A Blessing from Above

KFC

HAPPINESS IS MY FACE!!!! =D =D =D

So my agent just called me up and gave me the best news ever… My KFC advert is airing another 12 months!!

I am so excited I could jump through the roof! My contract was supposed to expire in June and then I would have just become another forgotten face. I was really sad about this because so many good things have come from this one advert and I didn’t want it to end… and now it doesn’t have to!

The client is so impressed with this advert that after my initial 3 month contract ends in June, it will be extended for another 12 months. This time it will be broadcast on TV, Internet, Cinema and Public Locations. I will be ALL over!

I am so overjoyed, this is the career and financial breakthrough I have been waiting for… not bad for someone who wasn’t even supposed to get this advert in the first place. I didn’t get the brief for the audition, I heard about it from a friend. I just took a chance and went anyway, and look at where I am now… God does not disappoint!

Thank You Jesus!

SmkClaven

KFC – So Good

Well howdy-doodle-doo ya’ll!

Today I thought I’d just write a random post…

No topic…

No statistics….

Just… ME!

I’m feeling pretty darn good about life right now, what with my KFC advert popping up everywhere! What a confidence booster when just about every single person you know (and sometimes not) tells you that they have seen you on their TV screens! Especially after my last advert never aired?! -cries dramatically-

The weirdest thing though is walking in public now… usually I know when people are staring at me in public it’s because 1. I’m not actually allowed out in public and they can tell, 2. One of my bald spots is showing, or 3. There’s pepper stuck between my teeth… but now I’m not sure whether it’s because the above mentioned reasons or if somebody actually recognizes me?!

The other day I went to Cradlestone Mall to watch a movie with a friend and low and behold, my face was spread across that gigantic screen in the center!! Before I could even respond it was over and all I could do was to freak out a little on the inside.

Surprisingly that same night an elderly couple walked past me and the lady looked at me so naturally list 1 – 3 comes to mind… but then she looked at me again and then one more time before whispering something to her husband. Then he looked at me and she looked back again as they walked past and I was like… Oh yeah!! They recognize me from the big screen ya’ll!

So yeah, it is awesome getting recognition for the work you have done and reaping the rewards of following your dreams! Not to mention, it’s a great confidence builder!

So yeah, my soul is overjoyed at this moment in time!

SmkClaven

ONE DIRECTION IN SOUTH AFRICA

There comes a time when a man needs to swallow his pride and admit he likes a boy-band… For me, it’s One Direction. I just can’t help myself what with their catchy sing along music. I went to their concert at the FNB stadium on Sunday the 29th of March and this is the result:

It’s Official – ‘n Konsternasie op Vladdersrust

Vladdersrust LogoToday is both a scary and tremendously exciting day at the same time. It’s always scary when you enter a new venture and are unsure of what is to come, alas you must be brave and conquer your fears! Too many people are living their fears, because they are too scared to pursue their dreams… I refuse to be one of them.

2013 Marks the date when ‘n Konsternasie op Vladdersrust was conceptualized. Part of the reason for this film was to create work for ourselves so that we would not have to sit around and wait for someone else to give us work.

Two years later the time has come to make this dream of ours a reality – one which is rather frightening. When you have put your heart and soul into something and you so desperately want it to be a success, it’s scary to share it with the world. What we are sharing isn’t just a film or an experience, but our raw, exposed hearts and that’s what makes it scary. As creatives we now have to share a piece of ourselves with the world and like most creatives, the fear of failure is what haunts us most.

Today I conquered part of that fear by sharing my heart with the world. We launched our Facebook page for our film and made it known to everyone what we were busy with for two years.

Already the response has been overwhelming with over 60 page likes in just 3 hours! Some likes, by people in the industry who I look up to. It’s times like these that remind you of the amount of support you have around you, an amazing and welcomed motivator for the year ahead! It’s good to know that so many people are backing you as you keep chasing your dreams.

Thus I am proud to say, it is official! Konsternasie op Vladdersrust is spreading through the world creating awareness as I type this post. Our movie is getting made!

Watch this space!

SmkClaven

Taking a Leap!

Sometimes you just have to say: ” Screw it, I’m doing it!” I did that today and recorded a cover of Nat King Cole’s LOVE. Is it perfect? No, but I took a leap today and that’s what matters! I’ve always loved this song and I’m a very big jazz fan, so there it is. A cover by yours truly:

South African Film Figures

hollywood-box-office-collection-earning-records-hit-flop-movies-list-231181951

What are South African movies earning at the box office??

I have searched high and low to try and find these figures so that I can get a better understanding of the South African film budget. Thanks to the NFVF, these figures are now available to the public.

Herewith a list of recent South African films in order of success:

  • Schuks! Your country needs you – R26.5 Mil
  • Mad Buddies – R25.5 Mil
  • Pad Na Jou Hart – R11.5 Mil
  • Semi-Soet – R9.5 Mil
  • Adventures in Zambezia – R8 Mil
  • Material – R7.5 Mil
  • Faan se Trein – R7 Mil
  • Spud 2: The Madness Continues – R6.5 Mil
  • As jy Sing – R6.5 Mil
  • Vrou Soek Boer – R5 Mil
  • Klein Karoo – R5 Mil
  • Die Wonderwerker – R5 Mil
  • Wolwedans in die Skemer – R4 Mil
  • Fanie Fourie’s Labola R3.5 Mil
  • Pretville – R3.5 Mil
  • Verraaiers – R2.5 Mil
  • Konfetti – R2.5 Mil
  • Ordinary People R2 Mil
  • Lien se Lankstaanskoene – R2 Mil
  • Nothing For Mahala – R2 Mil
  • Bakgat 3 – R2 Mil
  • Inumber Number R1.5 Mil
  • Blitz Patrolie – R1 Mil
  • Die Laaste Tango – R1 Mil
  • Molly en Wors – R1 Mil
  • 100M Leeuloop – R1 Mil
  • Stuur Groete aan Mannetjie Roux – R1 Mil
  • Agent 2000 – R1 Mil
  • Stilte – R1 Mil
  • 31 Million Reasons – R800 000
  • Die Windpomp – R700 000
  • Ek Joke Net 2 – R600 000
  • Babalaz – R400 000
  • Musiek vir die Agtergrond – R400 000
  • Felix – R300 000
  • Four Corners – R300 000
  • Copposites – R300 000
  • Otelo Burning – R200 000
  • Jimmy in Pienk – R200 000
  • Little One – R200 000
  • Agter die Ligte – R100 000
  • Lucky – R100 000
  • Sleeper’s Wake – R50 000
  • Zama Zama – R40 000
  • Bustin Chops – R20 000
  • The Power of Anne – R5 000

Please note that these are not the exact figures of income. I have rounded these off for the sake of the article. For exact data please see the links to the NFVF site at the end of this article.

So why is it that some of these movies made it big and others simply crashed and burned? Marketing… That is what separates the boys from the men. Just think… How many of these movies have you ever heard of? Now think of where they are on the list… Exactly!

All the movies on the top of the list are the films you knew about and knew when they were going to screen at the cinema. Those are the films you heard about on radio, saw on television, saw on Facebook, saw billboard ads for. They were everywhere at the time of release! There was a buzz around the film and people knew exactly when opening night was, thus giving them the opportunity to go and see the film, thus allowing the film to receive income.

Some of the films on the list are really great movies, but I had never seen or heard one ounce of advertising around the film. In plain words… I didn’t even know about it! In fact most of those movies I only knew about because I worked at a DVD store for a while and we received the movies to rent out. Other than that there was no info.

Some of these films are fantastic movies but didn’t get the credit it deserves. Same for the other way round. Some of these movies were highly acclaimed and yet… They aren’t that great, but thanks to their incredible marketing techniques, they made their money.

So there you have it. What SA movies are earning and why!

SmkClaven

Actor Salaries in South Africa

Binnelanders-Strip-Ad

FINALLY!

An answer to a much sought after question. What do actors get paid in South Africa?!

For years I have wondered what actors get paid in SA but there has never been an answer for it. As an aspiring actor it’s important to know what you can expect income wise so that you can plan for your future. Yet this information has never been available, it has always been like a best kept secret, until now!

Thanks to the massive controversy around Generations and what their actors got paid, someone, somewhere decided that it was time for these figures to be released to the public and to those of us who are trying to make a living in the acting community.

Every profession out there has an easy, web searchable answer to average salaries. Doctors? Easy… Plumbers? Oh yeah… Heck even a boring receptionist job has an easy salary answer. But why the secrecy around entertainment industry professions?? Well here we are, a decent answer to a long awaited question:

According to the South African Guild of Actors this is what soap stars earn:

A newcomer on 7de Laan – R22,000 a month
A newcomer on Isibaya – R26,000 a month
An intermediate actor on Binnelanders – R27,500 a month
An intermediate actor on Isidingo – R28,000 a month
An intermediate actor on Generations – R40,000 a month
An experienced actor in a support role on Isibaya – R30,000 a month
An experienced actor on Isidingo – R40,000 a month
An experienced actor on Generations – R60,000 a month

Now we only need to get our hands on the film industry’s figures… But one thing at a time I suppose.

Now it’s only a matter of landing one of these coveted titles mentioned above. Until then, we will keep on keeping on!

SmkClaven

Actor vs. Audition

auditions-news-800x450

Auditions, auditions, auditions!

Now this is the fun part! This is what you’ve been waiting for ever since you dreamed of becoming an actor, because auditions are the gateway to work!

This part is very straightforward. Everyone knows the process to a certain degree and there’s not much to tell around the subject. All you need to know is that you need to be as prepared as you possibly can be and brush up on your improvisational skills! I say that because not every audition is straight forward…

Sure, sometimes you get your usual sides which you can prepare and perform and that’s that… but sometimes, and this happens a lot with adverts, they just throw you in the deep end. They’ll tell you more or less what it’s about in the brief but you won’t know exactly what you are doing for the audition until you get there! You need to show your creativity and personality, at the end of the day, that’s what counts. 

I’ve had to do the craziest things – from taking selfies with complete strangers to partying it up with your “best mates” (who you also just met) and you just have to stay cool and do your best. You really don’t always know what to expect. But always give your all, even if it seems like a lost cause, because you never know who’s watching! 

I got my first advert by doing an audition I thought I completely screwed up. I couldn’t really understand what the casting director was saying through his accent and I ended up doing exactly the same thing in my second take as I did in the first take, which was what he didn’t want. But get this… I got a call back for the advert, but not for the role I had auditioned for! They wanted to see me for a higher paying role with more feature in the same advert. That was fantastic! What made it even more unbelievable was the fact that that role was meant for a man of colour between the ages of 35 and 45, hardly the description to my pasty, young, 25 year old look! But I got the job! 

One thing to remember is that auditions come in seasons. One month you’ll have so many auditions to attend that you can barely keep up, and for the next three months you’ll have one audition per month. The ratio for booking jobs is about 1 to every 10 auditions that you do, so keep going, even if it feels like you aren’t getting call backs, they will come! This also means that you’ll have to have another skill or job while you are trying to get to the top, but I’ll elaborate more on that in my next post.

Make sure you take a ton of energy and personality with to your audition. There’s nothing worse than looking at an actor who looks like he doesn’t want to be there! They respond very well to someone who makes an impression though. I’ve gotten many call backs for auditions I don’t necessarily fit the brief to, but because I had personality and “something” to me, they could see that I’m not just another wanna-be, but a professional. Also greet everyone who works there or looks like they might help out somewhere, that creates a very good impression as most people just walk in and ignore the directors and crew. They’ll remember you for it. Being able to work well with someone is almost more important than hiring someone who is a fantastic actor, but a nightmare to work with.

Don’t be freaked out by the amount of people at a casting! I was so shocked when I went to my first few castings and realized just how many actors there are in Jozi. At school it’s always just a hand full of dreamers and half of them drop out anyway so you don’t expect it and for the first time you realize that you aren’t THE person anymore but just another number, literally! But don’t let that stop you from going all out in the casting, because what you might consider as the perfect person for the job, sitting across from you with “everything”, they might not be the person the casting director is looking for… It might very well be you, with your quirky facial expressions that bring life to the camera! 

The more you audition, the easier and more comfortable it gets. You just have to get used to the process. You also get to form relationships with the casting directors. They will start to notice you sooner or later and give you an extra chance to shine if they like you. Some casting directors even know my name! Am I just a number anymore now…? I think not!

Break a leg!

SmkClaven

My YouTube Video

There comes a time in life when you think to yourself: “Hey, why not?! Let’s do it.” That’s exactly what I did…

For years people have told me that I should just go ahead and do stand up comedy ’cause I’m kind of a clown. And with the world of independent video blogging growing so rapidly, I decided to merge the two ideas and try it out.

I set up my “studio”, got dressed (a suit and tie nogal) and started up my video app on my Samsung S4. Does it feel awkward talking to no one? Of course! Potentially (hopefully) I’ll be doing my skits to actual people viewing and interacting. I’m used to cameras and being alone in a room interacting with a camera… But this was different. I was speaking to no one, without knowing whether or not it would become a someone??

Alas, the deed is done and it is now available on the world wide web (possible to be used on my E! Special one day, mark my words). So here you go world, a hopeful start to a fulfilling future:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzVfjLKHP2I