Introducing, the Ask The Artist series!
Every few weeks we’ll interview a different working professional in the entertainment industry to get pick their brain for tips and tricks and some helpful advice!
Our first artist featured is quadruple threat, Flannery Maney!
Flannery moved from Ohio to LA to pursue her dream of working and TV and film. Her first industry job was in casting as an associate.
She’s studied acting in London at RADA and I booked co-stars on the FOX show, ‘Mulaney’, the Nickelodeon show, ‘Buccaneer Galaxy’, and a series lead on a YouTube Red comedy sketch show.
In her writing pursuits she assisted Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, the brilliant Horror writers behind ‘Jigsaw’ and ‘Piranha 3D’. She also staffed on a show called ‘Kat & Bare’. Her short film, ‘NEW YEAR NEW ME’ was directed by Oscar winner Chris Overton.
Now she develops TV shows, pitch to networks and production companies, and help other writers with their passion projects. As a producer she’s worked on the films Throw Like A Girl, Beyond The Cracks, and Scars.
She co-founded the band ALICE BLOOM and is the vocalist behind the duo.
To get tips ranging from self-tapes to how to best approach an audition, read Flannery’s interview below!
Any self-taping do’s or don’ts?
Do: relax and try to have fun! Do: set a time limit for yourself because perfectionism can have its day with self tapes! Do: Tape with someone who makes me feel comfortable.
What’s your favorite job you’ve ever worked on?
Mulaney on fox! Great crew and I got to joke with Andy Ackerman!
How do you handle nerves or stage fright?
Deep breathing, singing, running in place, and connecting to the material…remember why you’re there— you are creating art.
Do you have any tips or tricks for commercial auditions?
Take some improv classes! Important for being a human as well as an actor!
What’s your songwriting process like?
It’s very strange and varies! Sometimes it’s where I go off and explore a set of lyrics and my partner plays around with melody, sometimes it’s a group endeavor. We like to pick something to latch onto— like lyric, a hook, a melody— and then work from there! It also depends on if it’s a pitch and we’re working in a certain genre or starting with lyrics or are trying to get close to another “comp”.
How do you prepare for performing in a live show? Is there a ritual you have?
I just pick out another actor to nerd out about the story and characters and remind myself of my “way in”…the thing that makes me so excited to play a character. For singing, I get super nervous, so I make sure I’m warmed up and feeling good and then I take calming breaths and drink tea.
How do you deal with rejection? And how do you stay positive?
Rejection is a huge part of this industry. I’ve had to re-adjust my relationship with rejection. When I get them, I try and welcome them, or at least wave as they pass through. If you’re being rejected, you’re doing one thing that WILL get you closer to your goal— you’re trying. You’re putting your work out there. At the end of the day, (and I really know because I worked in casting) you NEVER know the full reason why you didn’t get the job. Don’t obsess. Focus on the next job/ audition/ play/ TV show you want to binge.
I have a few mantras that I repeat like…YOU ARE ENOUGH, or YOU’RE DOING ENOUGH. Figure out if there’s something you’re being negative about and dissect what you’re saying to yourself and try to figure out if you have beliefs about yourself that are not true. For example, I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH or I’LL NEVER MAKE IT. Someone has to make it! You cannot think like this. Take design mantras to oust negative thinking and I personally love my therapist and EMDR therapy so I can learn how to face the past and change some of my preset thinking.
What’s the best piece of career or life advice you’ve ever received?
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”Theodore Roosevelt
One piece of advice from me— be careful about advice. Never forget that the #1 person to listen to, is you. I spent my 20s sprinting after the advice of others and ended up in not the correct spaces. I wasn’t honoring myself.
Any advice from your days working in the casting department?
Casting directors do want you to do your best! That means they can go home. They know you’re nervous…if you’re feeling nervous, it’s okay to shake it off, use that in your performance, or call it out. They absolutely KNOW this means a lot to you.
I know there’s a lot of classes that teach how to audition well, and that matters, but don’t forget that this is an art. In front of casting, that’s your time to own it and connect to the material. They are your audience and you are the artist. Remember that they are only the critic— you are the person in the arena.
Remember casting people are just people— they have fears and frustrations…they work 12 hour days. Be kind, don’t wear smelly perfume, treat the assistants like people and don’t “perform” before you’re performing— just be you! That’s what they want to see. When you’re ready to start, take a moment, jump into the character and lose yourself in the text!
You can check out more of Flannery Here:
Flannery’s Website: https://www.flannerymaney.com/
Flannery’s Writing: https://flannerymaney.medium.com/
Listen to Alice Bloom: https://www.flannerymaney.com/alice-bloom
Flannery’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flannerymaney/?hl=en