ENTERTAINMENT/LIFESTYLE

WILL YOU VOUCH FOR ME?

What’s up UTC? I’m really excited to update you on my life and all things Hollywood. Fact is, this morning I got a letter from the Screen Actors Guild stating that I’m now “SAG Eligible.” If you recall in my last blog I mentioned that I got three SAG vouchers working on a film called “A Thousand Words” staring Eddie Murphy and Kerry Washington . Well, those three vouchers made me eligible to join the union. Now, for those of you who don’t know the acting world, it’s all about being in the union. You get in by either getting three vouchers doing background work or by getting a speaking role and getting what they call a “Taft-Hartley” into the union. Either way, being in the union is a big deal in this town. You’re not taken serious unless those three letters (SAG) are on your resume. And now, it is!

Well, almost… it will be after I fork over a whopping $2,345. Until then, I’m “SAG Eligible,” which means I can audition for union projects like TV shows and films, not just theater, music videos and student films. It’s truly a great feeling because I have been at this a while – ever since I saw Rita Moreno in “Westside Story.”

But that’s another blog.

Back to “A Thousand Words.” The film was directed by Brian Robbins who has directed “Meet Dave,” and “Norbit” (and he even played Eric on the 80s TV show “Head of the Class” with Robin Givens. I thought that was a cool piece of trivia). Anyway, one of my girlfriends is Brian’s assistant and well, let’s just say she hooked a sister up. We shot at The Grove in Los Angeles for three days. I had to be there at 5:00 PM to get hair and make-up done, and we started filming around 10:00 PM and didn’t end until around 5:00 AM. Unfortunately for me, that was the week I was shooting the promo for Starz with Ray Lewis and so I literally was going from one set to another with very little sleep in between.

Looking back, it was worth it. Not only did I get my vouchers, but I got a chance to see what so many actors new to Hollywood go through. Many of them move here and head straight to Central Casting to do background work in hopes of getting in the union. The process, which can take months or years because the likelihood of getting vouchers is not always guaranteed, leaves many of them living hand to mouth. Like this guy I met from Dallas who slept in his car for nearly two months when he first moved to LA. When not napping, I talked to as many people as I could and gave them my contact info if they needed assistance. Many of them didn’t complain and were so excited to finally be in Hollywood pursuing their dreams.

And if that wasn’t enough, Kerry Washington even interacted with us backgrounders between shots, getting on the bullhorn, leading us in songs. She was so awesome.

Eddie, on the other hand, headed straight back to his trailer. I guess he was just as tired as I was. But when the director yelled action he was on it. It was really amazing to watch. Fact is, for all I’ve learned in my acting classes nothing beats on the job training. Needless to say, in the two months since, I’ve booked a Country Wide Insurance commercial and had some really good auditions…. I have to say things are really looking up!

Jasmine Simpkins is a writer, producer and actress living in Los Angeles. She covers Hollywood from both in front of and behind the scenes. Her thoughts and experiences are chronicled exclusively for www.urbanthoughtcollective.com.


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Comments

September 19th, 2008 at 12:51 am renep says:

Cool to hear that Kerry is cool. I like her. Congrats on your job!

September 19th, 2008 at 1:26 am nicq says:

wo wu went through a lot mah

September 19th, 2008 at 9:05 am Philip Giddings says:

You doing big things!
Congratulations and best blessings on your career

September 19th, 2008 at 9:09 am thelma says:

You go girl! I don;’t know much about the entertainment world but it sounds like you knockin down some doors!

September 19th, 2008 at 9:12 am BLACK MARKET says:

you gonna make it big
Yeah I heard eddie was a punk anyway he could have holla’d at ya’ll

September 19th, 2008 at 9:28 am Jane Kennedy says:

Hoo Hoo!!

September 19th, 2008 at 9:44 am culturepop says:

I’m looking forward to see you in this film even in a small role all great things start somewhere

September 19th, 2008 at 9:47 am Stephanie says:

Congrats on the jobs and your being SAG eligible. Looks like things are moving in the right direction!

September 19th, 2008 at 9:54 am lilmamma86 says:

Girl u went to through much.,.I aint got time OKAY LOL!!!

September 19th, 2008 at 10:30 am Krista Wills says:

I will be looking to see this movie is she playing his love interest i hope it is better than his last two flicks!

September 19th, 2008 at 10:52 am BRUH MAN says:

I WOULD SEE YOU IN ANYTHING

September 19th, 2008 at 11:14 am Lottie Markus says:

I actually met Kerry a long time ago when she was in that Ray movie. Seemed stuck up to me! But she does have a nose job so maybe that was sore LOL

September 19th, 2008 at 11:49 am Mr.Fantastic says:

I cant say i would have went through with this mam…i dont have the fatigue to be doing all of that lol

September 19th, 2008 at 11:54 am Tina says:

Sounds so exciting. Do you thang, Miss Thang! Really happy for your accomplishments sounds like a lot of hard work!

September 19th, 2008 at 12:29 pm heatmizer says:

Wow that sounds like fun, hard work, but fun! Its nice when they both go hand and hand ain’t it?

September 19th, 2008 at 3:31 pm kingly says:

nice!

September 19th, 2008 at 3:32 pm 2know2love says:

i am also trying to come up in the game we should chat

September 19th, 2008 at 5:10 pm buttabrown says:

so heartwarming the UTC fam is behind you sista

September 19th, 2008 at 5:38 pm Ashley says:

I wanna hear more details about your interview with Ray Lewis too!

September 19th, 2008 at 5:59 pm pmatters says:

So you got 3 vouchers just from one movie? Nice! A few days of 24hr working is worth that.

September 19th, 2008 at 7:54 pm Elsa Harkins says:

Keep going 4 your dreams sister

September 19th, 2008 at 8:30 pm Destah Owens says:

Nice work, Jasmine. Keep strivin’ to the top…

September 19th, 2008 at 8:33 pm bapworld.com says:

Go head girl! Congratulations! Keep up the good blogging and the excellent acting!

September 22nd, 2008 at 11:51 am Darlene Donloe says:

Congrats Jasmine!!!

September 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 am Rita says:

HEY NOW! That’s what I’m talking about!

October 20th, 2008 at 1:31 pm chivalrouswon says:

Good luck!

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