Last summer, I got a talent manager email requesting some younger talent to audition. Two weeks later, Ethan was on set.
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Ethan on Netflix “Master of None” with Aziz Ansari
WE CAN FINALLY TALK ABOUT IT!!!!
Go to Netflix right now and watch
WARNING. Not for kids. Parental Guidance Required!!!
Last summer, I got an email form my manager requesting I send over some younger talent to audition for his roster. Out of dozens of students and parents I emailed, Ethan and his parents responded. I think it was about two to thee weeks later (or even sooner) that the set was ready for Ethan on Netflix.
Daily I try to explain to a student or colleague, don’t wait as long as I did to get your self in front of industry. If you want to work, work. Easier said then done, yes, but not as hard as you think, and not for the reasons you think.
I would argue that at any given instance, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of very talented performers out there, with college degrees in the theater arts, thinking to them selves “I am almost ready. I just need another class or another unpaid showcase where I can be discovered.”
THAT WAS ME! And then suddenly, while performing at a New York Comedy Club, I was approached by a colleague from the club’s street team. It is with love when I say this guy was quite the hustler. He packed my shows with audiences every night and he thought I was funny and had talent. It turned out he a friend that had some experience in artist management. That friend was not currently working but she did put me in touch with Jaime Baker.
Within a month of the initial conversation that started with “I am going to introduce you to…” I was on set for my first SAG commercial, dressed in a football uniform, throwing a football in a Culligan Water commercial. I never saw the finished project but that 1/2 day on set paid a lot of bills for the next three years as royalties poured in.
At that point I was 34 years old. I had spent years in comedy clubs, regional and touring theater, singing in churches and auditioning for just about everything. I had already appeared on Letterman nine times as well as a few other shows I booked myself – MTV’s Stankervision, WE Network’s Hair Trauma, and a very random Commercial that still puzzles me as to what we were advertising (I think a Marketing firm was demonstrating they could make a rat look good – or not).
Since I started working with Jaime, I have booked walk on roles on Royal Pains and Blue Bloods and a number of smaller commercials. I booked myself on Netflix’s Lilyhammer, but it was my full resume of TV that helped make that happen.
Meanwhile another schmuck walks off the street at the right time in the right place with zero training in acting and lands a role that launches a career.
I have gotten to know David Duchovny over the last couple years. I was a huge X-Files fan – still am – and when David started his Rock n Roll career I was intrigued.
David was an English Lit major working on his PHD when he started joining his friend, Jason Beghe, at auditions. David Landed the commercial. Shortly after he was in a few movies, Twin Peaks and then The X-Files. The rest is history. Thirty years later David has starred in three major TV shows. Add all the movies, and not accomplished author and recording artist, it all started with that first audition.
You have to audition to work. For TV and FILM that means eventually you have to have an agent or manager submitting you.
So when ANYONE tells you, my manager is looking for some talent. Email him RIGHT NOW and mention my name, DO IT!
Ethan has already worked on a few other projects. Not to take anything away form Ethan or his Talent, Ethan got the job because he and his parents responded quickly and decisively to my email.
And now ETHAN has an IMDB page. It’s short. But at 13, his matches mine at 38.
The sooner you get that first credit? the sooner you get that second, third and fourth.
Graduate high school with a resume of professional credits, and not just a few musical theater credits and annoying competition ribbons/trophies, and you are ahead of the game for most.
It was disappointing our students did not get on “Julie’s Greenroom”. The producers of that Netflix show, starring Julie Andrews, had filmed Ethan an others for a segment on Improv. They loved Ethan. Unfortunately we ended up on the cutting room floor, which these days is the HD digital archive footage file folder. However, you never know. We could still end up in season two if they do a stand-up comedy episode.
Remember, every opportunity is an opportunity. In TV/FILM and COMMERCIALS you have zero control over the final use of your talent. You audition for hundreds and thousands of projects. You get cast in a few projects. Hopefully you get into the final cuts. Don’t stress over what happens that is out of your control.
You cannot control what bullies will say about you or how editors will cut you (your takes, they don’t actually cut you like a really bad bully)
PS If you are a theater/comedy student OF ANY AGE, please listen up.
A few of my colleagues have responded when I said, “Um Jaime is looking for some fresh blood, email him today.”
Others have not.
Some of those that have responded are working, booking commercials, TV shows etc.
None of the others are working, booking commercials, TV shows etc.
When a door opens to you, step through and take a peak on the other side. Things may not work out. Things may just lead to a huge career. Most likely it will be somewhere in between.
Only guarantee I can make?
NOT going through the door leads to NOWHERE!
Another of our students appeared on MASTER OF NONE Season 1 but I can take zero credit.
Sway loves out Improv classes but has been active in TV, Commercials and even Bollywood long before we came around. (Remind me next time to talk about having a website, social media)
Ethan on Netflix “Master of None” with Aziz Ansari
Master of None is an American comedy-dramaweb television series, which was released for streaming on November 6, 2015 on Netflix. The series was created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, and stars Ansari in the lead role of Dev, a 30-year-old actor who attempts to make his way through life in New York City. The first season consists of 10 episodes. The show was well received by critics, appeared on multiple year-end top ten lists, and receiving multiple awards and nominations. The show was renewed for a second season in February 2016, which premiered on May 12, 2017