GADZOOK FILMS Producing independent film in Seattle, Los Angeles and beyond.

7May/12Off

Acting Out! with Dom Zook

Way back in 1999 I started posting my thoughts for the world to see. I had just graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor's degree in Theater (Acting/Directing emphasis). I wanted to keep everyone abreast of my trials and tribulations finding steady acting work, and I wanted to help younger actors learn some of the intricacies of the business that I wish I knew when I started.

So, through the magic of archive.org's WayBack Machine, I located my old site (not my oldest site, I'll point out) and began copying over my old posts to this blog. I've backdated them so they are chronologically accurate. And I've added them all to the "Acting Out! with Dom Zook" category for easy reference. Within these you'll find mentions of my first forays into producing, early acting news, and more.

I was young... some of the advice I'm not sure I'd give again or was even appropriate. But I was sincere. It's amazing to see how long I've been in the "teaching" game - that is, imparting any knowledge I had freely, whether I was right or not. I've always been a big proponent of passing on information. Anyway, feel free to peruse that section... you can start off here with my "First Post!"

3Dec/01Off

Last Acting Out! post

Okay! Back on track with the acting gig's, and looking forward to Christmas. Editing is such a big pain, and it'll be nice to try and make some extra money this holiday season to work on buying that new computer and mini-DV system! 🙂 Boys and toys. Not that my old Mac was bad... but unfortunately it just wasn't ready for the tasks I had. But we move on. How are you all? Enjoying this season of holiday cheer? Have any questions for me? If so, let me know, and I'll try to answer them as completely as possible, on this very site! ASK AWAY!

17Nov/01Off

Early film equipment

We've completed filming of the first episode of the new season. Today we're having a professional photographer come and take publicity shots of the gang for the website and PR materials. We're big-time. 🙂

My good ol' Mac is currently undergoing retro-fitting to allow it to edit the show and future projects. It's not too shabby for a 3 year old Power Mac. Shortly I'll have most of the basic equipment needed to edit my projects. Still looking for an inexpensive DV VTR, if you know of one (preferably $500 +/-).

Otherwise... my audition for ReAct theatre felt like it went well. No call from them yet. I also auditioned for Showtunes! Musical Theatre. That went well too, but the next morning I had three e-mails in my inbox from the same person from the theatre all with the same message: thanks, but no thanks. Overkill? 🙂

Listening to Tenacious D, Superman Lovers, and Sarah Mclachlan now. Catch ya later... have a great Thanksgiving.

24Oct/01Off

New Agent

Moving on then. The Night Shift has begun filming and so far everything's looking superb. The cast and crew is excellent and it's really shaping up nicely. A new Empire Productions website is on its way as well, and more detailed info about the new cast and crew will be available then.

I have since signed on with the Actors Group and have been to a few auditions and callbacks, much to their delight. Always good to make a good first impression. Making the callback is almost as good as getting the gig... well, duh. But it really is! It means you impressed the CD enough to even call you back, which means they saw enough in you to make them think you were worth it. It's a good thing all around.

That's about it now. Things are picking up on the acting end with the agent now, and the Night Shift is occupying much time. Hot Crotch is beginning to get a little attention in the graphic design end. A poster has been floating around and hopefully I can post that soon.

14Oct/01Off

Interview with an Agent

Well, the two shows I was going to do at Renton Civic Theatre have been cancelled due to lack of funds. Better now than later I suppose. However I've since had to turn down so many shows to do these! Show's I did NOT want to turn down. It really sucks any way you look at it. So I'm back out on the street. It may give me time to work on Hot Crotch Duggins as well as the Night Shift. But it won't give me any financial breaks.

The interview with the agent went very well. The next day they set up an audition for me with the top casting director in town. I went to that audition on Saturday, and he liked me enough to call me back to read for another role. The casting was for three commercials for the State Lottery. So I basically read for two of those. We shall see how it goes. Basically me signing with The Actors Group hinges on this audition. If the casting director likes me enough, then I stand a good chance. If not... then it's back on the pavement. I'll be sure to keep you informed.

If you're a friend who's trying to get in touch with me, please e-mail me. I don't read the guestbook that often, and I've noticed a rash of people telling me to call them or whatever. I have an e-mail address.... use it!

Also, if you're trying to post in the forums but can't seem to find them, there's a new link. Go here!

8Oct/01Off

Terrorism and Comedy

Moving on. We're at war now with terrorism. And I'm working on a public access comedy show! The dichotomy does not seem to seep through yet. Work is slow... often horrid. They fired 8 people the other day. From vice-presidents to research assistants. I know my job was in jeopardy. I made it through, but now, I'm almost wishing I was fired. I've been given the duties of all those laid off co-workers, effectively making me cheap labor.

Renton Civic Theatre is apparently under new management and although "She Loves Me" is still a go (with new director and musical director), I'm not sure about "Drop Dead!" I have not heard anything. I'm really kicking myself for saying anything to SCT.

I have an interview with the top agent in Seattle, The Actors Group, on Wednesday. Wish me luck. My financial plan is to win the lottery and never worry about bills again. Or you can feel free to donate to me. 🙂 Big shout out to my parents, Mom and Dad (those're their real names, I swear!).

Check out Empire Productions. The website is undergoing vast revisions (probably not readily seen yet), I have an awesome crew helping me, and a new cast with the Night Shift. Things are strong... we just need that big break. Check us out, you'll be glad you did. We also do barmitzvahs!

Also, check out the Acting Forum. Your questions will be answered. Send a note to your favorite actors on the Night Shift, or Hot Crotch Duggins (still working on editing). It's a powerful tool, just ask away!

29Aug/01Off

Juggling Auditions

Well, things just get busier and busier. I suppose that's a good thing. In the past 3 weeks I've: Been on two commercial auditions, one callback for the Seattle Children's Theatre, rehearsed and performed 4 one-act plays at ArtsWest, assembled a production team for the NEW Night Shift, worked my normal job (occasionally overtime), updated my websites, been called back at another theatre, and slept!

The other theatre (Stepping Stone Productions) and SCT called me back. Unfortunately all of the shows they called me back for (Stepping Stone called me for two, while SCT called me in for one) occur during my stint as Chaz Looney at Renton Civic. I already signed a contract with those folks, so despite my want to be at SCT, it just isn't written in the cards. Unless I can work out some awesome understudy/rehearsal thing. Even if I did, it'd be tough work juggling both shows.

On lighter news, I finally got a DVD player! Whoopee! Start sending me DVD presents! 🙂

4Aug/01Off

Push towards Professionalism

Ah... "Nobody Does it Better." That's the song I'm listening to right now on my James Bond Greatest Hits. The 5th episode of the Night Shift aired last night, and I'm getting ready to air the 6th and final episode for this season. Next? Well... I'm really trying to solidify Empire Productions into the Seattle filmmaking society and I think the Night Shift could get us there. So I'm revamping the whole thing, bringing on more crew, more actors, more writers, and generally making a huge push towards professionalism.

Hot Crotch is in the can, and I just got the pictures from my photographer. They all look great, and now it's a race against time getting the pictures we want before my photographer leaves for Europe for a month. It'll get done. 🙂 Anyway, I'll post pics here and at the Empire site once they get developed.

I can't wait to open my next play. It's good to be back on the boards. I feel quite comfortable with this gang, and I think the plays will reflect that. If you're a casting director or agent, expect a postcard and invite in the mail soon! 🙂

1Aug/01Off

Don’t Flake Out

So here I am... back again. Can't get enough. This is justa reminder, that you can feel free to write me and ask me questions, say hello, give me some constructive criticisms, or what-have-you. I'm all ears, and happy to help those who honestly seek it.

And as another tid-bit of advice - never flake-out. No matter WHAT may cause you to have to drop out of something, and no matter WHAT magnitude of job you are performing (community theatre, short indie film, major motion picture, whatever) and no matter WHAT the pay scale ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS call or e-mail the person in charge and tell them the situation. If they're anything like me they'll understand and say "Go take care of you."

However, if you don't call, and just decide you need to shelter yourself from everyone, and not call and assume things that aren't true, you are only hurting yourself. Trust me, I know the feeling. Always make your intentions clear and always communicate. If you think you're getting a raw deal, say so! If you think you've bitten off more than you can chew, say so! You may not be able to keep the job, but at least they know you cared enough to let them know you wouldn't be able to tackle the job. You appear trustworthy. You appear to know when too much is too much. And you appear to actually CARE about the project your working on! Woah... new concept.

Questions? Comments? Mad at me? TELL ME.

29Jul/01Off

Wherein I try to use the blog to pickup chicks and wax poetic

Why hello there! Sorry about the delay. I've been pre-occupied with about a billion other things. Hot Crotch Duggins has finished principle photography, and the footage that I've seen so far is very funny. It's good too! Now my problem is getting the money needed to start logging the footage and editing. I want to be able to edit at home, and recently purchased a used Apple Power Mac 8600/300 (for you Mac afficianadoes). I plan to upgrade that. If you would like to contribute $2000 to me, that would more than cover the cost of the upgrade and also help me enter film fests. Tell your friends.

I have been cast in several shows over the next few months, as the MAIN page says. So free time has quickly dissipated. Add on the extra hours I've been putting in at my normal job in order to make the extra money for Christmas (yes, I'm thinking that far ahead), the business I'm trying to support and help grow, the rehearsing and filming of the Night Shift, and various other odds and ends, and my social life amounts to nil.

But know this... I am single and looking. I'm cool, clear, responsible, daring, and fun. If you have friends you'd like to set me up with, just e-mail me their info (with their permission of course). If you'd like to set YOURSELF up with me... do the same thing. I'm now taking applications. I'm so lonely. 🙁 So come on... boost my ego... help me out! And let's go bowling!!

So auditions continue for me, but now seasons are getting cast and I'm starting to make long-range decisions. If you want me for your project, get while the gettin's good. I'm making a concerted effort to fortify Empire Productions into a formidable independent studio. I'm gathering a good team, making decisions, and I welcome help and advice and most importantly investors!

So that's it for now. My birthday is in a little over a month and as I quickly approach nearly a quarter of a century on this planet, I have to start thinking about making me happy, while also helping my fellow man, and the planet itself. I don't want to sound preachy, but it's something to dream about. Good luck in all that you do... and if you get a chance... let me know about it. Take care... I'll write again soon.