Total Pageviews

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yale cares about what I have to say!

In a recent inexplicable turn of events, Yale University, my beloved alma mater, has invited me to come speak to its students about what it's like to be a real person!

More specifically: the university's Undergraduate Career Services is assembling a panel of alumni to expound on what it's like to forge a career in the arts. I'm not sure who else is going, although I do know that my dear friend Sam Carner, lyricist extraordinaire, will be in attendance.

So, if you happen to be moseying around Yale's campus in New Haven this Thursday, December 2 between 6-8pm, stop by Linsley-Chittenden, Room 211, and watch me mold young milds!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yes: this is what I like to see on Playbill.com

Check out this hilarious Playbill.com photo diary by Jeff Hiller and Greg Hildreth of Broadway's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. (Fun fact: I worked with Jeff briefly on the Rosenblum and Lessner piece Garbo and Me, but I literally had two lines and doubt he remembers me, although he was a lovely fellow. Hi, Jeff!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to write an email when you're self-submitting.

(Warning: This post's title is misleading. It should actually read, "How NOT to write an email when you're self-submitting.")

If you're interested in getting work as a performer, chances are you're familiar with the sites Playbill.com, Backstage.com, and actorsaccess.com. In a stormy sea of online sketchiness (think Craigslist ads and the like), the aforementioned websites act as beacons of (sometimes-)legitimacy, providing opportunities for actors to submit their headshots and resumes to casting directors and everyday chums looking for free labor.


But, Felicia, asketh you, don't you have an agent? Isn't the agent's job to submit for you? Right you are. They are indeed submitting me for roles, which is an ongoing process. But for actors who are not represented (i.e. me when I first got to NYC) or who are looking to dabble in non-paid projects (i.e. me right now with respect to on-screen acting, something outside my comfort zone, that my agents might not yet be looking to foist on me) there's no harm in self-submitting.

Personally, I am at war with myself when it comes to submitting casting "cover letters" (i.e. emails). At first, I did my best to be all legitimate-like, what with my respectful salutation, my succinct and self-promoting description of prior experience, and my general sense of professionalism. I even bolded the most salient details, like a typographically conscious super nerd! Lately, however, out of acute boredom, I have tried to make my emails more interesting.

Why, here is one example. This is an email I sent out, just today. (Reminder: Do not do this.)

"Please, against many odds, consider me for your film.

I am hardworking but easygoing. I've dabbled in film, but most of my time has been eaten up by musical theater. I know that this is often a red flag for filmmakers, but I promise you I'm not your typical, bug-eyed, gape-at-the-camera kind of chick. Plus I can sing and stuff, which is fun. Resume and headshot attached. My hair is longer now! At the very least, I hope this email has amused you in some small way.

Sincerely,
Felicia Ricci"

And here's another:

"Please consider me for the role of Ms. Edythe Herbert -- not least of all because I can spell the character's name correctly.

Sincerely,
Felicia Ricci"

True stories.

Okay, and here is my last tip for you: forget everything you just read and never speak of it again.

--FR


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reading List Recommendation: A DREAM OF PASSION

I've titled this post a "Reading List Recommendation" as if that's a thing I do -- recommend books for some exclusive Five-Trick Pony Book Club or something (move over, Oprah!) -- because it gives the illusion that there's continuity and purpose to my blog.

But seriously, the book I'm going to recommend is a must-read for aspiring actor-folk who are serious about improving their craft and who (like me) have struggled to understand and focus their ongoing practice.

The book is called A DREAM OF PASSION and is written by Lee Strasberg, eminent teacher/actor/director/theoretician. You might know him from the highly revered Actor's Studio in New York City (although he is not to be confused with James Lipton, the bearded dude who interviews famous people in front of an audience of actor-students, and asks for literal answers to rhetorical questions, like, "Up....or down?" (FYI: Lee Strasberg is deceased, James Lipton is not)).

Anyway. Per the recommendation of my acting coach, I have just now finished A DREAM OF PASSION and have found it wonderfully affirming. If you've ever struggled to articulate or conceptualize the process of finding out who you are as an actor -- your weaknesses, your goals, your impetus for improving -- this book is like a warm bath filled with epsom salt wisdom, gooey bath pearls of encouragement, and floating rose petals of clarity and direction. While much of its prose is technical and/or historical, I found myself smiling throughout the read, stumbling upon countless "aha!" moments, as Strasberg crystallizes questions I've long struggled to put into words, and, in the most clear, detailed and ordered manner, deconstructs the oft-referenced but rarely understood "Method."

In summary: he teaches yous guys how to act good.

If you've read A DREAM OF PASSION, feel free to submit comments below... And if you haven't read it: read it!

Enjoy!
--FR

Monday, November 8, 2010

Upcoming gigs

Here are some upcoming NYC performances that you might be interested to check out! I haven't rehearsed any material, so in each instance I can promise one thing only: that I will be there in the flesh trying desperately to win your approval and admiration.

What: I will be performing the role of Lydia Languish in a reading of Rivals, a new musical by Jonathan Breit and Greg Edwards
When: November 20 & 21, 8PM
Where: Shetler Studios, Penthouse 1 (I think...), at 244 W 54th St, 12th Floor
Who: Me and some other people TBA!
Why I don't know more details: I've only just learned about this, but will be receiving more info soon!

What: I will be singing fun songz in IS THIS SEAT TAKEN?: THE MUSIC OF CODY OWEN STINE
When: December 9, 9:30PM
Where: The Laurie Beechman Theater at 407 W. 42nd Street
Who: Raymond Bokhour (of Broadway's CHICAGO), Amanda Ryan Paige (ZANNA, DON'T!), Felicia Ricci (THAT'S ME!), Kurt Robbins (THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE nat'l tour), and more to be announced soon, perform the music of Cody Owen Stine.

What: A new comedy web series
When: Soon
Where: Online
Who: Me playing somebody funny
How: Filming throughout November
Why: Because it's FUN! OBVS!