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A history of the Peckham Boys - from the Giggs era to Zone 2/Hitsquad (Part 1)

2020.04.15 15:50 KeezyLDN A history of the Peckham Boys - from the Giggs era to Zone 2/Hitsquad (Part 1)

Part 1 of the history of Peckham in south London. From the early Peckham Boys era to Zone 2.
Peckham is one of the most legendary ends in London, and probably had the biggest impact on UK Rap music from the 2000s onwards. The history of the Peckham Boys goes back decades, and everything posted here barely scratches the surface of their history.



The Peckham Boys gang originated in the estates of Peckham (SE15), in the borough of Southwark.
A large area of Peckham - between the town centre and Burgess Park - is dominated by council estates (public housing complexes). The main cluster is called the 'Five Estates' and consists of the North Peckham Estate, Gloucester Grove Estate, Willowbrook Estate, Camden Estate and Sumner Estate:
Nearby are the Goldsmith Estate, Bells Gardens Estate (Yellow Brick), Acorn Estate, Friary Estate, Ledbury Estate, Southampton Way Estate and several others. The Peckham 'frontline' is the area around Peckham High Street, including local landmarks like Peckham Pulse and the Crackerjack store.
The estates of Peckham were notorious and suffered underinvestment, deprivation, unemployment and crime. The area was termed 'Vietnam' due to the level of violence there, which is the origin of the hood nickname 'Pecknarm' (Peckham + Vietnam).


Evolution of the Peckham Boys
Originally, several of the major Peckham estates had their own individual sets: the Peckham Grove Boys, the North Peckham Boys, the Gloucester Boys, the Yellow Brick Massive, the Outlaws and the Acorn Boys. The earliest sets date back to the 1970s, and are the origins of the Peckham Boys gang.
By the 1990s those sets had evolved, and the two main sets in Peckham were the Firehouse Crew and the Younger Peckham Boys - also known as Pecky Man Soldiers. Other groups of Peckham included the yardie sets the Sunrise Crew and the Spanglers. Collectively these sets were known as the 'Peckham Boys' . There was sometimes friction between the Peckham sets but it was never deep, and they were united whenever opposition tried to slide on Peckham territory.
Alliances and rivalries
Peckham's main war was with the Ghetto Boys, a gang headquartered in New Cross and controlling Lewisham borough. Their other major conflict was with Brixton. The decades-long Peckham v Ghetto and Peckham v Brixton conflicts were some of the longest and bloodiest gang wars that London has seen. Peckham's main allies were Dulwich (Circle Crew) and Walworth (Wooly Road), and they often used to roll as one.
Legendary members
YPB/PMS members included the boss Mad X, Tipsy, Timer, Splash, Joker, Titch, Timer, Rampage, Rage, Temps, Twitch and others. Firehouse Crew members included Rhymer, Mixer, Major, Beans, Breaker, Player, Skipper, Fame and many others. Peckham yardies included the likes of Kirk, Bigga and a bag of others. The Peckham-Circle linkup included names like Mad Danny and Big Lee, legends in both Peckham and Dulwich. It goes without saying that there's many more names from that era of Peckham legends.

Early 2000s

In the early 2000s the Peckham Boys had consolidated as a single gang and its sets were structured by age. The most active sets by now were:
Prominent PB members included Knuckles, Raver, X-Fighter, Crimer, Rocker, Giggler, Breaker, Glamour and many others. Prominent YPB members included Killa Ki, Diamond, Timmy, Tiny Ryder, Young Snap, Motion, Taz and many others. Below are very brief examples of what went down in Peckham during this period.

Peckham nightclub shootings
Peckham had been notorious for gang violence for decades, and this reputation continued into 2000s. National headlines were made in July 2000 when up to 9 people were shot outside the Chicago's nightclub on Peckham High Street:
Six months later, a man was shot dead in a double shooting outside the same nightclub:
The nightclub was shut down soon afterwards. Giggs refers to this nightclub in the 2007 track Greaziest Freestyle: "Don't think I'm coming here to rave if you see me 'round the back, big strap inside Chicagos"

Death of Damilola Taylor
Peckham made international headlines in November 2000 with the murder of Damilola Taylor, a 10-year old boy that lived on the North Peckham Estate. He was stabbed to death by two 16-year old brothers & members of the Untouchables, a small but old set within Peckham:
Nine days before Damilola's murder, a 17-year old guy was also stabbed to death on the North Peckham Estate:
The schoolboy murder, plus the general level of gang activity in the area, put a hard media focus on the amount of senseless violence in Peckham:

2003 Peckham Civil War
Even though the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys were involved in a multi-generational war, there were some instances of Peckham and Ghetto members that fw each other. The most prominent example at that time was Spender from Peckham (a younger brother of Giggler) and Younger Kraver from Ghetto (a younger brother of Kraver) - they used to roll together and make money. That type of association was rare though, as the two gangs remained at war with each other.
In 2003 the first 'civil war' in Peckham kicked off because the Peckham Boys were divided over the presence of Mender. Mender was from Lewisham sides but defected from the Ghetto Boys and started rolling with Peckham. Some YPB members trusted him and some didn't - claiming that he was still rolling with the Ghetto Boys and even robbed a Peckham member. This caused tension between Peckham members, including stabbings. In September 2003, Mender was stabbed to death while posted outside the Old Kent Road McDonald's by some YPB members:

Death of Tipsy
Peckham legend Tipsy was released from prison after doing 3 years of a 10 year sentence for firearms offences. Soon afterwards in July 2004 he was rammed off his motorcycle by gunmen on Camberwell High Street, who then stood over him and gave him five headshots. His murder remains unsolved to this day:

Shootout in the financial district
In October 2004 the Urban Music Awards was held at the Barbican Centre. Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys members were local and had a shootout outside the venue, in which 18 shots were fired. This was the first ever shootout within London's 'Square Mile' financial district, one of the world's financial centres:


The Peckham Boys were also known as Black Gang due to the gang's association with the colour black. From the mid-2000s, the main Peckham sets also began going by other aliases:

Giggs release from prison & first SN1 mixtape
In early 2005, SN1 member Giggler - now shortened to Giggs - was released from Brixton Prison after serving a couple years for firearm possession. He had dabbled in music in the past, but his jailtime made him determined to take music seriously. Not long afterwards, SN1 released their first project: the 'Bloody Raw' mixtape.
At this time Giggs took part in an SN1 block freestyle in Peckham for the Rap DVD. During the clip Giggs raps verses from the 'Bloody Raw' mixtape. The footage is famous for handguns being shown, and for Giggs not flinching when a handgun is fired:
In this era Giggs also released tracks on other people's mixtapes, a couple examples:
At a time when Grime was the dominant sound of music on the streets, Giggs's style was very different for its time.

Death of Ruthless
In August 2005, four YPB members aged between 14 and 16 - Bertz, Tiny Ryder, Timmy and Diamond - stormed a christening on the Wood Dene Estate in order to rob the attendees (and pay back a debt to Big Larry, a Peckham older). During the robbery Bertz shot his gun in the air, and a ricochet bullet hit a woman in the head killing her:
A couple of weeks later, Bertz ambushed Ruthless (an 18-year old high ranking female in Peckham) and stabbed her to death for disrespecting him. Bertz was given a 30-year prison sentence for the two murders. Ryder, Timmy and Diamond were given indeterminate manslaughter sentences for the christening incident, and were deported after their sentences:
Ruthless was a loved person in Peckham. In this 2006 cameraphone footage you can see young Peckham members pay their respects at her grave. In early 2008, Giggs released the 'Ruthless Freestyle' titled in her honour (but more on that track later).


SN1 drop 'The Beginning' mixtape
In early 2006, Giggs and other SN1 members dropped the 'SN1: The Beginning' mixtape. This is the first mixtape in which production was handled by their in-house production team at Unit 10 Studios. Their dark sound would go on to have a large impact on the future of UK Rap. A few classics:
Another classic SN1/Unit 10 track from the same period:

Hot September for Ghetto v Peckham
In September 2006, a group of up to 40 Shoot Instant (YPB) members went on a rideout to the Woodpecker Estate in New Cross - the main Ghetto Boys block. A brother of Ghetto members Smiley and Kraver ended up getting shot and stabbed to death. Another man was attacked in nearby Deptford but survived:
That murder on Woodpecker remains unsolved, as did five other murders on the Woodpecker Estate within the past 5 years at the time (5 unsolved murders in 5 years on a single block - when people say the 2000s in London was hot, they aren't lying):

Ghetto v Peckham war causes Peckham schools to be evacuated
Later in September 2006, police received 'specific intelligence' that the Ghetto Boys would carry out drive-by shootings at Peckham schools at the end of the school day (in order to smoke YPB members as they left). Police decided to immediately evacuate Peckham Academy and Harris Girls Academy in the middle of the school day, before the plot could be carried out. The schools reopened in the following week:

Giggs drops the 'Hollow Grind' mixtape
In 2006, Giggs and brother Joe Grind dropped the 'Hollow Grind' mixtape. This is the first of four collaborative mixtapes that Giggs dropped between 2006 and 2009. The mixtape includes several classics:
SN1 and OTB (Wooly Road) collaborated on the track 'Up In The Shoobz', and released a music video for the song. The video was shown on Channel U (a channel for underground music videos) but was blocked from the mainstream channels like MTV Base:
By this time, Giggs and the SN1 movement had a buzz in the streets of London. Giggs was trying to make moves in the music industry but he was blackballed by radio and television (thanks to the police) because of his gang ties/content. He refused to water-down his content in order to blow. Giggs released his frustration on Hollow Grind in 'Fuck Da Industry':

Peckham Boys acknowledged by Time Out Magazine
In November 2006, Time Out magazine named the Peckham Boys as one of the 100 most influential people or organisations in London: Time Out Magazine - London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006
Time Out magazine is a major international publication, with a circulation of millions, so their inclusion of the Peckham Boys was a big deal. A good demonstration of how 'big' the Peckham Boys were, even in mainstream society.


At this point, prominent members of Shoot Instant (YPB) included Snap Capone, Killa Ki, Nuttie, Butch, Blacks, Billy Da Kid, Taz, Prover, Tem, Capo, Ross etc.
Prominent members of PYG (YYPB) included Shocks, Tiny Boost, Young Spend, Young Lap, Jim Jones, Young Killa, Young Butch etc.
PYG members looked up to SI, and both sets looked up to the SN1 bosses. From 2007 onwards, SI and PYG started to become very active in music.

Deaths of Javarie Crighton and Michael Dosunmu
In February 2007, 21-year old Javarie Crighton and 15-year old Michael Dosunmu were murdered in internal Peckham dispute over money. Members of a group that had successfully pulled off bank robberies were arguing about the split of the proceeds. Michael Dosunmu was shot dead in his bed in a case of mistaken identity, the gunmen had meant to get his older brother (who they believe didn't give them their fair share):

Giggs drops the 'Hollowman Meetz Blade' mixtape
In early 2007, Giggs dropped the 'Hollowman Meetz Blade' mixtape in collaboration with Blade Brown. This mixtape continued to advance Giggs' buzz in the streets, and included several classic UK gang/rap tracks. The mixtape is considered a classic in the UK scene:
Sidebar: 'Hollow Meetz Blade' and 'Sink A Boat' were referenced by 67 in their 2016 track 'Lets Lurk': "Like Hollow Meetz Blade, manaman got guns that'll sink down a boat".

Peckham boss Raver jailed
In July 2007, Raver (SN1) was caught in possession of a Mac-10 submachine gun, 3 handguns, 2 silencers, 379 rounds of ammunition and thousands of pounds worth of drugs. Raver was a Peckham boss and very close to Giggs. Raver is referred to as "Carlton" in Giggs' lyrics. He received a minimum 10-year sentence:

Young Spend jailed for shooting
In October 2007, 14-year old member Young Spend (PYG) shot a man in Peckham for disrespecting him. He was convicted of attempted murder the following year and jailed on an indeterminate sentence:
Young Spend appeared in one track in 2007 before being arrested:

New Cross shootout changes UK legal history
In October 2007 there was a shootout widely reported involve Ghetto Boys and Peckham Boys members. During the shootout, a Polish nurse was hit by a stray bullet and died:
The police caught Ghetto member Toner - one participant in the shootout - but they didn't catch the person who actually fired the fatal shot. Toner did not snitch on the person he was having a shootout with. The Supreme Court of decided to convict Toner of murder as if he fired the fatal shot, even though he didn't. In English law, this landmark ruling is known as Regina v Armel Gnango
At the same time in SE London, the Woolwich Boys shot dead a man in his car - because he answered "Peckham" when they asked him where he's from:
In Greenwich Borough, Woolwich were beefing heavily with Thamesmead (allies of Peckham).

Shoot Instant & PYG drop the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.1' mixtape
In 2007, Shoot Instant and their youngers PYG dropped their first project together: the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.1' mixtape. With SN1 (Peckham bosses) making noise in the music game, this is the first time that their youngins made their mark. Two tracks from the mixtape:

Giggs drops the 'Ard Bodied' mixtape
In December 2007, Giggs (SN1) dropped the 'Ard Bodied' mixtape in collaboration with Dubz. The mixtape included 'Talking The Hardest' and 'Pain is the Essence', which are considered all-time UK anthems, alongside multiple hood classics. A selection of classic Ard Bodied tracks:
Ard Bodied is generally considered the most influential mixtape to drop in the UK scene. It was the first time that UK 'gang' rap (Road Rap) broke into the mainstream, and marked the shift in general popularity from Grime to UK Rap:
It's hard to underestimate the impact Ard Bodied had on the culture. It had youngins in every block wanting to rap that gang shit and rep their block through music. From this point, UK 'gang' rap (Road Rap) - the foundation of the UK Drill scene - started to take off in London.


In 2008 the Shoot Instant set split into two branches:
S.I. and OPB moved as two different sets within the Peckham Boys, but they were all still brothers.

End of the Peckham Boys v Ghetto Boys war
For a few years the Ghetto Boys had undergone major internal divisions, including the murder of leader Sparkz in 2006 by another Ghetto member. These events caused a big shift in the street politics of South London, with Lewisham dividing and fighting amongst itself.
By 2008 the decades-long beef between the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys was over. The end of the beef was publicly 'announced' by Giggs when he dropped the 'Ruthless Freestyle' in early 2008:
That was a major moment in South London street history, with maybe the bloodiest gang war London has seen officially coming to a close. From that moment, it became safe to play Giggs's music publicly in Lewisham 😂

Giggs drops the 'Best of Giggs 2' compilation mixtape
In early 2008, Giggs released the 'Best of Giggs 2' mixtape. The mixtape is a compilation of classic Giggs verses from 2005-2007, alongside some new releases. The last track is one of Giggs' best freestyles:

Giggs is banned by police from Lil Wayne concert
The Metropolitan Police were determined to stop Giggs career in music. Despite being the hottest artist in the streets, venues weren't allowed to book him, and television & radio were pressured not to play his music.
In early 2008, Lil Wayne was arguably the hottest rapper in the world, and in March he had a headline concert in London. Giggs was booked as the opening act for Lil Wayne, and the sold-out crowd were there to see Giggs as much as they were to see Wayne. At the last minute, the police blocked Giggs from performing. The crowd was so angry that they started moving unruly. Lil Wayne was hit with a bottle and stormed off stage, cancelling the show. This footage making shockwaves around the rap world:
Giggs then addressed these incidents by releasing the freestyle 'Banned from Lil Wayne':

SI, OPB and PYG drop the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.2' mixtape
In 2008, SI/OPB and PYG continued making movements in music, releasing the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.2' mixtape. The mixtape included the classic track 'Gunshot Riddim', which included 8 Bar verses from 10 different members:
Two other music videos were made for tracks on the project:
In the summer Shoot Instant members released classic music video filmed on their block (Aylesbury Estate):

Peckham 'Gunshot Riddim' v Brixton 'Bullet Riddim'
With the war between Ghetto and Peckham over, the war between Brixton (OC/GAS) and Peckham (SI/PYG) started cracking in 2008.
That summer there were back-and-forth shootings between OC and SI members. In one incident, OC rode out on Walworth Road and caught Snap Capone (SI) and Butch (SI) slipping. Snap and Butch ran into the Costcutter store and OC shot at them from the outside, but ended up killing a civilian. That made big media headlines:
Not long afterwards, OC/GAS released a response track to SI/PYG - Gunshot Riddim in which OC members mocked Snap and Butch for running in the above incident: "remember what we flew in Wooly Road" ... "had you running in the shop like you're buying suttin" ... "my dargs only run when they see the riot van" (etc): OC/GAS - Bullet Riddim
Gunshot Riddim v Bullet Riddim was the start of the back-and-forth diss music videos between Brixton (OC/GAS) and Peckham (SI/PYG). Cracking on the streets and over Youtube. As I stated before, this era was the origins of what we now call the UK Drill scene.

SN1 and Boomblast release 'Welcome 2 Boomzville' mixtape
In the run-up to Giggs' debut album, SN1 released the 'Welcome 2 Boomzville' mixtape - entirely produced by SN1 producer Boomblast. The mixtape included various street classics:
SN1's allies OTB (Wooly Road) released their first project: the 'Woolyhood' mixtape:

Giggs releases his debut album
On 4 August 2008, Giggs released his debut album 'Walk In Da Park' through his independent label SN1 Records. The album cemented the rise of Giggs within the UK scene after his run of mixtapes (Hollow Grind, Hollow Meets Blade & Ard Bodied) made him king in the streets.

Ghetto Boys and Peckham Boys linkup
In August 2008, Killa Ki (OPB) arranged the linkup of Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys members for the Notting Hill Carnival. Up to 180 members from both gangs linked up and started making their way to the carnival, but the police stopped them before they could reach it:
Killa Ki addressed the Ghetto-Peckham linkup in the track Krept & Konan feat. SI (Killa Ki, Snap Capone, Nuttie) - Let Em Ave It: "I organised Ghetto linking Narm, I made history. Darg I'm a boss in the Narm. It was a South East Link Up, anyhow we got Carni it would've been nuts"
The following video includes news reports and footage of the Ghetto-Peckham linkup:

Flying squad detain Peckham robbery members
It was previously mentioned that Javarie Crighton and Michael Dosunmu were murdered in 2007 during a dispute between members of the Peckham armed robbery team. In September 2008, the police arrested seven members of the gang, including the likes of Moaner.
Police suspected them of committing 120 robberies and called their criminal enterprise "prolific". It took 150 police officers to conduct the raids on the Peckham Boys and arrest 7 members:

Giggs becomes first ever winner of the 'Best International Act' at the BET Awards
In Autumn, Giggs was nominated for as 'Best International Act' at the BET Hip hop Awards alongside grime artists Skepta, Chip and Ghetts (much more established/mainstream artists):
Fans voted for the winner and Giggs won, becoming the first ever artist to win the 'Best International Act'. This was a big deal, because despite the police applying serious pressure to stop Giggs, he was still able to rise to the top. It was also another demonstration of the fall of Grime and the rise of UK Rap. Here's a video of Tim Westwood congratulating Giggs for the win:
Even though Giggs won the BET Award, when he came back to the UK the pressure applied by the police intensified. In frustration, Giggs released the 'Last Straw' freestyle in which he directly dissed Ray Paul (BBC executive) and Jasmine Dotwala (MTV executive):

Death of Termz
In October 2008, 20-year old SN1 member Termz was shot dead as he left his house by Brixton olders. This further heated up the Brixton and Peckham beef at the time:
Termz made one music video before his death:

Younger PYG members start releasing music
In late 2008, the younger generation of PYG members started releasing music videos. The young members included Tiny Snap, Young Size, M1, Stigs, CS and others. Most of the bars at this time were disses towards Brixton's OC (now 410) and GAS (now 150/GBG):


From 2009 onwards, the beef between Peckham (SI/PYG) and Brixton (OC/GAS) became the biggest story on roads and in the UK Rap scene. For the Brixton perspective, check The History of 410.
Part 1 is a demonstration of how Peckham gained the notorious reputation it has, and the rise of UK Rap within it.
Click here for Part 2.
submitted by KeezyLDN to ukdrill [link] [comments]

2019.09.23 09:41 westrideforward 10 Things Beginning Actors Maybe Don't Think About

Ever fantasized about becoming an actor or celebrity?
It’s attainable, but the many challenges of reality are not usually known until pursuing such a dream. Time spent practicing or rehearsing for a production is not glamorous, the market is highly competitive, relationships can become tense, day job’s are what you make them, sacrificing a date for a new head-shot, importance of car maintenance, the false portrayal of the celebrity image, being the business, and being responsible. Ready to leave your office cubicle?
  1. Preparing To “Perform” Is 85% Of The Process
Preparing to perform on the stage or behind a camera will be a repetitive process unless the artist truly invokes his or her creativity. Rehearsing for projects with short turn around-time like a soap-opera is one of the few endeavors that do not require a lot of preparation but do require talent. From PlayBill (LINK 1): “A typical Broadway show rehearses six days a week for eight hours a day — from around 10 AM-6 PM. The actors work for seven of those hours, and the rest is breaks”. The unfortunate part the actor must accept is that their part in the production is never quite as time-friendly as they would of hoped for.
Repetition can become tiring for many actors, stealing their creative energies. A confident actor will find enthusiasm in improving their work output and never settle for complacency. A true artist is one whom consistently looks for ways to improve their craft so that their final product is optimized to be received at its best for any audience. While constantly tweaking your planned performance may be exhausting, it will leave no regrets once the show is complete if rehearsed with full effort from the entire ensemble.
If you aspire to perform in the dramatic arts, hard work-ethic is highly encouraged due to the demanding circumstances of preparation and performance.
  1. The Market Is Saturated But Feasible
Throughout recent history the entertainment industry has established well-known location strongholds in both Los Angeles, California and New York City, NY. Many aspiring and professional actors have continued to move to these locations to be “found out” or advance their resume. Although these locations still offer plenty of opportunity the competition is fierce and not necessarily an ideal location if just starting out. Due to rapid growths in various technologies, actors can now submit for auditions across the country with a single-click. The emergence of new markets has been steadily rising due to actors being able to find work without flying across the country. Emerging markets include: Albuquerque (New Mexico), Atlanta (Georgia), Austin (Texas), Boston (New England), Charlotte (North Carolina), Chicago (Illinois), Miami (Florida), New Orleans (Louisiana), Portland (Oregon), San Francisco (California), and Toronto (Canada) (LINK 2). If you are considering an acting career it may be a wise choice to consider moving or applying to jobs where competition is not as fierce as LA or NYC until your skill-set is sharpened.
As previously mentioned, technology allows human-beings to communicate within milliseconds across the globe for the first time in history. The days of sending a Game of Thrones raven with a message scribbled on paper are fortunately long gone. If you have a device with internet access there are now a large amount of resources available for connecting to possible acting opportunities both free-of-charge and paid memberships. Some great casting platforms to consider using are: Backstage (free or paid), ActorsAccess ($2/submission or $68/yr for unlimited submissions), Casting Frontier (free or various paid monthly and annual plans), Casting Networks (free with agency representation or a $25 annual fee), Mandy (completely free), and NYCastings ($11.95/month, LINK 3). By utilizing these websites an actor can find opportunity through their determination of continuously applying to applicable roles.
  1. Romantic Relationships Can Be Challenged
Jealously is a natural frustration due to our human condition. Actors whom become involved in a romantic or sexually influenced script may find discomfort when informing their significant other of potential situations. If an actor has a significant other in show-business than jealously may not be as big of an issue as someone with a significant other working in an unrelated field. Each relationship is different but contemplating how your real love interest would react to seeing you on screen with a stranger in bed is important to consider.
A significant part of the challenge for someone pursuing an acting career while also in a relationship is the lack of time the couple may be able to spend together. The actor has to sacrifice most if not all of their free time to the craft. Now, the hopeful actor would desire the lack of free time from result of the actor working on a project for longer periods than the average 8-hour work day. In this case, the relationship may benefit from income earned but suffer from the lack of personal time spent together. But in most cases, free time for the actor is compromised by their enrollment in courses throughout the week (usually when off their day job) which consume the entire evening. These courses also known as “workshops” can oblige the actor to a considerate amount of time committed from start to finish. Most structured conservatory programs revolve around a two-year commitment usually every-day of the week. On top of all of this is the actor’s actual career progression which involves commuting in stand-still traffic for 3 hours to get to their next audition(s) and then commuting back to their home.
  1. Your Day Job May “Suck” Or You Can Try One Of These Jobs
If your day job sucks already then no worries on this subject. For both young and older aspiring artists with no industry connections, the problem of time and money management are put to the test. Teenagers, 20-something’s, and all ages must face the battle between the balance of present income and future aspirations. This battle is one that will challenge most not growing up with financial freedom to explore their interests. It is important to remember that each day-job does not define who you are and what you want to be. A job that you hate now can become the stepping stone to a bright future you never would have been able to get to without your present occupation.
If you can approach the day with an optimistic perspective and commit to your current situation as a “means to an end” than the time spent studying, training, and creating work as an actor will be much more of the dream you want to live on a full-time basis. After researching the top occupations for aspiring and working actors, possible options for you include: Extra Work (the pay is decent, and you get the best experience you could ask for which is to watch the professionals you admire do their work on set), Production/Agent Assistant (this one is great because it allows you to make connections on set and gain true industry experience), Freelance jobs (take advantage of any opportunity that can allow you to make your own schedule such as being an Uber driver), WaiteBartender (this one is the one you hear about the most, for good reason due to the flexible schedule and possibility of earning), Personal Trainer (create your own schedule and get paid to help yourself and others maintain a healthy lifestyle), Dog Walker (if you are an animal lover and want the freedom to work around auditions this could be a great choice), Nanny/Babysitter (if you love kids and desire a flexible schedule), Promo work/Modeling (finding jobs on Craiglist or similar sites can lead to both experience and possible connections), Catering (if you desire a new experience each time and enjoy hospitality this can be a wonderful option), Tutoring (if you enjoy teaching others this can be the perfect opportunity to use those math classes you haven’t used since school), Video editor (if your friends are fellow actors then this is a perfect chance to help with editing their demo reels and improving your own skill-set), Substitute Teacher (this is great experience for anyone looking for a flexible schedule while also developing your skills for any audition room where you must command respect), and Temping (temp agencies provide a great opportunity for individuals whom are proficient with computers/typing which allow for flexible schedules and good pay) (LINK 4).
  1. Money For A Date May Need To Be Spent On A New Headshot or Gym Membership
Do you have a crush or possible love interest you want to impress? Well, there may come a time when you have to prioritize your goals and sacrifice funds spent on a hot date. Being an actor is a costly process that promises no return. Investment in progressing your own process is a reality that many actors learn to accept. While it would be a generous sentiment to consider asking your love interest on a date, it would also be money allocated that could be spent on the new headshot that could land your first big role or the gym membership that provides the physical appearance required.
It is critical for every actor to consider their budget and plan accordingly. Successful actors learn to sacrifice instant gratification for the future. This budgeting lifestyle may seem selfish to people around you, but in reality you are being responsible for the life you want to live. The New York Film Academy lists several suggestions for cutting back on costs and prioritizing expenses which include creating an essential and nonessential cost list. Essential expenses include housing, food, utilities, transportation, internet, and cell-phone. Nonessential expenses include just about everything else, including clothes, drinks, Starbucks, and leisure activities. It is also recommended to reduce expenses by opting for cheaper internet and cell phone plans (LINK 5).
Cutting back on expenses may be painful at first, but keep the goal in primary focus. Once you can maintain a healthy lifestyle through performing there will be plenty of opportunity to treat yourself and others. In fact, the experience of purchasing nonessential goods will be much more rewarding.
  1. Car Maintenance Is Essential If There Is No Public Transportation
The majority of your time as an actor will revolve around commuting to work or the next audition. If you do not live in a city with great public transportation options such as New York and in some areas of Los Angeles one should expect to depend on their transportation. The maintenance of your vehicle is extremely important if you do not want to lose an audition opportunity due to your car not being able to make it to the audition. Driving from location to location is necessary for all actors whom find themselves with several auditions within only a couple hours. Depending on the vehicle you own, wear and tear of sitting in gridlock traffic combined with adding mileage to your car becomes another responsibility for the actor to keep in healthy condition.
Although there are great public transportation systems in New York City and parts of Los Angeles many developing locations in the entertainment industry do not have the fortune of giving aspiring actors the convenience of bus and train transportation. Unless, you plan to move directly to NYC or LA it is best to plan on consistent travel daily. Car maintenance is vital whether you own a 2019 or 1990 model of your car. Planning for regular mileage maintenance by following the owners manual located in the vehicles glove-box will save both time and money, things that the actor cannot afford to lose to their competition. An article from “iDriveSafely” recommends to keep track of changing your oil and oil filter, checking tires monthly, inspecting all other fluids, wiper blades, battery health, air filter cleanliness, and examining belts/hoses in the engine bay (LINK 6).
  1. Some Actors May Be Such A Fantastic Actor You Have Doubt
The entertainment industry is fierce and will not stop to wait for your perfect performance. Throughout your experiences of working with different personalities of talent it can be easy to label yourself as not good enough. While your friend lands a role you both auditioned for and you are still stuck waiting tables, doubt and comparison can be a heavy burden. While giving into the temptation of doubt seems reasonable, it will only postpone time you could use to improve your skills. Instead of doubting and comparing yourself to others a much healthier alternative is to be happy for the others success as you would expect If you landed the job. An excerpt from an article on Backstage significantly encapsulates why comparison is the wrong measuring stick:
Although it can be hard not to compare yourself to others, remember that comparing yourself to someone else is an inaccurate measuring stick, and it can erode your self-esteem and send you into depression. When you compare yourself to others—whether in regards to a relationship, a career, or other achievement—you are only comparing yourself to your perception of others. Everyone has different life circumstances and different paths. You are on your own unique journey, and it may take longer or go in a different direction. However, it will never be the same as anyone else's, and it has just as many opportunities and possibilities. (LINK 7)
It is critical as an actor to remember your own growth and individual talent as a performer. Comparing yourself to another is a lifelong game that is not required to be played. Instead, take up a new course or make a new project free-of-charge for inspiration. The best work is the work that we create without expecting a reward from it. When facing doubt in your ability, you can remember this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “When in doubt, don’t”.
  1. The Actor Image In Modern Culture
As human beings we have an inert force within us called the ego. Unfortunately, Hollywood and the entertainment industry have developed a stigma around some of the top-performers as being “egocentric”. Egocentric and actor are practically synonymous in today’s culture. This largely in result from the United States media coverage placing importance on things that do not benefit the culture. You can see this played out when the news coverage is focused on the latest Disney star gone bad. News anchors spend nearly the same amount of time “reporting” on Miley Cyrus’ newest indecency as they spend informing American’s about the atrocities that are bein g violated against our fellowman across our nation and the world (LINK 8).
An egocentric actor is a bad actor. It is important for each actor to do daily introspection so they can self-reflect on the art they are providing rather than being the center of attention. Many actors whom are both new to the industry and experienced suffer from wanting to steal the show. When an actor wants to be the most clever person in the room they are not making art with any collaborative effort. It is a strength for actors to be able to control their value of self-importance so they can listen to their scene partner without the distraction of waiting for their next line.
Everyone deserves to shine if they have made it as far as working in Hollywood. If there is a fraud among the talent group, the truth will come out quickly. If you desire a lifelong career in the entertainment industry it is best to remain humble and know that each person working beside you has just as much reason to be there as you do. Do not make the mistake many people make both in the entertainment industry and in other workplaces.
  1. Acting Is A Sole-Proprietor Business In The Beginning
The entertainment industry is known as “show business” because in the sum of things it is an actual business more than anything else. The business is made up of the actor (the individual CEO) and the many other actors contributing their brand of style. The intelligent actors quickly learn that they themselves are the actual business and will market their strengths rather than weaknesses. It is important for the actor to remember that any successful business succeeds by offering something another business cannot. Actors are their own products. Cultivating productive business relationships requires putting yourself out there- through auditions and other means(LINK 9).
Developing your own business requires thoughtful planning and execution. An actor can structure their own artistic perspective on the basic principles of any business. These principles include becoming a great leader, developing a successful business plan, offer a great product or service, surround yourself with great people, create a great marketing plan, generate great numbers, staff your company with great managers (talent agents), perfect a great sales pitch, create great customer experience (find what is entertaining about you to bring viewers back), and live a great life (balance is key)(LINK 10).
You are responsible for your business while you are alive as an actor. Being available 24-7 is a healthy advantage for the working actor. By keeping up-to-date on emails, phone calls, and texts the actor will be able to effectively communicate and open doors before they are walked through by another business.
  1. Acting Is Will-Power
There is nothing more valuable in life than the dedication of ones’ will-power. Within most any venture in life we can choose to fully commit or scrape by meeting only the bare minimum. Labeling insufficient work ethic with excuse is not a healthy crutch for the actor. A large portion of success behind the scenes of an actor is their perseverance and motivation to run through failure or personal tragedy. Keanu Reeves, a well known Hollywood actor has experienced quite a turbulent life, but managed to become one of the most sought out actors today. His story summarized in an article by ReelScene recalls his past pains:
At a young age of three years old, his father left their family. They stayed in touch for a few years, but after the divorce, their father fell out of contact. Keanu struggled with dyslexia making his education more challenging than most. Because of that, he left school without earning a diploma. However, even when he left school, he was determined to overcome his condition. As a result of sheer determination, he overcame his condition and is now an avid reader. At age 23, his closest friend, River Phoenix died of drug overdose.In 1998, Keanu met Jennifer Syme and the two immediately fell in love. In 1999, Jennifer got pregnant but sadly, after eight months their child was stillborn. Because of that, they were devastated by her death and it eventually ended their relationship. 18 months later, Syme died in a car accident. (LINK 11)
A well-rounded actor whom is not preparing for a performance will constitute their free time being patient for their next role while also productive. Staying active is critical for the actor to maintain their fuel tank of desire. Maintaining healthy habits such as working out, reading, training, traveling, and trying to find new hobbies are great ways for the actor to keep their will-power strong during the layover periods in their career.
LINK 10:
LINK 11:
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2019.07.12 03:16 catherinewatts9651 How To Become An Actor From The Ground-Up

How To Become An Actor From The Ground-Up
By Catherine Watts
Have you ever had the dream of becoming a famous Hollywood actor or actress one day? Luckily for anyone with that dream, becoming an actor is easier than ever before. Although it is easier to become a professional actor, breaking into the industry still requires a lot of hard work. Alongside hard work is passion and dedication. If you are just starting to explore acting as a career. You must make it to Hollywood, then you should follow these rules in order to increase your odds of success.

How to Become an Actor

Study Acting In School

Though it's possible to get into acting without a formal education going to school for acting can be extremely helpful for actors just starting. By studying acting in school, you will get exposure to professionals, learn about standard techniques, and get more opportunities for open auditions. The school will also help you to build your resume, get exposure, and set up a network of contacts.

Hire An Acting Coach

An acting coach can give you more personal attention in order to work on your weaknesses and expand your strengths. Look for a coach with a lot of industry experience and connections if possible. Try to find someone with experience in multiple fields so you can train and get pointers in a few different areas.

Stay Informed About The Industry

Check out industry news regularly in order to stay ahead of the game. Websites like Variety, Backstage, Hollywood Reporter, and BusinessWeek can be very useful to find out about current trends in the acting business. You should also stay up to date on emerging playwrights and directors as well as any possible new theaters in your area.

Gain A Variety Of Experience

Seek out small playhouses and theaters where you live and audition for various roles. Contact your local theater (s) to see if they have any special events or seminars coming up that you could attend or volunteer for.

Join An Improvisation Class

Improvisation in a movie can often make the film much better or even iconic. Robert Deniro absolutely embodied his role as Travis Bickle in Taxi. But did you know that the classic scene of him staring in the mirror saying “You talking to me?” was completely ad-libbed?
The skills that an improvisation theater or group can teach you are extremely valuable for both new and experienced actors. If you ever have the misfortune to forget your lines halfway through a live performance, knowing how to improvise will be quite useful. Not only can you use improvisation when you are in crisis mode, but improv is a great way to learn what you are good at in acting and discover more about your acting range.

Get Your Headshots Taken

When I say that you should get your headshots taken, let me clarify by saying that you should have your headshots taken by a professional photographer. By using a professional to take your photos you can be sure that you have the best-looking pictures. Update your headshot every 2 or 3 years so that casting directors will know what you currently look like.

Create A Resume

Act in as many roles as possible in order to build up an extensive resume. Audition for commercials, music videos, and live performances so that you can pad your resume with lots of related experience. List your acting-related strengths or special abilities that you have such as dancing, singing, or dialects. You can list both paid and non-paid work, as long as it’s tied into acting or the performing arts in general.

Go Where The Work Is

If you want to work on Wall Street, you don’t move to North Dakota. The same can be said for the performing arts. Consider moving to New York, Florida, Los Angeles, Austin, or Atlanta if you’re in the United States. If you can’t move at this time or in the near future, start out by working in the local film scene or in areas that you can easily get to. In the meantime, you should be saving money so that you can move to a larger city where more acting roles are available and movies are made frequently.

Learn Several Different Monologues

Monologues can often be used to help get you cast in television, plays, and movies. They also allow you to quickly yet effectively showcase your talents. Take the time to look up several 1-2 minute monologues online. Choose a monologue based on the type of actor you are. For example, don’t read a monologue about a short man if you are a tall man. You should choose monologues that contrast in order to better show off your craft. Even if you always play the funny man, have a couple dramatic monologues ready to call on when requested.

Look For Parts In Commercials

Search for casting calls on websites like Hathart, Backstage, Hollywood Reporter, and Variety for local commercials. Be sure to dress for the part you’re auditioning for so the casting directors can easily picture you in the role.
Commercials are smaller roles, but it will give you exposure to a wide audience and get your face out to the public. Dean Winters can sometimes be seen as a cop on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but most people know and love him as “Mayhem” from the Allstate commercials, that douchey presence that can hilariously f**k up your day.

Join A Union For Performers

Join organizations such as AEA and AGVA. One of the good things about unions is they provide you with benefits and insurances while you are working. Once you have been a member for at least one year and have worked under a union, you will be eligible to join the Screen Actor's Guild. Annual SAG fees are $201.96 USD and 1.575% of the earnings you make in that year. Be sure to check with the union you’re interested in to see what their annual rates are.


Build your reputation as a professional by networking. Reach out to others first and show a genuine interest in the people you know and meet. People in your network can connect you to available jobs and provide you with valuable insights about the acting business. Use websites like Hathart or Linkedin to connect with others in the acting community.

Increase Your Internet Exposure

You should always be trying to increase your internet exposure. Build a personal website with an easy to remember URL, like your name. You can quickly and cheaply create a personal website using WordPress or Squarespace. Set up a page on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram where fans can like and share your content. Use popular hashtags in your posts so you can get the maximum amount of exposure. Put videos of all your performances on YouTube. After building a social media presence, sign up on other acting-related sites like Actors Access to connect with people in the industry.

Develop More Skills

The more skills you have, the more versatile you will be and the more likely you are to land roles. Here are some skills that are particularly important:
  • Excellent communication: Acting is about setting a scene, conveying emotion, and connecting with the audience. Five-star speaking skills are critical.
  • Great memorization: Memorizing a script in order to perform long, unbroken scenes is a must for any actor.
  • Projecting your voice: Since audience members may be sitting rows away from the stage, work on enunciating your words clearly and loudly.
  • Improvisation: You need to be able to think on your feet for a career in acting so improvisation is a must-know.
  • Dialects: The best actors are always the ones that can truly embody a role, especially when it comes to perfecting the character’s accent.
  • Singing: Singing is a great skill to have, especially if you want to break into plays and musicals.
  • Dancing: Just like with singing, dancing is a great skill to have, particularly for plays and musicals.

Be Persistent

Talent is overrated. Persistence is always better than talent. Performers need to have a lot of grit and persistence in order to make it in the acting industry. Those actors who are willing to give it there all day after day will have a much greater chance of success than the naturally talented or the Julliard-trained actor who waits for opportunities to find him.

Additional Resources

  • Ace Your Audition-This site connects actors with a monologue for auditions.
  • Actors Equity Association-This labor union for actors provides help with benefits, working conditions, contract negotiations and more.
  • The Actors Fund-This organization helps actors with common issues, including housing, healthcare, social services, and financial assistance.
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre-This organization of schools, colleges, universities, and conservatories strives to provide a top-notch educational experience through proper accreditation.
  • National Endowment for the Arts-This independent federal agency offers to fund for a variety of arts across the United States, including theater productions.
  • SAG-AFTRA-The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists brings together two powerful unions to provide important protections and information to those in the entertainment industry.
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2018.04.05 23:27 8bitPlays SUPER LAST MINUTE CASTING CALL (if this isn't allowed here, I totally get it.)

Name of project: "Original Media Ventures: Slam Poetry Spot - What is Original?" Type of project: Commercial Non-union Shooting date: Saturday, April 7, 2018 Location: Atlanta, GA
PAID. Rate discussed upon submission. Crafty and lunch will of course be provided.
We'll be shooting a wonderful spot for an LA based production company named Original Media Ventures and are desperately in search of 4-6 DIVERSE on screen talent to work on it. In the spot, you'll be asked to read a voiceover piece and appear on camera for reactions.
CASTING BREAKDOWN: -All talent MUST BE between the ages of 18-25. -ANY talent, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation are encouraged to submit!
Email headshots and questions to: thebigpondmedia[email protected]
Production Company: Original Media Ventures Director: T.C. Barrera DoP: Ben Wallace
submitted by 8bitPlays to AtlFilmmakers [link] [comments]

2015.09.12 04:27 LadiDadiUniverse Looking for experienced and new actors for Short Film Project (Atlanta)

Local Production Company launching its first short film project looking to cast for Feature roles and Extras
We are looking for experienced and new actors over the age of 18 years old to join our film and make this project a success! (Film is rated PG-13 for profanity and mild violence)
The short film is a modern day coming of age tale with three African American Male Feature roles and one African American Woman Feature role. Casting of all ethnicities for roles as extras and smaller speaking roles.
Production title: TBA Union / Non-Union: Non-Union Production Type: Independent Project length: Short Film (18 minutes) Production location: Atlanta Production Company: LadiDadi Universe Contact Email: [email protected] DirectoProducer: Kelada Gilbert Casting Director: Matthew Reed Audition Location: Will be sent via email next day after receipt of interest email Shooting Location: Atlanta Compensation: No, but meals will be provided on shooting days and credits
Auditions: September 26, 2015 2:30 -- 7:00 PM (Please note all auditions will be given a specific time within this window) Call Backs: September 27, 2015 Shooting Starts: October 17, 2015 Shooting Ends: October 25, 2015 (Shooting will be restricted to Saturdays and Sundays, but if weekdays are needed, we will let you know in advance. Specific shooting dates will be provided once casting is complete, but for feature roles, availability for all weekend shooting dates is required. Extras/reoccurring will be shot on October 17th and October 18th.)
Synopsis: "When Reggie gets suspended from school, he expects a mouthful from his Dad, but nothing goes as expected after he meets up with his friend Wiz Kid. Now Reggie's caught in the middle of a gang retribution hit with Wiz Kid's pregnant girlfriend and it's up to him to keep her safe.
Please include the following in your email submission: SUBJECT: (select from categories above) 3 or More Up to Date / Recent Photos of Yourself (Well Lit & In Focus / Plain Background in Photo is Best) -1 Headshot Style -1 Medium Length -1 Full Length 1. Legal Name 2. Phone Number 3. Email 4. Age 7. Top Size 8. Pant Size 11. Tattoos (No/Yes- Location on Body) 12. Current City
*if you submit you will be considered and notified by September 27, 2015 -- please ONLY SUBMIT if you are 100% interested and will to be available. THANK YOU!
If you are not local and/or do not fit the description, please do not apply.
submitted by LadiDadiUniverse to atljobs [link] [comments]

2012.09.30 00:59 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I was a zombie/stand in for the Walking Dead. AMA

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Date: 2012-09-29
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Questions Answers
Is Carl ever going to stay in the fucking house? EDIT: Might as well spell the annoying little piece of shit's name right. Nope. Kid never listens.
Im a amputee wanting to work in horror. Any leads? There was a girl I met who was a featured zombie as well, and she was an amputee. She was genuine and everyone like her. You can definitely work in any horror just be kind to others, and they will work with you.
Im actually headed to London soon to act in a horror movie but Im more looking to work in the corpse/monstezombie area. Know any casting companies that specialize in that area? Sorry, none that I know of. Congratulation on your upcoming act in London.
Did you and the other zombie stand ins eat during breaks with the makeup on? Kind of a weird question, but I just think it'd be funny if one were to find a bunch of zombies chatting and eating small sandwiches Funny question. Yes. All zombies had lunch with other extras separate from the film crew. It was actually hard to open my mouth due to layers of prosthetics. They fed us spaghetti and salad. Odd choices for a zombie. As a stand-in, I ate with the film crew and it was the greatest meal I ever had! They had seafood, chicken, steak, variety of fruits, salad bar, desserts. It was like an upscale buffet.
I was curious. If you saw a zombie walking down the road, would you run it over? (about 600yds from the big rock pit, charlie sheen is in the 'hood lately) Probably not. I don't feel like repairing for the damages.
Were you shot/killed on screen? And what episode(s) were you in? First episode. Rick is on the horse in Atlanta and makes a sudden turn to be surprise by a swarm of flesh-eating zombies. Then show a glimpse of me in my gruesome moment ready to attack.
Did you do just one zombie role? or have you portrayed multiple roles in multiple episodes? A couple. I wore a mask sometimes when I'm not featured. Then I began standing in.
Ok cool, how is a zombie salary? does it pay all the bills? The pay was well but doesn't pay all the bills.
That would be awesome. I absolutely love that show. How did you land the gig? A friend of mine is a PR and he notified me to send in head/body shots for the show. I received good news to audition, and I was sent to zombie school. I put on my best zombie performance along with hundreds of other people. More good news received, and I became a featured zombie. Since I was the only Asian, I then stood-in for Glenn.
You said that you stood in for Glen at one point, what episode was that and what did you do? A few of the pilot episodes. I followed director's order to position/move in the way he wants me to.
Does being one of the zombies in this show at all ruin the intensity/edginess of watching it on TV? Absolutely not! Portraying a zombie was just a small part of something so big. The show itself is already intensifying, and being a part of it makes it even more eager to watch.
Did you meet any of the cast, if so what were they like? Andrew was a nice man with a funny sense of humor. When I first met him, I was surprised by his British accent because I thought he was American. It is amazing to see him change his accent back and forth. Sarah was nice too. She was fascinated with my make-up and we did small talk. She brings her Labradorean around on set sometimes. Steven is a cool guy with a genuine attitude. Iron E was even more cooler who jokes around all the time. Jon was a more serious person. Almost seems like he is in character 24/7. Jeffery was friendly as well. We had a small chat about our favorite food to eat.
How long did the makeup take? Any good stories? Did the zombies / stand in's hate the Lori character too? The make-up took about 3 hours. Filming would be really early in the morning. Since I was featured, I had to be there earlier than usual. I got to meet most of the cast, and they were really amazing.
I hate to be that guy... but proof? Link to
Did the zombies have to make sounds with their voices or did they add the sound after they got the film material? Have there been any "unprofessional" zombies who have been giggling or something like that? They added the sound later, but many people did groan to make it more realistic. There had been an incident of someone who wouldn't keep his mouth shut. He is constantly talking regardless of where he is. They realize he was the odd one out, so they let him go.
Is the person who plays Daryl in the show actually nice? He plays the "tough but lovable badass" role so well in the show it's hard for me to picture himself as a nice guy outside the set. I didn't get to officially meet Daryl unfortunately, but during takes when he is not in character, he is a nice person who jokes with Steven and Iron E mostly. Together, they're are like a comedic trio.
Is Sarah Wayne Callies as gorgeous in real life as she is on TV? Yes she is! I love her character from prison break and actually meeting her made my heart skip a beat.
Are you credited on IMDB? We need to get you to the top, my friend. Unfortunately I am not. Just remember me as the distinguished Asian zombie.
How does it feel having all that make up on? Does it annoy you? Get in your eye? What is the longest you had it on for? :) It was uncomfortable because we shot during the summer. The weather was scorching hot and layers and layers of prosthetics were slowly dripping down my face. Some has even gotten into my eye and thankfully make up is always nearby for assistance.
What brand of contacts did they use for your eyes? I don't know what brand,but the contact was chosen by producers who gave them to make-up. It was actually quite uncomfortable.
How'd you get into acting? any tips for someone trying to start? Anyone can get into extra work if you match the description they are looking for. As far as acting, engage yourself into everything that is out there like theater, short films, independent movies, books etc. the more you experience the more you will learn. Work hard and finally, always focus on your craft. Good luck and always dream big!
Do you actually like the show? Or is this just work for you? Thanks in advance :) Hell yeah! I love TWD! Can't wait for season 3!
The makeup artist are amazing for that show. How long did it take them to apply, and how long did you leave your makeup on before you took a hundred plus pictures to post on your facebook or so? Make up would be on for more than 12 hours. A regular filming day.
Oh wow. Thanks for the AMA... Can I ask... How would one get a job to do this sort of stuff? I know I and lots of others would love to be a zombie on TV or something like that! As far as being an extra, research local areas that are filming nearby. Send in your headshot/bodyshot if the description best fits you. Good luck!
A lot of the show is filmed where I'm from. Are you from around that area too or did you come from a far way place to be an extra? I am actually around the area. I'm a native born in Atlanta
What does your fatheuncle think of this. Dad thinks its nonsense and says I need to utilize my time to study. Typical Asian parents.
Last updated: 2012-10-03 17:31 UTC
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2012.02.18 16:40 tabledresser [thewalkingdead] I am actor James Allen McCune and I play Jimmy on The Walking Dead. AMAA!

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Date: 2012-02-01
Link to submission
Link to my post
Questions Answers
I've heard that the main cast avoids the zombies when not filming, is that true? Also it just a method acting deal where they want to appear shocked when they see them? Or is it some rule about extras not associating with the cast? No it's definitely not that we're too good to be with the extras or whatever. Haha. Everyone always goes up to the walkers and introduces themselves to them. We try so hard to make them feel like part of the cast, because they are. They all work so hard, and we put them through so much that it would be awful if we didnt show them appreciation for that. That being said, it's hard to introduce yourself to all 200 zombies. Haha. I tried to personally hang out as much as I could with them, but there's always designated areas for each, and most of the time we're just too busy to chat. It also has something to do with the fact that Greg and his team make some of the most horrific looking things I've ever seen in my entire life. Sometimes its hard to talk to a corpse and not be a little skeeved out. haha.
Why helllllllo! Huge fan of the show. You guys got a good thing goin' on. Silly question, but does Andrew Lincoln talk with his normal accent off camera? Most of the interviews I've seen with him he's been using an American accent, and even on some promos I saw awhile back. Also, can Norman Reedus really shoot that crossbow well? Have an awesome day:D. Hi there! I was actually really excited to find that out myself going into the job. When we're on set Andy is always in character. He told me that it was something that Frank Darabont asked of him when he first started the show. All season I've only heard him slide Ito his native accent 3 times while we were on set. As for Norm and the crossbow, it depends on the shot and if he's actually hitting a person or not, but I don't trust him with it. Haha.
You could get a supporting role in any other TV series running right now - which one would you choose? And in any other series that has ever been produced? Oh God what a good couple questions. My absolute favorite show of all time is Doctor Who. I'm not british so it would be a miracle to even be an extra in that show, but that's definitely top of my list. Other than that maybe Community or House. One of my dreams is to be a patient one episode. Haha.
to ask a TWD-related question: Without giving anything away of course, what do you look forward to the most this season? Oh wow. Hmm tricky. Well I'm really looking forward to a few new characters that pop up. The next two episodes really begin showing off some ridiculously fantastic performances. As the season goes people are definitely going to be getting new favorites for sure. These guys never pull any punches. It's so so so good.
Do you have a favorite doctor and companion? Tennant and Donna. Hands down all time favorite TV duo. Although an absurdly close second is Matt smith and River song. Their relationship is AMAZING.
Do you read the comics? If so, what do you think of them? Which character from the show would you most want supporting you? I personally don't know enough about either to really form a useful opinion, but from what I do know I think Censorship is wrong on that level. The internet needs this freedom and to have people strip it away would be such a tragedy. Again, I'm lacking the full picture though.
If a zombie apocalypse occurred what would be the first thing you would do? Hide somewhere? Get on an aircraft carrier? What are your opinions on the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills? Do you think piracy would decrease significantly if content was more readily available? I think an aircraft carrier would probably be pretty choice. I think I'd cry in a ball and lock the doors.
If you could make/star in any movie about anything, what would it be about, and what would it be called? I have the single most interesting relationship history of all time. From the end of my second girlfriend and I, to the end of my most recent girlfriend, I have never heard a more interesting story. Some day I'll turn it into a TV show. Haven't thought of a name yet though. Something tongue in cheek.
How I Met My Now-Ex-Girlfriends? Big Argument Theory.
Can you give us a quick summary of your relationship story? I'd love to hear it. Haha, and let someone steal it? No way! Some day you'll see it on TV and be glad you waited. =)
Rockin' the bowtie, too! Did you get to meet him? Not yet no! I've been in touch with Joe Bereta from Barats and Bereta and I'm hopping to collaborate with everybody at some point. =)
By the way, I noticed you are from Georgia, what part exactly? I'm in Gwinnett :) I'm from Coweta county!
Where did you get that snazzy purple bow-tie? Haha, an obscure shopping center where I lived before I moved to LA. I actually got it for a prom I went to earlier that year.
You realize who you're talking about, right? Oh trust me I know. He reminded me every day. ;)
Hey, Jamie. I actually went to high school with you and we kinda know each other but for you to always wonder who I am is kinda funny. I think you're very talented as do many people and stoked that you're going after your dream. I can't seem to think of a good question right now... Well anyway, I know you just moved out to LA and I know the show shoots in GA so I was wondering if you'll be coming back to shoot? If you guys are in the middle of shooting? etc.. Oh wow! Small world! I'd love to find out who this is! Anyone who calls me Jamie is clearly from home. Haha. Well everyone kind of did their own thing. We wrapped the whole season last november before Thanksgiving, and since then everyone kind of took off in different directions for the holidays. Some people stayed home, but like steven and Jon, I came out to see if I could grab some work. You're never done looking in this business.
Hello James, huge fan of the show! I just wanted to know how is it going since the change in direction? Do you like it betteworse? Well there are comic purists who will bash the show for changing so much, but I think it's brilliant. We try very hard to keep the comics and the TV show separately entertaining. Some people like the comics, and some people like the TV show more, but no matter what people love The Walking Dead. I'm personally really amazed with the direction the show has taken.
Why do you think it is brilliant? If you didn't think it was brilliant, would you ever admit as much? I think it's really intelligent because I think if you watch enough of this, having read all of the comics, you'll get bored with always knowing what's around the corner every time. The first episode was really close to the beginning of the comics but I think it would show a real lack of creativity if we did everything frame by frame.
Since I'm pretty sure the answer to #2 is No, How do you address the issue of your confirmation bias in the answer to #1? Fact of the matter is I was a huge fan of the first season before I ever got on the second. I was just as concerned about changing the story line as everyone else but when I read the scripts it was really obvious that they knew what they were doing in that writers room. Assume what you want about my bias, I don't have to lie about how much ass this show kicks, I stand by it because it's really impossible not to love it.
Which episodes do you enjoy filming more: the ones that focus on the acting and the interactions between individual characters, or the episodes based more upon actions of the characters and killing zombies? This show does a good job of wearing you out regardless of if you're doing something physical or emotional, but whats awesome is that we do them both with such importance. Of course the most dramatic stuff is going to be the most fun though. Fishing zombies out of a lake? Ridiculous.
Man, you are pretty adorable. No YOU'RE adorable.
Hey James, thanks for taking the time to do this! The special effects in TWD have always seemed extremely realistic. Do you ever find yourself getting frightened when there's 'zombies' walking around set? Oh god yeah. So the actors have this table set up that's full of every kind of snack you can think of. That's our craft table, and the walkers have their own personal craft table because usually theres so many of them they need their own. Well sometimes either they would get confused, or I would get confused and go to the wrong table, and that was always a really uncomfortable 5 seconds when you'd forget that they were just walking around. I had one guy ask for some crackers one time and when I turned to give him some I almost punched him in the mouth.
Are you a fan of classic zombie films like Night of the Living Dead, and if so, is that what made you want to audition for TWD? What made me want to audition for TWD wasn't that it was a Zombie show, that definitely appealed to me in a huge way dont get me wrong, but I realized that the show is more importantly about the characters. The show is just plain real and I have always been in love with that. I just wanted so bad to contribute to that and I feel amazingly lucky to have had that opportunity.
Also, did you have fun during your down time on the set or was it basically your chance to get some rest? Haha it depended, to be honest %80 of being an actor is getting your hair and make up done, or waiting for a scene to start. It was a great chance to get to know every body and get advice, or play guitar or something. But if it was a 16 hour shoot, which a couple days it was, down time was "Where can I lie down?" time. I think I slept in every corner of that house. haha.
The Evil Dead series is my favorite, too! Marry me, please? <3. I'm yours!
Swoon * <3 you're adorable. That's you!
How realistic is the make up for the zombies up close? It's amazing. Greg is such an incredible artist. I literally couldn't look at a few people they were so bad. Like the woman who plays Beth's mom in the barn, up close it was the most grotesque thing I've ever seen. Yuck.
How much of the comic book series have you read? Have you read any of Robert Kirkman's other works? I haven't read the latest issue, but I've read all the way until there. As a wrap present Gale gave me The Rise of the Governor book, and so far I'm in love with it.
I sometimes have really vivid zombie nightmares after watching the show. Do you ever come home from a long day on the set and get plagued with visions of crusty zombies all night? Oh my God you have no idea.I think everyone does. It's one thing to watch a show and get scared, but to see these monsters for entire weeks at a time up close, and to LIVE the situation really messes with your head. There's some stuff towards the end of this season that kept me up at night for a long time.
do you visualize it when you're on the set with some actor-fu tricks? One of the coolest things I've seen done in post though is when Laurie (Andrea) swings a pitch fork type thing into a zombies face in the next episode. That was actually shot in reverse when she swung it. You can't tell at all.
You don't need to answer too specifically, but do you hang out with any of the cast off-set? OH jeez, I'm not sure. There's this show called "Zombie Prom." It's a cornball musical about a nuclear zombie and it's hilarious. I don't know if it's my favorite but I love the hell out of it.
Steve = Steven Yeun (aka Glenn)? Also, do duck-sized horses scare you as well? And yes yes they do. yeesh Yeah sorry, that steve. Haha.
How does one go about being casted to become a zombie? Have any of the zombies been so well dressed up you were genuinely scared of them? Oh absolutely. Haha. This show is so real it seems wrong sometimes. Haha. We have a huge talent pool in Ga, and they use a company called "Extras Casting Atlanta" to find their background. People get picked based on how well Greg thinks he can physically use them and how good they are with stunts. Oddly enough the two lake zombies from the last episode were actually stunt people. They were father and daughter and the nightgown walker is actually Lauren's (maggie) stunt double. Weirdly without the make up she's one of the most gorgeous people I've ever seen. It really caught me off guard. haha.
If you could play a different character on the show, one that exists already or a new, made up character, who would it be and why? Oh wow, I think I'd want to be Shane. What a deliciously intricate character. Jon really nails it too. I would ruin that character if I got to be him. I've always wanted to play the villain though.
How did you get this role? What did you have to go through as an actor to finally get cast into the show? I basically just bugged my agent to get me an audition. Haha, I said it up there, but I was never actually supposed to audition,somehow my tape got to Frank and by some miracle he liked it. It was just one tape of me reading a scene that eventually got cut out. I never actually met any casting directors. I got SO lucky. haha.
... if you could be on any show, ever, what would it be? I already answered this one too, but aside from Doctor who or Community, probably Sherlock. Again another BBC show, but oh my God is it incredible. Everyone needs to go watch that show RIGHT NOW.
Has there been any scenes that you've shot that have wound up cut out of the final show? If so, what was the nature of those scenes? There's always little things here and there that get moved around. Typically what you see is 98% of what we planned for everyone to see, the rest is cut for time or continuity or what have you. I personally cant think of anything right off the jump.
Is Norman Reedus as cool off screen as he is onscreen? Also, do you and the other cast members get the chance to explore around Georgia during breaks? Haha, he's just a cool guy in general. Total butthole but I love him ;) Well I'm from Ga so I got to kind of show them around which was cool. I actually lived only 30 minutes away from set actually.
I have always wondered this about horror movie/television actors. Even though you see the process taking place, do you still get creeped out by the scarier aspects of the show? Disturbing scenes, grotesque makeup, etc.? Well that's the idea of acting, its really technical a lot of the time, but it's always a battle to put yourself in a situation and feel like you're actually there. The make up really helps that, and things do in fact get really horrifying sometimes. That lake scene in 208 was horrifying. We're truthfully living in imaginary circumstances.
Are things gonna get more interesting as the survivors move away from the safety of the farm? Who ever said the farm was safe? Haha. I think it's one of the safer places we've seen so far but things havent gotten any easier. As for if we move away from the farm or not, you'll have to keep watching!
How much does Kirkman do behind the scenes? Is he fairly involved in the production? I think a lot of the days Robert came by I was doing other stuff. He's an absurdly busy guy, but he is always in the writers room. He is heavily involved in every episode, even if he isn't on set.
I'm guessing you've met him in person before? Is his beard as epic as it is in pictures? Even more so. I think I was looking into his beard way more than his eyes the first time I met him.
What are your current and upcoming projects? When we wrapped the second season, Jon and I actually got another project right after called "Snitch." It's a Ric Roman Waugh film and it comes out next year. =)
Hi James! Thanks for doing this! My question is about Billy Greene from the comics: it has been suggested that your character is the show's version of Billy, do you agree with this in some ways? You've read the prison arc, where Billy becomes a more significant character than he is on the farm - would you like it if Jimmy did the same? Edit: Remembered my other question: If something bad happens to Jimmy, do you hope you get to be zombified? Would it be fun or does all the makeup etc. seem like a hassle? Oh tricky territory. Sure I kind of looked to billy as reference because I really feel like thats where Jimmy came from. I mean put a bandage around my head and I look exactly like him, but again this is an entirely different story line now. Who knows whatll happen ;)
Do you feel more prepared for the real Zompocalypse because of the show? Actually I was pretty well prepared before the show started. One of my buddies has a serious phobia of the whole thing and I've really learned from his planning how to cope. I sleep with a Gerber Machete under my bed.
Wait, does Norman Reedus honestly wear womans underwear? No joke? Daryl does. He was telling me that on afew occasions he wore in the hopes that at some point the lace would show, and someone might catch it. He wanted to confuse people, but I don't think he was actually implying anything for his character, other than he wears what he can find. haha.
-What's the most stressful thing about shooting for this show? -If you were in a zombie apocalypse like this, but not exact to your role, what would be your strategy for survival? This is notoriously one of the hardest shows to work on for a lot of different reasons. I didn't realize that going into it, but a couple days in it became very apparent that this was going to be a crash course in acting, and I was very right. There isn't anything about doing the show I don't like, but something that can be very stressful is when you sit down and just think about who's keeping eyes on you. Every day I had Gale Anne Hurd and Denise Huth, and Glenn Mazarra and all these incredibly talented, incredibly powerful people watching my every move. That's the kind of stuff you just kind of have to forget about on the day, but once its all said and done and you look at it. That's some ridiculous stuff. I mean Gale produced the Terminator movies for Christ sake. A lot of expectations to meet. My strategy would be to grab a sword and start hitting things, and most definitely die. I have no longevity as a survivor. haha.
-Besides The Walking Dead series, do you have any other favorite books or authors? Who or what would you recommend? -And, last but not least, Coke or Pepsi? The best part was the feeling at the end of the day. Not that I constantly wanted to leave, this is the only job I've ever had where they called me at 5 in the morning and told me I had to come in at 7 instead of 11, and I was actually thrilled. It was just that at the end of the day, you peel off the mud and sweat stained wardrobe, you get in your car and you leave with this indescribable sense of pride and fulfillment. That on top of coming home to go to dinner with my friends just made for the best feeling ever. It was the best proof that I was doing exactly what I should be doing with my life. I mean Roberts work is about as good as it gets, but as far as comics I'm not sure. I'm just not much of a reader personally. My brain just clicks so much more with film and Television. Oh jeeze. Well I love Vault, and Coke will always remind me of my childhood around Christmas, but Mountain Dew Live Wire and Doctor pepper were my only friends in middle and highschool. (The life of a 250 pound 14 year old.) Hard choice. Depends on my mood, I don't discriminate.
How old are you, James? I really tried to Google it, but the results showed this guy Also, it's my Birthday soon and im not feeling to well.. could you... Say something to make a girl swoon/happier on her birthday please? blush Awe you poor thing. Yeah that's definitely not me. Haha, I'm 21. I'll be 22 this June 18th. How about this, I dedicate this song to you. I recorded it last week but now it's for you =)
My initial question and why it lead to asking how old you were, was because I was wondering why and how you looked so baby-faced in the show - do you ever get ID'ed? I'm 20, I'll be 21 next week. :) Also, this is a question I've always wondered about celebrities, but I take it you have a girlfriend (oh lord, that sounds creepy, it's a good question, I swear) and basically, you're an actor, getting out there, hopefully going to be taking part in bigger roles to come. Now, when you become famous, like A-lister someday, do you think it's important to keep all your old friends (non-famous), and hypothetically speaking, if anything happened between you and your girlfriend (I hope for your happiness it doesn't) do you think it would be hard for you to find true love again now that you're famous, because of all the trouble of girls wanting you mostly because you're famous, you're rich, etc? Oh wow I'm so lad you think I'm worthy of Alist. Haha that's incredibly flattering thank you. I think the most important thing and actor can have is Thier old friends. Always knowing where I came from is something I'll always keep in mind and remind myself of every day. Again I'm no huge star or something but if someday I am I don't want to ever lose that mindset and think I'm too good for everyone back home. That'd be awful I just dont see it happening.
Which actor, living or dead, has most influenced your career? If you could ask one actor (again, living or dead) a question, what would it be? Also, I love you. David Tennant. The man is a stone cold genius, and if I could some day be half the actor he is I could easily die happy. Oh wow good question. I would probably ask David to work with me. He's one of Andy's good friends so it's nuts to me to think that it's a possibility.
Is your character in the comic books? Not Jimmy, but there's a character named Billy who I'm obviously taken from. Two totally different characters though.
What 1 item would you deem necessary during a zombie apocalypse? Jon Bernthal.
Do you guys film the episodes separately, or do you shoot them in blocks on certain sets? Just wondering - for a guy like yourself who doesn't have a boat-load of screen time, do you spend a lot of time away from set, or do you shoot a lot of scenes in succession? We shoot an episode about every 8-10 days. It really depends on what's going on though. We tend to shoot things based on locations and time and stuff. For me I wasn't in things every single day so there was down time every once in a while, but I came and visited the set a lot, even when I wasn't shooting. I just love being there.
Awesome, thanks. One more question, if you don't mind. What's it like on set with a bunch of people in zombie makeup walking around? Is it weird seeing them sitting down eating lunch? Do they ever goof around with the other cast? Haha it's a trip for sure. I never know how to respond to them. They tend to try and scare us and the crew and stuff, but that's always made me nervous because Jon (Shane) f*cking HATES zombies. Like I thought I hated them but he gets so uncomfortable. If someone were to try and scare him he might unleash all that German boxing all over someone.
What do you think about the show deviating from the comic, such as with Shane's death? Not really, when we're doing our stuff we have to focus on what's at hand and not what could be. Sometimes I would realize that Shane is still alive though. How incredible is that? We're seeing stuff that Shane was never meant to see, and look how much things change because of it.
Did you get to meet with Scott Ian (of Anthrax) when he was on the show as an extra? He was actually an extra in Gregs mini series so which was unrelated to Ricks storyline. I met him at the premiere though! Cool guy.
Do you think that the reaction to this half of Season 2 will be more positive? Oh the last half of this season is so incredible. We're all very proud of it. Trust me on this one, you're going to love it.
Do you think that the show is more of a character-based drama or an action-based series? Definitely character driven. So much so that the loss and anger created by the zombies and the action is itself a character. Rick carries it around every where he goes.
If you've gotten covered in fake gore, is it a disconcerting experience? Early last year I did a pilot for a show that covered me in blood and prosthetics. (Not the walking dead) Its really cool but at the end of the day you feel like garbage, and it's awful to scrape off of you. haha.
Are there any particularly good pranksters in the cast/crew? One of our directors, Billy, was always so funny. He just constantly messed with everyone. His humor is so deadpan its hilarious. Andy messed around some times too. Once we were doing an overhead crane shot of the whole group and we were supposed to disperse in different directions slowly. It was supposed to be really sad and deep. When they called action Andy had talked us into all running in different directions. Funny as hell. One of the few bloopers we have. haha.
If you were a zombie, whose brain would be the most delicious to eat? I imagine Steve's would taste like Kimchi.
I'm so glad you would spend your time today answering questions! Most of mine have already been answered (I'm a little late) but I have one request. My sister is a huge fan of the show, but she isn't feeling well right now, would you be able to take a picture of you holding up a sign saying "Get well soon Alicia" and maybe PM it to me? Check your messages!
Man, TWD is honestly my favourite show right now, even through the break. I only have one question that hasn't already been answered, do the cast get any input in what happens on set? Do you ever get to improvise? Also, you're awesome! We're actually a pretty tight show. Everyones so focused there isn't much playing around. But situations aren't just happening by the book either. Everyone is really living the part. When things are improvised they're always so authentic. You'd never guess.
Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA, I'm a huge fan and so excited for TWD to come back on the 12th!! I'm probably too late, but I was wondering what were some improvised scenes that you could think of off the top of your head? Never too late! Improving on some shows is really prominent and really encouraged. But for us we really follow our script. There are things we throw in for authenticity but what has been written is SO important to the story, you rarely have a chance to shoot something out. There was a lot of improv in the last scene of the mid season finale though. While Jon gave his speech, there was a lot of "Shane no! Stop!" you know stuff to keep it real. Very subtle.
How many takes do you usually need to nail a scene? An action packed one, such as the final scene in I think it was "pretty much dead already" when Shane opened the barn? Would you spend all day on it, or longer? Or would you get it done in an hour or so? That will always change. It has a lot of factors and most of the time that's based on the Director. I know Clark Jonson, who directed the new episode on the 12th likes to kinda hit it and quit it. He gets what he likes fast and moves on. However Michelle MacLauren who directed the episode you're talking about takes her time. She is very cut throat when it comes to that. Very slow, very precise. She knows what she needs and shes gonna get it. That last scene of the mid-season finale from the conversation between shane when he handed out the guns, all the way until the last shot of the episode (which is all one scene, and from what I've seen the longest single seen ever) took 3-4 days. We began it at the end of one day, and then the rest was 3 full 14 hour days in front of the barn. I remember because I was coated in mud from head to toe, and they had to apply that every single day. Freezing in the morning, horrifically hot mid day. Whew. Definitely earned our paychecks that episode. Not nearly as much as the zombies though. They were such troopers. I have so much respect for those walkers.
As a follow-up to my original questions, how did you go straight from high school to acting? Did you know people in the business? Did you do networking? Did you just do the classic "move to Hollywood and hope it works out"? Since things seem to be going quite well for you so far, since you're only 21, I doubt it's the latter, but maybe it is and you got lucky? Well no one knows what they're doing when they first start. All I knew was to do musical theatre, so I kept doing musicals and one day decided to send my headshot to an agent in ATL. From there I auditioned for as much as I could, I got a few parts here and there for different things, but that started in 09, and I got the walking dead summer of 2011. Things happened pretty quick. I actually only moved out here to LA like 2.5 or 3 weeks ago. I never wanted to come out here unless I had my foot in the door, and this was a pretty nice one.
Hi James Allen McCune! You are excellent in Walking Dead. I would like to know, what is your favorite joke? Probably one that has the word "boner" in it.
What do you call a Xerox of a boner? A hard copy. New favorite joke.
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