Sunday, July 31, 2016

Stills from "The Visitor"

This short movie, in Russian & English, was created & directed by Katya O'Brian.






























Monday, July 25, 2016

Sexism in entertainment

I've been working for three and a half years getting into professional acting.  This is a sample casting notice:



I've gotten the strong impression that the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly male.  When I'm on set, virtually everyone who you can't see is male: behind the cameras, behind the lights, behind the mics.  The actors spend a lot of the time waiting, while the equipment is set up.  Actors are like the football in the football game.  If there are women on set, they are mostly being filmed.  Then I see casting notices like this and  notice that most of the acting roles are for men as well.

I just went to see ghostbusters.  This movie has been applauded for putting women in traditional male roles.  That part *was* very nice, but if you look carefully at the screen, it still looks like most of the background performers are still male -- and likely the people operating the equipment are still male.

We heard the story of Jennifer Laurence, whose face is the symbol of the popular "Hunger Games" series, who discovered that she was being paid half what her male colleagues were being paid, despite

A casting director told me that whenever they put up a notice on a casting website they get a couple of thousand applicants.  Of those, they can generally only consider the first three hundred, usually submitted within an hour of the posting.  Then they audition those people and give some callbacks and audition again.

They think very carefully about who they are casting and what impression that person is creating.

It's really hard to get regular jobs on TV shows -- really hard.  You have to have a long resume even to be considered.

If you get one of those jobs, it's like winning the lottery.  It's so rare. If you lose that job, you're back in the pool -- the great unwashed masses, being paid minimum wage for roles, minimum wage in big cities where that is not enough to live on.  Actually, it's like the "Hunger Games."

Actually, it's rare to be paid in acting.  Most actors act for free, some in community theaters as a hobby, but many in the hopes of convincing others that they are worthy of paid roles.


Against this backdrop, I hear the recent stories about women at Fox News getting sexually abused on the job.  These women who, like Jennifer Laurence in the "Hunger Games," have been pulled out of the great, starving masses to prove that really women can be on a news program.  Granted they have to be young, fit, wear lots of makeup, and have their hair dyed blond, while men can be middle aged, balding, greying, chubby -- but they have those women there.

And, then, it turns out they have to prostitute themselves to have those jobs.  It's Dickensonian.

Womens' rights have really made very little progress.


Sexism in entertainment

I've been working for three and a half years getting into professional acting.  This is a sample casting notice:



I've gotten the strong impression that the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly male.  When I'm on set, virtually everyone who you can't see is male: behind the cameras, behind the lights, behind the mics.  The actors spend a lot of the time waiting, while the equipment is set up.  Actors are like the football in the football game.  If there are women on set, they are mostly being filmed.  Then I see casting notices like this and  notice that most of the acting roles are for men as well.

I just went to see ghostbusters.  This movie has been applauded for putting women in traditional male roles.  That part *was* very nice, but if you look carefully at the screen, it still looks like most of the background performers are still male -- and likely the people operating the equipment are still male.

We heard the story of Jennifer Laurence, whose face is the symbol of the popular "Hunger Games" series, who discovered that she was being paid half what her male colleagues were being paid, despite

A casting director told me that whenever they put up a notice on a casting website they get a couple of thousand applicants.  Of those, they can generally only consider the first three hundred, usually submitted within an hour of the posting.  Then they audition those people and give some callbacks and audition again.

They think very carefully about who they are casting and what impression that person is creating.

It's really hard to get regular jobs on TV shows -- really hard.  You have to have a long resume even to be considered.

If you get one of those jobs, it's like winning the lottery.  It's so rare. If you lose that job, you're back in the pool -- the great unwashed masses, being paid minimum wage for roles, minimum wage in big cities where that is not enough to live on.  Actually, it's like the "Hunger Games."

Actually getting paid minimum wage is rare.  Most actors don't get paid at all.  Some are in community theaters, as a hobby.  Many are just trying to prove that they are worthy of being paid




Against this backdrop, I hear the recent stories about women at Fox News getting sexually abused on the job.  These women who, like Jennifer Laurence in the "Hunger Games," have been pulled out of the great, starving masses to prove that really women can be on a news program.  Granted they have to be young, fit, wear lots of makeup, and have their hair dyed blond, while men can be middle aged, balding, greying, chubby -- but they have those women there.

And, then, it turns out they have to prostitute themselves to have those jobs.  It's Dickensonian.

Womens' rights have really made very little progress.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Performing at The Set NYC

I want to talk about my experiences with The Set NYC. http://www.thesetnyc.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/setnyc/

I’m not sure quite how Pim Shih, who runs it, found me, but he asked me to come do a monologue for him at the Lovecraft Bar at 50 Avenue B in Manhattan.  I’m always looking for opportunities to perform, so I went.  I’ve now gone there four or five times to perform.  I really like it.

This is an exceptionally nice bar.  They don’t blast loud music. They can even play classical as ambient music.  There are 2 cozy performance spaces in the basement.  There aren’t a lot of TV screens showing sports all over the place.  The food is excellent — gourmet stuff.  I actually don’t drink alcohol, so I look for the food, myself.

Avenue B used to be a  scary place when I was younger, but it’s trendy now — lots of young people.  Not a scary feeling place at all — tho I scared someone.  I'll just tell the story briefly now.

My last monologue was Vincent Price’s Rap from Michael Jackson’s thriller.  I have this on SoundCloud as well: https://soundcloud.com/anne-barschall/thriller-rap I wore all black: dress, hoodie, boots.  I carried a walking stick with a curved top.  

A man started when he saw me afterwards, walking on the street, and told me I looked like the grim reaper. That made me laugh, which kind of destroyed the illusion I think. I took down the hood. It’s summer after all.

I’ve found out since that first show that Pim Shih is a deeply religious man who wants to end homelessness in NYC.  He gives some money from each show to charities benefitting homelessness.  One such charity is http://www.fotvm.org/  It’s a small charity, but hopefully growing.  They’ve so far helped 4 people.

None of these shows earns a huge amount of money for charity, but, since Pim does them often, it adds up.  

The last show I did was on July 9.  Pim tries to group genres together.  He had music acts in one room and short films in another room.  I think he goofed in asking me to perform July 9, because it wasn’t a monologue night.  Still, I did my monologue at the end of the short films show.

It was really cool getting to watch other people’s short films.  All these budding filmmakers got to network with each other.  Same with the musicians in the other room.  I also got a new FB friend who liked my monologue.

I just want to recommend that performers try out their new stuff at this place.  Are you practicing a monologue that you want to do for an audience?  Have you written a new song or set of songs that you want to perform?  Do you have a new short film that you want to be able to show to a small, supportive group?  Do you want to benefit charity at the same time?  


You won’t get paid, but it will be a fun evening in a nice place.  Also, I’m supposed to do another monologue there on July 21.  I’ve always fantasized of being Puck in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I’m unlikely to be cast in that role I think — but I could do one of his monologues, if I get time to memorize it before then.