March 13, 2023

It's the 100th Episode!! Time for a look back at all the highlights...

It's the 100th Episode!!!!!
Let's take a look back on all the highlights.
Max also updates us on the next project...

It's the 100th Episode
A time to look back on all the highlights
Max also updates us on what's the next project...


Max Belmonte  00:00

Welcome back to Two Unemployed Actors. I'm Max Belmonte. And this is a very long overdue episode, but a special one nonetheless, because it is the 100th episode! There's a new format, there's plenty of updates, as well as a look back to some of our favorite episodes.


Max Belmonte  00:28

The podcast has made it to its 100th episode, and I still can't believe it, I'm going to talk through some of the highlights, for those of you who haven't been following us from the beginning, and get ready to write down some of the episodes that I'm sure you'll want to listen to. And now with Sam moving on to full time production gigs, go Sammy, I'll be interviewing other actors and industry professionals, like we have over the last year and a half. So we continue to learn together really, and stay current on what's trending in the industry.


Max Belmonte  00:58

I started the podcast 100 episodes ago to help me develop as an actor, and, you know, on my journey to help other actors in the process, because it's really easy to feel like you're on your own as an up and coming actor. And you know, everything's just happening to you when it's like the first time it's ever happened. And it's a huge moment. And it can be really daunting at times. I mean, we all have those moments even now. And I think, you know, it's really interesting to see that transition for me early on having left my corporate career of 20 years and coming back to a job that I hadn't had since a teenager. And really sort of starting from scratch.


Max Belmonte  01:39

And, you know, in the early episodes of the podcast, you can really hear that it's all about you know how to work with my agent for opportunities, how to get my show wheel right and how to how I work with my acting coach for consistent challenges and, development. The occasional workshop, ones that work well, ones that haven't and, also developing my business as a voiceover artists to sort of pay the bills while I was having fun working on my craft. And, you know, there's lots of updates in those first episodes around preparing for auditions and experiences in auditions. You know, what worked for me what was challenging how it's changed over the years, and some auditions that were really set up to fail and how to avoid those kinds of opportunities. So you can really say, my transition over the years, I remember it started in 2019. So you can really see my transition away from just developing my acting to really leveraging those onset experiences working in voiceovers for auditioning to pivot into writing and producing now as well as acting with a new Agent. So, you know, it was really interesting. Over that period, it's always been challenging, it's always been fun. And even me just having a look at some of those early episodes.


Max Belmonte  02:52

Now, you know, it's amazing to see how much I've changed. You know, like Episode Seven, just looking for content to refresh myself tapes and how I went about that. How do you do that, you know, for me, I turned to student films and had some great experiences, some were more professional than, you know, professional sets. And it was great content that I was able to pick and choose from, I think there was one period where I had a student film a week for four weeks, I just went in an audition for about half a dozen and I got them so it was really unexpected. And a really interesting challenge playing a different character every week for like a month and a half certainly helped to stay work fit you know, and and advice as well like episode nine sort of started on let's stay away from those sketchy opportunities and you know, the ones that give you cash upfront and you've got to sign away the rights to use that work in perpetuity, you know, which shuts you out of that category. And I think that's some really important stuff because you need the money right? But the value doesn't work when you when you when you realize they get to have usage rights forever.


Max Belmonte  03:53

And also episode nine in 12. How to manage your brand as an actor. We've got social media, how do we navigate that world? And how do we use it to our advantage to make those meaningful contacts. Now, I mentioned episode 12 Look, that was one of the most popular episodes and because it's nice to know that my pain and suffering is entertaining for you guys but I was on my vest but on the way to a matinee performance of a player had a lead in and got hit by a car and while while riding my vest but I was literally beautiful weather great day. It's like 1130 in the morning, summertime I'm running lines in my head I had my safety gear on but I was ready to just rock up on stage and go for it. It was it was going well until I met the Subaru WRX idiot driver. But anyway, my pain and suffering lasted for a few days and then I think when we recorded the episode, I was still under the influence of some decent pain medication so No wonder I wasn't feeling anything then. But that set off two years of rehab. Thanks. Thanks, mate. That that then, you know, what do I do? I'm injured I can't I got a fractured shoulder, how am I going to work. So it was leveraging the voiceover brand voice over business that I had going and still doing self tapes towards the end of that period for opportunities that went, you know, when I was ready, but also about, you know, making sure I had a website up and running, make sure I had, you know, all my online presence sorted on those platforms that I was on as an actor getting direct jobs, while also going through the agent.


Max Belmonte  05:32

And you know, how else to stay busy as an actor, when you're up and coming, you don't have a whole lot of auditions, even let alone projects to work on. And I think one of the fun ones was episode 14 talking about the stunt course specifically designed for actors. So you know, like what questions to ask before you go to set or if you've got to work with a stunt coordinator or, you know, how to handle props. Weapons as, as, as an actor safely, how to move on set effectively, in a group with different types of weapons. It was really interesting, and also another stumped course I did for actors, which was about fighting to help you get that little bit closer to making it look more realistic. And how to work with camera and stunt coordinator on on making it really pop episode. 24 also had some advice on you know how to get the best headshots. And I think it was the next episode, I mentioned how good the Netflix movie extraction is going to be because it was currently being filmed. That's the one starring Chris Hemsworth for Netflix, because the director Sam Hargrave, who was following on social at the time, was also a stunt coordinator. And I never in a million years thought while talking to him on Instagram while he was filming extraction for Netflix that I ever get to interview him. And yet there we were, in Episode 83, with Sam Hargrave dialing in from the set of the sequel, which is gonna be released soon on Netflix, to have a great chat about, you know, what inspires him. His experience working with Marvel, and that amazing 12 minute action sequence from extraction, and plenty of insights for up and coming actors. And that's what I really love, like this podcast has allowed us to get access to these industry professionals that we wouldn't normally get access to, and get insight on what's actually happening in industry right now, what's working, what's not working.


Max Belmonte  07:28

And also listen to your feedback. I think the most asked question is, how do I find a good agent? And we touched on that in episode nine, but like Episode 88, we got to interview Australia's most prominent Agent Mark Morrissey, who represents Chris Hemsworth. I mean, you know, we're going to the best for the best information we can on on on how to get an agent and what to do when you've got an agent. What does it mean? How your work doesn't stop and just sit there and wait for the phone to ring. And also touched on the difference between a manager an agent in America versus an agent over here in Australia, and then how and when to crack into the US market, if that's your direction. As an artist. It's not just about acting, so it's about actors, but it's about how we work with other industry professionals. In Episode 85, we interviewed an award winning Australian casting director, Anousha Zarkesh who had just won an actor award for casting, who really helped to demystify the casting process, tips on how to handle nerves, and some solid tips on how to, you know, bloody nail that audition. And I think what was really interesting for me is, you know, also being a casting director on on television commercials, you know, she might see an actor who isn't just right for that television commercial, and she wouldn't even put in front of the, the client. But absolutely amazing talent blew her away in the audition, and kept that person in mind for when roles come up, you know, in film, in television that she was casting for. So really interesting. Also interviewing writer, Chris Corbett, who's written over 50 hours of Australian TV, just a really amazing and experienced writer. On Writing for actors, he actually teaches that as well. So it's a chat that actually inspired me to start writing for television. I've now got three pilot episodes that I'm pitching. So that was episode 85. Sorry, Episode 92. And dialect coach Paige Walker, who I worked with on my US accent 94 was a great episode because every Aussie actor needs a US actor accent, especially if you want to get an agent in Australia because there's just so much opportunity for onset experience with a US production in Australia particularly post COVID I mean, why would you want to miss out on all that work agents are asking for you know, you've got to have the accent and it's not about well, what what a great audition or great self pipe really want to work with him. But, you know, we'll get the dialect coach on set to help that guy out with his accent. There's none of that. They just want you to be ready to go. So it was a really interesting conversation and acting coaches interviewing Miranda Harcourt in Episode 95, and episode 99 the last episode Anthony Meindl talking about what actors are struggling with the most at the moment. And Miranda was particularly interesting. She works with directors like Jane Campion, Peter Jackson, Taika Waititi, plus emerging directors and talked about, you know, how you need to build chemistry fast, particularly.


Max Belmonte  10:38

For us as up and coming actors, we don't get the luxury of you know, six weeks rehearsal. In pre production, often we're walking up on set, sometimes to an experienced, crew and cast have been working together for some time, and we've just got to be able to nail that chemistry immediately, you know, so that was really interesting. Also, she, they talked about what actors are consistently asking or what they're really struggling with at the moment. And I mean, we're talking about acting coaches, I've worked with Nicole Kidman, I mean, Miranda has worked with the best. And so we really have some really current staff that is helping aliased working actors in their work right now. So it's really relevant for us. Simon Ward was another interesting actor we spoke to in Episode 63, because he's also a psychologist, so talked about, you know, how he works with actors, often struggling at times to to seek help, or, you know, if you are struggling, how do you go about getting that help? When is the right time to ask and what the most common issues that actors really struggle with when they when they reach out to Simon as an actor, and psychologist, and I guess also, you know, how being an actor helped him to better serve the needs of actors who are struggling at times. And then there's other escapades, we get up to Sammy, and I, like, you know, Episode 34, where I started volunteering through the union here in Sydney, through the Australian MEAA union about was a project about volunteering, Actors volunteering, to read to primary school students to really make stories fun, because, you know, we're not going to follow up with questions and worksheets and homework for the kids. It's really about bringing characters to life and making storytelling fun, and just had some amazing, a couple of really amazing insights from that experience. And when it comes to actually talking to actors, as well, you know, I really love talking to actors who are busy working in the industry, and whether you've got, you know, a years experience or decades, you know, I mean, getting to interview Kate Fitzpatrick about her amazing breadth of experience. So that was back in episode 47. And we talked about how she approached, approached acting after graduating NIDA and all the amazing experiences and people she's had the opportunity to work with.


Max Belmonte  13:02

In Episode 87, we interviewed Darren Gilshenan, I completed one of his comedy master classes as well, you know, a great comedic actor at one stage I saw him on in a play, which was a drama, and then he's on television, in a comedy and also the next week of streaming a movie, in a comedy role. It's like the guys that busy and it was great to learn from people who have had such in depth training and experience. So it was interesting to get his feedback on how he approaches comedy and drama, with lots of tips for success. And Shane Withington who went on Home and Away here in Australia, booked for only a handful of episodes, and has been on the show playing his character for 13 years. So it was really fascinating, not just to get insights on what a normal week for an actor looks like on set, and how different it is to other productions because they shoot so fast, you know, but also how you keep that character fresh. Because we're doing a lot of episodes. Really fascinating stuff. And I know I've had a few experiences on set with home and away a few different characters and hopefully get to have some more, which really is challenging because they shoot three cameras at once you get a couple of goes and that is it. Whether you're Shane, or whether you're me with a little 50 worder part, you don't get to go you know, Can we can we go again and you got to be aware of where three cameras are. It's just it's a lot happening. And you don't get a lot of time to rehearse the scripts constantly changing and it's just like, if you don't turn up and you and you're not prepared on your game and ready to go and work fit, you're gonna you're gonna sink.


Max Belmonte  13:02

And episode 97 Talking to Harriet Gordon-Anderson, who played Hamlet here in Australia for the Sydney Theatre Company. That was really fascinating because this is the only play I've seen twice. And what was really weird is because of COVID it was both opening nights, which is really strange to go to an opening night twice. Very Groundhog Day, but also meant that she's living with one of the world's most popular characters for like, a couple of years, you know, because even after the Sydney Theatre Company run they toured. So it was she was really candid on on how she navigated through the industry to get those opportunities. But you know, there was also Up and coming talent from, from filmmakers to other actors like Yasmin Polley, who I interviewed when she was like 12. And how she copes with school auditions, acting on set, you know, all that stuff for a 12 year old in Episode 52. And also, obviously, there's been some amazing experiences also been some disheartening experiences Episode 76, you've got to listen to my worst ever onset experience with a professional production company. It was just ridiculous. And what made it worse was the week before Episode 75. I was talking about, you know, listen to your gut if it doesn't feel right. And here's a few things to watch out for, you know, run away. And then I kind of ignored that. And yeah, that episode really details why it why it was so bad and why I'm not going to ignore my gut ever again. That was crazy.


Max Belmonte  13:02

And then there's also because I'm a member of AACTA, member of the Union here, the acting union MEAA, and other guilds as well like Screen Producers Australia and Australian Writers Guild, there's always events going on. Most of them are free, and some of them aren't even geared towards actors just get to see a movie and a q&a with the cast and directors. I've seen Jane Campion, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, I mean, that's just so many people and talented directors, sometimes you get a great movie or a great, you know, preview to a television show and a great q&a as well. Other times. You know, maybe it's not as entertaining, but the q&a is fascinating. So it's great to have those events that I can talk to, as well, throughout the, you know, 100 episodes. And that leaves us with what's happening now, for me, you know, with Sam moving on to greener pastures, I'm really focusing on interviewing other talented, both actors and other industry professionals, that anyone who can share some insights that might be of help to us in the future. But also, you know, having spent some time now and this is the gap between Episode 99 and 100 working on developing my scripts, I've got three television shows, I've written a pile of each and I'm polishing them now. Because coming up in May, is the screen forever conference where producers get to pitch to stream as networks. And that is going to be key for me to really put myself in front of them as a producer, with my production company. And the three opportunities I've got, because sometimes, you know, you got to make your own work as an actor, right? Whether it's writing a play and getting your friends together, or running a television show, and I think, kudos to the likes of Chris Corbett, and you know, for helping to sort of, I don't even think he realized how much that episode inspired me, but it really challenged me to give it a go.


Max Belmonte  13:02

And I mean, when you talk about courage, you know, probably the worst moment was where I needed the most courage was leaving a comfy 20 year successful corporate career. To go back into the arts, right, a lot of people said, I was crazy. But you know, it's great to have the opportunity now after working hard for 20 years to really work on something I'm truly passionate about. And I've just enjoyed writing a lot more than I thought you can. For those watching on the YouTube. You can see behind me here, there's my comedy show, I've got a comedy show, I've got spy thriller, and a serial killer, horror, which are gonna be great. Eight episode TV shows. So you can see behind me like basically my office is surrounded by post it notes as I move scenes around polishing the scripts. So who knows, you know, that'd be great to bring one of those to life this year. And next. Meanwhile, I'm working with a great new agent in verdict artists management now on all sorts of opportunities and making sure that they've got the right tools to represent me and I'm doing my best. So I'm doing less voiceovers now more on the writing and producing. And yeah, hopefully, we'll be and I'm confident we'll be able to give you more great content that can help you as an upcoming actor or even those of you who, you know, you're not interested becoming an actor, but you just love hearing about what what it's really like, and what happens behind the scenes. So we've covered a lot since 2019, 100 episodes in a world where, you know, I went to a podcast conference April last year in LA and found out some great facts like the average podcast produces just seven episodes. That's the point at which people realize, Oh my God, this isn't fun trying to come up with original and fresh content, every episode. But I think it's important to keep telling me what's what you want, what you want to hear as an actor. So the feedbacks really shaped some of our episodes, some of our key episodes to and who you want to hear from. So just share your stories and experiences as an actor. We've got our social media pages plus also, you can contact me through the to unemployed actors website, and our production team here. So subscribe to the podcast because there's still a lot more to come. Make sure you download And listen I'm Max and this has been Two Unemployed Actors