February 2007

I sent my resume around the internet via Monster and got a hook from a company in Florida. Not unlike a hungry fish, I took the bait and, after paying them $500.00, I am now an Affiliate, meaning I am a sales person who signs pre-qualified leads up for a $50 fee and $20 per month. There’s no yearly contract, so, I was thinking I’m not putting anyone out of much money if it doesn’t work for them; and the company has been very nice, diligent with their training, and straightforward as far as I can tell.

AFTER THE FACT I read on a website and the following facts are emerging much to my disappointment:

FACT: People at casting agencies, modeling agencies, and talent agencies see enough potential models in person and receive enough photos through other means that searching online for “new faces” is unnecessary.”

FACT: Good casting directors, modeling agents, and talent agents are too busy to spend hours online trolling for photos of ‘new faces’.”

Ya reckon I’ve allowed myself to screw myself?

“FACT: I was under the impression that as new faces are always “needed” and as the internet does allow for potential “talent” to be looked at by potential employers, it’s a good thing, and not exploitive.”

Are we now POSITIVE that on-line talent search agencies are unnecessary and thus all just a great deal of hype?

Then it would seem that we need to approach these people (casting directors, modeling agents, and talent agents) directly and this Talented Cafe website does the trick by giving us the email database? Bet there are going to be a LOT of “VERY PISSED OFF” talent agents once this takes hold… Get in line I’m already posting my email. Hahaha!!!

Thanks Talented Cafe People!!!


This is a bit of fun for those with the blues

Optical Illusions

Optical Illusions Cheer me up: This takes a short while to load in here, but its worth it



Spitzer’s Office Files Lawsuit Seeking Restitution for Defrauded Actors

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against a Montgomery County man who scammed dozens of actors into believing he was a talent agent and casting director for major motion picture studios.Eric Charles Roselli, also known as Eric Latham, of Amsterdam, is accused of fraud, deceptive business practices, false advertising and violations of a state law that prohibits advertisements for show business employment opportunities when an advance fee is a condition of employment.

“This individual pretended to be a movie talent agent and nearly convinced many people to pay in advance for an opportunity to appear in a movie,” Spitzer said. “But his claims were not substantiated and my office is now seeking restitution for those who were victimized.”

In June 2003, Roselli placed an advertisement in Backstage Magazine, a publication read by individuals in the entertainment industry. The advertisement invited aspiring actors to call a Manhattan telephone number for information about auditions purportedly affiliated with Paramount Studios and Warner Brothers.

Actors who called were told that auditions were being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albany. Hundreds of individuals traveled to Albany, at their own considerable expense, to appear for the auditions.

Spitzer’s investigation revealed that Roselli was not affiliated with either Castles in the Skystudio and that every actor who auditioned was offered a role by Roselli on the condition that they pay him $552 to join the “Artists Union,” a non-existent entity.

Several actors recognized Roselli’s offer as a scam and reported it to Spitzer’s office. Fortunately, no one paid the fee sought by Roselli.

In filing the lawsuit, Spitzer’s office seeks a court order compelling Roselli to pay full monetary restitution and damages to all aggrieved consumers, civil penalties for his violations of state laws and costs. The lawsuit also seeks a permanent injunction against Roselli barring him from future fraudulent, deceptive and illegal practices.

Individuals wishing to file a complaint against Roselli are encouraged to call the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755 or visit the office’s web site at www.oag.state.ny.us.

This case is being handled by Principal Attorney Robert Vawter of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.

I have a synopsis. I’m working on my cover letter and I realise I need a hook. Only problem is some places advocate a hook should be no longer than a couple of lines. I was reading Jilly,Rabbit and these hooks appear more of a synopsis.

The only difference is they have more of a selling edge. Can anyone clear up this confusion? What is the difference between a hook and a synopsis? Do you need both? Is it the same as the blurb on the back cover?


Visitors have already noticed the new links in the left-hand column to the publisher of my book Writing for the Web 3.0. This is third edition of a book first published in 1999, when the subject was very new. If your goal is to see your fiction as print on paper, W4W3.0 probably won’t help much—though I think its argument for simple, clear text applies in most genres.Cucumber

A commenter asks which way I make the most money; I do get a little extra if you click through the link to Self-Counsel Press and buy the book right on the publisher’s website.

Next on my agenda is a second edition of Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, first published in 1998. Look for a link to it next month.



One trend that looks set to continue in 2007 is the onward march of the singer-songwriter. All those rock groups with their preening frontmen, clashing egos and enormous touring overheads have been eclipsed lately by a myriad of lone troubadours, each with an “authentic” story to tell and a sound almost as minimalist as their start-up budget.

From feisty, go-it-alone heroines like KT Tunstall, Lily Allen and Imogen Heap to more conventional archetypes of romantic introspection such as Richard Hawley, James Morrison and James Blunt, it is every artist for him or herself. Even confirmed team players, such as Thom Yorke, Jarvis Cocker and Brett Anderson, have suddenly started putting out solo albums, while singer-songwriters as diverse as Amy Winehouse and Sandi Thom, Sufjan Stevens and Ben Kweller, or Scott Matthews and Ben Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg.

Why the sudden appeal? In a pop world increasingly saturated with marketing spin and showbiz sham, the singer-songwriter offers the promise of something a little more up close and personal. Instead of music and performances with big, glossy production values you get a more intimate sense of communication by artists who seem comparatively genuine and unvarnished.

They certainly don’t come any more unvarnished than Ray LaMontagne, the key exemplar of this surging new wave of singer-songwriters. Surly, shy and - gasp! - bearded, he could not stand in greater contrast to the self-promoting characters more usually embraced by the modern media/celebrity circus.

“I didn’t think his first album, Trouble, would get the airplay or the attention that it needed,” says Allan Jones, editor of Uncut magazine, who was an early champion of LaMontagne’s. “It seemed deeply unfashionable, with all those 1970s, singer-songwriter influences, even allowing for the success of people like David Gray or Damien Rice. It was difficult to imagine it finding its way to an audience. I imagined it would be an obscure cult album, that a few of us would be writing about in 20 years time as a lost classic.”

Instead, a little more than two years after it was first released, Trouble has sold half a million copies, becoming a word-of-mouth hit that has redefined the popular tastes of its time. Lamontagne’s new album, Till The Sun Turns Black, slated for UK release in the spring, is a much more sophisticated collection, incorporating haunting string arrangements and rich keyboard textures (”It’s definitely not Trouble, Part 2,” Lamontagne insists). But its core appeal remains the heartfelt performance of melodies and lyrics which reflect the emotionally-charged life story of the singer, making it an album which once again satisfies what one biographer has called “the demand for meaningfulness”.

LaMontagne may be hopeless at trading bon mots with talk show hosts, but he is not a man to shy away from solemnly pondering the big issues.

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