are you? What is your personality? What are your normal speaking tones and attitudes?
The casting director their assistant will tell you what to say in a formal slate, usually your name and the agent who sent you or your manager’s name. Sometimes you will be asked to say your height or other information. Only give you age if asked to do so. Always tell the truth and answer questions truthfully.
When there is no formal slate, keep in mind that you are still slating.

Your slate is your introduction. They know your name. They either called you or you gave them our photo and resume with your name on it, so the slate is not to tell them your name. The slate allows them to meet you, to judge your voice, your personality, to see your eyes and soul when you first meet them.

If there is a camera, the slate almost also includes putting your name on record (in the digital age, some CD's rely only on the digital encoding on the film itself). Slating "on film"  is done so they can find your files or remember your name as they, or someone else, views and evaluates the tape.

Make sure they can understand your name. Do not rush or be mechanical. These are acting slates, not spokes-model or any other application where you may be asked to slate.


The interview is not an employment interview. Show your personality, your enthusiasm, you passion for what you are doing. Be ready to answer questions, to talk about places you have lived, languages you speak, skills outside of acting you may have, in general the things that make you the unique person you are.

On Camera:

Know your frame. Ask if the camera will follow or you or is locked down.

Remember that you may move if there is no camera, but do not distract from your work. That said, acting is mostly in the eyes and the face. Be prepared for camera close up that will reveal your eyes and your face, including reactions to other actors or to what is going on around the character at the time of the scene or monologue.

Professional agents and casting directors know what you will look like on camera. Some watch and judge you as if they were a camera, keeping in mind close-ups, movement, voice and other elements of your personality and your performance.


Make sure those you audition for, the camera and the audience can see your eyes. The eyes are the windows to your soul. This includes when you are reacting as well as saying lines. Think the scene, live the scene and it will show through your eyes. It needs to be real, sincere and believable.


You are the character. Be aware that you need to stand, move and do little things as well as large, as the character. This is why you should start with yourself and build outward. The audition is your entire body, your entire presence, not just the words.

The little things you do as the character are called business, both directed and motions or traits you add yourself.


These auditions are for film and television, not the stage. Remember microphones and cameras can be very intimate. Keep it real. You can always be directed to make it larger or to being it in. Show your best work, but do not do high school stage.
Too often beginning actors now say they are going to be TV or movie stars and avoid the experience that is live theater. The classroom, experience and performing art that is live theater cannot be replaced as a tool to learn about, practice and polish all of the aspects of the craft, from movement to the words, meaning to the subleties of character.


Remember to keep energy high. Remember that they cast real people more often than spokespersons or comedians. That said, make the choice that is best for you. Also remember that they cast that special something that you bring to your work!

We will cover four types of commercial presentation: real person, spokesperson, announcer, and comedy.


Your monologues should be age appropriate to your look, and allow you to showcase the best of what you have to offer. For the purpose of a generic audition you should do a character close to your own, without affected accept or voice. See the beginning of this article.


Your scenes, like your monologue, should showcase who you are and your acting, without growing too far from who you really are, in or type. Because the camera is intimate it is best to begin as close to who you really are as possible.

Improvisation and other forms of auditioning:

Auditions vary in type, style and technique. The professionals who you audition for vary in what they expect to see. Improvisations usually are meant to help you reflect the real you and to show that you can listen and adapt to what is going on it the scene, to other actors and to direction. They can be games, but they are not all games! Work on them as you do all of your other audition and performance skills.


Contrary to public belief, acting is work and actors need to be intelligent, well educated, observant and skilled at their trade. The best actors make it seem easy, not showing the homework and practice they put in to their performances. Reading, researching, memorizing, practicing, observing others, travel, being open to opposing views and life styles (doe not mean you have to change or do things you feel are wrong), emulating and imitating with commitment and of course, putting your heart and should into work your work is how you work and show your skill as an actor.
Reading is still the best for of overall research into a story, script, scene or character. 
Knowing films  (star with the AFI Top 100) and studying how the actors who earned awards, positive reviews or who become the character so fully you forget they are actors achieve their goals and practice their craft.
Television can keep you up to date on what is current in your craft as applied to television, and what sort of roles you most likely will be called upon to read for if you are called for an audition. 
Video games are the latest extension of the actor's universe, with movement, voice, characterizations and even images use in many potential alterations. 
Know what wins awards, is popular, is in demand and why for all areas where you are likely to be called upon to ply your craft. 

That Special Something:

Only you can bring your soul to the audition and reveal it in ways that lets the agents and casting directors know you area ready and you will make money for everyone! You are the star in waiting. You need to find what it is that makes you special and let it shine!

For now, be yourself but remember energy, energy, energy….and when appropriate smile!
By Art Lynch, rights reserved, 2010.

Monday, October 24, 2016

For the First Time in History Equity endorses a Presidential is Democrat Hillary Clinton for President

Actors’ Equity Association Votes to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President
New York City, August 30, 2016 – In an historic decision, the National Council of Actors’ Equity Association (Equity), the labor union representing professional stage actors and stage managers, voted during its August meeting to endorse the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. This marks the first time in Equity’s 103-year history that the organization has endorsed any political candidate.
Though the union’s practice has uniformly been to remain neutral with regard to elections, throughout its history Equity has taken strong positions and adopted numerous policies meant to help provide a voice to the disenfranchised of this country.  
Advising the Council, Equity’s Executive Director Mary McColl said, “If you look back at your history, you have taken political stands on many occasions. You have been leaders and staked out political positions opposing blacklisting and segregation; you have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You have stood up and led the charge at key moments when society had tears in the fabric. I think this is one of those moments in time when you must stand again.”  
“What do people actually look to the union for?” asked Councillor Francis Jue. “This election is about whether people can carry guns into theaters, about whether or not people can take adolescent gay and lesbian teens and torture them into believing that they are straight. It’s about whether or not we are going to have a Department of Education. This election is about so many of the values we believe in and policies that we put into practice. I think it is incumbent upon us to lead.” 
The union’s core values are workers’ rights, fair pay and a safe workplace free from discrimination for its members. Additionally, Equity has long-standing policies that promote arts funding and education, affordable housing, single-payer health care and marriage equality. Equity continues to advocate for human rights, on behalf of those with HIV/AIDS and for voting rights for all Americans. Most recently, Council authorized the union to support responsible gun law reform.
Equity President Kate Shindle said, “Our union has historically chosen to remain nonpartisan and above the fray. But at such a critical time in our country’s history, this union does not have that luxury if we hope to protect our members. We have to fight with everything we have for our survival.  God forbid we stand passively on the sidelines and watch as some of these people get elected, people who aggressively want to dismantle unions. We will look back at this moment knowing that we could have said something and we chose not to because we were afraid people wouldn’t like it. I don’t think that’s the way a union in 2016 America can afford to operate.”

Sunday, October 23, 2016


The Executives who now control the Industry must maintain a Secret Society with a manifesto and covenant to control all things creative and substitute them with all things commercial.

This group of terrorists of the craft of acting will here in after be referred to appropriately as ‘THE P.I.S.” (Peripheral Industry System)

What became instantly obvious to the P.I.S.  Was the commodity known as ‘The struggling aspiring actor’. There were so many of them in New York , Chicago, and Los Angeles. The hopes and dreams of these actors were the very element that will render millions of dollars to the P.I.S.. The theory was simple; Create ‘SHORT CUT TO SUCCESS PROGRAMS’ and TAKE THE SERIOUSNESS, IDEALISM and TRADITIONALISM out of the work. 

Symbols were employed to create a new image of Acting. The traditional Comedy and Tragedy masks were replaced by spotlights, and dressing room lit mirrors. Establish and promote publications known as the actor’s trade papers i.e.; SHOW BUSINESS and BACKSTAGE. These publications now became the Bible for the aspiring actor. 

Contained in these publications were auditions, and articles that never reflected the artist and his craft. They did promote the mantra of the P.I.S. that encouraged Short Cut to Success philosophy. More damaging than the articles were the advertisements printed with glamour and glitter screaming out to the reader to follow this system, take this class, don’t waste time with traditional training for the theater because acting for film and television is completely different!

Soon the trades became the only source of information available to actors. The mind control techniques of the P.I.S. were working. The P.I.S. needed one more important mission as they continued their desires for complete control of the craft. That mission was to give birth to Divisions of acting, Film and Television Actors, Commercial actors, Soap opera actors, and the dreaded theater actors. Dissecting and compartmentalizing the craft of acting into these divisions clearly meant that each ‘Kind’ of actor needed a specialized training, thus teachers would be needed to allegedly help the actors in each of the fields. 

Significant to mention here that teachers and instructors in the 70’s who were brilliant at their work and getting great results did not participate in this new revelation of acting classes. Herbert Bergoff and Uta Hagan of the famed HB Studio refused to introduce film and television acting classes into their school for decades. Dissecting the craft of acting to various divisions would prove to be financially successful for the P.I.S.;

The birth of the ‘Short Cut to Success Once a Week Class Workshops came into existence in the early 70’s. Prior to this period if a serious and dedicated person wanting to study the craft of acting he went to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Neighborhood Playhouse, The H.B Studio, The Actors Studio. They studied at legitimate theater programs at the Universities and Colleges like Yale Drama School, and Northwestern University in Chicago.

The P.I.S. through the articles and advertisements in Backstage and Show Business’ did a great deal to influence and discourage the serious training of acting by taunting the hungry young aspirant with promises of instant success without this boring and useless training. After all ‘look’ and ‘who you influence’ are the most important elements of success. This was the mantra of the P.I.S..

Above all the damage caused by the P.I.S. certainly was the introduction of the lie of all lies that ‘Look and your Image” are absolutely essential to your success. When this lie was introduced it became the most incurable element of the disease of the P.I.S. and has been the flag ship corner stone of theirs for many years. Today the casting system adheres religiously to what they consider the foundation of all requirements in the employment of an actor. His Look” is it a “flavor of the month Look” is she drop dead gorgeous? Is he a hunk?” The influence of the marketing members of the P.I.S. was responsible for this lie but it proved to become financially successful as actors were now being bombarded by cosmetology for the actor, plastic surgery for nose jobs, dental cosmetics, and numerous exercise programs to perfect the look.

The insanity was well in place. The aspiring actor was working his survival job only to pay for all things external that the P.I.S. demanded he needed to succeed. Yet with all this obvious invasion of the senses of the young actor no one spoke up against the movement and cried ‘foul’!

The ‘Look’ philosophy was created by the P.I.S.  Leaders not because it was an essential creative condition of an actor’s performance but a successful gimmick to create revenue off of the aspiring actor. The Culprits of the system knew that if they appealed to an actor’s vanity they could convince him that it was not his talent or lack there of that was instrumental in he or she not being cast for a role but his or her “Look”. The system then created a certain ‘look” that every actor and actress should strive to achieve. Talent agents who were members in good standing of the P.I.S. philosophy practiced and adhered to the ‘look’ philosophy as the only criteria for signing new actors for representation. Again is he or she like someone else in the business that is successful comes into play here with the talent agents. They certainly did not want to be out side the box when it came to ‘what the flavor of the month ‘look is.

Click on "read more" below to continue reading.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Remembering Ted V Mikels....a very independant film maker and mentor

Ted V Mikels passed away while in home hospice at 8 AM this morning (10-16-2016). The world has lost a filmmaker who broke all the rules and had fun doing it, with a long string of B movies in the horror, adventure and science fiction realm. While still in LA on SAG-AFTRA union busness, I am saddened and am finding it hard to concentrate. We met Ted through PAVCA (the Professonal Audio Visual Communication Association) of which I was president in the mid to late 1980's. When Laura and I visited Ted last Thursday he pointed to the trophy PAVCA awarded him with great pride. I had the honor of being his Script Supervisor and Continuity on one and a half films, relearning how to splice 35mm film and stripe sound in the days before computers. Back then Ted paid us every week for our work. Since I am union I never acted in one of his films but did watch him teach actors, crew and anyone who would work with him, the art of filmmaking.

God bless you Ted Mikels.

He always wore his large tooth around his neck, kept his house decorated in a Norse tradition and wanted to finance his opus, "Beowulf". Never did that, but has made sure his most recent film is completed by another filmmaker editor.

I am saddened, as Ted was a part of our younger days, party days, for PAVCA and at Arnie Bartz's home and studio.

I will pass on information about services when I can...


Filmmaker Ted V. Mikels has many claims to frame

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ted V. Mikels

Ted V Mikels passed away this morning of cancer. Many, including my wife Laura and I, will miss him.

Art Lynch

When I arrived in town Ted Mikels befriended my wife and myself, threw the best eccentric movie world parties at his "castle" and taught or worked with a wide range of crew on projects including "Mission Killfast" and "Chad".

A giant heart and generous soul, he shares with those who will listen about the craft of filmmaking, the way it has been done for a century, and the techniques of the .future

While he is not a union film maker, so I never appeared on film in his projects. He is prolific and a pioneer in many areas. I was taught film making in ways I never learned during similar classes I took back in college. Being around Ted led to hands on editing of film based sound, 16 and 35 mm film and as a Script Supervisor on two projects.

I am sorry I missed (and was not invited to) a screening of his latest Grind House film last Thursday.

Ted, and the people around him, have a passion for life and find joy in ways most of us never fully understand. I enjoyed and embraced my time with Ted, and the teams of talent he attracts.

In the years since the early and mid 1980's, my life took a different path, as a solid union activist and educator.  I have fond memories of the world of Ted V. Mikels, his friends and followers. My heart warms when I do see him at an event or a friend's home. I am very glad to see Ted is still active and making "cult" movies. 

For more information on Ted V. Mikels, visit