How to Survive the 2015 TV Pilot Season if You’re a Caucasian Actor

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Deadline Hollywood reported this week that because of the high demand for actors of color, this current TV pilot season (when actors audition for series regular roles in next fall’s crop of new TV shows) has been especially hard for white actors who are being denied opportunities in favor of their more “diverse” colleagues. Many folks attacked the article for its racism, including myself, but now that I’ve thought about it some more, I feel I may have taken the wrong approach.

You see, I’m all about the love. And that love extends to my Caucasian brothers and sisters. I know this is a scary time for them—they’ve never experienced being the “minority” before and even the suggestion that their white entitlement is threatened is uncomfortable and frightening.

Pilot season must be especially tough because this is the time of year when white people have traditionally shined. They’ve had their pick of auditions, their pick of roles, hell, this is why their forefathers came over on the Mayflower—so their descendants could be cast on Friends without having to worry about some black or brown actor taking away that opportunity. But we’re entering a brave new world and if white is the new black/Asian/Latino in Hollywood, here’s my advice on how my white friends should approach this pilot season:

How to Differentiate Between Asian Scripts

If you’re looking at some “Asian” writing and can’t tell if it’s Chinese or Korean or Japanese or (insert Asian language here), itchyfeet has a comic to help you distinguish what’s what:

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In general, itchyfeet is there to provide you with educational travel and cultural information like in their latest comic covering the dos and don’ts of chopstick etiquette in Japan which is timely considering how much of an interest there seems to be in the topic of chopsticks recently:

Is Kenny G China’s Manchurian Candidate?

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Who knew that Kenny G was such a Chinese icon? Apparently, like Celine Dion, Kenny G, the purveyor of crappy pop saxophone muzak is strangely tied to Chinese culture. His 1989 ballad ‘Coming Home’ is played in shopping malls and public spaces across the country as a signal the public to leave the premises because the building is closing for the night. Yep, Kenny G’s music is synonymous as Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time.’

Kenny was just in Hong Kong the other day, visiting protestors and even tweeted photos with him posing with said protesters. Obviously, this has stirred some major controversy from Beijing. I mean, the politburo is not only offended but sound actually hurt that their treasured Kenny G would do such a thing.

How to Interact with the “Diverse” People in Your Job

Hey white people,

Do you need a quick guide to help you better interact with the “diverse” people in your work place? Luckily, one law firm put together this corporate memo to help their white employees do just that:

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Yup, stop by the office and say hello, but please wait 60 days before following up with another interaction because…uh….diversity?

How to Convince People You Have a Girlfriend Via Instagram

Are you a loser who can’t get a date? Are you a sad, lonely and pathetic man? Are you a man who wants to give the impression to the world that you have a girlfriend when you actually don’t?  Not because you’re a loser or anything, but because you’re too…busy to bother yourself with a girlfriend. Yeah…that’s the ticket.  Anyway, this could be you:

Thanks to the genius of Japanese photographer Keisuki Jinushi, you can now achieve the illusion that you’re hanging with a beautiful woman and all you need is your camera phone and Instagram or some other social media service that lets you post pics.  Oh, and your hand…you know, as the substitute for the actual woman.

Here’s what you need to do—dress up one of your hands with make-up, nail polish and whatever else it takes to make your hand look “feminine.”

How to Survive the December 21 Apocalypse

So if you’ve been keeping up with the news, you know the world will end this month on the 21st, at least according to the Mayan calendar. A whooping 10% of the population believes this is the date of the apocalypse. Yup, a lot of people believe this shit and for those who do, it must be a scary time. So I’m here to let you know exactly what you need to do to survive the impending day of doom.

The first question we must ask before we discuss the “how” of survival is figuring out the “how” of how the world will come to an end. The Mayans are vague and unclear about the specific details so let’s apply my our own logic to this thorny question.

The end will most likely not come from an environment disaster like the polar ice caps melting and flooding most of the planet because most likely that will be more gradual and we still have a few years before that happens. If an asteroid were on a crash course to earth, we would’ve already discovered it and Bruce Willis would be flying towards it on a space shuttle at this very moment to blow that mother up. If it were something utterly catastrophic like the earth exploding into a gazillion pieces—well, then survival doesn’t matter because no one would be around to worry about surviving, would they?

Then, what is the most likely scenario? I’m going to go with a zombie apocalypse.

How to Survive Lunar New Year if You’re an Asian American Criminal

Dear Asian American Criminal:

Let me start off by saying that I don’t condone your criminal lifestyle—the murdering, the thieving, the embezzling, the assaulting and all the other illegal, awful things you do. But I know you are loyal readers of this blog because…well, just look at the shit we write about. And as loyal readers, I feel an obligation to return that loyalty to you and I can’t think of a better occasion to do that than on this Lunar New Year holiday. So let me just give you this one piece of valuable advice if you plan on committing your heinous crimes on this day of all days:

Don’t do it in Chinatown!

It doesn’t matter if you commit your crimes in Chinatown on the other 364 days of the year, this is the one day you must avoid it because I guarantee that you will get caught. Why? Because if Hollywood movies and TV shows have taught us anything, it’s that white cops are always busting Asian criminals in Chinatown while the new year’s celebrations are taking place.

How to Survive in a TV Writers’ Room

COREY

Corey Miller has been interested in the entertainment business since he was a child, much to his mother’s (and often his own) chagrin. After holding an ungodly number of Production Assistant, Production Coordinator and then Writer’s Assistant positions, he got hired as the Assistant to the Show Runner on the television show “CSI.” After impressing his boss (i.e., bugging her until she relented), he got the chance to write a freelance episode. Later hired as a Staff Writer on “CSI: Miami,” he eventually rose the ranks to Supervising Producer. His other writing credits include the indie film “Border To Border” and episodes of the series “The Forgotten” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and he sold a spec pilot to The Peter Chernin Company and Fox. He is currently a Writer and Co-Executive Producer on the series “Body of Proof,” which airs Tuesday nights (10/9c) on ABC. Corey is not ashamed to admit that he is an L.A. native. You can follow him on twitter at @toomuchfire. Here, he shares what it’s like inside the writers’ room of a network TV drama.

Everything you need to survive the writers' room.

Pretty much every writer can attest to the fact that the blank page is one of the scariest visions that they face on a regular basis — the harsh, bright-white beacon of their presumed failure, since most assuredly, THIS time the page will remain wordless.

Now picture a conference room bathed in fluorescent light, its walls covered with huge, white dry erase boards, with nary a word on them. Add a group of screenwriters to the mix, and that fear is compounded, with interest. They gaze up at the blank walls and then each other, all thinking the same thing: “You mean, we have to come up with an idea that will sustain a full episode of television? Craft a plot, and character arcs, and have the suspense gradually and realistically build in every act, leading to every commercial break? Oh, and it needs to entertain millions of people, especially in the 18-49 demographic? And we have to justify spending millions of dollars of our employer’s money?”

Photoshop Looter

Is the above image confusing? Let me explain… The London riots this past weekend seem have simmered down a bit, with more cops on the streets, but there are still pockets around the city. The damage, physical and psychological, has truly affected citizens as class tensions become even more fiery in the UK. In fact, a colleague of mine, who runs a film distribution company felt this first hand, as his inventory that was stored in a Sony DVD warehouse and hub was burned to the ground last night.

The photos of rioters coming from the AP Wire are truly weird. It’s as if ATTACK THE BLOCK became a reality! Well, it’s just human nature to eventually laugh after the face of tragedy, and here’s a prime example: a tumblr feed of photoshopped looter pics. Some are really hilarious. Hence, E.T. with the juvenile delinquent above.

How to Survive if You’re a Criminal in Gotham City

So last week, Warner Bros. officially confirmed that Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are on board for director Chris Nolan’s third and final installment in his Batman franchise. However, early speculation that they would be playing villains Talia al Ghul and Alberto Falcone, respectively, have turned out to be false (unless Nolan pulls a switcheroo).

But this latest news made me think of the villains and other criminal element in Gotham City (home of the Dark Knight). Now, unless you’re a sociopath like the Joker who finds pleasure in his confrontations with the Bat, it’s gotta be tough to operate on the other side of the law in a city where you’re always looking over your shoulder in case a psycho in a bat suit shows up to break your legs when all you want to do is steal a few jewels to feed your family. So here are 5 bits of advice that will help you survive if you decide to pursue the criminal life in Gotham City.

1) COMMIT YOUR CRIMES IN THE DAYTIME

By now, any criminal has to have figured out that Batman only comes out at night. He is the Dark Knight after all and, let’s be honest, a dude in a rubber bat suit running around in broad daylight isn’t going to strike terror in anyone except maybe the S&M transvestite hookers working the day shift on Hollywood Blvd who are afraid they now have new competition for their business. Yet, time and time again, the criminals in Gotham City insist on committing their crimes at night and, time and time again, they end up getting their asses kicked by the Bat. That’s like walking into the lion’s cage at the zoo wearing a suit made out of raw meat during the lion’s feeding time. If you’re going to walk into the lion’s cage at all, at least do it when the lion is out for its veterinarian check-up. It’s just common sense, people.

How To Survive A Phone Call From A Dead Person

Usually if I get a phone call at 7 AM, it means something is amiss. No one who knows me would call me that early because they know I probably went to bed just a couple of hours earlier and will be getting up a couple of hours later and that’s my prime sleeping time. So I knew I couldn’t ignore this call.

“Are you awake?” my friend Irene asks in a frantic voice. Well, I guess I am now.

“You have to come over right away,” she continues without waiting for a response. “I think my grandmother called me last night.” That statement wouldn’t be strange except for one fact: Irene’s grandmother had passed away a week-and-a-half ago. “Actually meet me at Alcove for breakfast. I don’t feel comfortable being in my apartment right now.”

So I meet up with Irene and she tells me what happened over a breakfast burrito and coffee. She had gone to bed at midnight as she usually does. At some point in the night, her cell phone rang. She opened her eyes for a second, decided that she was too tired to answer and went back to sleep. When Irene woke up the next morning, she checked her cell and the late night caller hadn’t left a message, but…the call had originated from her deceased grandmother’s home phone.

“Her phone was disconnected a week ago,” she said. “This is freaking me out.”