Gary Marsh on creativity, Breakdown Services, Actors Access and Eco-Cast
interview by N J Howell
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If you are an actor in Hollywood, you've heard of Gary Marsh. Gary founded Breakdown Services, Ltd. As I told Gary when I interviewed him, I used to have a love/hate relationship with his creation. Basically, Breakdown Services creates summaries, or breakdowns, of the characters being cast in upcoming feature films and television and sends them out to talent agencies and casting agents. Receiving the breakdowns helps agents to easily and quickly submit actors to the casting directors who are right for the roles being cast.
Back when I was trying to get started in the business, it didn't seem fair at all that only those actors with agents even knew what was coming down the pike. Actors did not have access to the Breakdown Services information, only agents and casting agents could get them. If you were an actor without an agent, even a union actor, you could not find out about the auditions. While the creation of Actors Access was obviously a boon for actors, I had noticed over the years that very few roles are released to actors for self-submission. I asked Gary about this and was surprised by his answer.
About Gary Marsh: Gary started Actors Access which opened the doors a bit wider for actors. Actors Access allows an actor to submit themselves for projects without having to have an agent although it's still much preferred to be represented. Gary's newest venture is called Eco-Cast, a service which allows Casting Directors an actor's audition directly, thru the internet. Imagine, being able to the first audition on tape and not have to hop a plane to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc.! I recently submitted my first audition with eco-cast. That was fun. What a terrific resource!
I came across this great article about Gary, the Breakdown Services system and more. Read more about Gary Marsh
OK, without further ado, Creative Moments with Gary Marsh, which started with an email discussion between Gary and myself, about how Actors Access works. OK, without further ado... Creative Moments with Gary Marsh:
Question 1: What do you feel are the most common misperceptions that actors have about Breakdown Services?
Gary's Response: Many actors believe that Breakdown Services makes the decision regarding whether agents or actors see Breakdowns. This isn't the case. Casting Directors specifically select the projects that they want released to agents and/or actors right down to selecting roles within a Breakdown that may appear in Actors Access or Breakdown Express.
Question 2: What gems of wisdom would you share with the actor who is struggling to make it in the business today?
Gary's Response: I'm not teaching acting classes but I do give seminars to actors are how to better manage their careers.
(Note from Neva: Gary may not be teaching acting classes yet I suspect he could - check out his acting credits on imdb.)
Advice; well I believe that actors should educate themselves regarding the careers of casting directors and their associates and assistants. Never miss an opportunity to acknowledge a promotion or a choice project/assignment by sending a specific cards (with your picture on it of course) to the assistant/associate/casting director congratulating them. All will be flattered that you are clued in on their success and could lead to more opportunities. Of course, you don't want to stalk casting directors so it's a fine line.
Next: Del Shores Creative Moments