Thursday, November 22, 2012


NOVEMBER 22, 1012
Autographed football from Drew Brees after the
Super Bowl win and being name the MVP.
Lions, tigers, and bears.  Redskins and Cowboys.  Turkey and dressing.  Family and good times.  All of these are what today represents to us.  It really isn't a Thanksgiving without being able to watch The Macy's parade in the morning, the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins in the afternoon and The Wizard of Oz at night.  I would be remiss if I didn't throw in a good game of Pictionary. 
Needless to say I wasn't disappointed as my day was complete being with my family, getting as stuffed as the turkey, watching football, and taking a much needed nap. 

Then, somewhere between all of this I found time to write the blog, Skype with my family who weren't with me, walk the dogs, and get in the hot tub.  And, did I mention I did all of this at my beach house in Orange Beach, Al.

The weather is absolutely beautiful and the Gulf of Mexico is blue.  It really doesn't get much better than this.  So, as I sat on my balcony watching the surf I reflected on all of things that I am truly thankful. 
Last year at this time I was fighting the oral cancer and just had four implants, this year a perfect Hollywood smile.  Also, last year I wasn't that busy because I had to put a lot of  things on  hold while I recuperated. 

This year, busy, busy, and busier than ever.  I have a new book coming out in the next two weeks, called You Nailed it! How to Audition.  I am also thankful for my family and friends which includes all of you. 

With that, I hope this blog finds you amongst family and friends enjoying the company of each other and sharing a laugh or too.
By Dr. Melissa Caudle
Have you ever wondered why some actors get all of the auditions and bookings and no matter what you do you seem to stay in the same place?  I bet you have.  After last week's blog on The Actor's Wheel, I hope you did some own inner searching to get you to the next level.  If you didn't read it, please revisit last week's blog as the information is very valuable to help bolster your career.

This week I am tagging onto the concept of The Actor's Wheel to really help you isolate the areas on the wheel to help you move forward.  Because, sometimes, it isn't the spokes on the wheel keeping you from moving forward, it could be you in committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins of an Actor.  This is what I mean.
Last night, we went to dinner at a seafood restaurant called Wentzels.  This eatery is known for two things:  great seafood and the sayings on the walls.  Every inch is filled with sayings, some famous and some not so famous.  On of my favorites is, "Men are like parking spaces.  The good ones are are all taken and the rest are handicapped." 

Another one was of the Seven Deadly Social Sins written by Ghandi.   When I read it, I immediately thought how Ghandi's principles apply to the actor and their career. 
The television and film industry is full of politics at every turn.  You know it and I know it.  It isn't sometimes how talented  you are but who you know.  I have to caution each of you as your career  progresses stay away from the politics and make sure you make all of your decisions with your "Principles" in tact.  Don't fall for the casting couch or get sucked into a "He said, she said," game.  It will only hurt you in the end.
Don't ever expect to be wealthy and famous without having to pay your dues and working hard at it.  Nothing comes easy and you really have to work on you and the spokes of your career.  Keep up with industry standards and always hone your skills.  Do what you can do to put your best in front of the casting directors.
Acting is fun.  If it wasn't why would people do it?  However, there is a fine line with getting  pleasure for pleasures sake and not caring what it does to you and your reputation.  The only thing you need to concentrate on is your integrity.
I think this one coincides with pleasure without conscience.  The difference is how you proceed to the top of your career.  Obtain knowledge about your unions, about how the industry works, and of course your own skills.
Along the way you are going to be asked to do something that you are not comfortable doing.  My recommendation is stay true to yourself and your morales.  No this going into an audition.  Some actors refuse to do films with nudity in it.  While others may have a moral issue with the plot or something that a character must do or say.  Simply tell your agent and manager your limitations and restrictions.  This is a good thing.
You might be asking how in the world does science without humanity have to do with acting and your career.  Well it does.  Acting is a science.  You get to experiment with what works and what doesn't.  If you find that one headshot isn't doing it for you, change it.  The same goes for your demo reel. 
Again, as an actor there will be sacrifices that you will have to make.  One huge one is the time away from your family you spend auditioning and taking classes.  Then, of course, when you land the role of your dreams, the time on set which averages 12 to 14 hours a day.
There will be other sacrifices as well which includes having to budget to make ends meet or not driving a new car.  Just remember, everything worth having and obtaining is worth waiting and working toward.  This includes making it in this industry.  My advice, comes from Ghandi.  Ghandi expressed that it was his life that was his message.  May your life be yours on this Thanksgiving night.
By Robby Cook Stroud
Dear Diary,
This is one Thanksgiving I am truly thankful.
It has been a very long time since I’ve been at home on this day with my family. I am still deployed , but I am at home spending quality time.
Last year I was in Pennsylvania.
Today I look back on the many Thanksgiving days that I have spent in the field.  The great thing about this is I get to spend the day with many different  type of families and see how they celebrate. Plus, I get to eat many dishes I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to eat. It seems, none of them let me leave hungry.
I hope that all the inspectors in the field today get the same opportunity,  especially my peers in New York and New Jersey who are working endless hours in some of the worse conditions. May the victims of Hurricane Sandy find peace, love, and security and find away to be thankful.   Just remember there will be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.  It just may not seem that way right now as you face devestation in the holiday season.
As I looked back on the many holidays that I have been deployed,  I can think of many memorable stories and those that I am thankful. How about the one where I go to a house and the little ole granny has fixed a feast and had no one to share it with until I came along. It really made her day that I came over on this special day.  Then, the next family I went to see didn’t have any money for "turkey day," so I immediately went to the store and purchased  one already cooked and took it back to them.  The children were ecstatic, it was like Christmas to them. 
It is a blessing to be able to help those in need whether it be a gift of a turkey or just a shared moment in time.  I am very thankful for all of those special moments. 
Now, I want to wish all of you and your families Happy Holidays and if you can make the difference in someone’s life today,    DO IT!
This week's spotlight actor is Bill Ensley.  We first came across Bill during the auditions for THE KEYSTROKE KILLER.  If you are interested in booking Bill for your film or television project contact LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP at 504-301-8000 or email:  Congratulations Bill for making this week's spotlight

Bill Ensley PictureBill is an intriguing actor with hazel eyes that have the ability to look through the soul of the audience on the big screen. Having studied the Meisner Technique of acting under John Ruskin, Bill taps into his experiences to bring all of his characters to life.

Special Skills: Billiards, Boating, Bowling, Boxing, Rifle, Skeet, Snorkeling, Impressionist, Cooking, Fishing

LOS ANGELES MARKET available Prestige Talent Agency (Nathan) - we can connect you.

If you are like my family, you have an entire refridgerator full of leftovers.  Sit back with joy knowing there are delicious ways to use your leftovers.  Here are a couple of mine.
Christmas Holiday Brunch Egg Bake
3 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese
3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
8 oz. cooked ham, cut into fine julienne strips
1/4 cup of margarine, melted
1 3/4 cups of milk
8 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of sliced green onion
2 tablespoons of fresh snipped parsley
1/2 cup of flour

In a large bowl, lightly toss cheeses together. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture in an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In medium skillet, cook mushrooms and green onions in the margarine, until onions are tender. Arrange vegetables over cheese. Arrange ham strips over vegetables. Sprinkle remaining cheese over ham. (To make ahead, prepare to this point, cover and refrigerate.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl using a wire whisk, blend flour, milk, parsley and eggs; pour over layers in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until mixture is set and top is lightly browned. Let stand about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 12.

Delicious Turkey and Apple Bake
1/4 cup chopped onion
1Tbsp butter or margarine
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 large unpeeled tart apples, cubed
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 (9 inch) pie crust
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Over medium heat melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Mix in the soup, turkey, apples, raisins, lemon juice and nutmeg. Be sure to mix all ingredients together well. Heat until just heated through. In a large ungreased baking dish place soup mixture. Roll out pie crust on a floured surface. Place rolled pie crust over top of soup mixture being sure to tuck sides of pie crust down sides of dish. Cut slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape. Place in oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is brown.
Thanksgiving Leftover Pot Pie

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
3 cups cooked turkey
1/2 cups country or baked ham
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) canned cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cup milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Cook onion, sliced carrots and celery with a little bit of vegetable oil in the skillet under just tender. Stir in the spinach and pour it all into a shallow baking dish (at least 3 quarts or bigger). Spread the chopped turkey and ham cubes evenly over top of everything in the dish. Next, in a medium mixing bowl blend together undiluted soup, 1 cup of milk and ground pepper. Pour this evenly over top of everything in the dish. Now mix together the flour, grated cheese, butter (or margarine) and remaining milk until nice and smooth. Pour this over top of everything in the dish. Bake 45 minutes to one hour at 400 degrees F. The top will be golden brown when done.

Yummy Leftover Turkey Soup

1 leftover turkey carcass
3 medium onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
3/4 tsp pepper

In a large kettle place leftover turkey carcass and cover with water. On high heat bring water to a rapid boil. Lower heat, cover and allow simmering for an hour. Remove turkey carcass and allow cooling to room temperature. Strain broth into large bowl. Reserve strained broth. Be sure to save any piece of turkey meat before empting strainer. Remove any turkey meat that remains on the carcass. Cut meat into bite size pieces or shred. Place butter in clean kettle over medium heat melting butter completely. Add unions, carrots and celery. Sauté until onion is translucent and carrots and celery have softened to your liking. Lower heat to lowest setting. Blend in flour until completely moistened. Add 1/3 of the reserved broth to kettle stirring to mix all ingredients together well. Bring to a rapid boil and cook uncovered for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens. Add half and half, rice, salt, pepper, chicken bouillon and remaining broth. Bring back to a rapid boil. Add turkey meat. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.