Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wade Crescendo Ward - Putting the B in Bar...

Wayne Crescendo Ward

Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Print, Voice-Over Artist
Imdb Page

Watch his acting reel.
Watch his choreography reel

Sincere commitment to learning and developing their respective craft first and become competent at acting and/or performing is one of the chief qualities of a good actor. 'Crescendo' is an example to follow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meet Our Talent - Series Begun

Hello All,

Marcia, owner, agency director and principal talent coach at Mod Media here with a crazy great idea. Although, the blog will remain an authority for actors, models, voice-over artists and other professional performers, it will also act as a tool to showcase the outstanding talent that is represented by Mod Media Agency. What better way to introduce and instruct interested and new talent to the industry. I personally, have enjoyed discovering and learning the details of the diverse experience and background of our talent. From this, one can clearly see that the process of becoming a successful actor/actress (I generally use the term 'actor' for both genders), is ongoing, and requires a great deal of patience, persistence, dedication and a bit of luck.

Featured Talent: Marcia Bell aka Marci Marceau

ha ha, that's me. As I mentioned before, I am the owner of Mod Media Professional Talent Representation. Running an agency entails a whole lot of work, so I don't act much. However, I am listed as talent, no less. I must admit that as an actor I am not ideal; very little patience and a whole lot of Diva! I began to model in the late 1970s in Oregon, later I moved to Europe and worked primarily as a showroom and (the less glamorous sounding) fitter model in Italy. When I moved to nearby France, I did a bit of print work, some voice over work and a couple of commercials to supplement my income as a mental health counselor and English Instructor. Similar story previously in Italy, I should mention. Upon returning to the US, I began to refocus on my professional career in mental health counseling, case management and research, but never became totally disconnected from the fashion industry. In 1997, I completed my Masters degree in Public Administration, and Health Administration - then took back off for Europe. Flash forward, back in the States, I took a part-time job in a talent agency and soon developed very lucrative contacts in Portland and Los Angeles. After a 'disagreement', to put it lightly, I packed my things and started on my own, and plan on being one of - if not the biggest talent agency on the West Coast of the US. Stay tuned, after meeting our repertoire of talent, you will understand how.

Best and take care - mb

Thursday, April 14, 2011

HOW TO GET AN AGENT: Basic Tips for Actors.

Reprinted article by Ronald K. Armstrong

It is not easy getting an agent but it is almost necessary if you want to work in this business. There are no easy methods to secure one; rather, it takes hard work and lot of tenacity. The irony of it all is that agents want established actors yet to really get established you may need the help of a talent agent. Although trade publications such as Backstage are a good source of job opportunities the real work comes through an agent. They usually keep a circle of clients to whom they channel out the work to first. If you are apart of that circle then it makes life a little easier for you.

Through the years I’ve seen young actors trying to achieve their goals make simple little errors which could have been avoided. Most don’t have a mentor to help them through the difficulties and thus have to feel around in the dark. Here are some basic tips to help you out. Firstly, treat your career like your own personal business. Understand that you are in a highly competitive industry that requires a lot of personal investment on your part. As such, the numbers game of sending out a ton of your headshots and resumes to talent agencies in hopes of landing one isn’t enough. Agents get hundreds of photos a day and your headshot is just one in a pile many. One of the things that a working actor must have in his or her arsenal is a good demo reel. You should have a number of copies that can be dispensed at will. A professional reel could cost anywhere from $50 to $250 to produce depending upon what you want. The duplication rate is somewhat modest. Next, you should be in some type of show or production. This gives you exposure and a chance to hone your skills.

Now with these things firmly in place begin the process of sending your photos and resumes out to talent agents. You can find a listing of them in The Ross Report or by going to Make sure you understand the different unions and exactly which agent deals with a particular union. If you are not part of SAG and send your material to a SAG agent then you may have just wasted your money. As stated before since agents get a lot of headshots on a daily basis you’ll need to make follow-ups. Set aside some time each week specifically for this purpose. Some agents don’t like to receive phone calls but there are some that do. The key is to build a rapport with the agent. Most times you won’t get to speak with them directly only with their secretaries. Now listen up because this is important. Do not treat the secretary like a secretary! In fact make a conscious effort to get to know him or her while treating them with the utmost respect and courtesy. The reason for this is because that secretary is your immediate connection to the agent - a sort of gate keeper. Rest assured that if they do not like you, or consider you annoying, you may never get pass them. In soliciting representation you should invite the agent via phone call or by postcard to your show. If they are unwilling or unable to come send them a video copy of the performance highlighting your work. If possible, hand delivery it. Then make another follow-up call. Remember, the idea here is to make a lasting impression. Some actors have gone as far as to send an agent a headshot a week keeping them appraised of their progress. If you can afford this then by all means go for it.

Another important thing here is to be professional. Always seem enthusiastic and positive in the presence of an agent no matter if they are rude to you. If they are somewhat unpleasant don’t take it personal. There are more fish in the sea so there is no need to dwell on a bad meeting. Agents are not only looking for someone talented to work with but someone who has a great personality and is hungry. If you are lackluster in your approach to your craft then why should an agent take a chance with you. However, if you are highly motivated and good to work with then someone might take a chance. I’ve seen so many actors blow it because of an ego trip or lack of commitment. Agents can smell this a mile away. Unfortunately actors are notorious for being flaky and emotionally unstable. If this is you then, YOU DON’T NEED TO BE IN THIS INDUSTRY!

Keep in mind that not all agents deal with your particular type. Some deal strictly with young children, others specialize in ethnic actors and so forth. There are also agents who deal with commercials and/or feature films. Pay particular attention to this fact when sending out your material. And don’t feel bad if you are told you’re not the right type. Many of these agencies work with major studios that call for a particular look. Low and behold you may not have that look of the moment. This doesn’t mean that you should go out and get plastic surgery but rather find another agent who is handling your look. Trust me there are many that do.

Whatever happens don’t give up. Since agents are people too you must also understand that there are good and bad ones. I’ve personally come across a couple who are horrible and you’d be better off going it alone. On the other hand there are many who can get you in the door if you manage to get their attention. Industry networking events and parties are a great way to come in contact with them. If you have a talent for networking then I would suggest booking your schedule with as many of these functions as possible. The Internet has really been a boom for actors and you should find a wealth of networking events in your local area on line. If you apply just these few tips and don’t become discouraged I’m sure you’ll meet with much success!

For the latest industry information visit us at

About The Author


Ronald K. Armstrong has been an author and screenwriter for over fifteen years. His credits include a wide variety of screenplays and books ranging in genres and subject matters. He began his film studies at the high school of Art and Design. Afterwards he went on to study film at Purchase Film School. Frustrated by the lack of attention paid to true art he left school to start the country's largest minority film organization the RKA Cinema Society.

Given the fact that the industry has demonstrated a level of inequality the RKA Cinema Society aggressively campaigns against racism, sexism, and issues of censorship while serving to protect and preserve the sovereign right of all artists. Because of this the organization is vehemently opposed to the wide spread practice of corporate monopolies and advertising dollars dictating artistic vision. It was during his operation of the organization that he produced two books: The Science of Acting and The Black Filmmaker’s Guide to the 21 Century. These books set new paradigms in thought for young artists. His previous screenplays include Alter Ego and Lost in Time.

In 1990 Mr. Armstrong wrote and directed Cuny Island, a short sci-fiction thriller dealing with racism on an interplanetary scale. The film went on to take second place in the Black American Cinema Society Grant Project. He was also featured on several television programs for his accomplishments. In 1996 he took things a step further by writing and producing his first feature length motion picture entitled Bugged. The film was produced in conjunction with Troma Studios and made its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival along with showing at the Prince Charles Theater in England. The film gained world attention propelling Mr. Armstrong into the light appearing on such stations as the BET, BBC and CNN.

Each screenplay is a work of passion and a spiritual journey for Mr. Armstrong. Through the medium of the thriller genre he challenges the conventional Western thought process and the template of modern values. “Hollywood has created a mental matrix system while not allowing audiences to develop their consciousness to a higher level. Stories are the key to the deepest recesses of the mind. With it you heal people, solve morale dilemmas, nurture a civilization and more! A good script can awaken fathoms of the mind more so than any great university. But we must take the art there.”

Mr. Armstrong has just completed his third screenplay entitled Master Killers. Writing is a long and arduous process from which he shows no signs of fatigue. As he states, “I feel that America and the world are ready to see the truth. Through the genre of sci-fiction I feel I can broaden the spectrum on social and political issues in a manner that is not only creditable, but necessary for all to see. My only wish is to have the backing to write films, films without any restriction or distortion of truth.”

This article was posted on January 11, 2006

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Casting Scams Notice from God. Well, the Next Best Thing: SAG

Here is a direct post from the SAG website that all aspiring actors should read:

Casting Scams


There are many unscrupulous companies trying to take advantage of actors. Don’t believe it if it’s...too good to be true.

You’ve seen them: those ads stapled onto telephone poles and plastered all over the pages of those throwaway neighborhood newspapers. They promise the moon, the stars and a shot at the big time, but rarely deliver even a pinch of stardust. “Audition for Bob! casting director of the hit TV show…” “Read for Bill, superstar talent agent at…” “Jim, personal manager of top actors, such as Steve and Susan, will be looking for new talent…” For those struggling to get a break, these meetings may seem to be the way to get that long-sought meeting with the big guys, the chance to be seen by casting agents, to work with directors, to be spotted by managers and agents. Sadly, most of them turn out to be a waste of time and money, if not an outright scam calculated to separate you from your hard-earned money.

There are certainly many legit companies that offer a chance to meet and read for casting agents and directors in a classroom setting; but be aware that if any fee is charged for these sessions, your participation may be in violation of SAG Rule 11 or California Labor Laws.

SAG Rule 11

Section 11 of the SAG Rules and Regulations states, in part: It shall likewise be deemed conduct unbecoming a member for any member of the Guild, directly or indirectly, to give or offer to give any money, gift, gratuity or other thing of value to an employer, or prospective employer, to any officer, agent, representative or employee of such employer or prospective employer, or to any employment or casting agency representing an employer, or prospective employer, or to any of their officers, agents, representatives or employees as an inducement to secure employment. This rule shall not apply to prohibit the payment of lawful commissions to motion picture agents holding franchises from the Guild.

If you are asked to pay a fee or give any form of compensation to audition for a casting director, producer, agent, manager, or anyone else that has any input into the hiring process, please contact Gavin Troster of the Hollywood office at 323/549-6809 to report the incident. This includes workshop-style situations where a casting director watches your scene or monologue, offers no meaningful critique or feedback, and is presented as someone looking for actors for “current and upcoming projects.” This becomes a paid audition, which is against SAG rules.

California State Labor Code prohibits employers or potential employers from demanding payment for employment opportunities; you should contact your state labor board to inquire whether they have similar laws. The Hollywood office has notified the California Labor Department about violations of this section, and Guild members should likewise not hesitate to contact their state or their SAG branch regarding violations. The more people that stand up and protest these practices, the more likely it is that action will be taken.

Now, there are certainly legitimate classes offered by casting directors and producers. The difference is that these classes are in fact ongoing, “traditional” acting classes, during which acting instruction is offered rather than being simply a one-time paid audition. California recently set guidelines for casting director workshops to distinguish the legit ones from those that, for a fee, offer only a vague hope of being remembered for some future role. California members can get a copy of the guidelines by contacting the California Labor Department, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Department of Industrial Relations.

Here are a few examples of what SAG considers to be paid auditions:

Don't Pay Reality Shows

  • Reality shows have taken over the television airwaves and with them yet another twist on the This-Is-Your-Big-Break-If-You-Have-$50 theme. Typical of these new schemes is a company that faxed the Guild recently asking staff to contact our members to urge them to audition for a talent-search program geared towards actors. The come-on was that those chosen would be seen by millions, including, it would seem, casting directors, producers, agents, and managers. And all for a small fee that is refunded should the actor make it past the first cut. A good deal, right? When the Guild attempted to contact this company to clarify the set up, we did not get a response: no call, no email, and no letter. We can only conclude that this was an attempt to get money from actors—one that may have netted the company a hefty amount of money from those who sent in their application fee. Also, be aware that some of these reality shows are made under AFTRA contracts for which you may or may not have to become an AFTRA member. Check with SAG and AFTRA membership departments before accepting work.

Don't Pay Fees

  • Another example of questionable practices are seemingly legit background casting companies that advertise for inclusion in a national database of pictures to be used in future projects that film in various parts of the country, generally where SAG has no background jurisdiction and where filming is rare. These companies charge a fee to be listed in their databank, and tell you that they will let you know when filming is coming to your area. SAG has been notified about such companies putting ads in papers in places like Montana and Virginia. Some of these companies will tell you that you must send in money to “hold your place” in the film. Some of these companies may even hold interviews and auditions for films, but you have to pay an up-front fee to register for the interview. One company recently solicited headshots from actors in Atlanta and Minneapolis – the pitch was that they were going to cast in both cities for a Hollywood film. For a $25 fee, actors were given an appointment date and time to try out for the movie. Problem was that the Atlanta auditions were canceled and the Minneapolis auditions turned out to be a total sham. Those who went not only did not get seen for a part, but they lost $25. Again, some of these are in fact legitimate auditions for films, but it is always a good idea to contact your local SAG office to find out.

Don't Pay Producers

  • Every so often we hear of a producer that offers a role in a film to anyone who will contribute money towards the financing, anywhere from the starring role if you finance the whole thing to bit parts for those who do not have lots to give. If you see ads for such projects, please contact Gavin Troster of the Hollywood office at 323/549-6809 to report such a practice.

Don't Pay Casting Agencies

  • We all know that casting online is the wave of the future. Pictures and resumes posted on-line. Casting submissions entered with a keystroke. Resumes revised with just a few clicks. No more messengers. No more cutting and stapling. No more running all over town. Can’t be bad, can it? Well, actually, yes it can. Certain casting agencies are charging agents, managers or talent fees to post headshots and resumes online. Or worse yet, they are charging for every revision to a resume or photo. Some even go so far as to electively make their services available to a selective group, thus limiting performers’ access to casting sessions. Screen Actors Guild is fully aware of these abusive trends and is taking action with state labor commissions to examine these business practices. However, changes take time. In the meantime, be very careful about illegal fee practices. Know all the facts before parting with your money.

If you have any questions regaring the legitimacy of workshops or auditions, contact your local SAG branch or Hollywood Production Services at 323/549-6809.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eco Cast Comes to Mod Media - Where Technology Reigns Supreme.

Mod Media has recently become a client of Breakdown Services Eco Cast. Essentially the program is a device that permits Casting Directors to audition talent from virtually any location at any time for a given role. Reportedly, the application is employed on the East Coast and Mid West, regions. Its is soon to become the standard in West Coast Casting as well. Instead of attempting to explain the process myself, I think it best to reprint the original cop of the application itself.

What is Eco-Cast?

Eco-Cast is a "virtual pre-read system" provided by Breakdown Services. With it, Casting Directors can send invitations to Talent Representatives or Actors directly to record an audition themselves, expanding the range of people Casting Directors can see for each role.

How does it work?

Eco-Cast is entirely managed within Breakdown Express and Actors Access. So you don't need to email anything or mess with confusing file-transfer sites. And for Casting, the auditions arrive in one location automatically.

As a Casting Director: You release a project and receive electronic submissions just like normal. But now, you can create a new Eco-Cast directly from your selected talent and send all of them or a small group of them an invitation to tape themselves, complete with sides, instructions, and a deadline. Then, as the auditions come in, you can view them, rate them, and send the ones you like on to your Producer or Director.

As a Talent Representative: You continue to submit your clients for roles on Breakdown Express. Then, with any luck, you will receive an Eco-Cast Invitation in your cMail account. You can now either forward the Invitation to your client, if they have an Actors Access account, or upload the audition directly from your account. Either way, you can then review the uploaded video to ensure quality and submit it to the Casting Director.

As an actor: You continue to submit yourself for roles on Actors Access. Then, with any luck, you will receive an Eco-Cast Invitation in your cMail account. Also, if your Talent Representative has received the original Invitation, they can forward it to you. You can now upload the audition directly from your account, review it to ensure quality, and submit it to the Casting Director or back to your Representative for approval.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I agree with Lana, watch out for the ol' bait and switch'

Has this ever happened to you? You're perusing craigslist, your favorite source of 'get what you pay for' classifieds, then there you spot it: 'Feature Film Production Seeking Female, Male and Child Talent'. You immediately cut and paste the address to your e-mail New Message field, with a professional head shot and a lot of la dee da about your supporting role in a high school production umpteen years ago. Finally, your big break is coming! This part is tailored for you and you alone. All you need to do is show up at the agency advertising the gig and sign a contract for Union wages and residuals. You call, make an appointment and spend several hours deciding on what to wear, make up and hair accessories. You arrive, even a bit early for your appointment and ring the bell. After a few nerve wracking moments, you are led by a young girl in heels she can barely walk in to the 'Manager', who immediately starts to explain how important professional pictures are. 'Everything from the lighting to the brand of make up must be right or the casting directors won't even look at you. Now all you have to do is put down half and...' Before you know it, you have signed your life away and not even the slightest hint of any film role or project has come into the conversation. This is what is called the famous 'bate and switch' technique. Its one of the oldest and most successful albeit dishonest sales tactics in the history of man. In my next post I will discuss ways to avoid being suckered into something you're not sure of and questions you should ask when approached by unsavory types. Also, I'll answer the question: Are professional photos needed?

For more information and actual cases to read go to Casting Director, Lana Veenker's website at: and click on Press:

Bye now, and always stay tuned for more Drama.