BLUF: Before heading to Los Angeles to pursue my acting career, I wanted to accomplish the following goals: obtain a reputable commercial and theatrical agent, obtain a reputable manager, get acting reel-clips, get new head-shots, execute scene-study processes, update my website, gain membership with SAG-AFTRA, and obtain an audition coach. After achieving these goals, I would consider myself to be in the Phase II of my acting career. For the first time in my life, I would be a full-time actor in Los Angeles; hence, as of November 2018, I achieved my aforementioned goals, and I am officially in Phase II of my acting career — NO more acting on the side — I’m immersed in my acting career; and, for the first time, I am laser-focused and disciplined in my acting goals. For the first time in my life, I AM a FULL-TIME actor working out of Los Angeles, California and other states my agent and manager want to set me up as a local hire.
Now, I am working on Phase III of my acting career…being able to financially support myself through the television and feature film gigs I book through my auditions in Los Angeles.
For about 17 years, I acted on the side in the San Francisco area. I had an awesome agent: Tonry Talent Agency. During the 17 years with Tonry, I was self-taught and had no real acting guidance — when I look back to the time Mary Tonry first signed me on, I really don’t know how I got as far as I did…I was never taught to slate — I just watched people during my first audition, which was for Macy’s. I literally flew by the seat-of-my-pants.
I never invested in my acting — I treated it as a sideline activity…like a throw-away hobby; because I was focused on my corporate career, and I never had any real acting guidance. During that 17 years, I successfully booked ~20 local commercials; and, I had one national commercial. I did tons of industrials, and several short films.
After my national commercial, I earned my spot with SAG, which is now, SAG-AFTRA, and I realized I needed formalized training; so, I hooked up with the Beverly Hills Playhouse in San Francisco — an extension of Beverly Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles (LA), California.
By this time, I retired out of Corporate America; and, I was anxious to really learn about acting; because, I wanted to eventually make the move to LA and compete for big studio acting gigs in feature films.
After about two years of being a student at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in San Francisco, I started to tinker around with film production with an acquaintance of mine, Jeff Allard. My time with film production was a lot easier for me; because, of my extensive business background.
I focused on production for about two or three years at Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios, and independent studios. During my time behind the camera, my acting-bug never let up, and it drove me to leave production and get back in front of the camera…so, I did.
In 2017, Mary Tonry, my awesome agent, retired. I, now, was a free agent, which in the acting industry is not good — I wasn’t interested in sending out my head-shot and resume to other San Francisco agencies; because, I figured the next phase of my acting career, Phase II, needed to be in Los Angeles — my focus was on feature films — no more local San Francisco commercials; no more industrials; and, no more San Francisco — period! If I wanted to compete in LA, I had to get a reputable and well-connected LA manager and LA agent in the television and feature film sectors.
Reluctantly, I started to create my media package to send out to LA agents; and, I dreaded that thought — you see, I never had to seek out an agent…I was fortunate that agents sought me out by meeting me or through a connection from another actor.
While I was getting new head-shots and updating my resume to send out to LA agents and managers, I got a call from my, now, former acting instructor, Rob Zimmerman. He wanted to do a 6-week-run of David Henry Hwang’s, Yellow Face, in Los Angeles. The venue would be, The Beverly Hills Playhouse, owned and managed by Allen Barton and his team.
I immediately jumped at the opportunity; because, I enjoyed that play, and I never performed in Los Angeles…Los Angeles has a reputation of having a tough audience; because, they are exposed to the best talent in the immediate area. Because of this reputation, I wanted to see, if I, as an actor, had the chops to win the Los Angeles over. If I failed in Los Angeles with my acting role in Yellow Face, then I would give up acting all together and return to Corporate America and do a “fun” corporate job that didn’t require me to manage budgets, projects, products, revenue, or people.
I consulted with the Trinity before my move to Los Angeles to do Yellow Face. I figure there was a reason this opportunity came up for me, so I immediately took it not expecting anything to come from it — other than just getting a gauge as to whether or not the LA audience would like my acting.
After several weeks of rehearsals, opening night came around; and, the entire play was a success. During the 6-week run, the stage manager, Eddy Hong, also a wonderful television and stage actor, as well as a student at The Beverly Hills Playhouse in LA, did a major marketing campaign for the play. He got reputable and credible reviewers, producer, directors, casting director, agents, and managers to attend the play.
Now, I realized the reason the Trinity presented me with this opportunity, and I realized the reason I was acting in Yellow Face in Los Angeles.
Most of the critiques about my portrayal of all the characters I played in Yellow Face were positive; and, during the second to the last week of the play, I started to get offers from 4 agents and two managers IN LA. I was elated — this is exactly the break I needed. I needed to get a manager and agent IN Los Angeles — NOT San Francisco — LOS ANGELES.
In October 2018, I signed with Brenda Fischer and Gina Nuccio at RSA Talent Management (RSA). In November 2018, I signed with Carrie Park at Park Artist Group (PAG).
After signing with RSA and PAG, I got new head-shots down with shooter, Sage Kirkpatrick, owner of Fresh Looks Photography in Los Angeles. I also hired Fernando Ramirez to do my reels. I updated my website with my new head-shots and reels, and I had all the logistical requirements expected of me as a professional actor in Los Angeles: http://www.AlfonsoFaustino.com
Now, after signing with a management firm and having an agent in LA, I, for the first time in my life, am a committed actor. Acting is my career and my life; and, I have both feet and whole body, mind, and soul immersed in my acting career — as of NOVEMBER 2018, I am a full-time committed actor; and, I will make my dream a goal, and I will accomplish the many goals I have as an actor one at a time.
For the first time in my acting career, I am laser-focused on getting to my acting goals — hell, for the first time in my acting career, I have ACTING goals — goals are important and the necessary ingredient for success.
For the first time in my acting career, I got rid of distractions — no more Ferraris; no more social events that don’t further my career as an actor; no more people that don’t support my acting goals.
For the first time in my acting career, I am living as an actor and maintaining my existing team and adding to my acting team to help me get to my acting goals.
My awesome acting team: Mum, sister, GF, managers, agent, head-shot shooter, reel director, audition coach, and my head-shot photographer.
NOVEMBER 2018 MARKS the Phase II starting point of my acting career as a full-time committed actor.
Within a month of signing with RSA, I got my very first television Guest Star audition: Hawaii Five-0.I didn’t get the guest star role in Hawaii Five-0; and, for the first time, I was crushed as an actor. Sure, in the past, I didn’t get booked after I auditioned for commercials and industrials in San Francisco, but I didn’t care — I just moved on.
Not getting the guest star in Hawaii Five-0 was different — this was a major CBS television show with big A-list names — I was so disappointed.
Two weeks later, my agent contacted me, and I got another guest star audition for…Hawaii Five-0; and, AGAIN…I didn’t get the part. WHAT THE HELL am I doing wrong?
I know the ways to break down the scene; I have no problems performing as an actor in the casting room; and, I studied and prepared my ass off for the audition; and, TWICE I failed to get the part.
The following week, my agent contacted me and told me I had an audition for another television show. I prepared by studying my character and the scene…I DID NOT get the part.
Okay…I was really stressed out; and, I started getting in my head…”maybe, I’m not meant to be acting.” I prayed like hell to the Trinity — “Are you giving me a sign that I should throw in the towel?”
After I prayed, about a week later, my manager sent an email to her talent…Audition Coach: Dana Salah.
I immediately contacted Dana and told her I needed help, and we talked. She told me not to worry about not getting Hawaii Five-0…let it go, and let’s get you ready for the next audition that comes your way.
About a day after talking with her, my agent contacts me; and, she tells me, “you have an audition for a feature film.”
I immediately got my sides, and I contacted Dana — we talked about the sides and went over the character’s position in the film. I spent about four days studying for the part, and I auditioned. Dana was happy with my work…let’s hope the casting director likes my work, and I get the part.
/s/ Alfonso Faustino