Advice and Tips for Actors Helpful thoughts on acting from someone who wasn't the least successful actor of all time.

November 9, 2003

Eitan Auditions for The Audition

Filed under: bookings,film — Biographer @ 10:01 pm

Do not fear!  Eitan is still around.  Despite the rather long lapse between bio entries Eitan has actually been alive, well and is still pursuing acting.  Disregard any rumors circulating about how Eitan was living the last 5 months in a hermetically sealed chamber in the upper reaches of the Brazilian rainforest, they are all lies started by Eitan’s detractors.  Eitan has just (as of this morning) appeared in the short film “The Audition” put together by The Brothers Castanon.  He played an actor (big stretch, no?) who completely misreads the script, takes the part he’s reading for way too seriously and doesn’t even have a clue he is auditioning for a comedy (not that Eitan would EVER make such a mistake in real life).  Eitan has more auditions coming up, so hopefully it will be much less time between this and the next update.

April 7, 2003

A Fake Proposal in a Fake Commercial and a Real Play

Filed under: bookings,commercial,theater — Biographer @ 9:58 pm

The old saying, “No news is good news” doesn’t apply to acting careers.  The biographer is happy to announce Eitan’s latest career accomplishments.  The first is a rather plain and boring story as far as acting stories go.  Eitan had submitted his headshot and resume (although Eitan has a staff of people working on his website, he still insists on mailing his own headshots as he claims it keeps him humble) to a newly formed company called “Ashland Entertainment” for a speculative commercial.  They called him in and he auditioned.  He was called back and subsequently cast.  The plot of the commercial is as follows:  Eitan is a guy taking his girlfriend out to dinner, he is noticeably nervous.  They are sitting there drinking their wine when Eitan pulls out an engagement ring.  In order to kneel and propose he pushes out his chair but accidentally pushes it right into the waiter.  The waiter then spills spaghetti all over Eitan.  His girlfriend picks off a piece of spaghetti, gives him a kiss and obviously has just said yes.  It looks to be a very cute spot and it’s a pity that it will probably never get released.  All the equipment was very high end, so the commercial will hopefully come out with a very professional look.  It was done during an all night shoot from 11PM until 7:30 in the morning in an Italian restaurant in Pasadena.  Despite (or probably because of) staying up all night and spending about an hour of the shoot with cold spaghetti all over his head, on his knees and unable to move for fear of disrupting the pasta, Eitan had a great time.  He also had the production photographer take some photos with his disposable camera, so pictures will be posted eventually. [Biographers Note(2/9/04): The pictures will never be posted as Eitan stupidly lost the disposable camera in Santa Barbara.  Silly Eitan.]

The second story is a tiny bit less conventional.  In December Eitan had submitted a headshot for some play that was being done by the LA Jewish Theater.  They did not call him for that show.  A few months later Eitan saw a posting for another show that they were casting.  He decided not to mail another headshot, as he figured they had his first one and would call if they wanted him.  Eitan was shocked to discover he was actually right.  This story would not be so odd except that he was not called in for a regular audition.  Two actors had dropped out of the show several weeks into rehearsal.  Eitan was called in to possibly replace one of the actors.  He went in and did his monologue for the director before a rehearsal.  He was offered the part and started rehearsal started about one minute later.  Eitan would post the dates of the play, except he does not know them. All he knows is when he has his next rehearsal.  Fortunately (in some ways) it’s not a large part, so Eitan will have little trouble learning the blocking and lines. 

March 20, 2003

Eitan’s First Agent and a Play No One Remembers

Filed under: agents/managers,bookings,theater — Biographer @ 9:56 pm

Eitan is pissed at his biographer. His biographer was pretty much done with this update and Frontpage crashed. Eitan asked if the biographer had saved anything and the biographer remarked that he had not. Eitan slapped the back of the head of the biographer and told him that he’s not getting up from his computer until the biography is properly updated. The biographer meekly agreed. So here is the newest update, part two:

Eitan and his biographer are quite stumped as they’re both referred to in the third person in these writings. Anyway, the actual update is in two parts. The first describes how Eitan got his agents, the second talks about a show Eitan just did.

The first tale starts several months back. Eitan was attending a panel discussion of several agents at the Take One Bookstore. This event was being sponsored by a company that puts on agent showcases. The showcases involve an unrepresented actor paying money to audition in front of a group of agents who hopefully would want to represent them. Despite it’s obvious commercial implications, the panel was quite good and Eitan left feeling he learned a lot. A few weeks later Eitan was cruising the Backstage.com message board where he saw a post inquiring about this company. Eitan responded that he didn’t think the event was worth the amount of money that they were asking and assumed his advice would evaporate into the ether like all the other advice he’s ever given. Several weeks later Eitan got a phone call from the person who runs these showcases. The person had seen Eitan’s post (and this website) and wanted to prove to him the legitimacy of these showcases by inviting Eitan to attend the next one free of charge. They asked that Eitan not tell anyone that he was attending without cost (hence the reason the name’s not mentioned here). Eitan went to the showcase and performed his kick-butt monologue in front of several groups of agents. Lo and behold one of the agents wanted to meet with him (it’s a miracle as Eitan was at that time a non-union actor with no professional credits). Eitan went in to meet with Sheryl Abrams of PTI Talent and she asked him to do his monologue again for her. She then asked if Eitan had a commercial agent. He responded that he didn’t, and she asked him if he’d like to meet with their commercial agent Danie Wulff. After these meetings the agency wanted to represent Eitan both commercially and theatrically. After doing some research on them, he agreed. Eitan thinks this is probably the weirdest way someone has gotten their agent.

The second story is also pretty cool. Eitan’s mother was at work and during a staff meeting it was mentioned that they needed one more man for their upcoming Purim show (it’s a Jewish holiday). Eitan’s mother mentioned that her son was an actor (and she luckily lied, saying he could sing) and if no one else wanted the part he’d be glad to do it. Well Eitan ended up being one of the five leads of the 2003 Wilshire Boulevard Temple Purim show called “A Broadway Purim.” The show was a Broadway style review about the story of Purim (it was terribly cheesy and reeked of being written in 1995). But wait, the story gets cooler. The play was also starring the following actors (clicking on their name will take you to their IMDB page): Caroline Aaron, Jami Gertz, Michael Mantel and Mark Klastorin. It should be noted that Eitan is not only the only cast member without an IMDB page, but he’s the only cast member without an extensive IMDB page. They sang, they danced and they had a blast. Eitan has just informed his biographer that he has given the photo editor a picture of this show to put on the photo page. The biographer can’t wait for the next installment of Eitan’s career.

February 13, 2003

Eitan Wanted for Stalking (on Lifetime’s Final Justice)

Filed under: bookings,TV — Biographer @ 9:55 pm

Recently Eitan called his biographer in the middle of the night to let him know that he needed to update the biography for the first time. The biographer reminded Eitan that he had not yet been paid for his earlier writing work. Eitan assured him the check was in the mail and pleaded with him to expand his biography. The biographer (against his better judgment) agreed.

Eitan received a call on a Monday, asking if he could work the next day. Eitan was quite shocked, as there was no audition and he had not met anyone from this project. He had sent out a headshot a few weeks before and had assumed that headshot would end up with all his other headshots in headshot heaven. The show was Final Justice (the Erin Brokovich show) for the Lifetime network. Not only was Eitan offered a job straight up, it was his first union (AFTRA) work. After skipping around the Westside Pavilion shopping mall for a while Eitan accepted. He worked the next day playing a stalker which is pretty much against his type. He was cast because of his resemblance to the actual criminal (Eitan saw a picture and the criminal was a good 100lbs heavier than him and a whole lot uglier, if that’s possible). Final Justice does reenactments of crimes to splice in with footage of the actual victims (like America’s Most Wanted). Eitan spent the day stalking and being creepy for money, which is a break from his usual activities of stalking and being creepy for free.

October 14, 2002

First Bio Entry

Filed under: bookings,classes,film,theater — Biographer @ 11:51 am

Eitan Loewenstein was born in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 12th oh so many years ago (mustn’t reveal my real age) to Avrum and Fredda Loewenstein. He lived there for only a year and a half before his parents moved back to the states. They moved to the lovely city of Sharon, Massachusetts (quite near Boston). It was there that his sister, Shira, was born. Lest they get comfortable, the whole family moved again to glorious Los Angeles, California. But quickly they moved once again to Bethesda, Maryland (right near NIH and the Naval Hospital). It was here that Eitan’s life started to get interesting.

While being educated at the Hebrew Day Institute in Rockville, Eitan was introduced to the dramatic arts. He spoke his first lines on stage, “So did we.” In front of an awed and hushed crowd (Eitan swears the theater wasn’t empty, but no one believes him). He performed in various productions under the guidance of Dr. Ruth Newhouse until his graduation from 6th grade. There he left for the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He only performed in one play at this school, an all Hebrew version of “Oliver!”, before his parents whisked him away once again to sunny California (Eitan is not a military brat, his father simply moved to wherever construction was going on).

A concerned observer would wonder if all this moving around would have some sort of negative effect on Eitan’s psyche, but I digress.

For two years the Loewenstein family lived in glamorous and glorious southern Beverly Hills (it isn’t glamorous or glorious). Eitan was lucky enough to attend the Beverly Hills Public School “Horace Mann.” He was lucky because he realized quite early on how much he hated this school. His 8th grade year was spent hiding in corners and crying, sometimes literally. Upon his graduation from this school, home of one of the worst graduation ceremonies ever, he left for the shelter of Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles and soon after this his family moved to their current house in West Los Angeles.

He was a regular in the SHS plays, all directed by the brilliant and radiant Emily Chase (HAIL CHASE!). He also learned a bunch of Jewish stuff which he will always keep in his mind and heart regardless of what he does (he made me put that in there for his parents who put him through private school, you can ignore it). Eitan also played basketball in high school (not well at all) and was told by his coach Marty Beagle, “Eitan, there are two types of men in this world. There are ball players and ladies men. You are not a ball player.” That stuck with Eitan for quite a while.

It was during his Junior year that Eitan made a serious life choice, this is a pattern, which will repeat itself. Eitan was in the middle of a physics lab at his school when he decided on his collegiate major. He was playing with some electronic circuitry and decided that was what he wanted to do. Clearly Eitan was a moron.

With a good showing on his SATs and a less than stellar GPA in his hand Eitan began searching for a school in which to pursue his dreams of becoming an electrical engineer. He dreamed of years in a cubicle, building some chip that no one would ever hear about, while basking in the riches brought forth by his stock options as the stock market was doing well back then. Senior year came around and Eitan decided to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara a mere 100 miles from home and right on the ocean (not that Eitan ever went in it) to study electrical engineering.

During Eitan’s freshman year he was a diligent student (compared to later in his academic career at least). He did well in all his core classes and was allowed to take only one elective his entire freshman year. He couldn’t get into a drama class, so he took a religious studies one instead. Due to whatever luck, Eitan had an early registration time for Fall quarter of his Sophomore year. Eitan got into a class that was difficult to squeeze into, Intro to Acting (DA 5). It was there that he was told about the school’s audition system. This is where that whole engineering thing started to go downhill. Winter quarter Eitan auditioned for, and was cast in, a one act directed by graduate student Anna Jensen. That quarter he missed both physics and engineering labs to attend rehearsals, something that would repeat quite frequently over the next few years. Eitan was hooked to theater once again.

He noticed fliers hanging around the drama department for people casting student films. He responded to one hoping that they were not planning on making a snuff film and was cast in his first student film. I’ll not mention the name here, because there’s no need to tarnish the name of the director. Production was not a smooth process, to put it nicely. The actress playing opposite Eitan was recast halfway through forcing re-shoots at less than friendly locations (Eitan is very allergic to poison ivy). Thankfully it was finished so Eitan could recover from his skin irritation and return to his studies (which he still took seriously at this point).

He auditioned for many things over the next few quarters at the school, but with little luck. Perhaps his dreams of bright lights and brighter marquees would have died out, if it were not for a student drama group called the “Sherwood Players.” By some odd coincidence Eitan’s DA 5 teacher had previously told the class about the company as they had produced a script she had written. He saw a flier advertising auditions for a show being directed by Matt Weinglass called “Dark Rapture.” Eitan was cast as the smart ass waiter and the drummer in the cheesiest night club act ever. Eitan’s performance was met with rave reviews (some guy told him he was great and it went to his head). Since he wasn’t cast in anything else through the school (except a few student scenes) Eitan performed in the next Sherwood Player production too. He also shot another student film, this time with the visionary: Kenny Krauss.

The spring quarter Eitan gets a call from Kenny asking if he wanted to be in another one of his projects. Eitan had nothing else to do that quarter so he responded with an enthusiastic “YES!” It’s weird for a student film to actually be as good as this film was. You could even say it was as good as gold (it was called “As Good as Gold,” the biographer simply has an odd sense of humor). It went on to play at the UCSB Reel Loud film festival (it didn’t win, but people told Eitan it should have) and a few other venues since.

To retrogress (and to work that great SAT word into the story) for just a second, let us go back to the winter quarter of Eitan’s junior year. Eitan had been performing in some student directed scenes and was enjoying having up to six hours of rehearsal a day so much that he decided to become a dramatic arts major (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting to be precise). He did lots of research, and even picked up all the forms to change his major before his spring vacation. He was planning on auditioning in the spring for the program and extending his graduation date by two years. He, thankfully, sat down with his parents to discuss this proposition. They responded with a resounding “NO WAY.” They didn’t oppose his choice of careers, mainly his staying in school for an extra two years to get a degree that really didn’t mean that much in the real world (no offense you BFA folk). So they made a deal with him. If he finished his electrical engineering degree he could live at home (which later became “live at home for a year”) while he pursued his dream (of being a professional actor, not the one he has where he’s being chased). Eitan agreed and went back to school to graduate while doing as little engineering work as possible. He succeeded.

The next year was met with much more success in his department of dramatic arts. He was cast in one of the big shows (Hotel Paradiso), which was very cool as he was one of only two people from completely outside the department, during those three years he auditioned, to accomplish this feat. He was cast again the next quarter in another one act for which he again got rave reviews (same guy as before). By the end of this last year he had convinced many students and even a faculty member, that he was a student in the drama department. Even those who knew the truth accepted him with open arms or the paraplegic equivalent. Meanwhile he managed to graduate with a B.S. in electrical engineering by taking the “Intro to..” course load. Pretty much every class Eitan took was named “Intro to” something, and was therefore not very difficult. He was quite amused when one of the engineering professors recognized him from a show on campus. By time he graduated Eitan was so fed up with engineering that he didn’t even attend his graduation. Instead he left for Los Angeles to seek his fame, fortune, his parent’s house and his mother’s good cooking.

Eitan quickly began taking classes at the Groundlings school with Ted Michaels, Ben Falcone, Davide Jahn and Roy Jenkins and scene study with Harry Mastrogeorge. He managed to hold down a real job (9AM-6PM + transit time to Northridge) for around two months before he left so that he could actually pursue his acting career and not just tell people he was doing it. He recently got his headshots done and is excited to get them printed up so he can start going on auditions and things like that.

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