Runyon Canyon: At the edge of Heaven, Pt. 2 of 3

The closer you get to Heaven the more likely it will be that you will see it…

For those that don’t know, Runyon Canyon is a majestic place filled with endless fields of green where at the peak of the highest plateau you can see to the very bottom of the hillside. Yet, there is more to this place then just “amber waves of grain.” Sadly, many people will never experience the magic and wonder [of Runyon Canyon] which is hidden in plain sight simply due to the fact that they (people) walk around like a horse with blinders on; inevitably their sight is limited to nothing more then mere tunnel vision.

However, unlike those people who aimlessly scurry around the streets and subways of a big metropolis; who are unaware of the forces around them, I have always tried to see far beyond this world and into the next; the unseen world.

For as long as I can recall I have always attempted to figure out why we are here in the first? Is it possible that mankind simply spawned out of some sort of primordial ooze? Or is the answer to that question something greater then we could have ever imagined? Could it be that our existence serves only one purpose? A simpler purpose that we are too afraid to accept as truth? What if we are all part of master plan of sorts where each of us determine the outcome of the whole? Could it really be that we are each an extension of each other; a small part of something bigger and better? One heart, one soul, perhaps? Though, even if only half of what I just described is in fact true the question still remains, “What purpose would that be?”

Now, I cannot tell you why YOU are here or why you were born into existence in the first place. I can only tell you why I am here. You see, it took me nearly forty years to figure out and understand. At last, I can honestly argue my point and in some fashion or another perhaps even help you find your “purpose?”

Moving on, let me continue where I left off previously…If you recall I began to tell you about, Eddie, the three legged dog who in many ways resembles my beloved daughter, Gabbie. For nearly two years now I have been plagued by thoughts to horrific to describe; nightmares that brought me to the brink of insanity, and pain so immense that the mere thought of it makes me want to do the unthinkable – give up.

Until recently every day has been nothing less then a Hellish experience and no matter how many times I tried to express my emotions to family and friends all anyone ever told me was, “Life goes on.” It was this attitude, this selfish and ignorant response that enraged me; rage which became so great that it somehow turned inward. In time I realized that I wasn’t directing this rage at those responsible for inflicting it on me in the first place but rather I was inadvertently directing it at myself.

Over the months it (the rage) began to eat away at me and turned me into a former shadow of myself; I became bitter, cold and, even, heartless. I no longer wanted to be around people and disappeared all together. Nor did I laugh like I used to even when I had every right to do so.  I dwelled on the dispeicable behavior of the people who I once called “friend.” I came to see that the only thing that mattered to them was, well, themselves. I was disgusted, embarrassed even to call myself “human.” Yet, that was when I finally realized that very few people, if any all truly understand what it means to be human in the first place. Not long after I became Hellbent on changing peoples behaviour; changing the world, and, even, forcing change upon people if it came to such a thing.

From the very first day I lost my beloved, Sasha many strange yet amazing things have occurred. It seemed that Runyon Canyon would finally make all the doubt, disbelief and questions evaporate like water into air. Eddie was not just a dog rather he was vessel of some sort. As I stood on the sloping hill looking at Eddie my brain was suddenly flooded memories of my beloved daughter, Gabbie. Then, without warning something even more mircalous occurred.

I regained my composure and forced the tears back into my eye sockets. Suddenly, I felt compelled to turn and look behind me. My jaw dropped and seconds later I lifted the sunglasses from my face and placed them ontop my head, then squinted my eyes and said softly, “Sash?” I then stepped closer to a dog who had just turned the corner; it was on a leash and its owner was struggling to control it. I locked eyes with this dog; a Boxer (who was in every fashion similar to my daughter, Sasha). The Boxer then looked at me intently and became overly excited and then ran in my direction. I glanced back to Eddie, then back to the Boxer (who name I was never able to ask). I tried as hard as I could but I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore; I felt tears roll down my cheeks. I whispered aloud, “Girls? Is it you?”

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A Handbook for Hollywood, Part 2 of 3: An insider’s guide on how to land the perfect agent¬†

Now, where were we?…Oh, yes, how did I manage to get Lakey Wolf (at CESD, NY) as my agent? It’s simple really. I did exactly what you did, or what you are doing rather. However, there is the right and wrong way to approach any agent regardless of how well known that agent (or agency) may be. Remember the words of Yoda, “Judge me by my size, do you?”

To book a SAG franchised agent you must first and foremost know what to say, when to say it, and, most importantly HOW to say it. What do I mean? What you need to remember is that every agent wants to represent talent that is marketable, intellgent, well spoken, educated, who takes direction well, and is who knowledgeable about the entertainment industry as a whole. Just remember the old saying, “Knowledge is power!” and everything will go according to plan. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration? You see, even the best laid plans can go aire. Thus you must always have a contingency plan, or back up plan rather.

Let’s start with the basics – a headshot, resume, website and demo reel. Now, hold up! A word of caution before we continue: DO NOT submit to any agency without ALL of the things listed herein. All you will inevitably do is prove your incompetence and thus there goes your chance at being taken seriously.

Still, even if you have a demo reel you most likely don’t meet the “submission guidelines.” You see every agent has different submission policies. Now, how do you know what each agencies submission policy is? Well, you call and ask. It is that simple. Once you know what to submit then go ahead and submit it.

It’s normal to want to call an agent after submitting and following up about the status of your submission. Don’t! Never call an agent ask ask, “Hi. I wanted to know if you received my headshot?” That is a deal breaker. Just wait and be patient. Sometimes it can take up to six weeks before you will get a reply.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to designing both your headshot and website is to never misrepresent yourself. In others words make sure you look like you. Stay away from glamour pictures as a primary headshot unless you are specifically looking to get into modeling. Use only professional headshots that represent the “real” you. Do not use provocative pictures that portray you standing in a studio half nude under a hot light. Agents are not matchmakers. They (agents) want you is to be professional, reliable and trustworthy. Later on in this blog series I will tell you more about creating and developing  your image, and why it’s important.

Know what the different types of headshots are before submitting to an agent. If you send a headshot to an agent who casts commcerials and you are posing in a suit with your hands in your pockets and a hard glare in your eye, they will send you to a modeling division. You will ask them why and, of course, they won’t tell you but I will. Simply put: to be cast in commercials you need a “commcerial headshot.” What does that mean? Well, think about it…What do you see more often then not in commercials? Don’t know? I’ll tell you – a smile. So, to get cast in commercials send in commercial headshot with a nice, bright white smile.

Your website should be simple. If your not already established don’t pretend that you are. An agent will ignore your website if they feel you are trying to hard to impress them. Though, that doesn’t mean that your website should be ugly. 

That does it for now…Until next time.

A Handbook for Hollywood, Part 1 of 3: An insider’s guide on how to land the perfect agent

You may be asking, “Who is this guy? And what does he know about getting an agent?” Before I answer that question let me begin this part of my blog series, A Handbook for Hollywood by first stating that the biggest mistake any actor can ever make is thinking that there is such a thing as a “nobody.”

Allow me to start by introducing myself. My name is Drew. Nowadays many people know me as “The Glickster.” Years ago I was just like you; hungry and desperate to break into the business. Strangely, I found myself wearing many hats. These included everything from a stunt performer to an occasional actor, writer, producer and, even, editor. No matter what I did was never content with what I was. I am proud to say that I did earn my SAG-AFTRA card and my IATSE card. Yet, in 2012 I withdrew from both unions because I had come to realize they were robbing me blind, and not to mention that I was booking far more work without them then I ever did with them (the unions, I mean).

However, as time went on I finally found my true calling – a commercial video editor and writer. Today, I live a fruitful life doing what I love and even earned the nickname, “The Awesome Video Editor.” I have worked for many well known and established organizations such as Hasbro, NueLion, Inc, Watson Headquarters, OMGossip.tv, Wetpaint.tv, The Tea, AML Academy, Rock Your Mind and many more. I have also edited demo reels for actors who you can now see on major network television shows (just check my IG to find out for yourself). I have even had the grand pleasure of working as a Red Carpet Camera Operator and covered such events including: The Elysium Gala, World Dog Day, The Young Messiah Film Premiere, A Trip to Unicorn Island YouTube Red Premiere, “Friends Reunion” and many others.

I have also produced an array of short films (though none you have ever heard of…yet). I have even written best selling novels that are in consideration for film deals. So, I ask you who are you going to listen to? A guy trying to pretend to be successful or a guy that is successful? Go on YouTube if you like but you won’t find any of what I am about to tell there…unless you pay for it, that is.

Getting started in Hollywood is simple enough. All you really need is a professional headshot, a decent website, a few minor credits on IMDb, and a SAG franchised agent. Wait! A SAG what? Yes, you read right – a SAG franchised agent. Now, why SAG franchised you ask? Why else? To get your SAG card, of course! However, within this statement lies a conundrum. Is is possible to get a SAG agent without first getting a SAG card? But, if so then how do you get a SAG card without a SAG franchised agent? Sounds like a catch 22 doesn’t it?

The reality is that it seems as if everyone is an agent these days. But, those agents who are not affiliated with SAG are pulling the wool over your eyes. A non-franchised agent is nothing more then a glorified headhunter. Essentially, they are doing what you do day in and day out – search Craigslist and similar sites for leads. You may book one or two mundane jobs this way but you will never truly reach your full potential as an actor. However, that’s not to say that occasionally there aren’t legimate casting calls on Craigslist but if so the odds are they are “rush” calls and submitting to it will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. In other words everyone and their mother is submitting to the casting call at the exact same moment you are which in turn makes your odds of booking it damn near impossible.

You want to know if I have an agent, is that it? I mean in all fairness how can I possibly help you land an agent if I couldn’t, right?  To answer your question – yes, I do have an agent, or rather did (I don’t need one currently). Who was it? CESD, to be exact. Maybe you’ve heard of them? For two years I called the lovely Lakey Wolf my agent (at the time I went under my stage name of Drew Evans not Drew Glick. I say that just to avoid and discepencies).

Lakey is awesome! It was because of her I ended up on national T.V. shows like The John McEnroe Show as a principal stunt performer, and earned my SAG card. I bet you want to know how I did, huh? How could a 22 year old kid successful book one of today’s most sought after agencies? I’ll answer those questions and more next time.

Rotoscoping: Why we love to hate it

*The above image was rotoscoped using the method described herein. It is taken directly from the finished video I edited for a new reality television show titled, 2ND Chance.

Years ago Rotoscoping was tedious, time consuming and, for many editors, overwhelmingly frustrating. Prior to the advent of Adobe After Effects an Editor would more often then not have to dedicate a full day (sometimes weeks) to successfully rotoscope a moving image just for the simple pleasure of removing (or adding) a non exsisting “element” to either the foreground or background of moving video.

In the early days in order to successfully rortoscope an image an Editor would have to literally trace around a subject by hand (or sometimes the “Talent”) by using the “mask” tool in programs such as Final Cut and early versions of Adobe Premiere.

Most of us were first attracted to the idea of Rotoscoping because we wanted to create our own lightsaber effects. Admit it! We all wanted to be Luke Skywalker, right? For me, however I soon came to realize that due to the insurmountable amount of work that I needed to invest into these effects, and the overwhelming amount of focus I needed to have in order to rotoscope properly I indeed failed horribly.

Today, Rotoscoping is a much simpler process, yet it is just as hard to master, unfortunately. Though, using After Effects it is easy for any visual effects artist to Rotoscope in mere seconds (it’s the rendering process that will make you scream). With the press of a button (literally) you simply trace around your subject and After Effects does the work for you.

Again, let me stress that if you want to Rotoscope your video first know what your doing. Understand the mechanics of After Effects, Mocha and so on. If you go into the process without a clear understanding of how the process works you will inevitably become so frustrated that you give up on it completely. It may sound simple enough to just outline your subject with the roroscope tool (pre-loaded as part of any recent version of After Effects). However, the process is still hard, sometimes incredibly hard so if you want professional looking results then hire a professional.

Rotoscoping in After Effects is not like removing an unwanted background from a picture in Photoshop. These are not static images and depending on the steadiness of the camera you may very well spend hours motion tracking your video as well. It is important to also recognize that when you remove a background from your video you must also be aware of depth perception. Using a background against an image that is disproportionate, stretched, too tall or too wide will make you look like an amateur. Again, be cautious and hone your skills before attempting anything of this caliber.

2nd Chance presents: The Rebirth of Nappy Roots

Vito Tisdale has appeared on numerous television talk shows including, The Tonight Show. His bands incredible rise to fame seemed all but unstoppable. However, not long after something happened – the group disintegrated; they vanished without a word.

Since that time Vito (Tisdale) has lived in solitude; the pressure and stress of a cruel and unforgiving industry had gotten the better of him. For years he drank himself into a state of nothingness; smoking Marijuana and avoiding the outside world at all costs. Still, everyone kept asking, “Where is Vito?” and “What has become of the legendary hip hop group, Nappy Roots?” Now, after years of unanswered questions Vito is getting a 2ND Chance.

See Vito rise and return to mainstream music only on the new reality television show, 2ND Chance (produced by Paul Nutall). And be sure to watch the exclusive trailer (edited by The Glickster) to see what all the hype is about.

The WheelHouse, Book 1: The true story about a boy and his dogs. 

It has been called, “A beautiful story.” Even still many readers have commented, saying, “This is one story that everyone needs to read!”

The WheelHouse is a 362 page non-fiction novel that took nearly two years to complete. The story follows Drew who inadvertently sacrifices his humanity for the love of his dogs. The story is filled with intense imagery, frightening moments, and, of course, unconditional love. Intertwined with the many chapters of the book are Psalms that directly correlate to the events taking place throughout the book. “I added these Psalms [to the book] so that readers will understand that God is not up there, in Heaven, but rather that He is here, on Earth right beside us; guiding us, watching us, and protecting us. I wanted to remind my readers that should they want to find Him (God) all anyone really needs to do is open thier eyes.”

The WheelHouse (written by Drew Glick) hits internet shelves everywhere March 7th, 2017. Available on Amazon.com February 28th, 2017.