Jessica is a working actor in TV and film - and a working TV writer, screenwriter and director. As someone who works on “both sides of the table”, Jessica will demystify the creative and business side of filmmaking - in a way that’s tailored to empower actors in the audition room and enable them to be better collaborators on set. In this class, Jessica breaks down the way Film and TV works from the other side of the table to better empower you and your creative process as an auditioning actor. You’ll leave informed, empowered, with a new relationship to your on-set collaborators—and freer as an actor as a result.
Location: AGR, 15 West 28th Street, 9th Floor, NYC 10001
Capacity: 50 students total
Ages: 16 and up
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE - TV
How much do you know about the producers, directors, writers and show runners jobs who are your closest collaborators? From the development process, to casting, shooting and testing pilots; how casting directors are hired and who they answer to, what happens when a show is picked up, and the marathon of a weekly production schedule, including guest and co-star casting.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE – FILM
As actors, we often lack access to information about the nuts and bolts of how a movie gets made—from development, through attachments and financing, to greenlight, pre-production, casting, and production. And the process works one way for studio film (the big blockbusters); another way for mid-range “studio indies” (Oscar bait, bigger Sundance and Toronto films); and an entirely different way for “true indies” and microbudget projects.
SEEING BOTH SIDES AND FILLING THE INFORMATION VOID
This “information void” can lead to all sorts of unnecessary stress for actors---we worry that it’s all about whether we’re good enough, when really, chances are, it’s all about the notes call that the EP just had with the network, or the showrunner’s overall deal at the studio, or how late the writing staff is on the latest script for TV or about financing and availability and locations or whether an actor draws good box office in China for Film.
Information is power and every actor can empower themselves in the audition room (and become a better, more valued collaborator on set) by understanding the bigger picture we’re a part of be, it in TV or Film.
Wait List Policy
If a class is sold out, you can sign up for a spot on the wait list.
If a spot opens, the wait list is notified via email and the spot is sold on a first come, first served basis.
If you do not get the spot, you do not need to rejoin the wait list.
Jessica Blank is an actor, writer, director and producer. With her husband Erik Jensen, she is author of THE EXONERATED, a play based on interviews they conducted with over 40 wrongfully convicted death row inmates across the United States. THE EXONERATED won Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Ovation, Fringe First and Herald Angel Awards; it has also received awards from Amnesty International, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Death Penalty Focus, and Court TV, and was listed by the New York Times as "the number 1 play of the year." It was made into an award-winning movie adapted by Jessica and Erik, starring Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Aidan Quinn and Delroy Lindo. Their documentary play AFTERMATH, directed by Jessica, opened New York Theater Workshop’s 2009-10 Off-Broadway season to rave reviews, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, toured internationally for two years and was nominated for two Drama League Awards. Their new play, HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC (based on the writings of Lester Bangs), under commission at CTG, was workshopped at the Public Theater and the La Jolla Playhouse and recently completed a sold-out run at the Kirk Douglas Theater and South Coast Rep, with Erik starring and Jessica directing.
Jessica and Erik are currently writing the pilot THE NEGOTIATOR for Gaumont TV (exec producer Tom Fontana); they have developed for television with Fox TV Studios, 20th Century TV, Avenue Pictures, Sunswept Entertainment, Virgin Produced, and Radical Media. They currently have a feature in development with Cary Brokaw/Avenue Pictures. Jessica's first novel, Almost Home, (Hyperion, 2007) was optioned for feature film with Jessica and Erik adapting and co-directing; the film is slated for production in 2016. Her second novel, Karma for Beginners (Hyperion, 2009) is in development for television with Avenue Pictures, with Jessica and Erik adapting. Her third novel is forthcoming from Penguin in 2016. LIBERTY CITY, a play co-written by Jessica and April Yvette Thompson, was produced Off-Broadway by New York Theater Workshop in 2008 (with Jessica directing), has toured to Miami and elsewhere, and was nominated for Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards.
As an actor, Jessica appeared regularly as the lead's loudmouthed big sister in CBS' MADE IN JERSEY. Additional TV credits include BLUE BLOODS, ELEMENTARY, THE FOLLOWING, THE MENTALIST, BORED TO DEATH, RESCUE ME, LAW AND ORDER: CI, THE BRONX IS BURNING, HIGH MAINTENANCE and several more. Film acting credits include THE NAMESAKE (dir. Mira Nair), YOU'RE NOBODY TILL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU (prod. Spike Lee), THE EXONERATED, and several indies including CREATIVE CONTROL (Grand Jury Prize, SXSW 2015) and ON THE ROAD WITH JUDAS (Sundance). She has acted in theaters throughout New York City and has five new films coming out in 2015-16, including #HORROR with Timothy Hutton and Chloe Sevigny.