Does S.A.M. Even Like Actors?

I have written an open letter (letter of protest) to Secret Agent Man (SAM) who appears to be an agent and a columnist for the widely read BACKSTAGE. The article I am protesting starts by comparing actors to puppies who “could end up pissing all over the carpet”. SAM’s piece does not get better and it includes “advice” for actors that is careless and unprincipled. If you care about PUPPIES and ACTORS (even if you are not in showbiz) read my letter. Comment and share. Thank You
Kyla
PS The article posted by Secret Agent Man for Backstage February 29, 2016 is here: http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/secret-agent-man/sams-essential-list-agent-donts/

March 13, 2016
OPEN LETTER TO:
Secret Agent Man (SAM)
C/O BACKSTAGE

I read your article posted online February 29, 2016 in Backstage. It looks like you write a regular column for Backstage which is likely read worldwide. There is “advice” for actors in your column that is mean and unhealthy. I don’t like it. I kind of (actually really a lot) want to be mean back at you. Make you feel insecure and shamed the way that you tried to do with your words, but that would take too much effort. Instead, I would like to take this time to educate you. Please read on.

1. It is not okay to compare actors to puppies who may end up “pissing on the carpet”. It’s not even okay to talk about puppies “pissing on the carpet” as if they are doing something shameful or bad. When puppies are learning to use the potty they will make “mistakes” because they are learning. Actors are business people and puppies are puppies. Be respectful. In what other business would it be okay speak to your employers in this manner? Actors are your employers. And some of us bite.

2. What are you saying when you say you “want to save actors from the embarrassment of having (y)our nose wiped in (y)our “accidents.” It’s 2016 and most people know, or are learning, that anything that looks like a mistake or an accident is an opportunity. Success and being right is an opportunity, too. Actors don’t want you to “save” them. They want you to be nice.

3. Did you write that you would laugh at a person who called themselves a “triple threat”? Are you saying that you would make fun of/humiliate someone who came into your office, owned their skills and put all of those skills on the table for you to look at? If meeting with an actor who can sing, dance, and act means, as you write, “nothing” to you, I kind of think you are in the wrong business. Let me repeat this…you say in your column that an actor who can sing, dance and act means nothing to you. You are agent, for Moses’ sake, if the talents and skills of your clients don’t mean anything to you- what does?

4. This is where I start to get angry, SAM. You write in your column “DON’T throw out nonsensical statements like, “I’m in the middle of a paradigm shift so I can build my brand.” If you have an actor on your roster who is willing to grow and change their perspective or paradigm and they are willing to share that growth and change with you- you need to count your blessings. We are human. We change. Life changes around us and within us. Here are a few things that happen that can cause a paradigm shift: having a baby, getting cancer or any serious illness, death of a loved one, divorce, moving etc. As humans we grow and as artists this growth informs our work.

5. Another quote from your “advice” column is “DON’T approach me in a public setting. If I’m with people, I don’t want to talk to you.” Now this is just plain mean. Without actors, SAM, agents don’t have an income. If an actor is being vulnerable enough to open up about needing an agent, be compassionate. If you feel uncomfortable with actors approaching you, then you need to cultivate a skill that allows you to deal with that in a healthy and kind way. I suggest having a handful of business cards on you. When an actor approaches you and you are not prepared to “talk shop” you can pull out a business card and politely say “I am not able to talk about this now, but here is my card feel free to call or email during business hours”. This is, after all, a business. So, maybe you could, like, treat it like one. I am guessing, though, if Juliette Lewis is looking for new representation you would be okay with her approaching you in public. It’s just the people who read your column who better steer clear.

6. When you say “I have a life that doesn’t involve actors”…well, duh. Just, duh. We all do. We just don’t all have to go and shout it from Mount Sinai.

7. You write: “Please DON’T invite me to see you in a mediocre play where you have one good scene in the second act. Trust me. By the time we get there, I’ll be in a pretty foul mood.” SAM, I getting pretty confused here. Do you not like actors? Or acting? Or plays? Why would seeing a play put you in a foul mood? If your intention in going to the play is to SUPPORT YOUR CLIENT then you will put the experience into perspective and be there to SUPPORT YOUR CLIENT.

8. You give some advice about headshots and managers. Actors get to decide what headshots to use. Not you. If an actor trusts you and knows you to have the actor’s best interest at heart, then they may let you in on the process. But it’s their process. Actors get to decide who their manager will be. And if you are concerned about your clients hiring someone that you have “bad blood” with- that has nothing to do with the actor. That one’s on you.

Respectfully,

Kyla Wise
Actor and Human

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Mama gets a free weekend. Mama writes a poem.

I have a free weekend!
My amazing 4 year old is away for the weekend with my in-laws.
24 hours into my free weekend and this is how it has gone:
I did a supported headstand in power yoga class
I wrote a poem
I drank beer and slept late
I watched a great movie that stars my friend http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2417834/

Next up I will clean my house and crank the Itunes, go on a date, discuss the future a little, drink some wine, sleep late again, watch the Oscars (and eat popcorn) in my jam jams.

Then I will start missing my kid. Until then….

Check out my poem:

Granville Street four guys in jeans walk into the egg place
It was a late night
There was good beer
I am half a block up and I am craving eggs now
I am craving four pairs of jeans on a floor somewhere, abandoned
The men play video games and drink the good beer
I wash the jeans and drink one beer
I treat myself to eggs
Poached with sauce
-written Feb 20/15

Have a great weekend my friends! Eat some eggs.

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Wise Productions

I did not make this video but I am sharing it! It is hilarious!

How do you keep in shape? Not just in life but in your acting?

My trainer (one of the many amazing trainers at the Y) in one of his classes (again one of the many amazing classes at the Y) directs us in this way. He says “I bring the moves, you bring the intensity”. And we all work on the following:

Cardio
Endurance
Balance
Agility
Speed
Co-ordination
Core
Strength

Since I am an actor and being an actor is kind of my frame of reference or my point of view I often find my brain automatically linking important, useful, intelligent info to my work as an actor.

So here goes…how I translate GYM talk to actor talk

Cardio- wow look at all this LOVE be open to all this LOVE

Balance- career, parenting, health, community…

View original post 183 more words

I did not make this video but I am sharing it! It is hilarious!

How do you keep in shape? Not just in life but in your acting?

My trainer (one of the many amazing trainers at the Y) in one of his classes (again one of the many amazing classes at the Y) directs us in this way. He says “I bring the moves, you bring the intensity”. And we all work on the following:

Cardio
Endurance
Balance
Agility
Speed
Co-ordination
Core
Strength

Since I am an actor and being an actor is kind of my frame of reference or my point of view I often find my brain automatically linking important, useful, intelligent info to my work as an actor.

So here goes…how I translate GYM talk to actor talk

Cardio- wow look at all this LOVE be open to all this LOVE

Balance- career, parenting, health, community, friends, family

Agility- changing gears from oh hey kicking back cleaning my kitchen to “okay here we go 8 pages of script to learn before morning”

Speed-“okay here we go 8 pages of script to learn before morning” (yes I am repeating here)

Co-ordination-getting everything working together. Start learning script, make pizza with the kidlet, get kid in bath while pizza in oven, try to keep pages of script from getting soaked while memorizing and washing kidlets hair, eat pizza while texting bff to see if she can take kidlet to bookstore while I am at audition….you know that kind of co-ordination.

Core-no flailing allowed!

Strength-because sometimes I actually am required to do a bunch of pushups at an audition (okay they are usually emotional ones) and burpees too. Ha…what exactly would an emotional burpee look like??

THANKS to FC for being a kick butt trainer.

And hey…if you read this far…THANKS to you too! would LOVE to hear how you take something from one area of your life and apply it to another.

PLEASE COMMENT.LIKE. SHARE. AND WATCH THIS HILARIOUS VIDEO TOO!

My Recipes for Success

I have a mountain of recipe cards and not one of them contains a recipe. I use recipe cards to record the word bytes of inspiration I get from books, blogs, facebook posts, magazines.  I have collected tons of them over the years and I love looking through my files, books, storage locker, journals at all of the people and ideas that have inspired me. This months blog post from me (aka Wise Productions) is collection of a few of the recipes I have sourced out over the past weeks. I have been told that my handwriting is not always the easiest to read so I have also included the a typed translation. Enjoy.

1. TRUTH

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“Is it true? Can I absolutely know it’s true? How does it feel in my body? Who would I be without that thought?”

http://amyjoberman.com/

2. AUTHENTICITY

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“Be authentic, and don’t try to be something you’re not. Just own who you are, and that will separate you from the pack.”

http://www.mnactingstudio.com/blog.html

SELF CARE

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12 Steps for Self Care

1. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. 2. Say EXACTLY what you mean. 3. Don’t be a people pleaser. 4. Trust your instincts. 5. Never speak bad about yourself. 6. Never give up on your dreams. 7. Don’t be afraid to say no. 8. Don’t be afraid to say yes. 9. BE kind to yourself. 10. Let go of what you can’t control. 11. Stay away from drama and negativity. 12. Love.

https://www.facebook.com/ChangeYourThoughtsToday/

WORTHINESS

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“Whole hearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It’s about cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to be at night thinking Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

http://brenebrown.com/

PLAY/COMMUNITY/FAITH

This card has been sitting on my desk since Hanukkah. Dreidle. How to Play.

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Step 1. Each player puts one token in the pot

Step 2. Each player takes a turn spinning the dreidle.

Step 3. Depending on the way the dreidle falls the player respond accordingly.

Shin-player must put one token in

Hey- player takes half

Gimmel- player takes all

Nun- nothing happens

What inspires you? Who inspires you? How do you keep track of your inspiration? How do you carry your inspiration with you?

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment, share, like, dislike. See you next month!

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I am a creator. I have been an actor most of my life and yet it took me until 20 minutes ago listening to a Ted Talk (Brene Brown) to finally know that I am a creator. I have been a professional actor for almost 20 years and I have never identified myself as being creative.

Ever.

I have written dozens and dozens of essays, painted hundreds of things (walls, tables, canvases, picture frames, floors, windows, chairs, and on and on), been in TV shows and movies, started a blog, been in plays, written a play, made a baby, and made hundreds and hundreds of meals (and beds) and still after all of that I have never identified with being creative.

Here is why.

In my mind in order for me to be creative my creation has to be good. It has to be meaningful. It has to make money. It has to be accepted and acceptable. It has to be liked. It has to be booked. It has to be unique. It has to be chosen. It has to be mine. It has to be new. It has be profound.

Yet the actual measure of creativity or creation is not to make something good or beautiful or profound. It is simply “to make something that never existed before”.

That’s it.

There is a canvas and then the canvas gets paint on it. By me. And then more paint. And then after a lot of paint and then sometimes some tears/crying it is done.

Painting by Kyla (tears also by Kyla)

“Tears” by Kyla Wise

Somewhere I learned that creativity was ONLY an adjective. “Oh look at that painting it is so creative” “That actress, her choices are so creative”. “What a creative use of color” .

I would argue that creativity is a verb. It is something we do.

Being creative (aka making stuff) is my default position. I am a shark that has to move to breathe. I have to make stuff. Paint stuff. To breathe. To be alive.

I am no creative genius. But I am an artist. Although I have a very hard time identifying myself as such. Maybe in my next blog I will come to terms with or at least stand toe to toe with the term ARTIST. And I also have this “brain thing” that can very accurately be described as an ARTISTIC TEMPERAMENT.

Wikipedia has a pretty good section on temperament. One of the popular usages of temperament (and what I am talking about too) is “It is a popular conception that those who are highly artistic – painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, etc. – often show dramatic swings in emotion, often elevated to extremes: the so-called “artistic temperament”.

The reason I bring up the “brain thing” is because REALLY it is about time I tell my story and also because I believe it connects to creativity. I think artists and actors and musicians and writers and TV Execs all fall under the umbrella of Creative People. And some of us have shrinks or therapists or meds to kind of manage the need/ability to create. That is just the G-d’s honest truth.

We just love making stuff. We have to. We are like Sharks. Especially the TV Execs. Ha.

I am a painter of many many many many things.  They may be good. But whether they are good or not has no relevance to creativity. I like to think of creativity as  productivity. What matters is that I create things. I make things. I make things that without me would not exist. Not in this way.

I really wanted to lead this post with “I have a brain thing”. Just so you know.

Being Creative Does Not Mean Being Good.

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She's So Unusual

It is the 30 year anniversary of Cyndi’s album “She’s So Unusual”. This is also the anniversary of me discovering that it is not only okay to be different, but that it is ESSENTIAL. This album changed my brain. Changed my thinking. Opened my heart to the possibility that I could be my unique self and be accepted. For those of you who have not seen my facebook post here it is:

Psychiatrist: Kyla, is there ANYTHING else you can see yourself being other than an actor?
Me: Yes!
Psychiatrist: Excellent. Lets talk about that.
Me: Well, I really want to be Cyndi Lauper.

’nuff said

She’s So Unusual

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