Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Awards

Hello readers!

As you know this is a blog about my acting adventures but today I'm going to give out my awards for 2009...remember these are films I've seen this year. There are performances and movies out there that are getting "Oscar Buzz" that I have not seen yet."


Best Actor: Sharlto Copley - District 9

George Clooney - Up in the Air
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - 500 Days of Summer
Brad Pitt - Inglourious Basterds

It's unbelievable to me that this man isn't getting any nominations for his performance in District 9. Maybe because it's a sci-fi film but his believable and breathtaking performance as a man who gets diseased by the alien creatures is remarkable. The power he needed and the transition from this little nerdy scientist/humanitarian to this hardcore badass trying to save himself and his new found friend is incredible.

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock - The Blindside

Meryl Streep - It's Complicated
Zoey Deschanel - 500 Days of Summer

So I still have yet to see Precious, or An Education or The Last Station where they all have outstanding female performances but out of the films I have seen Sandra Bullock's compelling, strong performance in The Blindside trumps all. Being such a high profile A list superstar that is known for romantic comedies and not being a "great actress" really could hurt her in the award season, but I believe she deserves it because of all that. Nobody thought she could pull off such a believable, and powerful performance as a tough southern mom taking in an inner city kid and helping him accomplish his goals.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Matt Damon - Invictus
Zach Galifianakis - The Hangover

No doubt in my mind, Christoph Waltz is winning the Oscar. This could be the best performance of the year out of any actor/actress. Not much else to say about it except...WOW.

Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air

Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Diane Kruger - Inglourious Basterds

Up in the Air is one of my favorite films of the year and part of it is because of all the brilliant performances in the film. Clooney is remarkable, Vera Farmiga is great, but Anna Kendrick as the young, naive new-comer is perfection. She holds her own around great actors and delivers a fun, corky, performance.

Best Ensemble Cast: The Hangover

Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Moon (haha, j/k)

This was a tough one for me to choose because Inglourious had a great cast, but The Hangover needs to get some love. It's one of the best comedies of the decade and all 4 guys along with the random characters that come around give out perfect comedic performances. I just wish award shows would give it the time of day.

Best Director: Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

James Cameron - Avatar
Neil Blomkamp - District 9
Mark Webb - 500 Days of Summer
Jason Reitman - Up in the Air

It's time. He delivered yet another amazing film, with perfect performances and stayed true to who he is as a film maker. When you turn on a film and know right away, this is a Tarantino film...that's talent. Not many directors have that ability. He does and deserves his Oscar.

Best Picture: Avatar

Up in the Air
District 9
Inglourious Basterds
500 Days of Summer

This film is revolutionary. The visuals are stunning, the story is good, and the message is great. There wasn't that many great films this year but this is the one movie I want to watch over and over and over and over again. I always think the best picture should be a revolutionary movie and without a question this one is.


Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think readers.

Have a Happy New Year! 2010...loads to come! Stay tuned....

Jonathan Baca

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taking the Next Step

Hello Readers!

It has been almost a month since my last post and I apologize for that. Honestly, just haven't had much to say, but I'm back with a new topic.

The weekend is upon us where I shoot my first ever feature length role. I've been looking forward to this and working towards this since I started acting 4 years ago (almost on my 5 year anniversary). As excited as I am about the shoot I can't help but wonder, what's the next step? How do I build from here? Every year I've made strides in the right direction towards ultimately making this my profession. It's time to take the next step and for me that's getting representation and joining SAG and/or AFTRA. It's time. Getting the right agent will help me get me to the next level and be able to have a good follow up to this feature length film.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Well done is always better than well said." Well, I have turned into my worse nightmare and have been doing a lot of talking of late with no real action to back it up. Most of the talk has been about what I plan to do for my next step. It's time to act on it and take the next step. I don't have to fear anything anymore. Sometimes fear is good, but when it stands in the way of you and your goals it's a bad thing. I've been fearless almost my entire career but recently have been making up excuses on why I'm putting things off, Why I'm not submitting for representation or why I can't do it right now. No More. It's time.

2010 is going to be a year that will change my life forever.

I'm going to write a blog about my Year in review and my personal awards for films/acting after the new year.

So until then...

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year! and thank you for reading.

Jonathan Baca

Monday, November 23, 2009

What is a Normal Job?

Hello Readers!

So today I was needing to get a hold of a friend but I didn't have his number. So I asked another friend of mine for it and if I could get in touch with him tomorrow and was told, "Yea but early evening, he has a normal job." That struck me and it brings up the question...What is a normal job?

90% of the population would tell you a normal job is one you get up for everyday Monday-Friday. 9-5 type of thing. But to that 10% that is considered, "Not normal" or "High risk" it's doing what you love to do. Your passion in life. Mainly that consist of the arts or sports. Any job that deals with that. But there's also career waiters/bar tenders or Pilots who aren't in the "norm." They don't have 9-5 schedules and their times are all out of whack.

I understand what the majority would say a normal job is but to me it's not normal to do something you aren't passionate about. Settling is not normal; or at least not in my heart. High Risk. High Reward. That's what I say.

So I ask you...

What is a Normal Job to You?

Jonathan Baca

Friday, November 20, 2009

WB Acting

Hello Readers!

So I just watched "New Moon." The newest film in the Twilight Saga. Unlike the first film, I was going in with zero expectations. I read all 4 books. I love all 4 books. I went into "Twilight" with high expectations and they were DESTROYED by that film. "New Moon" did it again, but luckily this time I had zero expectations.

After watching the film I called a friend of mine and we talked about the acting in these films and he put it best, "It's what I like to call 'WB Acting.'" I asked him what he meant. WB acting is what you get in most WB shows. The melodramatic, over the top acting, that doesn't deliver any of the emotional depth the dialog meant to carry. For instance the dad walks in and says, "How's it going Bella?" and she replies, but first she must pause for 3 WB acting. "...I'm fine dad. Just leave me alone." This film is a train wreck for these actors and they're terrible acting chops. Some scenes are very intense, or sad, or basically any emotion a human being will feel and you connect with ZERO of it. I did, however, like the dad in this film again and I liked the leader or king of the Vampires. He was a bit over the top, but that could be directing. He did a good job.

Being an actor, of course I want to commend my fellow actors for making it into such a successful franchise, but come on...where is the depth to your performance? I feel both films would be a millions times better if the audience could connect with your emotional range. A script, or story is only as good as the actors portray it to be. Sometimes you get HORRIBLE scripts but the actors in the film make the film enjoyable.

I hope the next film is better. I love the director they have for it and hopefully he can bring something out of them that the other 2 directors have failed to do. We shall see.

3 out of 10 stars for this film.

Jonathan Baca

Friday, November 13, 2009

5 Years...

Hello Readers!

So I'm coming up on my 5 year anniversary of my acting life. It went by so fast. I remember my first acting class like it was yesterday. I've learned a lot over the past 5 years. Some was taught to me, some I learned on my own, but I wouldn't trade the good, the bad or the ugly for anything. This is what I do. I believe that I was born to do this. From the first class, to my first scene, to my first short, to my first feature. I've come a long way in a short amount of time and I'm not planning on pushing down on the brakes anytime soon. I'm going to floor it. The sky's the limit.

I have notice over the past few years that people like to talk to me about acting. I understand they are interested in the work and acting in general but they need to know I don't like talking about it. I do hold conversations, and I am polite about it, but I really don't want to talk about it. Sometimes I don't even tell strangers that I'm an actor because I get the same questions over and over and over again. It's cool and all but I would like to talk about other things unless you are in the industry yourself. Lets talk sports. Lets talk music. Lets talk movies (that I'm not apart of). Anything, just not me and my career. I don't gloat. I've been asked about my work too. How I get into a role, or why did I do this in a scene. Apart from you being a director, an agent, a manager, a producer, an editor, or a co-star you will never know. I don't tell people how I got into the skin of the character. That's a very personal thing between the actor and his character. I remember at one of my day jobs a girl found out I was an actor and she said, "You're an actor?" and I was like, "Yes. Why are you so surprised? We're in LA, isn't everyone an actor out here?" and she said, "Yea, but everyone else talks about their work but I never hear you talk about it." I told her, "Cause I don't like talking about it. It's what I do and if you have questions, sure I'll answer them, but I'm not gonna gloat or talk about my work." She thought that was really cool, especially in LA where everyone likes to talk or gloat.

Maybe I'm different than the other actors out there in the world, but you will never hear my gloat or openly talk about my acting. Of course I'll share things with friends and family and what I've been up to, but that's as far as it goes. That's as far as I want it to go. That's another reason why I started this blog. Because I don't like talking about it, this is actually a great outlet to say what I feel like saying after an audition, or a shoot where I don't have to carry a conversation about it.

5 years...time to move on to the next 5 years of my career.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rehearsals = Success

Hello Readers,

So this week I had my first rehearsals for the upcoming film. There are major points I want to point out about the rehearsals, so instead of writing long paragraphs about it, I'm just going to list them.

1. Kick ass Director who is passionate about his project
2. Super cool Co-star
3. Breathing room to explore the character
4. I work well with the director and co-star
5. Felt comfortable and confident by the end of rehearsals.

All in all I can't wait to start shooting. Still have some work to do, of course, but all in all this film is going to be great. There's nothing better than having a kick ass, easy going, fun Co-Star and a passionate and motivated Director.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Hello Readers!

The countdown continues to the start of rehearsals for me. Less than a week away and I can't be more thrilled! It's been a long time since I worked in front of a camera. I miss it.

Yesterday I did something I haven't done a long long time. I watched a few episodes of "Friends." I use to watch the show as a kid and a teen and I liked it. It was an enjoyable show, but I never had a connection with any of the characters. People would tell me I reminded them of Joey because I'm a self proclaimed ladies man (ha j/k) and am the "stupid humor" guy. But after watching the episodes last night I realized, I am like Joey now more than ever. I really started connecting with certain scenes he was in when it came to his acting and being a struggling actor in New York. Granted I'm not in New York but I understand. I was laughing so hard. He was having an audition where the character was really tense but Joey needed to go to the bathroom. So he's rocking back and forth and back and forth and the director, played by the great and extremely nice Jeff Goldblum, loves what he's doing. He gives Joey an automatic call back and tells him to come back tomorrow. So Joey goes home and drinks all the liquid he can and comes back in for the audition. He ends up getting the part but still really needs to pee. He ends up peeing all over Jeff Goldblum's character. It was hilarious! Then the next episode he gets a call for an audition to do a one liner and he's so excited about it. I can connect with that now. It's the life of a struggling actor and that show provided the world with a glimpse into that life. How one minute you can be the lead on a soap opera and the next you're needing to wait tables again just to make rent.

I always had a great respect for that show but now I connect with it and one of it's characters.

Jonathan Baca

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fitting Recap & Halloween!

Hello Readers! (all 4 of you now)

So the fitting, or lack there of, went great. Very cool costume designer and I believe she is an actress in the film as well. Basically, as I already knew because of the script, she told me, "So basically your fitting is your body. You're naked in a lot of this movie." I nodded. They approved what I've been doing at the gym! woo hoo! But I'm personally not satisfied yet, so I'm gonna keep working out and get in as great of shape as possible for this film. I still feel I have a ways too go but she made a very good point..."Remember you're 18...most 18 y/o can't get big, so keep it lean." I can't get bulk even if I wanted to. Lean is who I am no matter what I try and do...but there's nothing wrong with getting more ripped and keeping the lean body.

As for the title to this blog...Halloween is coming up! I know a ton of people who love Halloween, and why is that? It's because for 1 day in the year you get to be something completely different than who you are. You can be a killer. A zombie. A vampire. A slut. Whatever you want. Girls can wear next to nothing and not get judged like any other day of the year, and the manliest men in the world can wear eye shadow and makeup and not have people think twice about their sexual orientation. As for me, this Halloween am going to be..........

........HA! Like I'm gonna tell you guys! It's a surprise, but I will definitely have pictures up after Halloween for you guys. Hope I can pull it off. We'll see.

But Halloween is my favorite day of the year because it is the one day you can go completely insane with your look. It's basically...acting. Everybody can act and on Halloween they don't feel silly about "playing dress up."

Best day of the year.

Jonathan Baca

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finally I Start Work

This week is finally upon us! My first meeting with the production team behind "Snatch N Grab." Really looking forward to it. It's a fitting for costumes for my character. I got the email and what the description was for my character's look shocked me.

"Travis (Jonathan): Travis is pretty much a sexual object, pure and simple."

I won't get into the details because I want you all to see the finished product, of course, but that's the first sentence about my characters look. Have I ever viewed "Jonathan" as "a sexual object" before? No. But Travis...Yes. This is going to be fun. The work I've put into this character is pretty intense. Travis is a very complex character with a lot of different emotions and changes going on with him. 1st step to getting "into the skin" of the character is the body. My workout has been going great until I got sick. It slowed me down a bit but as luck would have it I start shooting a month later than originally scheduled which gives me an extra month of working out. It's great.

I love acting. I love everything about it. From the minute I'm cast to the minute I wrap there is nothing else in the world I would rather be doing.

Jonathan Baca

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just Opening Up

For the first time on this blog I felt like writing about life instead of my acting career. I've seen and noticed for the past few years how a lot of people my age are getting married and getting jobs they aren't passionate about or love and "growing up." Sometimes I just don't understand. I've had this talk with a good friend of mine because he's the one person that sees it the same way I do. We don't get it. I don't understand the need to rush life. I don't know about all of them, but I plan to live for a very long time and the last thing I want is to be married in my 20s. I want to see the world. I want to live my life like a bird. Free to do as I please. Maybe that's why I love my choice in career. Marlon Brando once said, "Pursuing acting is generally a childish thing to do, to quit that is the mark of maturity." and I get it. I see all these people in there early 20s getting married and having kids and I understand that some people want that but I don't understand why. In this day in age most of the married couples end in divorce and if you look at the divorces most of them end that way because they got married young. 20s time frame. It's also the area I live and grew up in...the south. It's southern living. Country living. They get married young, and some of them end up bored. I've already started to see it happen to some. I've even seen some divorce already or break ups. I've seen people that aren't right for each other be together. Of course I'm not in there heads and hearts but it seems because they fear being alone and it's a situation of..."Why not. We're getting older and I wanted to be married at (insert age)." Life isn't like that. You all have seen those couples too. Where you just know they aren't right for each other and of course you can't say anything but you just sit there watching them and think, "They have no chemistry." "They have nothing between each other." "It looks like a friendship." I agree that a great friendship is a great base for a relationship with a mate but you have to have romance and chemistry. Sparks have got to fly! You need to be able to see a picture and think, " guys have something." Maybe that's me and my romantic self talking but that's what I feel. Plus every friend of mine over the age of 30, including family members that went through getting married young, have told me, "Jon...please wait to get married! Don't do it young." I always tell them, "Me get married young?! Not a chance." They have all ended up divorced. Some are on there second marriage and are doing it right this time because they are older and wiser (that's what most have said to me too that are on there second marriage). It's not the 1950s anymore where getting married at 25 was considered "so old." Now if you get married at 45 that's considered "so old." 25 is very young in today's standards but still people do it. I've even lost a relationship based on this. She wanted to get married young and I...well you're reading what I think.

I will never understand that mind set and when the time comes for me to get married, if I ever do, I will be ready for it. It's funny too because when I talk about it to people they assume I'm not a romantic but I'm actually one of the biggest romantics you will ever meet (ask any girl I've gone out with). I always tell people to "follow there heart." That's how I was raised and that's what I do. The road you live when following your heart gets you into trouble, but it's always led me in the right direction whether it be my career or love life and it will lead you in the right direction too. I've seen it lead people in the right direction too. Some of my best friends didn't let certain situations stand in the way of a great love.

Jonathan Baca

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Never Too Late

As most of you know I am still fairly new to this whole acting thing. Most people who are actors have been doing it their whole life. They did plays in elementary and middle school. Then took high school courses and did plays. Moved onto college and so on and so forth. I got into it because I needed a credit for my college education. A blow off class is what we like to call those. So I signed up for "Intro to Theater." It all changed from there. I recall my friend telling me, "You are going to love that class!! Everyone will be like you and you'll have a blast." I assumed she didn't know what she was talking about, but sure enough she was right. It changed my whole life. I applied for an Institute, The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Not thinking I had a chance in hell I sent in my homemade headshot, that my g/f, at the time, took, and my resume which listed my band gigs; Zero acting. I don't know how, or why, but they accepted me. First acceptance letter I've ever received. It was awesome!

When I arrived in LA I didn't know what to expect. I had a great friend lend a helping hand and let me crash at his place while I was waiting for my place to be move-in ready. I drove out to school on a Monday and entered. It wasn't like a school or university like most would be use to seeing. It was a building next to a 7-11. I didn't know what to expect. I arrived about 20 minutes early because the last thing I wanted to do was stroll in late. I enter the classroom and there was 1 other person as smart as me. He was sitting there just hanging out. I looked around. There were a bunch of chairs lined up facing a small-modified stage. It was about 2 inches off the ground. Very small, but then again it was a class and not a theater. I walked over to the guy and introduced myself. He ended up becoming one of my best friends and one of the best actors in the school in my opinion. Anyway him and I just sat there talking about the last thing I would ever find in an acting institute...sports. He's from Boston, a very big sports town just like Dallas. It was nice. Then about 10 minutes later another early bird walked in. She was very attractive and foreign. For the life of me I can't remember her name but she was very cool and was a singer.

After all the class arrived the teacher walked in, or the professor. He was older and had this intense feeling about him. When he sat down he said, "alright, alright! Settle down guys. Lets get to work." He was from New York and HATED Los Angeles. It was hilarious the way he talked about this town. Made me start wondering..."am I in the right town? Should I head east?" I was scared of him but of course in the end he ended up being the best teacher at the institute. He went to school at the original Actors Studio. Where Strasberg, Adler and Meisner all taught. Some of the greatest actors of all time were his classmates. So not only was he scary, but intimidating. I learned a lot from him.

After that class I had a break before my next class. The next class I met a few cool people and it was a "LA" style class. Laid back. Teacher was cool and just worked with us but no fear, no intimidation. It was nice to have a class like that but at the same time I loved the other class because it was a challenge and he challenged us. I never felt truly challenged in this class.

After studying there for a while I found myself wanting more and searching for other institutes to study in. My acting teacher from back home told me before I left, "The best thing you have going for you don't know shit. Seriously, you have no idea and it's a beautiful thing. You're like a puppy dog. You need to keep being a puppy dog and learn from everywhere. Stay open. I always get these students in my class that think they know it all because they've been trained and been doing this their whole life. You, on the other hand, didn't. You were fresh and took everything in. Keep that up and it will take you far." I will never forget those words because I still keep it fresh and always am looking to learn from anybody, young or old, in the industry. Even friends that aren't in the industry help me without even knowing it. I'm an open book.

I'm really wanting to get back into a class but I need to get some things straightened out before I can A. afford it.

I guess the point to this blog is it's never too late to do something new. I run into high school friends from time to time and they always have the same response..."WHAT?!?! You're acting? You didn't take acting courses in school. That's crazy." I've also heard a story of an 80 y/o that always wanted to be an actress and finally decided to get up and do it. She's starred in some commercials and is doing it. And as for me...I got into acting about 5 years ago and have done so much that I am proud of that 5 years ago...I never thought could be possible. I have a long ways to go and can't wait to see what's next. It's never too late.

Jonathan Baca

Monday, October 12, 2009


For the better part of the last week I haven't all. And most insomniacs just sit in their bed with drool hanging out and flipping through the television. Not me. I've found it's been really helpful with finding the next step in my career. I've found agencies that are perfect for my unpredictable, get up and move from place to place mentality. I use to think you would have to wait to be in the big time agencies to be able to live wherever you want. Examples...Colin Farrell moving back to Dublin or Johnny Depp living in the South of France. They're with the big time agencies and are big time actors, so it doesn't really matter. I've found agencies that are smaller scale that have an east coast, west coast and Texas base offices. Very exciting stuff. If I can get representation with them I will have the freedom to say, "I'm moving back to LA." or "I'm ready to give NY a try." and I won't have to worry about losing my representation. It also means that if I become a favorite of the agency here in Texas they will send me to auditions in LA or in NY despite where I live. I go on trips to visit friends in LA and I could mention it to my agent and they could hook me up with auditions or work while I'm there. Same with New York. Insomnia, at least for me, isn't such a bad actually has been helping me plan...but I do miss sleep. If it happens tonight again...who knows what will happen.

Jonathan Baca

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Star Trek

A few posts back I told you all when I have some down time I was going to write about my past experiences. Well, this could be the best.

One afternoon my phone rings and I pick it up. "Hello." I said. "Hey bro, what you doing?" It was my roommate on the other line. "Not much." "You should go to this open call I just heard about for the new 'Star Trek' film." I was excited. "Yea? What's it for?" "Not sure but you should check it out. It's out in the Valley around 9 this weekend." So I hang up the phone and find out all the information for it.

I head to the open call not knowing what to expect. Is it an extra call? Is it for featured extras? Is it for speaking roles? I didn't know what to think, so I stood in the line of thousands with my headshot in hand. Now I've always hated "Cattle Calls." I don't do them. But for this particular one, it was worth the wait. I go in with my group still not knowing what's going on. Are we auditioning? What's the deal?! I hand in the form they had me fill out and my headshot/resume. They take a picture of me and say, "thanks for coming in." I was like, "That's it?" Now I knew it was an extra call.

I had done extra work once before and that was on Spider-Man 3. It was a fun experience and I met some cool people on set. Plus it was the first time I was ever in New York...God I love that town. So when I thought about Star Trek I thought why not, another big movie. I got the call and I was excepted to be an extra in the film. I was happy because I didn't know what this meant because unlike Spider-Man 3...they were in the future. They didn't look...human. Well, most of them. So I started getting excited not knowing what was going to happen! The day I was called in, it was a 4am call time. UGG! Could you make it any earlier? I got to bed pretty early that night, around 10pm. The drive was pretty long too. When I arrived on set they had breakfast waiting. Now anybody that knows me knows...I can eat like a PIG. Even the last short I shot the director goes, " sure do eat a lot." haha. So I had plate, after plate, after plate of food. I started thinking, "What if this is how I make it. The casting directors notice me eating all their food and are like, 'wow...this kid is the real deal!" haha. So I'm sitting there when someone asks me to come with them. Oh shit...did I just get busted for eating too much?! I get up and follow her. She takes me to the hair/make up area. They sit me down and give me a hair cut. I needed one too! Then they comb it the way they want. Then they take me to makeup and the guy does my makeup, camera ready. While i was sitting there, I have a cousin wanting to become a makeup artist in the industry, so I used this time to ask questions for her. The makeup artist was awesome and gave me some good points to share with her. She's doing great now going to school for hair/makeup.

After the hair and makeup they take me to wardrobe. I find out I'm going to be a "Starfleet Cadet." Which is a student at the Starfleet Academy. They find me an uniform and I try it on. It's a bit too big. They have a tailor come in and custom tailor it to my body. By this time everyone is already on set doing their thing. I'm sitting back there with one of the AD's or he could've just been an extras director, who knows, but as I'm with him I might as well make conversation. So we start talking about what I do and what he does. Where we both want to end up and all that jazz. This is when I wished I had a business card. Anyway, they come back with the new and improved uniform. I put it on and it fits like a glove. Myself and the AD start walking to set. The AD gets on the walkie talkie and says, "He's ready. Are you guys ready for him?" I start thinking, 'is that for me? am I him?' The person on the other end says, "give us a second." So we stop walking. I'm really stoked to get out on set! It's almost like a glimpse into the future. This is what it will be like for me with stand ins and what not. Who knows the possibilities. I snap out of my daydream when he tells me, "Ok...they're ready for you." He walks me out and they bring me to position. They have aliens walking around. A futuristic car driving around and a bunch of other cadets. Then I see Captain James Kirk and Doctor Bones rehearsing their lines. J.J. Abrams is calling "action." So we all start walking around. Despite it just being extra work I got into it. There was this cute girl walking around and so I did what i would normally do walking to class, turn and look and let her know I think she's cute. She played off of me. It's like we made our own little story in the background.

After a long day the sun was beating in my face they call Lunch. I go grab my lunch (I was starving! Despite the 3 breakfasts) and sit alone and eat. While I'm eating I notice this guy staring at me. Did I have something on my face? He walks over to me and says, "I'm a big fan..." holding out his hand. Then he pauses..."'re not Karl Urban." i said, "Who?" and he said, "The guys that's playing Bones." I said, "Nope...not him." and he says, "Geez...from a distance you look a lot like him." I said, "Cool." He walked away a little embarrassed. I could've played with the guy and been like, "Actually I am Karl Urban." but I didn't. After lunch we went back out to set and that's when I decided, "I should take something." So the girl and I noticed a piece was missing off the wall. A Star Trek room number. I found it on the ground and was like, " could I take this?" Then I decided to throw it on the ground and just come back after everything is wrapped and take it home. Well, it didn't even make it past one take. An AD or set designer noticed it missing and found it on the ground and put it back up. DAMN! Well I was finally cut at 8pm. We took a group photo but that photo is long gone. Maybe it's up in JJ Abrams house somewhere. That would be cool. I would love to see it someday.

All in all it was a day too remember. Oh and when I got home I looked up Karl Urban. Yea I don't see it AT ALL. The guy is much older than me. I think it's cause he has tanner skin and dark hair. Oh well. I had a blast either way and am proud to be apart of that film. Hence why there is a credit for it on my IMDb page.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Your Body is a Work of Art

Hello Readers...(all 2 of you).

Hope you've had a wonderful week. Today is the first day of rehearsals for the feature length film. I, however, was not a part of today's rehearsals. I actually have about 6 weeks before I start rehearsing for my scenes, but I've already started working on the role. Not only the lines and the script but transforming my body to fit this character. When my character is introduced the first line from my co-star is, " use to be..." and I finish her sentence, "Scrawny." and she says, "Yea." So I need to bulk myself up for this role and get as ripped as possible for the role. Something I've been needing and wanting to do anyway because I use to be in really good shape before my move to LA. Then in the land of LA LA I lost all my money and didn't really workout anymore because I couldn't afford the same amount of food I was eating before. Long story short, I lost it all and became tiny, scrawny Jon. Well, since I've been living in Texas I've been working out on a pretty consistent basis but haven't really gone all out/hardcore on my workout routine. I've been wanting to because I remember how I felt and what I looked like. Now, with this role, I have to and I'm going to be in the best shape of my life.

Your body is like art because you can sculpt it however you like. It can be round and like a balloon. It can be rock hard and solid. It can be stick thin. It can be in between or it can be normal. I contacted a personal trainer and started a whole new diet and workout routine. First off, Diet doesn't mean "Lose weight." It just means a controlled eating pattern; mine is to gain muscle mass. Whenever I tell people I started a new diet they're like, "Why? You're thin." I just laugh and say, " gain muscle mass." I can say that even after a week and a few days I'm already feeling better and healthier. This is why I love what I do.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All I Need is That One Chance

I have some great friends. Some of my friends, like myself, are struggling young artist. Whether it be actor, musician, photographer, etc. Some of my acting buddies have been given great opportunities. Some of them have been working at this for years and years and decades and you know what...for some of them it finally happened. They were given their chance. I also see some other struggling actors get opportunities and never do anything with it. It frustrates me to see that happen because I know if i was given an opportunity like that nothing would stop me. I would be banging on doors left and right doing anything I can to sky rocket to the top. Most of my acting friends have agents and I hope they know how blessed they are to have representation. It's one of those chances. I've been offered representation, but it wasn't the right agency or the right move for my career so I turned them down. Most of my friends thought I was nuts but you know what, it would've hurt my career instead of helped it. When I do get representation I want it to be with an agent that believes in me and he fights for me because he knows that if I'm given the opportunity he and I both will benefit. This life is a never ending struggle, even for the A listers. Because their are some great scripts out there that A-listers have to fight over, or even audition for. It's either Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp...Helen Mirren or Meryl Streep. The struggle and the work is what drives all of us. From the Z-listers to the A-list, you struggle for everything you get. I think that's why so many actors/musicians/artist in general are so humble with their earnings and success. (most at least) because they don't forget the struggle they went through to make it and know that at any second it can be snatched away.

All I'm saying is give me the opportunity and I will make everyone proud. I know what I am capable of and know what I can do. I'm just going to continue fighting till I'm given that opportunity.

It's been a pretty quiet week & 1/2 with casting calls but that might be a blessing in disguise. I'm starting to prepare for my role in "Snatch n Grab." This could be my opportunity depending on the exposure of the film, but I'm going to treat it as my chance because, in this business, you never know.

Jonathan Baca

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Motivation find it in the strangest places. Whether its a saying some tagger put up on a wall, a lyric to a song or even a line from a movie, you find it. Every now and then, however, you get motivation from a simple "good job" from a friend or work colleague. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you said to me tonight. You have no idea what it meant to me to hear you tell me I was good at what I do. It's always nice to hear that, but coming from you it meant even more. Just myself, or any of us, that know your tell it how it is. You're the most honest person I've ever met and you are a straight shooter. So again, coming from you, it meant the world. I will continue to strive at my career. Thank you for the motivation to continue and strive to do great things. And I don't know if you'll ever come across this blog, or will ever read this, but if you do...I thank you.

Jonathan Baca

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I don't have much to say about this weekend which ended up being a bust. I had an audition Tuesday and got the part, but then this weekend we ended up only shooting one scene from the script and the the director canceled the shoot because his 3rd lead actress pulled out for the day of shooting. (just as the other 2 before her did as well). She was, however, available the rest of the weekend. Instead of continuing the shoot and continuing to shoot the film he scratched the whole thing wasting my time and money (I requested off the whole week), my friends time and money (who was the producer of the short and put everything together) and everyone else who was apart of this project. It was the kids first time at it and he didn't know what he was doing. He didn't know how to direct actors, he didn't know how to get a set quiet, he didn't even know how to slate a scene. It was a waste of time. To try and salvage the day my friend and I decided to use the equipment and shoot a hilariously, retarded short film. It's funny and was fun, but still didn't make up for the overall disappointment we all felt. The director said he was going to reshoot in about a month and i told him I wasn't going to play the role anymore because of my upcoming feature. That is partly true, the other reason is because I can't work with him again. I wish him all the best of luck in his future but he needs to learn how to direct actors and on set etiquette before he tries to shoot anything else. My friend, the producer, pulled out as well. Professionalism is the name of the game and a lot of people will not work with you if you're not. Doesn't matter whether it's a professional set, a Gorilla set, or an indie need to be professional.

Jonathan Baca

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Director vs. A Dictator

A Director: "Cut! Hey Jonathan..." the director takes a minute to think, "Your mom just died in this scene and you're getting the news from her husband. This man you don't like, or maybe you flat out hate him. I need more sorrow. I need to feel your pain more through the connection you had with your mom. And Russell (the step father) I need you to basically not care. Zero emotion. Like it's no sweat off your back." Myself and Russell respond positively, "Sounds good." "Action! and Cut! That was great. Lets do it again." They always want another take just in case.

A Dictator: "Cut! Hey Jonathan...I need you to say the line like this 'blah blah blah' and then when Russell says 'blah' you need to scream back at him like you've never screamed before. Sound good?" I respond negatively, "Sounds good." "Action! and Cut! Ok lets move on. Now in this scene say it more like this..."

There is a fine line between being a director and being a dictator. I've also had directors go the "Method Acting" route where they pull you aside and try and get you to connect with the material through a personal event in your own life. Telling an actor exactly what to do turns us into a puppet. Don't get me wrong, Puppet shows are great, but when it comes to acting the last thing a director should ever do is try and puppeteer his actors. Trying to be a Puppeteer is an issue with trust, or maybe the guy just doesn't know how to direct. Everyone that directs or writes scripts knows what he hears in his head for the scene. Maybe someone does it spot on like you imagined, maybe someone doesn't, but in either case if an actor is hired and brings his own flare to the table you must work with him instead of work against him. The fastest way to turn an actor off is to tell him what to do and how to do it. He's an artist and progressing the scene by directing him is a plus. You neglect the scene and the performance if you try to dictate.

I personally dealt with only one dictator in my career. He was a first time "director" and didn't understand how actors are or work. He tried to tell me how every line should be said instead of letting me do my thing. After a little while I shut down and didn't even want to be on set anymore. I pulled the director aside and told him that I liked some of his ideas on how to say the lines but the way this character is and who he is, how he feels, what he is thinking, how he views his scene partner and all of that. I go deep into characters and dissect them from the ground up. Sometimes I bring something to the table that the director may not particularly like and throws out suggestions but they aren't orders or "you must say it like this." It's more like a "How does this work for you?" The best direction I ever got was actually from a teacher of mine and she said to me, "with this line, try it multiple ways. Screaming, whispering, monotone, holding back, freaking out, etc. and if any of the other ways work for you in the scene, lets give it a try." So I did and she was right. The line worked in multiple ways and in the end I changed it and the piece was better.

All I'm saying is if you want to be a dictator, go become a Nazi or something. It has no business being on set. I hope I never work with another dictator.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flip of a Coin

Today I had another audition. I auditioned for a short film that will be produced by my friends GuD Films. It was interesting to audition in front of my good friend who I've worked with many of times before, but I understood. I'm out learning more about the business, so he should be doing the same. In the end, however, I did end up getting the part. The shoot is this weekend.

After I got cast I was thinking about what if I didn't get the part. When you think about it, it's really a 50/50 chance. They either say yes or no. It's like flipping a coin. Heads or tails. Either you get the part, or you don't. And I started thinking about life as well and how most decisions are a flip of a coin. Either you run the red light, or you don't. Every decision throughout life comes with the after effects. For instance the red light situation. If you run the red light you could get a ticket or end up hitting someone crossing the street, killing them and spending the rest of your life behind bars. OR If you don't run the red light it could cause a chain of red lights to follow making you late to work and in turn getting you fired because your boss is in a bad mood that day and you walking in 4 minutes late was the icing on the cake. For me, however, all auditions are a coin flip. Either I get the part and better my acting experience; which could lead to a phenomenal film; which could lead to exposure; which could lead to my ultimate goal in live my dream and support myself doing so. OR I could not get the part; which makes me work this weekend; which gives me money that I really need; which gets me caught up on bills and debts. So here it was a win, win. Or maybe I'm just a positive person.

And also if you get called in for an audition always remember the casting director is ready to give you the part. He starts in his head with "Yes, you have the part" and then whatever you do in the actual audition either keeps his mind that way, or changes it. They want to say Yes. They want to see you succeed.

Either way with all these auditions it comes down to a flip of a coin. You either get the part, or you don't.

Jonathan Baca

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Popping my Kissing on Film Cherry

As you all know I was back in Austin this past weekend working with my future crew for the upcoming film "Snatch N Grab." Well, the film we worked on this weekend was a short entitled, "Freaky Friday the 13th." It's a funny, horror film. I was only needed on set for Sunday so I had the whole weekend to get down and party with one of my best friends from Chicago, another great friend of mine from San Diego and all my peeps in Austin. By the time Sunday rolled around I was well rested (since I didn't go out Saturday...I was responsible). I showed up on set at the scheduled time, 10am. I get there and notice the minutes ticking away but no other actors were showing up. I was thinking to myself, "shit." The the director for Snatch N Grab was like, "Oh time check your email before you roll into set. We pushed the call time back." Again I was like, "shit." But hey, first impression is a good one, I showed up early! Anyway, the other actors started piling in and then, there she was. The actress that would be popping my "on film cherry." She was really nice and cool. They decided to shoot other scenes before they got to our makeout scene, so we got to chill, watch TV and talk. Normally I would want to rehearse but I thought it wasn't a good idea to say, " wanna practice making out?" And we only had 2 lines each, so it's not like I would forget my lines.

It was finally our time to shine, but they called lunch before hand. "Oh shit." I thought, "Did I bring gum?!" I checked my gum. But the leading lady had covered me and handed me some altoids for after lunch. We were eating spaghetti and it was tasty! I was starving too! I had only had one small breakfast. As I was getting my plate the director, jokingly, said, "For someone that hasn't acted yet you sure do eat a lot." I was like, "OH CRAP." not knowing he was joking because we don't really know each other yet. I stopped grabbing food and he started laughing and said, "Don't worry. I was just kidding." So I finished eating quickly but was still hungry, so I got up and had a second plate.

After lunch I popped the altoids and was ready to go. We were in position, camera was set, lights were on. Director shouts, "ok...roll cameras" Cameras are rolling. "FF 13 scene 14A take 1" CLAP on the marker. "Action." and then next thing I know we're making out. Now mind you this isn't normal making out, or porno making out...It's movie making out. So 12 year old kissing style without much touching at all. When we watched the playback looks like we're going at it! That's just good acting. ;) After the first couple takes she starts putting chap stick on. We're all talking and then the other girl in the scene, the killer, asks her a question. "So what are you doing after this?" "I'm going home and hanging with my husband." My mouth dropped open! "Your husband?!" I said. She looked at me and shook her head. Jokingly I said, "That's fucking awesome!" Everyone on set just started cracking up. She looked really confused and then the director told her, "This is Jon's first make out scene on film. So a married woman just popped his cherry." She joined in on the laughter.

We finished the scene about 2 hours later getting all the different angles. I had such a great time with this crew and I'm definitely looking forward to working with them again and next time I see them...I will be ready for anything.

Jonathan Baca

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Feature Length Film

I got the call on Monday while I was at work. Then I got off work and went home to my computer, checked my email and there was 1 new message. I opened the message and it was from the director from the audition I had a few weeks back. He offered a supporting role in the feature length film "Snatch n Grab." My mouth dropped! My first role in a feature length film! Couldn't be happier. Things have really been on the up since I started this whole blog thing. I honestly was ready to just talk about my past stories until anything came around that I could put up and write about. Past stories like my first day in acting class. My first audition (which I got the part). My first extra work (Spider-Man 3). The day I spent on the set of Star Trek. The conversation I had with director Frank Darabont. So many old stories I could write about, and I was ready to write about them all...still want to because they are very interesting. But I've just been getting auditions, gigs and great stories to write about. I'm very happy and can't wait to see what happens with the film. I'm shooting a short film with the same production company this weekend. A last minute offer for a smaller role but it's my first kiss on screen...well make out session on screen. Have NO IDEA what to expect, but I bet it will make for a great story.

Jonathan Baca

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spanish, Espanol, Castellano

hola readers!

So everyday I get casting calls. Some in Dallas, some in Austin, some in Houston and some in surrounding cities/states. But lately I've been getting a lot of good paying casting calls for actors who are FLUENT IN SPANISH. I am not. Yes I am from Spanish heritage and yes all of my family speaks Spanish, but I do not. Apparently when I was younger my mom spoke Spanish to me and I would reply to her, "mom...I'm not going to speak to you unless you speak English." And being a good mother she didn't force it on me and she stopped. Boy was I a stupid kid!! My great uncle Alex, or Alejandro, always says to me, "Juanito, you speak Spanish yet?" and I say, regretfully, "No Alex." and he says, "Boy! You must be proud of where you come from!" He's right. Now I'm dying to learn Spanish. My friend, however, that I work with got Rosetta Stone - Spanish a couple months ago and he already has conversations with our employees who are Mexican. I'm shocked! I asked him if it really does work and he told me "YES!!" So he's gonna let me use it. My goal is within 2010 to become fluent or close to fluent in Spanish. Shit, if I have to I'll move to Barcelona so I learn proper Spanish and not Mexican. Yes, there is a difference or so I'm told. This will be good for me on a personal and professional level. Than I won't have to by pass, "PAID ROLE: CASTING JAVIER: 17-26. $2000 + % OF SALES. MUST BE FLUENT IN SPANISH" ever again.

Jonathan Baca

Monday, August 31, 2009

Callback Audition - After

What a fun day!! The callback audition was everything I hoped it could be. Fun, entertaining, good people, and learned more about the overall project. It sounds intriguing and could get a lot of viewers. And from a personal stand point could get me more readers on my blog. We worked on 3 different scenes. We needed to be close to off book. I was, along with the other actors/actresses. We had fun, shot the scenes, improved a little, made jokes, were fed the best finger food in the world and watched what could be the final product. (with the new cast of course) I hope I get this gig. It sounds like a great opportunity. The only problem is the director has a day job. He works as a commercial director and works mon-fri. I however work mainly on the weekends. Which lies with my dilemma...We will be only shooting on weekends. Not every weekend of the month but at least half of them. And as my friend said on her blog, it's "Sucky September." So my day to day living looks to be taking a lot of hits and I told my mom that I feel like I'm back in LA. Just like in LA my overall goal or career is really picking up right now and I've been getting cast, having auditions, getting callbacks and all is great! But I am making zero money at my day job and with needing time off to shoot these films for little or no hurts my wallet. I just wish I could start making a living doing what I love to do, or have money to where taking a few months off to do a passion project doesn't hurt me. I guess I can't have both. Again in the end this is what i want to do with my life and it will become my career, so I have to say yes to any opportunity that comes my way. I'm a big believer in karma and karma works in a lot of different ways. Not only if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, or if you do good things, good things will happen to you. It also works in the sense of if you go after your dreams and work for them, in the end it pays off. I truly believe that. I guess that's not really karma, just hard work and determination. As Russell Crowe said when he won his Oscar for Gladiator,

"When you grow up in the suburbs of Sydney or the suburbs of anywhere a dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unobtainable; and for anybody who’s on the downside of advantage and relying purely on courage…It’s possible." -Russell Crowe

That's one of my favorite quotes of all time and when I meet him I will be sure to tell him that his quote helped me out, especially during the rough times. I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas and I believe it's possible...Anything is possible and I will not give up or give in no matter how bad it may look.

"Something comes from nothing if you're willing to believe." -Pillar, Everything

Jonathan Baca

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Callback Audition - Before

Believe it or not this is my first callback audition. Every audition I've ever been on you either get the part or you don' need for a callback. Not really sure what to expect, but it sounds like it's gonna be just like any other audition. Memorizing full scenes instead of just one. Memorizing is kind of annoying I must say. I work so much better and can memorize so much easier with my scene partner, because once you're in the scene and the setting I can get the lines down quickly, but laying here in my room reading them over and over again doesn't do much for me. Yes it will get me familiar with the scene, but it doesn't truly help me memorize. I know I won't have them memorized until I get to the audition. Then my scene partner and I will get to go over it a few times and within those few times I'll be off book ready to go. I'm excited! This is from my audition a few weeks ago for the web series. Still not doing scenes from the script. Does he have a script written yet? I figured we would be working from the script by now since it's a callback audition. We'll see. Maybe he'll give us a scene when we get there. Either way should be fun. I still get a little nervous before every audition. I think that's a good thing. Johnny Depp said in an interview that the day you don't get nervous or excited or you feel you have tapped out/reached your peak/are satisfied...quit whatever it is you are doing. I feel I will never reach that point which is a good thing. I will always be striving to do better, and challenge myself.

Jonathan Baca

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being Cast

Sometimes the moon and stars align and you for some reason are blessed enough to have a great audition (the moon) and the casting director likes you (the stars). That has happened to me, but not for anything I auditioned for. Let me explain...

My audition this past weekend in Austin went apparently great! I got a call from the casting director and I was told that the director loved me and thought I did a great job. GREAT! Is what I was thinking. She continues... "The director was wondering if you would be interested in being in a horror film he's filming here in the next few weeks." I was thinking, 'WHAT?! That's great! NICE!' then I thought, 'will this help me get into the film I auditioned for as well.' I hope so.

So anyway, I'll be filming a new film here in the next few weeks! So happy things are picking up for me. I started wondering if the move home to get back on track was the right decision but now I was.

I'm still working on the script for my callback audition for the web series as well. Hopefully I'll be busy busy busy to finish up 2009.

Jonathan Baca

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Austin, TX

"God I love this mother fucking town!" -Johnny Drama, Entourage

Drama may have been talking about the greatness of New York City when he said this, but for me...that's Austin. I had an audition down south and it went very well. We'll see what happens.

The adventure however was insane. I needed to get down there but I noticed my tires weren't in great shape. So the night before the audition I asked my mom if I could use her car. As luck would have it, or maybe I just have the best mother in the world, she said yes. So I took her car. It's a great car with cold a/c. That's important here in Texas. I left with about 4 hours before my audition. The only this is my audition was cross town during rush hour and I was projected to get into Austin around 5pm on a Friday, the Friday before classes start at UT. Not the smartest thing I've ever done. Well, I show up in Austin around 4pm and yes... there was traffic...a lot of traffic. I did, however, get to my audition not only on time, but early! It was fun and a very relaxed audition. Then after the audition I went over to my aunts house. She nor my cousin were there cause they left town for the weekend. I got to hang with my uncle Roy, basically the coolest guy in Austin. He's a musician and all in all is completely a bad ass! I showed up and we were just hanging and he says, "You haven't seen my studio!" So he takes me out to check out the studio and it's bad ass. Turning the garage into a kick ass studio for musicians to come in and record an album. He asks, "you got any new songs?" I tell him, "sure do." "How bout we record one. Got time?" Of course I said yes and he set up a mic and the guitar. I'm not even nervous which is rare. I don't like singing in front of people. So he hits record and I whip out the song! I forgot a few lyrics during the second verse but other than that it went smooth sailing! He loved the song and said I should come back someday and we'll really spend sometime on it. The recording was done and before I knew it I had a new cd to jam out to! Only it was my voice I would be hearing.

The day couldn't have been going any better. I just had a great audition, then I recorded my newest tune and now I was going to hang with one of my best friends who I haven't seen in months. Actually since my last audition in Austin. hit.

"ring, ring. ring, ring" my phone rings.
"Jon...your car broke down on me."

It was my mom. Unfortunately there was more problems with my car than just bad tires. It started over heating on her. Luckily it wasn't anything serious but it's still costing me over $300! Being a broke actor...this is what you dread. To be car less in a city you need a car. Well, I need to figure out a way to pay for my car and all my bills this month. It seems like its LA all over again. The career is doing good and I'm getting a lot of calls, but the day to day living just keeps taking hit after hit after hit. Luckily this time I'm at home and not out West.

All in all it was a great trip and I love AUSTIN! Now I got to get ready for my call back from the audition last week.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pay vs. Passion

I was thinking recently about the life style I am trying to embark on. There's 2 extremes to this career when it comes to lifestyles and no other job or business is like that. On one hand I could end up rich and successful. Where everyone knows my name and everyone recognizes my face, but with that comes a lack of privacy. Even little things like pumping gas in my car becomes a worldly event. Then you have the opposite where you have to have many day jobs to help pay the bills because acting just isn't cutting it. You take projects just because you love to do it regardless of if you get paid or not. This brings me to my point... Pay vs. Passion. Since the last time I posted I've gotten a call back on my audition from last week (WOO HOO) and a new audition for an independent feature length film. The call back explained the whole process, since it's a web series, and the commitment that will come with being cast. However there was nothing in the email about pay. I've done a lot of passion projects...actually I've only been paid once to do an acting gig and it was $50 (other than the 2 extra jobs I got which I'll post about someday). So my dilemma is do I email back and ask about pay? They are asking me if I can commit to this sort of project and are awaiting my reply. Do I say, "I would love to, but I will have to take time off from 'day job,' what is the pay going to be like?" or do I just say "Yes." or do I just say "No."

On top of that my audition this week is out in Austin on a weekend. I've given up 2 premiere money making shifts at the day job for a chance at being in a feature length film that is only paying "deferred payment." Which means, from what I understand anyways, that I will get paid eventually if the movie sells to a distributing company and/or is picked up in the festival circuit. I've already made the decision to go to the audition and give it my all because it does sound like a great opportunity. But once again at this stage in my career its Pay vs. Passion. Recently I've stopped submitting to lower things that I've been doing the past 2 years because I feel it's time to take the next step in my career and attack the big boys. I know my potentional and believe in karma. So maybe doing all these projects for just passion with no pay will eventually pay off. I don't know, but what I do know is Passion is out weighing the pay for me and always will. That's why Johnny Depp is my favorite actor. Throughout his career he always seemed to do these weird characters in these weird movies that were not going to be big money making films but he didn't care. It was about the passion.

I'm going to make my decision later tonight but I already know what I'm going to do...just trying to make an educated decision.

Jonathan Baca

Friday, August 14, 2009

Creative Stimulus

Every now and then a burst of energy comes from the unknown and gets you more motivated than you've ever been. This has happened to me of late. I like to think of it as "getting out of a funk" but I'm not going to give all the credit to this funk I've been in recently. I believe it's having good people around, good support and a natural drive to do well in life and live out your dreams. Along with this new found motivation for my career came a surprise...I got excited about music for the first time in a long, long time. For those of you who don't know me I've always been a musician...since I was about 13 years old. I was the lead guitarist of a band called "Confined." I loved it. Then I took an acting course and it changed my whole world around. Applied for an acting school in LA, got in, and the rest, as they say, is history. But last night hanging out with friends I was thrown back into my love of music. It's going to be something new, fun and exciting to do on the side. Plus it's different than any other style of music I've done before. Electronica music is a whole new world to me. I really got into it during my adventure to Europe. We'll see what comes of this new Creative Stimulus but I know this is one stimulus check I am definitely cashing in.

Jonathan Baca

Thursday, August 13, 2009


When you're an independent actor, like myself, you have tons of jobs you have to do for yourself. You are your own agent, manager, publicist, and accountant. Although being an accountant isn't too tough right now with the lack of funds. You have to be able to sell yourself to get the audition or the role. Hustle like you're an agent, care like you're a manager and promote like you're a publicist. Create websites, pages, and put yourself out there. When it comes to submitting for roles you have to know which headshot to submit. Whether it's a serious role, a funny role, a hero or a villain. Everyday I look over tons of casting calls for myself in hopes I'll find a role I can submit for. There's not as many out in Texas as there were in LA but I do find them just about everyday and I do submit. As for submitting to agents and management companies...there's a different challenge. You need to have the perfect cover letter selling yourself to the agent that you're the meal ticket for him/her. Agents like money, period. If they don't feel they can sell you, they won't waste their time. Then after you have a perfect cover letter a collection of different looks (pictures) will be best to show the agency. Show them your versatility in your look. I can pull off long hair, short hair, no hair, facial hair, mean, sweet, sexy, gross, nerdy, stoned...anything and everything. Lastly a good actor's reel could be the icing on the cake. After the agent reads your cover letter, checks out your pictures and is still willing to move forward with watching your actors reel, they have the intent of signing you; but remember it's ultimately your call. I've submitted a lot over the past year to many different agents and I've gotten an offer before, but I turned it down. I was offered representation out in LA but after doing my research and learning about the agency and the agent himself I felt they wouldn't be able to take my career to the next level and it would be a waste of my time and their client space to sign me. So I respectfully turned them down. A lot of my friends thought I was nuts, but you know the end of the day I'm hiring them, and I need to trust that they will take me and my career to the next level. Other wise, why am I even trying to do this.

I'll soon be submitting again to a whole list of new and old agencies with my new headshots, actors reel, composite sheet of different looks and updated resume. It's exciting and also nerve racking. We'll see how it goes! Got an email today for an audition next week for an independent feature length film with hopes of getting in the festival circuit. Should be a fun one, like always.

Jonathan Baca

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The 3rd Coast

I've been asked a lot lately what I know about "The 3rd Coast?" Honestly I didn't know what to say, so I did my research and actually learned about it at an audition I had a few months ago. I recently moved back home to Texas from Los Angeles in an attempt to get back on track with my career and goals. I was doing very well out in LA but ran into financial problems, lost my day job and then stopped being motivated. Well, I moved home and got my life straightened out and back on track. I started auditioning quickly after I moved back home and ended up having one of the biggest auditions to date out here. While I was in the audition room they noticed my area code on my phone, which is a local LA number. They asked, "You live here locally?" and I said, "Yes. Just moved here." They then responded, "Good choice. A lots going on out here now." I was confused knowing what everybody else in the industry know...LA and NY is where you need to be. So i asked, "What do you mean?" That's when I heard about "The 3rd Coast." Basically it dates back to the '20s and the Great Depression. With the Great Depression came people fleeing the East coast in search of new jobs and what not. This was the boom that created Hollywood, California. Quickly after the Depression, as you all know, films started hitting theaters everywhere and the golden age of Hollywood quickly followed. Well, with the recession happening in modern times apparently it started again. Big time studios began searching out America for the next town they can build studios in. Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta...all good cities, all already built up with very little space. This is the creation of "The 3rd Coast" ie Shreveport, LA. I know, Shreveport?! I was flabbergasted too but then I thought about it. Shreveport is the opposite of all those cities I just listed. Its still a fairly small town with a lot of open space and tons of room to grow. It's a great central city for talent from Austin, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans...etc. They call it the 3rd Coast because you have New York (1st Coast) Los Angeles (2nd Coast) and now Shreveport. If you watch Conan or Letterman and they interview and ask actors where they filmed they talk about Shreveport being the new place to go. I recall Jack Black talking about it for "Year One." The recession is doing much better which may have hurt Shreveport's chances but they have built and have shot films there. Only the future can tell if Shreveport, LA becomes the next glamour city.

Jonathan Baca

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Audition - Just one of those days

What a day today was. WOW!

I had a rough morning to say the least but I needed to brush it off and head home to get ready for my audition tonight. It's for a film noir web series. I've had the sides for about a week now and been looking over them from time to time. This audition, however, was for 6 different roles! I read for all of the roles. Even the fat guy role and young 15yo kid! But anyways, before my audition I needed to make sure I had my headshot and resume ready to go. I go to grab a headshot when it dawns on me, "I have new headshots I get to use!" The only problem is I haven't printed them out yet. No worries, I'll just run up to Kinkos and get a quick print out. In and out the door. That's where the problems started...

I walk into Kinkos and the lady at the desk was very nice.

"How may I help you today?" she asked. "Just need my headshot and resume printed out please." I replied.
"Ohhhh an actor. That's awesome. Sure thing."

I get that response a lot here in Dallas. Back in LA when you would say that the guy/girl working the counter would look at you like, "no shit. Just like every other Joe Blow that walks through those doors." I hand over my flash drive and she asks, "What file is it?" and I showed her. She opens it up and says, "That's a great shot!" Again, another difference between Dallas and LA. In LA they would've said, "That's a Great shot! Who's your photographer? How much did it cost? What are you auditioning for? Do you know where I can get headshots like that? Do you have an agent? Can I suck you off to get any information off of you?" You never know if they're being genuine or not. The nice lady comes back with a great print out of my headshot. I look at it...

Then I ask if she could print my resume on the back for me. "Not a problem." She starts having some trouble with the computer and is trying to figure out how to print my word document. She figures it out and prints it on the back. What comes out is very little. It just has my name and my stats. (ie: height, weight, eye color, etc.) She looks confused. "What's wrong?" She calls over a girl who looks like she hasn't slept in days and is putting on a front so people don't think she's a bitch. She walks over and says, "It's 2 pages long." I start thinking, 'there's no way! I checked it before I left to make sure it's only 1 page.' I lean over and look at the computer screen and explain..."It was only 1 page when I put it on my drive. Just hit backspace and it'll be 1 page and we're good to go." The mean lady looks up at me with fire in her eyes and says, "I can do that but I'll have to charge you $10." $10?!?! Just to hit backspace and make my day a little better. I was thinking, 'You heartless bitch!' But some people won't budge.
I said, "Well, how bout I come back there and hit backspace for you. Then it's fixed and you won't have to charge me anything."
"No. You can't come back here. But you can use our computers out there which are $.30 a minute. Much better than $10."

Are you kidding me? Are you really saying what I think you're saying. I have an audition to get to lady! So furious, from how the day was playing out to begin with, I just paid for the headshot itself and left. I raced home angry as can be but then my phone rings. It's one of my best friends and she always knows how to put a smile on my face. I got to vent to her and she listened. She's a great listener. Then after my venting she responds, and whether she agreed with my behavior or not, she says, "What a winch!" She's the best. Then we talked for a while and it completely calmed me down and put me at ease. I get home and start thinking straight, 'You have resumes printed out for this very reason.' Sure enough I do! This isn't the first time this type of thing has happened to me so I learned from the past and prepared myself for the future. I wonder if other actors go through this sort of thing.

It's time for my audition. By this time I'm pretty much calm and back to a normal state other than the normal jitters you get before an audition/performance. I'm following the directions to the audition site when I notice it's taking me out into the country. BFE Texas. I didn't mind, it was kind of cool. I then pull into a neighborhood and the address is a house. A really nice big house. My mind starts running wild thinking, "Great. I'm about to get murdered!" Cause auditions held at houses always make me uneasy. I've only done it a couple times but it's just not very professional. But this one, however, was extremely professional (for a house audition). It was held in his home studio which was a separate guest house sort of thing. He had me read with a girl. She was really good I thought too! A bit older, but she was very good. The directors daughter was there running the camera and then his wife walked in. Its a little uneasy when there are more people watching your audition. I already feel like an idiot! ha. Auditioning is a part of the game though. Sometimes I can't wait to get to the point where I am offered roles and don't have to audition. That's happened to me a few times from past directors I've worked with and I love it! Because I know I can pull off the role, that's why I submitted for it, but at the audition maybe I was having an off day (like today) or maybe I just kill it but don't get the role and I'm left scratching my head wondering, "what happened?" To explain it for non actors, it's basically like going on a job interview only at the end of the interview you have to put on a show for your potential boss.

All in all it was a very eventful day with ups and downs. I continue to get better at auditions though and sometimes when I think I sucked, I end up getting the part. Tonight wasn't bad so I look forward to seeing what happens. Plus it's my brothers birthday. I showed up late, but made the birthday dinner.

Happy Birthday Bro.

Jonathan Baca

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Beginning

Hello World,

This is my first ever blog post so I figure I would just run down what this blog is going to be about. My name is Jonathan Baca and I am a young, inspiring actor. I've been acting now for about 4 years, or that's the first time I took an acting course. I've been working hard at achieving my goals but along the way I run into some of the funniest, weirdest stories that I wish I could share with an audience instead of just the person to my left. So I decided I should start a blog and share my experiences with the you all. Between gigs and auditions I'll share past stories from school to auditions to working on the job. I hope this is informative and very entertaining to you all. Please always feel free to leave feedback and comments and I'll see you all on set!

Jonathan Baca